After a car accident, the insurance companies who insure the drivers who were involved will play an important role in how much – or even whether – the victim of the accident will be compensated for their losses. Different insurance companies use different strategies to determine how much compensation to offer, though they all tend to lowball the initial settlement package in an attempt to pad their own bottom line and make as much profit as possible.
Therefore, the fact that State Farm is one of the largest car insurance companies in the region and reported $78.3 billion in revenue in 2017 suggests that they tend to skimp on their settlement offers, as well. From representing countless clients in front of State Farm's insurance adjusters and attorneys, the personal injury lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian can attest that this is, in fact, exactly what tends to happen. Victims of car accidents who have to deal with State Farm are frequently offered next to nothing in the initial settlement package, and often have to file a personal injury lawsuit against the insurance company to get something reasonable.
State Farm's Insurance Claims Process
The beginning of all of these situations is a car accident. While many crashes involve someone getting hurt, most of them only lead to property damage. However, people who suffered physical or financial losses in the crash should be compensated by their insurance company. It is, after all, why people pay insurance premiums.
After the crash, you can either file an insurance claim with your insurance company to notify them of the situation or file a third party claim against the other person's insurance company to request compensation from them. If the insurance company who receives the insurance claim is State Farm, they will send an insurance adjuster to the scene of the damage and judge how bad it is. This investigation is relatively easy and straightforward when there were no injuries. If you were hurt, then the investigation can take the insurance adjuster much longer.
The investigation culminates in an initial settlement offer. At State Farm, insurance adjusters use a computer model to weigh the different factors that are involved in the accident and that dictate your legal damages – from the costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle to your medical expenses to the wages you have lost, so far. However, there do seem to be variations in the initial settlement offers for what seem to be similar accidents and injuries. This indicates that State Farm adjusters may have some authority to vary from the computer model's valuation of the claim.
How State Farm Offers Compare to Competition
Insurance companies are for-profit companies that make money by doing two things:
- Maximizing the amount of money they pull in through premium payments from customers
- Minimizing the amount of money they spend in settling claims
Some insurance companies focus on increasing their income by charging high premiums. Others focus on reducing their expenses by aggressively denying or lowballing claims. Where an insurance company falls on this spectrum is going to have an outsized impact on your particular case, because the attitude that the company brings to the table will determine how much you have to fight for what you deserve.
State Farm falls somewhere in the middle of this range: They tend to make low initial offers, but they are not often outrageously low or laughable. However, just because they fall somewhere close to the middle when compared to their competition does not mean that their initial settlement packages are close to what you deserve to receive. Refusing to accept the initial settlement offer – and refusing to sign the all-important waiver of your legal rights that accompany the check – can be the best way to show State Farm that you know what you are entitled to receive.
Pursuing Compensation from State Farm Through Litigation
If you decide to refuse the initial settlement offer, the next step is often filing a personal injury lawsuit against State Farm – only in the rarest of circumstances does the initial settlement offer change or increase before a lawsuit is filed. Once the lawsuit is filed in court and served on State Farm, the claim for compensation moves from one of State Farm's insurance adjusters to one of its attorneys.
While the adjuster only has to worry about making their settlement offer as low as possible while still being something that you might accept, these attorneys have to defend the case in court, in front of a jury. Suddenly, they have skin in the game and are much more likely to offer a settlement that comes closer to what you really deserve. The alternative is facing the possibility that the court case goes very badly for them, and that you receive all of the compensation that you deserve. Therefore, it is not unusual for settlement offers to double or triple once the lawsuit has been filed, and potentially increase even more as the trial date nears and State Farm's lawyer tries harder to avoid fighting a losing case in court.
Gilman & Bedigian Represent Accident Victims Against State Farm
If you have been hurt in a car accident, fighting State Farm for the insurance coverage that you have been promised – and that you have been paying for through monthly premium payments – is probably not high on the list of things you want to do. However, when the initial settlement offer comes in and it becomes clear just how little they want to pay for your losses, filing a lawsuit can be an obvious next move.
The personal injury lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian know that this is a very difficult time for people who have been injured in an accident. The initial offer is, after all, designed to be an enticing one that would settle the case and let you move on. However, holding back, hiring a lawyer, and filing a lawsuit against State Farm is almost always a better way to get the compensation that you deserve. Contact us online for the help you need.