Although State Farm loves to market itself as a good neighbor, when you file a claim with them, you may find it is anything but that. Like other insurance companies, State Farm is not here to be a friend or neighbor. Instead, it is a massive company looking to generate profit and make its shareholders wealthy, not to make your life easier.
Yet, many accident victims believe deceitful marketing tactics, thinking the company will compensate them fairly, especially after a devastating accident. To clarify what you can expect from State Farm and its adjusters, we prepared the following article. In it, we shed light on these corrupt tactics and discuss how an experienced car accident attorney can help you pursue the maximum damages you deserve.
State Farm Tactics
State Farm’s adjusters will try paying as little as possible after an accident. They defend their claims vigorously, often undertaking deceitful practices that can impact your claim. Take, for instance, the following examples.
Calculating Injury Claims
State Farm adjusters use a computer program to calculate an injury claim’s value. These adjusters enter specific information regarding your accident into their software, such as your injuries, needed medical treatments, and your medical bills. From there, the system will estimate the claim’s value by evaluating these medical records and calculating lost wages and the victim’s pain and suffering.
However, this software is often inaccurate, undervaluing your damages and calculating an offer much less than what the victim deserves. This undervaluation happens because the software calculates values based on preset guidelines that discount expenses from the claim.
For instance, the software has preset parameters for certain injuries and the required medical treatments. If an individual requires treatment beyond typical requirements, the software automatically discounts these expenses, leaving victims with extensive bills.
Stalling the Claims Process
State Farm adjusters know you face significant financial pressures after an accident. These adjusters can stall your claim, leaving you in financial jeopardy and making you more susceptible to accept State Farm’s lowball offers.
State Farm does not care how damaging this can be to you, your family, or your future. It understands that increasing your financial pressure helps secure the money it needs.
To protect your interests, contact an experienced personal injury attorney who understands these deceitful tactics, knows State Farm’s tricks, and fights for the compensation you need.
Using What You Say Against You
A common tactic is using recorded statements against you. State farm may indicate that you must provide them with a statement after an accident, but you do not have to. Their plan with these statements is to ask you a series of leading questions calculated to work against you and impact your financial recovery.
For example, instead of asking you about the extent of your injuries, State Farm may only ask, “How are you doing?” prompting a one-word answer such as “okay” or “fine.” If later you indicate you suffer greatly from your injuries, the company will argue that you are lying because they have you on record, suggesting that you are “okay.”
For these reasons, before you make any statements to State Farm, discuss the case with an experienced personal injury attorney. These legal professionals can help you understand your rights during these conversations and even take over these communications on your behalf, ensuring that State Farm does not take advantage of you and your situation.
Ordering Numerous Independent Medical Exams
An independent medical exam, or IME, is an checkup performed by a doctor hired by the insurance company to examine the victim and write a report of their findings after the exam. The insurance company will then use this report to help them deny claims, cut-off benefits, or reduce the money they need to provide.
While this examination is common practice for all insurance companies, State Farm will pay for numerous independent medical exams. State Farm does this to indicate that the victim does not require additional medical treatment, that they reached maximum medical improvement, or that their injury will soon heal. Even if these statements are false, State Farm will use them against you to prevent you from receiving the compensation you deserve.
State Farm surveils victims filing an injury claim. They hire private investigators to follow these individuals, videotape them, and catch them doing anything that can help State Farm lower damages. State Farm will use this information to argue that the victim lied about their injuries and losses, so they do not deserve benefits.
State Farm will edit the surveillance to show these victims in the worst light possible, even if the full video paints a different picture. For these reasons, speak to an experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in these claims and can ensure these videos show the whole picture, not just the edited portion that State Farm wants everyone to see.
Using Pre-Existing Conditions to Deny Your Claim
State Farm will dig into your past to find anything they can use against you, including reviewing your medical history and finding injuries or issues that could qualify as a pre-existing condition. As a result, you must be very careful before handing over any medical records to these insurance companies.
Thankfully, when you work with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney, these legal professionals can carefully review every request that State Farm sends over, especially regarding your medical records.
Talking You out of Getting a Lawyer
State Farm does not want you to work with experienced attorneys who will combat their tactics. State Farm will therefore try to talk you out of getting legal representation. They will often make statements indicating that hiring a lawyer will reduce the money you receive or that it will delay the claims process. However, they do not tell you that getting a qualified lawyer to take on your claim can help you recover significantly more compensation than you would on your own.
For these reasons, do not let State Farm talk you out of getting the legal help you need. Instead, reach out to these lawyers for a free consultation and find out how they can help you.
Let an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Take On Your State Farm Injury Claim
Although there are countless tactics that State Farm will try to limit your financial recovery, there are ways to combat these practices. The following ways describe how an experienced personal injury attorney can help you fight for the financial recovery you deserve.
Figure out Your Actual Damages
Even though State Farm will try to devalue your claim, working with an experienced personal injury attorney can help protect your financial interests. Your attorney will determine the damages you suffered, including your medical bills, car repair costs, lost income, and future lost wages.
These attorneys will perform a thorough legal analysis to determine damages. If needed, your attorney will bring in expert witnesses, such as financial specialists, to estimate how much money you deserve from the insurance company to cover your current expenses, future bills, and ongoing needs.
Take on the Negotiation Process
Reaching a fair settlement offer takes strong negotiation skills and a decent understanding of the law, which can help prevent insurance companies from taking advantage of the situation. Thankfully, an experienced personal injury lawyer can take on these insurers, including State Farm, to handle this negotiation and ensure you get the money you deserve.
Head to Trial if Needed
When State Farm handles a personal injury claim, its goal is to defend itself and deny your claim. They also know that the longer they delay this claim and refuse to offer a fair settlement, the greater their chance of you giving up and walking away with the least amount of money possible.
To prevent the insurance company from successfully implementing this strategy is to take the case to trial with the help of a skilled and aggressive personal injury attorney.
Provide You Needed Legal Support During This Challenging Process
During this difficult time, dealing with the insurance company is the last thing you want to do, especially as they try out dishonest games to get you to fail in your claim.
You will not have to go through this demanding ordeal by yourself. Instead, with an experienced personal injury attorney by your side, you can get the legal support you need, the answers you require, and legal help to take on State Farm’s unfair tricks and deceptive practices. Better yet, you will not owe these attorneys anything until you win. Since most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, you will not have to pay any upfront legal fees or pay the attorney until they successfully recover a monetary award or settlement on your behalf.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Today and Take State Farm Head-On
If you have a State Farm injury claim, contact a personal injury lawyer today at Hutzler Law for your free case evaluation. Our lawyers can review your case, determine the course of action you should take to maximize your compensation, and support you when standing up to State Farm.