State Farm is one of the largest auto insurance companies doing business in the state of Texas. State Farm’s reputation is good. But handling a claim with State Farm when they insure another person is not fun and games.
Many people find dealing with an adjuster to be stressful and frustrating. The fact is that the adjuster is following the playbook they were given. The playbook is designed to reduce or eliminate car accident injury claims.
If you were hurt in an accident with a State Farm insured and are making a personal injury claim, consider contacting an experienced car accident injury lawyer in Houston, TX.
The Other Guys Insurance Company is Not Out to be Fair
When you make an injury claim against a State Farm insured in Texas, they are not out to be fair. State Farm will go to great lengths to save money or deny a claim. The insurer has two objectives when a personal injury claim is made against their policyholder. One is to protect the insured, and two, to pay as little as possible.
Insurance companies are in the business of making money, and fairness does not enter the equation. Knowing that fairness is not part of the process can help you deal with the claim. Understanding your rights and options when making a claim is vital to getting the compensation you deserve.
Recorded Statements are NOT Required to Make a Claim
Adjusters may claim they can’t process a claim against their insured unless you give them a recorded statement. You do not have to give a recorded statement to State Farm on a claim against a 3rd party (the other driver).
You may hear many arguments on why you need to give them a statement. But our Houston car accident lawyers suggest you do not provide a recorded statement to the at-fault driver’s adjuster.
Many feel a recorded statement will further their case, yet the opposite is often true. Your words probably will not impact the adjuster’s determination yet will be used against you in a car accident lawsuit.
What You Say Will Not Help You and Can Be Used Against You.
Adjusters are trained in how they ask leading questions. The training is designed to find things to use against you. Questions like “When did you first see the car.” Or “What did you do to avoid the crash.” Are looking to get admissions to use to deny or defend the case.
If you are going to let the adjuster record your story, make sure to be prepared for trick questions or areas of concern.
Some areas of Concern for Recorded Statements
- The extent of injury – Giving a statement before you are sure about your injuries is not a good idea. Often adjuster reaches out right after the crash and before follow-up medical help.
- Other accidents or claims – Open-ended questions about prior claims history are looking to make you look bad.
- How the crash happened- The adjuster will be hoping for something they can use to place full or partial fault on you!
- What you told your doctors- this trick is to get you on record as having said something to the doctors. But the medical records may reflect otherwise.
Low Ball First Offers are the General Rule
A strategy that many adjusters use is that of the “lowball” offer. This negotiation strategy is based on resetting expectations on the value of your case.
The strategy is especially effective for those choosing to “represent themselves.” With the adverse insurance company. Because non-lawyers can’t realistically win a lawsuit, a jury trial tends to focus the insurer on the claim’s value. Low first offers are just one of many insurance company tricks.
The Lack of Authority Tactic
One common technique used by many adjusters is the limit to authority. To indicate something like “That’s all the money I have” or “That’s the best I can do.” This technique is designed to get you to believe that they will pay all the money. Therefore, you will take the money and run.
As set forth above, it is difficult to have the leverage of a lawsuit without an attorney.
Delay Favors State Farm
Personal injury lawyers have an old saying about insurance companies: “Delay, deny, and defend.” Delay favors the insurance company, and the longer they can prolong the claim, the better for them.
They keep their money longer, but the claim gets harder to make as time goes on. Witnesses move, evidence fades, and someone without a car accident lawyer may make mistakes that hurt their case.
When You Need a Lawyer To Deal With State Farm
If your injuries are substantial, you almost always need an attorney to help. Suppose your personal injury claim was getting checked out at the hospital. Or an urgent care clinic with no follow-up treatment required; you may not need a lawyer.
The general rule is the more severe your injuries, the more you need an attorney. If you have a preexisting injury, getting an attorney will help you deal with the issue and how the crash aggravated the condition.
Suppose the claim involves a drunk driver or driver on drugs. Hiring an attorney may be the best approach to maximize your damages. Attorneys dealing with car accident injury claims daily to know the value of cases. And work to ensure that you maximize your damages for each case.
Hiring an Attorney Should be Done as Early as Possible After the Accident.
One mistake we see frequently is the victim trying to handle the claim themselves and only looking for an attorney after they have failed negotiations with the company. In the meantime, actions they have taken or failed to take hurt the value of their claim.
Attorneys have the advantage of being able to file a lawsuit. When they believe that the settlement offers are not reasonable. Allowing a Houston jury to decide damages is an option with a personal injury law firm in Houston.
Baumgartner Law Firm
6711 Cypress Creek Pkwy, Houston, TX, 77069