Don’t Trust State Farm Insurance After a Crash with a Driver Insured by State Farm
POSTED BY Scott O’Sullivan
June 14, 2023
Auto InsuranceCar accidentsinsurance companiesTips
Before I get into the meat of this story, let me share some quick bullet points. If you read nothing else, read this list:
Do not talk to State Farm’s insurance adjusters without first talking to a personal injury attorney.
Know that State Farm is digging for evidence to limit how much they pay you.
State Farm is a for-profit company and their main goal is to limit how much they pay victims of car crashes.
If you have been injured by someone who has State Farm insurance, you likely need a personal injury attorney. State Farm will play hard ball and we at the O’Sullivan Law Firm have experience beating them at their own game.
Now that I’ve covered the most pressing information, let’s dive in! In this article, I am going to discuss several of the ways that State Farm insurance company tries to limit how much it pays victims of car crashes, and why you should hire a Denver personal injury law firm, including the following:
If you were hit by a driver with State Farm insurance, you should call a personal injury attorney before you talk with anybody else. The O’Sullivan Law Firm offers free consultations and we have negotiated with State Farm on behalf of car crash victims many times. We always get what our clients are owed.
State Farm insurance adjusters will try to record their calls with you after a car crash. Don’t let them.
State Farm insurance adjusters may want to record their calls with you after a car crash for several reasons, which we will share below. However, we always recommend that Colorado car accident victims consult with a personal injury attorney before speaking to State Farm insurance adjusters.
A free consultation with a personal injury attorney could end up saving you a lot of money!
Accurate Documentation: Recording the conversation helps the insurance adjuster accurately document the details of the accident and your statements. This can be crucial in ensuring that the information provided by both parties is recorded correctly and can be referred to later in the claims process.
Remember, though, that the State Farm insurance adjuster is not on your side. If you hang up the phone and think, “What a nice person she was!” then you may have fallen victim to their tactics. It’s best to get a personal injury attorney on your side before speaking with a State Farm insurance adjuster.
Claim Verification: By recording the conversation, the insurance adjuster can verify the information provided by you or other involved parties. This helps prevent fraudulent claims or inconsistencies in the statements given by different individuals.
Of course, they may also record your own inconsistencies, which are common when victims are trying to remember what happened in a traumatic car crash. A personal injury attorney can help you to stick to the facts.
Legal Protection: Recording the conversation provides a clear record of the discussion and any agreements reached. It can protect both parties from potential misunderstandings or from disputes about what was discussed during the conversation. In general, though, State Farm is not recording you to protect your interests.
Quality Assurance: State Farm may record calls for quality assurance purposes, allowing supervisors or managers to review the interactions between adjusters and customers. This helps ensure that the adjusters are providing accurate and helpful information to policyholders.
It is not your job to help them improve their service to customers, so you don’t have to agree to a recording if they say it’s for “quality assurance.”
It’s important to note that the specific reasons for recording calls may vary depending on State Farm’s policies and legal requirements in different jurisdictions.
If you have concerns about the recording, you can always ask the adjuster about their recording practices and the purpose behind it. Then… call or text me for advice! 303-388-5304
Why does State Farm lowball their offers to car crash victims?
State Farm only makes money if it pays victims less money than it takes in on premiums. And make no mistake: State Farm is a for-profit company, aiming to make money. Therefore, State Farm has a serious incentive to lowball settlement offers to car crash victims. Here are some incentives that could potentially influence State Farm’s lowball settlement offers to car crash victims:
Cost containment: State Farm aims to minimize their financial liabilities and maximize their profits. By offering lower settlement amounts, they reduce their payout and overall claim expenses.
This helps them manage their costs and maintain profitability. Of course, if you’re the victim in a crash with a State Farm driver, you don’t want State Farm’s lowest offer. You want as much as you can get to cover all of your losses and medical bills.
Claims frequency and loss ratios: State Farm tracks their claims frequency and loss ratios, which represent the ratio of claims paid out to premiums collected. Lowering settlement offers to car crash victims can help keep these ratios in check and prevent spikes in claim expenses, which could impact State Farm’s financial performance.
Since car crashes tend to be very expensive (damage to cars, injuries to drivers and passengers, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more), State Farm will always look for ways that they can lowball their initial offers to car crash victims.
Policy interpretation and coverage disputes: State Farm may attempt to interpret policy language in a way that reduces their liability. For example, they might argue that certain damages or injuries are not covered or that the policyholder was partially at fault for the accident.
By contesting coverage or liability, they can justify offering lower settlement amounts. Here at the O’Sullivan Law Firm, we have seen State Farm undermine their own drivers by hiding certain coverage, and outright denying claims that they have a duty to honor.
If you think you’re getting a lowball offer from State Farm, call The O’Sullivan Law Firm for a free consultation.
Claims adjuster incentives: State Farm actually incentivizes its claims adjusters to save the company in claim payouts. This creates pressure to lowball settlement offers to car crash victims, and undervalue the claim. If you were hit by a State Farm driver and you’ve received a disappointment settlement offer, call a personal injury attorney today.
Precedent and negotiation strategy: State Farm may base their settlement offers on previous similar claims and legal precedents. If they can establish a pattern of settling claims for lower amounts, it can affect future negotiations and potentially result in lower settlement offers to car crash victims.
This is yet another reason we strongly encourage people to consult with a personal injury attorney before accepting an offer. State Farm may even show you data that they say points to the “fairness” of their offer, but it’s only because the data represents a bunch of other lowball settlements!
Delay tactics: State Farm might intentionally delay the claims process, hoping that the car crash victim becomes financially strained or frustrated and accepts a lower settlement offer out of necessity.
Delaying the process can also give State Farm more time to investigate the claim and find (create?) potential reasons to justify a lower offer.
An experienced personal injury attorney can help car crash victims postpone the bills that they are receiving until a fair settlement is received.
Clearly, many strong incentives exist for State Farm to lowball their offers to car crash victims. They are a for-profit company, constantly seeking to protect their financial interests. It is always advisable to consult with a personal injury attorney before accepting a settlement offer from State Farm.
Should I take the first offer made by State Farm after a car crash?
In general, you should never accept the first offer made by State Farm. In my experience as a Denver car accident attorney, State Farm has a pattern of lowballing crash victims in their first offer. If you suspect that the offer is fair, but you’re not sure, call me for a free consultation.
If I think the offer is fair, I’ll tell you to take the money and run! But if I think they are offering less than you are owed, then we can go after them for more.
Here are some other things you might do when deciding whether to accept the first offer made by State Farm after a car crash:
Assess the Offer: Review the details of the offer carefully, including the amount being offered for the settlement. Compare it to the damages you’ve incurred, your medical expenses, property damage, and any other costs associated with the accident.
Does the offer adequately cover your losses? If you are on the fence, contact a personal injury attorney. They do this for a living and can quickly figure out if the offer is fair.
Gather Information: Before accepting any offer, gather all relevant information regarding your claim. This includes medical reports, repair estimates, and any other documentation that supports your case.
It is important to thoroughly understand the extent of your injuries and damages to ensure the offer is fair. For example, will your injuries require lifelong care?
That is a much more difficult estimate to make, and you should have an attorney on your side.
Consider Future Expenses: Take into account any ongoing medical treatment or potential future costs resulting from the accident. If your injuries require long-term care or have lasting effects, accepting a quick settlement is most likely not be in your best interest.
Negotiate if Necessary: State Farm often makes initial offers that are lower than what you might be entitled to. If you believe the offer is insufficient, you can negotiate with State Farm to reach a more reasonable settlement.
Of course, a personal injury attorney handles these kinds of negotiations all day long and knows how to squeeze the highest settlement possible out of State Farm.
Consult an Attorney: At the risk of sounding like a broken record, if you’re unsure about the value of your claim or need legal advice, it’s wise to consult an attorney specializing in personal injury or car accident cases. They can provide professional guidance, review the offer, and help you negotiate a better settlement if necessary.
Ultimately, the decision of whether to accept the first offer depends on the specifics of your case. It’s essential to carefully evaluate the offer, understand your rights, and definitely seek advice from a Denver personal injury attorney before making a final decision.
A driver with State Farm insurance hit me in a Denver car crash. Why do State Farm adjusters want to talk to me? Should I trust them?
If you were hit by a driver who has State Farm insurance and you want to file a claim against State Farm, their insurance adjusters may want to speak with you. Here’s why they typically reach out and some reasons you should keep your guard up:
Investigation: State Farm adjusters need to gather information about the accident to assess liability and determine the extent of damages. They may ask you about the accident details, injuries sustained, property damage, and any other relevant information. This helps them evaluate the claim and make informed decisions.
But remember: They are not on your side! In fact, before you talk to a State Farm insurance adjuster, you should talk to a personal injury attorney who can help prepare you for the call.
Establishing fault: State Farm adjusters may ask for your account of the accident to understand how it occurred and to determine liability. They may compare your version with the other driver’s and any available evidence, such as police reports or witness statements. But remember, these adjusters are trained professionals who know how to get car crash victims to say things that may endanger their claims against State Farm.
Documenting injuries: If you sustained any injuries, the State Farm, adjuster may inquire about your medical treatment, including the severity of injuries, medical expenses, and any ongoing or future treatment required. They say that this helps them assess the value of your injury claim.
However, they will also try to get you to downplay the extent of your injuries, tricking you into saying things like, “It’s not that bad.” Or, “I’ll be ok.” Such statements may undermine your claim against State Farm, even if you think they only prove that you’re a strong or optimistic person.
Evaluating property damage: State Farm adjusters may inquire about the damage to your vehicle and any personal belongings affected in the accident. They need this information to estimate the cost of repairs or replacement and to determine the value of your property damage claim.
Again, it’s important to remember that State Farm is a for-profit company, and they are going to do anything in their power to limit their liability in the case. Only an experienced personal injury attorney who works for you can help you to assess the full extent of the damages you face.
Regarding trust, it’s essential to approach conversations with State Farm insurance adjusters cautiously. Here are some tips to help you handle your interactions with State Farm in a way that shouldn’t undermine your case.
Stick to facts: Provide accurate and honest information about the accident, injuries, and damages. Avoid speculation or exaggerated statements, as this could impact your credibility.
Be cautious with recorded statements: State Farm insurance adjusters may ask for recorded statements. At the O’Sullivan Law Firm, we recommend that you never let State Farm record conversations with you without consulting with us first.
We have seen car accident victims inadvertently say things that are used against them later. You may think to yourself, “I have nothing to hide! Why not let them record me?” State Farm insurance adjusters love people who think that way, because they generally don’t have their guard up. Best to have an attorney on your side.
Understand your rights: Familiarize yourself with your insurance policy and the applicable laws in your state. This knowledge can help you navigate the claims process and protect your rights. Of course, there is a reason that people go to law school to be personal injury attorneys – these laws are complicated! When in doubt, ask for a free consultation with a Denver personal injury attorney.
Remember, State Farm insurance adjusters work for the State Farm and they aim to settle claims efficiently and cost-effectively. While they may seem friendly and helpful, it’s important to protect your own interests and ensure you receive fair compensation for your losses.
If you’ve received a settlement offer from State Farm and you think it’s too low, call or text me for a free consultation. 303-388-5304
How can a personal injury attorney help me get a bigger settlement out of State Farm?
A Colorado personal injury attorney can help you navigate the legal process and negotiate with State Farm to potentially secure a larger settlement for your personal injury claim. Here’s how they can assist you:
Legal Expertise:Personal injury attorneys have in-depth knowledge of the Colorado laws and regulations related to personal injury cases. They understand the legal intricacies and can evaluate the strength of your claim against State Farm.
Case Evaluation: An experienced attorney can assess the extent of your injuries, evaluate the impact on your life, and determine the value of your claim. They consider various factors such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and future damages.
Gathering Evidence: Attorneys know how to collect and preserve evidence crucial to your case. They can obtain medical records, accident reports, witness statements, and other relevant documentation. Strong evidence strengthens your position during negotiations with State Farm.
Negotiation Skills: Personal injury attorneys have experience negotiating with insurance companies like State Farm. They understand the tactics employed by insurers and can counter with persuasive arguments to pursue a higher settlement offer.
Building a Strong Case: Attorneys can build a compelling case on your behalf. They will organize the evidence, construct legal arguments, and present a strong narrative that highlights the liability of the responsible party and the extent of your damages.
Insurance Claim Process: Insurance companies like State Farm have complex procedures for handling personal injury claims. An attorney can guide you through this process, ensuring that you meet all deadlines, submit the necessary paperwork, and comply with legal requirements.
Trial Representation: If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, your attorney can take your case to court. They will represent your interests, present evidence, and argue your case before a judge and jury, aiming to secure a larger verdict.
Contingency Fee Basis: Many personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if they win your case or secure a settlement for you. This arrangement allows you to seek legal representation without upfront costs.
It never hurts to consult with a personal injury attorney because it costs you nothing. In fact, I recommend that you consult with at least two different attorneys so that you can make a decision based on multiple factors, including (especially?) whether or not you feel heard, understood and valued.
If you feel like a dollar-sign to a personal injury attorney, find someone else.
At the O’Sullivan Law Firm, we have seen every trick in State Farm’s book and we know how to protect victims of car crashes from State Farm’s underhanded tactics. Contact the O’Sullivan Law Firm for a free consultation if you are hit by a driver with State Farm insurance. 303-388-5304