What to Expect In an Injury Settlement with State Farm
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Have you been injured and would like to collect on your State Farm insurance policy? The first steps after any incident are to get to safety and look after your health. If possible, safely get photos of any damage at the incident, and obtain a police report.
It is important to note that State Farm will seek to pay out the lowest amount you are willing to accept during an injury settlement claim.
Paying out the least amount you will accept makes sense to State Farm. Their goal is to make as much money as possible while maintaining perceived high customer service levels. Many customers will end up receiving a relatively quick but low payment from State Farm, and in many instances, the customer will feel gratitude towards State Farm. This experience is generally more advantageous to State Farm, though, as you may be entitled higher compensation depending on your damages from the injury incident.
If you have been injured and are filing or have filed a claim with State Farm, call Zinda Law Firm today at (800) 863-5312 to speak with an experienced Austin personal injury lawyer for a free case evaluation.
What Do I Need to Make an Injury Claim with State Farm?
The more evidence, the better. Collect as many photographs and descriptions of the scene as possible. If you went to the hospital, keep the official documentation of your injuries and the treatments that have already occurred as well as any prescribed treatments. Further, any official police report will be highly useful in defining the circumstances surrounding the incident, such as fault and liability.
Next, to get your claim started, you can either contact your State Farm Representative, call the State Farm claims center, report the claim via the claims link on the State Farm website or use the State Farm mobile app.
How is a Claim Evaluated?
State Farm evaluates the damage at the scene and may check photos and videos of the incident. State Farm might also use any recorded statements about the incident, as well as police reports and other witness descriptions. From there, they will likely use any evidence that would exempt or reduce coverage in order to justify a lower settlement offer. Thus, it is imperative to seek legal counsel before making any official or recorded statements to a State Farm agent, as these statements may inadvertently work against attaining your highest settlement offer from State Farm.
For many seemingly small claims, State Farm will assign the claim to a team of adjusters who will generally send out generic and low settlement offers if you are not clearly exempted from coverage. For larger claims, State Farm may utilize a specialized adjuster to evaluate the specifics of your injury claim.
Many State Farm customers do not know that State Farm seeks to payout the least amount they can get away with, and that State Farm is capable, in many cases, of paying their customers a higher injury settlement amount, if adequately prompted.
How Long Do I Have to Make My Claim?
For personal injuries in Texas, you have two years from the date of injury to bring your claim. For property damage you have three years.
Can I Increase My Settlement?
One potential way to seek a higher injury settlement with State Farm is for the injured State Farm customer to attempt to negotiate with their State Farm adjuster and State Farm contact. While it usually makes sense to negotiate for a higher payout, your chances of success might be bolstered by adequate research and preparation. This can include compiling your medical bills and damages, lost wages and work time, as well as miscellaneous damages along with taking pictures of the damages incurred during the accident and obtaining a police report. Be sure not to go on record with State Farm about accident specifics without attorney advisement.
Many customers may not be fully prepared to negotiate with State Farm effectively. This makes sense as many customers are not informed by State Farm that their claim is negotiable, or that State Farm may try to avoid paying the maximum amount. Further, many State Farm consumers who have been injured will be heavily inconvenienced by the task of compiling all of their medical bills, as well as documenting their lost wages and other miscellaneous losses, and then leveraging this information in negotiation with State Farm.
Not all customers will know how to confront their State Farm adjuster effectively, and may, therefore, be left to accept the first, and usually lowest, offer from their State Farm adjuster.
Moreover, your State Farm adjuster may seek to get you to admit specifics about the incident that would warrant paying you less through obtaining an official recorded statement at the scene of the incident, or soon thereafter. While recalling the incident may seem neutral, the adjuster may seek an admission that reduces your injury claim value. After such statements are officially recorded, the adjuster may attempt a quick but low settlement with psychologically or financially exhausted customers.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me?
Given the diverse factors weighing in favor of State Farm but against the injured customer, it is highly advisable to consult with an experienced injury attorney immediately after the incident.
First, an experienced injury attorney may be able to significantly increase your chances of higher compensation beyond State Farm’s initial offer. An attorney who has advised clients in similar cases may know what factors are important and which evidence to explore, use, and investigate to leverage higher settlement potential.
Further, the attorney can help ease any anxiety associated with entering the settlement process by advising you of future expectations, as well as communicating and negotiating directly with State Farm on your behalf.
Injury settlement lawyers are often experienced in effectively managing adversarial relations with State Farm in your best favor. Additionally, an attorney may be able to take your case to trial against State Farm to attempt to capture significantly increased compensation. These scenarios will be highly fact-driven, based upon your specific case, and your attorney can advocate in your best interests.
An experienced injury attorney may have dealt directly with State Farm injury settlements before and can advise you on the best plan to attain the greatest settlement from State Farm.
What to Expect in a State Farm Injury Settlement?
After the incident where you were injured, typically a State Farm claims adjuster will quickly come out to inspect and verify what happened along with calculating damages. Additionally, the adjuster may seek a recorded statement of the incident from you. It is strongly advisable to seek legal counsel before giving any official statements to State Farm. State Farm may use your statement to justify a lower payout than you may have been qualified to receive without the statement.
Some injuries will grow to be more severe and more costly over time. A quick statement made to a State Farm adjuster may understate or completely exclude minor injuries, resulting in a settlement that does not cover all of your medical bills and damages.
It is advisable to at least consult with a qualified injury settlement attorney before giving any official statements to State Farm. In a bind, you may refer the State Farm representative to a police report, medical bills, or most advisable, to your experienced injury attorney.
After coming to the scene or to you personally, the State Farm adjuster may seek to resolve your claim by a settlement offer quickly. While the offer may be quick, it is usually an underpayment. State Farm may be more willing to pay a higher amount if they know you intend on negotiating and are seeking legal counsel. In most cases, the adjuster will not voluntarily advise you that a negotiation is even an option.
Additionally, consider that State Farm is in the business of settlements. They have handled numerous cases, and thus, will tend to know how little to offer without offending most of their customers. Therefore, an attorney who has also handled many similar injury cases against State Farm is in a good position to advise you of how much more State Farm may be able and willing to pay you. Furthermore, your attorney can advocate your case on your behalf to State Farm. In many cases, the State Farm team might extend a more significant offer upon notice from your legal team of a pending or filed lawsuit.
Notice of retained legal counsel may signal a pending lawsuit to State Farm, show that you are seeking the greatest and most fair compensation and that you are taking your claim and settlement seriously. State Farm may decide to extend a higher offer in order to avoid incurring legal costs.
Experienced attorneys may be able to recognize details in your case that allow you to seek more substantial amounts of compensation than State Farm offered initially. In some cases, this could even mean taking your case to trial to seek maximum compensation.
What is important is that an experienced injury attorney has the potential to advise you and advocate for you and in your best interest. An experienced injury attorney is usually in the best position to gauge how to get the highest State Farm settlement compensation.
OUR EXPERIENCED PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS CAN HELP
Ultimately, it is essential to know how to best communicate with your State Farm contacts and State Farm adjuster after an incident. While this may be a difficult time, taking the appropriate steps after the injury will put you in the best situation to recover and move forward.
Realize that your settlement offer is open to negotiation, and our attorneys at Zinda Law Firm believe you should receive the highest settlement offer from State Farm. An experienced injury attorney can offer advice on your next steps when dealing with State Farm injury settlements.
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