What to Expect in an Injury Settlement with State Farm Insurance
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State Farm is a widely recognized insurance company that provides auto insurance and other products to consumers. Its commercials are characterized by individuals in trouble summoning help from their agent by merely saying a catchy jingle.
While State Farm may try to show customer service as its highest priority, at the end of the day, it is a business determined to protect its shareholders and its bottom line, meaning it has to turn a profit. Therefore, when you try to collect damages from State Farm after an accident, the insurance giant will do its best to minimize your claim and pay you less than you deserve.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car accident or another type of personal injury incident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with a San Antonio car accident lawyer.
Negotiating an Injury Claim with State Farm
When you are injured or have property damage after a car accident, you may need to file a claim for compensation through State Farm. But like other insurance companies, State Farm can only make a profit if it takes in more money through premium payments than it pays out through claims. Therefore, you can expect that State Farm--or more specifically, the claims adjuster assigned to your case--will attempt to get you to settle your claim for as little as possible. Your adjuster knows that the more of a financial bind you are in, the more likely it is that you will accept a low but immediate payment on your claim, as opposed to waiting for a higher settlement.
Although State Farm and other large insurers often use computer programs to determine what they consider to be a “fair” settlement of your claim, you can negotiate a better settlement with State Farm. Be prepared for a fight, however. Your adjuster may be unwilling to budge initially. You may be able to obtain a better settlement if you employ the following strategies.
Document as Much as Possible
If at all possible, take your own photographs of the car accident scene, the damage to your vehicle, and your injuries. Sometimes an adjuster will not visit you to see the damage until days after the accident. In that interim, your wounds may have begun to heal or the car may have been repaired a bit. By taking pictures as soon as possible after the accident, you have proof of the severity of the accident and can use these photographs to negotiate a higher, more appropriate settlement amount.
Determine a Minimum Settlement Amount
It is very hard to negotiate over anything if you do not know what you want and what you need. Before you begin speaking with your adjuster about a settlement, take a moment and consider how much your claim is really worth.
- How much did you pay in medical bills and repair bills?
- How much time did you miss from work?
- What other losses or expenses did you suffer?
Tally these up and offer them as a settlement. What is the least amount you will accept? While you can expect your initial offer to be turned down, you should not feel compelled to accept State Farm’s counteroffer if it is too low.
Keep Your Story Straight
State Farm may attempt to get you to change your story of how the accident happened as a way to justify giving you a lower settlement amount. Stick to your guns, though. It is helpful to write down a narrative of how the accident occurred as soon as you can after the accident, and then refer to it often if your adjuster asks you how the accident happened.
Get Help from Skilled San Antonio Injury Lawyers
After a car accident, it is reasonable that arguing and haggling with an adjuster over a settlement amount is not high on your list of priorities.
At Zinda Law Group, our San Antonio personal injury attorneys can help you seek a fair settlement from State Farm by negotiating with your adjuster on your behalf. Where a settlement cannot be reached or is not in your best interest, we can explore other options with you by which you can obtain compensation.
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