How Does State Farm Insurance Handle Injury Claims? | Fort Collins Injury Lawyers
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State Farm is one of the major car insurance companies in the U.S., so if you find yourself injured in an accident, there is a good chance you may be filing an injury claim with them.
However, do not expect State Farm to be looking out for your best interests or to make you whole again. Like every insurance company, State Farm is a for-profit business that is primarily concerned with its bottom line. That means the company will do everything it can to minimize the value of your claim.
If you or a loved one is dealing with an insurance company after being hurt in an accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free consultation with experienced Fort Collins injury lawyers.
Filing a Claim
The process of filing a claim starts with contacting State Farm through your agent, online, or by phone. State Farm will review your claim and determine the amount they think the injury will cost and the amount they are willing to pay.
State Farm’s Bet with Their Customers.
It is important to remember the essence of the insurance business model. You, the consumer, purchase insurance to cover your expenses in the event that an accident or injury occurs during your life. The insurance companies are essentially betting that the likelihood of you being in an accident or injured is small. They are betting that you will give them more money over the course of the insurance coverage than you will get back from them. Neither you nor State Farm wants you to be injured, but for very different reasons.
Suffering an injury can be a traumatic, disruptive, and costly event that alters your life for months or years to come. Any person would rationally avoid injury. However, State Farm wants you to avoid injury for a different reason—their financial benefit. In 2014, State Farm was valued at $75.9 billion; they didn’t get that way by paying out fair settlements on insurance claims.
Preparing to Negotiate with State Farm
To prepare for you negotiation, you need to determine how much your injury cost you.
First, begin with direct costs, such as medical bills, repair costs, other treatments, and lost wages. Second, you need to remember that there are indirect costs, such as pain and suffering and lost work opportunities. Perhaps your injury prevented you from getting a promotion, working overtime, or performing a specific task, which caused you to lose future work opportunities.
It is important that you have your own starting point going into negotiations. Instead of responding to State Farm’s offer, you should have a solid idea of what the injury cost you. Having a detailed and well documented accounting of your own loses puts you in a position of negotiating strength.
Watch Out for the 3 D’s.
As national media has reported, State Farm has adopted a “tough take-it-or-leave-it strategy,” especially in dealing with minor-impact, soft-tissue injuries where there is less obvious damage. If you fail to take the offer that State Farm presents you, you may find yourself confronted with the 3 D’s: deny your claim, delaying settlement, and defending in court.
Don’t Give Up
Don’t expect State Farm to accept your first offer. Their claims adjusters are highly trained negotiators, and they know most people are not in the habit of dealing with a large insurance company.
One strategy is to ask State Farm to break down their offer in the same way that you broke down your offer to them. By breaking the costs down, you can negotiate the smaller parts, instead of the whole sum. For example, start by looking at just the medical bills, then move on to repair costs, lost wages, and similar damages. Force State Farm to show how much they plan to offer you for each item you have accounted for in your own offer.
Don’t Be Afraid to Walk Away
Don’t be afraid to let State Farm know they if they refuse to negotiate, you will seek legal action. State Farm is not afraid to utilize their 3 D’s, which includes going to court. You should not be afraid of going to court either. When they realize you are not intimidated by the prospect of a trial, you give yourself another bargaining chip.
Our Fort Collins Injury Lawyers Can Help
At Zinda Law Group, our Fort Collins accident attorneys have decades of experience in handling even the largest insurance companies. We have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you seek maximum compensation for medical bills, property damage, lost income, pain and suffering, and all the other ways your injury has cost you.
Our firm also operates on a contingency fee basis, which means you will pay nothing unless we win your case. That’s our No Fee Guarantee.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 to receive your free consultation with our experienced injury lawyers in Fort Collins, Colorado.
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