Secrets of State Farm Car Accident Claims Exposed

Secrets of State Farm Car Accident Claims Exposed

There's one major secret you need to know if you’re dealing with State Farm accident claims. Like most insurance companies they want to pay you as little as possible--or nothing at all if possible. It's not personal, it's just how they make money. They charge premiums—which most customers dutifully pay each month—only to dodge paying claims when injured people truly need help.

Dealing with an accident claim with State Farm or any insurance provider is not without its challenges. Therefore, you need an experienced Houston car accident lawyer on your side to increase your chances of getting the full and fair compensation you deserve. 

How Stewart J. Guss Injury Lawyers Can Help

Of course, the best way to secure maximum compensation and avoid getting taken advantage of after a car accident is to contact our law firm. We offer FREE initial consultations so you can get the answers you need after a crash. We then work on a contingency basis - which means you don't pay us until we collect money for you. Calling our law firm is easy and working with us ensures that you get what you need after a serious accident.

We are a national personal injury law firm based in Houston with multiple offices around the country. We also work with affiliate law firms in most states that share our focus and dedication to excellence. No matter where you are located, we may be able to help you, so call or contact us now. We are open, for free consultations, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 800-898-4877, or you may contact our car accident lawyers now by completing our online form to submit your case for review.

State Farm Insurance Makes Billions in Profits

Recently State Farm’s net worth grew by more than $10 billion in one year. The trick to generating maximum profit as an insurance company is to take in as much as you can in premiums and pay out as little as you can in claims. Again, it’s not specific to State Farm; it’s simple math. An insurance company is a business, and like any other, State Farm is there to make money. If you want a “good neighbor,” you’re better off moving in next door to Mr. Rogers!

If you don’t want State Farm to turn a profit by underpaying YOUR claim, keep reading.

We’ll let you in on a few secrets of State Farm accident claims, tell you how to avoid getting taken advantage of, plus let you know how to maximize your car accident settlement.

State Farm from Sean Schmitt on Vimeo.

State Farm Accident Claims Secret #1: Passing the Buck

Despite all the “good neighbor” marketing frequently presented in television insurance ads by Golden Globe nominee Dennis Haysbert, Academy Award-winning actor J.K. Simmons, or Green Bay Packers superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers, State Farm is not there to be your friend, your neighbor, or loan you a cup of sugar when you’re baking cookies with the kids. It’s a giant company that exists to make money, nothing more and nothing less.

The first secret to know when you file a claim at State Farm is to find out who your claims adjuster is. If you learn that your State Farm claim was handed to a “team” of adjusters (such as the notorious “Team 22”), you can be sure of one thing— State Farm will NOT offer you a fair settlement for your auto claim. If State Farm assigns your claim to a “team” of adjusters," it means the company considers it a lower value / lower risk claim and it is going to lowball you every step of the way. A “team” adjuster assignment means State Farm considers your case to be a “minor” accident versus a major injury claim.

While all of the claims adjusters have the same goal in mind—to pay you as little as possible—the team adjusters have the very lowest levels of authority and are only able to make low-dollar offers on any claim. Typically speaking, if you end up having to file a lawsuit, State Farm will reassign your claim to a dedicated individual adjuster higher up on the ladder. While this is no guarantee of an increase in the settlement offer, typically State Farm will raise its offer once you file a lawsuit.

State Farm Accident Claims Secret #2: Using Your Words Against You

The next secret of dealing with State Farm relates to recorded statements. Basically, know that you do not have to give one!

To clarify, when you file a claim at State Farm against an at-fault driver (what we car accident attorneys call a “third-party claim”), you are not obligated to give a recorded statement to the State Farm adjuster. Beware: they may try to make you think this is a “required” part of the claims process. Know your rights; don't fall for this trick.

When our attorneys represent someone who was injured in a car accident and we're up against State Farm, we will deny the request for a recorded statement about 95% of the time. Ask yourself, why do they really need it? If they have questions about the facts of the accident, they can check the police report. If they have questions about your injuries, they can look at the complete copies of medical records and bills sent to them after you finish your treatment. It's all there, in black and white in the State Farm accident report.

The real reason the State Farm adjuster wants to take a verbal recorded statement from you is simple. They have a list of leading questions they're going to ask. These questions are designed to produce answers that will best suit the insurance company's needs, and work against you and your accident claim.

For example, they are less likely to make an open-ended statement, such as “Tell me about all of your injuries.” Rather, they may ask something like, “How are you doing today?” This question seems innocuous, but it is designed for you to give the reflexive answer of “fine” or "I'm all right." If you go back and change your story later, they have you “on record” saying you were okay, and they will use what you said against you.

Keep in mind, many times people feel a lot worse a day or two after a motor vehicle accident. Adrenaline from a car accident masks some of your pain initially. So, you may give a recorded statement to a State Farm adjuster the day of the accident, inadvertently say that you are “okay,” but feel so much pain the next day you can't even get out of bed. This is why it's important to watch what you say, or better yet, direct all communication to your lawyer instead.

Bottom line: There is no legal requirement that you must give a recorded statement when you file a third-party car accident injury claim against State Farm! Don't let the insurance adjusters pressure you into it.

State Farm Accident Claims Secret #3: Claiming Your Losses Relate to Pre-Existing Conditions

In order to keep compensation out of the hands of the people who rightfully deserve it, State Farm may go digging into their past to find anything that could justify reducing or even completely denying a claim. State Farm accomplishes this by making unreasonably broad medical record requests and analyzing your records with a fine-toothed comb, even if they are decades old. They're looking for anything that could qualify as a pre-existing condition, which they will use to invalidate your current medical treatment and pain and suffering.

Thus, the third secret of filing a claim with State Farm insurance is that you must take great care with the medical records you hand over. For best results, have the legal team at Stewart J. Guss Injury Accident Lawyers carefully review every request for medical records made by the insurance company. We know State Farm is not entitled to your full medical history.

Real-World State Farm Claim Scenario

Let's consider a situation in which a car accident victim sustained extremely serious injuries in a rear-end collision and is suffering from debilitating neck pain. If an insurance company discovers a 20-year-old neck injury that occurred while the victim was playing soccer in high school, it may attempt to use it as a way to justify reducing the compensation it offers the victim. For this reason, never give the insurance company authorization to request medical records on your behalf. Deny any requests for records that seem too extensive or unrelated to your accident.

When you retain personal injury attorneys at Stewart J. Guss Injury Accident Lawyers, we will handle all communications with the insurance company for you. We make sure they only obtain medical records that are relevant to your case and the situation at hand. We know a fishing expedition when we see it, and we also know how to take steps to fully protect our clients' rights every step of the way.

State Farm Accident Claims Secret #4: Stressful Stalling

The fourth secret of handling a car insurance claim involves recognizing another one of State Farm's sneaky tactics. State Farm and other insurance companies are well aware of the financial pressures that accident victims face. For this reason, they often take their sweet time when it comes to processing a claim. They know your medical bills are piling up with every passing day, and you might not have the funds to pay them. The medical expenses associated with a car accident can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, which could easily break the bank for most people in the United States.

Furthermore, many car accident victims cannot work for weeks or even months, leaving them without any income to cover their everyday expenses like rent or mortgage payments, food, medicine, and other bills.

When your family is in serious financial jeopardy, you're more likely to fall for paltry offers from State Farm. They know this, and they don't care how predatory it is. The unfortunate reality is that insurance companies will use anything to their advantage, including your vulnerability after a devastating injury. They're aware that victims are much more likely to accept a low settlement offer when they're staring at a pile of unpaid bills and haven't earned any money because of their injuries.

So they wait. They drag out the State Farm insurance claim time limit until they know that victims are so desperate that they'll accept any offer to alleviate their financial hardship… even if it's far less than what they really deserve or what their injuries have cost them.

Victims must understand their options to manage pre-settlement expenses. There's no need to rush into accepting a sub-standard settlement offer.

At Stewart J. Guss Injury Accident Lawyers, we empower car accident victims like you. We understand the pressures you're facing. That's why our attorneys do everything we can to ensure that the insurance company treats you fairly. We fight fiercely to obtain the compensation you deserve.

We know the tricks insurance companies try to play, and we can see them coming from a mile away. For this reason, we can help you avoid these games and let State Farm know we mean business from the outset of your claim. If they refuse to play fair, we won't hesitate to file a lawsuit to get you the compensation that you need!

State Farm Accident Claims Secret #5: Talking You Out of Legal Representation

Do you know who State Farm adjusters hate dealing with? Experienced personal injury lawyers like the ones here at Stewart J. Guss Injury Accident Lawyers. This is because they know our firm is aware of State Farm's tactics and we won't settle a case for any less than our clients deserve.

For this reason, one of State Farm's tricks is to do everything it can to keep you from retaining an attorney to represent you when you file a State Farm accident claim. Adjusters will reach out to you quickly after an accident, swooping in with a settlement offer that's actually far less than you deserve.

In addition, they will say that you don't need to retain an attorney, telling you that doing so will only reduce the amount of money you ultimately receive. What they don't tell you is that in most cases, having legal representation results in significantly more compensation for victims, even after factoring in attorney fees. Don't trust the insurance adjusters; get a free case evaluation from a car accident attorney today.

State Farm Was Caught Red-Handed

Several years ago, CNN’s Anderson Cooper did an excellent investigative piece about the claims handling procedures of State Farm and a couple other major insurance companies. What he found was: State Farm was using the “Three D” approach, “Deny, Delay, and Defend,” particularly on claims they considered “lower impact” (i.e. the most common) claims.

Basically, State Farm found that by fighting back as hard as possible against people making accident claims, it significantly increased its profit margins. Injured accident victims felt discouraged and overwhelmed. Essentially, State Farm was exposed for making it so hard to pursue fair compensation that many people would give up the fight and just settle for low offers.

State Farm (and other insurance companies) argued that they needed to use such “hardball” tactics to fight insurance fraud, but the fact is that only a very tiny percentage of auto accident claims are fraudulent. Because of State Farm’s tactics, many innocent victims end up in financial ruin.

Personally, I cannot keep count of the number of times I’ve represented a car accident victim filing a claim against State Farm who has expressed shock at the way they are treated. “But it’s all those other people that are abusing the system. I’ve got a legitimate claim and just want fair treatment!”

Yep, I know—welcome to the world of the “Three Ds.”

How an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Can Help You Recover the Compensation You Deserve

You’ve read just a few of the tricks that State Farm and other insurance companies use to pay injured victims as little as they can. The worst part of it all? These large companies are lining their pockets with cash. State Farm alone took in $63.9 billion in one recent year and has a net worth of more than $100 billion. They’re keeping that money out of the hands of the people who desperately need it to pay for their basic needs-people who are injured through no fault of their own.

All the while, State Farm is paying NFL quarterbacks and billionaire TV Sharks to perform in their commercials.

This is why the attorneys and legal professionals of Stewart J. Guss Injury Accident Lawyers have dedicated their careers to helping injured victims get the compensation they deserve. We know right from wrong, and we know accident victims need help standing up to nameless and faceless corporations whose only priority is their bottom line.

Here are some of the specific ways an experienced injury lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve — from a State Farm accident claim or from other insurance companies:

  • Protect your rights during the claims process – If you suffered an injury in an accident, the insurance company’s adjusters will not hesitate to take advantage of you. As discussed above, they may pressure you into releasing irrelevant medical records, try to trick you into making a statement that indicates that you were at fault for your accident, or even try to get you to sign away all of your rights for pennies on the dollar. The unfortunate reality is that they get away with this kind of conduct on a daily basis. They deal with insurance claims from State Farm each and every day, and you’re just another number to them. Most of the people they are dealing with were never hurt in a serious accident before and don’t have the experience to fight back. Once you retain an attorney who will handle all aspects of your insurance claim for you, you will ensure that your rights are fully protected and that the insurance company treats you fairly.
  • Determine the ACTUAL value of your losses – Figuring out just how much a car accident case has cost you is an EXTREMELY complicated task. While it may seem easy to determine your current medical expenses, car repair bills, and lost income, what about your future medical expenses? What about your pain and suffering? An accident impacts all areas of your life. Your phone might've been lost or broken in the accident. You may need help with chores or childcare. Your injuries may require months of physical therapy. In cases where victims are NEVER able to return to work, it’s also necessary to figure out how much income they would have earned during the course of their entire careers, which is much more complicated than just taking a person’s salary and multiplying it by the number of years they had left before retirement. Determining the full value of State Farm accident claims often requires significant legal analysis and the assistance of actuarial professionals. We've seen it all, and we're here to help. Accident victims must retain an attorney before accepting a settlement offer. How can you even begin to negotiate a fair settlement if you don’t even know how much your injuries have cost you? Worst of all, once you accept a settlement, it’s nearly impossible to go back and try to get additional compensation. Vulnerable victims only have one chance to get it right.
  • Negotiate a fair settlement offer – Fortunately, the vast majority of personal injury cases settle out of court. When a case settles, it means that the insurance company accepts that its policyholder was responsible for the accident and pays the victim an agreed-upon amount of money in return for the victim releasing the insurance company and its policyholder from further liability. Reaching a fair settlement agreement takes significant negotiation skills and a thorough understanding of the law. Parties who are unfamiliar with the process are putting themselves at a distinct disadvantage if they choose to represent themselves in settlement negotiations. Luckily, the legal team of Stewart J. Guss Injury Accident Lawyers, consists of skilled negotiators who know how to get insurance companies like State Farm to pay up.
  • Take your case to trial, if necessary – In some cases, the insurance company simply refuses to make a fair settlement offer, even in light of demonstrated losses and strong evidence that a policyholder was at fault. When this occurs, victims have no choice but to take their cases to court. At Stewart J. Guss Injury Accident Lawyers, we are experienced and aggressive litigators who are never afraid to take a case to trial when justice demands it. We won’t hesitate to go up against State Farm or any other large insurer to get our clients the compensation they legally deserve.

These are just a few of the specific ways that an experienced car accident lawyer can help you navigate a State Farm accident claim. Above all, remember that the insurance company is NOT on your side and will take every opportunity it has to keep as much money from you as it can. In fact, without a lawyer, no one involved in the claims process is on your side, except you. When you retain our law firm, you’ll have a team of experienced advocates in your corner who know the tricks State Farm is going to try to use to minimize the amount of compensation you recover. Don’t worry; we’re always thinking several steps ahead.

How Can I Afford a Lawyer for My State Farm Car Accident Claim?

If you’re facing serious property damage, overwhelming medical expenses and losing income because your injuries prevent you from working, retaining an attorney to represent you may seem like an expensive idea at first, especially when the auto insurance company is offering you money to just settle the case and move on. But you deserve more - you deserve to have the at-fault driver and their insurance company pay for your expenses and damages.

Don’t fall into their trap. ALWAYS retain a lawyer to represent you. Whether your case is almost certain to settle or it looks like it may head to trial, you need an experienced car accident attorney by your side in order to maximize your recovery amount.

In reality, there is ZERO financial risk associated with retaining one of the experienced personal injury attorneys at Stewart J. Guss Injury Accident Lawyers. We offer completely free consultations. We will listen to your situation and determine whether you have a legal claim. Rest assured you are completely free to shop around and consult other law firms after a consultation with us, and we charge no fee for the consultation, whether you choose us or another firm to represent you.

In addition, with our NO WIN, NO FEE GUARANTEE, we will never collect any legal fees from you unless we successfully recover a settlement or award on your behalf. That’s right: if we don’t obtain compensation for you, you will owe us nothing for the representation and counsel we provided. By using a contingent fee arrangement, we’re able to provide legal representation to everyone who needs it, even if they are unable to pay for a lawyer upfront.

Get a free case evaluation by reaching out to our team ASAP!

Contact Us Today to Speak With Our Experienced State Farm Accident Claims Lawyers

If you were injured and you want fair treatment when making a State Farm accident claim, call the offices of the nationally recognized personal injury legal team of Stewart J. Guss Injury Accident Lawyers. We can review your case, insurance policy, other driver's insurance policy, and evidence to build a solid case designed to get maximum compensation.

With principal offices in Houston, Texas, Stewart J. Guss Injury Accident Lawyers have fought against tricky insurance State Farm agent tactics for more than 20 years.

Remember, because we take all of our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, there is no charge for your consultation, and you will not owe us a DIME unless we win your case!

We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so call us today at 800-898-4877 or contact us now by filling out this simple form. Know your rights, know your options and get the money you deserve!