When you have been injured, a responsible insurance carrier you pay your claim promptly and fairly. That’s part of what you pay for when we pay insurance premiums every month, after all.
Unfortunately, one of the largest insurance companies in the United States, State Farm, is notorious for unfair settlements. It is ranked #4 in a list of Ten Worst Insurance Companies in America. They actively try to pay amounts that are far less than the claim is worth and may even try to unfairly deny claims.
If you have received an unfair State Farm settlement, contact the Charleston, West Virginia injury attorneys at Johnstone & Gabhart LLP immediately. We will fight to see that justice is done and that you receive a fair claim.
State Farm May Delay Your Claim Unfairly
If you believe State Farm has treated you unfairly, it’s not your imagination. For decades now, State Farm has had an active and documented strategy of delaying claims, denying claims, and of defending its actions to consumers and in legal cases. This strategy is known as the 3 D’s, for the delay, deny, and defend.
Why is State Farm doing this? After all, State Farm’s advertisements say they are “reliable, personable, and fast.” Unfortunately, it’s all about making profits.
You see, if State Farm delays a claim, that’s part of a plan to increase its profits. A delay very likely makes the claimant (the injured person waiting for a claim to be paid) desperate. Medical bills and property damage bills may be piling up, while the injured person waits for the insurance company to issue a check.
The longer they delay, the more desperate the injured person becomes. As a result, they may be more apt to settle a claim that is far too low for the pain, injury, and wrongdoing they suffered.
Insurance companies know that the longer you don’t receive a check, the more pressure is on you to settle, so you receive anything to relieve your distress. They are betting that delaying will result in a lower payout than settling a claim promptly.
How do they delay? Well, they have strategies for that, too. They may argue that a certain amount is fair to cover medical bills, for example, even though it isn’t. That’s a strategy called underpaying.
They may also argue that an accident occurred for different reasons than it actually did. They may argue that a car accident was caused by speeding, for example, rather than a red light being ignored.
They may try to attack the credibility or trustworthiness of the injured person, unfortunately, as part of their strategies.
State Farm is not the only insurance company to use these techniques. Unfortunately, many insurance companies use them to increase their profits. But State Farm is one of the companies at the forefront.
State Farm May Deny Your Claim
Another strategy State Farm uses is the denial of claims. You may be told, for instance, that your injuries were caused by something other than the accident that in fact caused them. You may receive notice of a denial for a claim that is in fact legitimate.
In these cases, too, the goal is maximizing its own profits. After all, if they never pay out any claims, they make much higher profits than if they do.
What Should I Do?
If you are engaged in an insurance negotiation with State Farm, don’t try to go it alone. They are actively going to try the delay, deny, and defend tactics on you. This isn’t happening because of anything you did; it’s happening because of their unfair practices.
What should you do? Contact an attorney immediately. Personal injury attorneys like Johnstone & Gabhart are experienced in negotiating with State Farm and other insurance companies. If necessary, we can also bring a lawsuit in civil court.
Don’t try to argue fruitlessly. Don’t counteroffer their first offer with a dollar amount in the middle, either. That can be viewed as a sign that you think your claim is worth less than it is.
Charleston, West Virginia Injury Attorneys Will Fight for Justice
Johnstone & Gabhart have more than five decades of combined experience fighting for justice for personal injury. Our initial consultation is always free. Contact us online or call us today at 304-343-7100.