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IN SETTLEMENTS & VERDICTS
A State Farm accident claim in Texas may seem like a relatively straightforward process but if you go in with your eyes closed, you could leave with much less than you are entitled to.
I’ll let you into a secret: State Farm, like most insurance companies, is out to protect its own interests — not yours — during an accident claim.
In fact, your interests are in direct opposition to State Farm’s. So, there is very little chance that your injury claim will proceed just how you would like it to.
A few “home truths” need to sink in before you submit your State Farm accident claim. These are covered below.
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is a for-profit business and these profits are significant: to be precise, the company’s net worth grew by more than $17 billion in 2021 compared to 2020.
The most fundamental truth you need to know before you make an accident claim is that they will pay you as little as possible while charging you as much as possible for your annual premiums and paying Hollywood actors to star in their commercials.
It may seem obscene but that’s how it works. Paying as little as possible is always the goal and claims adjusters are very experienced in making that happen.
You need to be ready for this reality because no exceptions will be made for your injuries. There are, however, ways that you can turn the odds in your favor (more about this below).
Learn More → How to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Texas
State Farm loss adjusters will often try to use your words against you when assessing a claim. To this end, they may ask for a recorded statement from you so that they can fact-check and cross-reference with the police reports and medical records.
They will ask a series of leading questions and will look for inconsistencies in your answers as they try to shift liability — consider it another trick used by insurance companies.
Despite what the loss adjuster may say, when claiming against an at-fault driver in a “third party claim”, you have no legal requirement to provide a recorded statement. It is rarely in your interests to do so and you can refuse it. Check with a qualified personal accident lawyer if you are unsure about what to do.
Car accident injuries often feel worse a few days after the accident so giving a recorded statement the day after can work against you. Watch what you say — communication is best left to your lawyer.
You can expect State Farm to view your medical history and delve deep into your past to try to uncover anything that could qualify as a “pre-existing condition”. This can reduce compensation or even lead to a denied claim for pain and suffering.
Remember that State Farm is not entitled to view your complete medical history — only records relating to your case.
So, before you hand over your medical records, speak to Ryan DeHoyos. As an experienced accident injury lawyer, he understands the strategies used by State Farm adjusters. He will protect your rights and rarely if ever, provide authorization for adjusters to request medical records on your behalf.
State Farm is well aware of the financial pressures that many accident victims encounter, especially if loss of earnings is involved.
Adjusters will use any perceived pressure against you if you’re struggling to pay bills (medical bills, rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, etc.). To this end, they will play stalling tactics with the claims process to try to get you to agree to a lower settlement offer.
It’s important to understand your options for paying pre-settlement expenses — many of your fears about paying bills can be alleviated by talking to an experienced personal injury lawyer. The last thing you should do is accept less compensation than you deserve.
State Farm adjusters know that your chances of receiving fair compensation for your accident injuries increase with representation from a lawyer.
They are likely to contact you as soon as possible after an accident and offer you a settlement in the hope that you won’t turn to a lawyer. This makes their lives easier — and cheaper because the settlement is usually much lower than what a lawyer could negotiate for you.
They won’t tell you that although a lawyer will retain a portion of the settlement, victims usually end up with significantly more than the offer from the insurance company.
A case evaluation with DeHoyos Accident Attorneys costs nothing so there is nothing to lose — and plenty to gain.
A typical and deliberate approach of many large insurance companies, including State Farm, is to “Deny, Delay and Defend” low-impact claims, which are the most common types of accident claims.
The “three Ds” mean making it difficult for anyone submitting a low-impact claim. This is purportedly to discourage the pursuit of fraudulent claims but really it is done to increase profits — and you can see this in action in the strategies described above.
An experienced car accident lawyer can help you claim fair compensation for your injuries in several ways.
We know the strategies of insurance companies like State Farm and will stand up to them during the claims process, never backing down until our clients receive what they are due.
Firstly, we will protect your rights and don’t let the adjusters take advantage of your desperate situation, as they are prone to do. Often, they prey on the weak and inexperienced, unfortunately.
We will not let them cross the line by forcing you to make a recorded statement, requesting medical records, pressuring you into an early (low) settlement, shifting part of the liability onto you or using any other dirty tricks.
By using our experience, we will determine how much your claim is worth in full so that you can’t be low-balled by State Farm into accepting a low settlement. We will factor in all of the economic losses (medical bills, property damage, loss of earnings, etc.) and non-economic losses like pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, etc. This is no simple task and may require the assistance of additional professionals from our network.
Then, we will attempt to negotiate a fair settlement with State Farm. Almost all such cases are settled before trial. We will handle all communications and leave no stone unturned in investigating your case, proving liability, and claiming fair compensation.
Part of the process of keeping insurance companies honest is to be prepared to go to trial if necessary. Few insurance companies want to risk a trial where a judge may end up awarding more.
Remember, once you accept a settlement, it’s almost impossible to claim additional compensation later so self-representation should not be an option. It pays to hire competent legal representation before you even think about settling with State Farm.
A big reason why many accident victims defy advice and self-represent is that they are concerned about the legal fees. Many are already facing medical bills, loss of earnings and repair bills to pay.
Fortunately, most personal injury lawyers operate with contingency fees. This means that they receive a pre-agreed portion of the settlement amount so there are no upfront costs to pay and fees are only paid if the case is won.
This removes any risk for victims in accident claims, shifting the risk onto the lawyer. From the first consultation until the final settlement, you won’t need to pay anything until the settlement amount hits the lawyer’s account.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Houston and need to make a State Farm claim, contact DeHoyos Accident Attorneys, PLLC today for a free consultation to evaluate your case. Call us directly at (832) 745-4878 .
We will assess whether your claim can be successful, inform you of your legal options and be happy to answer your questions.
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“As a client to this Law Firm, I found it to be rewarding base on their work ethics. With there expertise, knowledge, flexibility and being responsive to their client needs. They will see that their client receive the best outcome on there case. There are many people out there that have bad ideas about lawyers, but DeHoyos Accident Attorneys will make sure that you’re not stressed about anything pertaining to your case. I’ll recommend that you seek this Lawyer and Law Firm for any unraveling situation you might face.”
“I can’t say enough good things about DeHoyos Accident Attorneys! Mr. Ryan DeHoyos is extremely knowledgeable in his field of Personal Injury. I was injured in a motor vehicle accident last year and Mr. DeHoyos stopped at nothing to get me the compensation I deserved. He kept me updated on my case regularly and guided me to get the medical care I needed. Additionally, his staff is so kind and caring, especially Ashley… Thank you, DeHoyos Accident Attorneys for your professionalism in closing my case…and WINNING big!”