Allstate is one of the largest auto insurers in the country, with about 16 million customers nationwide holding over 175 million policies. The insurance company has deep pockets and keeps them that way by short-changing injured accident victims.
If you suffered injuries in a car accident, there’s a good chance you must deal with an Allstate agent. Here’s how our Bakersfield personal injury lawyers handle an Allstate injury claim.
Common Injury Claim Accidents
Our personal injury lawyers handle a wide range of accident claims, including:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Premises liability incidents
- Construction accidents
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
Even if your accident isn’t on the list above, we still want to hear about your accident and let you know how we can help.
Allstate is one of the largest publicly traded property and causality companies in the country, with about 46,000 employees. It’s also the fourth-largest auto insurance provider, with just over 10 percent of the market share. The company raked in nearly $30 billion in premiums last year alone.
Allstate didn’t rack up such high profits by putting its customers first. Like other auto insurers, Allstate adjusters regularly short-change accident victims, making initial offers to settle claims that don’t cover all their damages. Our lawyers know the games insurance companies play to devalue accident claims, and we work hard to ensure our clients get the compensation they deserve.
Filing an Injury Claim in California
All drivers in California must carry a minimum amount of liability insurance. If you cause an accident, this insurance covers medical bills and property damage of those involved in the crash.
The current minimum requirements are:
- $15,000 for bodily injury per person;
- $30,000 for bodily injury per accident; and
- $5,000 for property damage
These limits are likely not enough to cover serious or catastrophic injuries. Our lawyers recommend purchasing UM/UIM insurance for your vehicle to provide extra coverage and peace of mind after an accident. However, you may still have to fight the at-fault party’s insurance company as well as your own to get the compensation you deserve.
Allstate’s Personal Injury Claims Process
When Allstate receives a claim, they will initiate an investigation into your accident, which usually involves reviewing the accident report, medical bills, and any other evidence available. Once their investigation concludes, they will calculate a dollar amount to offer you to settle your claim. This offer is usually based on the medical bills you have incurred so far, an estimate of future bills, lost earnings, and possibly some compensation for your pain and suffering.
Even if you’re overwhelmed by medical bills and other expenses related to your injury, you shouldn’t accept an offer before speaking to a lawyer.
An attorney with experience in handling car accident claims will do their own investigation and assessment of your injuries to determine the full extent of your damages. Your lawyer will consider factors such as whether you can return to work in the same capacity, if you need special equipment for mobility or accommodations to your home or vehicle, whether your injuries affected your relationship with your spouse or domestic partner, and if you experience any emotional anguish from the accident. You may claim all of these damages provided evidence supports you.
If you accept an offer from Allstate without understanding the full extent of your damages, you may not have the opportunity to seek additional compensation if your injury-related healthcare needs continue longer than anticipated.
How Our Lawyers Handle Allstate Injury Claims
Our lawyers deal with insurance companies all the time, so we understand the tactics they use to devalue our clients’ claims. When you retain our services, we will begin right away to build a strong case to support your claim. Here are some actions we will take:
Investigate Your Accident
We will begin with a thorough investigation into your accident by reviewing the police report, your medical records, eyewitness testimony, photographs of the accident scene, and any other evidence available. We may even bring on accident reconstruction or medical experts to help establish liability or the extent of your injuries and how they affect your life.
As part of our investigation into your accident, we will help determine negligence on the part of the other diver. However, in some cases, the injured party may hold some blame for the accident. For example, if a reckless driver swerved into your lane and crashed into your car, you can hold them liable for the accident. But if you were texting at the time of the accident, the court may find you partly to blame.
California follows a comparative negligence rule that divides liability between all at-fault parties and then reduces their compensation by the percentage of fault. So, even if you share blame for the accident, you may still recover compensation.
Identify all Liable Parties
While you will most likely hold the other driver responsible party for your accident, multiple parties could have contributed to it. Your lawyer can identify all liable parties you may seek compensation from.
For example, here are some other parties you may hold liable for your car accident:
- The owner of the vehicle, if they allowed an incompetent or unfit driver to operate their vehicle.
- The driver’s employer, if the accident occurred while the driver was on duty.
- A government entity, if lack of signage or improper road design contributed to the accident.
- A vehicle manufacturer or component manufacturer if a defective part caused an accident.
Value Your Claim
Our lawyers will determine the full value by identifying all the damages you have suffered. These usually fall into one of two categories: economic and non-economic:
These are tangible, quantifiable losses that have a clear monetary value.
Economic damages typically include:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Property damages
- Loss of income, commission, benefits, or wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
These are more subjective and often do not have a precise dollar value. Non-economic damages compensate victims for the intangible losses and emotional suffering they endure due to the accident.
Common types of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
The subjectivity of non-economic damages makes placing a financial value on them more difficult. Our lawyers calculate these damages using various methods, usually the multiplier or the per diem methods.
The multiplier method involves multiplying your economic damages by a number. The per diem method involves calculating non-economic damages based on a daily rate, usually based on the injured person’s salary.
Allstate Calculates Damages Differently
Allstate has its own method for calculating damages. The insurance powerhouse uses the Colossus software system, which creates a value based on a computer’s analysis of past motor vehicle accident claims and your medical records. The Allstate adjuster plugs this data into the system and answers prompts, such as whether you were hospitalized, the type of medical treatment you received, and the severity of your injuries.
The adjuster may not realize, or put into Colossus, all the ways your accident has impacted your life and the lives of your family. They may not want to, since it will increase your compensation.
Colossus spits out a dollar range, which Allstate uses to make your offer, likely pulling from the lower end of the spectrum. If the adjuster blames you at all for the accident, they will reduce your compensation.
Allstate’s compassion less methods can easily devalue your claim. If you retain legal representation, your lawyer will protect your rights and fight for full and fair compensation.
Negotiate with Allstate for a Fair Settlement
It takes skill and knowledge to negotiate with insurance companies. Our lawyers have plenty of experience dealing with adjusters. Negotiations often require a lot of back-and-forth communication between your lawyer and the insurance company to land a fair deal. If you hire our lawyers, they can handle all negotiations with Allstate so you can focus on your own recovery.
Represent You in Court
Most car accident claims settle before they reach the courtroom. But if Allstate will not offer a fair settlement, we can file your claim in civil court and prepare a strong case to support your claim for compensation.
Insurance companies prefer not to go to court — it’s costly and time-consuming. So, chances are, your case will settle before the trial date. However, if your car accident lawsuit is one of the few to reach the courtroom, our lawyers will represent you before a judge and jury and fight for your rights.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer About Your Injury Claim
A car accident can change your and your family’s lives in an instant. Serious injuries can result in staggering medical bills. The financial stress is often compounded if you are unable to work and earn a living while you recover.
A lawyer can substantially increase your compensation.
You can leave the paperwork and negotiations to your attorneys so you can focus on your recovery. Learn how the personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Mickey Fine can help you during your free consultation.