If you’re injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the responsible party’s insurance carrier. How much depends on how severe your injury is and how it impacts you physically, emotionally, and financially. The most important thing to know about negotiating a claim is not to do it until you have a free consultation with us.
Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, LLP helps car accident victims obtain the compensation they deserve. We can help you file your claim, negotiate a fair settlement, and represent you in a lawsuit against the driver who caused your accident. You can schedule a free, no-obligation consultation by calling us at 832-230-2199.
Why Shouldn’t I Negotiate My Claim?
The more your case is worth, the more you risk by negotiating with Farmers Insurance yourself. You don’t know your case’s value, but after a consultation, we should have a good idea. You can decide if you want an experienced car accident attorney representing you, and we’ll determine if we want to take your case. If we’re not a good fit, you can talk to other attorneys or negotiate your case.
You’re at a disadvantage if you take on Farmers Insurance by yourself:
- Since you don’t know what damages you may be entitled to, your demand may be much less or far more than your case’s settlement value
- You don’t know negligence or insurance law, so you don’t know the strengths and weaknesses of your case, which impacts its value
- Farmers Insurance may act illegally in handling your case. Without knowing the law, you may not realize what’s going on
- Without an investigation, you may not have essential facts that may increase or cut your claim’s worth
- You probably have little or no experience in negotiation. Your Farmers Insurance claims representative does it every day
Practicing law is increasingly specialized. Many attorneys without experience in car accident cases refer their clients to us. These lawyers understand how much they don’t know and how much time and effort it would take to get “up to speed” to represent someone. If these attorneys don’t know enough to do a good job, maybe you don’t either.
What Should I Expect From Farmers Insurance?
There are many tactics the company may take, whether or not you have an attorney.
1. Seek a Medical Authorization
You have the burden of proving the accident caused your injuries and how they impact you. An insurance company has a legitimate need to look at your medical history. Farmers Insurance may ask you to release every medical record for anything you were treated for since you were born. There are limits on what the insurance company needs to know. We usually have our clients fill out a release that we wrote. It gives the insurance company the access they need without making your complete medical history an open book.
2. Downplay Your Injuries
The more serious your injuries, the more your case is worth, the greater its settlement value. Farmers Insurance, or their medical experts, may dispute your diagnosis, how much pain you’re in, and the degree they limit you. They may claim a delay in treatment shows you weren’t injured in the accident or doctor’s notes show your claims are exaggerated. The insurance company will look for anything to hang their hat on.
To prevent this from happening, promptly get medical treatment, and follow reasonable treatment suggested by your healthcare provider. Speak honestly to them, and don’t paint a rosy picture if none exists. Stay away from social media where your posts, photos, or videos may show someone who appears healthy. Be aware Farmers Insurance may hire an investigator to record video of you when you’re out in public.
3. Contact You Right After the Accident
They may reach out to you before you fully know how your injury will affect you. You may not have spoken to an attorney, and you may say things that may harm your case and limit your compensation. It’s best to politely say you’re not interested in talking, but your attorney will contact them shortly.
4. Request a Formal Statement
They may ask for a formal written or verbal statement. This isn’t needed to resolve your claim, and they’re hoping you’ll make disclosures casting doubt on your case. This type of request shows why you should have a lawyer involved. They’ll make sure you only tell the insurance company what they need to know, and you won’t waste your time dealing with them.
5. Deny liability
Liability is another word for fault. You must prove the other driver is more at fault for the accident than you are. Your share of the blame can be deducted from your recovery. It’s in Farmers Insurance’s interest to deny your claim by blaming you for the accident. Even if they don’t, they may try to lower your compensation by claiming you’re partially responsible. Liability and who’s at what degree of fault isn’t always clear, but Farmers Insurance may unreasonably try to pin the accident on you to reduce your settlement.
Get Help from Top Texas Attorneys
Schechter, Shaffer & Harris LLP has been going up against some of the nation’s largest insurance companies, including Farmers Insurance, in court and winning for more than 45 years. We know the law and are aware of the tactics insurance companies use to avoid paying you what you deserve.
If you’re injured in an accident and have questions or are looking for legal representation, call Schechter, Shaffer & Harris at 713-364-0723 to schedule your free case evaluation today.