Allstate is one of the largest automotive insurance providers in the country, and their marketing efforts would have you believe you're in good hands with them, but according to many car accident law firms experiences with the company, they offer some of the lowest settlement offers in the industry, frequently short-changing their clients.
What can Allstate clients do to make sure they are not low-balled after a car accident? It starts with knowing the value of your claim.
Valuing a Car Accident Claim
The laws vary by state, but generally, there are a few types of damages for which the law will provide you compensation after a car accident.
- Property Damage
- Medical Bills
- Lost Income
- Future Expenses
In order to estimate the value of an auto accident claim, you need to be able to quantify all the related expenses. This means, adding up any car or other property damage, all of your related medical expenses, any time off from work and any expected future expeses such as long-term medical treatment which is often necessary after a serious car accident.
Dealing with the Allstate Adjuster
Allstate, just like any other insurance company, trains their adjusters to pay out as little as possible for any given claim, and to get clients to sign a release form as quickly as possible. They do this because they know the longer you wait to settle, the more likely medical issues will begin to pop up, and the more time you will have to figure out the real cost of your accident.
Always keep in mind that you do not have to accept the initial offer, and in most cases you shouldn't. The first offer is likely to be about 10% of what you are really entitled to.
When to Get Legal Help
While most minor car accident claims can be handled with little fuss, sometimes insurance providers will offer claimants such small settlement amounts that hiring professional legal counsel is necessary. When you look at the stats, and find that Allstate claimants represented by an attorney get $7,450 on average for settlements under $15,000 vs. $3,464 for those who represent themselves, it's no wonder that Allstate trains their adjusters to encourage claimants handle their case without an attorney.
Talk to a Car Accident Attorney if you're having trouble getting Allstate, or any other insurance company to treat you fairly. You'd be surprised just how much an attorney can help.