As a Cincinnati personal injury attorney I've seen State Farm and Allstate insurance claim's practices and how they try to get the injury victim representing themselves to take low offers. You may be surprised at the tactics they use to keep you under their thumb and away from the best car accident attorneys.
Why Allstate and State Farm Want You to Represent Yourself
Personal injury victims face a dilemna after being seriously injured in a car accident. Injury victims can try to represent themselves or hire a great car crash lawyer. Many are afraid the lawyer's fee will eat up their recovery. More savy know that the right lawyer can ease your stress, deal with the insurance company on your behalf and still potentially put more money in your pocket than you could by yourself.
The simple fact is that big insurance wnats to keep you in the dark so they can pay you as little as possible. In serious injury cases this can be a critical mistake as you may actually end up with a lot less.
In the best seeling book on Amazon, Wolf in Sheep's Clothing - What Your Insurance Company Doesn't Want You to Know and Won't Tell You Until Its Too Late there are many articles on how insurance attempts to take advatage of unrepresented claimants.
What Do Allstate's Scripts Say How To Reel in the Injury Victim
Allstate has their own scripts they use to give to their adjustors. Here are some excerpts that show the gist of their efforts"
Here is how Allstate tells it's agents to deal with any objections. They say objections fal into one of four categories:
1. The claimant feels no need to settle right away
2. The claimant is undecided and wants time to think about it or talk with an attorney.
3. The claimant feels the settlement is too low. ( what a shock)
4. The claimant doesn't trust insurance companies.
Handling Objections - Positively and Agreeably
Assure the claimant that you respect his or her feelings.
Avoid phrases that have a negative effect of creating disagreement such as:
But, However, Nevertheless, On the other hand, You misunderstood, I see it this way,
Our company feels, Our company policy is....
Instead they suggest positive phrases such as:
I understand how you feel
I can appreciate your position
That's an interesting view.
Allstate's 6 Step Method For Getting Injury Victims to Take Low Ball Offers
Allstate says objections are really a request for more information and that these objections can be easily resolved using their 6 step method..
1. Hear the Claimant Out
If you interrupt you may anger the claimant
2. Restate the Objection
Restate what was said. often the claimant will answer their own objection.
3. Cushion the Objection
Don't disagree, cushion the objection by telling the injured person you understand how they feel.
4. Question the Objection
Ask the claimant to elaborate on the objection.
5. Answer the Objection
Offer an alternative, like keeping the medical open for a few more months with a cap.
Their example is , "What if I could pay your pain and suffering and medical and lost wage to date and allow you to seek additional relevant medical attention for 3 months.
6. Confirm the Answer
Make sure the claimant has understood you. "That solves your problem with__________ doesn't it.
An Example of How Allstate Gets You To Settle Low
Here's an example straight from Allstate's Mckenzie documents. https://www.castellilaw.com/blog/what-allstate-document-says-about-personal-injury-attorneys-getting-more-money-for-their
Q. If I understand you correctly, you do not feel that $...is adequate settlement?
A. Yes your offer is low
Q. I don't blame you for being concerned about the settlement amount. Most people do not understand how the amount is determined. I look at pain and suffering , inconvenience, medical bills and lost wages. Has that covered everything.?
A. Yes. But the offer is a slap in the face.
Q. Can you elaborate on that?
A. I went through a lot. I don't feel my pain is being compensated fairly.
Q. I understand completely. It's hard to feel sure what the right dollar amount is. I've considered pain, suffering, car damage, alternate transportation, medical bills and inconvenience. for that I've offered $..Does that meet those needs.
Q. What do you have in mind.
Allstate goes onto say if they say that if they want an attorney , Use the attorney script. This script is designed to say that an attorney will take a 1/3 and we won't offer anymore any way.
How To Beat Allstate and State Farm as an Unrepresented Claimant
Once the insurance company has told you they have no more money to offer, ask them if they would be willing to go to presuit mediation on your case.
Presuit mediation does not require you to hire an attorney. You and the insurance company hire a third party to help Both negotiate a fair settlement. The Mediator is unbiased and impartial. He has no power to force a settlement. And hopefully you can get the insurance up to a fairer resolution.
The mediation can be set up quickly and depending on the time involved may cost $400-$600. You can split this with the insurance company. And you can walk away knowing that you pushed them as far as you could without an attorney. Sadly, in may cases the claimant takes far less than they could have gotten with a great accident and injury lawyers help.
If you would like to learn more about mediation: