After an accident in which you’re injured through no fault of your own, negotiating an insurance claim settlement with a major insurer like Allstate can be difficult, expensive, and time-consuming. An accident leaving you with a personal injury can change your life for the worse in a variety of unforeseen ways. In addition to recovering from physical injuries, you may find yourself asking questions like:
- How will I manage my daily responsibilities?
- How much time will I have to spend to ensure a fair claim settlement?
- Where am I going to find the money to repair my car or other property?
- What if I lose my job due to missed time at work?
These are valid and time-sensitive concerns. But, when you have been injured by an Allstate-insured party, you may also need to work with a claim adjuster; in many cases, the adjuster may decrease the value of your claim or deny your claim altogether. Insurance carriers, like Allstate, have a strong incentive to avoid paying out claims. Large insurance companies typically don’t think of your time constraints and financial strain as difficulties they need to address.
If you or a family member is facing a difficult claim negotiation with Allstate, contact the experienced personal injury team at Abels & Annes, PC today.
When you have been injured in an accident, you and your family may be entitled to compensation from the parties at fault and their insurance company. Unfortunately, obstacles and challenges are common when negotiating a claim with a big insurance company like Allstate. Remember, the carrier’s objective is to avoid paying out large claims as much as possible: while you may feel your claim is valid and worth a large amount, don’t be surprised if an insurer offers a lower settlement or denies a claim altogether.
Allstate currently ranks as the third largest auto insurance company in the United States, and the second largest in the state of Illinois. Negotiating with the resources of a large company is difficult: an experienced attorney can help put you on more equal footing.
We understand your concerns, and we know how to investigate and evaluate the compensation you may be entitled to under the law. We have particular experience working within the Allstate insurance claims process to help ensure you receive an adequate payment on your claim. Often, there are many misconceptions, loopholes, or pitfalls that clients may miss without the guidance of an attorney well-versed in insurance claims.
For example, did you know:
- Property damage and bodily injury claims are mutually exclusive. While you might feel the settlement offered for damage to your automobile is fair, you may not yet have determined the full extent of your physical injuries. The insurance company should not refuse to pay your property damage claim because your personal injury claim is still open.
- You do not have to accept only repairs or cash value for your damaged vehicle. This is a “diminished value” state, which means you may be entitled to the diminished value of your vehicle after an auto accident. The statute of limitation on property damage is two years, but five years for diminished value claims. In addition, Illinois does have uninsured motorist coverage for diminished value.
An experienced attorney can help you take full advantage of these aspects of the insurance claims process.
Your health is and should be your main concern following an accident. Seek immediate medical care for obvious injuries, but do not fail to schedule a comprehensive evaluation from your personal physician. Some problems will not present themselves immediately, and some conditions can have long-term effects.
An automobile accident, in particular, can be especially complex when it comes to proving your eligibility for financial reimbursement. It is important to obtain documentation about everything, from medical bills to repair expenses. Legal, medical, and law enforcement documents and testimony can constitute strong evidence that points in your favor, and are often determining factors in negotiating settlements. Be sure to gather:
- Any photographs that were taken at the scene
- Witness statements
- Medical reports
- Photographs that were taken as part of a medical record
- Police reports
- Mechanic’s estimates for repair
- Rental car bills
- Any written correspondence from insurance carriers
- Documentation concerning lost time from work
- Copies of your position description and pay stubs
- Any other out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident.
Be Wary of the Insurance Claim Process
In many cases, a representative of Allstate will be one of the first people to contact you after you’ve been injured in an accident. In some cases, the adjuster might suggest that you sign a “release for damages.” This is the time to err on the side of caution and seek legal advice before you sign anything. You may inadvertently limit the amount of compensation you are entitled to, and should seek counsel before signing any documents.
Do not mention your accident, discuss the process, or post any photos of the scene on social media. Your statements can be taken out of context and used against you. Seemingly simple comments like “I’m ok” or apologizing for an accident can severely limit compensation; leave determining liability and discussing a resolution to the professionals, and work through your attorney rather than by yourself.
Negotiating with a major player in the insurance industry is not easy. Collectively, the industry spends large amounts of resources designing claims departments, writing policy and procedure manuals, and training managers and claims adjusters. While some claims against an industry giant like Allstate can turn out well for the do-it-yourselfer, most claims are multifaceted and difficult to argue without the aid of an experienced advocate. When there are severe personal injuries or fatalities involved, the stakes are even higher; in these cases, it may be essential you seek experienced legal representation. You have leverage when you have our team of seasoned professionals on your side.
Contact the office of Abels & Annes online today to learn more. We know what it takes to help our clients receive fair and just compensation from insurance carriers like Allstate. Look at what our clients have to say, then give us a call at 312-924-7575 to schedule a no-cost consultation