State Farm is the largest auto insurance company in the United States, and it has several subsidiaries, including: State Farm Fire and Casualty Company and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company. We have seen these two companies write the most State Farm policies for Florida drivers. In this post we'll discuss everything you need to know about State Farm insurance claims for injuries from car accidents in Florida.
In Florida, State Farm, like all insurance companies, issues policies containing both PIP and Property damage insurance. PIP, or Personal Injury Protection, pays medical bills and sixty percent of wage loss, regardless of accident fault. The maximum amount State Farm will pay for your PIP and wage loss benefits is $10,0000. State Farm also writes Medical Payments (Med Pay) policies. This insurance helps to cover copays on from your PIP insurance. Typically, your PIP insurance pays 80% of your medical bills and you are responsible for the 20% copay. Med Pay coverage will pay the copay.
Will State Farm pay my PIP benefits in Florida?
In our experience, State Farm is good about paying our clients' PIP benefits. We have not had many issues with bills not being paid, unless State Farm had a good reason for not paying in the first place. There are times when a client's insurance may have lapsed, or the client did not receive treatment within fourteen days of the accident. In these situations, State Farm and all the insurance carriers can deny paying benefits. Some of the other insurance companies, like the now defunct Windhaven Insurance, and Ocean Harbor insurance do not have great reputations for paying claims. The adage, “you get what you pay for” is true in the insurance world.
Will State Farm pay to get my car fixed?
Car accidents obviously involve damage to vehicles. Sometimes, the vehicle can be repaired. Other times, the vehicle is a total loss. A person who is not at fault in the accident will look to the at-fault owner's vehicle insurance coverage to have the vehicle repaired or declared a total loss. State Farm insurance and the other insurance companies have relationships with preferred body shops. You are under no obligation to use the body shops referred by the adjuster to you. You can use any body shop that you want to have your car fixed. State Farm has to pay for repairs done by the body shop that you choose to have your car repaired at. We advise our clients to use body shops that they trust to avoid the installation of refurbished or aftermarket products, and to make sure that they are satisfied with the service. A car that is a total loss has repair costs that exceed 80% of the market value of the car. For example, a car valued at $10,000.00 with repair costs of $8500 will be considered a total loss. In this situation, the property damage adjuster uses software to value the vehicle prior to the loss. The person then receives a check for the value of the car. In our experience, State Farm is reasonable with their value assessments of vehicles. However, we have had to intervene on our client's behalf when our value determination differed from their determination.
How much are State Farm's Bodily Injury Settlements in Florida?
In our experience, State Farm is about average with settlement value relative to the other insurance companies. State Farm adjusters value cases about the same as Geico and Liberty Mutual in our opinion. Insurance claims are primarily valued based on the severity of the accident, the types of injuries (soft tissue vs. fractures), and the medical bills. The average State Farm soft tissue case settles for about $10,000 to $25,000.00.
Should I talk to the insurance adjuster after a car accident?
No, anything you say can be used against you. It is important to hire an attorney who will speak to the insurance adjusters for you. This is like speaking to the police when a person is accused of a crime without having a lawyer present. The information that you give to the adjuster can severely impact your insurance claim. For example, speaking to the adjuster about how the accident occurred can result in a denial of liability.
State Farm Settlements with Bottari & Doyle
We have settled small and large cases with State Farm. For example, one of our clients was hit by a driver insured with Progressive. Our client was a passenger in a separate vehicle and she was taken to the hospital where she received chiropractic care and physical therapy. However, these treatments did little to alleviate her pain. Ultimately, she had to have multiple surgeries, including a shoulder arthoscopy and cervical fusion. The driver insured by Progessive had a bodily injury policy containing $100,000.00 of insurance. We received the $100,000.00 from Progressive. We were also able to recover an additional $150,000.00 from the vehicle owner's uninsured or underinsured motorist policy.
Should I hire a lawyer if I need to make a State Farm injury claim?
Yes, you should hire a lawyer if you need to make an injury claim against a State Farm insured. The value of your accident case will increase by hiring a lawyer. State Farm and other insurance companies like to settle insurance claims quickly and for much less money if you do not hire a lawyer. It is common to receive numerous calls from an insurance adjuster looking to settle your case for a small amount of money. Don't do this. You are not a doctor and you do not know the extent of your injuries. You are not an attorney and you do not know how to value accident case. Settling a case with a State Farm adjuster or representative immediately after the accident is unwise, because you do not know if you will need future medical care. For example, an adjuster may offer you only $1,000 or $2,000 to settle your case. However, if you settle, you may not have enough may to pay for a surgery or additional medical care. Surgeries are extremely costly, and some doctors do not accept all health insurance plans.
Please contact the State Farm Claims attorneys at Bottari & Doyle if you need a lawyer for your car accident case. There are no upfront attorney's fees. We only get paid if we recover money for you from the State Farm insurance policy.