After a car accident, you have to deal with the physical and emotional consequences. You naturally begin to worry about adequate medical care and missing shifts from your job. If another party is liable for the crash, the law could entitle you to compensation.
However, a different issue arises when you seek reimbursement. Usually, you need to file a claim with the insurance company to get the money you need and deserve. One of the most well-known automobile insurers is Allstate.
The company may prioritize its interests over yours and try to undervalue your case. An car accident lawyer can handle your Allstate insurance claim to prevent low payouts.
Allstate Car Insurance Coverage Plans
Insurance companies like Allstate offer various types of coverage a person can buy. A common policy is collision coverage in case of an unexpected car crash. The insurance helps pay for car repairs or replacement if you collide with another vehicle or a stationary object.
You can file a collision coverage claim regardless of who was at fault for the accident. The policy protects you if another driver hits your parked car. Usually, the insurer pays up to the car’s cash value as of the time of the accident.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Many states make automobile insurance mandatory for licensed drivers. However, you still have the potential to get into a crash with an uninsured motorist. Around 12.6 percent of drivers do not have any form of liability coverage.
An underinsured and uninsured motorist protection policy assists you when the other driver has little to no coverage. The plan pays the difference for an injured driver’s medical expenses and property damage. Uninsured motorist coverage is optional in several states, but others require you to have it. The policy limits how much money the insurer will pay.
A Personal Injury Protection Plan
Personal injury protection (“PIP”) is an additional part of car insurance plan. PIP deals with the medical expenses of both the driver and any passengers. PIP can help if someone’s healthcare insurance does not cover specific medical costs.
Other protections generally include loss of services, funeral expenses, and loss of income. If an injury impedes an individual’s ability to care for children, the insurance can also help cover the related costs. PIP might also apply if you got into an accident as a pedestrian.
Another option an insurer like Allstate offers is comprehensive insurance. Comprehensive deals with damages regardless if an accident caused them or not. For example, you might have to pay for repairs after a tree branch falls on your vehicle. Or, a large animal could have broken a part of the vehicle.
Comprehensive helps you pay the property damages for a natural disaster up to the policy limit. The limit typically is the cash value of your car.
What to Do When You File a Claim
When an accident occurs, one of the first actions to take is to call the authorities. Afterward, you need to focus on a car insurance claim.
No matter who was liable, the steps for filing a claim are:
- Notify your insurance company. Call your insurer and report the incident to the adjuster. Alternatively, Allstate has an app where people can report a claim and check its status. When you are on the phone, ask questions about what your policy covers.
- Supply information. Usually, an adjuster investigates a claim. During the investigation, they may request you submit the proper documents. For instance, you may need to have a copy of a police report to support your claim if an officer filled one out. The adjuster might ask for details of the other driver and the accident. Details include photos, date, time, and the driver’s name.
- Damage assessment. The insurance adjuster checks your vehicle to estimate the full extent of your losses. They look at what part of the vehicle sustained damage to help them determine who was responsible for the accident. Once a person gets an estimate of repair costs, adjusters use the estimate to know how much the insurer owes the injured party.
- Repair your vehicle. You can send your car to any repair shop of your choice. The insurer might pay the mechanic directly or send you money to pay the bill.
You need to know every deadline while you file a claim. You can ask the adjuster if your policy has any time limits. If a claim goes smoothly, Allstate sends you payment for crash-related costs. When a problem arises, as they sometimes do, you may need the help of a lawyer.
How Lawyers Handle Allstate Claims
After you file a claim, the car insurance adjuster may say you do not need a lawyer. However, an attorney knows the type of strategies insurers like Allstate use. If you have more at stake, your claim can benefit from the help of a lawyer.
Even though an adjuster looks into the accident, their version of events might not be accurate. If a law firm decides to take on your case, the attorney conducts an independent investigation. They gather the evidence to assess the damage and protect your rights to compensation.
Unlike an Allstate adjuster, an attorney has your best interests in mind. They look at all the available evidence to determine who bears liability. While the lawyer handles your injury claim, they also ensure that you do not provide inaccurate information to Allstate.
The insurance representative may ask you what you did during the accident to convince you to admit fault. Consult a law firm before you say anything. A lawyer can assist you and attend the discussion with you. At times, they can even have that conversation for you.
Another way your attorney handles a claim with Allstate is by reviewing any proposed settlement offer. They inform you if the amount is equivalent to the damages you received. If not, the lawyer will negotiate with the adjuster for a higher deal.
If both sides cannot reach an agreement, your attorney can file a lawsuit. In that situation, you will have to wait longer since the lawsuit process has multiple steps. Your lawyer can calculate the potential worth of your case and help you by advocating for the compensation you deserve.
An attorney could take your claim to court if necessary. They know the court procedures and can represent you in front of a judge. Do not hesitate to reach out to a law firm if you notice any red flags during the insurance claims process.
Can a Lawyer Help if Allstate Denies Your Claim?
The insurance company usually does not change its stance unless you present new evidence to support your claim. Even though an adjuster may deny a claim, a person can still enlist the help of an accident attorney. You still have a chance to reverse Allstate’s decision.
A lawyer exchanges information and conducts negotiations. A lawsuit is a common option when you experience a denied insurance claim.
Common Allstate Adjuster Strategies
Millions of people have signed up for an Allstate car insurance plan. The company sees thousands of claims every year. A report shows nearly 55 percent of customers experienced complete satisfaction with the claims process. The percentage is lower than other insurers.
Like other insurance companies, Allstate likely uses one or more tactics to deny or lower the value of an accident claim. Insurers do not like to pay for damages.
Request a Signed Medical Authorization Form
One strategy is a medical authorization form. If you sign a medical authorization form, the adjuster can view your healthcare records. The representative may state they need the records to verify your injuries before they can send you a check.
However, the broad authorization in a medical authorization form also allows an adjuster to look at medical conditions and injuries unrelated to the accident. They can claim you needed to see a doctor because of a pre-existing condition, essentially claiming that your injuries are not related to the crash.
Devalue Your Injuries
Many insurers downplay the seriousness of people’s injuries. The adjuster could argue the victim exaggerated the extent of their losses. An insurer is likely to use this tactic if the individual told people they felt fine after the accident or delayed treatment.
Adjusters are less likely to view injuries as severe and treatment plans as necessary. After a crash, you should not assure others you feel well. See a doctor and get a medical evaluation.
Misrepresent the Policy
If a person tries to file a claim with Allstate, the adjuster could misrepresent the policy. The representative may mislead you about the policy limit. You might think the coverage is lower than what it is after a phone call.
The insurer hopes you accept the low amount instead of arguing for more compensation. Another way adjusters try to be deceptive is by getting people to believe they do not have a right to seek damages. While a representative can answer your questions, you should find a lawyer. Attorneys help you learn what your policy limits are and what rights you have under the policy.
Delay Your Claim
In some cases, the injured party has to deal with delays from the insurance company. Some Allstate policyholders have complained of a slow response. Adjusters know people want to receive a payment as soon as possible.
The bills add up quickly, and an individual can desperately need financial assistance while awaiting compensation. An adjuster might ignore your phone calls to delay the process. Paperwork could take longer to process as well. Sometimes, the goal is to frustrate the person to get them to accept a low settlement offer.
An adjuster might want you to desert your claim out of annoyance or allow the statute of limitation to expire. Attorneys talk with insurance companies like Allstate to resolve claims and to obtain fair compensation.
How Long Does an Allstate Injury Claim Take to Resolve?
The time an Allstate claim takes to settle depends on the specific factors of each case. If someone sustains vehicle damage but no bodily harm, a check could arrive within weeks. Severe injuries usually make a claim take longer to resolve.
You have to undergo medical treatment to recover to an appropriate level. Recovery may last weeks to months. Allstate generally determines the compensation amount when the company receives medical bills and a repair estimate. Of course, delays from the insurer also influence how long you need to wait.
If issues arise with your claim, you may need to file a lawsuit. A case can last anywhere from several months to a year or longer. You have to wait for the defendant to respond after you file a complaint. The discovery phase usually takes a while since both parties exchange documents and conduct depositions.
Then, your lawyer attends mediation with the opposing side to negotiate a settlement. If resolution is not successful at meditation, your claim heads to the courtroom. Taking the case all the way to trial will extend your waiting time. You should hire an attorney early to ensure your claim resolves as efficiently as possible for an amount you deserve.
What Does Allstate Include in a Payout?
After a successful claim, Allstate sends a check to cover your losses.
Here is what you can expect from the insurer’s settlement payout:
- Property damage. The compensation should cover the cost of fixing your car or replacing it. Property damage includes broken belongings inside of the vehicle as well. A car wreck can lead to fractured phones, glasses, and laptops. A lawyer can inform you what pieces of damaged property you can claim.
- Lost wages. Head trauma, broken bones, and other injuries can keep you temporarily out of work. Settlements take into account the number of workdays you missed. You should be able to recuperate your lost income. In some cases, the insurer reimburses you for future lost wages if you need more time off from your job.
- Medical expenses. Hospitalizations, surgeries, physical therapy, x-rays, MRIs and more will impact the value of your claim. Extensive treatments may translate to higher reimbursement from the insurance company. You might need ongoing medical care even after your claim settles. Compensation can include future healthcare bills related to the accident.
- Pain and suffering. Motor vehicle collisions create emotional damage in addition to physical harm. Anxiety and other psychological problems impact your ability to complete daily tasks and live a quality life. Allstate might try to dispute your pain and suffering since the damage is less quantifiable than medical costs or missed income.
You could face an adjuster who does not take you seriously or acts in bad faith. A car accident lawyer increases the chances of a favorable outcome to your claim.