Erie: Auto Accident Claims and Settlements
Dealing with Erie to settle - or taking to trial - personal injury cases
Erie Insurance has been selling car insurance for 85 years. Erie is a regional company in approximately 10 states but it has a lot of the car insurance market share in Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC. Bucking the current trend, Erie is trying to keep its insurance agents as a big part of its business although Erie's web presence is increasing. Erie's customers - as opposed to people making a claim against Erie - are apparently largely happy with Erie, based on our own anecdotal evidence and the JD Power study of insurance companies.
Settlement with Erie in Car Accident Cases
Erie Insurance is certainly not the worst draw for victims in personal injury auto accident cases. First, more than the usual suspects, Erie writes larger insurance policies, at least in Maryland. As a result of so many insurance companies competing for business (because people are price shopping more than ever on the Internet) insurance companies are writing smaller insurance policies in exchange for smaller premiums. Progressive is the biggest culprit but Erie continues to write larger insurance policies, relatively speaking.
. Like most insurance companies, Erie is often willing to dramatically increase its settlement offer after a lawsuit has been filed, particularly, in Maryland, in Baltimore City or Prince George's County. Erie is often motivated to settle after a lawsuit is filed because it cares, more than most insurance companies it seems, about its litigation costs. Erie relies on Rollins Smalkin in the Baltimore area and McCarthy Wilson throughout much of the rest of Maryland and, more frequently of late, also in Baltimore. (Apparently, McCarthy Wilson has opened a Baltimore office.) These are not in-house Erie employee lawyers. They bill by the hour. Erie keeps this in mind when a lawsuit is filed.
How Does Erie Value Injury Claims for Settlement Purposes?
Erie uses a computer based program, Colossus, to assist in placing an amount of money on an accident claim to compensate the victim. The computer does what computers cannot be trained to do: evaluate how much someone has suffered in an accident. This is another reason why lawsuits are usually the best path against Erie. To its credit, Erie looks at claims with a different and less computer driven eye after a lawsuit it filed.
Who Are the Lawyers Who Defend Lawsuits Against Erie?
As explained above, Erie does not have in-house counsel, at least not in Maryland or Washington, D.C. Erie pays its lawyers by the hour to defend cases in Maryland.
Is Erie a Good Insurance Company to Bring a Claim Against?
Erie is not a bad insurance company to have as an adversary relative to many other insurance companies. Of course, we are talking about insurance companies here: the bar is pretty low. Erie certainly has its fair share of ridiculous coverage denials. Our lawyers currently have in suit a number of accident lawsuits against Erie where their pretrial offers are south of ridiculous. Our law firm has had cases against Erie where the value of the claim increased exponentially when we filed a lawsuit. Still, Erie will sometimes surprise our accident lawyers with a reasonable settlement offer before a lawsuit is filed. The take home message: you just don't know in a given Erie case whether you will draw reasonable Erie or unreasonable Erie.
Our Lawyers Can Help You with Your Accident Claim Against Erie
Our Maryland accident attorneys have handled literally hundreds of auto accident claims involving Erie Insurance and have defeated Erie at trial when their offers have been unreasonable. If you have been seriously hurt in a car accident in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, or Georgia where the at-fault driver is insured by Erie, or if you are filing an uninsured motorist claim against Erie, and you have a question about your claim or wish to file a lawsuit, call us at 800-553-8082 or get a free on-line Erie claim evaluation and consultation.
- Sample Erie Interrogatories (sample of the types of written questions you can expect from Erie during a lawsuit)
- Sample Erie Interrogatory Answers (sample of Erie's answer to written discovery in an uninsured motorist case)
- Sample Erie Expert Designation (expert designations in an Erie accident lawsuit)
- Valuing Car Accident Claims (how much is your case worth?)
- Is There a Formula to Calculate Personal Injury Accident Settlement Value? (discussion of whether there is a formula to calculate what should be the amount of a personal injury settlement in a car accident and malpractice case).
- Handling Erie Accident Claims Without a Lawyer (tips for personal injury victims)
- Maryland Accident Lawyer Help Center (samples of everything and anything a car accident lawyer needs to handle an auto accident lawsuit against Erie Insurance)
- Handling Your Property Damage Claim (tips for auto accident property damage claims)
- Sample Demand Letter (letter to insurance company for compensation by settlement)
- Personal Injury Frequently Asked Questions (questions about accident claims against Erie and other car insurance companies)
- Dealing with Insurance Companies (analysis of individual insurance companies)