State Farm: Auto Accident Claims and Settlements
State Farm ranks 32nd on the list of Fortune 500 companies and has tremendous market share in providing car insurance. State Farm, which started insuring cars in 1922, insures more cars and homes than any other insurance company. State Farm has 17,000 agents and 68,000 employees serving more than 78 million auto, fire, life, and health insurance policies in the United States and Canada. In some markets, State Farm has double the market share of the next leading competitor. In Maryland, State Farm is second to GEICO in auto insurance market share, just behind GEICO. Our lawyers handle claims against State Farm in Maryland and Washington D.C., and work with lawyers throughout the country on State Farm insurance claims.
Settlement with State Farm in Car Accident Cases
Our accident lawyers find it hard to make blanket generalizations on dealing with State Farm for settlement. Certainly, if you are dealing with State Farm Team 21 or State Farm Team 22, the two auto claims units in Maryland that deal with less serious injury cases, you are not very likely to receive a settlement offer that approximates the fair value of the claim.
Other auto accident claims with State Farm seem to vary more from adjuster to adjuster. Some State Farm adjusters are eager to try to settle accident claims for fair value. Others are more difficult and our accident lawyers invariably expect these cases will require a lawsuit to get a reasonable settlement or verdict.
The settlement offers of State Farm cases in Maryland generally increase - often more than doubling and tripling - as litigation proceeds. There are a number of reasons our accident lawyers believe this occurs. We think State Farm’s in-house lawyers – with exceptions - tend to be more reasonable than State Farm’s insurance adjusters. First and foremost, that enhanced reasonableness stems in part from having to try the case to a jury, as opposed to just sitting in your office pronouncing the value. Second, values of cases invariably rise because the insurance company realizes that the injury victim is not going to accept the offer just because it avoids a lawsuit. Third, the value of State Farm claims increase as a trial date gets closer because State Farm - like every insurance company - takes a more critical look at their arguments and the real quality of the claim. It is not uncommon over the course of litigation for an insurance company to stipulate to their driver’s responsibility after denying fault all along.
How Does State Farm Value Injury Claims for Settlement Purposes?
|We are not afraid of State Farm. In our last trial against them (2013), we won for our client a verdict that was more than 30 times the settlement offer before trial. If you have a serious injury case, let us fight State Farm for you. Call 800-553-8082 or get an online consultation.|
State Farm, like most insurance companies, uses a computer system called TEACH to assist in placing an amount of money damages on personal injury accident claims. This claims software is similar to Allstate's Colossus claims adjusting software. This program regularly spits out settlement value ranges that are far below the fair value of the claims.
Interestingly, State Farm adjusters in Maryland are paperless. All records they review are scanned into a computer and read by the adjuster. State Farm evaluates the injury victim’s medical records, decides how much treatment it thinks was necessary for the accident, and what the fair value of that treatment should be. On top of this, it adds in any past or future wage loss and its value on the victim’s pain and suffering. State Farm – in our opinion – typically undervalues all of these categories. With respect to future lost wages or medical bills, you almost invariably need to file a lawsuit to recover these damages from State Farm. Sometimes, this is just State Farm’s unwillingness to pay fair value on the claim, but it is sometimes a function of common sense: State Farm wants to see the evidence more clearly, which can only be done in the discovery phase of a lawsuit.
It is also worth noting that elsewhere on this website, our lawyers have written that insurance companies use, as a value driver in personal injury cases, trial records of the accident lawyers who are bringing the claim. This is true for individual State Farm adjusters, but not all. State Farm has no organized system of determining the trial record of individual trial lawyers’ previous claims against State Farm.
- Sample State Farm Verdicts and Settlement: some of our verdicts and settlements and other lawyers around the country
- State Farm's Psychology: why settlement is so difficult in State Farm cases?
Who Defends Lawsuits Against State Farm?
Most State Farm lawsuits in Maryland are defended by two law firms: Law Offices of Timothy S. Smith & Associates in Greenbelt and H. Barritt Peterson, Jr. & Associates in Towson. Both have law firm names indicating that they are private counsel, but all of the lawyers in these firms are State Farm employees. The lawyers at these firms are typically good lawyers who are reasonable, but are fighting plaintiffs' lawsuits vigorously to defend State Farm’s interests.
Is State Farm a Good Defendant?
Our attorneys would not pick State Farm as a model defendant by any stretch. But there are two nice things about dealing with State Farm from the Maryland accident lawyer’s perspective. First, in uninsured/underinsured motorist cases with State Farm, it will write a check for the last settlement offer it makes before trial, which is an incredibly reasonable policy that demonstrates some loyalty to its policyholders. Second – and another show of policyholder loyalty, it is quick to pay excess verdicts that are over its policy limits if its insured is being sued. One of our lawyers recently received a jury award over State Farm’s policy limit and State Farm quickly paid the entire verdict. With its own policyholders, sometimes State Farm is a "good neighbor."
State Farm Claims Phone Number and Address in Maryland
State Farm Insurance Company
Post Office Box 953
Frederick, Maryland 21705
Most of the State Farm claims adjusters in Maryland are located in Owings Mills:
State Farm Insurance Company
10825 Reisterstown Road
Owings Mills, Maryland 21117
State Farm has made a strong and early push to be a paperless office. So they receive correspondence and medical records in Frederick and scan them in for their adjusters in Owings Mills who reviews the documents on their computers.
Our Lawyers Can Help You with Your Accident Claim Against State Farm
Our firm has handled hundreds of auto accident claims involving State Farm, and has defeated State Farm at trial many times. If you have been injured in an automobile accident in Maryland or Washington D.C., where the at-fault driver is insured by State Farm, or if you are filing an uninsured motorist claim against State Farm, and you have a question about your claim or wish to file a lawsuit, call our Maryland car accident attorneys at 800-553-8082 or click here for a free consultation.
More Information on Dealing with State Farm
- Profiles in Obstruction (State Farm's expert designations)
- Valuing Personal Injury Cases (how much is your case worth?)
- Handling Personal Injury Claims Without a Lawyer (tips for personal injury victims)
- 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 handling claims against State Farm and other car insurance companies)
- Sample Interrogatories Served by State Farm (sample interrogatories asked by State Farm in a Maryland personal injury auto accident lawsuit)
- Pedestrian Accident Claims (with State Farm and other insurance companies)
- Maryland Accident Lawyer Help Center (samples of everything and anything a car accident lawyer needs to handle an auto accident lawsuit against State Farm)