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Advice on Negotiating Car Accident Claims with Each Insurance Company

Negotiating with Insurance Companies

I’m a big fan of science. I would think there would be one best way to approach a personal injury case. But I’m always amazed at how trial lawyers with such unbelievably different approaches and different styles can be successful. But it is not just trial lawyers. If you look at the best of the best among politicians, musicians, actors, athletes, mathematicians, you name it, they are all different and approach their craft very differently, albeit with some common treads.

The same is true with insurance companies. I think, for example, State Farm and GEICO have unbelievably different business models when it comes to running their business… including their approach to handling personal injury car accident claims.

One of my jobs here is to discuss strategy with our lawyers with respect to the cases they are handling in litigation. It is one of my favorite parts of the job: I’m providing strategy and tactical advice without having to do the heavy lifting. Whether it is an accident or a medical malpractice case, one of my first questions is, “Who is the insurance company?” (and “What are the policy limits?). Because you have to have some idea of who you are dealing with in trying to settle the claim or even when you know you are going to try the case.

State Farm and Nationwide, for example, could have have different approaches to personal injury cases. At Nationwide, a verdict that exceeds the policy limits by a $1 is a federal case. Alarms go off, file audits are conducted, and the world gets turned upside down. At State Farm, they call a day like this Tuesday.

Below, I have analyzed the insurance companies/adjusting companies we deal with in 97% of the motor vehicle accident cases we handle. You can find it here. Jump on the first link at the top.

Did I hold back some thoughts in analyzing these companies? Of course. But I do think they provide some insight in to how these companies operate and think, and may be useful to you in crafting strategies for settlement and at trial.

Links of Interest

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  • Jonathan Rosenfeld

    From the list of insurance companies above, you guys haven’t had the influx of ‘sub-standard’ carriers that we have in other jurisdictions. Count your blessings as most of the above carriers will actually negotiate.

    As usual, your insight is great and appreciated!

  • Lindsay Rakers

    Ronald, great information not only for litigators but also for the general public. The more we learn about the games used by these insurance companies, the better the public will be protected should an injury occur. Thanks for your help!

  • Ron Miller

    Thanks Lindsay and Jonathan. If anyone has any other insurance companies they want to suggest, let me know. These companies have the vast, vast majority of market share in Maryland.

    Also, if anyone disagrees with any of these assessments, I would love to hear from you.