After being a Texas car accident lawyer for almost 40 years, I know that one of the first questions my new clients will ask is how easy or hard it is going to be to get a good settlement. This can be a difficult process with any company but I never cease to be amazed at the tricks insurance adjusters and attorneys from the worst auto insurance companies play. While the insurance industry takes in a stunning one trillion dollars a year in premiums, adjusters often refuse to pay reasonable compensation. While this is a hard category to judge, here are three lists that name the most egregious offenders.
The American Association for Justice (the nation’s largest group of plaintiff’s attorneys) listed the following (health and disability insurance companies are omitted):
The chances are very high that if you have been involved in a car accident in North Texas, it was caused by a driver who is insured with Allstate so I will focus on them. Don’t get your hopes up if you are hit by an Allstate insured though. You are not in good hands, despite what the company would have you believe in their advertising (that is only what it claims will happen if you are their policyholder). When their insured driver crashes into you, their claims representatives can be nitpicking. arrogant, and cheap. Offers are often only one-half of what I estimate I can get from a jury. In my experience, you will usually have to file a lawsuit if you expect to get paid a reasonable amount of money.
Our law firm battles Allstate on a regular basis, as it is the second largest auto liability insurer in Texas. Only State Farm is larger. Allstate has 16 million customers worldwide, owns other companies including Esurance and Encompass, and is traded on the New York Stock Exchange. In Texas, it has 13 different companies registered with the Department of Insurance and any one of eight can be involved in a car or truck crash case. One company alone has a value of $48 billion. With that economic weight, it is used to bullying claimants around and getting what it wants.
We have a good track record of getting good results against them. Today for example, we were able to get them to pay our client his entire underinsured motorist benefits from them after he had already received a driver’s entire insurance policy amount in a hotly disputed case involving an 18-wheeler. He was very happy with the settlement on the first part of his case and very generously wrote this review:
“These guys are great. They’re very transparent and very aggressive. I hope I never need a personal injury lawyer again, but if I did, I’d go back to Mr. Berenson.”
4. State Farm
10. Liberty Mutual
Consumer Reports recently named these as the worst auto insurance companies:
1. MAPFRE Insurance
3. Mercury General
5. Liberty Mutual
8. Farmers Group
10. State Farm
J.D. Power called these the worst auto insurance companies:
3. CSAA (AAA)
4. Liberty Mutual
8. American Family
9. 21st Century
These are the worst auto insurance companies: Allstate, State Farm, Farmers, Progressive, Liberty Mutual, MetLife, Mercury, and MAPFRE.
There are many more companies I can add, including these nonstandard ones that make me cringe when I see them listed on the police report:
Thankfully, most collisions don’t result in a serious injuries. But they can still cause substantial pain, huge medical expenses, and lost income that need to be repaid. These companies listed above won’t care. They are notorious for using the “three d’s” of deny, delay, and defend (in court).
It can be standard operating procedure for these behemoth insurance companies to jerk injured people around, ruin their cases if they are not represented by an injury attorney, make low-ball offers, and if they are not accepted, continue to jerk them around in court. Here in Dallas-Fort Worth, most have their own law firms so they can save money by not paying expensive law firms.
The smart move is to hire a good injury lawyer. He can tell you whether you will need to file a lawsuit or there is a reasonable chance of achieving a good settlement.
Do you have to sue? That depends on you and your risk tolerance. Most of our clients don’t want to be bothered with going to court, giving a deposition, going to hearings, waiting up to two years for their money, and sweating the details. I meet with our clients to discuss the pros and cons of settling versus suing, show them other verdicts from similar lawsuits so they can see what local juries are awarding, and calculate spreadsheets with the before and after trial figures so they can see the difference after added expenses.
There is no doubt about it, these companies are powerful foes. I understand that their job is to get an injured person to accept as little money as possible and maximize the company’s profit. My job is to make them pay my clients as much as possible. When you are the victim of a car wreck here, the key to success is hiring a Fort Worth personal injury lawyer who knows the games they play and how to stop them in their tracks.
If you are struggling to secure a fair offer from an insurance company after your car wreck, we can help you. My law firm has a high success rate and has beaten these companies countless times. Call us to schedule a free meeting or telephone call to discuss your case at 1-888-801-8585 or click here.