How Our Lawyers Handle an American Family Injury Claim?

How Our Lawyers Handle an American Family Injury Claim?

The accident happened. You received expensive treatment for your injuries. The bills are coming in and your doctors expect payment. You get the police report and discover that the at-fault driver in your case had American Family insurance. Now what?

Now is the time to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer during a free case evaluation to discuss the details of your case, learn more about your legal options, and find out how that lawyer handles an American Family injury claim.

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About American Family Insurance

In 1927, Herman Wittwer created Farmers Mutual Automobile Insurance Company. Several subsidiary companies sprung up over the next several decades, including American Family Life Insurance Company in the 1950s. In 1963, Farmers Mutual was renamed American Family Mutual Insurance Company, S.I., and just a couple of years later, the jingle that appears in the company's commercials was created. 

Through the following decades, the company became the fourth largest Wisconsin-based company and is ranked on the Fortune 500 list. The company has over 10,000 employees and around 3,000 agents and offers insurance policies for automobiles, recreational vehicles, property insurance, commercial policies, and insurance products for farms and ranches.

The company states on its website that its purpose is to protect the dreams of its insured and give its customers the support they need to realize their dreams. However, what happens if a third-party claim is filed against their insured's policy? Will they pay the claim? 

Hiring a Lawyer to Help You With Your Personal Injury Claim

Experienced Lawyer for Personal Injury Claim in Philadelphia

Like most insurance companies, American Family is in the business of selling insurance policies. While paying claims is certainly in their job description, they hire claims adjusters to evaluate the claims that are filed and help them avoid paying out more than required to fulfill their contractual obligations to their insured.

In other words: Tthe claims adjuster opposes the goal of a personal injury claim, which is to obtain the maximum amount of compensation available for the expenses the claimant incurred as a result of an injury and to handle the psychological impacts of that injury.

Having an accident injury lawyer to help you through the claims process is vital to your ability to receive the compensation you need.

Some of the important services a lawyer can provide include:

  • A no-cost, no-obligation case evaluation so you can understand the personal injury claims process.
  • A contingent fee billing method that allows you to wait to pay for your attorney's services until your claim is compensated.
  • An investigation into your case to determine all sources of liability and the insurance resources that can be available to provide you with monetary assistance. In addition to the at-fault party's liability policy with American Family, the attorney will also consider whether there were any other parties who had fault in the accident and will also help you determine if you have insurance resources of your own that you can use while the American Family claims process is ongoing.
  • Communication with the American Family claims adjuster and other insurers on your behalf to protect your claim's value from tactics that adjusters use to protect their employer's bottom line.
  • Negotiating with the claims adjuster to convince them to make a settlement offer that fairly compensates you for the claim.
  • Filing a lawsuit in civil court within the statute of limitations in the state where the accident occurred. As explained by Cornell Law School's Legal Information Institute, the statute of limitations is a law that bars legal claims after a certain deadline. If the claim is not filed in court before the statute of limitations expires, it is unlikely that the case can be heard in court or that the insurer will enter a settlement agreement with the claimant.
  • Presenting the case in court before a judge or jury so that they can determine whether the at-fault party was liable for the accident and —if so—much the at-fault party's insurance provider should be ordered to pay.
  • Helping the claimant to receive compensation from a settlement or court verdict.

Does the Insurance Company Matter When You're Filing a Claim?

While there are many discussions to be found online as to which insurance company handles claims the fastest or which company would rather go to court than offer a fair settlement, the claims process and the contractual duty that insurance companies have to cover valid claims filed against policies is similar whether your lawyer is handling a claim with American Family or any of the other well-known insurance companies who sell policies that include liability, including auto policies, homeowners', or commercial policies.

All insurance companies are prohibited from exhibiting bad-faith insurance practices when dealing with claimants.

Bad-faith insurance practices include:

  • Misrepresenting the coverage available through the policy, such as telling a third-party claimant who has filed a claim without the assistance of an attorney that there is no compensation available for the psychological impacts that the claimant incurred as a result of the accident.
  • Deliberately delaying an investigation into the claim or failing to respond to the claim promptly.
  • Denying a claim without a valid reason to do so or failing to provide written notice to the claimant for the reasons the claim has been denied.
  • Offering a ridiculously low settlement for the severity of the injury incurred. 

While insurance companies cannot deal with claimants in these ways, they frequently straddle the line of bad faith when dealing with claimants who do not have a lawyer, essentially exploiting what the claimant doesn't know about the legal process. Keeping the insurance company in line and ensuring the claim is dealt with fairly is one of the many important reasons to have a lawyer handle your American Family injury claim.

Before a Claim is Filed With American Family

Many aspects of your case must occur before a third-party claim can be filed. If the police investigated the accident, a copy of the police report must be obtained. The report includes several types of information pertinent to the claim, including the officer's narrative about the accident, the names and insurance information of all parties involved, and often the names and statements of witnesses at the scene.

Your lawyer will also want to request documentation from American Family about the coverages the at-fault party has available through their policy, as well as the coverages of any other policies.

However, one of the most time-consuming parts of the pre-filing period will be waiting for you to reach maximum medical improvement so that a value can be established for the claim. Maximum medical improvement is the point where your doctor determines that you have likely made all of the progress in recovering from your injury that you are going to make and that further treatment will not improve the outcome of your injury.

At this point, your attorney will have a more accurate picture of the medical expenses you incurred and the presence of any permanent injuries that will impair your ability to work and cause you to incur additional medical expenses in the future.

To value your claim, your lawyer will consider certain factors, such as the amount of insurance coverage available, the actual monetary expenses you incurred (such as medical expenses, property damage, and wage loss), the severity of the injury you suffered and the consequences of that severity, including permanent injuries, frequent medical appointments, disfigurement, and other issues that increase the claim's value.

After Your Lawyer Files the Claim

When your claim has been valued, your lawyer will make a demand to American Family for payment. American Family will then assign a claims adjuster to the case.

The claims adjuster will perform their own investigation into the details of the accident to make determinations on matters such as:

  • Whether the policy covers the damages you seek.
  • Whether the insured was liable for the accident as a result of negligence.
  • The amount of compensation owed to you due to the insured's liability.

Once the adjuster's evaluation is complete, they will decide to either compensate the claim outright (which is generally unlikely as part of the claims adjuster's role is to keep payouts to claimants as low as possible), deny the claim and provide a written reason to you and your attorney or offering to settle the claim out-of-court for less than its established value.

Settlement Negotiations

Most personal injury claims are resolved through an out-of-court settlement. While the settlement agreement can come even before a claim has been filed by a lawsuit in court, it also can occur at any time after the filing of the suit, provided the court has not yet rendered a decision on the matter. American Families and nearly all other insurance companies prefer settlements due to the expense of litigation, the uncertainty of the outcome, and the ability to control the outcome through an agreement with the claimant.

The initial offer made by a claims adjuster will generally not pay your full expenses. Your attorney will present the evidence and other information to the claims adjuster and begin negotiating with them to increase the settlement offer. At the same time, they will guide you so that you know the compensation you need to cover the expenses of your injury so you can make an informed decision about whether to accept the offer. 

Litigation

Suppose American Family denies your claim or fails to offer a settlement amount that fairly compensates you for the physical harm and property damage you incurred due to their insured's liability. In that case, your lawyer can file the claim as a legal complaint, the actual term for a lawsuit. The insurance company will generally provide their insured with legal assistance through litigation.

The pre-trial phase begins once all parties have been notified of the complaint. During this phase, there will likely be hearings about motions filed by your lawyer or the at-fault party's counsel.

Additionally, discovery will take place. Discovery refers to the pre-trial gathering of evidence that the other side plans to use in court. This can involve deposing witnesses or filing motions to produce evidence, such as documents and surveillance video.

The court will schedule a trial and the lawyers will prepare evidence. If your case requires expert witness testimony, your lawyer will bring them in for the trial.

The Type of Compensation Available through a Personal Injury Claim

Gabriel Levin Lawyer for Personal Injury Claim Cases near Philadelphia
Gabriel Levin, Personal Injury Claim Attorney in Philadelphia

Your American Family injury claim can include both economic and non-economic damages. In the legal arena, the term "damages" refers to compensation received for harm you incurred due to the accident. 

Economic damages involve the out-of-pocket expenses you incurred due to your injury, such as a replacement of the wages, benefits, and other earnings you lost while your injury prevented you from working, coverage of the expenses associated with medically treating your injury, and property damage you sustained in the accident, such as damage to your vehicle in a car accident.

Non-economic damages cover the psychological impacts you suffered due to your injury and include impacts such as physical or emotional pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, inconvenience, and more.

You can see that your attorney is key to filing an American Family injury claim. Luckily, you can get help right away, as your personal injury attorney in Philadelphia will not require you to invest any money upfront in your legal efforts to obtain the compensation you need.

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Gabriel Levin - Attorney

Gabriel Levin is a highly experienced and credible attorney with over 10 years of practice in Pennsylvania. Known for his tenacity, he has represented clients in a wide range of civil matters, trying hundreds of cases. He prepares each case as if it will go to trial, ensuring meticulous attention to detail.

Unlike many firms that delegate tasks, Levin personally handles every aspect of a case and maintains open communication with clients throughout. He has secured millions in compensation, making him a reliable choice for those seeking legal representation.

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