After a car accident where you suffer injuries, you may be entitled to damages for your losses. In most cases, the other driver’s insurance company covers the cost of your injuries and medical treatment. Sometimes this process is relatively simple; sometimes it’s not – especially when you’ve experienced a serious or long-term injury.
Of course, every insurance company wants to pay out as little as possible – it’s how they keep their bottom line strong. Insurance adjusters and representatives use tactics like delaying your claim, knowing your medical bills are piling up, in an effort to get you to settle with them quickly for less money than you’re entitled to receive.
Is State Farm taking advantage of accident victims?
Recently, State Farm has been reaching out to victims of car accidents in Oklahoma and engaging in early settlement offers that seem too good to be true, because they are. State Farm offers a settlement of up to $3,000 for pain and suffering, as well as an additional payment that may equal $10,000 to $15,000 for “reasonable and necessary medical expenses.” When you’re facing a mountain of bills and paperwork, it may be tempting to get a little money in your pocket and believe your medical bills will be paid.
However, our attorneys read the fine print, and an offer that looks too good to be true typically is. By signing this offer (you may view it here), you give up your right to any further legal action before you even known the true extent of your injuries.
As part of State Farm’s offer, their schedule of benefits states they will pay up to $15,000 for “reasonable and necessary medical expenses” for 180 days after an injured person signs the release.
180 days isn’t all that long
Car crash injuries aren’t all created equal and the treatment course that each person takes is not the same. Unless a person has immediate catastrophic injuries, it will often take several months to exhaust conservative treatment measures. For example, a physician may prescribe physical therapy, MRI’s, Injections or more before ever determining a person has a surgical condition. The law of Oklahoma allows a person two years before filing a lawsuit. There is a reason this is a very uniform law across America.
Serious injuries can require surgery and/or months of physical therapy or rehabilitation, or leave you in chronic pain and disability for the rest of your life. They can keep you out of work for months or even years.
From a medical perspective, 180 days is simply not enough time to determine the severity of your injuries.
Insurance companies aren’t doctors
Further, signing this release authorizes State Farm to decide what “reasonable and necessary” medical treatment means – not you or your doctor. While they say they may pay a specific dollar amount, the chances are good that what they deem “reasonable and necessary” applies more to their bottom line than to your medical treatments. This means that the insurance company can, and likely will, fight you on any medical treatment required after you sign their offer.
After an accident, many insurance companies attempt to take advantage of injured and unsuspecting people. When you are hurt, insurance payments should benefit you – not the insurance company.
Remember, State Farm and other companies have experienced adjusters and legal departments on their side. The Tulsa attorneys at Biby Law Firm help even the playing field and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve – without underhanded tricks. To arrange a free consultation, give our firm a call today at 918-574-8458 or use our contact form.
Jacob Biby has spent his legal career helping folks just like you get the resources they need after an injury. He completed his undergraduate degree at Oklahoma State University and earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Tulsa in 2008. Jacob is licensed to practice in all Oklahoma state and federal courts, and has limited his career to representing individuals and families who were injured by the negligence of other people or corporations. Learn more about Jacob Biby.