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Answer: You may be able to sue a large auto insurance company such as American Family Insurance, Geico, Allstate, or State Farm after a car accident. However, there are several steps you must first take before suing would be a viable option.
If you feel you’ve been treated unfairly throughout the insurance claims process or your claim was denied, consider working with an experienced car accident attorney.
Your attorney can help you understand your options and make the best decision for your unique case.
Once important thing to be aware of when suing American Family Insurance following a motor vehicle accident is how your state’s laws will impact the lawsuit.
States are either fault or no-fault in terms of car accidents. A ‘fault’ state means that the at-fault driver is held liable for the accident and responsible for compensating the other accident victims. This is typically true whether they are an insurance policyholder or an uninsured motorist.
A no-fault state means that each party is responsible for their own damages and personal injuries in terms of compensation. If you live in a ‘no-fault’ state, you will need to go through your own insurance to seek compensation for damages and losses.
Your accident attorney, or personal injury attorney, can help you determine the laws in your state and what that means for your case.
Answer: No, suing American Family Insurance is not the same as an insurance claim. Before you can file a lawsuit against the company, you must first submit an American Family Insurance claim, whether with your own insurance policy or that of the at-fault driver.
This allows the insurance company the opportunity to handle your claim in a legal and just way and to make you a fair settlement offer.
If you feel that the company acted in bad faith while handling your accident claim, offered a low settlement, or unjustly refused your claim, you may be eligible to sue American Family.
In most cases, an insurance provider must poorly handle your claim or unlawfully refuse to honor your claim for you to be eligible to file a lawsuit against the company.
Ways that American Family Insurance may act in bad faith during the claims process include:
Answer: The type of lawsuit you file against American Family Insurance will largely depend on your unique situation and the specific losses and damages you experienced. For example, if you sustained serious injuries, you’d likely file a personal injury lawsuit.
Common types of lawsuits in auto accident cases against insurance providers include:
The legal system will take into account a variety of factors when determining the verdict of a car accident lawsuit against an insurance company.
Examples of common factors taken into consideration throughout this process include:
Your personal injury lawyer can help you better understand each factor and which ones apply to your specific case.
The following are the steps you may be able to take in order to sue an auto insurance company such as American Family.
Right after the auto collision, get in contact with an experienced accident lawyer. Your attorney can help you with everything from the claims process to filing a lawsuit against American Family.
Before you can file a lawsuit, you must first submit a car accident claim with American Family. Because eligibility for suing the company is based on how they handle, or don’t handle, your claim, the claims process is an important first step.
Your accident attorney can help you gather all essential information and submit the claim on your behalf.
After an insurance adjuster has evaluated your claim, the insurance company will typically provide you with a settlement offer. If this offer is unsatisfactory, your lawyer can negotiate with the company on your behalf.
If during the negotiations a fair settlement is not reached, your attorney may advise you that suing American Family is the best option to get the compensation you deserve. This process involves filing a lawsuit with your local court.
There are essential pieces of evidence that nearly all insurance companies require when submitting an auto accident claim.
The more evidence you have, the better your chances of receiving a settlement that fully compensates you for losses and damages.
Common pieces of evidence needed for a claim include:
American Family Insurance, like most major insurance companies, offers specific types of coverage as part of their auto insurance plans. The type of coverage the at-fault driver has will depend on how much the company will compensate you for.
Examples of coverage offered through American Family include:
Where you live will largely determine the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit against American Family Insurance following an auto accident.
Each state has a statute of limitations, which is the number of years a person has to submit a claim or sue after the date of an accident. You must submit your lawsuit within this time period to avoid losing eligibility to do so.
If you’re unsure of the statute of limitations in your state, your car accident attorney can help you better understand the time frame you have to work within.
Specific information on American Family Insurance car accident lawsuit settlements is not readily available to consumers. However, information related to most major insurance companies like American Family is available.
According to a study done by the Insurance Information Institute, in 2018, the average car accident settlement for personal injury was $15,785. For property damage, that average was significantly less at $3,841.
There are several types of damages you may be able to submit for compensation in an American Family car accident lawsuit.
Common examples of damages seen in these types of cases include:
American Family Insurance is based in Wisconsin and provides auto and other insurance coverage to 19 Western and Midwestern states.
The average cost of a full-coverage auto insurance plan through American Family is $1,851 per year.
In J.D. Power’s 2022 Claims Satisfaction Study, the company ranked fourth for customer satisfaction among midsize auto insurance providers.
If you’ve been involved in an auto accident and feel your personal injury claim was wrongfully handled, consider working with an attorney to determine if a lawsuit is in your best interest.
At LegalFinders, we pride ourselves on helping our clients connect with the most qualified and experienced law firms in their area. We can help you find an attorney that’s right for your case and get set up with a free consultation.
The following are frequently asked questions related to American Family Insurance car accident lawsuits and claims.
According to the J.D. Powers Auto Insurance Claims Satisfaction study done in 2022, American Family was ranked 874 points out of 1,000 for claims satisfaction. They tied with Geico, another popular auto insurance provider.
American Family offers accident forgiveness for free if you are claim-free for five or more years. You can also choose to purchase accident forgiveness as part of your insurance policy in case of an accident to prevent your policy from going up.
How long you have to file either a claim through your own insurance policy or a third-party claim with American Family will be contingent on your state’s statute of limitations.
Additionally, most insurance companies prefer that you file a claim as soon as possible following the auto accident.
Insurance Information Institute. “Facts + Statistics: Auto insurance.” Retrieved from: https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-auto-insurance.
Investopedia. “What Is Bad Faith Insurance and How Companies Can Act.” Retrieved from: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/bad-faith-insurance.asp.
J.D. Power. “Insurers Struggle to Manage Expectations in Auto Claims Process as Repair Times Increase, J.D. Power Find.” Retrieved from https://www.jdpower.com/business/press-releases/2022-us-auto-claims-satisfaction-study.