American Family Insurance is the 10th largest auto insurer in the country, holding a two percent market share, similar to Travelers Insurance and just behind Nationwide and Farmers. It has approximately $4.4 billion in premiums written. What does this mean for you? If you are in a car accident, it is not uncommon for you or the other driver to be covered by an American Family auto insurance policy. Like other major insurers, American Family offers a wide variety of auto insurance products, including property damage, bodily injury liability, collision, comprehensive, medical expenses (Med pay), personal injury protection (PIP), gap coverage, underinsured/uninsured motorist protection, and more.
When you have American Family insurance, or the at-fault driver does, you may feel confident that you can obtain the necessary settlement following a car accident. Unfortunately, not all car accident claims go smoothly. You may experience red tape or an aggressive insurance adjuster who makes your claim process difficult. Your claim may even be wrongly denied or offered a shocking low settlement.
To get through the insurance claims process as efficiently as possible, and improve the chances of receiving fair compensation for your injuries, you should work with a Seattle auto accident insurance claims attorney at Emerald City Law Group. Our Seattle personal injury lawyers are highly knowledgeable and skilled in seeking compensation following a collision.
A Brief History of American Family Insurance
In 1927, Herman Wittwer launched what would become American Family Insurance in Madison, WI. The business began as Farmers Mutual Automobile Insurance Company. It established and later merged with National Mutual Casualty Company in the 1930s. In the same decade, the company formed State Farm Mutual Insurance Company, which was renamed in 1948 to Farmers Mutual Insurance Company of Wisconsin. Throughout the ‘40s and ‘50s, these insurance companies introduced new programs and expanded to additional states.
The familiar name, American Family Mutual Insurance Company, was established in 1963. By 1965, the now-recognizable jingle for American Family was produced. In the ‘70s, the company added commercial product lines and became the fifth largest mutual auto insurer. By 1977, it had 2.3 million policies and 2,360 agents. In 1981, it surpassed $1 billion in assets. As of 2017, the company had revenue of $8.8 billion.
Filing a Car Accident Claim With American Family
If your vehicle was damaged or you were injured in a Seattle car accident, you need to notify your insurer of the crash. If your insurer is American Family Insurance, then you may deal with them through a first-party claim. You can notify the insurer of the crash over the phone at 1-800-MYAMFAM. Depending on your coverage, you may look to American Family to provide you with compensation for your injuries and to cover the costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle.
In most circumstances, though, you will seek compensation from the other, at-fault driver’s insurer. If American Family covers the other driver, then you or your insurer will work with American Family to negotiate an appropriate settlement. This is known as a third-party claim.
Whether American Family Insurance is your or the other driver’s insurer, you should not assume you will receive a full and fair settlement quickly. Even if you do receive an offer right away, it is likely much lower than you should receive. To make sure you know when a settlement offer is too low, and how much your claim is worth, you should have a Seattle insurance claims lawyer represent you.
Protecting Your Rights During an Insurance Claim
During an insurance claim, you need to be careful what you say to an insurance adjuster and the level of access you provide concerning your records. By hiring a Seattle insurance claims lawyer, you can avoid common missteps. To begin with, your attorney will prepare you for any statement to American Family. By preparing a statement, you can offer an honest account of what happened, and avoid accidentally taking responsibility for the crash.
Insurers often try to dive into your background, particularly your medical records. American Family may send you a medical release and ask you to sign. This would give the insurer the ability to review all of your medical records – not just the ones related to a crash. By working with an attorney, you’ll have someone to review all the paperwork, before accidentally signing something that could harm you.
A Seattle Auto Accident Insurance Claims Attorney Will Fight Bad Faith Acts
Once you file a claim with an insurer, that business is required, by law, to treat you with good faith. There are certain actions the insurer must take. Within a day or so of your claim, your case must be assigned to an adjuster. This person’s job is to investigate your claim and determine whether or not you have a right to compensation. There should not be any delay in opening and investigating your claim. If there is, this may be a sign that the insurer is acting in bad faith.
Another area in which bad faith conduct is possible is during an investigation. During this time, you or your attorney may have contact with the adjuster and other employees of American Family. They cannot misrepresent the facts of your case or misrepresent or lie about provisions in the relevant auto policy. There is also a risk that the insurer mishandles the investigation, which could lead to your claim being improperly denied.
When you have a valid claim to compensation for your property damage and personal injuries, then the insurer is required to participate in negotiations with you in good faith. They must make a concerted effort to negotiate a fair settlement with you and your attorney. If American Family Insurance were to wrongly deny your claim, refuse to negotiate, or refuse to offer an appropriate amount based on the facts, then this may be evidence of bad faith.
If an insurer acts in bad faith toward you during a claim, then you may have the right to file a legal claim against the insurer. You may have a right to compensation related to the accident and additional compensation for the insurer’s unlawful conduct.
Emerald City Law Group Is Here to Help You During the Claims Process
Following a minor car accident, many drivers choose to handle the insurance claims process themselves. However, if you suffered serious injuries, your vehicle was totaled, or the insurance claim process is immediately challenging, you need to contact a Seattle auto accident insurance claims attorney as soon as possible. A lot can go wrong during a car accident insurance claim. By hiring a lawyer, you prevent common mistakes. You also put the insurer on notice that you take your rights seriously. With a lawyer by your side, you are prepared to fight for fair compensation for your economic losses and non-economic injuries.
How a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
After any serious accident, there’s a lot to consider. But you don’t need to go through it alone.
At Emerald City Law Group, we know you are in pain and unsure about how to pay your bills. Even enjoying everyday activities can sometimes be taken away. This would be a lot for anyone and that’s why out personal injury attorneys are here to help with the burden you’re facing.
From dealing with insurance companies to helping determine liability, and all the way through a trial if necessary, we are prepared for whatever comes your way, so you get the financial security and peace of mind you need to properly recover. If you have been injured in an accident in King County, Washington or any surrounding area, you deserve justice and compensation. Contact Emerald City Law Group today at 206-973-0407.