Like a Good Neighbor My @&$! Why State Farm Deliberately Low Balls Personal Injury Claims in Charleston, SC and Summerville, SC.

Posted by Jay McMillian | May 03, 2018 | 0 Comments


State Farm is one of the largest underwriters for car insurance in the State of South Carolina, and for that part, the entire United States. Furthermore, the are also one of the largest companies in the United States in both terms of size and revenue. Most troubling, however, is that State Farm has made no secret that it using hard ball tactics with injury victims in order to reduce settlement payouts and increase revenue. In fact, any routine Google search of State Farm will reveal that it ranks consistently in the Top 5 Worst or Bad Faith Insurance Companies. In fact, I would refer you to read this report from the American Association of Justice concerning some of the business practices of State Farm.


State Farm is not the only insurance company that offers well below reasonable offers on personal injury claims. All insurance companies want to pay you as small a settlement as possible. It's never personal to the insurance company, its just a tactic that increases the amount of revenue.  The amount of resources that go into marketing State Farm and building the brand of being a "Good Neighbor" is a myth, an illusion, a ghostly apparition. State Farm has a unique position among personal injury lawyers as being very difficult to deal with. Want a "Good Neighbor?" . . . move next door to your grandmother. The harsh reality is that the practices of State Farm with respect to legitimate personal injury claims show a dark underside more geared towards profits that any want to serve the public. 

The first facet  of dealing with a State Farm injury claim is to find out who is the adjuster.  If you are able to learn that your claim has been handed over to a "team" within State Farm, then I can assure you that you will not be offered fair value for your claim.  If your claim is assigned to  a “team” of adjusters, it means that State Farm considers your claim a lower value / lower risk claim and they are going to attempt to lowball you every step of the way.  A “team” assignment quite frankly means that State Farm considers your claim a low risk / low priority claim and will lowball you every step of the way and quite frankly, hope that you give up or take the lowball offer. The team adjusters at State Farm have very low levels of authority (what they can offer to settle the case) and are only allowed to make very low dollar offers on any claim.  More times than not, you will end up having to file a lawsuit, and your claim will then be transferred to an individual adjuster.  Though there are no guarantees, typically State Farm will up their offer once a lawsuit is filed.


State Farm often will try to trick you in to providing a recorded statement. I never allow a client to give a recorded statement! Why? The statement serves no positive purpose for the client and only serves to help State Farm get a recorded admission from the client that would diminish the claim. Furthermore, you are not required to give a recorded statement to the State Farm adjuster, even though they will make you think it is a part of the claims process.  Practically speaking, there is no need for a recorded statement. If State Farm has questions about liability or the extent of your injuries, well they can go to the police report and the medical records and get answers themselves. They know this . . . I know this . . . it is just an exercise to try and have the victim slip up and make mistakes that destroy the claim. 


State Farm is "The Godfather" of the "Three D" approach. This term refers to how State Farm approaches each personal injury claim with the specific strategy to “deny, delay, and defend" the claim. State Farm specifically employs this strategy on the lower impact / smaller claims. (Medical Bills of $5000.00 or less) State Farm market research has figured out that if they continually push back and refuse reasonable settlements on the lower impact / smaller claims, then the accident victims filing these claims are more likely to give up, accept the way too low offer, and these people are most likely not going to seek out or hire an attorney!.  Though this strategy is most often used on the small claims, State Farm has learned that by fighting as hard as they could against these small claims and considering the vast number of small claims that are made, they were able to exponentially increase their profit margins.

State Farm makes it so hard to pursue injury compensation that many people holding legitimate claims would give up and settle for the low offers.  

State Farm response to this practice is that such callous actions are needed in order to fight fraud. Statistically, however, only a small percentage of auto accident injury claims are fraudulent (usually below 3% of all claims).  I continually cite that the vast majority of personal injury cases will settle prior to the need to file a lawsuit. State Farm is one of the few exceptions to this rule . . . I invariably find myself, at the least, having to file the lawsuit in order to get State Farm to come to the table with reasonable offers.

Once I filed suit and the file is taken from the State Farm adjuster's hands and placed with third party lawyer (most times a lawyer at a bigger Charleston defense firm), the settlement offer increases and the road to a final settlement begins. I don't think this is the result of State Farm coming to their senses per se, more than it is most likely the result of a well qualified and good lawyer getting the file and coming to an agreement with me on where the case should fall. The lawsuit puts a fresh set of eyes onto the claim, and that is not always a bad thing for the purposes of settlement. 


As a Car Accident and Personal Injury lawyer in my solo practice, I will take all necessary steps to protect your rights and earn just compensation for you as a result of your auto accident or injury. Through my efforts, I can bring about much needed financial relief to a victim who may be suffering from serious injuries and permanent disability. Being a small firm allows you to have direct access to your lawyer during this entire process, with open lines of communication as we work together towards a viable solution to your specific case. 

Being an experienced personal injury attorney, I have experience dealing with insurance companies. I also know where the courthouse is and will not be afraid to call the insurance company to the mat in front of a judge and jury if necessary.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident or due to the negligent or reckless acts of another in Charleston, Summerville, Mount Pleasant, James Island, West Ashley, Goose Creek, Moncks Corner, North Charleston, or any of the other fine communities of the Low Country, and need to meet with an experienced personal injury lawyer, please contact me to set up your free case evaluation today. Let me help prevent you from being taken advantage of by the insurance company. I am serious and I am here for you! Contact The McMillian Law Firm today @ 843-900-1306

About the Author

Jay McMillian

Background I chose to build my law practice in the areas of Car Accident and Personal Injury because these areas of the law are the most accurate reflection of my values and my upbringing. Being the son of a breakfast hostess and a retired US Army Sargent turned construction worker, the values instilled upon me by my par...


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

The McMillian Law Firm

Attorney Jay McMillian operates a solo practice with an emphasis on two core principles. First, to provide competent legal advice in the areas of Auto Accident and Personal Injury Law to the people he is proudest to serve, the people of the South Carolina Low Country. Second, to provide the most personal and intimate service to each and every client and give them the attention and compassion that they deserve while going through the stress and strain of negotiating or litigating an injury claim. If you live in Charleston, Summerville, Mount Pleasant, Goose Creek, James Island, Walterboro, Moncks Corner, and you or someone you love has been injured by the negligence of another, please call Jay at The McMillian Law Firm today.

The McMillian Law Firm
(800) 861-3096 (fax)
Mon: 08:30am - 05:00pm
Tue: 08:30am - 05:00pm
Wed: 08:30am - 05:00pm
Thu: 08:30am - 05:00pm
Fri: 08:30am - 05:00pm