Does State Farm Tell Different Things to Juries and Policyholders?
Does State Farm tell Different Things to Juries
State Farm, like most car insurance carriers, will often contest injuries by simply saying or implying that the amount of property damage or "low-impact" speed of the collision could not have caused an injury.
A whole industry of defense "bio-mechanical" experts have sprung up whose almost sole purpose is to testify for insurance companies. Typically these experts don't examine the injured person or even the vehicles involved. They generally rely on a few photos, property damage estimates and often self created "research " to give opinions that treating doctors flat out disagree with. Some of these experts go so far as to claim that a person can not suffer a herniated disc unless the force of impact also fractured a bone. This is completely against mainstream medical training and everyday experience.
In fact, one of the leading causes of disc herniation in the real world is twisting awkwardly in the simple act of tying your shoes.
Perhaps these "experts" sincerely believe their statements.But it is uncontested they are very well paid for expressing them. In one 5 year period State Farm alone paid just one biomechanical firm over 7 and a half Million Dollars for their "biomechanical " work.
In contrast to the defense of "low-impact = no injury" that State Farm often puts forward to juries, the information they provide at the "Learning Center" is very different.
Under the title of "The Do's and Don'ts of A Minor Car Accident", State Farm tells their policyholders :
"Don't assume there aren't any injuries.........Even low-impact collisions can cause injuries, some not appearing until days after the accident". (emphasis supplied).
The lesson is that indeed low impact collisions can result in injuries. Under the new Florida PIP law, you must seek medical care within 14 days after an accident or you lose your rights under the policy you paid for.
If you are involved in an accident, even if you think your hurts are minor or will go away, seek medical attention and document them. If they do go away, there is no harm. But if you don't document them, you risk facing a well paid defense expert who will , by junk science , call you a liar.
My office has represented injured persons for over 20 years and deals with deense experts regularly. Review our qualifications at davidglatthornlaw.com and call us with you questions.