Negotiating With Allstate Pet Insurance
Allstate Insurance is a well-established insurance company in Texas. It provides a variety of insurance policies, including policies for homeowner’s landlords, renters, and commercial entities. Allstate is a profitable corporation because it aggressively investigates insurance claims to limit their liability, including claims related to dog bites.
How is Allstate Responsible for a Dog Bite or Pet Injury?
There are several different types of policies that can cover an injury caused by a dog or pet. In most cases, the homeowner’s insurance policy covers damages caused by pets and dogs.
Renter’s policies may also provide the same type of coverage. In some cases, a landlord may have insurance covering the liability for an injury to someone on the property that a tenant’s dog causes.
Before you begin negotiations with Allstate, it is important to realize that Allstate is a large corporation that treats dog bite claims in terms of numbers. Do not take it personally when a claims adjuster tells you that your claim is not worth as much as you believe the claim is worth. The adjuster is merely doing his job.
The best way to negotiate with Allstate is to fight fire with fire. Have documentation prepared that demonstrates your financial losses. Also, have evidence ready to justify your demand for pain and suffering damages.
Preparing for Negotiations with Allstate for a Dog Bite Claim
Before you begin negotiating a settlement for your dog injury claim, there are several things you need to do:
- Gather copies of the incident reports, police reports, and reports to animal control
- If anyone called 911 to report the attack, file a public records request for copies of the transcript of the call
- Make copies of photographs of your injuries to show the extent of the damage from the dog attack
- Take photographs of the accident scene, especially if there were no warning signs for dogs or other animals
- Make copies of all medical bills and records, documents related to lost wages, and receipts for any expenses related to the dog bite
- Request that your doctor provide a statement explaining your injuries, including any permanent impairments and a prognosis
- Review the Texas dog bite laws related to one-bite-rule and strict liability
Lastly, create a detailed explanation of how the dog attack impacted your life, including details such as:
- Daily pain levels
- Inability to care for your children
- Activities that you cannot perform
- Fear of dogs or other animals
- Anxiety when entering certain places similar to where the dog attack occurred
- Nightmares and flashbacks
- Embarrassment regarding scarring or disfigurement
The more information and evidence you have to support your personal injury claim, the better chance you will receive the settlement amount you desire.
Know the Value of Your Dog Bite Injury Claim
In most cases, you are entitled to receive reimbursement for all economic damages caused by the injury. Economic damages would include all medical expenses, loss of income, assistance with household chores, personal care, and travel expenses to medical appointments.
You are also entitled to compensation for your non-economic damages or pain & suffering. Your non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate. Many insurance companies calculate pain and suffering damages by using the multiplier method.
They assign a number between 1.5 and five to the claim and multiply that number by the total economic damages. The multiplier is based on several factors, including the severity and type of injuries. If you sustained permanent impairments or significant disfigurement, you might want to begin negotiations using a multiplier of five for pain and suffering damages to give yourself room to negotiate.
The Insurance Company Begins Negotiations with a Low Amount
The claims adjuster will offer a low amount to begin the negotiation process. The goal is to pay the lowest amount possible to settle your injury claim. If the insurance company asks you to make a settlement offer, begin with the highest amount you calculated for your claim’s value.
Be prepared for back-and-forth negotiations. During negotiations, remain confident and patient. Continue to refer to the incident as an attack instead of a bite to reinforce the severity of the situation and your injuries.
As you negotiate, refer to your evidence. Refer to the pain, emotional distress, and expenses caused by the dog attack. Highlight how you and your family suffered because of the negligence of the dog owner.
As you negotiate with Allstate, never admit fault. Always place the full responsibility for the dog attack on the dog’s owner or another responsible party.
Calculate Your Final Offer
Even though you begin negotiations with a high amount, you need to know the amount you are willing to accept to settle the claim. If the insurance company refuses to pay the amount you are willing to take, talk to a dog injury lawyer before accepting a settlement offer. There could be several options available, including filing a personal injury lawsuit, to force Allstate to negotiate a fair and just settlement for your pet injury claim.