State Farm is a below average paying insurer in personal injury cases. They insure cars, trucks, motorcycles and homes.
Let’s look at some State Farm car, vehicle and other accident settlements.
Passenger Gets $135,000 for Open Distal Radius Fracture from Car Crash
A passenger suffered an open distal radius fracture after another car crashed into the car that she was in.
The injury was:
- Open distal radius and distal ulnar fractures.
- Laceration to flexor digitorum superficialis (FDS) tendon.
- Laceration to flexor digitorum profundus (FDP) to index finger.
The passenger had the following surgery:
- Irrigation and debridement of the volar wrist wound.
- Primary repair of FDS tendon to index finger in zone 5.
- Repair of the muscle belly to FDP muscle
- Open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) of the distal radius fracture.
The driver of the other car got a ticket for failure to yield the right of way. The careless driver had minimal bodily injury liability (BIL) insurance limits. State Farm was the passenger’s underinsured motorist insurer.
The careless driver’s insurer, and State Farm, paid the $135,000 settlement. The accident happened in Hialeah, Miami-Dade County, Florida. I represented the passenger.
$100,000 Settlement With State Farm for Pedestrian Hit By Vehicle
This is not my case. In 2010 fifteen-year-old Sol Baldassini was driving a four-wheel electric vehicle in Key Biscayne, Florida. Sol was driving a 2009 E-Z-GO ST Express.
To keep it simple, I will call this vehicle a “golf cart”. The vehicle’s owners had left it in the care of the Baldassinis while away on a trip. Sol, the daughter of Veronica and Gabriel, had taken it for a ride.
While driving the vehicle Sol accidentally hit Fiallo, pinning him between the golf cart and his truck. Fiallo was seriously injured and brought claims for his injuries against Sol, her parents, and the owners of the golf cart.
The owners had insured the golf cart under a State Farm recreational vehicle policy. They submitted a claim with State Farm. State Farm paid Fiallo $100,000.
Since the owners lent the golf cart to the Baldassinis, the owners were only liable for $100,000 per person for bodily injury. Florida Statute 324.021. (The law allows up to an additional $500,000 in economic damages against if the golf cart driver was uninsured or had has any insurance with limits less than $500,000 combined property damage and bodily injury liability.)
The Baldassinis were borrowing the golf cart. Thus, they did not have a recreational vehicle insurance policy for it.
The Baldassinis made a claim under their State Farm automobile policy instead.
State Farm’s Car Insurance Didn’t Cover Golf Carts
State Farm denied their claim on the ground that the golf cart involved does not qualify as a car.
The issue is whether this golf cart fits within the definition of “car” in the Baldassinis’ State Farm insurance policy. That policy defines a car as “a land motor vehicle with four or more wheels, which is designed for use mainly on public roads.”
Because a golf cart is a land motor vehicle with four or more wheels,” the only question the court must decide was whether it was “designed for use mainly on public roads.”
The golf cart manual says:
These vehicles are designed and manufactured for off-road use. They do not conform to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and are not equipped for operation on public streets.
The golf cart manufacturer even placed a sticker on the dashboard warning against driving the vehicle on highways. It also did not equip the golf cart with a number of safety features required by law for passenger cars driven on public roads:
- a brake system acting on all wheels
- a windshield meeting applicable glazing requirements
- a windshield defrosting and defogging system
- a compliant transmission shift lever, an outside rearview mirror, and
- a compliant seatbelt assembly and anchorage system. See 49 C.F.R. § 571.
The golf cart had a top speed of 16.5 mph.
State Farm Would’ve Paid if Golf Cart Went Over 20 MPH
If it would’ve been modified to exceed 20 miles per hour, the Baldassini’s car insurance policy may have provided coverage.
The appeals agreed with State Farm that the Baldassinis had no coverage under their State Farm auto insurance policy.
Fiallo settled his injury case with the Baldassinis. However, he likely settled for less money than he would have if State Farm insured the Baldassinis for the golf cart. This is because insurance companies typically pay better than people without insurance.
State Farm Pays $87,000 to Dog Bite Victim
A man was employed as a meter reader. While at a customer’s house, he was given permission to go into the backyard to read the meter. The owner’s Pit Bull (dog) bit him.
He had some minor nerve damage in his arm along with a scar. He was doing well after he finished his medical treatment. The incident happened in Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida.
My client and I were lucky that this State Farm homeowners policy did not have an exclusion for dog bites or a sublimit for dog bites.
If the homeowners policy would have had a sublimit for dog bites for let’s say $25,000, then State Farm would only have offered $25,000 to settle this case.
If the State Farm policy would have had an exclusion in its policy for dog bites, then State Farm would have paid nothing.
$57,000 Settlement for Back Injury; State Farm Pays $10,000
A police officer was in a car while on duty in Medley, Miami-Dade County, Florida. Another car crashed into the back of his car.
The other driver got a ticket for following too closely. He claimed that the crash caused or aggravated a bulging disc in his lower back.
A doctor gave the claimant epidural steroid injections to his lower back.
His workers compensation insurer paid over $17,000 in indemnity (lost wages) and medical benefits.
State Farm Pays $25,000 to Passenger Hit By Drunk Driver
See a case where State Farm paid $25,000 to a passenger with back and other injuries. The car accident happened near Little Havana in Dade County, Florida.
State Farm Pays $25,000 Limits for Broken Wrist; Other Parties Pay $12,500
State Farm Pays $33,000 to Bicyclist Hit By Car; Tibia Plateau Fracture
Below is a close up diagram of this intersection accident.
A middle-aged man, was hit by a car while riding his bike in Miami. He suffered a tibial plateau fracture which healed perfectly.
Bicyclist Healed Perfectly
The doctor said that he healed perfectly and did not need any more treatment.
State Farm Insured the Driver
The driver of the car was insured with State Farm Auto Insurance. You can learn more about State Farm Insurance settlements or lower leg fracture settlements in Florida.
PIP Paid $10,000 in Medical Bills
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) paid $10,000 to my client’s medical doctors for his medical bills. In Florida, in most car accident cases, the first $10,000 of your medical bills is paid through PIP.
As you can see from this settlement, you may still be able to make a claim against a third-party for pain and suffering, medical bills and lost wages. It is important to understand how to get your medical bills paid if you are injured in a car accident in Florida.
State Farm Pays Bicyclist $17,500 for Stitches and Staples to Chin and Abdomen
A bicyclist was riding against the flow of traffic, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A car hit her. (The crash diagram is above.)
Thus, State Farm was only willing to pay 70% of the claim’s full value.
She suffered sustained lacerations (cuts) to her chin, and required several staples in her abdomen. She was left with small scars.
The police officer didn’t give anyone a ticket. He stated that the bike rider, and the other driver were both at fault.
I settled the case with State Farm for $17,500.
$10,000 Settlement for Small Scars, Shoulder Pain from Truck Accident
See why State Farm paid $10,000 to settle this claim. The injured driver claimed the crash caused a face bruise, shoulder injury and scars on his body.
The crash happened in Riviera Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida. I represented the injured driver.
Driver Gets $10,000 for Eye Injury in I-95 Car Crash
A man was driving his car on I-95 in Miami-Dade County. He stopped in the emergency lane.
A driver crashed into the back of his car. State Farm insured the careless driver.
My client’s injuries included back pain and a big gash to his eyelid. He treated at the Anne Bates Leach eye center, Jackson Memorial Hospital, and Bascon Palmer in Miami, Florida.
Our client did not have underinsured motorist insurance, which would have resulted in a much larger payout for the client.
State Farm Pays Driver $8,000 for Knee, Neck and Back and Spine Injuries
See a case where State Farm paid $8,000 for neck, back and knee injuries to a driver involved in a car crash.
State Farm Pays $7,000 to Settle Injuries From Minor Impact Car Accident
State Farm paid an injured passenger $7,000 to settle his personal injury claims from a minor impact car accident.
An MRI revealed a 1.2 mm C4-c5 herniated disc. C4-C5 is one of the levels in the neck. You can see the MRI image of his neck below:
He had a prior car accident not too long before this accident. We wanted to request a client’s past medical records. We then could have seen if this was a new herniated disc. Our client didn’t want me to do this.
Thus, we accepted State Farm’s top offer of $7,000. The crash happened in Miami, Florida.
I represented the passenger. A picture of us, after the settlement, is below:
Pedestrian Wins $821,715 After State Farm Driver Hits Him
This isn’t my case. On December 1, 2012, Jaime Pena was a pedestrian near Cagan Crossing Blvd and U.S. 27 in Polk County, Florida. Ronald Radig was driving a motor vehicle, and collided into Pena.
State Farm insured Radig. Pena sued Radig.
He claimed that Radig failed to maintain a proper lookout and control his vehicle.
Pena underwent lumbar epidural steroid injections (“LESI”) on August 24, 2015, and
October 22, 2015. (Lumbar means lower back).
State Farm’s insured admitted liability.
However, Radig’s attorney claimed that this case involved a low-speed pedestrian and vehicle accident where there was no major trauma at the scene.
Radig’s lawyer hired a biomechanical expert, Dr. Gushue, Ph.D. His purposes was to testify that the force and mechanism of injury from the crash wasn’t enough to cause Pena’s injuries.
Since Pena was a Florida resident pedestrian who was hit by a car that had PIP, he needed a permanent injury in order to get compensation for pain and suffering. The jury found that he sustained a permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability.
Jury Awarded the Pedestrian $600,000 in Pain and Suffering
The jury awarded Pena $150,000 for past pain and suffering, disability, physical impairment, disfigurement, mental anguish, inconvenience, aggravation of a physical defect and loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life. They also gave him $450,000 for future pain and suffering.
In State Farm UM Case, Trooper Shouldn’t Have Been Allowed To Say Who Was at Fault
In Hernandez v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., 700 So. 2d 451 (Fla. 4th DCA 1997), the trial court allowed an officer who had been at the scene of the accident to testify at trial that Hernandez violated the other driver’s right-of-way.
The Fourth District ruled that jurors “should not be informed of the investigating officer’s determination of who caused the accident and who was cited.”
Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal (DCA) handles appeals from Palm Beach, Broward, St. Lucie, Martin, Indian River, and Okeechobee Counties. The 4th DCA is located in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Jury Awards $211,000 for Ankle, Back and Neck Injuries Against State Farm
This isn’t my case. A car crash victim won a $211,000 verdict against State Farm for injuries to his ankle, back and neck injuries.
State Farm Owes Pedestrian’s PIP Benefits If Driver Hits Pedestrian Who Didn’t Own a Car, But Spouse Owned Uninsured Car
This isn’t my case. In State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Pierce, 383 So. 2d 1184 – Fla: Dist. Court of Appeals, 5th Dist. 1980, Mark Giere was driving a car insured by State Farm.
Geire hit a pedestrian Sherilyn Pierce. Pierce didn’t own a car, but lived with her husband who owned an uninsured car.
Pierce made a claim for PIP benefits against State Farm. State Farm argued that it didn’t owe PIP benefits. They argued that Pierce’s husband owed the PIP benefits because he owned a car that wasn’t insured.
The appeals court disagreed. State Farm had to pay Pierce PIP benefits. This case is one of many that shows that State Farm may be dead wrong when they argue that they don’t owe you money.
Here are a couple of other articles I’ve written on State Farm cases.
- Herniated Disc Cases with State Farm from Florida car and motorcycle accidents
- Neck Injury Cases with State Farm from Florida car and motorcycle accidents
Did someone’s carelessness cause your injury in a Florida car or truck crash? Did a dog bite you?
Check out some of the many Florida injury cases that we have settled.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in 2013 and has been completely revamped and updated.