Free Car Accident Legal Information
State Farm Insurance Company reached a preliminary $250 million settlement in a federal class action lawsuit which accused State Farm of funneling money to the campaign of a judge, who was involved in overturning a judgment against State Farm.
The lawsuit alleged that State Farm covertly donated to the campaign of Supreme Court Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier while he was a candidate for the Illinois Supreme Court in 2004. The plaintiffs claimed that State Farm wanted the judge to win, and reverse a court decision against the insurance company.
After the election, this judge went on to cast a deciding vote in favor of State Farm in a case the following year. In the 2005 case of Avery v. State Farm, Karmeier helped to reverse a $1.06 billion judgment from 1999 against State Farm, for its use of aftermarket car parts in repairs. The court stated that the nationwide plaintiff class was wrongly certified by a trial judge. It also held that State Farm’s practice of using aftermarket parts was in compliance with their policy holders’ contracts.
In the subsequent lawsuit, the plaintiffs alleged that State Farm had paid millions of dollars of donations through the US Chamber of Commerce, to a political action committee, to the Illinois Republican Party for use in Karmeier’s 2004 campaign.
In a statement, State Farm Insurance said it agreed to settle because both parties believe “it is in the best interest of all the parties and to avoid protracted litigation and appeals that could continue for several more years.”
The Plaintiff’s lawyer stated that the case was about dark money, State Farm’s contributions to the judge’s campaign, through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Plaintiff’s attorney further stated that the settlement is a victory for the little guy against a corporation with incredible power, influence and resources.
State Farm claims to be the number one automobile insurer in the United State with over 44 million policies.
Dealing with your own insurance company is usually not a level playing field, examples include having an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim.
Aside from liability coverage, uninsured motorist (UM) coverage means that the responsible party does not have insurance and you or your insurance passengers are injured. Unfortunately, many people do not have any UM coverage, to protect themselves, when they are hit by uninsured drivers.
Underinsurance motorist (UIM) coverage means that the responsible party has insurance, but your injury claim has greater value than the amount of the other’s driver’s insurance coverage. Unfortunately, many people don’t have any UIM coverage, or enough UIM coverage when they are injured, and the other party’s insurance coverage is not enough to cover the injured party’s claims for injuries, medical bills, lost income and other losses.
When a person is injured due to a motor vehicle collision all applicable policies need to be evaluated to see what liability, UM and UIM coverages and amounts of coverages may apply.
If you’ve been in an accident, a car accident lawyer Phoenix, AZ relies on can help you deal with the insurance company and legal process to come.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at the Law Office of Paul Englander, PLC for their insight into car accidents and insurance.