Do you want to sue Allstate in small claims court?

Your Guide to Sue Allstate in Small Claims Court

Thanks to an arbitration clause written into your Allstate terms of service contract you probably can’t sue the company in any court except small claims court. It can be a complicated and time consuming process, but suing Allstate in small claims court usually gets you what you want.

1

MAKE SURE YOUR CLAIM QUALIFIES FOR SMALL CLAIMS COURT

Are you ready to sue Allstate in small claims court? Small claims courts are only for certain types of claims. Therefore,the first step is to make sure you are eligible to file a claim in small claims court. Here are two important things to remember:

  1. The amount of money: Every small claims court sets a maximum dollar amount for the claim you can bring. In most states, it’s either $5000 or $10,000, but it can be as low as $2,500 (in Kentucky and Rhode Island). You can find a list of all 50 states’ monetary limits here.
  2. The type of relief: There are two types of awards that you can seek in a lawsuit – monetary (a dollar value payment) and equitable (a non-monetary request). Most small claims courts grant only monetary awards.

If your claim doesn’t fall within the limits of your state’s small claims court, you’ll have to arbitrate your claim instead.

2

SEND A DEMAND LETTER

Most small claims courts require that you ask the person you’re suing (the “defendant”) to fix your problem voluntarily before you file a claim. If you want to sue Allstate in small claims court, you first need to send them a demand letter.

Your demand letter can be simple and straightforward. Tell Allstate your name, address, phone number and account number. Then, explain the problem, and how you want the company to address the problem. The entire letter can run just a few sentences.

When you’re done writing, you need to mail a hard copy of the letter, preferably as certified mail that allows you to confirm delivery, to their legal address. Allstate is legally based in Delaware and receives mail at this address :

THE ALLSTATE CORPORATION
THE CORPORATION TRUST COMPANY
CORPORATION TRUST CENTER 1209 ORANGE ST
WILMINGTON, DE 19801

If you would like examples of demand letters or more information about how to write them, use this helpful guide.

3

FILL OUT COURT FORMS

In order to sue Allstate in small claims court, you need to complete paperwork.

Each state has a set of forms that need to be filled out to file a claim, and sometimes counties require additional forms. The correct forms for your location will be available for free on the state court’s website.

Make sure you fill out enough forms. Most states that require you to file forms by mail or in-person will ask for 3 or 4 copies. If you don’t submit the right number of copies, expect the state court to deny your claim.

4

FILE YOUR COMPLAINT FORM WITH THE COURT

When you’re done filling out the court forms, it’s time to submit the forms to the court.

Many courts will require you to come to the courthouse during specific days and hours to deliver the forms to the court clerk. Other courts may allow you to file by mail, fax, or online.

All courts require you to pay a filing fee before they allow you to sue Allstate in small claims court. The fee, which is published on your court’s website, is sometimes waived if you are a low income plaintiff.

When you submit the court forms, the court clerk provides you with a stamped copy of the forms and a court date.

5

“SERVE” YOUR FORMS ON ALLSTATE

If you’ve made it this far, good work! Suing Allstate in small claims is a long and difficult process.

Now that you’ve filed the papers required to start your case against Allstate, you need to tell Allstate about the lawsuit. This is a called “serving” Allstate. To do this, you need to deliver a copy of your submitted paperwork to Allstate.

Look at your court’s website for instructions on how to properly deliver your forms to Allstate, or search for “[your state] small claims service of process”. Courts have many strange rules about how to serve a defendant. If you do not closely follow the rules, expect the court to deny your claim.

6

SHOW UP FOR YOUR COURT DATE.

When the court clerk gives you a court date, make sure to put it on your calendar.

Know where the hearing is to take place, as well as the time of the hearing. Arrive at least 15 minutes before the hearing to discuss the case with your attorney. Bring copies of your submitted forms, and any other evidence that backs up your case against Allstate.

Sometimes, Allstate will not show up to oppose you. If that happens, take advantage of the situation to present on your side of the story.

Are you ready to sue Allstate in small claims court?
If this sounds too hard and expensive, try consumer arbitration instead…

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