As you recover from injuries sustained in a car accident, dealing with insurance companies and claims can feel overwhelming. When the at-fault driver has State Farm insurance, you want to make sure you understand their claims process to get fair compensation for your damages. State Farm is one of the largest auto insurers in the U.S., so they handle thousands of claims each year.
However, that does not mean they will automatically approve your claim or offer you a fair settlement for your injuries and other losses. You need to know your rights and take the proper steps to build a strong claim. This article provides an overview of State Farm's car accident claims process and tips for maximizing your settlement offer. Contact one of our car accident lawyers for help with your claim. With the right approach, you can get the compensation you deserve after a State Farm accident.
What to Do After a Car Accident With State Farm
If you are involved in a car accident with a State Farm insured driver, there are important steps you should take to file an insurance claim and seek compensation for your injuries or vehicle damage.
First, call the police and report the accident immediately. Get a copy of the police report for your records and insurance claim. The police report will document important details about the accident that will support your claim.
Next, exchange information with the other driver, including name, address, phone number, license plate number, driver's license number, and insurance details. Take photos of the vehicles, the surrounding area, and any visible injuries. Get contact information for any witnesses as well.
Contact your insurance provider and State Farm to report the claim as soon as possible. State Farm will likely send an insurance adjuster to review the details of the accident and evaluate the damage to determine fault and liability. Be prepared to provide the details and evidence you have gathered to support your claim.
See a doctor for any injuries, even minor ones. You may be wondering how long is too long, or when it is too late to get treatment after a car accident. Your health and safety should be a top priority. Medical records and bills will also serve as evidence to validate injury claims in your State Farm settlement. Keep records of all accident-related expenses like medical bills, lost wages, and vehicle repairs or replacement.
Contact a car accident lawyer to negotiate a fair settlement with State Farm for your injuries, vehicle damage, and other losses. If an agreement cannot be reached you may need to pursue legal counsel regarding your legal options for recovering damages, such as filing a personal injury lawsuit. With the proper evidence and documentation, you have the right to fair compensation for your State Farm accident claim.
How to Document the Accident Scene for Your State Farm Claim
To properly document the accident scene for your State Farm claim, follow these steps:
Upon impact, remain calm and ensure everyone's safety. Call 911 for any injuries. Once emergency responders have cleared the scene, begin documenting the details of the accident.
Take photographs of both vehicles involved, capturing license plate numbers and the position of the vehicles post-accident. Get shots of any traffic signs or signals at the intersection. These establish the conditions surrounding the accident.
Note the date, time, and exact location of the accident. Look for any witnesses and get their contact information. Their accounts can help support your claim.
Draw a diagram of the accident scene, marking the direction both vehicles were traveling, the point of impact, and final resting positions. Note the number of lanes and any traffic controls like stop signs or traffic lights. Provide measurements between points of reference. Your diagram should recreate the scene as accurately as possible.
Collect insurance and vehicle information from the other driver(s), including make, model, year, and VIN of their vehicle(s). Get the other driver's name, address, phone number, insurance details, driver's license number, and license plate number.
Contact the police to file an official accident report. Provide the details and documentation you've gathered. The police report, along with your evidence, will substantiate your claim to State Farm.
Following these steps thoroughly will ensure you have the necessary documentation to support your claim. Provide all details to State Farm as soon as possible after the accident to begin the claims process. With clear evidence and an accurate account of events, State Farm can properly assess fault and damages to get you back on the road.
The State Farm Claims Process: What to Expect
Once you’ve been in an accident with a State Farm insured driver, you’ll need to file a claim to recover damages. Here’s what you can expect from the State Farm claims process:
Reporting the Accident
Report the accident to State Farm as soon as possible. You can call their 24-hour claims hotline or file a claim on their website or mobile app. Provide details about the accident including time, location, vehicles involved, and any injuries. State Farm will assign you a claim number to reference for future communications.
Claims Adjuster Assignment
State Farm will assign a claims adjuster to investigate your claim. The adjuster will contact you, usually within a matter of a few business days, to get your recorded statement about the accident. Be prepared to provide the same details you reported initially. The adjuster will also contact the other driver to get their statement.
The claims adjuster will investigate the details of the accident to determine fault and evaluate the damages. This typically takes 3 to 5 business days. They may request additional information from you like photos of the vehicles, medical records, or a repair estimate. Cooperate fully with the adjuster’s requests to avoid delays.
Once the investigation is complete, State Farm will determine who is at fault for the accident and may make you a settlement offer. You car accident lawyer can negotiate with the adjuster to get a fair settlement amount that covers all your damages like vehicle repairs, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You may need to provide documentation to justify a higher amount.
Accepting or Disputing the Offer
If you accept State Farm’s settlement offer, they will issue payment for the agreed amount. If you cannot reach an agreement, your lawyer may need to pursue legal action against their insured. State Farm has a duty to handle claims in good faith, so if you believe they are acting unreasonably, contact your state insurance commissioner to file a complaint.
With patience and persistence, your legal team can successfully navigate the State Farm claims process. But if at any point you feel overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to rely on your attorney to advocate on your behalf. They can handle communications with the insurance company and work to get you the maximum settlement for your claim.
Common Injuries From Car Accidents and How to Get Medical Help
Whiplash and Neck Injuries
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries resulting from car accidents. It occurs when the soft tissues in your neck are strained or torn due to the sudden back and forth movement of your head. Often whiplash is treated by a chiropractor following the car accident. Symptoms may include neck pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience numbness, weakness, or loss of bladder control. An emergency room doctor can examine your neck, order X-rays or CT scans if needed, and prescribe muscle relaxants or pain medication. You may need to wear a neck brace for support as your injury heals.
Broken or fractured bones are also frequent consequences of motor vehicle collisions. Broken ribs, collar bones, and limbs can result from the impact or airbag deployment. Go to your nearest emergency room or call 911 for transport by ambulance. Doctors will order X-rays to determine the severity of the breaks and properly set and cast broken bones to promote healing. Surgery may be required for complex breaks. You will need to keep the area immobilized, apply ice, and elevate the broken bone.
Head injuries like concussions or traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can have long-term effects and should be evaluated right away. Signs of a head injury include loss of consciousness, confusion, blurred vision, nausea, and slurred speech. CT scans and MRIs can detect bleeding or swelling in the brain. Hospitalization and close monitoring may be required for moderate to severe head injuries. Follow-up care with a neurologist is often needed to track recovery and manage post-concussion syndrome or other complications.
While less common, internal bleeding can be life-threatening if not treated promptly. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, shortness of breath, dizziness or fainting. Call 911 for emergency assistance immediately. Diagnostic tests like CT scans, ultrasounds or exploratory surgery may be needed to locate and stop the source of bleeding. Blood transfusions or surgery may be required depending on the severity. Hospitalization will likely be necessary to stabilize your condition before releasing you for recovery at home.
Seeking medical attention quickly following any car accident is critical, especially if you experience severe or persistent pain, impaired mobility or cognition, or other troubling symptoms. Be sure to document details about the accident and your injuries to aid in pursuing an insurance claim for medical bills and other damages. Proper diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation can help minimize the long-term impact of your injuries.
How State Farm Values Car Accident Injury Claims
When filing a claim with State Farm after a car accident, it’s important to understand how the insurance company determines the value of injury settlements. State Farm uses a combination of factors to calculate a fair settlement offer for accident victims.
State Farm will review all medical bills, records, and expenses related to injuries from the car accident. Serious injuries may result in significant medical expenses related to the car accident treatment. This includes emergency room visits, surgeries, physical therapy, medication costs, and any other necessary medical care. State Farm uses this information to determine the severity of injuries and appropriate compensation.
If injuries from the accident caused you to miss work, State Farm will evaluate records of your lost wages, salary, and time off. They will factor in the amount of income lost due to medical care, recovery, and any long-term disability. Lost wage claims must be supported by documentation from your employer.
Pain and Suffering
State Farm also considers non-economic damages like pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. In car accident cases of particular recklessness, these damages may be particularly compounded. They evaluate medical records, the type of injuries, and the recovery process to determine appropriate compensation for pain and suffering. More severe, permanent injuries typically warrant higher settlements.
State Farm reviews recent court cases and settlements for similar injuries to help determine a fair offer. They look at factors like the severity of injuries, medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering awards in comparable cases. This helps ensure their offers are in line with the current legal standards.
The initial settlement offer from State Farm is often not the final amount. Victims and their attorneys will go through a negotiation process to reach a fair and reasonable settlement. State Farm will consider counteroffers and additional evidence of damages to potentially increase their offer. Compromise and cooperation can help achieve a settlement that satisfies all parties.
With the right documentation and a willingness to negotiate, car accident victims can secure fair compensation from State Farm for their injuries and damages. Understanding how State Farm evaluates claims puts victims in the best position to obtain the maximum settlement offer possible.
Statute of Limitations for Filing a State Farm Injury Claim
When filing an injury claim involving a State Farm Insurance insured, it’s important to understand the statute of limitations for your state. The statute of limitations refers to the maximum time period you have to file a lawsuit. If you fail to file a claim within this time period, you may lose your right to recover compensation.
Determine Your State’s Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including car accidents, varies by state. In Texas, you typically only have two years to make your injury claim. In most states, the clock starts ticking on the date of the accident. However, some states start the clock on the date the injury was discovered. You should check with your state’s laws to determine the exact statute of limitations that applies to your claim.
- Do research online or consult with a personal injury attorney licensed in your state.
- Be aware the statute of limitations may differ for claims against government entities or for wrongful death cases.
Importance of Filing Before the Deadline
It’s critical to file a claim with State Farm before the statute of limitations expires. If you miss the deadline, State Farm can have your case dismissed. You would lose the ability to recover damages like medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
- Don’t delay in starting the claims process. It can take time to gather evidence, obtain police and medical reports, and negotiate a fair settlement.
- If State Farm is not cooperating or offering a reasonable settlement, you may need to pursue legal action by filing a lawsuit. This also takes time, so the earlier you begin the better.
While the statute of limitations can be complicated, the key is not to delay in starting the claims process with State Farm. Speaking to a personal injury attorney in your state can help ensure your rights are protected and maximize your chances of recovering fair compensation.
What if State Farm Denies Your Injury Claim? Your Legal Options
If State Farm denies your injury claim following a car accident, you have legal options to pursue fair compensation.
Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney
The best first step is to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney regarding your claim. Let them know the cause of the car accident, such as whether the driver was guilty of distracted driving. They can review the details of your accident and injury, as well as State Farm’s reason for denying the claim. An attorney can determine if State Farm’s decision was unjustified and if you have grounds to challenge their denial. They can handle negotiating with State Farm on your behalf or filing a lawsuit against them if needed.
Request State Farm Reconsider Your Claim
You or your attorney can submit a letter to State Farm requesting they reevaluate their decision in light of any new evidence or information regarding your injury claim. Getting a renewed look at your claim may change important parts of your case such as whether you have to pay your deductible after a car accident. Provide additional details about the severity of your injuries, medical records and bills, eyewitness statements, photos from the accident scene, or anything else that supports your claim. State Farm may reverse their initial denial and offer you a settlement.
File a Lawsuit Against State Farm
If State Farm still refuses to reconsider after providing additional evidence, you may need to pursue legal action against them. With the help of a personal injury lawyer, you can file a lawsuit in civil court to recover damages for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. State Farm will have to formally respond to the complaint filed against them. There is a possibility they may offer you an out-of-court settlement to avoid a trial. If not, the case will proceed to trial where a judge or jury can award you compensation.
However, when an insurance company like State Farm unjustly denies an injury claim, legal action may be required to obtain fair compensation for damages. An experienced personal injury attorney can advise you on the merits of your claim and the best path forward to resolve your case.
FAQs: Getting Answers to Common Questions About State Farm Car Accident Claims
How long do I have to file a claim against State Farm?
In Texas, you typically have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim against the State Farm insured. This is known as the “statute of limitations” for car accident claims. However, it’s best to start the claims process as soon as possible while details of the accident are still fresh in your mind. The sooner State Farm is notified, the sooner they can begin investigating the claim and determining fault and liability.
Will State Farm try to dispute or deny my claim?
Unfortunately, it’s common for insurance companies like State Farm to try and dispute claims to avoid paying out damages. They may claim that their insured driver was not at fault, argue that your injuries were pre-existing, or claim that the medical treatment and bills were unnecessary. They also may claim that their policy coverage is not even applicable due to where the car accident occurred such as private property. State Farm uses a variety of tactics to try and reduce the value of claims. It’s important to work with an experienced car accident lawyer to help fight against these tactics.
How are damages and settlements calculated?
Damages in a car accident claim typically include both economic and non-economic losses. Economic losses refer to quantifiable out-of-pocket expenses like medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. If you did not go to the doctor soon after the car accident, State Farm may try to use this as evidence that your were not injured. Non-economic losses include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and other intangible injuries. Your settlement amount will depend on proving the severity and extent of all damages through evidence like medical records, bills, pay stubs, photos, and testimony.
Should I accept State Farm’s first settlement offer?
Rarely. State Farm’s first offer may be much less than what you were expecting or feel comfortable accepting. It may not fully account for the severity of your injuries and damages. You should consult with a personal injury attorney to determine a fair settlement range before accepting an offer from State Farm. An attorney can help negotiate with the insurance company to reach a settlement that adequately compensates you for your losses. Accepting a low offer too quickly often leaves money on the table that you deserve.
Contact Fletcher Law For Help With Your Car Accident Claim
If you were injured in a car accident caused by a negligent State Farm driver, you may be entitled to compensation. However, dealing with insurance companies can be complicated and frustrating. Fletcher Law has extensive experience helping clients in the greater Houston area obtain fair settlements from State Farm.
Contact Us For A Free Case Review
Our experienced car accident attorneys will review the details of your case at no cost to determine if you have grounds for a claim. We handle all communications with State Farm on your behalf so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
We Have A Proven Track Record Against State Farm
State Farm is the largest auto insurer in the U.S., so they are adept at minimizing claim payouts. However, Fletcher Law has a long track record of obtaining favorable settlements for our clients against State Farm. We know how to build a strong case to prove negligence and maximize your compensation.
We Handle The Entire Claims Process
From gathering police reports and witness statements to negotiating with adjusters and filing a lawsuit if needed, we handle every step of the claims process. Our goal is to resolve your claim as quickly and efficiently as possible through settlement before trial. However, we are fully prepared to take your case to court if State Farm does not offer you a fair settlement.
You Only Pay If We Win Your Case
We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay nothing upfront and owe us no fees unless we obtain compensation for you. Our fee is a percentage of your total settlement. If we do not win your case, you pay us nothing.
Don't delay - contact Fletcher Law today for help with your State Farm car accident claim. We have the experience and resources to stand up to large insurance companies and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.