5 steps to file a successful car accident claim with State Farm
- After the collision, exchange insurance policy numbers, photograph the scene, and gather any witnesses’ contact information.
- Even if you feel fine, go to a doctor to check for any latent injuries.
- Within 24 hours of the crash, contact State Farm online, through their app, or by calling 1-800-SF-CLAIM.
- When talking to the representative, be very brief in your description of what happened, and do not admit fault.
- Contact a personal injury attorney, give them the evidence you compiled, and let them negotiate a settlement to cover your medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Our California car accident attorneys will discuss the following in this article:
- 1. What should I do immediately after a car crash?
- 2. Can I speak with a State Farm Insurance rep?
- 3. Should I personally negotiate with State Farm agents to resolve insurance claims?
- 4. How can a personal injury attorney help?
1. What should I do immediately after a car crash?
If you were seriously hurt in an auto accident, seek emergency medical care as soon as possible.
If there were only minor injuries, remain at the scene of the accident and collect:
- the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy number or a copy of their insurance card,
- the at-fault party’s license number, name, and contact information, and
- the name and contact information for any person that witnessed the accident.
Then visit an urgent care center or make an appointment with your primary care physician. This is true even if you have no signs of injury. Sometimes serious medical conditions can develop with no initial symptoms.
How to start the claims process
You can start a claim by calling one of the following State Farm claim phone numbers: 1-800-state-farm or 1-800-sf-claim. Alternatively, you can file a claim online or by using State Farm’s mobile app.
You should file the claim shortly after the accident (hopefully within 24 hours of it). If you fail to report an accident quickly, you may lose your right to file a claim in the future.
Sometimes the police do not come to the scene of a non-severe accident. If this was the case, contact your local police office and file a police report of the accident.
2. Can I speak with a State Farm Insurance rep?
Yes. You usually have to speak with a State Farm insurance claims adjuster early in the claims process to provide basic information.
Note that insurance agents often fight injury claims tooth and nail (this is true for auto claims, property claims, and claims on a homeowners insurance policy). They look for any reason to deny a claim so that they can boost their employer’s profits.
This means you should be careful in your communications with State Farm. You should avoid giving a rep any reason for denying a claim.
Tips for talking with an insurance adjuster
If you must speak with an adjuster, it is wise for you to:
- not guess or speculate as to facts,
- keep answers simple and do not provide information that an agent did not ask for,
- avoid admitting any type of guilt,
- avoid giving a recorded statement,
- provide honest and truthful answers,
- refuse to sign anything until you consult with an attorney,
- refuse an adjuster to downplay injury or pain, and
- consult with a lawyer if there are signs of bad faith.
3. Should I personally negotiate with State Farm agents to resolve insurance claims?
Typically, no. At some point in the claims process, a State Farms claims adjuster may want to enter into negotiations in order to settle a claim.
In simple State Farm auto accident cases, or cases involving mild injuries, you could attempt to successfully negotiate your claims. However, in most cases, you should hire an experienced personal injury attorney to negotiate on your behalf.
Adjusters often use a variety of tactics to avoid paying the full amount of a claim. Attorneys are better situated to spot these tactics and stand up to aggressive adjusters.
4. How can a personal injury attorney help?
Injury lawyers play a critical role when it comes to filing State Farm auto accident claims. They help ensure that you file your claim on time, and they can also manage your ongoing medical care in cases involving serious injuries.
A lawyer helps you gather evidence to discover all liable parties. If necessary, they can appoint experts to help explain this evidence to a judge or jury.
Attorneys can also negotiate a claim on your behalf. In doing so, they can spot and deny lowball offers and settle a case for what it is truly worth. Finally, if State Farm denies a claim, a personal injury lawyer can file a lawsuit against the party that was responsible for causing the accident.
For additional help…
If you or a loved one was injured in an auto accident, we invite you to contact our law firm at the Shouse Law Group. Our attorneys provide consultations and legal advice you can trust.
We know how State Farm operates and we work tirelessly to get you the maximum compensation available for your case.