A party to an auto accident can initiate a claim with State Farm by contacting the insurer directly (at 1-800-sf-claim), by visiting their website, or by using the State Farm mobile app.
If accident victims are successful in their auto claims, then State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company may have to compensate them for:
- medical payments and expenses,
- lost wages,
- lost earning capacity,
- property damage,
- out-of-pocket expenses, and
- pain and suffering.
Claimants may have to speak with a State Farm agent at some point in the life of their claims. In doing so, they should avoid providing too many details or information not necessarily asked of. Adjusters have a reputation of using any bit of information to deny a State Farm auto claim.
It is usually best for a claimant to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to assist in the State Farm claim process. Lawyers can:
- help clients gather information to identify liable parties,
- negotiate claims on behalf of their clients, and
- file a lawsuit if negotiations break down or State Farm denies a claim.
Our California car accident attorneys will discuss the following in this article:
- 1. What should an accident victim do immediately after a car crash?
- 2. Can an auto accident victim speak with a State Farm Insurance rep?
- 3. Should claimants personally negotiate with state farm agents to resolve insurance claims?
- 4. How can a personal injury attorney help?
1. What should an accident victim do immediately after a car crash?
If a motorist was seriously hurt in an auto accident, he/she must seek emergency medical care as soon as possible.
If there were only minor injuries, a victim should remain at the scene of the accident and collect:
- the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy number or a copy of his/her 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.
The accident victim should then visit an urgent care center or make an appointment with his/her primary care physician. This is true even if a victim has no signs of injury. Sometimes serious medical conditions can develop with no initial symptoms.
Shortly after the accident (hopefully within 24 hours of it), an accident victim should report the incident to State Farm. This is how people initiate State Farm claims and the claims process.
Note that there is a State Farm insurance claim time limit. If a person fails to report an accident quickly, the victim may lose his/her right to file a claim in the future. Injury victims can start a claim by calling one of the following State Farm claim phone numbers: 1-800-state-farm or 1-800-sf-claim. They can also file a claim online or by using State Farm’s mobile app.
Sometimes the police do not come to the scene of a non-severe accident. If this was the case, a person should contact their local police office and file a police report of the accident.
2. Can an auto accident victim speak with a State Farm Insurance rep?
Yes. Accident victims usually have to speak with a State Farm insurance claims adjuster early in the claims process to provide basic information.
But 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 claimants should be careful in their communications with State Farm. They should avoid giving a rep any reason for denying a claim.
If a person must speak with an adjuster, it is wise for him or her to:
- not guess or speculate as to facts,
- keep answers simple and do not provide information that an agent did not ask of,
- avoid admitting any type of guilt,
- avoid giving a recorded statement,
- provide honest and truthful answers,
- refuse to sign anything until he/she consults with an attorney,
- refuse an adjuster to downplay injury or pain, and
- consult with a lawyer if signs of bad faith.
3. Should claimants 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, accident victims could attempt to successfully negotiate their claims.
However, in most cases, claimants should hire an experienced personal injury attorney to negotiate on their 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 injury victims file their claim on time. They can also manage their ongoing medical care in cases involving serious injuries.
A lawyer helps clients 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 a client’s 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 both free 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.