How to File a Car Accident Claim With State Farm
After an auto accident, one of your goals will be to recover compensation for your damages. You will need to take the right steps to do this, including reporting your accident quickly and contacting the correct insurance company. California is a fault state. Your insurance claim will go to the company of the person who caused your car accident. If the at-fault party has State Farm insurance, you can file a claim in a few different ways.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident in California
First, protect your right to obtain financial recovery. Most insurance companies, including State Farm, check to see if a claimant followed a few steps during the claim. One is to obtain immediate medical care. Delaying a trip to a hospital after a car accident could give the insurance company a reason to deny your claim. The insurance claims adjuster State Farm assigns to your case could argue that the delayed care exacerbated your injuries, limiting your available recovery.
Check for injuries immediately after an auto accident. Go to the nearest hospital for a checkup, even if you think you are uninjured. Some injuries can take days to show symptoms. Do not tell a police officer or a State Farm insurance agent that you do not have any injuries until you have seen a doctor. Call the police and write down your police report number to give to an insurance agent later.
Deadline on Filing a State Farm Auto Accident Claim
State Farm does not have a specific deadline for filing a car accident claim. It does, however, require a claimant to file an initial report as soon as possible. This typically means within a few days after the accident. You can call State Farm to start your claim immediately, while still at the scene of the crash. Then, you can follow up with the agent as you learn more details about the car accident. Waiting too long to file could give State Farm a reason to deny your claim. You may also wish to consult with a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles about additional legal options, such as filing a lawsuit.
To file your claim with State Farm, call the phone number on the at-fault driver’s insurance card. This will generally connect you to the specific agent in charge of the driver’s policy. If you do not have this number, dial 1-800-SF-CLAIM (732-5246) to file a claim. You can call this number 24/7 to report an auto accident. You can also call the company toll free at 1-800-782-8332, or visit the company’s website for help with a claim. Be prepared to tell the agent some facts about the case, including the at-fault driver’s policy number, license plate number, description of the vehicles involved and the police report number.
How to Deal With State Farm Insurance Claims Adjusters
When on the phone with agents from State Farm or any other insurance company, do not admit fault for the auto accident. Do not guess or speculate as to how the accident occurred. Stick to the facts as you know them. Do not give the insurance adjuster any more information than what he or she is requesting. If you do not have the answer to a question, answer, “I don’t know.” Giving State Farm too much information about the crash could lead to accidentally saying something that limits your recovery. Be honest, but keep your answers short and succinct.
Remember, an insurance company will not want to maximize your financial recovery. The claims adjuster may be friendly, but his or her goal will be to limit the amount of money the insurer has to pay you for damages. Be careful when reporting your auto accident to State Farm. Do not say anything that could be incriminating. When in doubt about how to talk to an adjuster or negotiate a fair car accident settlement, work with a Los Angeles car accident attorney during the insurance process. A lawyer will know how to negotiate with State Farm for fair and full compensation.