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How to File A Car Accident Claim with State Farm
Posted in Car Accidents on November 6, 2020
After a car accident, you can suffer from serious hardships. You may need to repair extensive vehicle damage or replace your car completely. You may need to seek medical treatment for your injuries that your insurance may not cover, and you may need to miss weeks of work while you heal. These factors can also contribute to serious pain and emotional distress — and you deserve justice for your injuries.
If the driver responsible for your damages is a State Farm policyholder, you can file a claim against his or her insurance to seek the compensation you need to recover. Call Colburn Law today to discuss your claim and speak to a Seattle car accident attorney.
Filing a Claim with State Farm in Washington State
Washington is a fault-based car insurance state, which means that you have three options to seek compensation after an accident someone else caused. You can file a lawsuit against the negligent driver in civil court, you can file a claim with your own insurance company if you have the appropriate coverage, or you can file a claim with the driver’s insurance company. Most car accident claims begin in the insurance stage and progress to a lawsuit if necessary.
If the negligent driver is a State Farm policyholder, you will need to take the following steps to report your claim.
- First, you will need to report the accident to State Farm. You can initiate your claim over the phone, online, or via the State Farm mobile app.
- After you file your claim, State Farm will assign an adjuster to your case. He or she will contact you and ask you questions about your accident. You will also need to supply evidence to the adjuster.
- The adjuster will conduct an investigation and provide a settlement offer based on your property damage and medical expenses. You can choose to accept, negotiate, or decline this offer at this stage.
What to Expect During the Insurance Process
Although the insurance process may seem straightforward in writing, it can be difficult to secure a sufficient claim. The company is the entity paying for your damages and it is not in their best interest to pay a maximum amount. There are many times during the process where the company can justify a lower settlement, including the following.
- The company may ask you to provide a statement before you know the true extent of your injuries and base your settlement on this evidence.
- If you discover evidence later on that contradicts your previous statement, the company could question your credibility.
- If you fail to seek medical attention soon after the accident, the company could question the validity of your injuries.
- The company may try to find evidence that proves that you were responsible for the accident, negating your right to compensation.
What Happens If State Farm Denies Your Claim?
At the conclusion of your State Farm claim, the insurance company may issue a denial. State Farm can deny your claim for several reasons, such as unclear liability or inconsistencies in your statements. A denial does not prevent you from recovering compensation, however; you can choose to appeal the decision or escalate your claim to a lawsuit.
An attorney can help you prepare for both of these stages. Your lawyer can file the appeal on your behalf and negotiate a fair settlement. If he or she suspects bad faith practices are taking place, your attorney can send a detailed letter to the company demanding a fair process. Your lawyer can also evaluate whether your case would benefit from going to trial and initiate the lawsuit process on your behalf.
A Seattle personal injury lawyer can protect and represent your best interests during each stage of the insurance process from the beginning. Immediately after your accident, contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible to begin the insurance process.