State Farm Insurance Claims → Everything You Need To Know
State Farm is one of the largest insurers in the United States. Many New Jersey drivers carry State Farm insurance policies, so the company is intimately involved in many traffic disputes.
As a leading New Jersey car accident law firm, we have sat across from State Farm in many cases. We understand exactly how this company operates and want to use our knowledge to help you get the maximum compensation you are entitled to for your injuries.
Reporting an Accident to State Farm
New Jersey is a “no fault” state, which means that if you have been in an accident, you turn to your own insurance to get compensation.
If you are the victim in the crash, the other driver might have State Farm as their insurer. This means you may need to make a claim with them for the accident. You can go about this in two ways:
- Get ahold of your own insurer and report the accident. They can then file a claim with State Farm for you.
- Reach out to State Farm yourself to report the accident.
If you choose option #2, you’ll need some information handy so you can file a claim:
- The insurance policy number for the other driver
- A copy of the police report for the accident
- Any pictures of the accident
- Identification and contact information for witnesses to the crash
State Farm should assign you a claim number, which you should hold on to. This is the number you will need to help track your claim as it works its way through the system.
What You Need to Know about State Farm
State Farm did not grow so large by making generous settlement offers to injured motorists. Instead, State Farm is like every other insurance company in the United States—intensely interested in its bottom line. This means the company will try to reject your claim if they can.
State Farm insurance claims begin with assigning your case to a claims adjuster. This person can investigate what happened in order to determine liability.
If the State Farm driver is not responsible for the accident, then State Farm can get out of paying compensation. Also, if your injuries are less serious than you think, then State Farm can pay less compensation.
State Farm has many techniques for finding out information to use against you. You should have an attorney help you make a claim and handle all communications with State Farm to protect your right to compensation.
Giving Recorded Statements to State Farm
One technique State Farm and other insurers use to minimize claims against them is to ask for a recorded statement. It is usually a mistake to give one. Here’s why:
The insurer will try to get information out of you that helps them get out of paying a fair settlement.
For example, the insurer might say, “You weren’t as injured as you initially thought, right?” or “your pain isn’t that bad….” If you are not paying close attention to what the adjuster is saying, then you can agree to these statements even though they are false.
The adjuster might also try to get you to say something that sounds like you are accepting responsibility for the crash. This could allow State Farm to reduce the amount they pay you or get out of offering a settlement altogether!
How to Maximize Your Compensation from State Farm
There are many things injured motorists can do to get a fair settlement for State Farm insurance claims. Some steps to take include:
- Call the police out to the accident soon after it happens. It’s the law, and a police report is very useful for establishing basic information about the crash.
- Keep detailed records of all money spent because of the accident. For example, you should hang onto all medical bills, prescription drug receipts, repair estimates, and proof that you missed work. Many of our clients receive compensation for all these losses.
- Carefully document the accident’s effect on your life. Medical records can establish your physical injuries, but what about your pain and suffering? You should keep a journal where you daily document your pain—its location, severity, and how it has disrupted your life.
Them make sure to hire a lawyer. A lawyer will handle all communications with State Farm and can negotiate a settlement on your behalf.
How State Farm Lowballs Our Clients
State Farm is not an unethical company. However, there is a clear reason why they don’t offer fair compensation—they undervalue your pain and suffering.
After an accident, you can receive money for:
- Medical care related to your injuries
- Lost wages, if you had to take time off to recover
- Damage to your property, such as your car
These are “hard” economic expenses that there is very little disagreement about. Sure, State Farm might claim you didn’t need all the medical care you received, but they generally come close to a fair amount for these economic losses.
Under New Jersey law, you can also receive compensation for pain and suffering. And it is here that State Farm and other insurers will undervalue your claim. We have seen State Farm offer some injured motorists little to no money for their pain and suffering, which is clearly unacceptable.
Without an attorney, you might make a mistake and quickly sign a settlement offer. Remember this: once you sign a settlement agreement, you will not be getting any more money from State Farm for that accident. You need to get a fair settlement, now, because you won’t get another bite at the apple.
Need Help with State Farm Claims?
Don’t go up against an insurance company alone. At O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble, LLC, we have negotiated with all of New Jersey’s largest insurers, and we know how to drive a hard bargain. With us by your side, you will have someone looking out for your best interests.
Contact us today. We offer a free consultation with is easy to schedule.