State Farm Personal Injury Claims

Posted on November 1, 2022 in Personal Injury

If you suffered injuries because of someone else’s actions, you might need to file a personal injury claim to recover compensation for your medical care, lost income, and other damages. When the at-fault party’s insurer is State Farm, you must follow their specific policies and procedures.

Seeking help from a personal injury law firm can make navigating the State Farm personal injury claims process easier. You can focus on overcoming your injuries, healing, and returning to your previous activities while your attorney handles the claim and seeks the compensation you deserve. Most law firms provide free case consultations for accident victims.

File a Claim With State Farm Based on Your Personal Injuries

When a driver or another party represented by State Farm causes your injuries in a crash, you will file a claim based on their liability policy. This policy covers victims of an accident the policyholder causes. State Farm has an online portal where you can submit your initial information, or you can contact them by phone. If you work with an attorney, they can protect your rights by managing all communication with the insurer.

Once State Farm is aware of your accident and has general information about your injuries, they will assign a claims adjuster to the case.

State Farm tasks this adjuster with:

  • Determining what happened
  • Recording interviews with the victim and other parties
  • Gathering other vital details
  • Putting a settlement value on the case

We recommend only providing the basic facts of what happened, such as when and where the incident occurred. If there is a police accident report or other evidence, they can learn any other details they need. You do not have to provide any details or give State Farm an interview.

Calculating a Fair Settlement Range

You must understand the fair settlement range of your claim before this process begins, because the insurance adjuster will calculate their own value—likely far below a fair payout. You need to know when to accept an offer and when to fight for a higher payment.

Understanding your recoverable damages is key.

These could include:

  • Medical treatment and related expenses
  • Future care costs
  • Income losses
  • Reduced ability to work and earn
  • Vehicle repair or replacement costs
  • Miscellaneous expenses with receipts
  • Pain and suffering

Some of these losses are more difficult to calculate than others. When it comes to future losses or intangible damages, it’s difficult to know their actual value on your own. However, these are often two of the largest types of recoverable damages.

Working with an attorney can make the calculation process seem effortless, but it’s because law firms deal with cases like these daily. They know how to put a fair price on your losses.

State Farm Will Investigate Your Claim and Injuries

State Farm Personal Injury ClaimsOnce State Farm receives your claim and assigns an adjuster, the adjuster will investigate what happened and seek evidence to show how much the company should (or shouldn’t) pay.

The adjuster needs to understand:

  • What happened before, during, and after the incident
  • The role their policyholder played
  • The recoverable damages
  • The value of your expenses and losses

When an adjuster investigates an accident, they are not looking for evidence that supports your claim. They work for State Farm, not for you or their policyholder. Therefore, they want to pay as little as possible to protect their employer’s financial standing. For this reason, the evidence they use to show what happened could differ dramatically from what you and your attorney use to tell your side of the story.

Types of Evidence in Personal Injury Cases

The evidence used to show what happened and who is legally liable could include:

  • Accident reports filed by first responders
  • Eyewitness interviews
  • Physical evidence
  • Videos or photos
  • Accident reconstruction
  • Scene survey
  • Relevant medical records
  • Documentation of the victim’s expenses and losses

You Don’t Have to Give a Recorded Statement

If State Farm asks you for a recorded statement, most attorneys recommend not doing so. You are not obligated to give the insurer any information or cooperate with their investigation. They can learn everything they need to know from other evidence in the case. The truth is that giving a recorded statement cannot help your case—an insurance company will not increase your payout because they heard your side of the story.

However, they will use your statement against you whenever possible, which could reduce the value of your claim and cause the adjuster to refuse a fair settlement. It isn’t only State Farm—all insurance company representatives seek evidence to support their policyholder or reduce the case’s value. Using your statement against you is just one thing an insurance adjuster might do to reduce the amount of money the company owes you.

Investigating a personal injury claim does take time. It will take you or your lawyer time to gather evidence, too. However, State Farm cannot unreasonably delay your claim. Sometimes, insurance adjusters try to drag it out as long as possible because they know victims need money quickly to pay their bills and cover costs. Contact an attorney about your claim if you believe the adjuster is dragging their feet.

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Personal Injury Claims Often Lead to Offers and Settlement Negotiations

When an injured victim files a claim with State Farm, the company’s adjuster investigates what happened and determines how much the company will offer for a payout. This initial offer is generally far below what the victim and their attorney—if they have one—demanded or believe they deserve.

This process has several possible outcomes:

  • The victim negotiates for a higher payout
  • The victim accepts the offer
  • State Farm refuses to negotiate, and a lawsuit is possible

Generally, the best option is to negotiate unless your lawyer offers differing advice. State Farm and other insurance companies use many tactics to try to reduce the value of a claim. Understanding and avoiding these tactics are essential for a fair financial recovery. They include:

Making an Early Offer

State Farm knows that victims want to wrap up their insurance claim and get their money as soon as possible, so they use this fact to their advantage. Insurers often offer an early settlement to injured victims. They throw out a lowball number and hope the claimant doesn’t know not to accept it.

Early offers usually occur while the victim is still undergoing treatment, and there’s no way to know how much the accident will cost them over time. Settling quickly almost always helps the insurer, not the victim.

Blaming Someone Else

Insurance companies sometimes try to blame others for their policyholder’s bad behavior—anything to allow them to reduce the value or deny the claim. Having strong evidence in your case is imperative because of this possibility. You need to show that the at-fault party is the only option for liability.

Others that State Farm could try to blame include you, other victims, agencies tasked with maintaining the scene, product manufacturers, and more.

Denying Some (or All) of the Claim

Sometimes, State Farm will deny part of a claim, refusing to pay for certain expenses or losses despite documentation they occurred because of the incident.

These could include:

  • Certain medical care costs
  • Future treatment needs
  • Certain income losses
  • Miscellaneous expenses
  • Certain types of non-economic damages

When this occurs, it could affect your ability to recover fair compensation. You do not want to pay current or future care costs on your own, so a fair payout is worth fighting for. To get fair compensation in a personal injury insurance claim, you must know how much your case is worth.

In addition, you need to understand that you have a right to sue. Sometimes, State Farm does not take accident victims seriously. They do not believe they will fight for the payout they deserve, so the adjuster takes advantage.

Knowing how much your case is worth and what you need to cover your expenses greatly reduces this risk. An attorney can help you determine a fair settlement range if you have questions or do not know how to value your intangible damages.

Working With an Attorney on Your State Farm Personal Injury Claim

NTL-top-40-40-memberWorking with an attorney is the best way to protect your rights during the insurance claims process. Having a legal team on your side to protect your rights and fight for your best interests is a wise decision. Lawyers know how the insurance industry works, the quirks of each major insurance company, and how insurance adjusters protect their company’s bottom line.

A personal injury lawyer can advocate for you and your financial health throughout the claims process.

They can also take steps like these to secure justice in your case through a fair payout:

  • Handling all communication with State Farm on your behalf
  • Ensuring that you do not say or do anything to jeopardize your payout
  • Investigating what happened and gathering evidence
  • Documenting your damages and calculating a fair settlement range
  • Demanding fair compensation from the insurer

Your attorney will manage all settlement negotiations with State Farm. While you will have the final decision on all offers, your lawyer can provide guidance, so you know how much your injuries will cost you and what a fair settlement looks like. They can continue negotiations until the adjuster provides a fair settlement offer or your attorney decides it is time to consider other options.

Settlement talks often continue while law firms prepare to file a lawsuit and even after they file. In fact, filing a lawsuit sometimes makes a settlement more likely. State Farm could realize that you are serious and increase their offer to avoid going to trial.

When Do I Need to Sue the Liable Party?

Under some circumstances, suing the liable party is necessary—especially when the insurer will not pay a fair settlement or does not accept that the policyholder is at fault.

Other reasons for filing a lawsuit could include:

  • The deadline to sue is approaching
  • There are disagreements about fault
  • Your attorney identifies other reasons why a lawsuit is necessary

If your attorney believes that you should sue, they will discuss the possibility with you and explain why. They can handle the entire process for you while fighting for the compensation you deserve. Keep in mind that many lawsuits do not go to trial—a settlement is possible even after suing. Your attorney can continue to work with State Farm to settle the claim if it’s the best option for you.

Using Your State Farm Coverage to Help You Recover Compensation

If you suffered injuries in a car accident and have State Farm collision insurance, you can ask the insurer to file a claim based on your policy. Doing so allows them to pay for your injuries and go after the at-fault driver’s insurance company to recoup their losses. This process is known as subrogation.

Subrogation is possible if you have full coverage insurance, including with State Farm. You will need to pay a deductible, which is unnecessary if you file your claim based on the at-fault driver’s insurance. However, many victims get a refund for the deductible when their insurer recoups their losses from the other insurance company.

Subrogation can make the claims process much easier. You can even begin your claim on the State Farm app or website. It’s still important to monitor the status of your claim and only accept a fair settlement that fully compensates you for your losses. Even though you are a policyholder, that does not mean an insurance company will pay you fairly.

Let a Personal Injury Attorney Manage Your State Farm Claim

Bob Boatman Personal Injury Attorney

Robert W. Boatman, Personal Injury Attorney

When an attorney manages your insurance claim, you can count on them to handle every step of the process. You can focus on healing while your attorney focuses on recovering the money to pay for your treatment and other expenses.

Most personal injury law firms offer free case reviews and represent clients on a contingency fee basis. You should not have to pay anything upfront to get representation in your claim or lawsuit. Contact an attorney to learn more about your options.