When you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, you are unfortunately thrown into a situation that requires negotiating with an insurance company. Insurance companies can be notoriously difficult to deal with after a motor vehicle accident—even if you are not at fault.
To make a profit, insurance companies, like State Farm, need the cost of premiums to exceed the number of proceeds that are paid out. Therefore, after an accident, the insurance company’s goal is to pay the smallest settlement possible to crash victims.
The Claims Process Against State Farm
You will be required to negotiate a settlement or possibly to go trial against State Farm if the at-fault driver in your accident was insured by State Farm.
Not long after your accident, you will probably receive a phone call from a State Farm insurance adjuster. This adjuster will ask you questions about the accident, about your injuries, and about any medical treatment, you have sought.
You should not discuss the case in detail with the State Farm adjuster. Any statements you make could be used against you to lower the value of your claim—even if you think you are helping your case. It is best to explain that you have hired a California personal injury attorney and that all future discussions about the case must be conducted with your attorney.
Your attorney will create a demand package to send to State Farm. Once you have completed your medical treatment and have completed your list of damages, your attorney will draft a letter and send copies of all of your expenses to State Farm. The demand letter describes the accident, its impact on you, and how the at-fault driver is responsible for these damages.
If it looks as if your long-term health will be affected by the motor vehicle accident, an estimate of the cost of future medical care may also be included in the demand package.
Once State Farm receives the demand package, it must provide you with a response. In some cases, State Farm outright denies the claim. In others, it may offer a much lower settlement amount.
If State Farm refuses to settle the claim for a reasonable amount that takes all of your damages into account, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit.
Filing a Lawsuit Against State Farm
To file a lawsuit against State Farm, your attorney drafts pleadings and submits them to the proper court. This document, which is known as a complaint, that lays out the facts of the accident, how the at-fault driver was responsible for the accident, and the damages you are seeking.
State Farm has a set amount of time to respond to the accident by filing a document called an answer.
Once the complaint and answer have been filed, the parties are in the discovery phase. During discovery, the parties may request documents and other types of evidence from each other. The discovery phase is also when depositions and many types of hearings are scheduled.
After the parties have exchanged all of the necessary evidence in the case, they may again engage in settlement negotiations. If the parties cannot agree on a number, it will be necessary to go to trial.
How Does an Attorney Help with California Claims Against State Farm?
It is true that many car accident victims negotiate with State Farm insurance adjusters themselves. However, this is often not wise. California car accident attorneys are experienced in negotiating with insurance companies like State Farm and know what evidence needs to be presented to strengthen the claim.
In addition, once you have hired an attorney, State Farm may take your claim more seriously. Hiring an attorney shows that you are serious about pursuing your claim and will file a lawsuit and go to trial if necessary. Insurance adjusters may be more willing to work with you in this case.
If You Have Been Injured by a State Farm Driver, Contact Kuvara Law Firm Today
At Kuvara Law Firm, we are not intimidated by insurance companies like State Farm. We have fought insurance companies both in settlement negotiations and in trial and have obtained favorable results for many of our clients. To schedule a free consultation with our San Rafael team, contact us today.