Posted in Our Blog on February 18, 2019
In the state of Louisiana, a driver must carry at least $15,000 in bodily injury liability insurance per person, $30,000 per accident, and $25,000 in property damage coverage. State Farm is one of the most popular auto insurers in Louisiana. When it comes to seeking damage restitution after a car accident in Louisiana, victims will contact the insurance company of the at-fault driver. Then, they will have to carefully navigate the settlement process to achieve the best results possible.
State Farm, like most auto insurers, requires its policyholders to report the wreck as soon as possible. This does not give an exact time frame, but typically must be within a few weeks of the accident. If someone else caused your car accident, get that driver’s insurance information and call that driver’s insurance company. Most insurance ID cards have the phone number for reporting an accident, or you can file a claim online through State Farm’s website.
Be ready to give information about the accident during the initial claims process, such as where you were, when the crash occurred, whom the crash involved, and what you believe happened. Do not admit fault while filing your claim. Be honest, but stick only to the facts. Do not speculate about who or what caused the crash. Answer questions as simply as possible, and do not offer details or information unless the agent asks.
After you file your initial report with the at-fault party’s insurance company, State Farm will assign your case to a claims adjuster. The adjuster will either work for the insurance company or for a third party State Farm has hired. The adjuster will review the details of the claim, and may contact the claimant for further information. Many claims adjusters will try to convince claimants to issue recorded statements about their accidents over the phone. Politely decline the opportunity to do so, as this could give State Farm a reason to deny your claim later on. No rule obligates you to give a recorded statement.
State Farm’s adjuster will review all the facts of your case, and eventually decide whether to accept or deny your claim. If you receive a denial, State Farm will give you the reason for the denial. State Farm and other insurers often deny or delay claims unfairly. You will have the opportunity to file an appeal. An acceptance will come with a settlement offer. State Farm will calculate the amount of a settlement based on estimated vehicle repair options, medical costs, and the terms of the insurance policy.
You do not have to accept the first settlement offer. In fact, most attorneys recommend claimants do not say yes to first settlements. They are often lower than what the case is worth, since the insurance company wants to save money as much as possible. Instead, explain that you wish to speak to a lawyer first. Then, contact a New Orleans car accident attorney. Schedule a free case review and receive an accurate estimate of what your case could be worth. A lawyer will give you an amount you can trust.
Unless you have experience negotiating with insurance companies, hire a lawyer to handle settlement negotiations with State Farm. A lawyer knows how to maximize your compensation for serious injuries and expensive property damages. A lawyer can take care of communications with State Farm while you focus on healing. If settlement negotiations do not work, a lawyer can take your car accident case to court for fair recovery.
If you win your case and State Farm issues a settlement or judgment award check, expect to receive the money within two weeks. Your lawyer will handle paying off your debts to medical providers, attorneys, and more, then give you what is left of the recovery. Entrusting a New Orleans accident lawyer with the settlement process can help you obtain a victory.