Having to file a claim with the insurance company is an often-necessary aspect of the majority of Pittsburgh car accident claims. Every car accident insurance claim is different, but the ways that specific insurers handle their claims are often the same.
If you need to file an insurance accident claim with State Farm in Pittsburgh or anywhere else in Western Pennsylvania, you may be wondering what to expect from this process. State Farm accident claims can be straightforward, but this large insurance company is not afraid to force cases to court either. Learn more about insurance accident claims with State Farm now, so you can decide if you want to seek legal representation.
What Can You Expect When Filing an Accident Claim with State Farm?
Filing a State Farm auto insurance claim is usually par for the course. State Farm is not generally known for being particularly harsh about how they handle claims, but the bottom line is that they are an insurance company. And like all insurance companies, every time they pay out on a claim, they are losing money.
Pennsylvania is a modified no-fault state for auto insurance purposes under75 PA Cons Stat § 1702, but dealing with your own insurance company does not necessarily make the claims process any easier. This means that your own carrier is responsible for your medical bills and possibly wage loss or other first-party benefits up to your limits of liability without having to prove fault. All other damages must be recovered from the at-fault driver and his or her insurer based upon proof that the driver was negligent. When filing a claim with State Farm, be sure to file it promptly, as failure to report your claim in a timely manner could be used as a reason to deny your claim.
How a Lawyer Can Help Protect You
It may be in your best interest to review your case with an attorney. Insurance adjusters can be aggressive in some cases, with continued requests for recorded statements. If a State Farm adjuster asks you to provide them with a recorded statement, you are not always required to do so. Politely decline and direct them to your car accident lawyer, who can advise whether or not to give a statement in your particular case and ensure that your words are not manipulated or used against you.
For a free legal consultation, call 412-661-1400
What Factors Go Into State Farm’s Assessment of Fault?
In the case of a liability claim, you can expect State Farm to try to place as much blame for the accident on you as possible, due to the fact that Pennsylvania follows a modified comparative negligence system under 42 PA Cons Stat § 7102. State Farm may also question whether your injuries were caused by the collision.
In Pennsylvania, you can share up to 50% of the blame for your car accident and still collect compensation for your damages. But your injury settlement will be reduced by your portion of faults. If State Farm can show that you are partially at fault for the accident, they can get away with reducing or denying your claim. If you are more than 50% negligent, you may not be able to recover from the other driver.
Keeping this in mind, there are some factors that State Farm will consider when assessing fault for a car accident. These may include reviewing:
- Physician statements
- X-rays, MRIs, or other diagnostic imaging
- Consistency in your complaints and treatment along with your following the advice of your doctors
- Your prior condition
- Damage to your vehicle and any other involved vehicles
- Accident photos and any video footage captured by nearby residences or businesses
- Police reports
- Statements to the insurance company or at the scene
These are only a few types of evidence that could be used to help State Farm assess fault for your car accident. State Farm will likely want their own team of doctors to analyze your medical records before they make any type of insurance settlement offer and certainly prior to trial.
What If State Farm does Not Agree to Settle Your Claim Fairly?
It is far more common than you might think for State Farm and other insurance companies to try to avoid paying a claim or making a low offer. In the event that State Farm is unwilling to settle your claim reasonably, your car accident lawyer can pursue legal action against them. However, you should not wait for a denial or low offer before seeking an attorney. By that point, it may be harder to handle the case and properly investigate it.
State Farm has a network of experienced lawyers to handle car accident lawsuits. With a highly experienced Pittsburgh car accident lawyer who has dealt with State Farm insurance claims on your side, the company may be more compelled to compensate you fairly.
Contact a Pittsburgh Car Accident Lawyer Today
When you need to file an insurance accident claim with State Farm, you want to be sure that you do not put your injury settlement at risk. A dedicated Pittsburgh car accident lawyer at Berger and Green is ready to help protect your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve.
Our firm offers free, no-obligation consultations to car accident victims across Pittsburgh and nearby cities. To discuss the details of your case and learn more about your legal options, call our office today.