Every driver in California must carry an auto insurance policy that includes the state’s minimum coverage requirements. If a driver causes an accident and damages another driver’s vehicle and/or injures them, the victim has the right to file a claim against the driver’s insurance policy. Dealing with insurance companies is rarely easy, but some of the leading insurance companies in the US have gained solid reputations for claim payouts and customer service. State Farm is one of the most popular auto insurance companies in California, and many drivers have auto insurance policies through State Farm.
If you are involved in an auto accident in California, it’s essential to know the first steps to take after the incident to ensure the fullest recovery possible. If you must file a claim against the at-fault driver’s policy and they have State Farm auto insurance, you can likely expect a relatively easy claim process. However, it is still essential to know the first steps to take after an accident and the benefits of working with an experienced attorney for filing your claim.
How Does Auto Insurance Work in California?
California is a fault state when it comes to auto accidents, meaning every driver must have liability coverage that comes into play if they cause an accident. The minimum coverage requirements in California are:
- At least $15,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for a single person in a single accident.
- At least $30,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for all persons injured in a single accident.
- At least $5,000 in property damage liability coverage.
Drivers are also strongly encouraged to purchase under insured and uninsured driver coverage. This coverage option comes into play when an at-fault driver does not have insurance or if their policy does not meet the state’s minimum coverage requirements. If another driver causes an accident with your vehicle, you will file an insurance claim against their policy to recover your losses. However, you may need to use your own under insured/uninsured motorist coverage if the at-fault driver does not have insurance or adequate coverage for your losses.
After an accident, obtain the other driver’s insurance details immediately and report the accident to the police. California law requires drivers to report all accidents that result in death, injury, or substantial property damage. If you aren’t sure whether you need to report an accident, it is always best to do so to ensure there is a police report of the incident on file. You may need this later to secure an insurance settlement from State Farm.
How Can an Auto Accident Attorney Help?
You might think that you don’t need legal counsel to resolve a car accident, and this may be true for very minor accidents that only cause cosmetic damage to the vehicles involved. However, if you suffered injuries or the damage to your vehicle is severe, it’s best to consult an attorney before accepting any kind of insurance settlement. Your lawyer can help you secure an insurance claim payout much faster than you could on your own. They will also help you explore any additional legal options that may be available in your situation.
State Farm is generally an easy insurance company to approach, and the company has solid marks across the country when it comes to positive claimant interactions and timely payment on valid claims. However, it is always best to consult a lawyer before accepting an insurance settlement. Your attorney will review the policy in question and ensure you receive the maximum compensation available for your damages.
FAQs About Filing an Auto Insurance Claim with State Farm in California
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim With State Farm?
State Farm does not enforce a strict time limit for filing an auto insurance claim. However, State Farm does require that claimants notify them of accidents as soon as possible. It is typically best to notify an insurance carrier about an accident as soon as possible, but do not discuss your claim until you have consulted with an attorney. State Farm is typically considered one of the most flexible insurance carriers when it comes to the time in which you have to file an auto insurance claim.
How Do I File a Claim Against a State Farm Auto Insurance Policy?
State Farm allows claimants to file their auto insurance claims over the phone, online, and through their mobile app. Use whichever format works best for you, but be sure to consult an attorney and gather as much evidence and documentation as possible before submitting your claim. Sending a robustly detailed claim will streamline the claim investigation process and get your settlement check to you faster.
Is State Farm Good at Paying Claims?
State Farm has generally good marks from customer service rating authorities when it comes to paying out auto insurance claim settlements. The time required for a claimant to receive their check typically depends on the complexity of the claim and the time State Farm takes to investigate the claim. Your attorney can streamline this process and help you explore further legal options when insurance alone can’t cover your losses.
How Long Will It Take to Get My Settlement from State Farm?
State Farm typically provides settlement offers within 30 to 45 days of receiving a claimant’s demand letter. The more detailed your demand letter is, and the more supporting information you provide with it, the faster you will receive your settlement offer. Once settlement is reached with State Farm, it may take a few more weeks to actually receive your check.
Ultimately, it is never easy to deal with insurance companies after an accident, especially if you have sustained painful injuries and face inability to work and expensive medical bills. Your insurance claim through State Farm may be relatively easy to handle and you may receive your settlement check sooner than you expected. However, you may need a Sacramento car accident lawyer to help you take further legal action beyond insurance.
An experienced California car accident attorney can help you compile a civil action against the driver who injured you when their insurance doesn’t cover your losses. Contact the Kreeger Law Firm today and schedule a consultation with our team and learn more about the legal services we can offer after an accident.