If you were in a traffic collision in a state with fault-based accident laws, you will need to file a third-party accident claim to recover compensation. This claim will be based on the auto liability coverage of the at-fault driver. If they are covered by Farmers Insurance, you will need to pursue a Farmers accident claim.
Before you connect with Farmers, however, it is a good idea to speak with an attorney. You can notify your own insurance company of the basic facts of the accident, but you need to ensure that you say and do the right thing when it comes to the other driver’s insurer. A car accident lawyer can handle this for you and protect your right to pursue fair compensation.
Farmers Claims Process After a Car Accident
Farmers provides a wide range of insurance and financial services. Headquartered in California, the company has almost 50,000 independent agents nationwide.
While every insurance company has its quirks regarding how they handle the claims process, they all follow the same general steps. These include:
- Assigning an adjuster or representative to the case
- Investigating what happened, gathering evidence, and determining liability
As a part of this second step, the Farmers insurance adjuster may ask to speak with you. You do not have to give a recorded statement – in fact, you should not give one without approval from your attorney.
Beware of Typical Insurance Company Tactics
The information the Farmers representative (or any insurance company representative) wants is anything that shows their policyholder is not liable or not entirely responsible for the crash. They will likely use anything you say against you to minimize your injuries and the value of your claim or to place fault on you.
Valuing Your Case
If the Farmers adjuster determines their policyholder caused the crash, they will:
- Gather information about your injuries and losses
- Put this information into a computer system
- Value your case based on estimates provided by the computer system
This is the number that will be used to make a settlement offer, which is why knowing how much your case is really worth is crucial for fair compensation. While a cash offer of thousands of dollars may seem like justice, you must ensure that it will cover your medical care, future treatment and needs, lost wages, property damage, intangible losses, and more.
The best option is to work with an attorney who will value your case properly and represent your interests throughout the claims process. They can counter-offer this initial settlement number and fight for one that is more appropriate based on the harm you suffered.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-537-8185
Contacting Your Insurer About Your Crash
With most insurance policies, the policyholder must contact their own insurance company and notify them of the crash as soon as possible. If you have Farmers coverage, you have three options for doing this:
- Calling 24/7
- Contacting your local agent
- Reporting your claim online
Remember, you should only provide the basic facts of the crash and never admit fault. If you have an attorney, they can handle this for you. They can also offer advice about filing claims based on any collision or medical care coverage you may have through Farmers.
If you did not suffer injuries and only have property damage, you may want to let Farmers assess your vehicle and handle your repairs under your collision policy. You will need to pay a deductible, but the insurer will seek recovery of their payout and your deductible from the other driver’s insurance company – a process known as subrogation.
You May Need to Sue to Recover a Fair Payout
In some cases, it may seem impossible to negotiate a fair settlement with Farmers or any other auto insurer. If you are working with an attorney, they will discuss your case with you and outline your legal options.
Often, the best option is to sue the at-fault driver and/or other liable parties. This does not necessarily mean that you will have to go to trial or even make a court appearance. However, suing may be able to help you get a better settlement offer, especially when:
- The insurance adjuster refuses a fair and appropriate settlement
- Farmers blames the accident on you or partially on you
- The insurer is dragging their feet, hoping that you miss the deadline to sue
Deadlines vary by state but could be as short as one year after the crash, as is the case in Louisiana (per La. Civ. Code Art. 3492).
Our Team Will Assess Your Legal Options Today for Free
You can speak with a team member from the Morris Bart law firm about your crash and learn more about legal options. In the areas we serve, we happily provide free consultations and handle car accidents based on a contingency fee. This includes all parts of the Gulf South states: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
To get started today, call (800) 537-8185.
to find a Morris Bart office near you.