State Farm Auto Insurance Claims
After getting into a car accident, you should make sure that everyone is fine. You may want to take photographs of the damage and your injuries and gather names of witnesses. You should call the police to the scene, since they can investigate what happened. In some cases, for example, another driver will admit that he was texting when talking to the police officer, even if he does not admit that to you. Or a witness may volunteer to a police officer that she saw the other driver run a stop sign or otherwise violate a safety law. You should exchange contact information and insurance information with the other driver. After a car accident, you may have questions about State Farm auto insurance claims if State Farm is your insurer or the other driver's insurer. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, our Chicago car accident lawyers are ready to provide legal representation.State Farm Auto Insurance Claims
After getting into an accident that causes injuries, you should call for emergency help as needed. You should take photos of the damage and take note of any personal harm. When the police come to the scene, they may be able to get information about what caused the accident that could help you recover compensation for your injuries. For example, they may be able to get information from a witness that shows that the other driver was speeding, looking down at a cell phone, or weaving through traffic before the collision.
Generally, to recover damages in a lawsuit, your injury attorney will need to prove duty, breach of duty, causation, and actual damages. Often, police can ferret out breaches of duty that you may not find on your own.
State Farm would prefer to be called as soon as possible after the accident. Sometimes people have purchased insurance coverage that allows for the recovery of certain items of damage from their own insurer. When you call your own insurer, this is a first-party claim. State Farm will assign your case to a claims representative, who should be able to give you information about the coverage that you have and how it applies to your case. You can ask the State Farm claims representative to whom your first-party claim is assigned about any time limits and whether there is a limit on when you can submit additional information. The claims representative can answer questions about whether the policy that you purchased will pay for a rental car while your car is being repaired. The case will move through the claims process, which can include inspection of your car, examining evidence of property damage and injuries, and payment of the deductible.
However, if you believe that the other driver was at fault and want to claim damages against their insurance policy, this is a third-party claim. Generally, you should not answer the other party's insurance adjuster's questions related to a third-party claim until you have had a chance to consult your own personal injury attorney. This is because Illinois follows a system of modified comparative negligence. Your damages will be reduced by an amount equivalent to your degree of responsibility for the accident. For example, if the other driver is found 75% at fault, you are 25% at fault, and the damages are $100,000, you can recover $75,000 from the other driver's insurer. However, if the jury finds that you are more than 50% responsible for the accident, you will be barred from recovering damages at all. In order to protect its profits, the other driver's insurer will look for ways in which you were to blame, and it will try to make sure that your percentage of fault is found to be as high as possible. The other driver's insurer does not owe you a duty of good faith and fair dealing in connection with your third-party claim. Accordingly, you need to retain an attorney who is looking out for your best interests.Discuss Your Crash with an Experienced Chicago Lawyer
If you are considering making a State Farm auto insurance claim, or a claim with GEICO or another insurer, you should consult an experienced personal injury attorney. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, we represent people in Chicago, Aurora, Springfield, Champaign, Rockford, and Quincy, as well as other areas of Cook, Kane, Sangamon, Champaign, Winnebago, and Adams Counties. You can contact us online or call us at 312-263-6330 or toll-free at 800-444-1525 for a free consultation.