The stress of being injured in a car accident can continue to build on itself when you realize all of the necessary actions you must take in order to take care of your personal injuries. From reporting an insurance claim to making sure you are offered the right settlement to apply to your damages—it’s exhausting. If you work with State Farm in your car accident case, you will be dealing with a very large insurance company that provides more home and auto coverage than any other insurance provider in the country.
One of the most important steps in any car accident claim is determining liability—that is, who is at fault for the accident. Georgia uses the modified comparative fault rule when determining fault in automobile accidents. For example, if you are speeding down the road and someone negligently pulls out in front of you, State Farm may determine that it’s 90 percent the other driver’s fault, but that you are 10 percent at fault for speeding. The way that this factors into insurance claims is important to understand. Based on the percentage of fault, if any, the insurance company will deduct that ten percent from your determined settlement. However, you may not be able to recover damages if you are 50% or more at fault.
After that State Farm will begin to investigate and assess your personal injury damages (along with the damages to the car and any other property damage). In this step, there are two kinds of damages that are taken into account. There are general damages and special damages. General damages are specified as noneconomic damages like pain and suffering which are difficult to calculate the monetary value. Special damages are economic losses like property damage, wage loss, and medical expenses. There types of damages are often easier to accurately estimate.
Unlike many other insurance companies, State Farm employs their own method of assessing monetary value to these damages. While this is a positive because that means your settlement is being calculated by a real person who is learning about your personal experience and not a machine, it becomes even more important that you are cautious when giving a statement to State Farm. Because the extent of your injuries cannot be realized immediately following the auto accident, you should be careful not to minimize the severity of your injuries, as this can affect the resulting settlement you are offered.
Too often, the settlement offered is nowhere near the appropriate amount for covering medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In the event that this happens to you, you have a right to contact an attorney to help you towards receiving proper compensation. Of course, it is always best to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident, even before you get to the settlement process.
We don’t want you to have a negative view of State Farm, whether it is your insurance company or the other driver’s, but we want you to be aware of the instances that can take place in the claims process that—more often than not—will not tip in your favor. If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury from a car accident, you have the right to contact an attorney who can go over your case and determine the proper settlement value. You need to focus on your own recovery and let us take care of the rest. Brogdon Champion, LLC can help you. Give us a call today and let’s get started on getting you the right settlement for your personal injury case.