State Farm's Blog
Did you know State Farm has a blog? They don't call it a blog. Instead, it is a learning center that educates consumers with "articles, discussions, videos, and financial calculators to help you make informed decisions" about car insurance, what to do after an accident, and so forth.
You know how these things generally read. One recent post is on "How to Handle Parking Lot Accidents." There is not one piece of information you could not figure out on your own if you have a 6th grade education or equivalent experience. But whatever, I have a few things like that on our website, too.
But here's the funny part. You know how these corporate blogs try never to say anything even remotely controversial? One State Farm blog post said:
- Don't drive away.
- Do stay at the scene and move your vehicle to a safe place out of traffic even if there appears to be no damage. If the other car is parked and the owner isn't around, leave a note with your name and contact information.
- Don't assume there aren't injuries.
- Do assess yourself and your passengers. Even low-impact collisions can cause injuries, some not appearing until days after the accident.
- Don't sign any documents and avoid accepting or offering cash for repairs. You may end up paying out-of-pocket to repair damage to your car that only appears minor, or you could pay the other driver more than necessary.
- Do stay calm. Take notes and photos, and exchange information with the other driver, including your name, address, phone number, driver's license number, license plate number, insurance company, and policy number.
- Don't assume an accident is too minor to be reported.
- Do call the police or file a report on your own. This will help your insurance agent handle your claim. An accident report could also help protect you from issues that may arise later about the extent of damage to your vehicle or injuries to you and the other driver.
- Don't forget to notify your State Farm agent.
- Do discuss your options for handling potential claims.
The fender bender you were just in appears to be minor. No one looks injured and there is minimal damage to the vehicles. First breathe a sigh of relief - then take these precautions to help prevent your small accident from becoming a big problem.
The State Farm Pocket Agent smartphone app makes it easy to capture the essential details of an accident. Pocket Agent can help you diagram the accident scene, record witnesses' names and numbers, contact your agent, and even locate nearby repair shops.
You might not notice the injuries until DAYS after the accident? I'm not even sure I would support the theory that it happens regularly, although I suspect it does happen. I also don't think it is incredibly controversial to say that people can get hurt in low impact car accidents. People can die in relatively low impact accidents, according to science and physics. So it is not a leap of faith to suggest that sometimes, albeit rare, people get hurt in low impact vehicle accidents. (Here's one example of a 1 mile per hour accident that I tried, that I believed in - and so did a jury. But, sadly, we would never take this case in a million years in 2012.)
Here's the fun part: State Farm takes down the page. Seriously? Is State Farm EVER going to contest anything on here at trial? Is anyone ever going to be swayed by these general admissions as applied to an individual case? Yet some ninny decided that they couldn't leave this life ammunition out there.
I have a lot of adjectives to use to describe dealing with State Farm in car accident claims but ninny is one of the last ones that comes to mind. State Farm makes a lot of unreasonable calls when valuing motor vehicle accident cases and, as a result, gets their teeth knocked in probably more often than any other insurance company in Maryland. But they take their lumps, stand by their insureds, and pay the verdict regardless of what their insured's policy limits were. Conversely, they also win a lot of cases where another insurance would have settled the case. Point is, State Farm is irrational at times but I usually do not think of them as being gutless, which is what I think taking this post down was.
You can learn more about my view on dealing with State Farm here.