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Car accidents are always inconvenient, but they can also lead to severe injuries and damage to both you and your vehicle. When that happens, you’ll want to work with an insurance company to get you the most recovery possible.
Car insurance companies like Nationwide purport to handle claims quickly and efficiently, but that isn’t always the case. They often require extensive evidence and documentation to settle a claim, and they will do what they can to delay paying out a settlement.
This can add stress to an already stressful time. That’s why it’s helpful to work with a car accident injury attorney experienced in Nationwide accident settlements. A lawyer can help gather all of the necessary information and negotiate with the insurance company to get you the compensation you deserve.
Calling an insurance company is likely not the first thing on your mind after a car accident. And, while it’s definitely something you want to do when you’ve been in a collision, there are many other steps to take before filing an insurance claim.
The first is to make sure you and anyone else in the car — as well as the other driver — aren’t injured. If there are injuries, immediately call 911 or get emergency medical care.
Once you’ve moved your car to the side of the road and made sure everyone is okay, you should collect information that will be helpful for your claim. That includes the names, phone numbers, and insurance information for everyone involved in the accident, as well as any witnesses to the collision. It also includes taking pictures of any damage to you or your vehicle. Gathering all of this information immediately after the accident can help preserve evidence that may be vital to your claim.
While it’s a good rule of thumb to file a police report after any accident (even a small one), it’s especially important to do so when an accident resulted in a fatality or injury, when a driver left the scene of the accident, or when the other driver seems to have been impaired or distracted while driving. Having a police officer survey the scene of the accident and collect needed evidence and documentation can help the claims process go more quickly.
In Texas, insurance companies are required to determine who is at fault in an accident before settling any claims. In order for you to be able to get compensation, you must be 50 percent or less at fault for the accident.
It’s not always easy for insurance companies to figure out who is at fault in a car accident. There are many factors that must be taken into consideration beyond the accident itself, including contributing factors like weather, negligent driving, or any vehicle defect. In some instances, it’s not only the driver who is held responsible, but their employer if they were on the clock when the accident occurred.
Insurance companies like Nationwide will often try to allocate more fault to you than is warranted in an attempt to pay out a lower amount. By working with a car accident injury attorney who is experienced in Nationwide accident settlements, you can be confident that fault will be determined based on the evidence gathered so that you can receive as much compensation as possible.
Nationwide allows you to submit accident claims online, by phone, or via their mobile app. You should file your claim as soon as possible after your accident, and always check the terms of your policy to see how long you have to report your accident. Some policies require you to file within a certain period of time or risk losing your chance to recover damages.
Once you file your claim and the insurance adjusters get all the information they need to make a determination, they have 15 days to approve or deny your claim. If they approve your claim, you must be paid within five business days. If they deny your claim, they must give you a reason why.
Insurance companies don’t always make a decision as quickly as you’d like. In many cases, they purposely delay their determination so they can try to get you to settle for a lesser amount. When you work with a car accident injury attorney, they will make sure you get a decision on your claim as quickly as possible. They know the tactics insurance companies use to delay approving a claim and will work hard to make sure this doesn’t happen.
Texas allows you to file a personal injury claim as well as an insurance claim if the at-fault driver’s negligence caused or contributed to the accident. You’re typically required to file a personal injury claim within two years of the accident, but there are some situations in which you have more or less time to file.
A car accident injury attorney can advise you on whether you have a reasonable personal injury claim, manage both the personal injury and insurance claims, and make sure you get everything submitted and filed on time.
The damages you can get following an accident depend on the injuries incurred, damage to your vehicle, the insurance policy coverage, and if you were found partially at fault for the collision. Most insurance policies cover property damage and medical bills, but others have more coverage.
When you work with an attorney experienced in Nationwide accident settlements, they can advise you on the amount of damages you’re likely to get and work diligently to make sure you get as much as possible. That often means reviewing any relevant insurance policies, submitting needed bills and documentation, and making sure you get the medical attention or car repairs you need within a reasonable time.
It’s the job of insurance providers to only pay out what is necessary, and that often means they try to avoid paying out damages by delaying your claim or allocating more fault to you than is warranted.
To protect yourself from insurance companies like Nationwide, you should make sure to get everything in writing and never provide a recorded statement without first consulting your attorney. While you can go to the auto body shops or doctors your insurance company recommends, you are free to choose any provider you’d like; just be sure to keep receipts and all documentation as evidence for your claim.
Negotiating with insurance companies can be stressful and time consuming, and it’s easy to go along with what they want in order to get your claim settled and move on. Working with a car accident injury attorney can take a lot of the work and pressure off you so that you can focus on recovering from your accident. Whether you end up settling or going to court, your attorney will make sure you’re protected from any involved insurance companies.
At FVF, our car accident injury attorneys are well versed in Nationwide accident settlements, and they know what it takes to get your claim settled quickly and fairly. We’ll make sure you have all the documentation needed to prove your case and get you the compensation you deserve. Contact our lawyers in Austin, Texas, for a free, no-commitment case consultation today.
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