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How to File A Car Accident Claim with Nationwide in Washington State
Washington’s fault-based car accident laws require negligent motorists to pay for the damages of their car accident victims. If you suffer injuries in a collision someone else is responsible for, you have two pathways to compensation: filing an insurance claim and filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Most victims begin in the insurance process, but different companies have unique protocols for filing a claim. If the negligent driver in your accident is a Nationwide policyholder, you will need to know how to file your claim and what to expect during the process.
Filing an Insurance Claim with Nationwide
Since Washington is a fault state, you can file one of two types of insurance claims with Nationwide. You can file a claim as a third-party if the at-fault driver is a Nationwide customer. If the at-fault driver does not have insurance but you have appropriate coverage to pay for your injuries, such as personal injury protection (PIP) or collision coverage, you can file a claim under your own Nationwide policy.
You can file a Nationwide claim online, or you can call the company’s hotline for car accident claims. Once you initiate your claim, Nationwide will assign an associate to your case who will take the following actions.
- Review the applicable policy and explain the coverage to you
- Launch an investigation into your accident
- Schedule vehicle inspections and arrange for a temporary rental
- Evaluate your claim and offer you a settlement
At the conclusion of your claim, you can choose whether or not to accept the settlement Nationwide offers you. The associate may also refuse to provide a settlement depending on the results of his or her investigation.
Can You File a Lawsuit Against Nationwide?
Sometimes, insurance companies do not consider accident victims’ best interests. Nationwide has to pay for the damages of their policyholders’ victims after all, and paying maximum compensation affects the company’s bottom line. If you reach the end of your insurance claim and the company refuses to settle, alleges you are responsible for the crash, or offers a low settlement, you can escalate your case to the courtroom.
With the help of a Seattle personal injury attorney, you can file a car accident lawsuit against the at-fault driver and his or her insurance company. During this process, you will present your case to the court and establish the other driver’s negligence and your need for damages. The court will determine whether you have a right to damages and the amount of compensation you need to recover.
Do You Need a Lawyer to Represent Your Nationwide Claim?
While attorneys are helpful during the lawsuit process, you may wonder if it is necessary to hire a lawyer for your Nationwide insurance claim. The answer is yes — you need an advocate to represent your best interests, and a Nationwide adjuster may not always play that role. In addition, you may not know how to navigate discussions with these adjusters and avoid accidental statements that may harm you in the future.
Your attorney will represent you in negotiations and in the courtroom, exploring all possible options to compensation to maximize your settlement value. He or she can negotiate with Nationwide claims associates for a higher settlement, providing evidence that you deserve funds for your recovery. If you plan to file a Nationwide claim, contact a Seattle car accident attorney as soon as possible to prepare for the process.