Car accidents do not turn into lawsuits immediately: They first pass through the insurance stage, where insurance companies offer compensation packages that aim to settle the case quickly and outside of the courtroom. How this stage proceeds, though, depends to a large degree on the insurance companies that are involved. If Nationwide has a part to play, it can impact not only how long the initial stage takes, but also the amount of the initial settlement package that you are offered.
Negotiating with insurance companies can be one of the most important parts of your quest for compensation after a car accident. In some cases, you can quickly collect and cash a check that covers much of what you stand to lose from the incident. In most, though, the initial offer pales in comparison to what you deserve. Fighting insurance companies like Nationwide is just another thing that the personal injury attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian can do for accident victims who want to enforce their legal rights to compensation for their losses.
Nationwide's Insurance Claims Process
Once the dust settles from an accident, the next step is to notify relevant insurance companies of the incident. This is done through the insurance claim process. In most cases, you will file an insurance claim with your own company. However, there are some situations where the thing to do is to file what is called a third party claim not with your insurance company, but with the company that insures the at-fault party.
If the insurance company at the receiving end of the claim is Nationwide, they will send out one of their insurance adjusters to ascertain the extent of the damage. Their investigation will take into account the property damage and any personal injuries that were suffered in the collision.
While the work of insurance adjusters at other companies rarely takes more than a few days – or a week where the injuries that were sustained are serious and will require complicated medical care – Nationwide's insurance adjusters tend to take far longer. However, while this can be inconvenient for accident victims who are interested in what their insurance company is going to do and whether it will cover the accident, the delay seems to stem from a policy at Nationwide that gives their insurance adjusters greater latitude to make an initial settlement offer that they think is reasonable.
How Nationwide's Initial Settlement Offers Stack Up Against the Competition
Perhaps the greatest difference in insurance companies comes when the insurance adjuster returns after their investigation. The amount of the initial settlement offer that they will extend – or whether they extend one, having opted to deny coverage – is what separates insurance companies to a significant degree.
While Nationwide's investigation takes awhile, it frequently results in an initial offer that considers far more factors than other insurance companies. Unfortunately, this often means that it is far more difficult to predict how much they will offer in compensation in their initial package.
This uncertainty is not always a bad thing: Most other insurance companies can be counted on to make an initial settlement offer that is laughably low. Nationwide's initial package is not always such a lowball offer. Sometimes it even approaches what you could expect, should you decide to take your case to litigation.
However, there is another repercussion of Nationwide taking so many different factors into account when they craft their initial offer: It makes a big difference if you have already secured legal representation, and even which firm is representing you. Insurance companies track the success rates of lawyers, so being represented by a personal injury attorney with a proven track record and who has shown that they are willing to take a case all the way to trial can impact how much you are offered in the settlement package.
Filing a Lawsuit Against Nationwide for Compensation
If Nationwide's settlement offer is not enough to compensate you for your losses – and it frequently is not enough – the next step is to file a lawsuit against Nationwide to force them to provide the compensation that you need and deserve, and that they promised to provide in the insurance policy that you signed and have been paying for.
A common result of filing a lawsuit against Nationwide is for your settlement offer to be increased. In some cases, this increase is quite drastic. The reason for such a sudden change to the settlement offer is because, once the lawsuit has been filed, your case typically gets transferred from the insurance adjuster – whose job it is to get your case settled for as little as possible – to the lawyer who would represent Nationwide, should your case go to trial. This attorney is going to be much more knowledgeable about what your claim is really worth, and has much more authority to make a reasonable offer to get the case settled outside of court. They also have skin in the game, if no settlement is accepted and the case goes to trial.
Gilman & Bedigian: Personal Injury Lawyers Representing Victims Against Nationwide
After the dust settles from a car accident, dealing with your insurance company can be the last thing that you want to do. Fighting for the compensation that you deserve and that you have been paying for, in the form of insurance premiums is rarely a fun experience.
However, merely accepting Nationwide's initial settlement offer is rarely a wise move. These offers are designed to protect the bottom line of the insurance company, which is a for-profit venture, after all.
The personal injury lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian can help. They know that much of the legal work that comes after an accident is done outside of the courtroom, and often in front of representatives of the implicated insurance companies. They also know that insurance companies, including Nationwide, will look for every means of escape before paying what they should to compensate victims of an accident. Contact them online to tap into the legal knowledge and experience.