Whether you are amused or annoyed by the dearth of insurance commercials currently on television, one thing is likely—those commercials give you the distinct impression that should you have an auto accident, your insurance company will be there for you—like a friend, or a good neighbor. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and your insurance company may not be worthy of the trust you place in them. Conflict of interest is almost a given in the insurance company. While insurance companies are supposed to pay benefits to their policyholders when a covered event occurs (like a car accident), in reality, every insurance company’s goal is to maximize profits.
Maximizing profits usually means holding on to every cent possible. Of course, your goal, as a policy holder who has faithfully paid your premiums on time for months, years, or even decades, is to receive a fair settlement for your accident. This settlement should fully cover your medical expenses, the damages to your vehicle, and any lost wages you have experienced as a result of the accident. This means that no matter now nice the insurance adjuster seems, your ultimate goals are opposite from one another. There are certain signs which can tell you that your insurance company may be attempting to take advantage of you, such as:
- You are absolutely certain the accident was not your fault, yet the insurance company is insinuating it is;
- Necessary medical treatments are being denied by the insurance company;
- Your claim is being delayed or denied;
- The damage to your vehicle will not be covered with the amount the insurance company is offering;
- A representative of the insurance company attempts to pressure you into allowing the company to see your medical records;
- A representative of the insurance company asks for details about your medical history, your medical treatments or your injuries;
- The insurance company is pressuring you to give them an official recorded statement (you do not have to provide this);
- A representative of the insurance company is attempting to coerce you into accepting a quick settlement, even if you are still being treated for your injuries;
- An insurance adjuster is overly “chatty” regarding other parts of your life, such as your family, your hobbies and/or your career, or
- You commonly feel frustrated, intimidated or confused, any time you interact with your insurance company.
If any of the above occurs during your interactions with your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company, take it very seriously, and speak with an top-rated Tennessee personal injury attorney as quickly as possible.
Nationwide has been in business for more than 92 years, growing from a small mutual auto insurer which was wholly owned by the policyholders to one of the largest insurance companies in the world. Murray D. Lincoln was one of the primary leaders in establishing Nationwide in 1925. The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation merged with Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Insurance Company to provide lower auto insurance rates to Ohio farmers. Over a period of years, Farm Bureau Mutual began to expand into other states, including North Carolina, West Virginia, Vermont, Delaware and Maryland, and by 1943, Farm Bureau Mutual was operating in 12 states and the District of Columbia. In 1955, Farm Bureau Mutual had expanded to 20 states, and, deciding they had outgrown their name as well, changed it to Nationwide. By 1978, Nationwide occupied the largest office building in Central Ohio, a 40-story structure, and by 1982, Nationwide acquired Farmland Insurance.
Today, Nationwide is a Fortune 100 company which is still owned by policyholders, offering a full range of insurance and financial services across the nation. With more than 34,000 employees, Nationwide is ranked number 8 among auto insurers (based on the number of premiums written), number 7 among homeowner insurers, and the number 1 farm insurer. From the customer’s point of view, customer satisfaction ratings are consistently average or better, and Nationwide has fewer customer complaints than the median for auto, home and life insurance. Overall, according to NerdWallet, Nationwide ranks 5th in the list of the best car insurance companies.
Proving Fault in an Auto Accident
The key to collecting the compensation you are entitled to following a car or truck accident is proving the other driver is at fault. In some instances, proving fault is easy—perhaps a drunk driver hit you, meaning proving fault is not a problem. Having “official” proof of fault can give your case a tremendous boost, making negotiations with insurance companies much quicker and easier. That “official” proof, generally comes in the form of a police report, or, if the other driver obviously violated a Tennessee traffic law. If you were rear-ended, then it is almost certainly the other driver’s fault (unless you stopped suddenly for no good reason or your brake lights were out).
Hopefully, the fault is obvious, and the police officer will state that in the report, however if this is not the case, you will definitely need an experienced Tennessee car accident attorney to help you prove fault and get the settlement you deserve. It is important to remember that in the state of Tennessee, you only have one year from the date of your accident to file a claim against the negligent driver. This is known as the statute of limitations, and varies from state to state, with Tennessee on the low end. You may also find yourself dealing with an uninsured or underinsured at-fault driver—some 20 percent of Tennessee drivers are not properly insured.
How Martinson & Beason Can Help After Your Auto Accident
If you or a loved one has suffered catastrophic injury due to another person’s negligent behavior, understanding your rights is key. Having an attorney from Martinson & Beason by your side ensure those rights—and your future—will be properly protected from start to finish. We understand how difficult it is to be left injured, perhaps unable to work, watching your bills pile up at an alarming rate. We can help! If you are looking for compassion for your injuries, as well as an experienced, knowledgeable, aggressive litigator and/or negotiator, call Martinson & Beason today.