What’s the Car Accident Claim Process in Washington State?
One moment, you’re enjoying a leisurely drive by the mountains or through Seattle. The next moment, another driver crashes into you, which has caused extensive damage to your vehicle and maybe some physical injuries, as well.
When disaster strikes, you’ll need to know one thing: What’s the car accident claim process in Washington state? You need a settlement to help you cover the cost of your injuries and damages. You might consider enlisting the help of a lawyer from Craig Swapp & Associates. We’re experienced in these matters and can help expedite the process.
At our firm, we understand how confusing it can be to file a car accident claim alone. When you’re trying to focus on recovery, let us focus on recovering your rightful compensation. Continue reading to learn more about the auto wreck claims process.
Finding the At-Fault Party
Immediately after the accident, you’ll need to speak to the other driver. Once you’re sure that everyone is unharmed or has help on the way, you’ll need to exchange insurance information. Take care not to discuss fault, though, as anything you say can be used against you if they decide to take you to court.
Washington is a fault state, which means that if the other driver caused your auto crash, they’re also financially liable for the resulting damages. When you report the accident with your insurer, they will seek payment from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Alternatively, you have the option to seek payment from the other driver’s insurer directly as a third-party claim.
Calculating Your Damages
Once you’ve filed your claim, the insurance company should move quickly to get you the settlement you deserve. Typically, an agent will need to assess all the financial losses you’ve suffered because of the auto wreck.
For example, one of your biggest expenses will be your car, and they’ll need to determine how much it would cost to repair it. Usually, finding its worth requires finding its fair market value and totaling up the damages. This value gives the insurer the worth of your car if it was put on the market and both the buyer and seller were willing participants in the exchange.
Make sure that the agent or adjuster includes all accident-related expenses. For example, you might have spent a few days in the hospital, which left you unable to work. Your settlement should cover both these losses.
Secure Your Full Settlement
Once the at-fault party’s insurance company determines that the auto accident was their insured’s fault and have calculated your settlement’s worth, you’ll receive a settlement offer. This amount should cover all of your accident-related expenses. If it does, you can simply accept the offer, deposit the check, and focus on your recovery.
Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple. The insurance company might not offer you the full worth of your claim. It’s important that you consult a lawyer before accepting any offers as it’s common practice for insurers to lowball settlement offers.
At Craig Swapp & Associates, we understand that many drivers are still asking, “What’s the car accident claim process in Washington state?” If you don’t understand it completely, your claim could be at risk against profit-hungry insurers.
If you’re struggling with your claim, reach out to an attorney for a free claim consult. Give us a call at 1-800-404-9000 or complete the online form below.