How To Handle USAA After A Car Accident
Do you need to file a USAA car accident claim? Read this before you do anything else!
Founded in 1922, United Services Automobile Association (USAA), is a diversified Fortune 500 company offering banking, investments, car insurance and other financial services to more than 13 million current and former members of the U.S. military and their families. USAA focuses on insuring members of the U.S. Armed Forces and claims to address with claim with service, loyalty, honesty and integrity as their mission. However, once you're hit by a driver insured by USAA you quickly learn that the company is there to benefit it's shareholders, which often leaves victims of the accidents wondering, "How do I handle a car accident claim against USAA?"
Preparation on how to handle an accident claim involving USAA will protect your ability to recover monetary compensation through a successful car insurance claim against an at-fault driver. On this page you'll learn what to do after the collision, including how to prepare to deal with first responders, how to handle your injuries, the other drivers involved, and the USAA's insurance adjusters.
File the claim with USAA
To file a USAA claim you need to call USAA at 1-800-531-8722. This phone number is available 24/7, so you can call at any time.
When your first call to start the claim process, you'll be speaking with a claim representative who will ask generally questions regarding your identity, the name and policy number of their insured, the location of the collision, and whether you have sought medical care or treatment.
If you are hurt and believe you'll require additional medical care, you should contact an attorney after opening the claim and provide the law firm with the claim number associated with the traffic accident. Allowing your legal counsel to take over presents you from having to undergo a recorded statement once the claim is assigned to an insurance adjuster. The insurance adjusters with USAA are trained to interrogate accident victims in ways that impact liability and oftentimes allow USAA to avoid liability altogether.
Your USAA car accident lawyer will knows how to properly protect your recovery opportunity moving forward.
Do not provide USAA a recorded statement
Many people are unaware that, under Texas law, they are not required to provide a recorded statement to an insurance company after an accident. USAA, along with every other auto insurance provider, pressure accident victims to give a statement in hopes of getting them to say something that can be used to deny their claim. However, accident victims are under no obligation to give a recorded statement and can simply refer the insurance company to their attorney. While it may be tempting to give a recorded statement to USAA in order to speed up the claims process, it is always best to consult with an attorney first.
Some the tricky questions claims handlers ask during recorded statements often include the following:
How many car lengths are your required to give a car ahead of you?
When you drive, where do you place your hands?
How fast were you going at the time of impact?
Do you often check your review mirror when you drive?
Did you see the other driver before the accident?
Although the goal of adjusters should be to provide a fair and accurate determination of liability so that the appropriate party can be held responsible, this often isn't the outcome. Many adjusters with USAA look for any reason to blame the innocent party, which forces an lawyer to file a lawsuit and have a jury determine fault and asses the resulting damages.
Do Not Negotiate A Settlement Without An Attorney
After an accident, you may be tempted to save time and money by negotiating a settlement with the insurance adjuster. However, it is important to understand that the USAA is not on your side. The adjuster for USAA has a goal to pay out as little as possible, regardless of the true extent of your damages. As a result, you could end up accepting a settlement that is far below what you actually deserve. On average, without an attorney, the insurance company offers a range between $500 and $1500 for your pain and suffering. If you feel any lingering pains or new sensations since the accident, no not accept any offers to settle, verbally or in writing.
An experienced personal injury attorney will know how to negotiate with USAA to get you the maximum possible compensation, which should include your pain and suffering, emotional trauma, economic impact, lost wages, and also ensure . In addition, an attorney can also help to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the claims process. So if you've been in an accident, don't try to go it alone. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney today.
Understand That The First Settlement Offer Is Never The Best
After a car accident, it is not uncommon for insurance adjusters to quickly contact you to make a first settlement offer that is far below what you're entitled to. Do not fall for this game. The insurance company is hoping that the victim will be so relieved to receive any offer at all that they will accept the low amount and move on. However, it is important to remember that the first offer is almost never the insurance company's best offer. Adjusters are trained to start low in order to save the company money, so it is always worth negotiation for a higher amount.
Insurance companies are notoriously difficult to deal with, and they will often low-ball you if you are not represented by an attorney. An experienced car accident lawyer will know how to negotiate with the insurance company to get you the full value of your claim. In addition, if your case goes to trial, having an attorney by your side will give you the best chance of winning a favorable verdict. If you have been in a car accident, call a qualified attorney today to discuss your options.