GET MORE MONEY: 3 Things You Need to Know About the Travelers Insurance Claim Process
How to Get the Most Money for Your Auto Accident Injury Claim
Milwaukee Personal Injury Law Firm on Negotiating the Travelers Insurance Claims Process
Based in New York City, Travelers Insurance is a multinational insurance company offering policies for property (homes and condos), boats and yachts, cars, jewelry and valuable items, and both renters and landlord insurance.
Like most big insurance companies, Travelers offers the option of filing a claim online, over the phone, or through an agent. “There when you need us most: Travelers Claims services,” or at least that’s what they say on their website. But are they?
Unfortunately, hundreds of online reviews indicate that policy holders don’t exactly feel like they’ve been taken care of by Travelers. It’s the usual litany of complaints you hear about auto insurance companies: slow response to claims, underpayment for damages, and constantly raising rates.
If you’re involved in a Travelers Insurance injury claim following a car accident, you need an experienced lawyer protecting your right to fair compensation.
Milwaukee car accident attorneys at Warshafsky Law has extensive experience negotiating with insurance companies to get the highest possible car accident settlements from insurance companies for our clients. With attorneys on staff who have worked for insurance companies in the past, we know firsthand how insurance companies operate and are well equipped to deal with the tactics they use to delay and deny claims.
1. What You Need to Know About the Travelers Insurance Claims Process
After you’ve filed a claim for your accident, Travelers will assign a “claim representative” to your case. A more accurate description would be “claim adjuster,” since what this person will be doing is gathering information about your claim in order to come up with a figure for how much they’re willing to pay on your claim. The claims adjuster gathers information about your accident claim from these sources:
- Pictures and measurements taken at the accident scene
- Police reports and statements from witnesses and passengers
- Various repair estimates
- Anything you say
Don’t be surprised if your Travelers claim rep gets back to you with a settlement offer that’s well below the expenses you’ve incurred as a result of the accident. The common ploy is to send you a check for the settlement amount, hoping you’re so desperate to pay off your medical bills that you’ll take the check and deposit it. Keep in mind, though, the check is just an offer of settlement. It can be negotiated—as long as you don’t deposit it. Once you do that, you’re barred from negotiating for a higher settlement.
If an adjuster calls you shortly after your accident, you are NOT obligated to give a statement. Be firm but polite, ask for a number and call back when you’re ready.
Never forget: insurers will track down any information they think they can use to deny, dispute or delay your claim and undervalue your pain and suffering. The bottom line is always saving their own money. The claims adjuster you speak to may sound like—and probably is—a nice person. But expressing concern and saying they’ll take care of you is more strategy than sympathy.
Avoid being taken advantage of during the claim process by having an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side.
INJURED? It IS About The Money.®
2. Handling a Travelers Insurance Claim On Your Own
After you’ve submitted a claim form for your injuries, you can expect a call from a “claims representative” at Travelers Insurance. This is the term insurance companies use for a claims adjuster, and his/her job is to determine how much Travelers will pay on your claim.
You need to be prepared for this call, because despite how nice this person may seem on the phone he/she will be looking for anything that can be used to lessen the amount they pay on your claim—or deny it altogether. If this sounds overly cynical, we suggest you read up on the most common insurance company tactics used to minimize your settlement.
The most important thing to remember is to never say anything that implicates you as being in any way responsible for the accident. The claims adjuster will latch onto this and use it to dispute your claim. The conversation you have over the phone will likely be recorded, so keep this in mind. Often, these calls come shortly after the accident, so if you haven’t had time to prepare yourself for the call or just aren’t feeling well enough to talk the adjuster, just let them know this isn’t a good time to talk and ask for a callback number. You have no legal obligation to talk to them right when they call.
At some point, you may be asked to sign a medical authorization form allowing the insurance company full access to your medical records. Don’t do it! These forms are typically worded in a way that allows your insurance company complete access to your personal medical history. Once they get into your records, they look for any medical issue in your past that they can use to dispute your claim. We highly recommend consulting a personal injury attorney on what medical records are relevant to your injury claim.
Things to Keep in Mind if You’re Handling a Claim on Your Own:
Document all your contacts with Travelers Insurance.After every phone conversation with anyone from your insurance company, follow up with a letter or email outlining what you were told they will be doing to settle your claim. The idea is to have a paper trail/email trail documenting everything in case they later say “We never said that” or suddenly decide they aren’t going to honor a promise they made.
Be wary of the determination of liability.
Determination of liability is a critical factor in a personal injury claim, so you need to be prepared to fend off even the slightest insinuation that you contributed to the accident in any way. If the other driver was clearly at fault for the accident, handling a claim by yourself is easier. In cases where there’s any question about who caused the accident, however, expect a fight from the insurance company.
You’re up against an army of lawyers.
You may only have contact with one person at Travelers Insurance, but behind this person are literally hundreds of lawyers with all kinds of tricks for delaying and denying injury claims. You may think your years of being a loyal customer would ensure you’ll be treated well. Unfortunately, this means nothing to an insurance company when their money is at stake.
Remember there’s a statute of limitations.
One of the favored tactics of insurance companies is to drag their feet on your claim to the point you’re shut out of taking legal action against them due to the Statute of Limitations. In Wisconsin, you have three years from the date of an accident to file suit against an insurance company.
Filing suit against an insurance company is the only real weapon you have in the claim negotiation process. If they delay your claim past the three-year point, you’re barred from taking any legal action against them and stuck with whatever lousy settlement offer they make.
Don’t accept less than you deserve.
When you’re injured in an auto accident and have medical bills piling up, it’s understandable to just go along with whatever lowball settlement the insurance company is offering so you can get the bill collectors off your back. Don’t do it! If dealing with them has stressed you out, hire Warshafsky Law.
3. 5 Ways to Maximize Your Travelers Insurance Settlement
It’s great that you’re willing to take on an insurance company to get what you deserve, but be prepared for an uphill battle. It’s easy for a big insurance company to walk all over an individual, which is why most accident injury victims end up hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer at some point.
1. Stay Cool
Dealing with an insurance company can be maddening, but unloading on them will only get you relegated to the “crazy person” file. Stay as calm as you can and ask to speak with a supervisor if you’re not getting anywhere with the Travelers employee you’re dealing with.
2. Know how much you’re asking for
If you’re contesting a settlement offer, you can’t just tell them their settlement offer is too low. You need an itemized list of expenses you’re seeking reimbursement for. In addition to actual expenses, you can also ask for reimbursement for pain and suffering. Photos of your injuries, the pain meds you’ve been prescribed, and statements/notes from your doctor, physical therapist and chiropractor all testify to your pain and suffering. If their lowballing your car repair or replacement, you’ll need documentation to show the actual value of the car, or what repairs will actually cost.
3. Keep track of all your expenses
Besides medical bills, out-of-pocket costs for appointments, physical therapy and chiropractic care, keep records and receipts for your car repair costs, transportation to and from medical appointments. If your injury requires continued medical care, ask your doctor to outline the ongoing care you’re likely to need. You should also keep track of time you’ve lost from work due to your injuries, as your lost income should be compensated, too.
INJURED? It IS About The Money.®
4. Consult a Personal Injury Attorney
Even if you’re totally committed to handling your claim by yourself, take advantage of the free initial legal consultation most personal injury law firms offer. At the very least, you’ll be able to get an idea if the settlement you’re looking to get is reasonable or not. And if it gets to the point you need to hire an attorney, you’ve already met with and gotten a good feel for whatever attorneys you visited.6 Wisconsin Car Accident Laws with a HUGE Impact on Your Claim
5. Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
If you want the most from your accident injury claim, get a lawyer. Once you’re represented by an attorney, it gets more difficult for the insurance company to play games. You’ll feel like a weight has been taken off your shoulders, too, since the insurance company is now legally obligated to communicate only with your attorney. Of course, you’ll want an attorney with a proven track record of coming through for accident victims. That’s where Warshafsky Law comes in.
hen people choose their personal injury lawyer based on the endorsement of a football player or actor, they risk choosing an attorney who has never won more money or pain and suffering verdicts in a courtroom. Settlement mills forward your paperwork and take a cut of your damages.
Hundreds of times we have prepared cases like yours beyond the brink of trial. Facing unlimited liability AND an expensive jury trial, insurance companies fess up what your case is worth. They HATE when you choose Warshafsky. Insurance companies know: it IS about the money.
Tenacious Personal Injury Attorneys Protecting the Rights of Accident Victims
There is no shortage of personal injury law firms, just be cautious about who you retain to represent you. Most personal injury law firms fall into the “sign and settle” category. They’re quick to cut a deal with the insurance company so they can collect their fee and move on to the next case. Insurance companies know these law firms rarely ever take a case to trial, so they lowball their settlement offers.
Warshafsky Law, on the other hand, prepares every case from day one as though it will go to trial. Insurance companies are well aware of our history of winning huge judgments for our clients and they know a court proceeding can expose them to massive losses, as well as a lot of negative publicity. They suddenly become more generous in their settlement offers once they find out Warshafsky Law is representing their policy holder. If the settlement is reasonable, we’ll advise you to settle. If it isn’t, we’ll take them to court
“Sign and settle” law firms are patsies owned by insurance companies in settlement negotiations. With Warshafsky Law representing you, you’ll get the financial restitution you deserve. We fund every case, meaning you won’t owe us a thing until you have received compensation for your injuries, and our No-Win, No-Fee policy ensures you don’t owe us a thing if we don’t come through for you. With Warshafsky Law, you have nothing to lose.