Negotiating against a low ball CSAA settlement offer Injured? Lawyer up before you sign a check.

CSAA Insurance Settlement Payout Process:

  1. CSAA Insurance claim phone number: Call the number on the back of your proof of insurance card or dial the national phone number: (800) 922-8228.
  2. Claim time limit: Most states have strict yet complex statute of limitations rules such as “you must bring a claim within 3 years of the date of discovery of the injury”. It’s complicated. Act fast - the insurance company will.
  3. Repair shops: CSAA Insurance requests insurance customers to use a CSAA-approved auto repair facility. However, this suggestion serves only to save the insurance company money. In reality, you can go wherever you want for repair service. Tell your insurance company your favorite auto shop will do the work.
  4. Settlement negotiation: Insurance companies like CSAA Insurance Insurance Association have teams of professionals dedicated to limiting or denying your settlement payout. For small claims not involving injury, you might want a lawyer for property damage or a bad faith insurance claim. If you were injured, a personal injury lawyer can help you assess all damages. 
  5. Reviews for CSAA Insurance Insurance Association: CSAA Google Review page

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How can I get a higher settlement from my CSAA Insurance Claim?

Many CSAA policyholders have had bad experiences with this company. Like all insurance companies, they’re in business to make money. One of the ways they do this is by minimizing how much they pay out on claims. Insurance companies will look for any reason to shortchange a claim or deny it altogether, and CSAA is no different.

You’ve paid your insurance for years, and you rightfully expect your insurance company to be there for you when you need them. If you’ve filed a claim with CSAA after being injured in an auto accident, the best way to ensure you get fair compensation is to have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side.

The personal injury attorneys at Warshafsky Law have extensive experience dealing with insurance companies. We know all the tricks they play to shortchange claims because we have attorneys who have worked for them. No law firm is better equipped to make sure you get a fair settlement on your injury claim than Warshafsky Law.

Injured? it is about the money®

How do I get my CSAA settlement check?

After you’ve had an accident, you need to file a claim with CSAA for the expenses you’ve incurred as a result of your injury, as well as for having your car repaired (if it isn’t totaled). CSAA offers an online claim form. Shortly after initiating your claim, you’ll be contacted by phone by a claim representative (aka claim adjuster) to discuss your claim. After investigating the facts of your claim, the insurance company will send you a settlement offer in the form of a check.

Factors affecting your CSAA payout

Insurance company claim representatives are great at making you feel confident in your insurance company. They’re very sympathetic and will assure you the company is doing everything possible to get your claim settled so you can get on with your life. Remember, though, they work for the insurance company, not you. As nice as they may seem, they’re looking for any reason to minimize or deny your claim altogether. 

The claims process starts with the claims rep gathering as much information about your accident as possible, including:

  • the police report
  • passenger and witness statements
  • photos and measurements from the scene
  • researching repair estimates
  • anything you say during the call

Notice the italics on the last item on the list above. During the call with the claims rep, you need to be careful to not say anything to implicate yourself as being responsible in any way for the accident. If you do, you’ll find yourself with a woefully inadequate settlement—and your claim may even be denied entirely.

Most insurance companies will have their claims representatives contact their policyholders shortly after the accident. If you’re not prepared to talk to them, or don’t have a copy of the police report to refer to, tell the claims rep you’re not able to speak right now and ask for a number where you can reach them. You are under no obligation to speak with them until you’re ready.

Be aware that the claims adjuster may ask you to sign a release for your medical records. Don’t do it until you’ve consulted an attorney. A signed release for your medical records allows them to go on a fishing expedition through your entire medical history. If they find anything in your past they can use to dispute your claim, it WILL be used to deny your claim. Having a personal injury attorney handle this will ensure CSAA only gets the medical records relevant to the injuries you suffered in your auto accident.

If your injury occured while on workplace property, while using workplace vehicles or while carrying out duties on the job, you should speak to a workers' compensation lawyer.

If the settlement check they send you isn’t what you were expecting, don’t deposit it

After the claims rep gets information about your accident and speaks with you, CSAA will decide how much to pay out on your claim. They’ll mail you a settlement check, and don’t be surprised if it’s far less than you anticipated. If you have medical bills piling up, it can be tempting to cash the check. Don’t do it!

The check from CSAA is nothing more than an offer of settlement. If you cash it or deposit it, you’re implicitly agreeing to the settlement amount and you will not be able to negotiate with them for a better settlement. You can dispute the settlement amount on your own, but be prepared for one runaround after another. This is precisely why so many accident victims turn to personal injury attorneys.

DIY Personal injury claims: handling a CSAA insurance claim on your own

If you’re thinking you’ll handle your injury claim on your own, you need to know what you’re in for. We’d suggest familiarizing yourself with the most common insurance company tactics used to minimize your settlement. Below are some tips you may find useful for getting through the claims process.

Don’t deny yourself the medical care you need

Medical care is expensive, but it’s your insurance company’s responsibility to cover the costs. Don’t forego the medical attention, chiropractic treatments or physical therapy you need to recover simply because you haven’t received a settlement check yet. Your health and well-being are too important.

Document all your contacts with your insurance company

Insurance companies have a way of rewriting history when it comes to promises made about getting your claim settled. You’ll need to keep a log of every phone conversation you have with CSAA and follow up each one with a short letter or email recounting what they told you they will be doing to settle your claim. If they later say “Oh, you must have misunderstood what was said,” you can show them what you sent them right after the last phone conversation.

Resist the temptation to tell them off

When you’re disputing a settlement on your own, you have to be prepared for endless runarounds and delays. It’s enough to make anyone lose their cool. Even though you may want to yell and curse them out, don’t do it. You’ll be instantly labeled as “crazy” and your claim will be relegated to the bottom of the pile. You may want to have someone with you during phone calls with CSAA to make sure you don’t get carried away.

Be aware of what you’re up against

The claims rep you’re dealing with at CSAA Insurance isn’t the person in charge. There are literally dozens of upper-level managers and attorneys above the claims rep—and a big part of their jobs is to find ways of minimizing the payout on claims.

A common tactic insurance companies use to minimize what they pay on settlements is to delay the claims process past the statute of limitations so you’re blocked from taking legal action against them. A lawsuit is the one bargaining chip you have when disputing a settlement, so you need to keep an eye on the calendar.

In Wisconsin, there is a 3-year statute of limitations for filing a suit against an insurance company. Three years might seem like a long time, but insurance companies are masters of dragging their feet on settlements. If three years go by without a reasonable settlement and you haven’t filed suit, you’ll be stuck with whatever CSAA Insurance offers.

How to negotiate against a lowball settlement offer

Do your homework

Just reading this article is a good start. You need to be able to justify your injury claim and make specific points to prove the value of your claim. This goes a long way toward showing the claim adjuster you’re serious about being fairly compensated.

Do the math

Keep meticulous records of all the expenses you’ve incurred because of your accident. Doctor bills, chiropractic bills, physical therapy bills, receipts for bandages and pain meds, expenses incurred for getting to and from medical appointments, even records of the days you were unable to work due to your injuries--these are all expenses your insurance company should reimburse. You need the documentation to support your claim.

Don't be rushed

Realize from the outset that you’re probably going to get a lowball settlement offer, and that contesting it is going to time consuming and mentally draining. Keep your contacts with the insurance company polite and respectful. You WILL get through this.

Don't trust “settlement mill” law firms

Steer clear of law firms that boast about the thousands of cases they’ve settled. These are “sign and settle” law firms out to get their cut of an insurance payout as quickly as possible by having you agree to whatever settlement the insurance company offers.

Consult an attorney with experience dealing with insurance companies

Even if you are committed to handling your settlement dispute on your own, take advantage of the free legal consultation most personal injury attorneys offer (Warshafsky Law included). At the very least, you’ll get a professional’s opinion about the strength of your case, and get a feel for whether or not you’d want the law firm to represent you if it becomes necessary to get a lawyer.

Many accident victims find that contesting a settlement with their insurance company quickly becomes a full-time job—a very maddening job. When you have an attorney representing you, all communication with the insurance company goes through the attorney. It’s like a load has been lifted from your shoulders.

Knowing what your claim is worth: CSAA settlement amounts

It’s easy for insurance companies to give their policyholders the runaround, but the situation changes quickly when you have an attorney representing you. Especially if it’s an attorney with Warshafsky Law.

Unlike “sign and settle” law firms that encourage their clients to accept whatever lowball settlement offer the insurance company offers so they can move on to the next case, Warshafsky Law is known for aggressive representation. We prepare every case for trial from day one, and insurance companies know our reputation for winning big for our clients.

When CSAA Insurance gets notified you’re being represented by Warshafsky Law, their settlement offer is likely to suddenly become more generous. If it’s a reasonable offer—one that covers all your expenses—we’ll advise you to take it. If not, we’ll take the case to court to ensure you get everything you’re owed.

Warshafsky Law represents CSAA policyholders nationwide

Although Warshafsky Law is based in Milwaukee, we represent clients throughout the US. You can take advantage of our free initial consultation with one of our attorneys over the phone if you’re outside the Milwaukee area. If you decide to hire us, you’ll pay no legal fees until you have received your settlement.

Contact our personal injury law firm for a free case appraisal on no-win-no-fee legal representation.

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