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

USAA Insurance Settlement Payout Process:

  1. USAA Insurance claim phone number: Call the number on the back of your proof of insurance card or dial the national phone number: (800) 531-8722.
  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: USAA Insurance requests insurance customers to use a USAA-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 USAA 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 USAA Insurance Insurance Association: USAA Google Review page

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

If you’re filing a claim with USAA after an auto accident has caused you injury, the best way to protect your right to fair compensation is to have an elite Milwaukee auto accident lawyer on your side. Even less severe injuries like whiplash can mean weeks of rehabilitation therapy, added bills, inability to work, etc. If you think the settlement is unfair, Warshafksy's top-rated attorneys can help you make a counteroffer and keep the insurance company lowballing you.

Warshafsky Law personal injury attorneys have extensive experience negotiating with insurance companies on behalf of injured clients. We know how insurance companies operate because we have attorneys who have worked for them in the past. No law firm is better equipped to ensure you get a fair settlement from an insurance company than Warshafsky Law.

To receive the maximum amount in your settlement claim from Travelers Insurance, USAA or any other insurance company, document everything, and hire a personal injury lawyer who knows how to fight for a fair settlement offer.

Injured? it is about the money®

How do I get my USAA settlement check?

After an accident, you need to file a claim for the expenses you’ve incurred—both for your car repair and any injuries you sustained. USAA has an online claim form that can be submitted from a desktop computer or a mobile device. After you file your claim online, a claim representative will contact you by phone to discuss your claim.

Don’t rush out and deposit your settlement check from USAA insurance

After the claims rep submits all the information about your accident, a decision will be made on how much to pay you. You’ll likely get a check in the mail for the settlement, and it will likely be far less than you anticipated getting. Even though you have medical bills piling up, don’t cash the check if it’s not enough to cover your losses.

The check you receive is really nothing more than an offer of settlement. If you cash the check or deposit it, you’ve implicitly accepted their offer and you will have no recourse to dispute the amount they paid you. The settlement amount can be negotiated, but only if you don’t deposit or cash the check. You can dispute the settlement amount on your own, but you’ll fare much better if you have an attorney representing you. 

Factors affecting your USAA payout

When you speak with the claim representative (aka claim adjuster), he/she will be very sympathetic and assure you they’ll do everything possible to get your claim settled quickly. Remember, though, the claim representative’s allegiance is to USAA insurance, and they’ll look for any reason to limit or deny your claim

The rep you speak with will gather 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

Pay particular attention to the last item in the list above. When you speak with the claims representative, you have to be careful to avoid saying anything that could implicate you for being even partially responsible for the accident. If you do, the insurance company will use this as a reason to minimize what they pay on your claim or deny it entirely.

Before taking a call from a claims rep, get a copy of the police report from your accident, all your medical bills, repair estimates for your car, and a record of how much time you’ve lost from work. Most insurance companies will have a claims adjuster contact their policyholders shortly after the accident. If you’re not ready to speak with them, tell them you’re not able to speak right now and ask for a callback number.

One more thing: if the claims adjuster requests a signed release for your medical records, don’t do so until you’ve consulted an attorney. A signed release for your medical records gives them complete access to your medical history. If they find anything in your past they can use to dispute your claim, they WILL use it against you. An experienced personal injury attorney will make sure USAA only gets the medical records that pertain to the injuries you sustained in your auto accident—nothing more.

DIY Personal injury claims: handling a USAA claim on your own

If you’re planning on handling your injury claim on your own, you need to know the risks that lie ahead and how to deal with them. We’d recommend you start by reading the most common insurance company tactics used to minimize your settlement. Below you’ll find some advice on getting through the claims process:

Get the medical care you need

If you’ve had a serious injury accident, you’ll probably need ongoing medical attention. Your health and wellbeing is too important to deny yourself the care you need. Don't forgo medical care, chiropractic treatments, and physical therapy because you don’t want to incur more expenses. It’s your insurance company’s responsibility to cover your expenses.

Document all contacts with your insurance company

You’ll have more than one phone conversation and email with the claims adjuster, as well as with other people at USAA. Keep a log of every call and follow up each one with a short letter or email outlining what steps the insurance company said they will be taking to settle your claim. If they later come up with another version of what was said, you’ll have documentation to show otherwise.

Keep your cool

Dealing with endless runarounds from an insurance company is enough to make anyone snap, but you need to stay calm in your interactions with them. If you give in to the temptation to give them a piece of your mind, you’ll give them an excuse to relegate your claim to the bottom of the pile. 

Document all your expenses

You need to keep detailed information on what your auto accident has cost you, including ongoing medical care. You can also document your pain and suffering with photos of your injuries, pain medication prescriptions, and statements from your doctor or physical therapist. You should also include your transportation costs to and from medical appointments and any income you’ve lost by not being able to work.

Know what you’re up against

You may think the claims rep you speak with over the phone is the only person you’re dealing with at USAA Insurance, but there are dozens of upper-level employees and attorneys above the claims rep—all with strategies for minimizing the payout on your claim.

The most common tactic insurance companies use is to delay the claims process past the statute of limitations to prevent you from taking legal action against them. In Wisconsin, the statute of limitations for filing a suit against an insurance company is 3 years. 

Three years may seem like a long time, but you’d be amazed how insurance companies can drag their feet on a claim. A lawsuit is the one bargaining chip you have in the claims process, so keep an eye on the calendar.

How to negotiate against a lowball settlement offer

Many accident victims attempt to contest their insurance company’s settlement offer on their own, but quickly find it becomes a full-time job—and a very draining one, at that. When you hire an attorney, all communication with the insurance company has to be handled through the attorney. However, there are some strategies you can keep in mind when communicating with USAA:

Do your homework

Be able to explain the reason for your injury claim and make specific points to validate your claim. This shows the claims adjuster you have some knowledge of the process and you’re serious.

Do the math

You need proof of what your accident has cost you, so save every receipt or invoice for the expenses the accident has caused you.

Some costs to consider when calculating the value of your claim:

  • Property damage
  • Car rental
  • Deductible
  • Hospital deductible
  • Prescription drugs
  • Chiropractic care
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Future medical expenses
  • Subrogation

Don't be rushed

Accept the fact that you will get a lowball settlement offer, and don’t feel pressured to deposit the settlement check the insurance company sends you if it’s inadequate. 

Don't trust “sign and settle” law firms

Any law firm that boasts about how many cases they settle is likely a settlement mill. They don’t care about you, only about collecting their cut of the insurance payout and moving on to the next case. 

Knowing what your claim is worth: USAA settlement amounts

Unlike “sign and settle” law firms, Warshafsky Law prepares every case for trial from day one. Insurance companies know our reputation for taking cases to court—and winning. A loss in court means they risk an even bigger financial loss than if they just offered you a fair settlement to begin with.

When USAA Insurance learns you’re being represented by Warshafsky Law, their settlement offer will likely become considerably more generous. If it’s reasonable, we’ll recommend you take it. If not, we’ll take the case to court to make sure you get everything you’re owed. If your injury occurred while on workplace property, while using workplace vehicles, or while carrying out duties on the job, you should speak to a workers' compensation lawyer about the compensation you're owed.

Warshafsky Law takes cases nationwide

Although based in Milwaukee, Warshafsky Law represents clients throughout the US. Take advantage of a free initial consultation with one of our attorneys, which can be done over the phone if you’re outside the Milwaukee area. If you choose to let us represent you, you’ll pay no legal fees until you have received your settlement, and our No Win, No Fee policy ensures you risk nothing by hiring us. 

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

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