When you’ve been injured in a car accident settlement, and the other party’s insurance company is USAA, you need proper legal representation to negotiate a fair settlement. An experienced legal team can help you recover all the losses you’ve suffered.
At John Foy & Associates, our Atlanta car accident lawyers can represent you when you meet with USAA and fight for the compensation you deserve. Read on to learn about the tactics USAA uses and how our team will help you defend against them.
What To Know About USAA When Negotiating a Car Accident Settlement
USAA is a major auto insurance provider, so it’s helpful to understand their approach when negotiating a settlement after an accident. Here are some key things to be aware of with USAA:
- They have a reputation for promptly paying justified claims from non-fault parties. However, you should still submit documentation thoroughly to avoid delays.
- Adjuster experience ranges widely. Request an adjuster change if yours lacks courtesy or negotiation skills.
- Note their internal timelines for responding to demands and extend appropriate deadlines if needed.
- Medical expenses are often accepted at billing rates without questioning, but treatment may require IME approval.
- Bodily injury valuations stem from prevailing case data in your jurisdiction. Comparables support higher demands.
- Diminished value is rarely paid without evidence, so document vehicle condition and repairs fully.
- Appeals of denied claims go through the insurer first before litigation. Be prepared to hire a lawyer to argue your position.
- Settlement offers will be lower if represented, but an attorney thwarts lowball tactics and gets fair compensation.
Get the strong arm
How Does USAA Use the Delay, Deny, and Defend Tactic?
The delay, deny, and defend tactic is a common way USAA, along with other insurance companies, try to avoid paying you the compensation you qualify for. Here’s what’s involved:
USAA may take a long time to review files and respond to settlement demands. With an experienced Atlanta car accident attorney, you can avoid lengthy delays.
Our lawyer ensures all necessary documentation and medical records are submitted promptly. We also maintain regular contact with the insurer, applying pressure to keep the claim moving forward in a timely manner.
USAA looks for minor errors or missing records as grounds for initial claim denials. This allows negotiations to start from a lower value position than may be warranted.
Our car accident lawyers anticipate potential denial tactics. We thoroughly prepare the claim upfront and make sure to address any questions or issues raised by USAA. If the insurer improperly denies aspects of the case, we are ready to challenge the decision through escalation or by filing a lawsuit.
If a case moves forward despite resolution attempts, USAA utilizes a large network of defense lawyers to contest lawsuits and reduce payouts rigorously. While most claims are settled reasonably, this shows how USAA defends liability and damages at trial to minimize losses when other strategies do not succeed.
However, our team at John Foy & Associates is well-equipped for this aggressive defense strategy. We have the knowledge and litigation experience to effectively counter the insurance adjuster’s arguments and obtain a favorable settlement or verdict for you.
What Documents Will USAA Require?
For any car accident claim, USAA will need documentation to understand what happened and assess liability and damages fully. Some of the key documents they will request include:
- The police report: This establishes the basics of when and where the accident occurred and any citations issued.
- A written statement from you: Provide your description of how the accident took place and details of your injuries and treatment.
- Photo evidence: Submit photos of vehicle damage, the accident scene, skid marks, and traffic signs.
- Medical records and bills: For bodily injury claims, present all records from doctor visits and documentation of expenses.
- Repair estimates: For property damage to your vehicle, supply estimates from a repair shop to support your claim amount.
- Witness information: Provide contact details of anyone who witnessed the crash that can support your version of events.
- Other driver’s insurance: Submit the at-fault driver’s insurance declaration page as part of establishing liability.
How Can a Car Accident Lawyer in Atlanta Help You Get a Fair Settlement?
USAA is a large insurer that handles many Atlanta-area car accident claims. While they aim to resolve cases fairly, an Atlanta car accident lawyer provides important advantages, such as:
- Understanding of insurance law and how to avoid lowball tactics.
- 20 years of experience negotiating sizable settlements with USAA through thorough preparation of evidence and damages calculations.
- Writing a demand letter that carries more weight with USAA to justify a higher settlement offer.
- Reviewing your USAA policy for specific coverages that may increase payment potential, like MedPay.
- Making sure USAA understands complex disabilities or situations in order to maximize your settlement.
- Staying up to date on case law that changes insurer obligations, giving an edge in talks.
- Assisting with the appeals process if your claim is denied.
What Happens if You Can’t Reach an Agreement?
If you and the USAA adjuster are unable to come to a satisfactory settlement during negotiations, there are a few options to pursue. Our car accident lawyer in Atlanta can help with:
- Mediation: This voluntary process involves bringing in a neutral third party to facilitate new discussions and help find common ground.
- Appraisal: For disputes over property damage valuations, either side can request an appraisal where independent experts inspect the vehicle.
- Appeal within USAA: You can request your claim be reviewed again by a more senior adjuster or supervisor for a second assessment.
- Litigation: Filing a lawsuit is the final step if all else fails. USAA will typically engage in legal defense at this point.
- Arbitration: The insurance policy may call for mandatory arbitration instead of going straight to court.
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist claims: This coverage may apply if the at-fault party cannot pay the full value awarded.
Learn More About Negotiating a Car Accident Settlement With USAA
Negotiating a car accident settlement with USAA can be a challenging process, but our Atlanta car accident lawyers at John Foy & Associates can help. We’re here to advocate for your rights to a fair auto accident settlement.
Contact us to learn more about how to negotiate a car accident settlement with USAA.