USAA is an insurance provider that offers coverage only to our brave servicemen and servicewomen in the armed forces and their eligible family members. You might not be in the military yourself, but you might still find yourself dealing with USAA if you’re involved in an accident with a driver covered by them.
USAA serves only members of the military here in Washington and across the world, but they operate like any other insurance provider. That means they don’t always look out for victims first. They can cast doubt on your account of an accident and even try to get you to accept blame. Their agents are skilled in these tactics because every time victims accept little or no compensation after an accident, USAA saves a ton of money. Unfortunately, that means injured victims lose out.
Dealing with USAA Insurance After a Spokane Accident
Those moments after a crash when you realize you’ve been hurt will likely be the most difficult of your journey. Afterward comes the worry over your recovery and what it will cost you. It will probably be an amount you can’t afford and could never pay on your own. And in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you shouldn’t have to.
At-fault drivers and the insurance companies that back them should be front-and-center for those costs, but that’s not always how it works. Even in clear cut cases of fault, insurance companies will still be angling to get you to accept as little as possible in compensation.
There are two main strategies USAA agents might try:
- Lowball Offers: Insurance agents can make you a very unfair compensation offer that might not even cover the entirety of your initial hospital stay. They do this hoping you won’t know any better and don’t have legal counsel watching over your case. They may have a much bigger settlement offer prepared, but if you take their first lowball offer, they can rest easy that they’ve saved their company money.
- Blame Game: USAA may start to look into your previous statements about the accident or your driving record to get you to accept some blame for an accident. If you’ve said something previously that they can use to cast doubt on your innocence in a collision they will. That’s why you shouldn’t give another insurance company a statement. Let your lawyer talk for you.
In Washington, two or more drivers can share blame for an accident. You might be forced to accept 20% of the blame in an accident and the other driver might have to take 80% of the blame. You could still see compensation, but your 20% of fault would be subtracted from your final award. This is a possible scenario, but if you had no hand in the accident at all an attorney can help you prove that and make sure nothing is taken from your compensation.
What to do after an accident?
On the scene of your accident, it can be vital to collect certain simple details that can serve as important evidence in case USAA calls your innocence into question later.
If you are okay to get out of your vehicle Edmunds.com suggests grabbing your phone and a notepad first to collect these key elements:
- Write Down Everything – Jot down the time, date, license plate numbers, and the make and model of any cars involved. Note the badge numbers of any officers that respond. You can also take photos of some of this information or type the details on your phone’s notepad.
- Take Photos and Video of Everything – Snap photos or take a video of the damage to cars, lane markings, and note any possible security cams that may be rolling from nearby houses or businesses.
- Exchange info with the other driver – Don’t make statements about your injuries or what you think caused the crash. Make sure people in the other car are all right and then be sure to get a driver’s license number and an insurance policy number along with his or her name and address.
- Talk to witnesses – Ask witnesses to give you a statement if they are willing. They can either sign and date a written statement or you can record them on your phone giving their testimony. Also, ask them if they happen to have a dashcam in their vehicle that might’ve captured what happened.
Later, after you’ve seen to your own health, alert your own insurance company as to what happened. After that, it’s a good time to contact a local attorney with CCD Law of Spokane. The at-fault driver’s representatives will likely soon be making a call to you trying to coax you into giving a statement about what happened. They can turn almost any comment you make into a valuable piece of evidence that helps their client. An attorney can help you remember to resist the urge and let your legal representation handle all communication with insurance companies and other lawyers.
For more information on other insurance companies and their tactics visit our insurance provider homepage.
Contact a Spokane Car Accident Lawyer
If you are hurt in an accident caused by another driver, you should never decide on your next course of action until you’ve talked to a legal professional. You might be in the dark about several of your rights as a victim and that can leave you vulnerable during your first talk with a USAA insurance agent.
Established in Spokane in 1948, Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S. is committed to providing our clients with the absolute highest quality legal representation. If our Spokane Car Accident Lawyers represent you for your accident case, you have our assurance that we will use our absolute best efforts to win your case. Contact us after any accident resulting in a serious injury for a free, confidential consultation and case evaluation. We will only offer you advice that is in your best interest