United Services Automobile Association or USAA is an insurer focused on providing coverage to servicemen and servicewomen, veterans, and their families. They provide automobile accident coverage for many members of the military proudly serving on Mountain Home Air Force Base, at local National Guard Posts, and local Navy Research Facilities.
You may not be in the military, but if you are in a traffic accident around Coeur d’Alene with someone covered by USAA, you’ll be dealing with their insurance agents. USAA provides great value to their members, but just like any other major insurance carrier, they can drag their feet on providing compensation for injured victims who may be in real need of immediate financial assistance.
Securing Help for Accident Victims In Coeur d’Alene
While exchanging insurance information with an at-fault driver on the scene of an accident you may find that you’ll need to go through USAA for car repairs and hospital care reimbursement. This can be a frustrating journey because all insurance companies employ similar tactics to keep victims confused and desperate. In the end, USAA wants you to sign off on far less in compensation than you’ll need to fully recover from your crash.
If you or a loved one has been seriously hurt in a car accident due to another driver’s mistake, don’t face your insurance battles alone. CCD Law of Coeur d’Alene offers any victim a free case evaluation session. Contact us to find out what your priorities should be when dealing with a major insurance firm like USAA. Our attorneys will also help you avoid some of the traps that an insurance agent can set for you when you file an accident claim.
Do’s and Don’ts when Dealing with USAA After a Car Accident
A frightening impact on a busy Coeur d’Alene street can leave you stunned and perhaps dealing with pain. Taking some initiative may be the last thing you feel like doing, but if you’re physically capable there are a few things you can do to protect yourself and your accident claim that will soon be filed.
These are a few guidelines to follow on the scene of an accident and in the days that follow:
- Dial 911: Even if the damage is minor or you think you only have minor injuries have a police investigator respond to file a report on what happened. This accident report may be the proof you need to prove to USAA that you weren’t to blame for the collision.
- Paramedic check-up: Let an ambulance crew check you out. Injuries can seem minor while you’re still experiencing the shock of an accident, but a day or two later you may find you have a serious issue.
- Collect evidence: If you or someone with you is feeling up to it, begin taking pictures of the scene with your cellphone. Show car damage, license plates, street signs, and lane markings. Find out what witnesses saw and get their contact information. Exchange driver’s license and car insurance information with the at-fault driver. Note if any nearby security cams may have been recording when the crash occurred.
- Posting to Social Media: You may want to share your misfortune on Facebook or Twitter. Or you may want to call out a terrible driver in a post. Avoid this temptation. Insurance agents will scan for these posts and perhaps use them as evidence against you. They look for any reason to stick you with some or all of the blame after a crash because it will ultimately save their company money.
- Don’t offer statements: Don’t provide statements when USAA representatives begin to call. Insurance agents will be looking to record you as you talk about what happened and as you describe your injuries. Beware. They like to ask confusing questions that you may not know the answer to yet. Agents can use these statements to poke holes in your accident claim later.
- Signing away your rights: Don’t sign off on any documents USAA sends you. Don’t accept any hastily offered settlement. USAA won’t tell you how much money you may need for medical care. You know how many bills have come in recently, but what if you need care weeks or months down the road. These considerations have to factor into any settlement offer. USAA may also delay their response to your claim, all while you lose more and more paychecks as you miss work. You can get desperate but trusting a personal injury lawyer when he or she tells you to hold out for more can protect you from financial ruin in the future.
For more information on dealing with other car insurance companies in Idaho and elsewhere please visit our online insurance guide here.
Contact a Coeur d’Alene Car Accident Lawyer
Established in Spokane in 1948, Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S. is licensed and practices in both Washington and Idaho. We are committed to protecting injured victims and their families from the predatory behavior of many insurance companies.
If our Coeur d’Alene Car Accident Lawyers represent you for your accident case, you have our assurance that we will work until you have the compensation you need to rebuild your life. Contact us after any accident resulting in a serious injury for a free and confidential consultation.