How To Negotiate a Personal Injury Claim With USAA
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The United Services Automobile Association, more commonly known as USAA, is a prominent auto insurance carrier in the Denver area. The state of Colorado has 4 million licensed drivers. However, not all are eligible for coverage by USAA. Only active, reserve, or retired service armed service members and their families can receive coverage. Notwithstanding, USAA is a popular insurance company because of the benefits it offers to its customers.
Make no mistake, USAA is a for-profit company. Their business model is to make a profit and turn off that profit back to its employees in the form of bonuses. In 2013, every employee received a bonus of 18 percent of their salary. While the company’s ethos appears altruistic–offering those people who sacrificed for our country affordable yet comprehensive insurance plans–the company wants to make money. They may take a tough stance during your claim negotiations if you file a claim for damages against one of their customers.
How to Handle a Claims Adjuster
Unless you are accustomed to negotiating in your business or profession, chances are that you have less experience negotiating than the claims adjuster handling your case. Claims adjusters are trained negotiators. It is part of what they do for a living.
When you file a claim against someone for injuries you suffered in a car accident, you may want sufficient compensation so that you feel like justice has been done. The claims adjuster may agree with you to an extent, but they have a different agenda: keeping costs down. Therefore, you have to convince the adjuster to agree with you. You do that by changing their perspective on the case.
There are some tactics and strategies you can use when negotiating a claim with USAA in Denver. There are some fundamentals of negotiating that everyone should learn. For example:
- Understand that this is a negotiation. There will be give-and-take, point-and-counterpoint. Unless your position is factually irrefutable (and very few are) then be prepared to hear some things you do not like. That being said you can still take a strong position and hold firm.
- Be reasonable. Do not ask for $5 million when your injuries are worth $5,000. You will lose all credibility if you are unreasonable.
- Do not lie. You will never recover your reputation with the adjuster if you lie or exaggerate. The negotiations will be over before you know it.
- Be courteous and kind. To the adjuster, these negotiations are just business, but to you, it is intensely personal, and you can get emotional. Do not let your emotions get the better of you. You should remember that claims adjusters have the authority to terminate calls of refuse to talk to you. Besides, they will not go out on a limb and give more money to people they do not like.
- Do not be negative. Start the negotiations on a positive note. Negativity shuts people down and gives them a reason to say “no.”
- Be prepared. You have to be knowledgeable about your case and all of the facts supporting your position. It would also help if you understood the potential negative aspects of your case, so you know how to counter when confronted by them.
Our Denver Car Accident Lawyers Can Help
One thing you do need to know is that you have a lot to lose if negotiations go poorly. Perhaps the best solution to the problem is to allow our Denver injury attorneys to handle the negotiations for you.
Our attorneys will provide you legal advice while working diligently to try to reach a fair and just resolution of your claim.
Contact us at 303-800-1501 today for a free consultation with one of our Denver personal injury lawyers and learn how we can potentially help you with your claim if you or a loved one was injured or killed in an accident.