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Auto Insurance Claims/Auto Accident Settlement

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Question
Hello Richard,

Thanks in advance for volunteering!

In the state of VA, my wife was in a car accident caused by a man who ran a stop sign.  He admitted to the police that the accident was his fault and he was cited.  He did have insurance through USAA.  

I read some articles online about insurance companies coming after settlement money.  As we go through the settlement process with USAA, should we be concerned that they will attempt to recoup that money later?  Thus far, all medical bills due to the accident have been paid for by his insurance with a portion paid out of our pocket.  I assume if we get a lawyer that the settlement would protect us...right?

Answer
Hi Chris,

You are entitled to be compensated for all costs and expenses resulting from the accident from the at fault parties insurance company, in this case USAA. In addition, you will be entitled to payment for pain and Suffering. Once all treatment is concluded and your wife is released fro the doctors care, you will need to submit a "Demand Package". That package will need to include a demand letter that outlines all of the costs, expenses, bills, doctors notes as to treatment and a detailed listing of the amounts you are demanding payment for. This will include a listing of the bills for all medical treatment, out of pocket expenses as well as pain and suffering. Then you can expect the insurance company to try to low-ball your demand with a low offer to settle the claim. This will result in you and the insurance company going back and forth in an attempt to reach a negotiated agreement. keep in mind that the insurance company has no interest in paying everything you are owed, but only enough to make you go away.

If your wife's injuries were very minor with limited treatment of say less than $2,000 then you may try to handle this your self. However if the injuries or costs are greater then you should at least start interviewing attorneys.

As for your question about insurance companies asking for money back, that would not occur unless your private medical insurance paid the medical bills. In that case then they would be entitled to be reimbursed out of your settlement.

I hope this helps
Richard Hixenbaugh  

Auto Insurance Claims

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Richard Hixenbaugh

Expertise

Auto insurance claims procedure, auto coverage, liability issues, auto damage questions, how to deal with the insurance company, loss of use and diminished value.

Experience

I have been involved in the insurance industry for over 25 years. I have experience in underwriting, sales, claims adjusting, auto damage estimating, auto value appraising and diminished value appraising. I have testified as an expert witness over 35 times.

Organizations
Society of Certified Auto Appraisers

Education/Credentials
Completed all required courses for the Florida Property-Casualty agents license and the Florida claims adjusters license. I have attended various courses on auto damage estmating, vehicle appraising and am ASE certified in collision damage analysis.

Past/Present Clients
My company has done work for consumers nationwide.

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