If you have been in an accident where AAA insurance is involved your case may be a little bit different than others. We put together a list of tips and tricks in order to have the smoothest process with your AAA claim. From reporting a claim, to what doctors you should go to, we hope our guide will provide helpful information for you with your claim. If you have been injured in an accident, feel free to reach out to our firm for a free consultation.
How to report a car accident to AAA in San Diego?
After being in an accident the first thing you want to do is report the claim. Whether AAA is your insurance company or the company of the party who hit you, it is important to get the claim started as soon as possible. For AAA, it is not as easy as it may seem. If you look up the AAA phone number, the internet will show you the number for road side assistance and that is it. However, the roadside assistance phone number is different than the claims phone number. To add another complexity to this, AAA claims are split into Northern California claims and Southern California claims and it is actually two completely different entities that cannot help you if you call the wrong one.
For Southern California AAA claims Call 1-800-672-5246.
- It will ask you the type of claim and if it is auto, press 2.
- It will ask you if you have your policy number, just hit the # key saying you do not.
- It will then ask you if this is a new claim or an existing claim, press 1 for a new claim.
- A pro-tip here: even if you have an existing claim, it is something more beneficial to hit 1 for a new claim because you can get someone on the phone quicker that way.
Once you talk to a representative here are some tips to remember:
- When asked about your pain make sure you say every area of pain you are having. For example if you have shoulder pain but it is minor, make sure you mention it. What you don’t want to happen is, maybe a week later is gets really bad or even worse or one day you actually need a shoulder surgery. If you didn’t initially mention it, you may not get any money for that injury.
- If you have an attorney, do not make a statement. If you are planning on hiring an attorney, try to avoid making a statement.
- Do not agree to anything during those initial calls. Sometimes adjusters may try and get you accept only $500 for your claim just to close it out. We have even heard of adjusters offering to meet people at a coffee shop in order to try and sign a quick release. Do not agree to anything. Remember there is a 2-year statute of limitations on your case, so there is no rush to close these claims
Tips for AAA car accident cases in San Diego
Ozols Law Firm believes that AAA is actually one of the better insurance companies on the market for their clients. AAA has a different philosophy than some others. AAA doesn’t want their client to get sued so instead they do what they can to resolve claims to the best of their ability. There are some other big name insurance companies that are known for hiring people with little to no experience and putting them in supervisory roll. AAA generally does not do that. However, with that comes along a more educated adjuster who will more thoroughly analyze your case.
If you have a AAA case, for the reasons above, we would suggest a couple things to increase the value of your case.
- Always go to a reputable doctor. The better the doctor, the more reliable the reports are. Orthopedic Specialists and Pain Management Specialists are always much better than chiropractors.
- If your property damage is low (under $1000), talk to an attorney before getting a significant amount of treatment because AAA has been known to send those cases to their Special Investigations Unit.
- Make sure you get continuous care. If there is a time period where you cannot go to the doctor for over a month, make sure the reasons are documented.
- If you missed any work, obtain your pay stubs for three months before the accident and three months after the accident.
Following the tips and tricks above will help increase the value of your case.
Underinsured or Uninsured Claims against AAA (First Party Claims)
An underinsured motorist claim or an uninsured motorist claim is when someone hits you and they don’t have insurance or they don’t have enough insurance to cover the loss. In this situation, if you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage then your own insurance will cover the loss. In these types of situations, you can also call AAA and ask for a copy of your declaration page in order to see what coverages you have and how the loss may be covered.
Medical Payments Coverage on AAA policies
AAA policies often include “medical payments coverage”. This means that AAA will pay a certain amount of your medical bills depending on the coverage. If you have an attorney it is very important you speak to them about this. If you are already seeing a doctor and they ask for your medical payment insurance information, do not give it to them but instead contact an attorney to discuss.
AAA Ordered to pay 26 million dollars
In the past, a major concern for insurance companies was “opening the policy limits” and being in bad faith. Basically, in the simplest terms that means that the insurance company could have settled a case for the policy limits, but instead they made the victim go through the entire litigation process and then the victim got more money than the policy limits even were. When this happens, there is a way for the courts to punish the insurance companies and it is something the insurance companies never want to happen. For example, in 2021, AAA was punished with a verdict of 26 million dollars.
In Hedayati v. Interinsurance Exch. of the Auto. Club, 67 Cal. App. 5th 833 (2021), a California Court of Appeals case, the court awarded 26 million dollars just for a breach of good faith and fair dealing (essentially not even deciding on bad faith). The policy limits were $25,000. It was a 7-day time limit demand that was sent out and AAA decided to not settle the case. The court eventually awarded $26,000,000 and the verdict was held up on appeal. This was a case where someone was injured and the attorneys asked for $25,000. AAA did not think it was worth that and did not offer that. The courts thought it was worth a lot more. In order to punish AAA, they were ordered to pay $26,000,000 for what they did in this case. This case had changed the landscape of personal injury law.
Ozols Law Firm Handles AAA car accident cases
At Ozols Law Firm we handle AAA car accident cases. We have handled a lot of them and know how to deal with AAA in order to secure the best possible result for you in your case. Our years of experience handling their cases has made us an amazing asset for our clients. If you have been injured in a case where someone with AAA insurance caused the accident, feel free to give us a call for a free consultation.