USAA Settlement Case Review
Being in a car accident can be a traumatic experience, and dealing with the aftermath is often even more difficult. When you're in an accident, the last thing you want to deal with is insurance paperwork, and talking with an adjuster can be frustrating and time-consuming.
Resolving an auto insurance claim can be a long and frustrating process. You have to gather evidence, speak to adjusters, and often wait weeks or months for a resolution.
Our team of experienced attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC can help you get the settlement you deserve from USAA. We know how to deal with their adjusters, and we'll fight for your rights.
We fight aggressively on behalf of our clients to ensure they receive full financial compensation for their injuries. If you need a lawyer following an Illinois motor vehicle accident with a USAA-insurance policyholder, contact our car accident lawyers today at (888) 424-5757 to schedule a free consultation.
Background on United Services Automobile Association Insurance Company
As a Fortune 500 financial service company, USAA (United States Automobile Association) provides services primarily to U.S. military service members, retirees, and their families. First launched in 1922, USAA now offers:
- Vehicle insurance
- Home insurance
- Whole and term life insurance
- Financial planning services
- Banking and annuity opportunities.
The insurer now has over ten million members generating tens of billions of dollars annually. In the 1980s, the company established a bank for members that can be accessed online, in person, or over a smartphone.
USAA has been the subject of several class-action lawsuits over the years. Many of these lawsuits have been related to the company's auto insurance rates and its foreclosure practices. The company has since expanded its operations to include the UK, Germany, and Italy.
Key Facts About USAA Car Accident Claims
Many people in car accidents don't know what to do or how to act afterward. Insurance companies are businesses. Their goal is to make money, not help you.
Most car accident victims are surprised to learn that insurance companies often try to settle cases quickly. They might offer lowball settlements that don't even cover the full cost of medical treatment or vehicle repairs.
The Role of Claims Adjusters
Claims adjusters working for USAA are taught to resolve the case quickly after doing their due diligence. It's important to remember that claims adjusters are not your friend,., which is why it is always best to speak with an attorney before giving the insurer a statement about what happened.
The job of a claims adjuster includes:
- Investigate the accident
- Gather evidence
- Talk to witnesses
- Determine who was at fault
- Calculate the cost of damages
- Negotiate a settlement with the other party's insurance company
The claims adjuster will then make a recommendation to their supervisor. The supervisor will decide whether to accept or deny the claim. If the claim is denied, the accident victim will have to file a lawsuit.
If the claim is accepted, the adjuster will negotiate a settlement with the other driver's insurance company. The goal of the adjuster is to settle the claim for as little money as possible.
What You Might Expect When Submitting a Claim
If you do not have legal representation, the insurer or claims adjuster might use various techniques to convince you that they are on your side.
Adjusters use a variety of methods to try to gain your trust. They may:
- Act like they are your friend
- Appear to be helpful
- Try to downplay the seriousness of your injuries
- Promise to pay your medical bills
- Offer a quick settlement
Their goal is to protect their bottom line.
If you've been injured in a car accident, make sure that you contact an experienced attorney for legal representation before engaging with any insurance adjusters. When an adjuster tells you they're on your side or just need a recorded statement to speed up your claim process, know that these are ploys to reduce your payment.
USAA Might Try to Resolve Your Case with a Lowball Settlement Offer
USAA will usually send you a letter offering you a lowball settlement when you file a claim. The offer will be much less than what your auto claim is worth. Once you accept any offer made by the insurance company, you forfeit your right to ever seek additional compensation in the future if you find you have other damages.
Some of these damage elements include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
If you've been in an accident, don't let USAA take advantage of you. Speak with an attorney before you speak with an adjuster or sign any documents. You should never accept any offer without first talking to an attorney and never accept the first offer made by USAA.
USAA Is a Tough Negotiator
No insurer is going to hand over a check for the full value of your auto insurance claim. You need an experienced car accident lawyer to negotiate with them.
People don’t realize that most insurance companies train their adjusters to lowball claimants. They do this in the hopes that you will take the money and go away.
Examples of USAA Verdicts & Settlements
USAA has been involved in several court cases and has reached settlements in many of them. The insurance company understands that they will likely have to pay more money if they go to court. So, they will often try to settle before the case goes to trial.
While every case is different, and the amount of money that you can expect to receive will depend on the facts of your particular case, Here are some notable examples of USAA settlements:
$15.5 Million Auto Insurance Settlement
In 2017, USAA paid a $15.5 million settlement to a woman who a USAA-insured driver hit. The woman suffered serious injuries in the accident, including a broken neck and a traumatic brain injury.
The woman filed a lawsuit against the driver and USAA. The driver was found liable for the accident, and USAA was found liable for failing to investigate the driver’s history properly.
$12 Million False Advertising Settlement
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a $12 million settlement with USAA in 2019 over claims that the company misled consumers about the fees it charged for its deposit products. Under the terms of the car accident settlement, USAA is banned from making any misleading statements about the fees it charges and must pay a fine of $3.5 million.
$5.5 Million Racial Discrimination Settlement
A class-action lawsuit was filed against USAA in 2016, alleging that the company discriminated against African-American and Hispanic customers by charging them higher prices for auto insurance. The lawsuit was settled in 2019 for $5.5 million, with USAA agreeing to change its pricing practices.
$200000 Settlement From USAA (Shoulder Surgery)
A man in Texas underwent shoulder surgery in 2014 after a car collision. The man filed a lawsuit against USAA in 2017. USAA paid for his medical bills but denied his request for an additional $200,000 to pay for the surgery and treatment.
The jury found that USAA failed to act in good faith when it processed the man’s insurance claim. He was awarded $200,000 as compensation for his medical expenses and pain and suffering.
USAA Pays $450,000 for Lower Back Surgery for Client Injured in Car Crash
A woman in Florida was injured in an automobile accident and underwent surgery to fuse two vertebrae in her lower back. She submitted a claim to USAA, her insurer, but the company denied coverage. The woman then sued USAA and reached a personal injury settlement with USAA. A total sum of $450,000 was paid in 2016.
USAA has been involved in several cases where it has been accused of misleading customers or discriminating against them. In many of these cases, the company has reached settlements with the plaintiffs.
Types of USAA Car Liability Insurance Coverage
USAA offers several different types of car liability coverage, including:
- Bodily Injury Liability Coverage – This coverage will pay for the other driver's medical treatment, pain, and suffering if you are at fault for the accident. The minimum amount of coverage is $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident.
- Property Damage Liability Coverage – It covers damages caused to any other person's property by the covered car. It includes home and property insurance, car insurance, and liability. If you are at fault for the accident, this coverage will pay for the repaired or replaced property of others involved in the accident.
- Underinsured or Uninsured Motorist Coverage – This coverage will pay for the damages caused by another motorist who doesn't have insurance or doesn't have enough insurance to cover your expenses. Most states require that you carry this type of insurance.
- No-Fault Coverage – No-fault insurance only applies to certain states. It will pay for your medical bills, lost income, and other damages if you are injured in an accident that is not your fault. It does not apply to all states in the US, but some require it.
- Additional Coverage – USAA also offers additional coverage, including collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, personal injury protection, and rental car reimbursement.
If you've been in an accident with a USAA-insured driver, don’t wait. Contact our law firm today and let us help you get the fair settlement you deserve.
Filing a Car Accident Claim With USAA
Unlike most insurance companies, USAA does not use agents to resolve filed complaints but instead does all their business over the internet, phone, or mail.
Many consumers have complained of the lack of the company's personal touch, leaving them to feel at the mercy of claims adjusters who take too long to respond to car accident victims' immediate need for answers. However, the USAA auto accident insurance claim process is straightforward.
If you are involved in an auto accident with a USAA policyholder, there are specific steps you should take quickly after the crash occurs, including:
- After the collision, protect yourself and the passengersin the vehicle by moving off the road if possible to safeguard from moving traffic
- Turn on the vehicle's hazard lights and call 911 for police assistance and immediate medical attention, even if you believe that no one in your car or other vehicles suffers from severe injury or internal damage. You have just experienced a car accident, and your adrenaline is soaring, which could be masking the pain, discomfort, or injuries you will likely become aware of in the hours or days ahead.
- Photograph the scene of the accident and property damage to your vehicle
- Once the emergency medical technicians (ambulance) arrive at the scene, request to be taken to the hospitalor closest emergency room as quickly as possible.
- You are not required to give your side of the story to the police officer at the accident scene if you are being transported for medical care. If the police officer filing the report asks you to give a written or oral statement, whether on the accident scene or at the hospital, tell them you will provide a response when you are out of harm's danger.
- Contact an attorney to help you formulate your thoughts on protecting your rights to seek compensation if you suspect or believe the other party is responsible for causing the crash.
- You will have to exchange contact information, vehicle registration, and insurance info, if possible, with all other parties involved and the law enforcement officer filing the report.
Contact a friend or family member to take photographic evidence of the accident scene and all property damage. Covering your bases by gathering evidence could be crucial to your case and help minimize future problems.
Your attorney will want information on what happened, including the time of the collision, current weather and road conditions, and the estimated velocity that the vehicles were traveling when the crash occurred.
Likely, the police will prepare the report by gathering witness testimony from others at the accident scene.
The collected information will be necessary to help you build your case to prove to your side that the USAA-insured driver was at fault for your injuries and damages. This evidence will substantiate the facts of your personal injury claim during the negotiation process for settlement or when taking your case to trial.
What You Can Expect With USAA Claims Handling
Before an auto insurance company assumes responsibility for paying a bodily injury claim for a car accident, they will send investigators to gather evidence, speak to witnesses, and review your medical records. The facts and evidence will help determine the extent of your injuries and who is at fault.
USAA, like all insurance carriers, including GEICO, Allstate, and State Farm is more concerned with satisfying the financial requirements of their shareholders than providing compensation to victims required in the car insurance policy coverage agreement.
Additionally, the car insurance adjuster will go to great lengths using proven strategies and tactics to minimize the amount of compensation you receive. Immediately following the crash, you will likely receive a call from the USAA adjusters stating they are interested in closing the case quickly by offering you an accident settlement check.
However, our legal team advises our clients to avoid speaking to the accident claims adjuster and providing any written or oral account of what happened.
We recommend never signing any document or accepting the settlement check without first speaking with an attorney specializing in vehicle accident cases.
USAA Auto Insurance Car Accident Injury FAQs
Below are some frequently asked questions related to personal injury claims with USAA Insurance. We appreciate that you may have additional questions about your situation; we welcome you to contact our Chicago, IL, car accident attorneys for a free consultation regarding your legal options.
How Long Does USAA Take to Process a Personal Injury Claim?
It can take USAA roughly 30 days to process injury claims. Most claims are processed within 60 days. However, depending on the severity of your injuries and whether or not the other driver was found at fault, this can vary. If your claim is taking longer than expected, you may want to reach out to a USAA customer service representative for an update on the status of your claim.
How Much is the Average USAA Settlement for a Vehicle Accident?
The USAA average settlement for a car crash will vary depending on the facts of your case. Some factors that may affect the amount of your settlement include:
- The severity of your injuries
- The extent of damage to your vehicle
- Whether you were at fault for the accident
- The state in which the accident occurred
- The amount of insurance coverage available
- The strength of your legal case
If you have been involved in a car crash with USAA, we encourage you to contact our office for a free consultation. Our experienced personal injury lawyers can review your case and help you understand what you may be entitled to in terms of a settlement.
How Do I Submit a Claim to USAA?
If you have been involved in a car accident and believe that USAA is liable for your damages, you will need to submit a claim to the company.
You can do this by filling out a claim form on the USAA website or by calling the company's customer service number. Once you have submitted your auto insurance claim, USAA will investigate the accident and determine whether or not they are liable for your damages.
How Does USAA Evaluate No-Fault and Underinsured Claims?
USAA will generally evaluate no-fault and underinsured motorist claims differently, depending on your car insurance policy. For example, if you are a USAA policyholder, your no-fault and underinsured motorist coverage may apply even if another driver was at fault for the accident.
However, this is not always the case, and it is important to review your policy carefully to understand precisely how USAA will evaluate your claim. It is also recommended to consult with a personal attorney if you have any questions about the settlement process or your rights after a car crash.
If you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident, you can still file an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim under your policy's liability coverage with your insurance carrier. The amount they pay will likely be based on the policy limits.
There are many things to consider when determining whether or not you will receive a settlement check from USAA and, if so, how long it will take.
By understanding the process and working with an auto accident attorney, you can successfully navigate this situation and get the fair settlement you deserve.
How Do You Talk With an Insurance Adjuster?
While claims adjusters are hired to settle accident claims, they are also trained to make lowball offers significantly lower than the case's actual value. If you received a lowball settlement offer, refuse to accept it.
Make a counteroffer detailing exactly how much your case is worth, emphasizing the extent of your injuries, the amount of property damage you have endured, and the emotional pain. Be sure that your counteroffer is in writing.
Finally, if the insurance company does not accept your counteroffer, consider hiring a personal injury attorney specializing in car crashes and insurers' 'bad faith' offers.
Should I Call My Insurance Company or the Other Party?
If you are physically able, you must report the accident to your insurer and ensure that a police report has been filed. Your insurer will ask you for the police report number or make you obtain a copy to submit with your claim.
You should also avoid talking to other insurance companies until you have consulted with your own insurer and an experienced attorney.
The other side's insurance adjuster will likely try to trick you into making statements that could be used against you later or accept a lowball settlement offer that does not begin to cover your damages.
It is important to remember that you are not required to give a recorded statement to the other driver's insurance company. It is almost always in your best interest to consult with an attorney before talking to any insurance adjuster.
How Do I Get the Most Money From a Car Accident?
You must take specific steps after an accident to receive maximum compensation for your damages. Immediately following the crash, remain at the accident scene and call the police to report what happened.
If possible, gather information from other drivers and eyewitnesses. Be sure that the ambulance transports you to the nearest emergency room or urgent care center for an accurate diagnosis, even if you believe you are not injured.
Be sure to report what happened to your insurance carrier, and maintain accurate records of your:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
Also, note the extent of your injuries and take photographs of cuts, bruises, broken bones, deformities, and scars to support your compensation claim.
Finally, be sure to follow doctor recommendations and never miss an appointment. Your medical records will support your claim to recover damages.
Hiring a Chicago Car Accident Attorney to Handle Your USAA Insurance Claim
Were you harmed in a vehicle accident and suffered injuries, property damage, or lost a loved one caused by others? If so,contact our law office today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) to discuss your legal options and schedule a free consultation.
Our law firm has extensive experience representing people injured in Chicago auto accidents. We accept all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits through a contingency fee agreement.
This arrangement will postpone your payment of all our legal services until we have successfully resolved your case to a jury trial award or negotiate it out of court settlement. We offer every client a "Know Win/No-Fee" Guarantee, meaning if we cannot secure compensation on your behalf, you owe us nothing.
Time is of the essence. Speak with a personal injury lawyer in our office before the state statute of limitations expires in your case. All discussions about your USAA claim with our law firm remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.