Your USAA Injury Lawsuit Questions Answered
If you were involved in an accident caused by a driver with USAA insurance, it can be challenging to know who to sue, how to negotiate with USAA, and what steps are involved in a USAA injury lawsuit.
You have several choices for pursuing compensation after receiving a personal injury. In many cases having an attorney can make the process easier and give you a higher chance of reaching the personal injury settlement you deserve.
Here are answers to some of the frequent questions we see about USAA Insurance:
As of December 2022, the CEO of USAA is Wayne Peacock, who has over thirty years of experience working at USAA.
The headquarters for USAA is located in San Antonio, Texas.
According to one survey, USAA has a 909 score out of 1000, whereas the industry average is 880. Most of this has to do with policy coverage, accessibility for military overseas, and fees. Still, there are complaints about the claims handling process and customer service.
If you’re a driver insured by USAA, the company says they make it easy to file auto insurance claims. You have the option to submit your claim:
USAA states that once you report the details, you’ll get an estimate, arrange repairs, and USAA will follow up with you about any injuries involved in the incident.
If you are involved in an accident with another party insured by USAA, you will go through your insurance provider, who would serve as a point of contact with USAA for you.
But sometimes, it can be difficult to get the right escalation when you need it. And if you feel that USAA is stonewalling you or that your insurance isn’t standing up for you, that can be where legal options come into play.
USAA gives many options for getting an insurance claim, but they don’t have instructions internally on challenging and insurance payout. At best, you can try to escalate your claim with a representative or consider alternative legal options like hiring an attorney.
Yes, there are different circumstances where you can sue USAA if you are injured. If you are injured on someone’s private property, at work, or in a car accident, and the responsible party has USAA as their insurance provider, then you would sue USAA for compensation for your injuries.
If you suffer a personal injury, you can sue the person responsible for compensation. But do you sue USAA or the driver?
Sometimes parties overlap. For this reason, it might be better to work with an attorney who can help you determine who you should sue.
For example, you might be in a car accident, but the driver might be using a company vehicle with company auto insurance. So, you would sue the company owner and their company auto insurance provider.
However, if that driver was using a company car insured by a company policy but they were using it for personal purposes outside of company rules, you might sue the driver directly and their private auto insurance provider.
If you don’t like how USAA has handled your injury claim, you have other options for lodging a complaint.
USAA has recently settled a lawsuit in Mississippi over underpaid auto claims.
There may be other USAA class action lawsuits as well. If you are eligible for a class action lawsuit, the court will typically attempt to notify you through the mail with instructions on how to determine if you are owed compensation.
To pursue a personal injury lawsuit against USAA:
This depends entirely on your situation. In a USAA lawsuit, you can claim damages for things like:
An attorney can help you determine how much you may be able to seek in damages because every situation is unique. A construction worker with a torn ligament in their knee and permanent soft tissue damage will suffer more emotional distress and loss of earning capacity compared to an engineer who sits at a desk in an office and can comfortably return to work even with soft tissue damage in their knee.
In a personal injury lawsuit against USAA, you can request two types of compensation:
Both types have limits. According to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics, the average winnings for tort cases—which include personal injury claims—in 2005 was $31,000, but for car accidents, it was $16,000.
Insurance companies like USAA typically calculate a settlement offer for a personal injury lawsuit by reviewing multiple factors.
First, there are the proven costs. USAA will look at compensatory damages based on what receipts you have, invoices, or pay stubs. All of that is used to figure out what you have spent or what income you have lost as a direct result of that injury.
Second, there are the injuries themselves. USAA will examine the severity of the injuries and how they have impacted your daily life. They’ll look at the proven cost associated with your medical treatment and how your injuries may have led to emotional distress. Compensation for injuries is typically between one and five times the total cost of your medical bills.
If you think USAA is offering an unfair settlement for your injuries, it may be time to consider hiring an attorney.
Insurance companies like USAA typically determine pain and suffering based on a lot of factors as well. This is somewhat similar to the second part of calculating a settlement in that USAA looks at your injuries directly. They figure out how your injuries have impacted daily life and resulted in pain and suffering. A torn ligament in your knee with permanent soft tissue damage might have a more significant level of pain and suffering for a construction worker who has to work on their feet all day compared to an office worker who can sit in a comfortable chair all day. These are things that USAA will consider in its evaluation.
Having an attorney can make it much easier for you to project what factors might be used in determining pain and suffering based on your situation and provide evidence for those factors. An attorney can help you draft the demand letter to include compensation for pain and suffering as well.
Once a settlement is reached, USAA has to send the final payment within 30 days. However, it can take months or years to settle a personal injury case in the first place, even without a formal lawsuit. A big part of this is how willing USAA is to negotiate a fair offer of settlement and whether your case goes to court.
An experienced lawyer who has settled cases against USAA in the past may be able to give you a helpful estimate depending on the specifics of your situation.
This looks a little different for everyone. If you have USAA, you will submit a claim for compensation through your policy. If the negligent party responsible for your injury has USAA, then you would start by submitting a claim to their insurance through a demand letter. An attorney can help you draft a demand letter and send it to USAA with all of the necessary evidence.
Once USAA has that demand letter, they will open a case and start their investigation. They’ll also start negotiations with you. The negotiation process is based entirely on your circumstances. USAA can request additional information, reject some of your requests for compensation but offer money for the rest, give you a lower counteroffer, or reject your claim entirely. An attorney can negotiate on your behalf during this process.
USAA might claim that they aren’t the responsible insurance provider because of overlapping parties. In this case, you might have to start over with your attorney and send a demand letter to someone else or continue to pursue compensation from USAA. Alternatively, if they won’t pay out at all, your next step is to sue them in court with a personal injury lawsuit.
The best way to maximize your insurance settlement with USAA is to have sufficient evidence and to work with an attorney.
Generally, having a lawyer will often result in a stronger and more successful case with maximized settlements.
An attorney can help you prove that the other party for whom USAA provides insurance was negligent and their negligence directly caused your injuries. An attorney can also help you gather the right evidence to support your claims for lost income, injuries, or mental suffering.
How long a USAA lawsuit lasts depends on many factors:
Personal injury lawsuits can last anywhere between a few months and a few years. According to a study by the National Center for State Courts, personal injury cases average 16 months. This figure decreases if USAA is willing to settle your claim.
No, you are not legally required to have a lawyer for a personal injury claim against USAA.
However, having a lawyer will often result in a stronger and more successful case.
If you are unsatisfied with the financial compensation you are offered by USAA after an accident, an attorney can help you maximize that compensation.
If you live in a fault state, you will have to prove that you were at less fault than the other party, which an attorney can help you with.
In a USAA injury lawsuit, a lawyer does many things.
This looks different for everyone, but you have to pay out-of-pocket for things like repairs to your vehicle and medical bills. You also have to suffer lost income. However, when it comes to hiring an attorney, you don’t typically have to pay anything out of pocket. Most personal injury attorneys use a contingency agreement, so if you hire a personal injury attorney for your USAA injury lawsuit, they do all the work for you and take a percentage of your settlements at the end of the case. This percentage is usually between 30% and 40%.
So if a lawyer helps you get that much more—or reach a USAA Insurance settlement when you otherwise wouldn’t have—then hiring them can be a good investment.
You can find a good lawyer for a USAA injury lawsuit by asking for recommendations from third-party businesses or friends and family who have gone through injury cases themselves. You can use reference tools to look up lawyers who are listed under your State Bar directory.
Once you have a list of potential lawyers, you can arrange a consultation. Most personal injury attorneys provide free consultations. This is a 30-minute interview where they determine whether you have grounds for a case, where you both see if it’s a good fit, and where you have a chance to ask important questions.
Use this consultation to ask about the fee structure. If they decide it’s a good fit and you have a case, most attorneys will readily offer this information. This is also a good chance for you to ask about their qualifications and experience. Worker’s compensation claims differ greatly from car accident injury or medical malpractice claims. It might be in your best interest to work with an attorney with a history of successfully negotiating cases involving your type of injury and working directly with USAA.