Insurance coverage plays a role in the aftermath of just about any accident that leaves you injured. You might carry health or auto insurance that covers your medical expenses or property damage, for instance. And other individuals, businesses, or entities may carry insurance to cover their liability for your damages.
Obtaining money from an insurance company usually involves filing a claim, and having a personal injury lawyer on your side can make a significant difference in the outcome of your claim. As a personal injury law firm, we frequently handle injury claims against the insurance giant USAA for our clients. Below we describe some of the steps we take in those cases.
What Brings USAA Injury Claims To Our Firm?
As a personal injury law firm, we represent individuals in claims seeking compensation for preventable injuries caused by others. Our attorneys handle a wide variety of personal injury claims, from motor vehicle accidents to falls, to cases of nursing home abuse (to name just a few). Our job is to identify all parties and insurance companies who owe money for our client’s damages and to pursue effective strategies to secure as much money from them as possible.
In the typical personal injury case, the money to pay for the harm done to our client usually comes from either of these insurance categories:
- Insurance our client purchased or that someone purchased for their benefit to cover accidental injury-related losses; and
- Insurance purchased by a party involved in our client’s accident or injury that covers that party’s liability for our client’s damages.
Our lawyers frequently have cases in which USAA-issued insurance may pay for at least some of our client’s losses. USAA offers numerous types of insurance to its customers.
Our team may represent a client who has the right to seek payment under any of these USAA policies:
- Personal injury protection (PIP)
- Accidental injury
- Uninsured or underinsured motorists
- Health, dental, vision, or long-term care
- Life insurance
- Workers’ compensation
- Motor vehicle, RV, motorcycle, or boat accident liability
- Homeowners Liability
- Business general liability
- Professional liability
- Umbrella liability
As this list suggests, USAA offers insurance coverage that could cover virtually any accidental injury. No matter what the circumstances or type of policy, our team is able to handle an injured person’s claim against USAA.
How We Can Handle USAA Injury Claims?
Our attorneys understand that every personal injury is a unique event. Every client we represent faces highly personal challenges and has particular needs. For that reason, we approach every USAA injury claim with fresh eyes and a determination to tailor our services to our client’s priorities. And that means never treating any case as a cookie-cutter exercise.
The steps we take for an injured client in a USAA injury claim can vary. But whatever a case throws our way, we have the experience and resources to do what’s necessary to secure the most favorable result possible. Here is a review of some tasks our team frequently performs in pursuing compensation from USAA on our client’s behalf.
Investigation of a Claim
Our team begins many representations of clients in USAA injury cases by investigating what happened. The point of an investigation is to identify whose decisions, actions, or inaction led to our client getting hurt and, thus, who may owe our client monetary damages.
We typically start our investigation by meeting with our clients or their loved ones to learn their perspectives on the events that led to an injury. In connection with that meeting, we may also collect background documentation from them, such as accident reports, medical bills, or correspondence they’ve received from insurance companies.
But we don’t stop our investigation there. Our lawyers understand that obtaining maximum compensation in a personal injury case often requires additional digging to uncover critical evidence to prove another party’s liability.
For example, we may:
- Examine the accident scene for clues to what happened
- Submit damaged property for forensic evaluation
- Talk to people who participated in or saw what happened
- Locate and review electronic records
- Retain experts to analyze any evidence we uncover
Throughout our claim investigation, we aim to build the strongest possible claim for our client to make against USAA or another potentially liable insurer. We have the resources and skills to follow the evidence wherever it may lead.
Evaluation of Our Client’s Damages
Building a strong claim isn’t just a matter of proving liability on the part of USAA or its policyholder, however. It also requires careful examination and documentation of the harm our client has suffered. We use evidence of our client’s damages to support the size of the claim we make to USAA and others.
Every USAA personal injury claims our firm handles differ, but in general, our injured clients can demand compensation for their:
- Injury-related medical expenses, past and future
- Other costs of living with, adapting to, or recovering from their injuries
- Lost income and job benefits, past and future
- Physical pain and discomfort due to an injury or medical treatments
- Emotional distress and mental health challenges stemming from their injury
- Loss of independence and daily inconvenience
- Diminished enjoyment of life, activities, and personal relationships
- Scarring and disfigurement
Sometimes, our investigation will reveal that our client can also rightfully pursue a claim for punitive damages, which aims to punish an at-fault party for extreme misconduct. And in the case of a fatal accident, our team may advise the victim’s surviving spouse or family members that they have the right to pursue separate damages for wrongful death. A USAA insurance policy may cover many, if not all, of these damages.
Analysis of Insurance Policies
Our lawyers also pay close attention to the terms and conditions of insurance policies potentially available to pay a claim. We review USAA policy documents to determine the exact extent of coverage benefiting our client. Insurance companies often rely on the strict terms of their contract with a policyholder to try to avoid liability for a claim. Our team prepares to respond to those sorts of arguments so that we can prove that an insurer like USAA has an obligation to pay.
We also carefully analyze cases to determine the amount of insurance coverage our client can hope to obtain. Insurance policies set maximum limits on the amount the insurer would have to pay for a covered claim. These limits can affect the value of our client’s claim, so we examine them to ensure that we demand the maximum compensation available under every applicable policy.
Once we have investigated and analyzed our client’s USAA injury claim, we typically turn to craft a strategy designed to obtain the most favorable possible result. We might recommend several methods of demanding compensation under a USAA insurance policy, depending on the facts of a case and our client’s priorities.
They may include, for example:
- Starting informal discussions with USAA or its policyholder about paying for our client’s damages;
- Submitting a formal insurance claim to USAA documenting why we believe coverage is appropriate under the terms of the policy;
- Suing USAA or its policyholder in court demanding payment of our client’s damages.
These aren’t the only options we might recommend, but they’re the most common. We may propose pursuing just one of these options, one at a time, or multiple options at once.
Any strategy we recommend will aim to obtain maximum compensation as quickly and efficiently as possible while being in keeping with our client’s needs. But it’s always our client’s decision whether and when to proceed.
Seeking a Negotiated Resolution With USAA
Any strategy we and our client choose will usually aim to achieve a favorable result either through negotiation or litigation (i.e., going to court). Most USAA injury claims we handle end in a negotiated settlement. A settlement is an agreement between an injured party, an insurance company, and the insurance company’s policyholder to resolve a damages claim.
In the typical USAA injury claim settlement, USAA pays our client an agreed amount in exchange for our client releasing USAA and its policyholder from future damages liability.
Negotiated settlements can happen at any time in the course of pursuing a claim. If we make informal overtures to or file a claim with USAA, the company will usually assign an adjuster to examine the claim and connect with us to discuss USAA’s response.
USAA will often respond to a claim in one of three ways:
- It may accept the claim and agree to pay it in full;
- It may deny the claim and refuse to pay any of it (which doesn’t necessarily mean USAA will stick to that position); or
- It may defer a decision until it has more information (which is usually a signal of openness to negotiating at least a settlement).
It would be ideal if USAA agreed to pay all claims immediately, and that does happen on occasion. But the more typical response is for USAA to deny or defer claim decisions that leave open the possibility of negotiating a settlement for something less than the full amount demanded. In those cases, our role often involves providing USAA with additional information and advocating for our client’s claim. Frequently, through our efforts, we can bring USAA’s adjuster around to our view that our client deserves a payment under the applicable policy.
USAA injury cases tend to settle because the parties our client, USAA, and USAA’s policyholder frequently prefer the certainty and efficiency of resolving a case through an agreement than in court. As seasoned negotiators, we have a strong track record of negotiating favorable settlements that pay our clients all or nearly all of their damages up to the limit of the insurance policies at issue.
Going to Court Against USAA or Its Policyholder
Although most USAA injury claims settle, there’s no guarantee that they will. Sometimes negotiations with USAA’s adjuster or policyholder fail to yield favorable settlement terms. In those cases, we may recommend that our client authorize us to take their claim to court, to be resolved in a trial in front of a judge and jury.
Our team prepares USAA injury claims as if all of them will go to trial, even though most won’t. We do that because sometimes, the most effective way to convince an insurance company or defense lawyer to settle is to show that we’re ready to go the distance to see justice done and fair compensation paid to our client. That way, even if settlement negotiations do not succeed, we’re always prepared to stand up in court to prove our client’s claim.
You Can Afford a Lawyer for Your USAA Injury Claim
People who have a potential USAA injury claim to make sometimes wonder whether they can afford to hire a lawyer to handle their case. Injuries can cause financial strain that would make it difficult, if not impossible, to pay an attorney’s fees upfront or as a case goes along.
We understand the money squeeze our injured clients often face, and that’s why we routinely agree to represent them on a contingent fee basis. That’s when our fee consists only of a percentage of whatever we recover for them from USAA, its policyholder, or some other liable party. We will typically get to work on a USAA injury claim without requesting a dime of upfront money from our client and without ever charging by the hour for our efforts.
We only get paid, in other words, if we get results for our clients. That way, anyone who needs our help with a USAA injury claim can afford to ask for it.
Contact an Experienced USAA Injury Claim Attorney Today
Did you or someone you love suffer injuries in an accident that were someone else’s fault? If so, an insurance policy issued by USAA may cover some of your damages. But that doesn’t mean it’ll be easy to get the money owed to you. Chances are you’ll need a skilled lawyer to represent you in your USAA injury claim if you want a good result.
There’s no time to lose. Contact an experienced Levin Firm's personal injury claim lawyer in Philadelphia today for a free consultation about your rights.