How Long Does It Take to Negotiate an Injury Settlement with USAA?Last updated on: May 30, 2018
CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH A USAA CAR ACCIDENT SETTLEMENT ATTORNEY
Car accidents can inflict long-term hardship on victims. If you were involved in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation.
USAA specializes in processing insurance claims that result from automobile accidents. Dealing with USAA may be difficult if you lack the experience and knowledge to do so. A car accident settlement attorney may be able to help you seek adequate compensation for your injuries.
If you have been injured in a car accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free case evaluation with our USAA car accident settlement attorneys.
What is USAA?
USAA, or the United Services Automobile Association, is a diversified financial services group of companies that offers banking, investing, and insurance to members of the United States Armed Forces and their families. Although the company originally only offered a short list of policies, USAA has since expanded to offer policies in many different categories. This broad range of products allows USAA to cover a wide market and protect military personnel from many different life events.
USAA, unlike other insurance providers, limits its availability solely to military-related individuals. In particular, USAA offers its coverage to U.S. military members, veterans, recommissioned officers, spouses, and children. This narrow scope not only allows USAA to focus more narrowly on the needs of military families, but also gives military families more specialized options when choosing an insurance provider. Notably, many employees of USAA also have ties with the military in their own lives.
Even if you are not eligible for USAA coverage, you may still be forced to deal with the agency if you are involved in a car accident with a USAA-covered driver. In these situations, you may have to speak with USAA representatives and file through their specific claim database. These requirements may become burdensome, especially to a victim with limited experience. Thus, it may be beneficial to retain an attorney who specializes in these settlement negotiations and agreements.
How Does USAA Handle Claims?
Like many other insurance companies, the first step to receiving compensation for your injuries is to file a claim with USAA. USAA utilizes technology-based platforms for this step and many others. These insurance claims can be filed on USAA’s mobile application, website, or through the telephone. However, USAA states that the mobile application is the quickest avenue for filing an automobile insurance claim. The simplest of claims may take an hour, while more complex claims may take weeks to complete.
After the initial insurance claim has been filed by one of the involved parties, a USAA agent typically reaches out to the other party to request more information about the incident. The agent may request information about witnesses, injuries, and even property damage. These telephone interviews can take substantial amounts of time, especially if the involved driver is not expecting the call and, thus, has not prepared the information ahead of time. Additionally, your USAA representative may even utilize an investigator to evaluate the validity of your claims and make an appropriate estimate. You will also receive your repair estimates online in your USAA timeline. USAA has recently introduced a photo estimation online tool that allows clients to receive a damage estimate within four hours of submission.
If you have been injured or sustained property damage during a car accident, you may want to contact an attorney before accepting any USAA settlement offer. Insurance companies may take advantage of your inexperience and offer you a less-than-favorable offer in an attempt to make you settle. If you accept a settlement offer and then later find out that you could have received more, you may be left with an unsatisfactory amount to cover your damages.
What Should I Consider When Determining How Much My Claim is Worth?
Unfortunately, car accidents can cost drivers substantial amounts of time, money, and effort. According to experts, a fatal car accident in the United States can cost upwards of $1,410,000 per death. An accident with a non-fatal disabling injury, on average, costs $78,900, while an accident with non-disabling injuries typically costs at least $10,000, depending on the insurance of the involved parties. Ultimately, car accidents are not cheap, regardless of the specifics of the accident.
If you have been involved in a car accident, it may be crucial for you to determine what minimum amount you would be willing to accept before entering the insurance negotiation room. Insurance adjusters are skilled at mitigating their company’s responsibility. Undeniably, your insurance company will try to pay you the least amount possible. Unfortunately, this may leave you with unresolved damages and bills. When determining what your claim is worth, there are a few factors that you should consider:
- Physical injuries
- Associated trauma
- Vehicle damage
- Actions of the responsible driver
- Your mitigation efforts
- Cause of the accident
- Resulting medical bills
- Permanent bodily harm
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
While this list is not exhaustive, it may serve as an important starting point for your calculations. Notably, calculating damages in a car accident settlement suit can be a daunting task. An experienced car accident attorney may be able to help you calculate these damages and get the highest settlement offer possible.
How Can A Lawyer Help Me Get a Settlement for a Car Accident with USAA?
While proceeding to trial may be the only avenue for redress in some cases, many car accident victims choose to settle outside of court for a variety of reasons. Accepting a settlement offer often helps victims move on with their lives and recover from the accident more quickly than victims who choose to proceed to a trial. If you are interested in settling your car accident claim, an attorney may be able to help you. A car accident settlement lawyer may be able to help you:
1. Determine Fault
Unfortunately, it is not always obvious who is at fault for a car accident. Regardless, determining fault is a critical step for those who wish to seek legal redress for their injuries and damages. The negligence standards vary from state to state, and states allocate fault differently as well. Further, some states are “no-fault” insurance states, which requires every auto policy to include personal injury protection, which covers the injured policyholder regardless of who was at fault. A car accident settlement attorney may be able to help you navigate your state’s liability laws to adequately pinpoint the responsible party.
2. Navigate the Filing Process
As previously explained, USAA has a specific process for filing an insurance claim with their company. Even if you are not a customer of USAA, you may be forced to deal with their extensive filing procedures before receiving any compensation. An experienced personal injury attorney may be able to help you speed up this process by completing and submitting your paperwork in a timely manner.
3. Assess Your Damages
Although there are some general factors to consider when determining your damages, the calculation itself may still prove to be difficult for individuals unfamiliar with the insurance system. A car accident attorney may be able to help you seek many different types of damages, including uncommon ones. Thus, it may be especially beneficial to consult with a professional about all of the potential damages available to you.
4. Negotiate a Fair Settlement
When dealing with USAA and other large insurance companies, experience and knowledge of the applicable law are extremely important, especially when attempting to negotiate a fair settlement. An experienced lawyer may be able to represent you in negotiations with the insurance company and help you seek a fair settlement.
Get Help from Zinda Law Group’s Car Accident Settlement Attorneys
Car accidents can impose serious hardship onto a victim and their livelihood. These accidents usually involve high stakes and substantial dollar amounts. Additionally, settlements of these claims may also involve an analysis of state laws governing liability and fault allocation. If you have been involved in a car accident, you should contact a lawyer who handles USAA car accident settlements as soon as possible. An experienced attorney may be able to help you seek legal recourse for any damages related to the car accident and negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company.
At Zinda Law Group, we have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you seek the highest compensation possible. The sooner you contact our office, the higher the likelihood that we will be able to assist you.
If you or a loved one has sustained damages in a USAA-related car accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers. You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.