Don’t Trust USAA Insurance After a Crash with a Driver Insured by USAA
POSTED BY Scott O’Sullivan
April 25, 2023
Auto Insuranceinsurance companies
Just because USAA has a reputation for representing the good guys – US military personnel and their families – doesn’t mean you can trust USAA any more than any other insurance company. Yes, their mission is admirable, but their tactics are just like any other insurance company. They want to protect their bottom line.
This article shares information about dealing with USAA after a car crash and I hope it’s helpful to you and your family. However, I strongly encourage you to call me for a free consultation before you speak with a USAA insurance adjuster.
What is the biggest mistake that people make when dealing with USAA insurance?
The biggest mistake people make when dealing with USAA insurance after a car crash is this: They give USAA their trust. And then they open up to their insurance adjusters.
USAA insurance primarily serves military personnel and their families, which lends a certain cachet to their brand. We support and trust our military, so of course an insurance company that caters to the military must also be trustworthy, right? Wrong.
USAA may serve an esteemed clientele, but they still have to watch their bottom line. And USAA does this like every other insurance company out there: they limit how much they pay in claims, settlements and trials.
Therefore, the biggest mistake people make when dealing with USAA insurance is talking to their adjusters without an attorney present. If you believe your case is too simple or cut-and-dried for an attorney’s help, why not find out for sure? Call the O’Sullivan Law Firm for a free consultation. If we think your case doesn’t warrant legal help, we will simply tell you!
Why do USAA insurance adjusters want to talk to me after a crash?
USAA insurance adjusters want to talk to you after a car crash because they are responsible for investigating and evaluating claims made against their company. They want to gather as much information as possible about the accident and your injuries to determine liability and the value of your claim.
But don’t be fooled. USAA insurance adjusters are not on your side. You have to be very careful if you talk to an insurance adjuster after a car crash because they will try to use anything you say against you. In fact, USAA insurance adjusters may want to record their conversations with you. They will then try to use this recording as evidence against you! Everything they do is meant to protect their company. You cannot trust them.
USAA may ask you questions about how the accident occurred, the extent of your injuries, and whether you have received any medical treatment. Again, they are not trying to take care of you. Their primary goal is to minimize the amount of money their company has to pay you. As such, they may ask leading questions or try to pressure you into accepting a settlement offer that is lower than what you are entitled to.
If a USAA insurance adjuster contacts you after a car crash, it is generally a good idea to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney before speaking with them. An attorney can help protect your rights and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Should I talk to a USAA insurance adjuster if one of their drivers hits me?
The truth is, at some point after a car crash with a USAA driver, you or your personal injury attorney will have to speak with a USAA insurance adjuster. In 99% of car crash cases, it’s best if a car crash victim has an attorney on their side.
Insurance company adjusters make their living by manipulating victims into saying or doing things that reduce the amount of money that their company pays in settlements. Unless you also spend every day of your life fighting insurance company tactics, you are outmatched. This is why you likely need a personal injury attorney. We do this all day every day.
There are many reasons why you should let an attorney take the lead on your case against USAA insurance. Here are a few of the mistakes that accident victims make when speaking to USAA insurance adjusters:
Letting USAA record their statement: If an insurance adjuster asks to record their call with you, tell them that you’ve decided to hire a personal injury attorney and you need to reschedule the call. Letting them record your call is like giving them a deposition without having legal help on your side.
I have heard victims who are having a good day say things like, “I think I’m starting to feel better,” even though most of the time, they feel completely terrible. Some people are just too nice and polite, and they don’t want others to worry about them. Trust me: USAA insurance adjusters are not worried about you. If you say you’re having a “good day” after a traumatic accident, USAA insurance adjusters will use your words to prove that you aren’t as injured as you truly are.
Admitting fault: It is important not to second-guess your actions or apologize for the accident, as this could be used against you when determining liability. It’s human nature to wonder if there’s anything you could have done to prevent a tragedy. But if you pursue this line of thinking while on the phone with a USAA insurance adjuster, they will use it to lay the blame on you.
Accepting the first offer: USAA insurance often makes lowball settlement offers in the hopes that victims accept without negotiating. It is important to review any settlement offer carefully and consider consulting with an attorney.
Signing a release too soon: Signing a release too soon could prevent you from seeking additional compensation in the future if you discover new injuries or damages. Personal injury attorneys have seen so many victims that they often understand how long a victim may need to heal. If you were injured in a crash, you should absolutely seek an attorney’s advice before signing anything that USAA puts in front of you.
Posting on social media: USAA insurance adjusters will actually monitor your social media accounts for evidence that could be used to reduce or deny your claim. Don’t post anything about your crash.
I received a settlement offer from USAA insurance. Should I take it?
Absolutely not. In my experience, USAA Insurance never provides the proper amount of compensation to car crash victims in their first offer.
USAA Insurance has one goal when it comes to your car accident: to minimize their own financial losses. The first offer they make probably won’t be the full amount you are entitled to for damages, injuries, and other losses resulting from the accident.
Therefore, it is important to review the offer carefully and assess whether it covers all the costs associated with the accident, including medical bills, car repairs or replacement, lost wages, and pain and suffering. And this is another reason you need a personal injury attorney.
When is the last time you calculated the value of your pain and suffering? Pain and suffering can be tricky to calculate. Often, victims are the worst people to tackle this challenge. Not only are they emotional, but they don’t understand the broad and complex factors that are acceptable by law under the category of pain and suffering.
USAA insurance typically uses a formula to calculate pain and suffering as part of a personal injury settlement. This formula takes into account various factors, including the severity of the injury, the length of time it will take for the person to recover, and the impact the injury has had on the person’s life.
As you can imagine, there is a lot of “wiggle room” in each of these areas and USAA will always try to “wiggle” their way to a lower settlement. It is best to get a personal injury attorney on your side, to help you receive a much more comprehensive settlement.
One common method for factoring pain and suffering is the multiplier method, which involves multiplying the actual damages (medical expenses, lost wages, etc.) by a certain number, usually between 1.5 and 5, depending on the severity of the injury and other factors.
For example, if a person’s medical expenses and lost wages totaled $10,000 and they suffered moderate pain and suffering, USAA insurance company might apply a multiplier of 3, resulting in a pain and suffering award of $30,000.
However, it’s important to note that there is no set formula for calculating pain and suffering, and each case is unique. Insurance companies will also take into account other factors such as the victim’s age, occupation, and overall health when determining a settlement offer.
What are the top 4 ways that a personal injury attorney can help car crash victims fight USAA insurance?
If you were injured in an accident with a USAA-insured driver, you will need a personal injury attorney’s help to fight for your rights. Here are the top four ways that a personal injury attorney can help you fight USAA:
Legal representation: This is the most obvious way that a personal injury attorney can help you after a car accident with a USAA driver. Your lawyer will represent you in legal proceedings, such as negotiations with USAA and in court.
In fact, when you sign up with a personal injury attorney, USAA insurance cannot call you directly anymore. They must speak to your attorney, which is a huge relief for most car accident victims.
Investigating the accident: Attorneys can conduct a thorough investigation of the accident to gather evidence, such as witness statements, police reports, and medical records, to help you build a strong case against USAA.
Evaluating damages: Attorneys can evaluate the full extent of the damages that you suffered, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other costs. As stated above, these calculations can be complicated, so it is best to hire someone with experience fighting USAA.
Advocating for your rights: Attorneys can advocate for a car crash victim’s rights throughout the legal process and ensure that their client is treated fairly by USAA and other parties involved in the case.
Scott O’Sullivan with The O’Sullivan Law Firm has seen every trick in the book and knows how to protect victims of car crashes from USAA’s underhanded tactics. Contact the O’Sullivan Law Firm for a free consultation if you are hit by a driver with USAA insurance.