If you suffered injuries in an accident because of someone else's careless or reckless act, you or your attorney will typically deal with that individual's insurance company. In some cases, USAA may cover the at-fault party.
Any insurance company, including USAA, routinely tries to take advantage of unrepresented individuals and offer them as little monetary compensation as possible to resolve their claims. A skilled Chicago personal injury attorney can negotiate with USAA and pursue the total financial compensation that you deserve for your injuries. Your lawyer can also threaten USAA with litigation in court if they fail to compensate you fairly.
Insurance companies like USAA have strong attorneys and legal teams on their side. You should have the same. Your attorney can handle every step of the claims-filing and negotiation processes and will do everything possible to secure fair monetary damages in your case.
What Is a Personal Injury Claim?
A personal injury claim or lawsuit stems from the concept of negligence. An individual or entity behaves in a negligent, reckless, or careless manner when they act unreasonably under the circumstances. In general, negligent parties do something that a reasonable person should not have done or when they fail to act when a reasonable person should have taken action in the same situation.
Some of the most common situations where personal injury claims and lawsuits arise include motor vehicle accidents and premises accidents. In a motor vehicle accident, the at-fault driver usually behaves negligently when they violate one or more traffic laws, engage in distracted driving or road rage, or drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Another common accident scenario that leads to a personal injury claim is a slip and fall accident or other premises accident, where a property owner negligently fails to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition for property visitors.
Other types of accidents that may result from the negligence of others include pedestrian accidents, fair and amusement park accidents, boating accidents, swimming pool accidents, premises incidents resulting from negligent or inadequate security on the premises, workplace accidents, and accidents on construction sites.
If you sustained injuries during one of these occurrences that resulted from another individual's negligence, you may have legal rights and options. A skilled personal injury attorney in your case can take on USAA Insurance Company and pursue the monetary damages you deserve to recover for your injuries and other losses.
Successfully Recovering Monetary Compensation from USAA
To successfully recover monetary compensation from USAA in a personal injury claim or lawsuit, you must satisfy your legal burden of proof. The burden of proof in a personal injury claim always rests with the accident victim, not the at-fault individual or entity.
First, you must demonstrate that the other party owed you some legal duty of care. For example, if you suffered your injuries in a car accident where the at-fault driver had USAA insurance, you must establish that the other driver had a duty to drive carefully, reasonably, and safely under the circumstances.
Next, you must show that the at-fault party violated their legal duty of care by acting unreasonably or irresponsibly under the circumstances. In the same car accident scenario, you must show that the other driver behaved irresponsibly under the circumstances, such as by drinking and driving, exhibiting road rage, or violating traffic laws.
Next, you need to show that your car accident and injuries occurred as a direct result of the other party's breach.
Proving the legal elements of your accident claim or lawsuit can be difficult, and you can be sure that USAA (or any other insurance company, for that matter) will not help you satisfy your legal burden. However, your personal injury attorney can retain one or more experts who can favorably testify in your case.
If USAA disputes fault for the car accident and alleges that their insured did nothing wrong, an accident reconstructionist can shed some light on the situation. An accident reconstructionist can visit the accident scene, talk with witnesses, review photographs, review police reports, and look at camera footage to determine how the accident likely happened and who was at fault. The accident reconstructionist can also prepare a report, testify at a discovery deposition, or serve as a witness at a civil jury trial.
In addition to bringing in an accident reconstructionist, your lawyer can retain one or more medical experts who can testify favorably in your case. A treating medical provider, for example, can state on the record that you suffered one or more permanent injuries in your accident. A medical provider can also establish that your injuries directly result from your accident.
Typical Injuries That an Accident Victim May Suffer
When one or more individuals are negligent, accidents can happen that vary in size or scope. As a result, accident victims may sustain debilitating injuries that require ongoing medical care. An accident victim may also suffer a permanent injury, affecting them for the rest of their life. The nature and extent of an accident victim’s
injuries typically depend upon the scope of the accident itself, as well as the various accident circumstances.
Some of the most common injuries accident victims sustain include rib fractures, broken bones, eye injuries, mouth and teeth injuries, soft tissue whiplash injuries, traumatic brain and head injuries, spinal cord damage, paralysis injuries, open lacerations, internal bleeding, internal organ damage, and death.
If you sustained one or more of these injuries in a recent accident that someone else caused, you deserve monetary compensation for your injuries and to recover fully. One of the most important steps you can take is to complete your prescribed medical treatment regimen, attend all medical appointments and physical therapy sessions, and refrain from discharging yourself from a medical facility.
If USAA or another insurance company notices significant gaps in your medical treatment or that you release yourself from medical care, they will likely become skeptical of your injuries. In short, they may refuse to offer you the total monetary compensation you deserve.
While you focus on completing your medical treatment, your personal injury attorney can gather the necessary documents to prove your case and begin assembling those documents into a settlement demand package for USAA's review.
After completing most of your medical treatment, your lawyer can send this demand package to the USAA adjuster handling your claim. If USAA accepts fault for the accident, your attorney can start pursuing settlement negotiations with the adjuster.
Litigating a USAA Claim
A USAA insurance claim may require litigation if the insurance company, for whatever reason, fails to offer you fair and reasonable monetary damages for your injuries. To begin the litigation process, your lawyer can file a lawsuit in state court on your behalf. They can also navigate the complex discovery process.
During the discovery stage of a personal injury claim, the parties will exchange additional documents, answer written interrogatories, and take discovery depositions. Your attorney can answer these written questions and prepare you to testify at your deposition.
Also, the parties may continue their settlement negotiations during the discovery process. In fact, most personal injury claims with USAA reach a resolution at some point during the discovery process. Taking a case to a civil jury trial can cost both parties a lot of money, and fees can pile up very quickly.
An expert witness fee is one of the most significant fees in a personal injury lawsuit.
During litigation, your attorney can represent you at all legal proceedings, including settlement conferences, jury trials, mediation sessions, and binding arbitration proceedings. If the case does not settle out of court, the parties can take their case to a civil jury trial and allow a jury to decide the case outcome.
Instead of taking your case to trial, USAA may agree to one or more mediation sessions. Mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceeding. During mediation, a neutral mediator will listen to both sides of the case and facilitate the parties’ settlement discussions.
Another common ADR proceeding is binding arbitration, which USAA may agree to in some situations. During a binding arbitration hearing, the parties present evidence at a hearing they schedule out of court. A neutral arbitrator listens to this evidence and drafts an opinion where they render a monetary award to the injured accident victim.
Recovering Financial Compensation from USAA for Your Injuries
If you suffered injuries in a recent accident that someone else caused, your attorney can recover financial compensation from USAA or some other insurance company.
Depending on your injuries and the cost of your medical treatment, you may recover monetary compensation or damages.
Accident victims can recover economic compensation in their personal injury claim or lawsuit for:
- Related past medical expenses (including compensation for all doctor visits, medical procedures, and physical therapy sessions)
- Anticipated medical costs (if the accident victim suffered a permanent injury and may need to undergo some type of medical procedure or treatment in the future)
- Loss of earnings
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of the ability to use a body part
- Lost quality of life
- Lifetime care costs (including the cost to reside at a nursing home or assisted living facility due to accident-related injuries)
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish and mental distress
Your attorney can determine the approximate value of your personal injury claim and work to secure the highest amount of monetary compensation available in your case.
Talk with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today
Any way you cut it, the last thing anyone wants to do when dealing with an injury is to worry about how they will pay for their mounting bills. You might trust that an insurance company like USAA will do the right thing and offer fair compensation quickly, but this rarely happens. Instead, you must go through a frustrating process - but you don’t have to do it alone.
If you recently sustained injuries in an accident that someone else caused, your personal injury law firm's attorney can take on USAA and fight for your right to recover the total monetary compensation you need for your accident-related losses.