People pay premiums to their automobile insurance company, and in return expect that company to be there for them and their loved ones when needed. This is especially true of military families, whose loved ones are often far away. USAA Insurance, which insures only military families, should know the importance of being a safety net for military families when in need.
However, a class action lawsuit has been filed against USAA alleging very disturbing claims practices. The suit alleges that USAA has hired a third party company, Auto Injury Solutions (“AIS”), to review all claims made by its insureds under medical payments coverage. The purpose of this coverage is to cover the medical bills of its insureds following car accidents. According to the suit, AIS is routinely denying bills that were for reasonable and necessary care. One particularly aggregious example of this is that of Brittney Bathurst, the 17 year old daughter of a retired veteran. Ms. Batthurst was involved in a collision in Oregon and emergency personnel were forced to use the Jaws of Life to extract her from her vehicle. She was transported to the Emergency Room and luckily, no serious injuries were reported.
However, when USAA handed over the claim for Ms. Batthurst’s medical bills to AIS, they were found to not be medically necessary. The review of these bills was performed by an accupuncturist on behalf of AIS. A former EMT from Grady Hospital explained that when on the scene of an accident, it is always procedure to do what is necessary to extract someone from the vehicle as quickly as possible to reduce further risk. On scene emergency responders have to think quickly but will not waste time trying to find a “cheaper” way of removing an injured party who is trapped in a vehicle.
Every insurance company has a good faith duty to pay medical expenses as a result of a car wreck if their insured purchases medical payments coverage. USAA has no difficulty in accepting preimum payments from its insureds. If these allegations are true, then it is especially shameful that our military families are the victims of such aggregious claims practices.
This is another example of why it is so important to hire an attorney if you have been in a car accident. An experienced legal team is vital to obtaining the compensation you deserve. Don’t settle for what the insurance companies offer.