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Geico Someone Hit My Parked Car – After an Accident & Injury, you just want your life back. We are ready to help you! Serving Clients Throughout Arizona, California, Florida and Texas
Below you’ll learn tips and secrets GEICO adjusters don’t want you to know to maximize your personal injury settlement, including answers to frequently asked questions about GEICO car accident settlements.
Geico Someone Hit My Parked Car
GEICO, part of the parent company, Berkshire Hathaway, is the second largest property and casualty insurance company in the US (based on direct written premiums).
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With GEICO’s unique business model, initially insuring only the lowest risk drivers and operating without an insurance agent, it proved to be Warren Buffet’s best investment.
GEICO was once a better insurance company for treating car accident victims. The perpetrator has greater settlement authority, and the average settlement is much higher.
However, over the past 25 years, GEICO, and many other insurance companies, have simplified their claims processes. They have adopted the use of claims software to calculate “reasonable and customary” medical bills and put a dollar figure on the pain and suffering element in bodily injury claims. The result: grossly undervalued settlement offers and a slew of future motor vehicle accident litigation.
So, how can you avoid your claim becoming one of the many grossly undervalued GEICO claims or subjecting your case to potentially multi-year litigation in crowded courts?
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The following 10 tips will help you avoid having your auto insurance claim undercut in the endless pile of claims on GEICO’s claims adjuster’s desk:
If GEICO is the at-fault party’s insurance company, you should NEVER provide them with a written statement. You are certainly not required to provide it. Don’t let them make you think that your claim must be valid.
Many times, GEICO auto damage adjusters will say—without a written statement, they won’t be able to determine liability, so you’ll have to wait. If they take the time to take responsibility because the insured won’t cooperate, it’s time to contact an attorney.
Pro Tip: You can always cover property damage through your own carrier’s collision coverage or uninsured property damage coverage (if hit by an uninsured driver or a hit-and-run victim). Your own carrier will usually treat you better and will try to recover your deductible from the at-fault party’s insurance company.
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“Damages” are what determines the value of your case. In most cases, the largest part of a car accident injury case is the amount of your medical bills.
Therefore, it is important that you receive reasonable and necessary medical treatment, and document and present the bill to the insurance company.
Go to the emergency room or urgent care if you feel it is necessary. Additionally, if you feel it is necessary, go by ambulance to the emergency room. This might be better for your case.
Of course, don’t just resort to fraud to pay your medical bills. Insurance companies are not stupid. They are very good at knowing whether you are faking your injury.
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Doesn’t it make sense that if someone is injured they would want to see a doctor immediately? Of course. And the opposite also happens.
Of course, there are valid reasons why car accident victims do not immediately see a doctor after experiencing an accident (for example, not having health insurance, not immediately feeling the pain, and so on). This needs to be explained carefully to the insurance adjuster.
The law places the burden on injured parties not to make their losses worse by ignoring their injuries.
This means that GEICO could take advantage of the fact that you did not seek immediate medical care and make your condition worse.
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GEICO claims adjusters are skilled at minimizing your injuries. They will ask questions so you can second-guess your injury and categorize it as just a soft tissue injury that will heal in a few weeks.
A very common way to minimize your injuries is when adjusters tell car accident victims that they will only pay for a few weeks of care and after that they will cover their own costs. Don’t believe them! If you are truly injured, you should receive reasonable and necessary medical treatment until you have achieved maximum medical improvement. Car insurance adjusters are not doctors. They cannot diagnose your condition.
I know this may sound self-serving, but if you don’t hire a car accident attorney early in filing your claim, you will almost certainly be harmed in your case.
There are studies that show car accident victims who are represented by an attorney get 40% more settlements than those who are not represented by an attorney.
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Based on our experience when clients initially tried to handle their cases themselves and then hired us to take over, we found GEICO’s previous offers to be significantly less than our ability to resolve the case.
This makes economic sense even when considering the fact that your personal injury attorney will receive a portion of your settlement as attorney’s fees. Also keep in mind: personal injury attorneys do not charge any fees up front. So, you don’t have to spend your own money to get representation. It’s a win-win.
GEICO’s first offer is not their best offer and will most likely be a bargain. You should always negotiate your case with an auto claims adjuster. Start high. Don’t paint yourself into a corner by starting negotiations too low.
For example, if you want to settle a personal injury claim for $20,000, don’t start your request at $25,000. You should start well above your set completion target.
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Also, don’t bid yourself—let the insurance adjuster make his or her offer first before you make another counteroffer.
There should be at least four to five rounds of bidding before GEICO reaches their highest settlement authority. If you’re not satisfied with their best offer — contact a car accident attorney.
This tip supports the tips for consulting with a lawyer above. You may not be able to obtain fair value for your personal injury claim unless you can exert substantial pressure, through lawsuits, on the GEICO insured.
Of course, you will definitely need an attorney if you choose to sue the GEICO insured responsible for causing your accident. Handling a motor vehicle accident lawsuit yourself is not recommended.
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When you handle your own claim, insurance companies, including GEICO, will try to negotiate your medical bills as low as possible. What does it do? Yes, this effectively lowers your damage, and essentially, lowers your total settlement amount.
For example, say you have an emergency room bill of $10,000. GEICO was aware of this bill and knew that the hospital would take a large reduction to pay off its debt. They will negotiate with the hospital on your behalf and reduce these bills by at least 50%. Your loss of $10,000 has now been cut in half to $5,000. This means they pay less in medical bills for your claim and likely less overall for your entire claim, including your pain and suffering.
Pro Tip: Settle your case first with GEICO, then ask for a reduction in all your medical bills. You will get more money in your pocket this way.
Depending on which state your accident occurred in, health insurance or Medicaid/Medicare can significantly affect the value of your case. This depends on whether your state limits what is called the “Collateral Source Rule.” This rule says that if your health insurance paid your medical bills or reduced them by the contracted amount, this evidence cannot be presented to a jury and counted towards your damages.
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In states like Florida and Texas, the Collateral Source Rule is effectively dead due to tort reform. This not only affects the “special damages” portion (e.g., medical expenses) of your settlement, but it also affects the “general damages” portion (e.g., pain & suffering). Of course, there are strategies that a lawyer can apply to overcome these obstacles.
In California, health insurance and Medicaid/Medicare payments are allowed to prove your medical expenses under two cases: Howell v. Hamilton Meats & Provisions, Inc. and Hanif v. Hous. Writer.
In Arizona, GEICO cannot use this as a defense to reduce your medical damages. The Collateral Source Rule is still in effect and in effect in Arizona!
Typically, your case will be worth more money to a GEICO claims adjuster if you can prove, with objective evidence, that you suffered an injury. This can be done by sending an X-Ray/MRI film and a report or photo of your wound, incision or scar to the claims adjuster.
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GEICO insurance adjusters will categorize your case as only a soft tissue injury case if you show them only evidence of minimal treatment at an emergency room or chiropractor. This will greatly limit your repayment amount.
If you are experiencing symptoms other than a soft tissue injury, such as radiating pain, numbness, or weakness in an arm or leg, the best thing you can do is have an MRI exam and send films, and report it to the adjuster. If you suffer from a herniated disc that causes nerve or spinal cord impingement, you