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No Collision Coverage Not At Fault Geico – After an accident and injury, you just want your life back. We are ready to help you! Serving customers throughout Arizona, California, Florida and Texas.
Below, you’ll learn the tips and secrets GEICO claims adjusters don’t want you to know to maximize your personal injury recovery, including answers to frequently asked questions regarding GEICO car accident settlements.
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GEICO, a Berkshire Hathaway holding company, is the second largest property and casualty insurer in the United States based on direct premiums written.
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GEICO’s unique business model of initially insuring only the lowest-risk drivers and operating without insurance agents has made it Warren Buffett’s best investment.
GEICO was once the best insurance company for car accident victims. Their adjusters had more settlement authority and their average settlements were much higher.
However, over the past 25 years, GEICO and many other insurance companies have streamlined the claims process. They implemented claims calculator software to calculate “reasonable and customary” medical bills, as well as to calculate the dollar amount for the pain and suffering element of a personal injury claim. The result: severely low settlement offers and a slew of future truck accident litigation.
So, how can you avoid having your claim become one of GEICO’s many grossly under-claimed claims, or having your case become subject to years of potential litigation in a backlog of litigation?
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The following 10 tips will help you avoid becoming another overlooked car insurance claim in the endless pile of claims at the GEICO claims desk:
If GEICO is the at-fault party’s insurance company, you should NEVER provide them with a recorded statement. You are, of course, under no obligation to give it. Don’t let them make you think this is necessary for your application to be valid.
GEICO Auto Damage Assessors often say that without a recorded statement, they won’t be able to determine liability, leaving you waiting. If they are not moving forward with liability because their insured is not cooperating, it is time to call an attorney.
Pro Tip: You can always pay for property damage through your own insurance company’s collision coverage or uninsured property damage coverage (if you are hit by an uninsured driver or the victim of a hit-and-run). Your own carrier will usually treat you better and try to collect your deductible from the at-fault party’s insurance company.
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“Loss” is what determines the value of your case. In most cases, the bulk of your car accident injury case is the cost of your medical bills.
Therefore, it is critical that you obtain reasonable and necessary medical treatment and that you document and submit these bills to your insurance company.
Go to the emergency room or emergency room if you feel you need it. Also, if you feel the need, take an ambulance to the emergency room. It might even be better for your case.
Of course, don’t try to fraudulently increase your medical bills. Insurance companies are not stupid. They know very well if you are faking your injuries.
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Isn’t it logical that if someone is injured, they would want to see a doctor as soon as possible? Of course it is. The opposite is also true.
Of course, there are good reasons why car accident victims do not see a doctor immediately after an accident (eg, lack of health insurance, not feeling pain right away, etc.). These must be carefully explained to the insurance adjuster.
The law places the burden on the injured party to ensure that they do not aggravate their damages by neglecting their injuries.
This means that GEICO can use the fact that you did not seek medical help immediately and made your condition worse against you.
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GEICO’s claims adjusters are skilled at minimizing your injuries. They will ask you questions in such a way that you will guess your injuries and classify them as soft tissue injuries that will heal in a few weeks.
A very common way to minimize your injuries is for the adjuster to tell the car accident victim that they will only pay for a few weeks of treatment and after that they will be on their own. Don’t trust them! If you do suffer an injury, you should receive reasonable and necessary medical care until you have achieved maximum medical improvement. Auto insurance adjusters are not doctors. They cannot diagnose your condition.
I know it may seem self-serving, but if you don’t hire a car accident lawyer from the very beginning of your claim, you will almost certainly put yourself at a disadvantage in your case.
There are studies that show that car accident victims who are represented by an attorney receive 40% more compensation than those who do not.
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In our own experience, when clients first tried to handle their cases on their own and then hired us, we have seen that the offers previously provided to GEICO were significantly less than what we were able to ultimately settle those cases for.
This makes economic sense, even considering the fact that your personal injury lawyer will receive a portion of your settlement as attorney’s fees. Also keep in mind: Personal injury attorneys do not charge any upfront fees. This way, you will never have to pay out of pocket for representation. It’s a win-win.
GEICO’s first offer will never be their best offer and will most likely be an under offer. You should always discuss your case with an auto claims adjuster. Start at a high level. 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, do not start your claim at $25,000. You should start well above your settlement target.
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Also, don’t bid against yourself—let the insurance agent make his offer first before you make another counteroffer.
There must be at least four to five rounds of proposals before GEICO reaches its highest resolution authority. If you are not satisfied with their best offer, contact a car accident lawyer.
This advice is in addition to the consult an attorney advice above. You may not be able to obtain fair value for your personal injury claim unless you can exert significant pressure through a lawsuit against the GEICO insured.
Of course, you will definitely need an attorney if you decide to sue the GEICO insured responsible for the accident. Trying a car accident case on your own is not recommended.
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When you handle your claim on your own, insurance companies, including GEICO, will try to keep your medical bills as low as possible. What does it do? Well, this effectively reduces your damages and essentially lowers your overall settlement amount.
For example, let’s say you have an emergency room bill of $10,000. GEICO is aware of this bill and knows that the hospital will take a significant discount to pay off the debt in full. They will negotiate with the hospital on your behalf and reduce this bill by at least 50%. Your $10,000 in damages is now halved to $5,000. This means they pay less for the medical bills in your claim and likely less for your overall claim, including your pain and suffering.
Pro tip: Resolve your issue with GEICO first, then ask for a discount on all your medical bills. This way you will get more money in your pocket.
Depending on which state the accident occurred in, health insurance or Medicaid/Medicare can significantly affect the cost of your case. This will depend on whether your state limits what is called the “Source of Collateral Rule.” This rule states that if your health insurance paid your medical bills or reduced them to the contractual amount, that evidence cannot be presented to a jury and cannot be counted toward your damages.
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In states like Florida and Texas, the Collateral Source Rule has effectively died thanks to tort reform. Not only does this affect the “special damages” portion of your settlement (such as medical expenses), but it also affects the “general damages” portion (such as pain and suffering). Of course, there are strategies a lawyer can use to overcome this obstacle.
In California, health insurance and Medicaid/Medicare payments are acceptable to support your medical expenses in two cases: Howell v. Hamilton Meats & Provisions, Inc. and Hanif v. House. Auto.
In Arizona, GEICO cannot use this as a defense to reduce your medical damages. The supplemental source rule is still alive and well in Arizona!
Typically, your case will be worth more money to a GEICO claims adjuster if you can prove by objective evidence that you have an injury. This can be as simple as sending the claims adjuster x-rays or MRI scans, as well as reports or photographs of your cuts, incisions or scars.
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GEICO insurance adjusters will classify your case as a soft tissue injury if you provide them with evidence of minimal treatment at the emergency room or by a chiropractor. This will severely limit the amount of your settlement.
If you experience symptoms beyond soft tissue injuries, such as radiating pain, numbness, or weakness in the arms or legs, the best thing you can do is get an MRI, send the image, and let the adjuster know. If you have a herniated disc affecting the nerves or spinal cord, your