Anderson Injury Lawyers | October 27, 2023 | Car Accidents
Filing a claim with an insurance company can be frustrating. Insurance companies can make obtaining a fair settlement challenging. Before you file an insurance claim with GEICO, read this blog to learn secrets about accident claims with GEICO.
Secrets GEICO Does Not Want You To Know About How It Processes Accident Claims
GEICO stands for Government Employees Insurance Company. The company first started writing insurance policies in 1936. Now, it is the country’s second-largest insurance company for drivers, so there is a good chance you might run across GEICO if you are involved in a car accident in Fort Worth.
Before you file a claim with GEICO after a car accident, consider these secrets about accident claims revealed by our Fort Worth car accident lawyers. Understanding these secrets could help you protect your right to compensation for injuries and damages.
GEICO Secret 1: Your Statements Could Hurt Your Claim
An insurance adjuster from GEICO might contact you shortly after you file your accident claim. Speaking with an insurance adjuster or other representative from GEICO could hurt your case. These adjusters are employees of GEICO and work to protect the company from liability.
Topics to avoid discussing with GEICO until you consult with a lawyer include:
- The details of the accident
- The amount of time you miss from work
- Your injuries and recovery
- That happened during the day before the accident occurred
- Your mental and emotional state
- Activities you can or cannot perform because of the injuries
It is best to allow a Fort Worth car accident lawyer to handle all communications with the insurance company. Your attorney provides GEICO with the information it needs to investigate your claim while working to protect you from bad faith insurance practices.
GEICO Secret 2: You Are Not Required To Provide a Recorded Statement
GEICO might tell you they need a recorded statement to process your claim. The adjuster might ask you for a written statement. You are not obligated to provide a statement for GEICO to process your claim.
You should not agree to speak on a recorded line. In fact, always ask if the phone call is being recorded. The GEICO employee might record the call without notifying you. Anything you say to a company representative could be used to hurt your claim later.
GEICO Secret 3: Don’t Accept the Initial Offer Without Legal Advice
Even before you have completed medical treatment, GEICO might make a quick settlement offer. Generally, initial offers are for amounts much lower than claims are worth.
Furthermore, accepting a claim before you complete treatment could result in a lower settlement than your case’s true value. Until you complete treatment, you do not know the total amount of your financial losses or the full extent of your injuries.
GEICO Secret 4: Your Case Could Be Worth More Than You Are Aware
GEICO will not tell you how much your claim is worth. It will not tell you if you are accepting a settlement offer that is lower than the value of your claim. Instead, you are expected to know the damages you are entitled to by law and how to value the damages accurately.
- Pain and suffering
- Medical bills
- Impairments and disfigurements
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Rehabilitation therapies
- Diminished quality of life
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Mental anguish
- Decreased earning capacity
Insurance companies often undervalue damages. If you sign a settlement agreement, you give up the right to pursue a lawsuit or other claim. Therefore, checking with a lawyer before accepting a claim is always best.
GEICO Secret 5: You May Be Blamed for Causing the Car Accident
GEICO might not be able to avoid liability for your car accident. However, if it can shift some of the blame for causing the car crash to you, it can save money.
The Texas Proportionate Responsibility statute bars recovery of damages if the victim is more than 50% to blame for causing the car accident. However, if the victim is less than 51% to blame, the court can reduce their compensation by their percentage of fault.
GEICO might use comparative fault against you to convince you that your claim would be worth much less if you go to court. How can you work against this insurance tactic? Avoid talking to the insurance company, never admit fault or apologize for a car accident, and seek legal advice as soon as possible after the accident.
GEICO Secret 6: Beware if GEICO Purchases Your Medical Liens
Hospital liens and medical debts are common in car accident cases. Medical providers agree to provide care with the understanding their lien will be paid from the personal injury settlement.
However, GEICO might purchase your medical debts and liens for pennies on the dollar. Then, the company uses the lower figure to calculate the value of your claim.
For example, instead of including the total amount of your medical bills, which were $75,000, GEICO uses the price it paid to purchase the liens of $45,000. The result is a lower value for your car accident case.
Don’t Trust GEICO To Pay a Fair Settlement Amount in Fort Worth, TX
Trusting an insurance company to pay a fair amount for your car accident claim could be risky. GEICO will use its substantial resources to fight your claim to pay the lowest amount possible for your damages.
You can protect your rights by seeking help from an experienced Fort Worth car accident lawyer. An attorney handles all matters related to your car accident case, including dealing with GEICO. You do not need to worry that you might say something that could hurt your case or make a mistake that could lower the value of your damages.
Most Fort Worth car accident attorneys offer free consultations. Therefore, getting legal advice before you deal with GEICO directly about a car accident claim does not cost you anything.