If you’ve watched any television in the last twenty years, chances are you’ve seen a smooth-talking English gecko or a comical caveman advising you to make the switch to GEICO car insurance.
Thanks to boasting one of the largest insurance advertising budgets in the United States, GEICO—short for “Government Employees Insurance Company”—has soared to success. It is now the second-largest auto insurance provider in the country with more than 15 million drivers as policyholders. If you’re in a crash, there’s a very good chance that you’ll be filing a claim with GEICO. However, you need to know what tricks to look out for to avoid unfair treatment!
If you need to file a claim with GEICO, call an accident law firm that has successfully settled thousands of claims with GEICO in the past and has insider knowledge of how this company handles their claims. Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers is a national law firm based in Houston with multiple offices around the country. We also work with affiliate law firms in most states that share our focus and dedication to excellence.
No matter where you are located, we can help you, so call or contact us now. We are open, for free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 800-898-4877. Call or CONTACT US NOW by [CLICKING HERE] to submit your case for review.
The insurance adjuster may try to discourage you from hiring a lawyer by saying it will be expensive or complicated. Don’t be fooled: when you hire us, you owe us absolutely nothing up front and nothing at all unless we win your case! Because we work on a contingency fee basis, we do not get paid until YOU get paid. A lawyer’s assistance can often streamline your claim and get you a substantially larger settlement.
Below, we’ll let you in on seven secrets that can help you deal with a GEICO car accident claim. Don’t miss out on the compensation you deserve!
SECRET #1—NEVER GIVE THEM A RECORDED STATEMENT!
These days, it’s almost standard procedure for insurance adjusters to ask you to answer questions or give a recorded statement about your accident. However, you are not obligated to comply with these requests. In fact, your attorney will strongly advise against it!
When it comes to recorded statements, even the smallest comment could be twisted and used against you. For example, you could politely say that you are feeling “fine,” even though you are struggling with pain each day. The GEICO insurance adjuster can take your simple polite response and use it to argue that you don’t deserve any payment for pain and suffering since you feel “fine.” It’s easy for an adjuster to take a single word or answer out of context to try to reduce or deny your claim, so don’t risk a crack in your defenses. You can direct all communication to your attorney instead.
An adjuster can also use a recorded phone call to pressure you to hastily agree to settle the claim right away. They might promise to avoid delays and prioritize your claim, so long as you promise to accept the initial offer. When you’re staring at a growing pile of bills after your accident, settling the claim as soon as possible may seem like the best idea, but take it from us: it’s not.
Some adjusters may tell you that the law entitles them to a recorded statement or that giving them a recorded statement is necessary to settle your claim. This is not the case. Unless you initiate litigation, the insurer does not have the right to demand a recorded conversation, and you have the right to refuse. It is important to know your rights throughout every step of the insurance claim process, lest you get taken advantage of.
As with any insurance claim, you never want to go into a claim with GEICO on your own. You deserve the support of an experienced legal team. Thanks to their commercials, most people assume that GEICO is a consumer-friendly company… but GEICO didn’t accumulate over $44 billion in assets by generously paying valid claims. On the contrary, GEICO is run by shrewd business executives who know how to make a profit—and pay themselves handsomely. In one recent year, the average GEICO executive made $230,152, and its CEO made $12.4 million! Making enough profit to sustain these salary levels and pad their advertising budget necessitates reducing the payouts to deserving claimants like you.
Also, be aware that GEICO adjusters may record you without even asking first! While you may assume this is against the law, it may shock you to learn that in many states, only one party needs to know about a recording to make it lawful. This means that you could think you were simply answering questions informally when in reality, the adjuster recorded you. This brings us to our next Secret of GEICO …
SECRET #2—BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY TO ADJUSTERS!
Always be cautious and mindful of what you say to adjusters. It is wise to keep your responses to a minimum or direct all communication to your car accident lawyer. Soon after a crash with a GEICO policyholder, you can bet an adjuster will start calling. They’ll attempt to pry into various aspects of your accident, but you should only provide them with the basics, such as your own personal identifying information and the time and place of the crash.
On the other hand, there are many things you should NOT discuss with the adjuster at this stage of the claim! Topics to avoid discussing include the following:
- How the accident happened and what you were doing in the time before the crash
- Your medical diagnosis and treatment
- Your medical expenses thus far
- The time you had to miss from work
- How your injuries may affect your life, including your daily activities, recreational activities, pain levels, and general suffering from your injuries
All of these things can be definitively proven by the evidence your car accident lawyer collects, so don’t try to guess or share any information prematurely. When you’re talking about any of the above topics with the adjuster, there’s a chance you will say something inaccurate that they can twist around and use against your claim. This is especially important since you don’t know if you’re being recorded.
For example, imagine you’ve only missed two days of work at the time of the call, but you find out later that you need a surgery that keeps you bedridden for a month. The adjuster will attempt to cite your claim of only missing two days of work, even though that isn’t the truth!
While you may think there’s no harm in telling your side of the story to an insurance adjuster, beware they’re on the lookout for any ammunition against you. If possible, they will repurpose your words in order to limit your settlement offer. You may think it’s rude to refuse to answer questions, but it is your legal right, and it is in your best interest! If a GEICO adjuster tries to engage you in a conversation about your accident and injuries, politely decline at this time. Then, immediately call an attorney who knows what to say and what not to say during an insurance claim.
Our lawyers know how important it is to watch what you say to adjusters. We can handle all communications with GEICO to make sure that nothing detrimental goes on the record. Protect your rights, protect your claim, and receive the money you need by contacting our office right now at 800-898-4877 or submit your claim for evaluation now by CLICKING HERE.
SECRET #3—YOUR MEDICAL BILLS MAY NOT MATTER!
When you submit your medical bills to GEICO, you probably expect that they will simply add up the totals and offer a payment that covers them. However, GEICO is one of many companies that often ignores the actual dollar amounts of your medical expenses and instead replaces the total with what they call “usual and customary charges.”
“Usual and customary charges” means that GEICO brings in their own medical professionals to decide whether or not your expenses were usual and customary for the type of treatments you received in the area you received the treatment. These assessments may be biased, and GEICO may accuse you and/or your doctor of exaggerating. They will base a settlement offer on their new estimated amount—even if it is much less than you actually owe on your bills.
If this seems unfair, that’s because it is! GEICO should not be able to decide how much your treatment should have cost. If your doctor thought specific types of treatment were necessary, you should feel comfortable receiving that treatment and confident that the insurance company will cover the costs. Companies like GEICO shouldn’t make accident victims hesitate to get the treatment they need, fearing the insurance company may discount the costs.
Luckily, the right law firm knows how to get the right proof. Your car accident lawyer can present substantial evidence that your expenses were in line with usual and customary medical practices in your region and argue that you deserve the full amount covered. We stand up for the rights of injured victims like you, and we believe you should be able to follow your doctor’s orders, get the treatment you need, and have GEICO cover your medical expenses. It’s only fair!
Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers know that your medical bills matter, even if GEICO claims otherwise. We will always fight for full compensation for your current medical bills, as well as for your future medical expenses.
SECRET #4—YOUR CLAIM IS PROBABLY WORTH MORE THAN YOU THINK!
After a car accident, you may think you don’t need help calculating the value of your claim. After all, there’s a paper trail from the doctor, the auto shop, and others. The numbers are right there in black and white! Many people take their medical bills, add them to their car repair bills, and then submit that amount to GEICO. However, this is often a much lower amount than you should actually be seeking.
In reality, calculating damages after a car accident is a complicated task that requires a lot more than adding your bills. The following are some additional losses that our attorneys know how to accurately calculate to ensure you receive the full amount you deserve!
- Future medical expenses – Your injuries don’t magically heal once you settle your insurance claim. You may need ongoing medical treatment, or you may be coping with chronic pain for the rest of your life. Many car accident victims must continue to undergo treatment or therapy for months or years after a crash. In some situations, it’s better to put a claim on hold until you complete all of your medical treatment, though this isn’t always possible. Legal claims have deadlines called statutes of limitations, and you don’t want to risk losing your right to file a lawsuit. In these cases, in order to meet the deadline, we can estimate your future medical expenses and seek payment for them even if you haven’t yet received the treatment or the bills. Thanks to the help of expert witnesses, economists, and medical providers, we can accurately determine how much you might have to pay for your future treatment.
- Lost earnings – Many types of car accident injuries can prevent you from working, sometimes for months or even years! If you can’t work, you can’t earn a living and pay for your basic expenses. Even a few hours of missed work due to doctor’s visits or physical therapy can throw a wrench into your budget. This is why it is critical to seek compensation for your past and future lost income as part of your insurance claim. By reviewing pay stubs, time sheets, and statements from your employer regarding the accident, we can accurately estimate how much work and income you have missed and how much you’ll have to miss in the future.
- Miscellaneous expenses – Accident injuries and their complications can snowball and turn your daily life upside down. If your car is totaled, you may be paying for a rental or rideshare services. If you’re bedridden from your injuries, you may be paying for additional help with childcare or chores. If you had a vacation planned and can no longer go, you may lose out on any non-refundable airfare, lodging, or other arrangements you already paid for. And what if you need to rent medical equipment? All of this adds up and can put a major dent in your bank account, but you deserve compensation from the insurance company. Fortunately, these injury-related costs may be recoverable in a car accident insurance claim. A dedicated personal injury lawyer will consider all this and more!
- Non-economic losses – After a car accident, your emotional pain and suffering are just as valid as your physical injuries. However, these types of losses and turmoil cannot be measured in terms of traditional monetary cost. Calculating the value of noneconomic loss for pain and suffering takes a specific approach, and this is one type of loss that GEICO frequently disputes.
Don’t back down. We can see the big picture of how a car accident has impacted your life, and we can help you fight for what’s right.
When you speak with a member of our legal team, we know the questions to ask to learn about all of your losses, and not just your existing medical bills.
If you ask for too little when you file your claim, GEICO won’t ever argue with you! They’ll stay mum and they won’t inform you that you probably deserve more due to your injuries and financial losses. Instead, GEICO will allow you to accept far less than you need and deserve, knowing you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket for the remainder of your losses. They are not on your side. They also know that you can’t come back and adjust the amount of your claim after you already accepted a settlement, so they’re all too happy to have you accept a settlement they know is much too low.
With years of experience standing up against GEICO, we can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Call us right away at 800-898-4877 or submit your claim for evaluation now by CLICKING HERE.
SECRET #5—THEY WANT YOU TO ACCEPT THE FIRST OFFER!
This might not be a “secret,” since almost everyone in negotiations wants the other party to accept the first offer. However, GEICO adjusters work hard to make sure you accept the first offer without realizing it is a bad idea.
Often, the first offer is the worst offer. An adjuster will make the lowest offer possible to protect their bottom line and hope that you’ll fall for it. If you accept this low offer, you enter a legally binding agreement that prevents you from seeking further compensation, no matter how many accident-related hardships pop up later. Don’t get taken advantage of!
The following are some reasons why you should never accept an offer without first reviewing it with a lawyer:
- The first offer is usually EXTREMELY LOW.
- If you accept an offer for quick payment, you may later realize your injuries were worse than you thought and you may have many additional expenses.
- Once you accept an offer, the settlement agreement includes a waiver of your rights to seek additional money from this accident, including expenses that continue to pile up after you agree to the settlement.
- GEICO adjusters will try to convince you that swiftly accepting an offer is in your best interest. This is seldom true. Only an experienced attorney can appropriately assess offers and provide knowledgeable advice based on the evaluation of your claim’s true value.
Don’t trust GEICO adjusters. It could cost you dearly. Instead, discuss whether a settlement offer is sufficient with an experienced auto insurance claims attorney. Every day, we review offers and advise clients. We know whether it’s time to accept, or whether we can negotiate for more compensation for you and your family. Why miss out on the money you need?
Too many car accident victims are fooled into believing the first offer is the final offer. GEICO frames this offer as “all or nothing,” so victims are left in the dark. They don’t know that they can continue to fight for a higher amount. We’re here to tell you our skilled negotiators are regularly able to get much higher amounts than are originally offered from GEICO and other major insurers. Never accept the first offer without consulting with us first. It’s 100% FREE!
SECRET #6: GEICO’s TRICKY WAY TO JUSTIFY ITS LOWBALL OFFERS
One thing you may never suspect is that GEICO may actually try to purchase your hospital lien. This may sound like a good thing at first, but GEICO buys liens for much less than they are worth. GEICO then uses the purchase price as the “true” amount of your bills—even though they were originally much higher. Check out this example:
- You owed $40,000 in medical debt
- GEICO purchased your lien for $10,000
- The GEICO adjuster now bases your settlement offer on the $10,000 amount
If you go to court, the jury only sees the $10,000 in bills, and likely assumes your injuries were less serious than they were. This results in them awarding you much less for pain and suffering.
Without a lawyer, there’s not much you can do to fight this tactic. Our team of car accident lawyers know how to “counterpunch” and fight for every penny you deserve. We’re open RIGHT NOW, so call us at 800-898-4877 or submit your claim for evaluation now by CLICKING HERE.
SECRET #7: YOU MIGHT HAVE TO FILE A PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUIT
Many people automatically associate lawyers with fierce courtroom debates. We know the idea of going to court may seem stressful or intimidating. However, you must realize that lawsuits are necessary in some car accident cases to make sure you get all the compensation you need and deserve.
While our attorneys can often negotiate with GEICO to obtain a favorable settlement offer out of court, it’s not always possible to resolve a case through an insurance claim. This is common when the insurer is challenging liability for the crash or when a victim’s injuries and losses are particularly severe. It is especially important to get full compensation when the car accident caused life-changing and permanent injuries.
When GEICO refuses to cooperate and offer proper payment, the next step may be to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. Don’t assume that filing a lawsuit means you’ll have to go to trial, however. Our attorneys regularly reach pre-trial settlements so you don’t have to step foot in a courtroom!
Still, the litigation process is complicated. You want to have an experienced litigator who is familiar with your case and ready to file a case when the need arises. The following is a (very) brief overview of the car accident litigation process you might experience if GEICO refuses to treat you fairly. Your car accident lawyer participates in:
- Preparing and filing a persuasive complaint within the statute of limitations.
- Discovery, which involves getting evidence from the defendant(s) via depositions and written requests.
- Filing motions with the court and attending motion hearings.
- Engaging in ongoing settlement negotiations throughout the entire pre-trial process.
- Representing you at trial if settlement negotiations are not successful.
One important fact to remember: even though you’ll file a lawsuit against the liable driver, GEICO will surely be paying the judgment up to the policy limits. For this reason, GEICO will have to use its resources to defend against the lawsuit as well.
Too many law firms take the easy way out. They aim to convince car accident victims to accept whatever settlement they can get from the insurance company to prevent the need for any further work. They want a quick “open and shut case.” These firms are often called “settlement mills” and they often result in inadequate compensation for clients.
We won’t stand for this. Our team consists of skilled litigators who only want the best for our clients, even if it means escalating a claim to civil court. Our goals are your goals, and a victory for you is a victory for us!
Sometimes, just having the right representation at the beginning of a claim can show GEICO that you are serious about filing a lawsuit when needed. Insurance companies have worked with our lawyers before, and they know we won’t hesitate to file a civil claim to stand up for our clients’ rights. This can show them that you mean business and can give you leverage right from the start. Hiring a lawyer may even encourage the GEICO adjuster to offer what you deserve without the need for a lawsuit. Our national reputation for playing hardball with insurance companies like GEICO often helps to resolve claims faster and more efficiently for our clients!
Contact an Auto Accident Attorney Who Knows How to Handle Your GEICO Claim!
Overall, every car accident victim should be aware that auto insurance companies like GEICO play mind games and use tricks to limit their liability and increase their bottom lines. The insurance claims process is rarely straightforward and, without the right legal representation, it can be challenging. Don’t get stuck with unsatisfactory results. Seek legal assistance right from the start of the process, and don’t take on any more stress than you have to.
The nationally-recognized team of attorneys and legal professionals at Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, are ruthless when it comes to taking on insurance claims—including those with GEICO. For more than 20 years, we have stepped up for our clients, bringing the knowledge necessary to protect their rights both during the insurance process and in the courtroom.
If you’re dealing with unfair treatment from GEICO after your car accident, you’re not alone. Our firm is here to help you get the relief you need. Call now for a risk-free consultation and learn more about your options. Best of all, since we take all of our personal injury cases on a contingent fee basis, you will not owe us a DIME unless we win your case. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. We’re available 24/7 to discuss your case evaluation, so call us today at 800-898-4877 or contact us now by CLICKING HERE.