Secrets of Accident Claims Against GEICO REVEALED!By Stewart J. Guss on April 11th, 2019
Anyone who’s watched TV during the past decade has seen commercials featuring a talking gecko, comedic cavemen, or an announcer advising that you “switch to GEICO—it’s what you do.” Using one of the largest insurance advertising budgets in the United States, GEICO—Government Employees Insurance Company—has skyrocketed in size to become 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.
As with any insurance claim, you NEVER want to go into a claim with GEICO on your own without the proper legal team. Most people assume that GEICO is a consumer-friendly company—largely in part to their commercials—but GEICO didn’t accumulate $27 billion in assets through generously paying valid claims. Instead, GEICO is run by shrewd business executives who know how to make a profit (and pay themselves handsomely— in a recent year, the average GEICO executive made $230,152, and its CEO made $12.4 million!). Making a profit to sustain these salary levels and their advertising budget REQUIRES reducing the payouts to deserving claimants.
If you need to file a claim with GEICO, call a law firm that has successfully handled MANY of claims with GEICO in the past—and has insider knowledge of how this company handles their claims. The lawyers and legal professionals of Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, are extremely familiar with the GEICO claims process. Our team is here to help injured auto accident victims through this process. We’re open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so contact our office right now at 800-898-4877 or submit your claim for evaluation now by CLICKING HERE. Remember, you don’t pay us unless and until we’ve WON your case, so you have NOTHING to lose by calling us now!
SECRET #1—NEVER GIVE THEM A RECORDED STATEMENT!
It is almost standard procedure these days for insurance adjusters to ask that you answer questions or give a statement about the accident while being recorded. Know that you DO NOT have to do this and our attorneys STRONGLY ADVISE against it.
While they record you, you could make an offhand comment that they will later use to reduce or deny your claim. You could politely say that you are feeling “fine,” even though you are struggling with pain each day. The 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 THAT easy for an adjuster to take a single word or answer out of context to try to reduce your claim.
An adjuster can also use a recorded phone call to try to get you to hastily agree to settle the claim right away. They might promise to avoid delays and make an offer right away, as long as you promise to accept the initial offer. While you’re staring at piles of bills that are only growing, settling the claim as soon as possible may seem like the best idea. It’s NOT.
The first offer is very often the WORST offer, as an adjuster will make the lowest offer possible. They can then argue that they have you on a recording agreeing to accept it! They can spin your statements and claim that your acceptance was a legally binding agreement. Even if you realize the settlement offer is way too low to cover all your losses, you could end up stuck with that amount because of your recorded verbal agreement.
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.
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 take the greatest of care in what you say to adjusters, and keep your responses it to a minimum. Soon after a crash with a GEICO policyholder, you can be sure an adjuster will start calling. They will want to talk about various issues, and you should only provide provide basic information, including your own personal identifying information and how to best contact you. 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, among others:
- 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
When you’re talking about any of the above topics with the adjuster, there is a good chance you will say something that they can twist around and use against your claim. This is especially important since you don’t know if you’re being recorded.
While many people believe that telling their side of the story to an adjuster is harmless, they may later learn that the adjuster used their words to limit the settlement offer. You may think it’s rude to refuse to answer questions, but it’s truly 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 edit what you say to adjusters. We can handle all communications with GEICO to make sure that nothing goes on the record that can hurt your claim, so contact 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 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 medical professionals who then decide whether your expenses were usual and customary for the type of treatments you received in the area you received the treatment. GEICO may then base a settlement offer on this amount—even if it is much less than you actually owe on your bills.
If this seems unfair—it is! GEICO should not be able to decide how much your treatment should have cost. If your doctor thought specific types of treatment was necessary, you should feel comfortable receiving that treatment and hoping the insurance company will cover the costs. Companies like GEICO shouldn’t make accident victims hesitant to get treatment, as the insurance company may discount the costs.
The right law firm can present its own evidence that your expenses were in line with usual and customary medical practices in your region and that you deserve the full amount covered. We can stand up for your right to listen to your doctors and get the treatment you need while knowing we are fighting for GEICO to cover your medical expenses.
Stewart Guss and his team of attorneys know that your medical bills DO matter, even if GEICO claims otherwise. We will always fight for full compensation for your medical bills, as well as for your future medical expenses, as well.
SECRET #4—YOUR CLAIM IS PROBABLY WORTH MORE THAN YOU THINK!
After a car accident, you may not consider that you need help calculating the value of your claim. Many people take their medical bills, add them to their car repair bills, and then submit that amount to GEICO. However, this often a MUCH lower amount than you should actually be seeking.
In reality, calculating damages after a car accident is often a complicated task that requires a lot more than adding your bills. The following are some losses that our attorneys know how to accurately calculate to make sure you receive the FULL amount you deserve.
- Future medical expenses – Your medical treatment doesn’t end and your injuries don’t automatically heal once you settle your insurance claim. Many car accident victims must continue to undergo treatment for months or years after a crash. In some situations, it’s better to put a claim on hold until you complete your medical treatment, though this isn’t always possible. Legal claims have deadlines and you don’t want to risk losing your right to file a lawsuit if necessary. In these cases, we can estimate your future medical expenses and seek payment for them, even if you haven’t yet received the treatment or the bills. We use the help of medical experts and providers to accurately determine how much you might have to pay for your future treatment.
- Lost earnings – Many, many types of car accident injuries can keep you from working – sometimes, for months or 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. It’s CRITICAL to seek compensation for your past and future lost income as part of your insurance claim! We can review your pay statements since the accident, as well as estimate how much work and income you’ll have to miss in the future.
- Miscellaneous expenses – Injuries can cause many costly problems in our lives, and many people don’t realize JUST how much their injuries cost them. For example, if you can’t drive because of a broken foot or arm, you might need to constantly pay for Ubers, Lyfts, or other forms of transportation. If you can’t even walk due to a back injury, you might need to seek extra childcare help, which can be quite expensive. If you had a trip planned and can no longer go, you may lose out on any non-refundable airfare, lodging, or other arrangements you already paid for. Did you need to rent medical equipment? Did you need to hire someone to clean your house? These are all injury-related costs that may be recoverable in a car accident insurance claim.
- Noneconomic losses – You can’t measure every type of loss in terms of monetary cost. For example, when you’re discussing the severe pain and limitations you experienced because of your injuries, you can’t simply point to medical bills or pay statements to determine the value. Calculating the value of noneconomic losses for pain and suffering takes a specific approach, and this is one type of loss that GEICO most regularly challenges.
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 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 also know that you can’t come back and adjust the amount of your claim after you already accepted a settlement, so they are HAPPY to have you accept a settlement they know is MUCH too low.
We know what is fair, and we will fight to get it for you, so 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. 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 accepting an offer is in your best interests. This is usually NOT TRUE. Our attorneys will review any offers and provide knowledgeable advice based on our evaluation of your claim.
Instead of listening to GEICO adjusters, discuss whether a settlement offer is sufficient with a highly experienced auto insurance claims attorney. We regularly review offers and advise clients whether it’s time to accept or whether we can negotiate for more compensation.
Too many car accident victims don’t even realize that the first offer isn’t the FINAL offer. They don’t know that they can continue to fight for a higher amount and that the first offer isn’t all or nothing. We’re here to tell you that 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 for free FIRST!
SECRET #6: GEICO’s TRICKY WAY TO JUSTIFY ITS LOWBALL OFFERS
One thing you may never think of is that GEICO may actually try to purchase your hospital lien. This may sound like a good thing—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. For 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, awarding you much less for pain and suffering.
Without a lawyer, there is little you can do to fight this tactic. We know how to “counterpunch” and fight for every penny you deserve. Remember, 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 going to court, and the idea of going to court may seem too stressful or intimidating to entertain. However, you should always realize that lawsuits are NECESSARY in some car accident cases to make sure you get ALL the compensation you need.
While our attorneys can often negotiate with GEICO to obtain a favorable settlement offer, 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, as our attorneys regularly reach pre-trial settlements so you don’t have to go to court.
The litigation process is complicated and 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 your fairly:
- 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 is that 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 resources to defend against the lawsuit, as well.
Too many law firms 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 on the case. These firms are often called “settlement mills” and they often result in inadequate compensation for clients. Our team consists of skilled litigators who want to the best thing for our clients, even if it means escalating a claim to civil court.
Sometimes, just having the right representation from 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 give you leverage right from the start and may encourage the 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 victims should be aware that auto insurance companies like GEICO play 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, can be challenging with highly unsatisfactory results. It’s almost always in your best interests to seek legal assistance RIGHT from the start of the process. This sends signals to GEICO while also relieving the stress of the claim from you.
The nationally recognized team of attorneys and legal professionals at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, are ruthless when it comes to taking on insurance claims—including those with GEICO. For more than 20 years, we have gone to bat for our clients, the necessary tools to protect your rights both during the insurance process and, when necessary, in court.
Because 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. 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.