Geico is one of the largest auto insurance providers in the United States. Their adjusters, whose main goal is to minimize payouts, make many hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
When you file a claim with GEICO insurance, you can’t count on a fair settlement automatically. The insurer does everything it can to avoid settlement payments to claimants. Even if your case is straightforward, you will likely need a car accident attorney to fight for fair compensation.
At The Levin Firm Personal Injury Lawyers, we have a team of attorneys who know how to deal with GEICO adjusters and help clients get the money they deserve.
Why You Need a Lawyer to Handle a GEICO Injury Claim
The majority of car accident claims settle through negotiations with the insurance company. The victim collects all the necessary evidence, files a claim, and requests compensation. The insurance company reviews the evidence and decides to pay the claim, deny it, or make a counteroffer to settle.
Once the company sends you a settlement offer, negotiations begin. If you don’t believe the offer is fair, you can argue to increase the offer. GEICO will again accept your figure or justify a lower counter.
The process can go back and forth for many months. You are responsible for covering your medical bills and other accident-related expenses during this time. Many victims end up caving and accepting a lower offer simply because they can’t wait for the compensation they need.
If you refuse to accept a lower offer, the company may:
- Use their legal knowledge to trick you into believing that you can’t get any more money.
- Pressure you into accepting a settlement by saying that the offer is final and only stands for a limited amount of time.
- Try to scare you into accepting by twisting your statements to blame you for part of the accident.
Victims with insufficient legal knowledge and financial backing usually can’t fight against this type of pressure. That’s where our lawyers come in.
Personal injury attorneys know exactly how to conduct negotiations with the insurance company to counter their arguments and withstand any pressure adjusters put on claimants.
When GEICO adjusters learn that you have an attorney, they know their tactics won’t work and usually immediately increase the settlement offer.
An attorney can conduct professional negotiations with the insurance company to ensure the most efficient outcome. They can collect and frame evidence to counter GEICO’s efforts to lowball a settlement.
Going to Court
If GEICO refuses to settle your claim for a fair amount, your lawyer may recommend going to court. However, filing a lawsuit doesn’t always mean going to trial. In many cases, GEICO will offer a fair settlement before the case gets that far.
Our car accident attorneys work tirelessly to settle your claim before the jury gets involved. However, if a fair settlement isn’t reached, we are prepared to go to trial and maximize your chances of winning.
In Philadelphia, New Jersey, or Florida, the court doesn’t require you to hire an attorney to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, court filings and hearings without legal assistance are extremely complicated, inefficient, and often futile.
How Our Attorneys Handle GEICO Injury Claims
We always recommend hiring an attorney as soon after an accident as possible. Our team can handle the claim from the beginning to better position you to be successful. All personal injury claims come with various legal nuances and necessary steps that an attorney can handle with ease.
Arrange a Case Evaluation
For all new clients, our legal team offers a free case evaluation. Clients and attorneys need this evaluation to understand the details of the accident and whether the case seems viable.
During the evaluation, the attorney checks your medical records, reads available accident reports, and consults with medical experts if applicable. After conducting this short investigation, a lawyer can tell you whether your case has merit, and if so, our legal team will take the case and starts working immediately.
The investigation is an important part of any personal injury case. When you get hurt in a car accident, you rarely have the opportunity to conduct a thorough investigation. While in the hospital or going through recovery, valuable evidence can disappear.
As soon as you hire our legal team, attorneys take action that includes:
- Going back to the scene of the accident to take relevant photos (tire marks, traffic signs, potholes, and other elements that may be useful when proving your case)
- Helping you request the police report containing accident-related information and eyewitness contact details.
- Checking if there are any cameras in the area and requesting the footage
- Identifying responsible parties
When the attorney completes their investigation, they can determine who to file an insurance claim against and how to proceed.
While you may think that the at-fault party in your accident is obvious, the investigation could show otherwise. You may have to file claims against several liable parties or insurance policies.
The pillar of any personal injury case is the at-fault party’s negligence. You can seek compensation if you can prove the person or the entity was negligent when they injured you. An attorney’s goal is to prove negligence as soon as possible and use it as leverage during negotiations with GEICO.
To demonstrate the negligence of the at-fault party, you need to show that:
- They owed you a legal duty of care. In car accidents, this part is easy to prove since everyone on the road has a legal duty to drive safely and legally to prevent any harm to other drivers.
- They breached the legal duty of care. If the at-fault party broke traffic laws or drove distracted or under the influence, they breached the legal duty of care. A driver texting or running a red light breaches their duty and puts everyone on the road in danger.
- The breach caused the accident that injured you. Next, you need to prove that the breach led to your accident. For example, the driver ignored a stop sign, crashing into your vehicle.
- The accident caused damages. To recover compensation, you need to show that you sustained injuries that led to specific damages. For example, medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and more.
To prove the above, an attorney collects as much evidence as possible.
Evidence in a GEICO claim can include:
- Medical bills
- Doctors’ reports
- W-2 forms
- Photos of the accident and your injuries
- Eyewitness testimonies
- Personal journals
An attorney will likely also hire a medical expert witness to testify to the extent of your injuries, the impact on your life, and the expenses you will likely incur in the future.
Hire Expert Witnesses
Attorneys hire expert witnesses whose testimony can support your claim in negotiations or court. These witnesses can play a major role in increasing your compensation amount by:
As a victim of someone’s negligence, you can recover past, current, and future damages related to the accident. Proving past and current economic damages can be easy using existing evidence, such as medical bills or W-2 forms.
However, proving future damages is harder. Some conditions may require treatment and recovery therapy for many years. People who sustain permanent disabilities need financial support for the rest of their lives.
An expert witness can testify to the extent of your damages and explain how much treatment you will likely need in the future. Your attorney can use this testimony to ensure you request fair compensation.
Confirming Pain and Suffering
Non-economic damages (also called pain and suffering) can make up a big portion of your compensation claim. These damages are harder to prove than economic damages since they aren’t tangible.
Examples of non-economic damages include pain, loss of quality of life, loss of consortium, emotional anguish, stress, and more.
To prove your right to these damages, you can provide:
- Photos of your life before and after the accident
- Personal journals
- Family member testimonies
While this evidence can be strong, it’s rarely sufficient. That’s why attorneys hire expert witnesses who can officially testify to the extent of your pain and suffering and the changes to your life.
Negotiate with GEICO
For people who don’t have legal experience, negotiations with GEICO may be extremely taxing, confusing, stressful, and inefficient. Our legal team has years of experience with GEICO claims. We know exactly how to proceed to prove your case to the insurance company and obtain maximum compensation.
We pay special attention to the needs of our clients, who are usually in a delicate mental and physical state after the accident. Our goal is to protect you from any additional stress related to getting the money you deserve from the insurance company.
Go to Court
In rare cases, negotiations with GEICO breakdown. In this case, our legal team may recommend going to court to pursue the compensation you need for your losses. If you have a strong case, going to trial could mean getting closer to or exceeding the maximum compensation claimed.
Many personal injury lawyers try to avoid court proceedings with GEICO since they have a large team of attorneys who can utilize significant resources to try and wear you down. At The Levin Firm Personal Injury Lawyers, we never back away from a trial. If our attorneys see that court proceedings are necessary, we will invest whatever time and effort are necessary to pursue the compensation you deserve.
Time Is of the Essence
Many car accident victims mistakenly believe they must recover from their injuries before hiring an attorney. Waiting keeps lawyers from conducting a thorough investigation while the evidence remains fresh.
As time passes, evidence degrades or disappears, making it more difficult to support your claim. Since evidence plays a major role in justifying each piece of your compensation, lost or less reliable evidence risks reducing the amount of your payout.
Hiring an attorney while you are still recovering allows you to delegate all legal issues to a professional and alleviates the stress of dealing with your claim yourself.
Statute of Limitations
Another reason you shouldn’t delay contacting an attorney and filing a GEICO claim is the statute of limitations. If negotiations are unsuccessful, you may need to file a lawsuit, which is subject to the statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations is a law that regulates how much time you have to file personal injury lawsuits after the injury. The time can vary from state to state.
If you file a lawsuit after the limitation has expired, the judge will likely dismiss the case, and you will lose your ability to recover compensation. However, some exceptions do exist. Even if the statute of limitations is up, consider contacting an attorney to determine if any exceptions would allow you to continue pursuing compensation.
How to Help Our Attorneys Handle a GEICO Injury Claim
While our attorneys handle all the legal matters related to your case, you can maximize their efforts by:
- Being transparent. Ensure you tell the attorney the entire story about your accident, even if it shows you were partially liable. A lawyer is on your side. If you keep something to yourself, it could hurt your case.
- Following doctor’s orders. To prove negligence, your lawyer must demonstrate injuries and damages. If you ignore the doctor’s orders, the at-fault party may argue that you aren’t as injured as you claim.
- Being responsive. Attorneys may ask you to help provide evidence or make certain decisions. Try to be as responsive as possible to avoid delaying the case.
Our personal injury attorneys can take you through each step of the GEICO claim or lawsuit. Transparency and cooperation can become the driving force behind our success.
Getting a Fair Settlement from GEICO
Though GEICO is a large insurance company with an army of lawyers, you don’t have to accept a low settlement. Working with an experienced attorney can improve your chances of getting the money you deserve without the stress related to the claims process.
If you plan to file a GEICO claim for injuries caused by someone’s negligence, get our lawyers on your side.
Contact our team to schedule a free case consultation and learn how we can take the legal burden off your shoulders so you can focus on your recovery.