Being in a car accident can have devastating consequences. Many accident victims sustain severe physical injuries and significant emotional distress. They may be unable to work or function in day-to-day life.
When you are injured in a car crash, you trust that the insurance company will compensate you for your damages. You might need this compensation to pay for facturas médicas and living expenses.
However, car insurance companies are not in business to pay claims. They are in business to make money. Tragically, accident victims often suffer the most because insurance companies try to avoid paying accident claims, including Geico.
Geico (Government Employees Insurance Company) is one of the nation’s largest insurance providers. Millions of drivers have automobile insurance through Geico. Therefore, if you are involved in a car accident, there is a good chance the other driver might be insured through Geico.
Before you talk to an insurance adjuster or accept a settlement offer from Geico for a car accident, you should know these things about accident claims with Geico.
Be Careful What You Say to an Insurance Adjuster
Geico assigns an insurance adjuster or claims adjuster to investigate your claim. The adjuster’s job is to determine whether the company is liable for your damages and, if so, how much your damages are worth. However, the insurance adjuster’s primary job is to protect the insurance company’s best interest.
Therefore, adjusters use the information they gather to deny your claim and undervalue your damages. If you say anything the adjuster believes they can use against you, they will.
For example, you say you overslept the morning of the accident. The adjuster may claim that you were in a hurry, so you were speeding or distracted. Therefore, you contributed to the cause of the crash and are not entitled to full compensation for your injuries under contributory fault laws.
Never agree to give the insurance adjuster a written or recorded statement. Be careful what you say to the adjuster until you have a chance to meet with an Austin car accident lawyer.
Changing the Value of Medical Bills
You expect that Geico will reimburse you for your medical bills. However, Geico often replaces the cost of your medical care with what it terms “usual and customary charges” for medical treatment.
In other words, the insurance company decides what a doctor should have charged you for care, which is often less than the actual total of your medical bills. In addition, the company may use its own medical professionals to determine what medical treatment it believes you should have received, which may differ from the care your doctor recommended.
These insurance company tactics are designed to lower the amount the insurance company pays you for your medical care. If you are not careful, you could receive an amount lower than the actual cost of your medical bills.
Your Claims Is Worth More Than You Think
Often, car accident victims do not realize their accident claim is worth more than they think. They take the total of their medical bills and add it to any lost wages they incurred and property damage to their car to calculate the value of their claim. Geico is more than happy to pay this amount and have you sign a settlement agreement because it knows that your claim is worth more.
In addition to these economic damages, you can receive compensation for your pain and suffering. Non-economic damages include:
- Physical pain
- Impairments and disabilities
- Angustia emocional
- Calidad de vida disminuida
- Angustia mental
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Pérdida de goce de la vida
These damages can total a significant amount. In addition, you could receive future damages, including diminished earning capacity and ongoing medical care. You can also be compensated for miscellaneous out-of-pocket expenses associated with the crash, your injuries, and your recovery.
Geico will not tell you that you deserve more money. Instead, it will pay you the lower amount for your claim is worth and have you sign a settlement agreement that releases the company, the driver, and all other parties from any further liability. Even if you realize that you have additional damages, it is too late to try to get more money.
What Should You Do if Geico Offers To Settle Your Car Accident Claim?
Talk to an Austin car accident attorney before you sign any documents or accept a settlement offer. An insurance company’s only goal is to pay as little as possible for your claim. Companies go to great lengths to avoid paying the actual value of a claim.
The insurance adjuster may tell you that talking to a lawyer will reduce the amount you receive for your claim. The adjuster may tell you that the settlement amount is the highest amount you can receive, even if you talk to a car accident attorney.
Don’t fall for Geico’s tricks. Instead, ensure you understand your legal rights and the value of your claim. Personal injury lawyers in Austin offer free consultations, so it does not cost you anything to verify what an insurance company is telling you is true.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Austin, TX
3101 Bee Caves Rd #301, Austin, TX 78746, United States