A car accident can be devastating and, at the same time, confusing. In addition to the physical and mental pain associated with the injuries, the accident can have profound financial implications on the victim’s life. If you were not at fault, you can file a claim seeking compensation for your injuries.
The claim process is tedious. Also, there are multiple parties involved, including the insurance company. Geico, one of the largest insurance companies in the United States, provides coverage for more than 24 million motor vehicles.
Therefore, whether you have been insured with Geico or were involved in an accident by an individual insured with Geico, you are bound to receive direct and indirect communications from this insurance company. Contacting a car insurance lawyer can help you understand the process.
As such, you might be wondering how you can resolve your claim. Here’s what you need to know about handling your claims with Geico as one of the parties involved.
When Should You File a Claim With Geico?
There are two reasons for contacting Geico after a car accident.
- Geico insurers the at-fault driver in an accident. Or
- Geico is your insurance company.
Although reporting an accident to your Insurer is imperative, you should prioritize your health before taking this step. In other words, following an accident, you need to seek medical attention as soon as possible before embarking on the claim process.
Once you receive proper medical attention, you must communicate with a car accident attorney who will advise you on the way forward. Consulting an attorney before talking to your insurer lets you avoid divulging information that may harm your claim. Furthermore, it ensures that your rights and interests in the claim process are safeguarded.
Texas has a comparative fault system. The driver who caused the accident can be legally responsible for injuries in the crash.
Having said that, if you intend to file a Geico Claim against the at-fault driver, you must file your claim timely. Every state has limitations on how long you can wait, but if you wait too long, you can waive your claims. Practically speaking, it would be best to file the claim as soon as the accident occurs or in line with the advice from your personal injury attorney.
However, if you are a Geico policyholder and anticipate seeking benefits under your auto policy, you need to ensure you report the accident when possible.
Where Can You Report a Geico Claim?
There are multiple avenues for reporting a Geico Claim following an accident. Put briefly, a Geico Claim can be reported via their:
Geico Claims Phone Number
- Calling Geico’s claim phone number (800) 841-3000
What are the Deadlines For Resolving Claims with Geico?
When it comes to resolving claims with GEICO in Texas, it is important to be aware of the following deadlines that apply when Geico Insures you:
- Request for More Information: Once you file a claim, GEICO has a period of 15 days to request any additional information they may need.
- Approval or Denial: After you have provided the requested information, GEICO has 15 days to either approve or deny your claim.
- Extension of Decision Deadline: GEICO has the ability to extend the decision deadline by 45 days, but only if they inform you of the extension and provide a clear explanation as to why it is necessary.
- Claim Approval Payment: If GEICO approves your claim, they are required to make payment within a period of five days.
It is important to note that while these deadlines exist, they do not necessarily mean you will receive an insurance check within 35 to 80 days after filing a claim. GEICO may still deny your claim or make an offer significantly below what you believe to be the actual damages, often right before the deadline approaches.
How Does Geico Handle Personal Injury Claims?
Like most insurance companies, Geico uses the same tactics to ensure that the victim receives as little as possible.
In other words, Geico may want to ensure that the victims receive minimum compensation for their injuries to the effect that they maximize their profit. There are certain types of strategies behind them.
To achieve this, Geico might use the following strategies:
- Delayed Response: Amidst mental anguish and pain, a delayed response from an insurance company can be frustrating. However, this is one of the strategies used by Geico and other insurance companies to discourage victims of personal injury accidents from pursuing their claims. Consequently, the victim gets frustrated and may settle for less. Here is an article on what you need to know about dealing with an adjuster on a personal injury claim.
- Shifting the Blame: There are multiple ways of disputing a claim. One of them is poking holes into the victim’s account of the collision and shifting the Blame. This malicious act characterizes the conduct of most insurance companies that work hard to ensure that they don’t compensate you fully.
- Low-ball settlement offer: Even when a valid claim exists, Geico won’t offer you a maximum settlement to cover your losses. Instead, they will make a lowball settlement offer that may not be sufficient to cover your medical bills and other related expenses, not to mention your pain and suffering. Furthermore, they will be seeking to capitalize on the fact that you don’t have an attorney who will help negotiate the settlement offer.
- Refusal to settle: This common strategy works effectively without an attorney. Typically, Geico or any other insurance company will want you to believe they owe you nothing in compensation. At this point, they will be relying on the fact that you don’t understand personal injury laws and, at the same time, you lack an attorney to help you counter any allegations they raised.
- Asserting partial blame to you: Without a top personal injury lawyer on your side, insurance adjusters use the trick of trying to sell you that you are partly “at fault” for the accident. Thus reducing their settlement numbers.
- Demanding a recorded statement: Often, the adjuster will tell you they must have a recorded interview with you to move forward with the claim. Then, use the statement to deny or reduce your claim.
Geico and other insurance companies don’t have your best interests at heart. As such, they will work hard to maximize their profit by lowering the settlement amount offered or disputing your claim altogether.
For this reason, you need a competent and qualified personal injury attorney to help level the playing field and safeguard your rights and interests throughout the claim process.
How Does Texas’s At-Fault System Affect Filing a Claim with Geico?
Texas’s at-fault insurance system significantly impacts the process of filing a claim with GEICO. In Texas, drivers are required to have liability insurance, which means the driver who caused the accident is legally responsible for the resulting injuries and property damage. GEICO, as an insurance provider, operates within this system.
When filing a claim with GEICO in Texas, the at-fault driver’s liability insurance coverage comes into play.
The minimum requirement for bodily injury coverage in Texas is $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident. However, many people opt for higher coverage limits to protect themselves in case of accidents resulting in severe injuries or involving multiple vehicles.
If an accident exceeds the minimum insurance coverage limits, the injured party may choose to sue the at-fault driver to claim additional damages. In this scenario, GEICO’s involvement may extend beyond handling the claim within the policy limits. The at-fault driver may be personally liable to pay for any damages that exceed their insurance coverage.
Therefore, when filing a claim with GEICO under Texas’s at-fault insurance system, the outcome of the claim will largely depend on the extent of liability coverage held by the at-fault driver and the circumstances surrounding the accident.
GEICO will assist in assessing the claim and providing compensation within the applicable policy limits, but any damages beyond those limits may need to be pursued through legal action against the at-fault driver directly or making an Underinsured Motorist claim with your auto insurance company. Contact a car insurance lawyer for help with a UIM claim.
Suggestions for Dealing with Geico
When communicating with Geico or any other insurance company, the danger of harming your claim is real. Therefore, it is crucial to understand what you should and shouldn’t do after a car accident.
Here is a brief list of some of the do’s and don’t when dealing with Geico when they insure the at-fault driver after a car accident:
- Don’t divulge too much information.
- Provide only basic information relating to the accident.
- Don’t admit fault.
- Don’t consent to a recorded statement.
- Contact an attorney as soon as the accident happens.
Should You Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
Having a personal injury attorney in Houston is vital as soon as the accident happens. Essentially, an attorney will help safeguard your rights and interests throughout the claim process and can help you receive maximum compensation for your injuries.
Essentially, a competent and qualified personal injury attorney will:
- Gather sufficient medical evidence to support your claim.
- Assess liability facts
- Work with an economist’s help to determine the compensation you deserve.
- Negotiate on your behalf with Geico.
- Represent you in court if your case proceeds to trial.
That said, the presence of a personal injury attorney in your claim is one of the critical steps toward ensuring that you receive fair compensation. The threat of Geico’s bad faith coming to light in a court of law is often enough to convince them to offer a fair settlement. Moreover, when a competent and qualified attorney handles a claim, there is no chance that the insurance company will take advantage of the victim.
Tips for Filing a Claim with Geico
When filing a claim with GEICO, there are several helpful hints to keep in mind. Firstly, it is important to understand that GEICO has two main concerns when investigating a claim: saving money for their company and fulfilling their obligations under Texas insurance law and the policy. Unfortunately, these concerns can sometimes conflict with each other.
Consult with an Attorney
It may be beneficial to consider hiring a personal injury lawyer to protect yourself during the claim process. Having a lawyer act as the point of contact with GEICO can provide insulation from the claim adjuster and ensure that all interactions with the insurance company are screened for your legal protection. A personal injury lawyer with experience in dealing with GEICO may have handled numerous claims in the past and can provide invaluable insight and guidance to help you obtain a fair settlement offer.
Additionally, it is crucial to maintain meticulous records of all medical and pharmacy bills related to your injuries. This will help prevent claim adjusters from using shoddy recordkeeping as a reason to deny or reduce your claim. By carefully documenting your expenses, you can strengthen your case and ensure that you receive adequate compensation for your injuries.
Use Caution When Discussing Liability or Injuries
It is worth noting that claim adjusters may try to twist your words during the claims process, so it’s essential to be cautious when providing any statements. Even innocuous statements, such as saying “I’m fine,” could be misinterpreted and used against you. To avoid these situations, having a personal injury lawyer by your side can be highly beneficial as they can guide you on what to say and what not to say to protect your interests.
In summary, when filing a claim with GEICO, considering hiring a personal injury lawyer, maintaining thorough records of your medical expenses, and relying on their expertise can greatly increase your chances of obtaining a fair settlement offer.
Contact a Houston Personal Injury Attorney at Baumgartner Law Firm Today
If you or a loved one sustained an injury in a car wreck in Houston, Harris County, Texas, there is a likelihood that Geico will be involved in the claim process. In that case, you need to seek legal counsel immediately.
A car accident attorney in Houston at the Baumgartner Law Firm will work hard to ensure you receive maximum compensation for your injuries.
At the Baumgartner Law Firm, we will handle all communications between you and the insurance company, thus safeguarding your rights and interests in the claim process.
Contact us for a free case evaluation or call (281) 587-1111.
6711 Cypress Creek Pkwy, Houston, TX, 77069