Stephen Schultz | July 5, 2023 | Car Accidents
Geico currently has more than 16 million auto insurance policies in force and insures over 28 million vehicles. It is the third-largest auto insurance provider. These factors mean that if you are ever injured in a car accident, your claim will likely involve a Geico insurance policy.
It’s vital that you know what to expect when dealing with Geico Insurance. Below, we reveal various tactics adjusters may use to undervalue or deny your insurance claim.
They Will Try To Get a Recorded Statement
Like most car insurance companies, Geico will try to secure a recorded statement from claimants. Insurance companies want to get your statement on the record so that they can obtain any information they can to use against you.
Whether that means saying “I’m fine” to minimize your injuries or making a statement that is inconsistent with something you say to your medical provider or later in the case, these recorded statements can be damaging to your claim.
This is why it is so important to be careful about what you say to insurance adjusters. You may simply prefer to refer the adjuster to your lawyer so that you do not risk saying anything that might jeopardize your claim. If you do choose to speak with an adjuster, just stick to the basics, such as your name, contact information, and time and place of the wreck.
Avoid talking about specifics of your case, such as:
- How the accident occurred
- Your injuries, diagnosis, or treatment
- Your medical expenses and other damages
It is usually preferable to allow your car accident lawyer to develop your claim and include the necessary information in a demand package.
Geico Might Ignore Your Medical Bills
One of the tips personal injury lawyers often give to their clients is to keep all accident-related documents, especially medical bills. However, Geico might completely ignore your medical bills. Instead, they may use a computer program to estimate how much your medical expenses “should” have cost and then try to use this figure to justify their settlement offer.
Keep in mind that insurance companies are for-profit companies. They may advertise how much they are there, or a little gecko might explain how much you can save with them. However, when you file a claim, their interests are inherently opposite from yours.
You rightly want to be compensated for the damages you’ve incurred, especially when the accident wasn’t your fault. They want to minimize the value of your claim so they can make more money. What difference does it make to you if their subjective computer program says a medical visit should have cost $800 when you were billed $1,000?
Despite this sneaky tactic, hold onto your medical bills and records. You might need them to justify a higher settlement proposal.
They Will Try To Take Advantage of Your Inexperience
Most people are not routinely involved in car accidents – and thank goodness for that! However, this puts them at a distinct disadvantage when working with a claims adjuster.
You might not know how much your claim is worth. Sure, you can add up your repair costs and medical bills. But what about if the car crash affects your job? How do you plan for medical care in the future? What if you suffer permanent disabilities and can never return to work? And what is fair compensation for your pain and suffering?
Geico realizes that many car accident victims may find it difficult to accurately estimate the value of their claims, which is why they will usually make settlement offers far below these values.
Geico Might Purchase Your Hospital Lien
One “unique” way that Geico may try to give you less money than you deserve is by purchasing your medical lien directly from the hospital. Many hospitals immediately establish a lien on your medical treatment following an accident. This is why they sometimes ask whether your injuries were due to an accident.
If you receive a settlement, the hospital lien must be paid off before you can recover the remaining amount (less other deductions and attorney’s fees).
Geico may purchase hospital liens for much less than they are worth. It may then state that your medical expenses are equal to that amount so that it can make a lower settlement offer to you. While reducing the amount of your medical expenses damages, this might also reduce the amount offered to you for other aspects of your claim, such as pain and suffering.
Geico Might Discourage You from Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
Some Geico claims adjusters may be so bold as to outright discourage you from hiring a lawyer. They may claim you don’t need a lawyer and that you’ll just have to hand over a portion of your recovery to an attorney.
Remember that the adjuster has one goal: to minimize the value of your claim to protect the company’s profit margins. These statements are only made to keep you in the dark about the value of your claim and to give you less than you deserve.
Contact a personal injury lawyer with experience handling Geigo claims after an accident for help with all aspects of your case.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in St. Louis, MO
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, please contact Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today:
Ladue, MO Law Office
9807 S 40 Dr, St. Louis, MO 63124
Columbia, MO Law Office
28 N 8th St # 502, Columbia, MO 65201
Creve Coeur, MO Law Office
999 Executive Pkwy Dr #205, Creve Coeur, MO 63141