You’ve probably seen the commercials with the cute little gecko talking about insurance. These ads might have even given you the impression that dealing with the Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO) will be pretty easy. Unfortunately, GEICO insurance claims are rarely straightforward.
Like other insurers, GEICO is a major corporation – a subsidiary of billionaire Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway. Part of how GEICO makes money is by underpaying or denying legitimate accident claims. If you have been hurt in a motor vehicle collision with a driver insured by GEICO, you will need a tough Silver Spring, Maryland car accident lawyer to fight for your right to full compensation.
At DuBoff & Associates, we work hard to help our clients get the most money possible for their injuries. Every day, we take on the biggest insurance companies – and win. Our law firm offers free initial consultations, and we never charge a fee unless we recover money for you.
If you are in an automobile accident with a driver insured by GEICO, then the at-fault driver should file a claim with their insurance company. However, if they don’t file a claim, then you will need to file a claim with GEICO.
In theory, this should be an easy process: the adjuster will gather information, take statements, and then make you an offer for your losses. This settlement offer should cover your property damage, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, medical bills, future medical treatment, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more. Too often, however, an initial settlement made by GEICO won’t be anywhere near enough to make you whole again.
Instead of working to get you the money that you deserve for your injuries, GEICO will begin the process by trying to undermine your claim. They will request an accident report from the police, interview witnesses, and dig into your medical history. Using this information, they will find ways to reduce the amount of money that they have to pay you.
Keep this in mind as you start the GEICO claims process. Don’t give a statement to a claims adjuster, or sign any paperwork until after you have had the opportunity to talk to a Silver Spring car accident lawyer. Remember that whatever you say to GEICO can and will be used against you.
Your attorney will start by listening to your story during a free initial consultation. They will offer you legal advice on your options for moving forward with a lawsuit. If you choose to hire a personal injury law firm, they will take over all communications with GEICO on your behalf.
Your lawyer will then begin an investigation of the crash – gathering police reports, medical records, witness statements, and photos and videos of the accident scene. At the same time, they will research case law to put together the strongest possible GEICO accident claim. Using this information, your attorney will draft a demand letter to GEICO that sets out the facts of the case and why their insured is responsible and makes a demand for compensation.
This begins the negotiation process, where your lawyer and GEICO’s team of adjusters and attorneys go back and forth until a settlement can be achieved. If GEICO refuses to give you a fair settlement, then your attorney may advise you to file a lawsuit against the insurer.
Most personal injury claims are handled on a contingency fee basis, which means that you pay nothing upfront to hire a lawyer. Instead, you will pay a percentage of your total recovery (settlement or verdict at trial). This means that there is no risk to you in hiring an attorney – and you don’t need to have a ton of extra cash on hand to talk to a Silver Spring car accident lawyer about your GEICO accident claim.
Make no mistake about it: GEICO’s insurance adjuster is not on your side. Even if the claims adjuster is friendly and tells you that they accept full responsibility for the accident, don’t be fooled. Their job is to make sure that you get as little money as possible for your losses.
Most claims adjusters will start by making you an incredibly low settlement offer. They know that accident victims are in a vulnerable position – in a lot of pain, traumatized after an accident, unsure of their rights, and dealing with a lot of financial stress from being out of work and having medical bills. They play on this vulnerability, hoping that you will accept their lowball offer.
If you decline the offer, the claims adjuster might make you a slightly higher settlement offer – or they might stick with their initial settlement number. They may then start engaging in a strategy that is designed to wear you down and get you to accept a settlement for far less money than your claim is worth.
The GEICO adjuster might delay your claim by constantly referring you to another employee, or by asking you to submit paperwork repeatedly. They might also look for ways to reduce the amount of money that you are owed. For example, they might go far back into your medical records to find an old medical condition, and then argue that your current injury can be chalked up to that – instead of the accident.
They may also try to use Maryland law in their favor. Maryland is one of the few states in the country that follows the principle of contributory negligence – which means that if you were even slightly (1%) at fault for an accident, you can’t recover anything. The GEICO claims adjuster may try to get you to admit some level of fault so that contributory negligence applies to your case. Many accident victims don’t realize that this is happening until it’s too late.
The best way to protect yourself is by hiring an aggressive, experienced Silver Spring car accident lawyer. Your attorney won’t let GEICO go on a fishing expedition into your medical records – and will make sure that you don’t give GEICO any information that could be used to undercut your claim.
Studies show that people who hire car accident attorneys recover 40% more in settlement money from insurance companies like GEICO compared to people who represent themselves. The best way to get maximum compensation for your injuries is by hiring a personal injury lawyer who can take on GEICO for you.
GEICO does not have a set formula for determining settlement amounts. Instead, the value of your settlement will depend on factors such as the nature and severity of your injury and the at-fault driver’s policy limits. It is also based in part on whether you have legal representation.
If you don’t have a lawyer, GEICO’s initial settlement offer will almost certainly be incredibly low – and may even be considered a bad faith offer. When you are represented by counsel, GEICO is more likely to make a fair settlement offer, knowing that there is a real possibility that you will file a lawsuit and take them to court to get the money that you deserve.
It can take time to negotiate a favorable settlement from GEICO. Remember: GEICO is in business to make money. They will always try to get away with a lowball settlement.
Your attorney will gather evidence to prove that GEICO is fully responsible for all of your losses, along with documentation of your injuries. Your losses may include:
In rare cases, such as drunk driving accidents, you may also be entitled to punitive damages. During a free initial consultation, your car accident lawyer will advise you of the value of your GEICO accident claim, including the possibility of seeking punitive damages.
Remember: the best way to get the money that you deserve for your injuries is by working with a highly skilled auto accident lawyer. They will fight for your rights and help you get maximum compensation for your losses after an accident involving a GEICO driver.
In some cases, GEICO insurance claims cannot be resolved by settlement. It may then be necessary to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
In Maryland, the statute of limitations for most personal injury cases is 3 years. With a few exceptions, this means that you have 3 years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against GEICO. If you don’t file a legal claim within this time frame, then it will be barred.
Filing a lawsuit against GEICO does not mean that you will go to court. In fact, the majority of personal injury cases are settled without going to trial. Your attorney will keep you updated throughout the process to let you know the status of your case.
Once the lawsuit has been filed, then each side will exchange information during the discovery phase. In many cases, discovery will push the case towards settlement as the parties learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of their cases.
If the case does go to trial, your lawyer will make arguments, present evidence, and question witnesses. Attorneys for GEICO will have the opportunity to do the same. When the case concludes, a jury will reach a verdict.
Insurance companies like GEICO don’t like to gamble on a jury. That is why having a car accident lawyer with trial experience – such as the attorneys of DuBoff & Associates – can help you get a fair settlement without having to go to trial. When GEICO knows that your attorney can and will take your case to court, they are more likely to give you the compensation that you deserve for your injuries.
No. Like other insurers, GEICO takes a hardline stance when it comes to resolving insurance claims. Their goal is to always settle an accident case for as little money as possible.
If you have been hurt in a Maryland car crash with a driver insured by GEICO, hiring a lawyer is the best way to get full compensation for your injuries. While you may be able to resolve the case on your own, it will likely be for far less than your claim is worth. Reach out to DuBoff & Associates today to learn more about how we can help you.
Once you sue GEICO, they will likely increase their settlement offer. The reason for this is simple: GEICO knows that it will probably cost them a lot more money to litigate the case than it will to settle it. They also know that a jury could return a much bigger verdict than what they would pay in a settlement. Most often, it simply makes more financial sense for GEICO to offer a bigger settlement.
Of course, if GEICO doesn’t think that your lawyers will actually go to court – or if you’re not represented by counsel – then they may not increase their settlement offer. To get the money that you deserve for your losses, contact DuBoff & Associates today for a free consultation.
Yes. In most cases, it will benefit you to be represented by counsel when dealing with GEICO – you will get a bigger settlement and reduce the likelihood of your claim being delayed or denied. However, if your claim is small and only involves minor property damage and/or very minor injuries, it may make more sense to represent yourself.
Remember that even in minor car accident claims, GEICO will probably try to undervalue your claim. Because initial consultations are always free with our law firm, it’s often a good idea to reach out and get a better idea of the value of your case and your legal options. Call our law firm at 301-495-3131 to schedule a free consultation.
After a car accident, the last thing that anyone wants to do is deal with an insurance company. Our law firm will take on GEICO for you, allowing you to focus on what really matters: your health and well-being.
With offices in Silver Spring, DuBoff & Associates is well-positioned to represent injury victims throughout Maryland. We aggressively advocate for each of our clients, and never charge a fee unless we recover money for you. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation with a Maryland car accident lawyer, give us a call at 301-495-3131 or fill out our online contact form.Filed Under: