How to Negotiate a Truck Injury Settlement with GEICO Insurance
The second largest automobile insurance carrier in the United States, GEICO Insurance covers millions of motorists, including countless 18-wheeler, semi-truck, and tractor-trailer drivers. Many people know of the company through its ubiquitous advertising campaigns—from friendly talking geckos to obtuse cavemen—but most drivers do not know what to expect when dealing with the company if they have been injured in an 18-wheeler accident. As with any insurance company, GEICO is determined to pay you not the full damages for your injuries but rather as little as possible to protect its bottom line.
What to Know About Filing a Claim
If you have been involved in a crash with a semi-truck driver who is covered by GEICO, you must first file a claim with the insurer. Your request will be reviewed by a claims adjuster, who will gather information about the incident and then apply a standard formula for determining how to settle your claim. That approach involves calculating damages either through a computer program or with the help of a claims book. However, as many people who have been hurt in a serious truck crash can attest, there are myriad variables to a collision that are often disregarded by an insurance company.
For example, an 18-wheeler wreck can cause a severe back injury that ultimately requires surgery. Even if GEICO accurately tabulated the cost of an expensive operation, an extended hospital stay, follow-up doctor visits, missed work, and property damage, you may still suffer lingering pain that could negatively impact your quality of life for many years to come, if not permanently. Do not expect GEICO to fully consider that factor in its calculations.
How to Negotiate Your Truck Injury Claim
In order to receive a fair settlement, you must convince the claims adjuster that you are entitled to more compensation than what is set by the industry standard model. Do not become discouraged if the adjuster rejects your first demand for settlement—that is a common negotiation tactic for insurance companies.
The best way to achieve a satisfactory resolution is by building a strong foundation for your case. Here are a few techniques you should use when trying to maximize your claim:
- Before starting the negotiation, compile all documents related to the incident, including police reports, medical and repair bills, a lost wage estimate, and photographs of the car damage, your injuries, and the accident scene, if possible.
- Have the physician who treated you prepare a report that details the extent of your injuries, the recovery process, whether you suffered a disability, the duration or permanency of your injuries, and the likelihood that you will make a full recovery.
- Make a first offer that is aggressive but not outrageous. A good place to start is by demanding the limits of the insurance policy; however, if your claim is worth $10,000, do not demand $10 million. An insurance company is much more likely to consider your offer if it is in a reasonable range.
- Determine the least amount of compensation you are willing to accept and be firm with that number. If GEICO fails to meet your standard, walk away and explore your other legal options.
Nationwide Truck Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking collision, you don’t have to take on large insurance companies by yourself. At Zinda Law Group, our experienced 18-wheeler accident attorneys are dedicated to aggressively advocating for clients against insurance companies, and there is no fee unless we win. Call us at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation about your case with one of our 18-wheeler accident lawyers. Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.