How Does GEICO Decide What a Dog Bite Claim Is Worth?
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Although dogs may be seen as loveable pets, there are circumstances in which these animals lose control and lash out. In such events, serious injuries can occur. If this is the case, it is important to remember that you may have legal avenues in which to seek compensation. Consider reaching out to an experienced dog bite attorney who may evaluate the facts of your case and explain to you your options.
The Damages Formula
When getting involved with GEICO, it is important to always keep in mind that GEICO is a business. Although the corporation may have catchy commercials, their true goal is making money. This means GEICO must bring in more than it pays out. Keep this in mind throughout your entire process, remembering that GEICO insurance adjusters may try to minimize your damages in an effort to pay out as little as possible.
When GEICO is looking into the potential amount of damages incurred in a dog bite incident, the claims adjusters try and collect as much information as possible. Claims adjusters may look to the police report, victim and witness statements, photos of injuries, medical reports, and anything you say to them. You should certainly consider reaching out to an attorney if you are considering seeking damages—the claims process may be overwhelming to take on alone.
How Does the Damage Formula Work?
GEICO may use a damage formula to assess the amount of damages it is willing to pay out in a particular case. Usually, GEICO will look at all sources of information when deciding upon a number. GEICO may look to the insurance policy through which the claim is filed, the injuries sustained, and other underlying evidence. The damage formula may, in fact, be differently applied to different cases, so consider reaching out to an attorney to see how it may apply to your case.
It is also important to remember that every state has different laws regarding potential liability stemming from a dog bite. For this reason, consider reaching out to an attorney to figure out how GEICO will evaluate your claim. An experienced dog bite attorney may more definitively apply the specific facts of your case to GEICO’s damage formula in an effort to provide you with a more accurate estimate.
Other Factors Influencing What a Claim is Worth
Although the common formula used by GEICO may be quite helpful when it comes to estimating how much your claim may be worth, it is not always the only factor. In fact, GEICO may use a wide variety of other factors when deciding the value of your claim. Common factors that may influence what your claim is worth may include:
- Severity of injuries
- Medical expenses
- Permanent injury – including scarring, loss of mobility, and stiffness
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
Common Dog Bite Claims
Injuries caused by dogs have the potential to lead to many different types of injuries. These types of injuries may range in severity from minor injuries to life-threatening. Some dog bites won't leave a mark, while others may result in permanent scarring or internal damage. Common dog bite injuries include:
- Puncture wounds
- Nerve damage
- Face injuries
It is also important to remember that dogs may cause serious injuries in ways other than bites. If a dog injured you in any way and you are unsure if it is worth filing a claim, reach out to an experienced attorney. This will allow you to get professional insight on the best course of action to take. You should always remember that you have options if you have been injured, and one such option may be to seek compensation for your injuries.
Don’t Negotiate with GEICO Alone
Once again, it is important to remember that GEICO is a corporation with the sole purpose of making a profit. To make a profit, GEICO must pay out as little as possible when it comes to insurance claims. In this way, GEICO may use some common tricks or strategies during negotiations to try and trip you up in an effort to pay out as little as possible. For this reason, you should not negotiate with GEICO alone. Reasons for not negotiating with GEICO alone include:
1. GEICO May Use Your Statements Against You
When dealing with GEICO, it is important to realize that every you say to them is being recorded. Their insurance adjusters may ultimately be attempting to have you admit fault in the incident. They will try and use your own statements against you in an effort to pay out as little as possible. When considering this, keep in mind that an attorney may be much more experienced when dealing with insurance companies such as GEICO and in such a way may be less likely to admit fault or falsely admit to something.
2. GEICO May Use Manipulative Negotiation Tactics
It is common among insurance companies to offer a minimal amount the first time around. Insurance companies do this thinking that people will accept that first offer to try and get through the process as quickly as possible. It is possible in such circumstances that the insurance company may be willing to negotiate to a higher settlement, but will start low in an effort to control the situation. Beware of the first offer and always be sure to evaluate just how much your claim may be worth before actually reaching out to GEICO. Again, this is just another circumstance in which an attorney may prove incredibly beneficial.
3. Insurance Adjusters Are Experienced
Although this may be your first time dealing with an insurance company and its claims adjusters, it is unlikely that this is the claims adjusters first time negotiating a settlement. This means that the claims adjuster is likely to be more experienced than you. They may take advantage of your inexperience in an effort to pay out as little as possible. If you want to level the playing field, consider reaching out to an experienced personal injury attorney who may fight on your behalf. An experienced personal injury attorney is likely to know the common strategies of GEICO claims adjusters when dealing with settlements.
How to File a Claim with an Attorney
By far, one of the smartest choices you can make when it comes to a dog bite incident is to reach out to an experienced attorney. An experienced attorney may walk you through your options and work with you to seek maximum compensation for any injuries or damages incurred by the incident. Going through the claims process alone may be incredibly overwhelming and stressful, but an experienced attorney may help. Below are some common steps you may want to consider taking in order to file a claim with an attorney.
1. Find the Right Attorney
When deciding to file a claim, the attorney you choose to work with is an incredibly important decision. You should choose an attorney with the experience and knowledge that is required to help you seek maximum compensation. You should also choose an attorney who may be with you every step of the way helping you better understand your situation and the options that may be available to you. In this way, Zinda Law Group may help.
Zinda Law Group has helped thousands of victims get their lives back on track after sustaining an injury. The team of attorneys at Zinda Law Group will work with you in the pursuit of maximum compensation for any injuries or damages you sustained. It is also important to remember that our firm offers free case evaluations and consultations and provides a No Fee Guarantee. We are here to work with you every step of the way, and make sure that you don’t have to deal with such a stressful situation all by yourself.
2. File a Complaint in Court
If you are unable to come to a settlement with GEICO, your next step with your attorney may be to file a complaint in court. The complaint explains the basic facts of the case and the parties involved in the incident. The complaint asks the court to get involved and grant you relief for your injuries or any damage brought about by the incident, usually in the form of monetary damages. This complaint is then brought to the attention of GEICO, and the lawsuit begins.
3. Gather Evidence
When filing a complaint, it is important to have as much evidence as possible. The more evidence you are able to produce, the stronger your claim will be. By having more evidence, you may increase your chances of success when seeking damages. Evidence may come in the form of photographs, witness statements, police reports, and medical bills. Here, an attorney may help by explaining what pieces of evidence may be the strongest and further explaining how such evidence may be used throughout the process.
Our Dog Bite Lawyers May Take on GEICO For You
Negotiating on your own behalf may be very emotional. You are asking for damages for your injuries, and it can be very hard. Sometimes, the best course of action may be to seek help from a personal injury attorney who has a record of success in representing auto accident victims. Our attorneys have years of experience advocating for the victims of dog bites.
At Zinda Law Group, our personal injury lawyers will provide you legal advice while working diligently to reach a fair and just resolution of your claim. Contact us at (800) 863-5312 today to schedule a free consultation. If we don't reach a favorable settlement in your case, you won't owe us anything.
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