How to Negotiate a Car Accident Claim with Geico
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GEICO is one of the most well-known insurance companies in the country. Whether you've seen their commercials on television or their billboards on the side of the road, everyone knows the name GEICO. Therefore, chances are if you have been involved in a car accident in El Paso, one of the parties involved is insured by them. If that is, in fact, the case, you will have to go through the claims and negotiation process with GEICO, which may prove to be a frustrating experience. With the help of an experienced lawyer, negotiating can be a breeze.
How to File a Claim with GEICO after a Car Accident
If one of the vehicles involved in the accident was covered by GEICO, you should get in contact with them as soon as possible after the accident. Filing a claim with GEICO can be done via telephone, online, or even through its mobile app. Once you contact GEICO you will most likely be appointed a claims adjuster. This claims adjuster will be your point of contact throughout the claim and negotiation process.
How to Negotiate Your Claim
Negotiating a car accident claim with GEICO can certainly be stressful and time-consuming. But it doesn't have to be. If you are prepared for what to expect, the process can be much simpler, and you may increase your chances of receiving your ideal settlement offer. Before you initiate the negotiation process, it may help to learn some ways to increase your settlement. Below are some tips to consider when you are negotiating your claim with GEICO.
1. Be Prepared
Have all the information you gathered at the scene and any information relating to expenses incurred from the accident itself ready and available. Also, be sure to calculate how much you think you may be entitled to. Having a number in mind can help you decide how you want to handle the entire negotiation process. But make sure not to disclose this number to GEICO immediately, or they might take advantage of your perceptions of the claim.
2. Make the First Offer
When dealing with a claims adjuster, they may expect that you will sit back and let them take the lead throughout the negotiation process. To counter this, set the tone of the negotiation by making the first offer. Make sure this number is not too high, or they may not take you seriously. Instead, come up with a reasonable first offer so that you are controlling the conversation.
3. Be Professional
Although this process may be stressful and frustrating, try and keep your cool. Don't let your emotions get the better of you. By acting professional when dealing with the claims adjuster, they may treat you more reasonably, and you may better your chances of receiving your ideal settlement.
4. Do Not Admit Liability
When dealing with the GEICO claims adjuster, they will be doing everything in their power to pay out as little as possible. One way in which they do this is to try and persuade you into admitting liability for an accident that might not have even been your fault. By admitting liability, you may bar yourself from receiving a settlement offer. Instead, watch what you say and only provide the claims adjuster with the necessary information that strengthens your claim.
5. Never Accept Their First Offer
Although you may want the entire negotiation process to be over as soon as possible, chances are the first offer is always the lowest. They will expect you to want to rush through and will throw out a number that is well below what you were expecting. Seriously doubt their first offer and keep in mind the number you prepared earlier. One of the best ways to counter this strategy is to prepare a settlement range that you feel is fair.
6. Consult an Attorney
If you find yourself negotiation alone with a GEICO claims adjuster, remember that you don't have to go through the process alone. Experienced attorneys can help you receive the settlement you are seeking. They can make an otherwise terrible experience just a bit better.
Can a Lawyer Help Increase My Offer from Geico?
Most people think that GEICO is consumer-friendly simply based on its marketing and the friendly lizard mascot. But that is not always the case. GEICO is an insurance company just like any other and employs the same tricks and strategies that claims adjusters at the other insurance companies use. For this reason, it is important to remember that it is always risky to initiate a claim with GEICO without an experienced lawyer.
A lawyer can level the playing field. They are experienced with what to expect and what to say when you are seeking a fair settlement offer. By simply telling GEICO you have a lawyer, they will undoubtedly treat you differently. They will have realized that they can no longer take advantage of you and will, therefore, have to change their strategy.
What Proof Will I Need to Prove How Much Compensation I Am Entitled To?
When filing a claim with an insurance company such as GEICO one of the most important things to remember is you want to have as much evidence as possible to support your claim. This includes witness statements, photographs, accident reports, repair bills, proof of medical expenses, and a detailed account of exactly what happened. The more evidence you have, the greater chance you have of seeking a settlement that is suitable for what you experienced.
If you have been involved in a car accident and one of the parties involved is insured by GEICO consider getting the following pieces of information:
- Names and contact information of the parties involved
- Name and contact information of any witnesses who saw the accident
- Names and contact information of any police officers who arrived at the scene
- Location of the accident
- Photos of the accident, damage to vehicles, and any injuries sustained
- Insurance information from all parties involved
If you have been involved in a car accident and are seeking compensation from GEICO it is important to keep a record of everything. You want to strengthen your claim as much as possible, and one of the best ways to do that is by having an extensive record. In circumstances such as these, being over-prepared is definitely in your best interest.
How Long Do I Have to Make a Claim?
When you are considering filing a claim or initiating a lawsuit because of a car accident in Texas, it is important to know that there are time limits for such claims. These legal time limits are called the "statute of limitations." The statute of limitations places a time limit for when you are allowed to file such claims. Claims filed outside of the time limit may not be heard.
Different states have different time limits for such claims. In Texas, the statute of limitations that applies to personal injury claims stemming from car accidents is two years. This is very important to remember when you are considering filing a claim if you were involved in a car accident. If you find yourself confused as to how the two-year time limit applies to the specific facts of your case, consider contacting an experienced attorney who can give you an accurate assessment.
The Negotiation and Claims Process with a Lawyer
The negotiation and claims process will undoubtedly be easier when you have a lawyer involved. An experienced attorney can explain to you your options and potential outcomes of filing a claim with GEICO. They have likely gone through this process many times before, and they can guide you through a process that otherwise might have been confusing and stressful. Your attorney can be there every step of the way and can answer any of your questions that might arise during the course of the claims and negotiation process.
When seeking a just a fair settlement from GEICO remember that seeking the guidance of an experienced attorney may be in your best interest. Negotiating with GEICO can be intimidating, but an experienced attorney can help you and make sure you get the respect you deserve. Don't let GEICO take advantage of you being alone; consider consulting an experienced car accident attorney.
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