What to Expect in an Injury Settlement with GEICO Insurance
GEICO Insurance covers millions of motorists across the United States, and if you're in a car accident in Phoenix, there is a good chance the other driver will be covered by GEICO. If that driver was at fault for the accident, you will have to deal with GEICO in order to recover compensation for medical bills, property damage, and other losses that may be covered under the at-fault driver's auto policy.
However, negotiating with an insurance company can be an arduous process, as the insurer is mainly concerned with one thing: protecting its bottom line. All insurance companies turn a profit by taking in more money in premiums than paying out in claims, which means GEICO's highest priority is to minimize your claim.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident and is dealing with GEICO insurance, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with a Phoenix car accident lawyer.
Negotiating with a Claims Adjuster
The negotiation process begins by filing a personal injury claim with GEICO insurance after the accident. It is important to file the claim as soon as possible, as some insurance companies require notification within 24 hours of the accident.
After this step is completed, you will need to be prepared to negotiate a settlement with an insurance claims adjuster. Understanding and preparing for how the negotiation process works is an important step towards settling your personal injury claim.
Reservation of Rights Letter
The GEICO adjuster will respond to your claim by sending a “reservation of rights” letter. This letter indicates that GEICO will investigate your claim, but they are not admitting liability. The letter provides protection for the company in the event you try to claim the company’s insurance policy covers your accident solely because they began settlement negotiations with you.
Send a Demand Letter
Send a demand letter to GEICO detailing the facts of the accident and what kind of injuries you sustained. The letter should also itemize the damages that you are requesting including lost income, medical expenses, and other out-of-pocket expenses. At the end of the letter, include a final amount that you are demanding from the insurance company.
What's the Minimum You Are Willing to Accept?
Before speaking with the adjuster, determine a minimum settlement amount that you would be willing to accept. Keep this information to yourself. Be willing to adjust the number if the insurance company highlights facts that weaken your case.
Highlight Your Strongest Points
During the negotiation, avoid restating the facts of the accident; instead, highlight the strongest points in your case. Talk about any long-term or permanent effects of the accident or any suffering your family has endured because of the accident. These points will be difficult for the adjuster to ignore, and they can be powerful tools in reaching a settlement.
What If the First Offer Is Too Low?
The first offer a claims adjuster presents will not be the only offer they are willing to make. You should reject an unfair offer and make a counteroffer by writing a letter to the adjuster stating the reasons why you are rejecting the offer.
Your counteroffer should reduce your initial demand slightly in order to show the adjuster you are willing to compromise. The negotiation process could go back and forth with offers and counteroffers, so be patient and persistent.
Write It Down
When the negotiation is over and you have reached a settlement with the insurance adjuster, confirm it in writing. Send a short, simple letter that includes the amount settled on, which damages or injuries the settlement covers, and the date you are expecting the documents from the insurance company.
However, if you are unable to come to a fair settlement with GEICO, you should consider enlisting the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer to advocate on your behalf.
Zinda Law Group Can Help
At Zinda Law Group, our Phoenix car accident attorneys have a wide range of experience in dealing with insurance companies like GEICO, and we can help you seek maximum recovery for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Call us today at (800) 863-5312 for a free legal consultation with one of our skilled Phoenix car accident lawyers. Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.