A personal injury claim with GEICO should not be handled alone. You need a personal injury attorney if you are injured in a car accident, whether you are dealing with GEICO or some other insurance company. Insurance companies are not in the business of looking out for injured people’s interests and paying them full value on their claims. To the contrary, insurance companies will do everything they can to pay you less than what you are entitled to receive. GEICO is no different.
Your car accident claim with GEICO should include all of the damages you are entitled to claim. Your damages will likely include both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include medical bills and lost wages, as well as any other out of pocket expenses. GEICO will be responsible for paying the full amount of your medical bills, regardless of whether they have been paid my health insurance or through some other source. GEICO, however, may try to challenge the amount of your medical expenses and argue that the amount your doctors charged is not “reasonable and customary.”
For your lost wages, you are entitled to claim your missed time from work. If you had to use sick leave, vacation days, or PTO time, or if you had disability coverage, you can still claim lost wages. The amount of your lost wage claim will be the number of hours or days missed multiplied by your wage rate.
While economic damages are normally capable of a precise measurement, non-economic damages are not. The types of damages include pain and suffering, mental and emotional distress, bodily disfigurement, and diminished capacity to labor. These damages are inherently subjective and depend on a number of factors. These factors include the types of injuries you sustained, the medical treatment you received, how long your injuries and pain lasted, whether you were disabled for a period of time, and your physical and mental condition before the accident.
Car insurance companies are notorious for undervaluing non-economic damages and trying to offer $1,000 or less when the claim may be worth thousands or tens of thousands of dollars more. So how are you supposed to know what your non-economic damages claim is worth when the insurance company is offering pennies on the dollar? The short answer is you likely won’t know because you don’t have the knowledge, training, and experience to make this determination. Only an experienced personal injury attorney can help you make this determination.
You should never settle a personal injury claim before you are done receiving medical treatment. After you are done with treatment, and have hopefully recovered from your injuries, your personal injury claim with GEICO can enter the settlement negotiations phase. This phase normally begins when the injured person sends a settlement demand to the insurance company. After the adjuster evaluates the demand he or she will either pay it or make a counteroffer.
If the settlement negotiations lead to a settlement then GEICO will require you sign a release that releases GEICO and its policyholder from any and all further liability. The language in a release is important. The type of release you sign and the language that should be in the release depends on a number of factors. This is one of the many reasons why you need a personal injury attorney representing you.
If you are dealing with GEICO as your own insurance company then it is important for you to know your GEICO policy may provide benefits for your personal injury claim. You may have uninsured motorist coverage. If you do, then this coverage can be used if the at-fault driver either has no insurance or not enough insurance to pay all of your damages. Your GEICO policy may also have medical payments coverage, which can be used to help pay your medical bills, regardless of who was at fault.
If you find yourself dealing with GEICO or some other car insurance company after an accident, you need a personal injury attorney on your side who can advocate for you. Contact Brogdon Champion, LLC for a free consultation about your accident case.