Posted in Our Blog on February 12, 2019
Every driver in the state of Louisiana must carry at least the minimum required amounts of car insurance. After a car accident in New Orleans, victims will seek damage recovery from the at-fault party’s auto insurer. The insurance company will task a claims adjuster with reviewing the case and determining whether to accept or deny the claim. The victim will then receive a settlement check for his or her damages after acceptance. Each insurance company has a different settlement process. Here is what to expect from GEICO.
GEICO has a simple claims process with multiple ways to initiate a case. One of the best tools GEICO policyholders have is the mobile app. Downloading the app puts digital insurance cards right on the phone, as well as gives the policyholder the ability to call for emergency roadside assistance, ask a virtual assistant questions, and report accidents. You can use the app to report your crash in minutes after a collision in New Orleans. Then, you will receive a confirmation email and an examiner will take over your case.
You can also call the phone number on your auto insurance ID card after a collision. You will reach an insurance agent who can give you directions on how to report your crash. Remember, you will file your initial claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Get the other driver’s insurance information, including a contact phone number and policy number, at the scene of the accident if he or she caused your wreck. You typically must contact the insurance company to file a claim as soon as possible, or at least within a few days of the accident.
Once you or someone else reports the crash to GEICO, you will hear back from the company quickly. GEICO typically has fast response times to claims. The person that contacts you will most likely be the claims adjuster. This person will either work for GEICO or a third-party investigation company. The adjuster will ask questions and get details about your accident. Do not agree to give the adjuster a recorded statement, and do not admit fault to the adjuster. If you hear that GEICO has accepted your claim and will issue a settlement, speak to a New Orleans car accident lawyer before accepting the amount offered.
An insurance claims adjuster does not necessarily want what is best for you. Instead, the adjuster’s job is to save the insurance company money. The adjuster will try to get you to settle for as little as possible, as quickly as possible. Your goal, however, should be to maximize your recovery to ensure you have enough to cover all your damages. Hiring a personal injury attorney can help you achieve your goal, by not letting an insurance company take advantage of you.
A lawyer can review your case, look at medical records and police reports, speak to eyewitnesses, and give you an accurate representation of what your case could be worth. It may surprise you to find the amount your lawyer arrives at is much higher than what the adjuster offered. Your lawyer can then take over communications with GEICO and argue for a fair settlement amount. If settlement negotiations do not work, your lawyer can take the negligent driver to court in pursuit of full recovery. A trial could result in payment not only for property damage and medical bills, but also for pain and suffering and punitive damages.
Whether you settle your case without a trial or take GEICO to court, if you do receive a settlement or verdict award, GEICO will mail your payment within two weeks of the ruling. You should receive a paper check, unless you agreed to a different method of payment during your case. If you hired an attorney, he or she will deduct attorney’s fees directly from the settlement amount. Then, you may use the rest to pay your medical bills, lost wages, and other car crash damages.