In the aftermath of a car accident, you may have to deal with other drivers for perhaps a few short minutes. Once you leave the scene you might not ever see them again. But, unfortunately, your contact with their insurance provider could drag on for weeks or months.
When you are forced to depend on a provider like Geico for accident compensation, you may watch the calendar for a long time before you get a check. So, how long does it take Geico to send a settlement check?
How Long Does It Take Geico to Send a Settlement Check?
Geico is the second-largest car insurance provider in the United States. MarketWatch reports the insurance giant receives high marks for giving customers the fastest and smoothest online and app experience. That internet-friendly design may offer a competitive advantage. Geico brags on their website that some of their claims are resolved within 48 hours.
Any accident involving minor damage or light scrapes and bruises may be easy to iron out. A collision that leaves you with more serious injuries usually prompts insurance companies like Geico to start dragging their feet. Of course, as we’ll see, fast is not always better for the victim.
A speedy settlement can also mean Geico adjusters are eager to get your claim settled as soon as possible before you find out what the recovery from your injury can truly cost.
Length of Settlements When Working with Geico
Property damage-only accidents, when the fault is clear, are often handled fairly quickly by insurance agents. Car repair claims have become pretty standard, and in most cases, victims don’t need the help of a personal injury lawyer to receive fair treatment.
When victims suffer traumatic and serious injuries, the path to earning help for things like hospital bills and lost wages at work gets much longer.
Geico’s promise of a resolution in a few days can turn into months and even years. There are no set timetables for insurance settlements after an injury, but there are certain factors that can drag a resolution out for a considerably long time:
- The severity of the injury and its effect on a victim’s life. A resulting physical disability can require a lot of money to provide a victim with some sense of normalcy. These elevated settlements will take much longer to negotiate and Geico will often quibble over every dollar.
- The possibility of going to trial. When insurance companies treat injured victims unfairly and refuse to offer a suitable settlement, taking them to court may be the only option left. Getting a court date can take up to a year-and-a-half or more.
- The complexity of an accident case. An accident can involve multiple at-fault drivers, each represented by different car insurance companies. The percentage of blame for each responsible driver can be hard to agree upon. Accidents can also involve drivers on the clock for a rideshare or a delivery company. In those situations, Geico may not have to provide coverage for a policyholder working while behind the wheel if there was no ridesharing coverage purchased.
Geico Insurance Tactics for Settlement Delay
Beyond the circumstances of your accident case, Geico can also simply decide to leave injured victims waiting. Geico phone representatives can reach for an often-used playbook when trying to avoid responsibility for enormous hospital invoices and rehabilitation costs.
These are just some of the “bad faith” practices insurance agents with companies like Geico may use on you:
- Delaying response to claims. Geico may know their driver was to blame for your accident. They may know they’ll eventually have to pay you, but how much they have to fork over will remain up in the air. They know that if they make you wait a few extra months, your hospital expenses will pile up and you’ll miss more and more valuable time at work. Waiting to respond until you are desperate can force you to make a bad decision when Geico contacts you again.
- Extending a lowball offer. While you’re at your wit’s end financially, any offer may look good to you. Geico can float a lowball offer out that doesn’t even cover half of your medical bills. Unfortunately, without a personal injury lawyer on your team who has seen all of these tricks before, you may feel you have to accept whatever you can get. You’ll sign off on a lowball offer that leaves you liable for every injury flare-up and doctor’s bill that arises down the road.
- Avoiding Blame. Geico can extend the negotiating process even further by choosing to waste a lot of time figuring out a way to blame you for your accident. Their adjusters may also check out your previous injuries to make the case that your current injuries were caused by a previous accident. An experienced personal injury lawyer should know how to knock such claims down if not supported by the facts, but it’s another way Geico can string victims along.
Gathering Evidence Against a Geico Driver
With all of the challenges that can arise after a car accident, you can see why it’s important to start building a strong foundation right from the moment a collision happens. Leaving Geico with little room to dispute the facts of the case might also result in them admitting fault and providing what’s fair much sooner.
Your first important step is to call 911. This ensures that a traffic collision report is written up to document the crash. An ambulance report will also detail your immediate injuries in writing. These are two powerful reports that will be hard for an insurance company to call into question.
If your health will permit it, you should also obtain evidence around the scene. Use your cellphone to take photos of both vehicles, street signs, and any visible injuries. You’ll also want to note the time of day and the weather.
Swap information with the at-fault driver and make sure you know how to reach any potential witnesses. This solid evidence will back up your version of events. Your personal injury lawyer will also use these details to prepare a strong case in the event a lawsuit is necessary.
The Benefits of Having a Personal Injury Attorney on Your Case
When a serious injury is involved, it can be very difficult for accident victims to get fair treatment without the help of an experienced legal representative. Major insurance companies like Geico typically will not fairly evaluate your claim if you are representing yourself. Even if an attorney is retained, reserves are often not increased until after a lawsuit is filed in the event of a serious injury.
Your personal injury lawyer should cut through these obstacles to reach someone who can actually make decisions and evaluate the claim in a fair manner.
Once Geico gets wind that you are represented by a car accident lawyer with a successful track record, their behavior should reflect that. They will be much less likely to resort to tricks when they know experienced eyes are now watching them. They’ll also be more concerned with the prospects of ending up in court. This threat often forces an insurance company to extend a fair settlement offer much sooner.
While you focus on healing, your attorney will work tirelessly collecting evidence, gathering documents, and making sure your injuries are treated appropriately and documented thoroughly. This work in the trenches should pay off later if the adjuster tries to “low ball” or play games in reviewing the claim.
Contact a Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer
If someone else’s carelessness is to blame for your injury, talk to a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles, CA before speaking with any insurance representative.
Your injury could be worth much more than an insurance adjuster is telling you. Allow a dedicated personal injury attorney to walk you through what’s available to you. Your attorney will partner with you to determine the fastest way to getting the support you need in recovery.
Allen Vaysberg, Esq. manages the personal injury practice of the Law Offices of Steers & Associates. By aggressively going after slow-moving insurance companies, Allen and his legal team make sure victims don’t have to worry about their finances and can instead focus on healing.
Contact Allen Vaysberg and the Law Offices of Steers & Associates for a free consultation to find out how they can help you.
Allen Vaysberg practices personal injury law and works tirelessly to defeat the tactics of insurance companies and large corporations who try to deny justice and fair compensation to injured people.