GEICO insures millions of vehicles throughout the country, including many in New York. It should come as no surprise that accidents in New York frequently involve vehicles with GEICO insurance policies.
If you were injured in a collision, you do not have to pursue an insurance claim on your own. Whether you are filing a claim on your policy or another driver’s insurance, an attorney could help you understand the basics regarding GEICO auto insurance claims in New York.
Filing an Insurance Claim With GEICO
You have different options for filing an auto insurance claim with GEICO. Many insurance companies have moved toward receiving most of their insurance claims online, and GEICO is no different. GEICO provides the ability to file a claim on their website after registering an account. In addition to filing online, it is also an option to file over the phone.
If GEICO is your carrier, you must notify them of an accident. You also have the opportunity to file a claim at the same time. If GEICO insures the other driver involved in the accident, an adjuster could reach out to you before you have the opportunity to file a claim.
When the other driver’s insurance company reaches out, it is usually to take a recorded statement about the accident. You have no obligation to give the other driver’s carrier a statement, and doing so may not be in your best interest. Your attorney could speak with GEICO so you don’t have to.
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What to Expect From Your GEICO Claim
The benefits available through one GEICO claim might be very different from the next. GEICO offers a variety of auto insurance options, and different types of policies could provide different benefits.
Pursuing insurance benefits following a car accident can be especially complex in New York. Unlike most states, New York is considered a “no-fault” jurisdiction. With this type of insurance system, you must typically first file an insurance claim with your own policy when you are in an accident.
This is different from most states that allow you to file a lawsuit when another driver injures you in an accident. In New York, it is only possible to file a liability claim on another driver’s policy if you can show you have suffered severe injuries, according to the New York State Department of Financial Services.
Filing a Claim on Your Own Policy
There are positives and negatives when it comes to filing “no-fault” insurance claims on your GEICO policy. The primary benefit that comes with these claims is that you could receive benefits regardless of who was at fault in the crash. These benefits are typically paid out quickly given that liability is not up for debate.
While a no-fault insurance claim can be beneficial in some ways, there are also some drawbacks. Compared to a liability claim, the benefits available through no-fault insurance are limited.
When you file a claim on your own policy, you could recover benefits for your medical expenses. These policies also cover other expenses like your lost wages. However, you could miss out on most non-economic damages, including your pain and suffering.
Pursuing a Liability Claim Against GEICO
The benefits available through liability insurance claims cover damage types that are not available with no-fault claims. If your liability claim on the other driver’s GEICO policy is successful, you could recover more than just your medical costs and lost wages.
The major difference with these types of claims is that non-economic damages could be available. The most common example of non-economic damages is pain and suffering. Other types of non-economic damages that could be available to you include mental anguish or disfigurement.
Insurance Claims Negotiations
If you have never been involved in an accident before, it is understandable if you are unfamiliar with the claims negotiation process. These negotiations can be challenging when you handle them independently, as the insurance adjuster may try to avoid paying you what your claim is truly worth.
Insurance adjusters working for GEICO may use high-pressure tactics to get you to accept a settlement offer that is not in your best interest. These adjusters could mislead you regarding the benefits of settling your case quickly.
You Do Not Have to Accept the First Offer From GEICO
One of the tools adjusters often rely on is the low-ball offer. These adjusters prey on the tendency of injury victims to accept the first offer the insurance company makes. Some people do not realize they have the right to negotiate with GEICO—even if GEICO is their own insurance company.
Most of the time, the first offer your insurance company makes will be unreasonably low. Accepting this offer without careful consideration could leave you without the long-term financial support you need to address your injuries.
Before you accept GEICO’s initial offer, it could be in your best interest to hire an attorney. Your legal counsel could help you evaluate the strength of the offer from GEICO to ensure you don’t accept an unreasonably low settlement.
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Let an Attorney Assist With Your GEICO Insurance Claim
Navigating an auto insurance claim can be difficult, even if this is not your first vehicle accident. Insurance adjusters have developed a reputation of aggressively pushing inadequate settlement offers. Without a personal injury attorney by your side, dealing with GEICO auto insurance claims in New York on your own could jeopardize your financial recovery.
The attorneys of Dansker & Aspromonte LLP Associates are prepared to advocate for you following your accident. Our attorneys are experienced with resolving accident claims with insurance companies, and we are ready to deal with GEICO on your behalf. Before you deal with GEICO on your own after an accident, contact our firm for your free consultation.