Disputing a Car Accident Claim With Geico
Being involved in a Chicago car accident is a major headache. Of course, many car accidents leave injured motorists with life-changing injuries. However, even if your injuries are not debilitating, you likely still must deal with your injuries, missed work, as well as the ensuing medical bills. In all, the process can feel overwhelming, even for those who have been through the process before. However, when a major insurance company like GEICO denies your claim, the road to recovery becomes full of even more hurdles.
At the Chicago personal injury law firm of Briskman Briskman & Greenberg, we are here to help. With more than three decades of hands-on experience handling all types of car accident claims, we are intimately familiar with car insurance policies and the laws that govern them. When you bring us on board to help with your claim, we will take care of everything so you can focus on what is most important, recovering from your injuries.
Geico Insured Millions of Motorists
Founded in 1936, the Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO) is a leading car insurance provider. Initially, GEICO provided insurance directly to the federal government employees, but in later years, the company began selling its insurance products to non-government employees. After years of operating as its own entity, Warren Buffet’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, purchased GEICO in 1996.
Currently, GEICO insured more than 28 million vehicles through 17 million insurance policies. GEICO is the second-largest provider of car insurance in the United States and employs more than 40,000 people. In 2018, GEICO brought in more than $9.4 billion in revenue.
Types of Illinois Car Insurance
Car insurance is the primary way that injured motorists can recover for their injuries. Under Illinois law, everyone who owns a vehicle must purchase car insurance. This requirement is in place to ensure that injured parties have a way to recover in the event of an accident. Otherwise, if an at-fault party did not have insurance and did not have enough assets to compensate an injured motorist fully, accident victims would be left on the hook for their own medical expenses and other damages.
In Illinois, drivers must purchase a bare-minimum amount of coverage. Specifically, there are three types of required insurance:
Bodily Injury Liability Coverage
If you are injured in a car accident caused by another motorist, perhaps the most important insurance is not your own. Every driver must purchase bodily injury liability coverage of at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. This coverage covers injures that were caused by the insured driver. So, if a negligent driver hurt you, you would file a bodily injury claim against the at-fault driver’s GEICO policy.
Property Damage Liability Coverage
Like bodily injury liability coverage, property damage liability insurance is a way for motorists who were in an accident to obtain compensation for the damage to their vehicle from the at-fault party. Every driver must purchase property damage liability coverage of at least $20,000 per accident.
Uninsured Motorist Protection
Unlike the other two types of mandatory car insurance in Illinois, Uninsured motorist protection (UM) coverage provides the insured with a way to recover through their own policy after an accident with another motorist. This is referred to as a first-party claim. UM coverage kicks in when the at-fault party does not carry the required amount of insurance, if their policy lapsed, or if the accident was not covered under their policy. Every driver must purchase UM coverage of at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
Filing an Insurance Claim With GEICO
Car insurance is one of those things that almost everyone has, but few fully understand. Insurance policies are complex contracts that are not written to be understood by everyday people. Insurance policies are often dozens of pages long, and they include terms that may be unfamiliar to most. This puts insurance companies at an advantage when negotiating with injured motorists.
Generally, when you are involved in an accident, you will file a claim with the at-fault party’s GEICO policy. GEICO will then review the claim and either approve or deny it. If GEICO approves the claim, a representative will reach out with a settlement offer. If you accept the offer, you agree not to pursue any further legal action against the at-fault driver or GEICO. While this sounds like a great result, most initial settlement offers are far less than the amount of damages you sustained in reality. Studies suggest that accident victims who reject an initial settlement offer typically obtain more compensation, either through a later settlement offer or by taking the case to trial. Studies also show that, on average, injured motorists who are represented by an attorney end up securing more compensation for their injuries than unrepresented accident victims.
If GEICO rejects your claim, then you have a few options. You could accept GEICO’s assessment of your claim. However, doing so will leave you without any way to obtain compensation for your injuries. Instead, you could contact a dedicated Chicago car accident lawyer. Insurance companies know that most motorists are unfamiliar with insurance law and may not have the ability to pursue a claim independently. When you reach out to an attorney, GEICO will immediately begin to take your claim more seriously.
Regardless of why GEICO denied your claim, that does not need to be the end of the story. At Briskman Briskman & Greenberg, our dedicated team of Chicago car accident lawyers is ready to help you take on GEICO and obtain the money that you need and deserve.
Reach Out to a Dedicated Chicago Injury Lawyer Today
If you have recently been injured in a Chicago car accident, give the lawyers at Briskman Briskman & Greenberg a call. We are here to help you understand why your claim was denied and what can be done about it. We have been helping accident victims bring claims against even the largest insurance companies for more than 30 years. With our skilled negotiators on your side, you may be able to secure a much larger settlement offer. And if GEICO refuses to make a fair offer, we will not hesitate to take your case to trial as experienced trial lawyers. To learn more about what you can do after GEICO denied your insurance claim and schedule a free consultation, call 877-595-4878. You can also get ahold of us through our online form, and one of our lawyers will contact you.