If Geico denied your car accident claim, you typically have 15 days to respond with an appeal letter. Consider consulting a car accident lawyer if you feel that the reason for denial was unjust or if you need assistance. Whether you opt for legal representation, beginning the appeal process is your first step.
Determining Why Geico Denied Your Car Accident Claim
Once you receive a letter denying your car accident claim, read it carefully. The letter should tell you the reason for denial, how to appeal the decision, your time limit to file an appeal, and who to contact at Geico.
The insurance industry is a for-profit business. That means they are looking for any reason to avoid paying on a claim. With that, correcting or adding any missing information to support your claim is essential. However, do not offer any additional information beyond answering questions regarding the facts of your situation.
Common reasons for a claim denial can include:
Specific Exclusions in Your Policy or Not Following Policy Requirements
Geico may say that your coverage excludes your claim. Ensure you are familiar with your policy and levels of coverage and that you follow all guidelines, such as complying with the reporting deadlines.
Claiming You Are at Fault for the Accident
Fault is not always clear in a vehicle accident. If Geico thinks you may have been at fault, partially or wholly, they might use that as a basis to deny your claim. You must never admit that an accident was your fault, even if you believe it might have been.
Denying the Extent of Your Injuries or Misrepresentation
When your injuries are not documented properly, or you fail to submit the documentation, Geico may use it to deny your claim. It is important always to seek medical following an accident, even when you don’t feel the immediate effects of an injury.
Some injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries and whiplash, might not be evident until a day or two after a wreck. When you have an accident, your body naturally produces adrenalin. One of the primary effects of adrenalin is as a pain blocker. It allows us to walk away, talk to police, attend to other victims, and forestall the effects of personal injury.
If Geico is claiming that you misrepresented your injuries, you must produce documentation that your injuries are legitimate and warrant compensation, so when speaking with an adjuster from Geico:
- Make sure you understand the question
- Be direct in your answers and don’t add extraneous information
- Verify any paperwork completed by the adjuster for accuracy
- Obtain copies of any submitted paperwork (or pdf files if electronically filed)
Lack of Evidentiary Proof of Your Claim
Documentation is crucial. Medical records, the accident report, and other paperwork can validate your claim in any dispute. We recommend keeping a file of all paperwork relating to your accident in one place until the final settlement.
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Understanding When a Denial Is Made in Bad Faith
Occasionally, an insurance company may deny a claim and act in “bad faith,” meaning there is no valid reason for the denial. Evidence that Geico is treating your claim in bad faith can include the following:
- Avoiding or delaying communication with you
- Omitting details about your accident or injuries
- Misstating the provisions of your policy coverage
- Repeatedly requesting the same paperwork or information from you
While some repetitiveness is normal when switching from one agent or adjuster to another, this can be an effort to get you to give differing information. We recommend you write a brief account of the accident as soon as possible and refer to those notes every time you speak with someone from Geico.
Florida’s No-Fault Law Limits Some Areas of Car Accident Compensation
Florida Statutes § 627.7407 mandates the minimum insurance requirements for motor vehicles at $10,000 for Personal Injury Protection (PIP). With the limits under the no-fault law, the coverage is often insufficient for more severe injuries.
If you need further assistance, a Florida no-fault car accident attorney can evaluate the situation and determine your options.
Exploring Options When Your Losses Exceed PIP Coverage
Per Florida Statute § 627.737, if your losses from an injury exceed your PIP, you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver’s insurance. Some additional areas of compensation can include:
- Medical bills (past, current, and future)
- Occupational or physical therapy
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income when you cannot work
Speaking with a Florida car insurance lawyer can help determine if you can collect additional compensation. They know insurance, applicable laws, and accident investigation procedures. They can guide you through dealings with Geico or another insurance company to help ensure you receive fair treatment and adequate compensation.
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Preparing to Appeal a Car Accident Claim Denial
Once you have decided to appeal a claim denial from Geico, it’s all about the details. Read and re-read your notice of denial. Be sure you understand why your claim was denied. Then begin gathering missing documentation, answering the questions they ask, and writing your formal appeal letter.
In your appeal letter, include any reference number from the notice of claim denial, your name, and policy number. This letter should:
- Explain exactly why you disagree with the denial decision
- Explain each piece of supporting documentation you include
- Reference the claim denial letter
You may want to consult an attorney at this stage, as they can answer questions about the claims process or protect you from Geico acting in bad faith.
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You Don’t Have to Deal With an Appeal on Your Own
The car accident team at Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers is ready to assist you with a claim or appeal. Our team is familiar with Geico insurance policies and their claims process and can guide you. We offer a free case evaluation. Contact us today to get started.
Call or text Chalik & Chalik (855) 529-0269