If a car insurance company offers me an attorney, is the attorney representing me or the insurance company? Should I get my own

Asked over 1 year ago - Seattle, WA

1 - 1 / 2 yrs ago I rear - ended a car , little damage was done . She is not settling with Geico insurance , and served me with Summons papers on Sunday . I have 20 days to respond or it goes into default . Geico said they would give me an attorney free of charge , I have yet to hear from him , I've called twice . Is he going to represent me in court & for filing papers or do I need to hire my own attorney ?

Attorney answers (8)

  1. Bryan Daniel Doran

    Contributor Level 10

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . He is your attorney, and he is obligated to represent your interests. But that is a conversation you should have with him. If he continues to disregard your calls, you may want to call Geico and ask for another attorney.

  2. William John Carlson

    Pro

    Contributor Level 11

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your insurance company has the right and the duty to defend you. You don't need your own attorney. Make sure your GEICO adjustor is aware you have been served, and provide the company with a copy of the Summons and Complaint. The company will see that counsel appears on your behalf.

  3. S. David Rosenthal Esquire

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . GEICO has a responsibility to provide a lawyer to represent you and do everything to protect your rights, including filing a responsive paper on your behalf within the 20 days. It sounds like you notified GEICO that you were served with a lawsuit and more than likely they are going to take care of everything. However, I can see how not getting confirmation from your attorney or someone else might be nerve racking. If you know who the lawyer is, I would try once more by phone and email to get confirmation that he/she is on the case. If there is still no response, I would contact GEICO and insist on talking to someone who can confirm that it has been taken care of.

    Good luck.

  4. David B Pittman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes. The geico lawyer should represent you. If this is a low damage claim I don't expect this to be a big case. Send the summons to the lawyer. If they don't call you back, complain to geico. Goodlck.

  5. David Alan Nauheim

    Contributor Level 4

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree generally with the other responses. GEICO will provide you with an attorney. I would not worry about default. Usually, they will answer the complaint in time, or work with the plaintiff's attorney to avoid a default judgment.

    However, I don't agree that this will necessarily be a small case. GEICO has a track record of aggressively litigating small cases. The reason this lawsuit was filed against you is probably that GEICO refused to make a reasonable offer. They probably offered $500 on your case and that is why the person you hit had to hire a lawyer.

    You case will probably go to arbitration. But it may not end there. Unless GEICO gets a "defense verdict" in the arbitration (a zero or very low arbitration award), GEICO will probably appeal it, and then you will be heading to a full blown jury trial. So chances are good that this will not be a "small case."

    Do you need your own lawyer? If GEICO is putting its own interests ahead of yours, then yes, you should consult your own lawyer. For example, if you have a minimal liability policy, i.e., $25,000, and the claim against you could exceed this amount and GEICO refuses to offer $25,000, then GEICO is gambling on exposing you to an excess judgment. That's when it is time to consult your own lawyer.

  6. Daniel Nelson Deasy

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The assigned attorney is yours and yours alone. Ask him/her these questions!!

    In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship.... more
  7. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Without the risk of exceeding your limits, Geico's lawyer should suffice.

  8. Kevin Coluccio

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . He is your attorney. If there ever is an issue that the claim will go over your policy limits, you should seek independent counsel, as further review of the claim.

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