Auto Insurance Claims/Insurance claim


I was involved in an accident where the other party (driver 1) was at fault. 100%
He failed to yeild the right of way and I (driver 2) hit him. There was another car at a nearby stop sign and the violator's car was knocked into that vehicle.Three car was involved in accident.
The violator was issued a citation from failure to yeild the right of way. The agent for his insurance company (Geico) said they're assigning 40% of the blame on me b/c I didn't try to make manuevers to avoid the accident. I had no time to react. Traffic was very heavy.
I had on liability on the car I was driving. The adjuster for Geico totaled my car. The value was placed at $2800. The agent offered me $1700 for settlement.
The accident happened on May 21, 2015. I've been renting a car most of the time since the accident out of my own pocket.
I've been told I have to sue the driver. Is this true?




Thank you for the question;

First and foremost please understand that neither Auto Damage Experts, Inc (hereby referred to as “ADE”), nor any of its officers, principals, or agents are licensed in any state to practice law and none of the information provided are meant to provide legal advice.
Should legal counsel be desired, or should your use of this information in any legal issues, you should contact and consult an attorney of your choosing who is familiar with the laws of your state to answer any questions regarding your rights and responsibilities under the law.

GEICO's applying negligence on you is generally referred to as "Comparative Negligence" and likely illegitimate, and as such you may be able to combat it. They attempt these types of activities, even when not applicable, simply because it generally works as they get away with it and people like yourself simply don't know what to do to combat it or spend the money to fight them.

The likelihood is the insurer also undervalued your vehicle and may not have paid you sales tax and tag/title transfer fees which in most states you are owed as a part of your damages.

To answer your question, it's important for you to understand that GEICO doesn't owe you anything...they didn't cause your damages. They owe their policyholder a defense to protect the at-fault party's assets just as your insurer would owe you if you caused damaged to another.

Yes, in order to be truly indemnified you may have to file suit against the at-fault party ("violator") or you may be able to secure an equitable settlement before doing so if you follow some simple steps such as no longer speaking with the insurer and maintaining all correspondence in writing.

Once you are able to resolve the liability issue you should receive the full amount of your vehicle, tax and title fees as well as you may also be entitled to recover your rental car costs.

I hope this answers your question and helps you to get this matter resolved fairly and equitably


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Barrett Smith


Auto Claim and Collision Repair issues including quality and thoroughness of repair, Diminished Value, Total Loss settlement valuation, Appraisal Clause matters, Expert Testimony, pre-purchase inspections and others. While having been a Senior Claims Adjuster, I am not licensed to practice law and cannot provide legal counsel. I will provide replies as friendly and informal advice based upon my experiences and those of our clients as possible. For more information on our offerings please visit For more informatin on our offerings please visit


I grew up working in a family owned auto body repair business my father owned and operated in Alaska and after leaving the US Air Force I started my own repair facility in Florida. I later became a senior claims adjuster for a national auto insurer and later managed two GM dealership collision centers. I started another shop which was recognized as a "Top Shop" in central Florida for over 15 years winning numerous local accolades and awards such as Business of the Year. In 2001 I developed Auto Damage Experts to provide its services nation wide and to all segments illustrating balance and equity for all ADE clients. For more information please visit

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Local and national publications including but not limited to Auto Body Repair News (ABRN), Body Shop Business (BSB) and others. For more information please request CV or visit

ASE Master Certified in collision repair/refinishing including damage diagnosis and estimating. Please request CV or visit

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As a quality Collision Repair facility owner, we received Top shop, Small Business of the year and other awards and accolades. Please request CV for additional information in this regard.

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ADE provides services to all segments including Legal professionals, Consumers, Auto Dealers, Insurers, Governmental and judicial entities. For more information please request CV or visit

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