GEICO is perhaps one of the most well-known insurance agencies in the country, particularly when it comes to auto insurance. One of the first things that comes to mind when you hear about GEICO is the GEICO gecko commercials. The gecko seems friendly enough, but is GEICO going to be your friend in the aftermath of a crash?
If you or a loved one have been in a car accident and now have to make an auto accident claim with GEICO, the process can seem daunting. Here, we want to give you a quick overview of the claim filing process. Whether you are in a fender bender accident or a major injury crash, knowing these steps in advance can help you avoid costly errors.
1. Gather evidence at the scene
If you are able to safely do so, gather as much evidence at the crash scene as you can. Use your smartphone to take as many pictures as possible of the damages to all vehicles, any injuries, the causes of the crash, weather conditions, traffic patterns, and more. Get the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses to the crash and ensure police get to the scene to complete an investigation and an accident report.
2. Making the initial insurance claim
The first step in the process will be to make your initial claim with the insurance carrier shortly after the accident occurs. Wait to do this until after you have received proper medical care and after the accident scene has been cleared. There are several ways to make an accident claim with GEICO. You can initiate a claim directly on their smartphone app, through their website, or on the phone by calling GEICO at 1-800-841-3000.
3. Keep copies of all medical records and expenses
During the time period after the crash, it is important that you keep copies of all medical records, any medical expenses, and any non-medical expenses related to the accident. This includes proof of lost income if you are unable to work. All of this information will be valuable when it comes to obtaining compensation for what has happened.
4. Contact an attorney
You should speak to an Orange County car accident attorney as soon as possible. An accident attorney will be able to speak to GEICO’s insurance claims adjusters in order to ensure this process is fair for you. Please understand the insurance companies are “for-profit” entities and do not want to pay out large settlements on your behalf.
5. Speaking to an adjuster
GEICO’s insurance claims adjusters will contact you soon after you make your initial report. They will review the evidence in your case in order to determine how much they think they should pay in a settlement. This includes inspecting your vehicle, reviewing your medical records, and reviewing the expenses you claim to have. These adjusters are trained negotiators and will work to do what they can to lower the amount of money they pay you. Because of this, it is advisable to let your attorney handle all discussions with GEICO representatives.
6. The initial settlement and negotiation
The initial settlement made by GEICO will likely be lower than what you should be getting. Insurance carriers want people to jump at the first offer, but your attorney will work to negotiate a higher settlement.
7. Filing a personal injury claim
If the insurance carrier refuses to offer a fair settlement for your accident-related expenses, or if a claim is denied, it may be necessary for you to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver and their insurance carrier. Your attorney will assist you with every step of this process in order to secure maximum compensation on your behalf.