How to File a Car Accident Claim With GEICO
If you get into a car accident in Los Angeles, you will need to file an insurance claim to get financial compensation for your medical bills and property damage repairs. GEICO is the third-largest auto insurance company in California, with almost 10 percent of the state’s insurance market share. The odds are high that you will deal with GEICO after a car accident in LA. If so, follow these steps to correctly handle a claim and get the best settlement possible.
Get the Other Driver’s Insurance Information
California is a fault-based car accident state. This means that after a car accident, you will seek reimbursement for your losses from the insurance provider of the driver who caused the crash. If there is evidence that the other driver is responsible, such as proof of distracted driving or speeding, you will file your claim with his or her insurance company. At the scene of the crash, exchange information with the other driver. This includes the name of the driver’s car insurance provider and his or her policy number. If you caused the crash, you will file a claim with your own insurance policy.
Part of a car insurance claim is showing proof of your losses. You will need proof of your losses whether you are filing a first-party or third-party claim with GEICO. This can come in the form of auto shop repair estimates, an accident report and medical documents. GEICO will also require the following information and details about the accident when you contact them to file a claim:
- The state where your crash took place
- The date and time of the accident
- A general description of the collision
It can also help to have information such as the names and insurance companies of everyone involved and a description of your injuries or property damage. Support your claim by collecting evidence as soon as possible, including photos of the scene of the car crash.
File Your Claim
You can file a car insurance claim with GEICO in three different ways: by calling (800) 841-3000 to reach their claims department by phone, by using their online claims system or by downloading the GEICO mobile app and following the steps to file. The mobile app helps you get through the process with step-by-step instructions, and also allows you to upload photographs of your property damage directly to the app. Filing by phone or online will put you in touch with a GEICO insurance representative who will also help you file a claim.
Protect Your Rights as a Crash Victim
One of the key things to know when dealing with GEICO – and all auto insurance providers – is that they put their own profitability first. Car insurance companies are for-profit organizations. They use many tactics to minimize the amount that they pay to clients. This is why it is important to be cautious when dealing with GEICO and to understand your rights as a claimant.
Learn What to Say and What Not to Say
Whether you are dealing with your own insurance company or the other driver’s, do not admit fault for the car accident and do not agree to give a recorded statement. The insurance company does not need a recorded statement to process your claim, regardless of what the claims adjuster tells you.
It is also important not to rush into a fast settlement or the first offer. This is often less than the claim is actually worth, as insurance companies expect clients to negotiate for a higher settlement. Before you accept a settlement offer from GEICO, schedule a free consultation with a car accident attorney in Los Angeles. An attorney will give you an honest evaluation of your claim and help you negotiate with GEICO for a fair case resolution.