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GEICO became the 2nd largest US auto insurer in 2015. With approximately 40,000 employees and 18,000 independent agents, GEICO has a deep network of human resources dedicated to processing car accident claims.
While the GEICO website states that they make the claim filing process “fast and easy,” it is important to remember you may feel frightened, shaken, or confused after an accident. This rush of emotions can make it difficult to properly complete your claim or follow up on its progress. Below are six steps to help you deal with your GEICO car accident claim, but keep in mind that an auto accident attorney will handle the process for you and can help you receive the payment you deserve.
1. File Your Claim as Soon as Possible
The path to a favorable outcome with your claim begins with timely filing. If you are safely out of harm’s way and able to use your mobile device, you can get the process started while you at the scene of your accident are waiting for the police. Even if you aren’t able to provide all the requested information right away, GEICO notes that drivers can, “start the claims process immediately at the scene and add details when things are calmer.” There are three ways to begin the filing process:
- GEICO Claims Phone Number at (800) 841-3000
- File online using your computer, tablet, or mobile device
After filing a claim an adjuster will likely get in touch with you right away and their objective is to get the claim closed as quickly as possible, for as little as possible. Consider getting in touch with a car accident lawyer to fight to get you the most out of your settlement.
2. Contact Our Experienced Attorneys to Help with Negotiations.
It feels like simple Math, and you will get tempted to just do a quick estimate of the medical bills and car repairs you need. But you’ll be surprised how easily extra costs can sneak up on you. Taking the time to do accurate estimates will help you stand your ground much better when offering a settlement amount.
The adjuster will find it difficult to offer you an insanely low settlement if you can prove that the hospital and the repair shop need the money to perform the correctional procedures necessary. However, given how shaken people usually feel after an accident, they usually aren’t in great mental space to determine whether they’re asking for reasonable amounts. Due to this, some of them unknowingly ask for outrageous amounts because you can’t really put a price on life.
For those who make reasonable requests, adjusters find it easy to convince them otherwise with claims like ‘This isn’t that serious. It usually requires x,xxx to get fixed’. To avoid such situations, it helps to have someone with a keen eye for detail. And who better to have than a lawyer who deals with such cases every day?
3. Maintain an Organized File of Your Paperwork
Keeping your paperwork, notes, and photos in a single, central location will help you stay organized during the claims process. While the paperwork needed will depend on your injuries and the nature of your accident, here are some common examples of information you should keep on hand:
- The police report outlining the time, date, and details of your accident
- Your GEICO car insurance policy and any exclusions to coverage
- Photographs of the accident scene and your injuries
- Medical bills, including payments for physical and mental health treatment
- Your detailed medical records, including treatment recommendations and medications
- Witness statements from people at the scene of your accident
- Your health insurance card and policy information
4. Ask Your Doctor to Be Specific with Treatment Recommendations
Depending on the nature of your car accident, you may sustain injuries that require long-term treatment. If your doctor tells you this is the case, ask the doctor to be as specific as possible when preparing your written orders and treatment plan. Using language such as “may require” or “might need” when referring to treatment or therapy produces a gray area and increases the likelihood that you won’t be reimbursed for those healthcare services.
Remember to keep your medical records confidential. A GEICO adjuster may come asking for access to your medical history to help you go through the process ‘easily’. This is usually a ploy to use any previous injuries from your medical history to justify injuries you got from the accident.
5. Check the Progress of Your Claim on a Regular Basis
With the filing process behind you and the claim process underway, some people turn their attention to other activities and simply assume their claim will be approved and a check will be issued. Making assumptions about the claims process is never a good idea, even if your claims processor and local agent assured you that you have completed all the required steps for your claim.
You can check the status of your GEICO claims online in a matter of seconds. You can also use GEICO online system to upload documents and photos as requested. If you notice your claim is missing key items, or if you are unable to note any progress online, you can reach out to GEICO or your agent by phone for guidance.
6. Inquire About the Appeals Process If Your Claim Is Denied
If Geico denies your auto accident claim, it is important not to lose hope. You can challenge the decision by filing an appeal with Geico. To increase the chances that your appeal will succeed, you can hire an accomplished personal injury lawyer to handle your case. A skilled attorney will listen to the details of your case and strengthen your chances of winning your appeal by taking the following steps:
- Review GEICO’s initial decision to see if you were wrongly denied benefits
- Identify weaknesses and errors in your original claim
- Help you gather and organize medical reports and other key documents that will help your case
- Ensure your appeal is properly completed and filed on time with GEICO
If your appeal is denied, an attorney can help you file a lawsuit against GEICO. While you likely hope you don’t have to resort to this measure, it is comforting to know you have an accomplished attorney in your corner who will fight to ensure you are fairly compensated for your injuries.
What Is the Best Way to Maximize the Odds of a Favorable Outcome with Your Claim?
By following the steps above, you can help ensure that your car accident claim is filed accurately and on time. But the best thing you can do to boost the odds of a favorable outcome with your claim is to seek the guidance of a skilled attorney in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
A five-star personal injury lawyer will carefully review the details of your accident in conjunction with your insurance policy and injuries. Your attorney will map out a plan and secure the documentation needed to support your claim. And if your claim is denied, you can file an appeal with greater confidence knowing you have an experienced lawyer on your side.
If you or a loved one is struggling with a GEICO auto accident claim, we invite you to contact the Thompson Law team at (866) 293-4768 to request an appointment. We look forward to the opportunity to help you receive the compensation you deserve.