How To File A Car Accident Claim With Geico In Oregon
Posted on May 11, 2020 in Car Accident
GEICO is one of the most well-known insurance carriers in the country, and they provide various types of insurance for consumers in Oregon, including automobile insurance. When most people think of GEICO, they probably think of a helpful gecko, but the reality is that getting into a traffic collision is serious. You need to know how to file a car accident claim with GEICO in Oregon.
Start documenting as soon as an accident occurs
As soon as a car accident occurs, you should start documenting as much as possible. Using your smartphone, take pictures of any damage to your vehicle or other vehicles involved. Take pictures of any injuries that you incur. If you can do so safely, take photos of any debris lying around the accident scene as well as possible causes of the crash. Get the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses to the scene that could help you later on with your insurance claim.
Filing the initial claim
You need to report the accident to GEICO as soon as possible. Your initial report does not have to be detailed, but they do need to know that an incident occurred. Filing the initial report is fairly easy and can happen online, through their phone app, or over the phone.
You need to be ready for the claims adjuster
GEICO will involve an insurance claims adjuster very soon after an incident occurs. This claims adjuster will go to the body shop where your vehicle is at in order to assess the damages. They will also call you to discuss any injuries you have incurred. As friendly as the claims adjuster may seem, please understand that they are not your friend. They work for the insurance carrier, and they will do what they can to lower the amount of money they payout in a settlement. This includes using what you say against you. When you were speaking to the claims adjuster, stick to the facts of the accident.
Beware of initial settlement offers
Soon after an accident occurs, GEICO will likely provide you with an initial settlement offer. While it may seem enticing to take, please understand the initial settlement offers are likely far below what you should receive. Car insurance companies are “for-profit” entities that will do what they can to look at the amount of money they pay in a settlement. GEICO has low premiums compared to other insurance carriers, so it should come as no surprise the GEICO is known for making incredibly low offers when it comes to settlements.
The initial offer is the starting point of negotiations. You need to conduct your own assessment of the situation. Add up your medical bills, property damage, and other out-of-pocket expenses so you know how much you need. Please do not accept a settlement offer until after you know what your total medical bills will be. This may not be possible right away if you have sustained a severe injury that requires ongoing treatment.
Speaking to an attorney
You may need to involve an Oregon car accident attorney to help with your case. An attorney will handle negotiations with the insurance carrier for you, which will help ensure that your story stays the same at all times. An attorney will understand the negotiating tactics used by GEICO claims insurance adjusters and will be able to secure maximum compensation after your car accident.