Have You Been Injured in an Accident with a GEICO Insured?
When you suffer injuries in a Chicago accident, you expect an insurance adjuster to treat you reasonably well. You also expect the insurance company to pay your damages. Unfortunately, the insurance claims process isn’t always smooth. Denied claims, disputed damages, and aggressive insurance adjusters can quickly cause a headache for claimants. Read on to learn what our experienced Chicago insurance dispute attorneys have to say about dealing with Geico insurance agency.
Issues With GEICO
The Government Employees Insurance Company, better known as GEICO, is one of the largest insurers in the U.S. While GEICO may have cute TV commercials, it can might not be fun when the time comes to file a claim. In our law firm’s experience, GEICO was really strong on claims until around 2014. In our opinion, they have gone downhill since then and have been very unreasonable at times. This is true with both liability decisions and settlement offers. In the past, adjusters from GEICO have even landed the company in court:
- The United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit called GEICO’s conduct in one case “…of low to moderate reprehensibility.” The court upheld a bad faith punitive damage award but reduced it from $2.5 million to $1,064,282.44.
- In Moore v. GEICO, the Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit returned a case to the lower court for reconsideration. The decision quoted the lower court’s description of GEICO’s claim handling as “sloppy” and “bordering on negligent.” The lower court recently affirmed a $2.9 million bad faith judgment in the plaintiff’s favor.
At Abels & Annes, our Personal Injury Lawyers believe that you shouldn’t have to deal with unreasonable claims handling. You shouldn’t have to deal with lowball settlement offers either. Finally, you should never have to file a bad faith lawsuit against an insurance company to receive the payments it owes you. Our law firm tries to ensure that claims move as quickly and effectively as possible with all major insurers.
We handle cases for Illinois plaintiffs, and we’ve resolved many insurance claims with GEICO. Contact Abels & Annes online to learn about our commitment to doing what it takes to produce the best outcome for our clients.
Possible Personal Injuries that Involve a GEICO Insurance Claim
GEICO writes commercial and personal auto, commercial property, and homeowners’ insurance policies. Accordingly, the types of injuries their insurance policies cover can vary widely. They may include:
- Wrongful Death
- Spinal cord injury
- Swimming pool injuries
- Serious burns
- Dislocated and herniated discs
- Traumatic brain injury
- Skull and facial fractures
- Crush injuries and traumatic amputations
- Internal injuries
- Multiple broken bones or fractures
- Soft Tissue Injuries
Who Can Be at Fault?
As a general rule, the insurance policy of the person at fault pays for the damages sustained by the accident victim. Here are a few of the potentially responsible parties for the liability exposures GEICO insures:
- Commercial Vehicle Accident: Truck driver, employer/motor carrier, truck owner, trailer owner, manufacturer, maintenance contractor, loading contractor, shipper
- Personal Auto Accident: Driver, vehicle owner
- Homeowners Liability: Homeowner, maintenance provider, insured or family member
- Commercial Premises Accident: Building owner, lessee, maintenance contractor, realtor or security firm
- Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist Claim: When a hit-and-run, uninsured or underinsured driver injures a GEICO personal auto insured, GEICO must pay the claim as though they were the liability carrier. Their duty to pay their insured’s injury claim is based on the other driver’s responsibility.
What Kind Of Damages Can an Injury Victim Recover?
We settle and recover judgments in our clients’ cases based on two categories: economic damages and general damages. Illinois juries also award punitive damages if a defendant’s actions were fraudulent, intentional, willful, or wanton. Our lawyers make sure insurance companies like GEICO take this range of potential damages into account when negotiating a settlement.
Economic damages reimburse current and future expenses. The out-of-pocket costs are far higher when an accident victim sustains catastrophic injuries.
- Current and future wage losses
- Medical bills
- Physical therapy
- Medicines and prosthetics
- Mobility devices
- Household assistance
- Diminished earning capacity
- Funeral expenses
General damages are often difficult to assess. They attempt to place a value on the injured person’s mental and emotional thoughts about their injuries and how they affect their life and lifestyle. General damages consider multiple factors:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional stress
- Loss of consortium
- Inability to take care of family
- Loss or impairment of bodily functions
- Permanent disabilities
What Obstacles Can I Expect from the GEICO Claims Process?
When a person with a potential claim against GEICO suffers an injury, GEICO has a duty to investigate the claim. Further, when appropriate, they should pay the damages for which its insured is legally liable. As with any insurance company, GEICO adjusters use a variety of potential defenses to liability for a claim. Insurance companies may rely on the following arguments in disputing the amount of a claim:
- Comparative Negligence. Under Illinois comparative negligence statutes, the injured person cannot be more than 50% at fault for his own injuries. Otherwise, he cannot recover damages. If an injured person is 50% or less responsible, the court reduces his settlement by that percentage.
- Another party. If there was a third vehicle in the accident, the adjuster may try to place part or all of the blame on that other driver.
- Open and Obvious. Under Illinois premises liability law, a property owner may owe no or less damages for a defect the plaintiff did or should have noticed.
- Trespassers. A property owner has minimal responsibility for an adult trespasser. She may successfully defend a premises liability case by proving a plaintiff was a trespasser.
How Much Will My Lawyer Cost?
If you sustain an injury due to someone else’s negligence and a GEICO adjuster is calling you, talk to us first. We’ll provide a free consultation to discuss your case and determine if we can help you. Our law firm handles cases on a contingency basis. There is no fee unless you make a financial recovery.
Your GEICO Insurance Personal Injury Claim Lawyer
As our injury lawyers are very aware, recovering from a serious injury is difficult enough without having to deal with insurance adjusters. Some adjusters will try to take advantage of your vulnerability. They may try to settle with you over the phone for very little money, without explaining your rights.
Abels & Annes Personal Injury Lawyers have handled many GEICO insurance cases. We know that it’s important to protect our client’s legal and personal rights from day one. If you or a family member were injured in the Chicago, Illinois area, call us at (312) 924-7575 or contact Abels & Annes online.
For more legal information about how to handle another specific insurance agency review some of or other pages discussing a particular insurance agency.