About GEICOGEICO stands for Government Employees Insurance Company. As the name implies, the company was started in order to provide auto insurance directly to federal government employees and their families. From its humble inception, GEICO has grown into a giant within the industry. It is said that GEICO is the largest direct writer of private passenger auto insurance in the United States. Currently, it insurers 11 million auto policyholders and more than 17 million vehicles.
Settlement of Personal Injury Claims
With all of this success comes the huge amount of bodily injury claims being made against people that GEICO insures due to at fault car accidents and the damages caused thereby. If you are injured in a New York City car accident, there is a strong probability that car that caused the accident will be insured by GEICO.
Insurance companies are mandated by New York Insurance Law to negotiate a claim in good faith. Nevertheless, there are several New York Insurance carries that have adopted positions that delay the prompt settlement of valid and meritorious claims and/or make settlements offers that are obviously and ridiculously low in relation to the severity of the injuries sustained. The later is called “low-balling.” These tactics are intentional and internal business decisions by these companies. This systemic policy of “low-balling” forces litigation, bogs down the courts, increases costs for the litigants and the public as a whole.
Let’s be clear, we are only discussing meritorious claims where liability is clear and the damages proven by competent medical evidence. In addition, there is no set formula that describes what a particular case is worth. In the end, the value of a case is what the jury says it is. Nevertheless, there are standards and norms that tell us what we think a case is worth. For example, if an injured party lost $12,000.00 in wages, his or her pain and suffering award should obviously be worth more than that hard dollar amount.
Many people believe that their insurance company this there to protect them. They are surprised to learn of these “low-ball” offers. They rely on the advise of their lawyer as to what is the best course of action. They didn’t believe they would be forced into litigation.
On the other side, “low-balling” also hurts the insured (the person that caused the accident). They too must endure the litigation process and even face jury awards that may exceed their policy limits thereby exposing their personal assets and even face potential bankruptcy. Such unfair settlement practices are an injustice and a bane on society as a whole.
The way to end these unfair practices is to put teeth in the law and hold these carriers responsible in bad faith claims thereby making them pay any amount awarded at trial in excess of the jury award.
Unfortunately, it is our experience that GEICO has joined the list of insurance carries that employes a systemic policy of “low-balling” meritorious cases with significant damages.
Therefore, if you are injured by a vehicle that is insured with GEICO, it is best to speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights.