Over the last two to three years it has become clear that Geico Insurance has changed course and in certain cases has adopted a policy of denying valid claims and delaying payment to deserving Georgia car accident victims. The latest case that the firm took in illustrates the untenable positions that some Geico adjusters are being asked to take.
The victims in the latest car accident case were a husband and wife making a left turn out of their subdivision at night in Atlanta. The Geico insured driver was coming from the left without headlights on and as the coupled began their turn, the defendant slammed into them. The Geico driver then tried to put the car in reverse to flee the scene, but the wheel was bent so she climbed out of her car and ran into the woods. An hour later police finally arrested her in the woods and charged her with DUI.
The couple called Geico to get the property damage to their car repaired and Geico denied the claim and blamed them for hitting their drunk driver! To make matters worse, the husband has an injury to his rotator cuff and his neck and is treating with an orthopedist.
Standing as a solitary incident, I would attribute this to a rogue adjuster but it fits a pattern with several other cases we have including a clear liability high impact rear end case where the victim has over $25,000.00 in medical costs from two surgeries and orthopedic bills. We are one month away from trial after two years of litigation and Geico has only offered $3,000.00 above the medical bills. We will be trying the case, God willing, in the late summer so the client will finally get justice.
On another case with a client riding a motorcycle, the Geico insured driver pulled out in front of the biker and the biker laid the bike down sustaining a deep gash down to the bone in his arm. He had a $35,000.00 emergency room bill for surgery to repair the wound. The Geico driver was ticketed for failure to yield and yet Geico denied liability and refuses to pay anything for the man’s medical expenses. This case is going into litigation and will also be tried.
We have reached a sad state of affairs when the idea of paying valid claims is repugnant to a business model. It will take a series of bad faith verdicts before Geico brass reevaluates these systemic errors. I have no problem with an insurance company denying and fighting petty chiropractic cases from mill law firms that have no merit, but when they choose to take unfair positions on serious injury cases, they have crossed the line.
*As a post script, the first client has informed me that Geico has reversed their liability decision. Good for them.