Is Geico undervaluing your injury claim?
Author: Attorney Jason Macri
Geico was recently ordered to pay over $400,000.00 in a case where they originally offered less than $2,600.00 to settle. Lisa Anderson was injured in a car crash caused by Ishmael Ramjohn. Mr. Ramjohn’s grandparents previously purchased a $100,000.00 bodily injury policy with Geico and listed Ishmael as a driver on their policy. Ms. Anderson was injured pretty badly in the crash so her attorney demanded Mr. Ramjohn’s Geico policy limits of $100,000.00. Geico responded to that demand with an offer of $2,581.16 to settle. Ms. Anderson’s attorney declined that offer and provided further evidence of the severity of Ms. Anderson’s injuries to Geico. Geico made a final settlement offer of $22,500.00. Ms. Anderson’s attorney declined that offer and filed a lawsuit against Mr. Ramjohn and his family. Geico eventually offered the $100,000.00 policy limits while the case was being litigated but that offer was also declined.
Ms. Anderson’s attorney brought this case to trial and was able to get a jury verdict of $398,097.82. That amount is approximately $395,000.00 more than Geico’s initial offer of settlement to Ms. Anderson. It became clear that Geico may have purposefully undervalued Ms. Anderson’s claim. The Judge in this case stated “the record reflects facts that could permit a jury to find that GEICO acted in bad faith… In other words, this case, like most bad-faith cases, presents a genuine dispute that requires a jury’s resolution… For example, [insureds’ expert Peter] Knowe’s testimony creates a genuine issue for trial. Knowe testified that GEICO’s handling of the Anderson claim deviated from industry standards in several key respects. Remarkably, GEICO does not address or reference Knowe’s expert opinion anywhere in its motion… there is also evidence suggesting that GEICO did not evaluate Anderson’s claim from the perspective of a reasonable insured facing unlimited exposure.”
Geico currently handles thousands of injury claims and offers a nominal amount of money to settle a large portion of those cases. Ms. Anderson’s ordeal is not unusual when making a claim against a Geico insured or against Geico directly in an uninsured/undersinsured motorist (UM) claim. If you have been injured by a Geico insured or are making a claim against Geico for UM coverage, call the Law office of Dell & Schaefer. Our injury lawyers have handled thousands of cases against Geico over the years and will fight to ensure that your case doesn’t get the Geico undervalue treatment.