Rear-End Car Accidents in Ohio: Who’s at Fault?
Posted in: Car Accidents
Ohio residents are probably most familiar with GEICO from its gecko mascot. If you’re a customer, you may also be aware of its business model designed to keep premiums low by eliminating the middleman. What you don’t know is that the company has a long track record of litigation involving GEICO auto insurance accident claims.
Injured victims have faced stall tactics when filing as third parties, but even policyholders have won lawsuits involving insurance bad faith. In one noteworthy case reported by CBS News, a couple received an award of $14.5 million in a lawsuit based upon bad faith allegations.
When insurance companies use delay tactics and bad faith practices, they rob people of their legal rights. Our Ohio insurance claims lawyers at Kisling, Nestico & Redick have extensive knowledge of the relevant statutes, insight into GEICO’s process, and years of experience fighting insurance companies in court
Contact KNR today at 1-800-HURT-NOW to set up a free, no-risk consultation to learn your rights and options.
The name “GEICO” comes from how the company got its start, providing coverage as a Government Employees Insurance Company. Since its founding in 1936, it has grown to become the number-two insurer in the U.S. by policies written. GEICO’s success is largely due to operating as a direct-to-consumer insurer, which enables it to charge lower premiums.
GEICO’s advertising campaigns have made it a household name, and not just for the little green gecko. Other mascots have included a group of cavemen and an excited pig, as wells as several popular actors.
The company clearly has a sky-high budget for promotions, but GEICO’s stingy approach to handling the claims of policyholders has earned it both notoriety and legal trouble. Several high-profile lawsuits alleging bad faith have resulted in verdicts in favor of policyholders, some of which recovered awards in the millions of dollars.
If you incurred injuries in an accident with a driver insured by GEICO, you would file a third-party claim because you’re not in a direct contractual relationship with the company. You don’t have the same rights as a policyholder, and you should work with an attorney to pursue compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Policyholders do have a contract with GEICO, so you’re the first party when filing a claim. Essentially, you’re seeking to enforce your rights under the terms and conditions of the agreement. You pay your premiums, and an insurer must also uphold its end of the bargain. Still, you can only recover compensation for damages designated by your policy:
If you opt to add it, PIP pays up to a certain percentage of your medical bills, and a specific amount of your lost income if your injuries prevent you from working. You can’t recover for pain and suffering.
This type of coverage is optional by law, but lenders may require it to protect their loan collateral, meaning your car. Collision coverage applies to damage from a crash, either with another vehicle or a single-car incident.
If your vehicle is damaged by some event or incident other than an accident, you may file a claim for compensation under your comprehensive coverage terms.
All motorists in Ohio must carry minimum auto insurance coverage, but some drivers violate these laws. You can file a first-party claim with your insurance company through uninsured or underinsured coverage, if you do have this option.
Third-party claimants will almost always experience pushback in dealing with GEICO, but first-party consumers don’t have to accept unfair treatment when filing GEICO auto insurance accident claims. You should keep an eye out for certain types of conduct. Contact an attorney right away if a claims adjuster:
Most GEICO insurance claims are resolved quickly and never result in a lawsuit; However, the claim process can be significantly delayed if fault is disputed or GEICO investigates. GEICO will usually send payouts as soon as possible after the investigation is complete. GEICO provides payment digitally or by mail.
You should be wary of a settlement offer that comes too quickly. Low-ball car accident settlements are a common tactic for getting people to accept less than what they deserve. It’s usually best to consult a lawyer about what to expect and what’s full and fair compensation for your assorted losses.
No. Insurance adjusters are not interested in your well-being. Any written or recorded statement you make about your accident, the events leading up to it, and possible fault could impede any future legal action or undervalue your claim.
If you’re filing under your own GEICO policy, you must report the accident as soon as possible. However, you must comply with the Ohio statute of limitation for personal injury claims to pursue a claim against another party’s policy, which is typically around 2 years.
If you feel that your claim was wrongly denied or that you were inadequately compensated, you should speak with an attorney. You may have to counter the company’s low-ball settlement offer, send a demand letter, or move through the company’s formal appeal process.
At Kisling, Nestico & Redick, our attorneys can assist you with GEICO auto insurance accident claims after a car crash. We can assist you with the process, deal with GEICO representatives, present your case for compensation, make liability clear, establish fault, and fight for all the compensation you deserve.
For more information or to schedule a free consultation, please call 1-800-HURT-NOW, or visit us online.