Zurich Insurance is based, not surprisingly, in Zurich, Switzerland. This insurance Goliath, founded in 1872, now employs over 60,000 people in more than 180 countries, including nearly 10,000 employees in North America (a company aptly named Zurich in North America).
Zurich has market share in Maryland accident cases because it owns Farmers Group, which owns 21st Century which was AIG‘s auto insurance division, renamed 21st Century Insurance to remove the taint of the AIG name. Zurich also owns Bristol West Insurance Group, a car insurance company that began in Florida but is now making market inroads throughout the country.
Accordingly, lawyers see – directly and indirectly – a lot of Zurich in Maryland accident claims, and are seeing even more of its subsidiary Farmers. Our accident lawyers handle claims against Farmers and Zurich in Maryland and, in severe injury and death cases, throughout the country.
How Do I Make a Claim with Zurich Insurance?
You can call Zurich at 800-382-2159 or 800-9873373. You can also fill out a claim report with them online. But be careful. You are invariably better of speaking to a lawyer before speaking to the insurance company if you have a serious injury or wrongful death claim. In Maryland and Washington, DC, you can call our personal injury lawyers or get a free initial consultation online. You can also speak with a trial attorney 24/7 at 800-553-8082.
How Does Zurich Calculate the Settlement Value of Motor Vehicle Accident Claim?
Like many insurers, Zurich uses a computer program to computer a range of settlement values for premises liability and motor vehicle accident claims. This program, called Colossus, is focused on your medical records, your jurisdiction, and whether you have an attorney (and who that attorney is). The program spits out a range of settlement values for the case, giving the adjuster authority for one amount while hoping to get the case resolved for a lesser amount. Colossus does give uniform settlement offers. But the offers are uniformly under market value, sometimes 10 to 20 times less than what a jury would award at trial.
Is Zurich a Good Defendant to Draw in a Personal Injury Case?
About five years ago, Zurich was more reasonable in than most insurance companies in commercial truck accident cases and other personal injury cases. than its vassal Farmers in car crash claims. Today, it is a very different story. Zurich is far more itching for a fight than it ever was. Still, this is an insurance company that, if you are willing to fight back, will typically pay you the value of your case and even more before trial.
Is Zurich Eager to Litigate and Take to Trial Personal Injury Cases?
Again, not many lawsuits against Zurich that are filed in Maryland go to trial. This insurer wants to settle cases before they get to jury. It will often make you fight hard throughout the litigation process but will typically increase their offer substantially before trial to avoid taking a jury verdict.
Who Defends Lawsuits Against Zurich?
Zurich has in-house counsel in Maryland in Owings Mills, a firm called Schenker, Krause & Lopez in Owings Mills 21117. This law firm is going to get the majority of Zurich accident cases in Maryland.
Zurich is also a big fan of using Cybersettle to resolve claims. We don’t think Cybersettle is going to net a quality settlement and don’t use them.
In truck accident cases, you can expect them to turn to Andrew Stephenson and his firm, Franklin & Prokopik.
Sample Maryland Cases Involving Zurich
Here are a few Maryland settlements and verdicts involving Zurich Insurance. Please keep in mind these are not representative results you can just carry over to your personal injury case. Your claim may be valued differently than these even if the facts are similar. Why? Because these summaries cannot possibly provide all of the relevant facts – and the weight of those facts. That said, verdicts can sometimes be used as a guide to understanding better the value of your case and how Zurich values cases.
- 2019: $75,000 Maryland Settlement: A 40-something woman drove back to her apartment complex in Odenton after dropping her son off at driving school. As she walked across the parking lot to get inside her building, she slipped and fell on a black ice patch. A bystander transported her to an urgent care clinic, where the staff diagnosed her with a fractured fibula in her right ankle. She underwent open reduction with internal fixation surgery at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center several days later. The surgical team inserted screws to repair her fractured fibula. She then underwent physical therapy, sporadically attending before ending treatment a year after her surgery. The woman also underwent two steroid injections during that period. She sued the apartment complex’s manager and their snow removal contractor. Zurich insured the apartment complex’s manager while Nationwide insured the snow removal contractor. She claimed that on the morning of the fall, there were flurries and the temperatures were below freezing. The woman alleged that they failed to adequately remove snow and ice. She also alleged that they failed to spread salt around the parking lot. Both defendants claimed that she was contributorily negligent. They claimed that she should have taken precautions to ensure her safety. Her expert testified that the fall directly caused her injuries. They also opined that her injuries were permanent and limited her movement for life. She testified that she now had a limited range of motion. The woman testified that she served two overseas tours as an Army security operator. She noted that while overseas; she feared that she could not run if a dangerous situation occurred. Following mediation, the parties agreed to a $75,000 settlement.
- 2016: $384,975 Maryland Verdict: A cast skillet fell on a 56-year-old woman’s foot as she was shopping at a Marshalls. She presented to an emergency room, where the emergency room staff diagnosed her with a crush injury to her foot. The woman underwent a cheilectomy to treat her injury. She claimed that her recovery was long and painful. She sued TJX Companies (insured by Zurich), Marshalls parent company, alleging negligence. The woman argued that she did not see anyone touch it before it fell. TJX’s counsel argued that the woman dropped the skillet on her foot and that her injuries were because of her negligence. The Prince George’s County jury awarded her a $384,975 verdict.
- 2015: $1.5 Million Maryland Settlement: Decedent is hit on the side of the road after suffering a flat tire. Miller & Zois handled this case.
- 2014: $100,000 Maryland Verdict: A 60-something woman was driving her vehicle with her friend as her passenger along the Harry W. Memorial Bridge in Charles County. The Charles County Circuit Court awarded a $100,000 verdict. Upon slowing her vehicle, a man rear-ended it at 50 mph. He committed the collision within the scope of his employment with a Chevrolet dealership. The man was driving an auction vehicle at the time. Both women sought emergency treatment the following day. They both complained of neck and back pain. The two sought chiropractic treatment, while the driver also underwent epidural injections. They sued the driver for negligence and the Chevrolet dealership (insured by Zurich) for vicarious liability. The two only sought pain and suffering damages. A Charles County jury awarded the two women a verdict that totaled $100,000. This comprised $65,000 to the driver and $35,000 to her passenger.
- 2013: $2,301,250 Verdict: A 48-year-old occupational therapist’s vehicle was rear-ended by a truck. She initially claimed that her head snapped back because of the impact. The woman initially received treatment for a concussion and whiplash. She claimed that she sustained a traumatic brain injury, which made it difficult for her to get to her clients’ homes. The woman also claimed dizziness, vertigo, blurred vision, headaches, and anxiety. She claimed that she could no longer work full-time because of vertigo. The woman claimed that she experienced 700 vertigo episodes by the time of the trial. She and her husband sued the truck driver and his employer (insured by Zurich). The couple argued that the truck driver drove too fast, failed to pay attention to the road, failed to maintain an appropriate distance, and failed to timely stop to avoid impact. A Washington County judge awarded the couple a $2,301,250 verdict.
- 2013: $820,000 Maryland Settlement. Plaintiff is struck head-on by a commercial truck. Plaintiff is airlifted from Frederick to the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. He suffers a host of injuries, including serious breaks to his arm and his hip. Miller & Zois handled this case.
- 2011: $41,966 Maryland Verdict – Plaintiff, a bus driver in her 50s, is on the job returning the children to their homes when she is rear ended, causing her to lose control and travel to the other side of the road. Plaintiff claims the impact jarred her and caused a lower back injury. Plaintiff denies any prior existing pain but argues that if she had pre-existing degenerative disc disease, it was asymptomatic before the collision. Plaintiff is seen at the emergency room, follows up with physical therapy, and eventually undergoes epidural injections for the pain. She is assigned a 9% permanent partial disability rating to her lower back. Plaintiff files suit against the driver and his employer, a tree expert company, alleging that Defendant driver fell asleep while driving, causing the accident. Defendant does not admit negligence for the accident and further argues that Plaintiff was not injured, that she had a pre-existing degenerative disc disease. Plaintiff is awarded economic damages of $13,966, as well as an additional $28,000 for non-economic damages.
One thing that stands out when you look at reported verdicts with Zurich: there are not a lot of them. This means Zurich is not taking many cases to trial. So even today you can expect Zurich to get more serious about a settlement as a case gets closer to trial. But trying to reach an early out-of-court settlement with Zurich in a serious injury or wrongful death case for a reasonable value is going to be unlikely.
Our Lawyers Can Help You with Your Accident Claim Against Zurich
Our firm has handled scores of auto accident claims involving 21st Century Insurance, Farmers, and Zurich. If you have been injured in an automobile accident in Maryland or Washington D.C., and you have a question about your claim or wish to file a lawsuit, call our Maryland car accident attorneys at 800-553-8082 or click here for a free consultation.
More Information on Dealing with Zurich
- Sample Settlement Agreement: language drafted by Zurich in one of our truck accident cases
- Valuing Personal Injury Cases (how much is your case worth?)
- Handling Personal Injury Claims Without a Lawyer (tips for personal injury victims)
- Handling Your Property Damage Claim (tips for auto accident property damage claims)
- Sample Demand Letter (letter to insurance company for compensation by settlement)
- Personal Injury Frequently Asked Questions
- Maryland Accident Lawyer Help Center (samples of everything and anything a car accident lawyer needs to handle an auto accident lawsuit against Zurich)