The purpose of this page is to help you understand the settlement value of your case against GEICO and to give you weapons to maximize the settlement value of your claim. Learn the secrets they don't want you to know and get the most money you possibly can out of your claim. This page is focused on claims against GEICO in Maryland. But most of what you will learn will apply in any state in the country. This page was last updated on March 24, 2020.
GEICO is a difficult insurance company to deal with. If you have not figured that out yet, you will. If you are trying to maximize the settlement value of your injury case, you want to have every weapon you can to understand the true value of your case.
Will GEICO try to pay you less than the value of your claim? They absolutely will. So, you have to be prepared for battle. This page is one resource that helps you better understand how injury claims are valued for settlement and at trial.
What you need to know about GEICO is that this insurer softens up the deeper you get into the process. GEICO rarely offers a fair settlement offer before trial.
If you have a claim against GEICO or a GEICO insured in Maryland or Washington, D.C., call us at 800-553-8082 or fill out this free case review form today.
Are you here with specific questions about your GEICO claim? Our lawyers have created shortcuts if you have a particular topic of interest:
There is no standard formula used to calculate damages. The starting point of understanding the value of your case against GEICO has nothing to do with GEICO. It starts with your injury. We provide statistics and sample cases based on your type of injury. Read what we have written about the value of auto accident cases here.
GEICO’s First Settlement Offers
Elsewhere on this website, we offer information about the settlement value of car and truck accident claims and provide examples of settlements and verdicts that our firm and other lawyers have had in cases against GEICO. But those are "end of the day" answers. Many victims want to figure out something far more immediate: how much of a first settlement offer can I expect from GEICO?
Our advice in severe injury cases to clients is that you have to bring a lawsuit against a GEICO insured as opposed to accepting a pre-suit settlement offer if you want to get as much money as you can for your claim.How Much Should You Expect For GEICO's First Settlement Offer?
GEICO's first settlement offer will probably not be for much compared to the seriousness of the case. At Miller & Zois, we went through some old files to try to give victims an idea of how much money GEICO offered compared to the client's medical expenses. We pulled some random first settlement offers along with the amount of the client's medical bills to give you some idea of what you might be able to expect. We do not think this kind of data is available anywhere else. We have looked everywhere ourselves to find something similar.
Remember, these are first settlement offers.
|First Offer||Amount of Medical Bills|
*Indicates policy limits offerWhat Does This Data Tell Us?
First, let's talk about what we have done here. We have pulled cases largely at random of auto accident cases that Miller & Zois has had with GEICO in recent years. We are not providing any relevant facts about the type of injury, the crash itself, lost wages, or other factors—almost every vital fact you would want to know about the case to properly value it and what a reasonable payout would be.
So why do these statistics have any meaning at all to calculate GEICO car accident settlement amounts? Well, when you throw out the outliers, the numbers fall into a predictable pattern. But keep in mind too that GEICO's first settlement offer also does not correctly value the case.There is a good chance the insurance adjuster's first offers fall into one of three categories:
- Crazy Low
- Are you kidding me?
So, this is interesting data. It gives victims enough cases to look for trends and patterns. In conjunction with sample verdicts and settlements in similar cases, you might be able to begin to pin down a value range for your case. But keep in mind how impossible it is to conclude anything based on this evidence alone as to the actual value of your case. There are too many variables involved. But it tells you something about the value of your case in relative terms.GEICO's First Offers Are Not Close to Fair Offers
We are talking about GEICO, and this insurance company looks to make low ball settlement offers even more than most other insurance carriers. But, first offers are likely to be unfair from almost any insurance company. We discovered this trend in our files while putting these numbers together that surprised even us: just 4 of the 69 largest settlements and verdicts our law firm has had in the last 12 years were cases that settled in the initial claims process before litigation.
Every claims adjuster is going to blink a bit when a suit is filed. A GEICO adjuster blinks more than most. They usually switch adjusters when a lawsuit is filed, and the new adjuster promptly throws the old one under the bus and says the claim was undervalued.
In two of those three cases, the insurer settled the case for reasons that had nothing to do with the fair value of the case. The other was a wrongful death claim. Sometimes, our clients do take the first offer, particularly in smaller cases, because of personal considerations. There is nothing wrong with this as long as you fully understand that you are probably leaving a lot of money on the table if you take the first offer or even settle without filing suit. The payouts are often higher if you file suit. This is particularly true in more serious injury cases.
- The fear factor of turning down the first offer.
- Sample demand letters
- Get the inside scoop on more insurance companies
Ten years ago, GEICO was very easy to deal with in settling claims in Maryland. Our accident lawyers rarely filed suit in GEICO cases.
Times have changed. GEICO now undervalues virtually every single claim. Our law firm files lawsuits against this insurer in most serious injury traffic collision cases. Our attorney would sue them even more often, but we have some clients that have personal reasons to choose the settlement offer. Some clients simply do not want to go down the litigation route.
GEICO has some of the nicest and most reasonable claim adjusters too. The claim adjusters are particularly easy to work with in terms of their disposition and willingness to promptly return calls. GEICO is not some evil empire. Really, we only disagree with the company on one issue: the value of personal injury cases in the Baltimore/Washington area.
The value of an injury case is what motor vehicle accident claims are all about. The civil justice system is about giving money to compensate victims for the harm that is done to them. Our job is to fight for our clients to get as much money in their pocket as humanly possible. More often than not, if the client's goal is to get every last penny they are entitled to get, then a lawsuit is the most sensible option.Filing Lawsuit Against GEICO Often Increases Offers Dramatically
Our lawyers have won literally millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts against GEICO. If you need someone on your side who knows how to fight this insurance company and win, call 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation.Settlements and Verdicts Against GEICO
There is also some value in looking at other cases against GEICO. Below is a sampling of recent jury verdicts and settlements with GEICO. We use mostly our law firm's cases in Maryland. Others from around the country are also included.
These results are not necessarily reflective of the value of your claim against a GEICO insured. There are too many variables at play when looking at the value of a car accident case to fit in a summary of the case. Still, we think these stories are informative to help you better understand the value of injury claims against GEICO insurance company:
- Maryland, 2019: $200,000 Settlement Our client is rear-ended in a car accident in Prince George's County. The property damage is not significant, and he does not have any injuries that he considers to be serious at the time. But the injuries do not resolve. We demand $55,000—our client is not looking for that much. Allstate offers $17,076.68. Our firm files suit against Allstate and also against GEICO for underinsured motorist coverage. The at-fault driver only has a $100,000 policy. Allstate increases the offer to $37,200 just before trial. The trial begins and we destroy their expert on the stand. While our client's wife is offering her testimony, GEICO and Allstate say they want to talk settlement. Our original offer to settle is now long off the table. The insurers offered $175,000. We said it is $200,000 or we continue the trial. So they agreed to $200,000 ($100,000 each). The case settles in the middle of the trial.
- Maryland, 2019: $300,000 Settlement Our client is a passenger in a friend's car in Baltimore County. The driver hits a light pole trying to avoid an animal on the road. He is diagnosed at Northwest Hospital with a neck sprain, strain, and a wrist sprain. He is discharged with pain medicine. He gets a cervical steroid injection that provides only temporary relief. Ultimately, he has a discectomy and fusion and (eventually) has a great recovery.
- Virginia, 2019: $50,000 Settlement Plaintiff is riding his motorcycle on Military Highway in Norfolk when he is negligently struck by another motorist driving a pickup truck. He suffers major injuries and eventually dies. The other driver has no insurance, so the plaintiff's estate brings a claim for UIM benefits against his own insurer, GEICO. The insurer agrees to settle the claim for policy limits of $50,000. The take-home message here is that no matter how good your case is, you are a prisoner to the coverage limits of the at-fault driver and your own coverage limits. This is why it is important to get significant uninsured motorist coverage from your own insurance company. This protects you from not getting fair compensation from an uninsured or underinsured driver.
- Florida, 2019: $66,535 Verdict Plaintiff, a passenger, allegedly suffers permanent floaters in her eye after another driver swerves across 3 lanes of traffic on the Florida Turnpike and hits the right side of her vehicle. The other driver is uninsured, and the plaintiff brings a UIM action against her insurer, GEICO. As this insurer commonly does, GEICO disputes the plaintiff's alleged injury was caused by the accident. The jury finds that plaintiff's eye floaters were caused by the accident but does not agree that they are permanent and awards $66k.
- Arizona, 2019: $200,000 Verdict The defendant driver is street racing and under the influence of alcohol when he loses control of his vehicle and crashes into the plaintiff's home. Plaintiff alleges various injuries including aggravation of a heart condition and sues the defendant. Plaintiff also sues the owner of the vehicle defendant was driving. Defendants are insured by GEICO. A jury finds in favor of plaintiffs and awards $200k in damages.
- Florida, 2019: $381,202 Verdict Plaintiff allegedly suffers low back disc bulges and cervical disc protrusions, a sacroiliac joint sprain, and muscle spasms when, while driving eastbound, her vehicle is struck in the rear passenger quarter by a northbound vehicle. Plaintiff is insured by GEICO and the other driver has no insurance, so she brings a UIM claim.
- Florida, 2018: $197,700 Verdict Plaintiff is driving on a 2-lane road in Palm Beach County when another motorist changes lanes and strikes her vehicle, causing various neck and back injuries. The other driver has insurance, but plaintiff's injuries allegedly exceeded the limits of his insurance, so she brings this UIM case against her insurance carrier, GEICO. Liability is admitted, but GEICO disputes the nature and extent of the alleged damages. The jury finds that plaintiff's injuries are not permanent, but still awards almost $200k in damages.
- Connecticut, 2018: $130,000 Verdict Plaintiff, male in his mid-40s, is driving his motorcycle through an intersection with the right-of-way when another driver ignores the traffic signal and hits him. Plaintiff allegedly suffers injuries to his lower back and leg and brings suit against the driver and his owner insurer, GEICO, for UIM benefits. The claim against the other driver settles for policy limits and the case proceeds against the insurer.
- Maryland, 2018: $250,000 Settlement Our client, a 45-year-old woman, is traveling on Route 97 in Anne Arundel County. She stops in heavy traffic and is rear-ended. The police are not called to the scene because she does not initially believe she is seriously injured. She sustains $5300 in property damage to her vehicle. She has degeneration at C4-C5 that was injured in a prior accident (she had a prior neck fusion). Ultimately, she receives nerve block injections. GEICO tenders their $100,000 insurance policy and she receives $150,000 from her own insurance carrier on her underinsured motorist claim. Miller & Zois handled this claim.
- Maryland, 2018: $206,817 Verdict A man with a longstanding history of lower back pain claims he suffers lumbar radiculopathy and aggravated lumbar stenosis after getting rear-ended in Prince George's County. He has lumbar decompression surgery at L3-4 and L4-5. The jury awards $206,000 but the verdict is reduced because the policy is capped at GEICO's uninsured motorist coverage with the plaintiff.
- Maryland (Baltimore), 2018: $100,000 Settlement A 13-year-old boy is walking down the sidewalk when a motorcycle takes a left turn in front of a car at Kenwood Avenue and Dale Avenue in Baltimore, City. The bike flies over the hood and lands on the boy, breaking his leg. GEICO tenders its $100,000 policy before a lawsuit is filed. Miller & Zois handled this claim.
- Maryland (Montgomery County), 2018: $100,000 Verdict While driving south on 495, a 65-year-old woman is approaching the American Legion Bridge. Another driver in a Jeep is also heading south. Suddenly, a wheel detaches from his vehicle, coming to rest in the lane. The woman's car strikes the wheel, which leads to her car overturning and hitting the wall. She is transported to the ER via ambulance, where doctors tell her that she has a severed tendon in her left hand along with serious abrasions to the hand. She also has a fractured collarbone. After undergoing physical therapy for a few months, she sues the other driver and the mechanic whose work allegedly resulted in the wheel coming loose. She also sues GEICO, her underinsured carrier. GEICO eventually steps up and pays their full $50,000 policy to settle the case. We see this story a lot—you often have to sue GEICO to get them to do the right thing for the victim and their own insured. The liability carrier, Allstate, decides to take the case to trial, probably because they have little to lose by trying.
- Maryland, 2018: $200,000 Settlement An elderly man exits his car to cross the street. He is struck and killed by the defendant. There is no good evidence as to where the man was hit and killed although he clearly was not in a crosswalk. This was our problem: there was no proof either way, and the Plaintiff bore the burden of proof. Defendant files a motion to dismiss the case but agrees to settle for $200,000 before the motion is heard. This is one of the many settlements and verdicts Miller & Zois has had with GEICO over the years in Baltimore.
- Maryland, 2018: $306,101 Verdict An elderly man is driving on Route 4 in Dunkirk when he collides with another car. The impact is not severe. However, the man seeks medical treatment for shoulder pain immediately after the crash. He is diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff but is not a candidate for surgery given his age. As a result, he claims the injury is permanent and that it prevents him and his wife from sleeping in the same bed. He sues the other driver and his underinsured motorist carrier, GEICO. Liability for the accident clearly falls on the other driver, so GEICO’s only defense is to dispute the extent of his injuries. The jury awards a little over $6,000 in medicals and a further $300,000 in pain and suffering damages.
- Maryland, 2018: $290,000 Settlement A 40-year-old woman suffers an L-5-disc injury after a double impact, chain reaction, rear-end accident. She has a negative MRI but has a discectomy that reveals nerve damage. The pre-suit offer is $70,000. Miller & Zois handled this case.
- Maryland, 2018: $340,000 Verdict Plaintiff suffers head (mild TBI) and disc injuries in a left turn accident case that is tried in Prince George's County. The offer at the pre-trial conference is zero. GEICO's policy is $250,000, but the uninsured motorist carrier agrees before the trial not to seek subrogation from GEICO's insured if the verdict exceeds the policy limits which, thankfully, is exactly what happens. Miller & Zois handled this case.
- Maryland, 2018: $170,000 Settlement Plaintiff is driving on Route 97 in Carroll County when he approaches a non-functional traffic light. Defendant does not realize the light is not working and runs through it. Defendants contend that Plaintiff was contributorily negligent for failing to proceed with care through a broken traffic light. Plaintiff suffers a broken left femur, broken ribs, various cuts and abrasions, and severely bruised feet. GEICO is the driver's insurance company, and they tender their policy limits. The rest we recover from the uninsured motorist carrier (Cincinnati Insurance). Our law firm handled this claim.
- Maryland, 2018: $175,000 Settlement Our client is rear-ended on Route 4 in Calvert County. She goes to Urgent Care that evening, complaining of jaw, left shoulder, left neck, and lower back pain. She ultimately has a cervical diskectomy and fusion in her neck at C5-C6. We have no choice but to file suit because GEICO just will not make an offer.
- Maryland, 2018: $300,000 Settlement A man is stopped at a red light in Montgomery County and is rear-ended at a high rate of speed. He is flown to Prince George's Hospital Center but he does not survive. This wrongful death settlement is for the policy limits. An exhaustive search for assets of the defendant reveals that he had no meaningful assets and only a $15,000 Pennsylvania insurance policy. GEICO pays the remaining $285,000 in uninsured motorist benefits. Our law firm handled this case.
Our lawyers have been dealing with GEICO for years. Below are questions our clients have had about their claims that you may also have.
I love Warren Buffet and that gecko. They must be pretty reasonable to deal with for automobile accident claims, right?
I also really like Warren Buffett. This insurer also generally has very professional adjusters, many of which are easy to like. But here is the truth: GEICO is a very difficult insurer to deal with in accident claims, particularly before a lawsuit is filed. GEICO simply has a business model that aggressively focuses on settling claims for as little as possible. This model instructs them to try to resolve cases for far less than they are worth.
GEICO plays hard ball and has the bad faith claims to prove it.
Where is the adjuster handling my claim?
This insurer has regional claims centers. Almost all of the Maryland claims are processed in the Fredericksburg, Virginia office.
How does GEICO negotiate claims before a suit is filed?
GEICO does not give its adjusters a ton of authority before a lawsuit is filed. The claims rep will make you an offer that is some percentage of the power that the adjuster has to settle the case. This next part is important. The gap between (1) the initial offer and the settlement authority and (2) the settlement authority and the real value of the case increases with the size of the case. Let's make up an example that I think is pretty true to form. If a case has a trial value of $10,000, the adjuster might offer $4,000 with the authority to go up to $5,500. But if the real value of the case is $500,000, this insurer might offer $125,000 with the authority to go to $150,000.
Why are GEICO’s settlement offers so small?
To make the obscene profits GEICO has historically generated, the company tries to rip off victims on the value of their claim. That may be a harsh assessment, but it is the stark reality. Think about the math. GEICO spends $1 billion a year on advertising. It touts that you can save fifteen percent by spending only fifteen minutes to switch to GEICO. The company also offers some customers "accident forgiveness" so that their insurance rates do not increase after an accident. GEICO plays hardball before suit is filed hoping pay less than what the injury claim is truly worth. If you can rip off just 30% of the victims making claims, that is a lot of extra money for advertising and profits.
What happens after I file a lawsuit?
Almost invariably, the offer increases. This is true with most insurance companies but is particularly true with GEICO. One reason for this: you get a new adjuster when a suit is filed. The new adjuster comes in and says, "Okay, the first adjuster was an idiot, let's talk about the real value of this case." All right, that is hyperbole. But it is not that far from the truth. Now, this number is also usually far less than the trial or settlement value of the case. But it is almost certainly well north of the value before a suit was filed and the new adjuster came aboard.
Will GEICO let my case go to trial or will they try to back down and settle the case before trial?
How bold GEICO will be depends on what the sticking point in the case is. If the dispute is over liability—who caused the accident—this insurer will often stick to its guns. If the dispute is over how much money agreed upon injuries are worth, GEICO rarely lets these cases go to trial, at least in Maryland.
What will happen if I get a jury verdict that exceeds the policy limits?
There is no way to know. What any insurance company will do when a verdict exceeds the policy limits depends on the facts of the case. But if the plaintiff makes a settlement demand for the policy limits or less, GEICO will often stand behind its insured and pay whatever the verdict is regardless of the policy limits.
The vehicles in my crash had very little property damage, but I was hurt. My doctors are willing to testify that I was severely hurt in the crash. Will GEICO ever come to its senses?
It is very unlikely. Probably more than any other insurance company out there, GEICO has an aversion to low and no property damage injury cases. So, there is a high probability a case like that is going to go to trial if the victim wants to get something resembling fair value on the case.
Do I need a lawyer to handle my claim?
In general, you are going to be best protected by hiring counsel to represent your interests. If you are seriously injured in an accident, I think it is entirely foolish not to hire a lawyer. Good legal advice matters. That said, if you have a small case, the gap between what you can get for yourself and what a lawyer can get for you is narrower. Should you still hire a lawyer in those small injury cases? I think you should. Is it crazy to handle these cases alone without a lawyer? No.
Who Are GEICO's Lawyers and Experts in Maryland?
If you do file a lawsuit, most of the claims will be handled by Besok & Mullen or John Dahut & Associates. These firms have "law firm names" but are in-house counsel and direct employees of the company. This is done to cut down on the company's legal fees. On balance, these lawyers are far more reasonable than the adjusters when it comes to placing a fair settlement value on accident claims.
GEICO refers out some cases when they are concerned that there is a real chance the verdict could exceed the defendant's insurance policy limits. The Law Offices of Frank Daily—a good group of lawyers—is one of the firms that this insurer heavily relies upon in these types of cases in Baltimore. It often uses Mulhern & Patterson in cases in Maryland/D.C. suburbs.
This insurance company has a number of "usual suspect" experts to defend their positions that the Plaintiff is either not hurt or not hurt as bad as the Plaintiff suggests. If it is an orthopedics case, as many car crash injuries are, the insurer frequently refers to
- Dr. Joel Falik
- Dr. Louis S. Halikman
- Dr. J. Richard Wells, Jr.
- Dr. Eddie Cohen
- Dr. Gary London (neurologist)
- Dr. Clifford Hinkes
- Charles Citrin (neuroradiologist)
- James Gasho
GEICO regularly names these same witnesses in a stunning amount of motor vehicle accident cases in Maryland and the District of Columbia. What is incredible is that GEICO lawyers often name these experts long before the doctors have ever heard the patient's name or seen a single medical record. What does this mean? It seems they are pretty confident that these experts will say what they want them to say.Contacting GEICO for an Injury Claim
To contact this insurer in a Maryland case, you can reach them at:
P.O Box 9505
Fredericksburg, VA 22403
The best number is 1-800-841-1003.
Keep in mind the risks associated with talking to the insurance company without counsel.Getting a Weapon to Fight GEICO
We have handled hundreds of claims against GEICO and have helped a lot of people get the money they deserve for their injuries. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Maryland and the at-fault driver is insured by GEICO, or if you are filing an uninsured motorist claim against GEICO and you have a question about your claim, call us at 800-553-8082 or fill out this brief online claim evaluation form.