GEICO Case Shows That Insurance May Cover More Than You Think
In many cases, people are injured, and they don’t sue because of the misconception that nobody could possibly be responsible, or otherwise, because they feel like the wrongdoer may not have the assets or insurance to pay a lawsuit or claim anyway. But a recent case shows that may not be the case.
The Limits of Car Insurance
The case has to do with insurance, and the limits of how much car insurance will cover. As a general rule, almost every car insurance will pay for damages that result from the use or maintenance of a vehicle. In almost every type of car accident, the issue of whether insurance will cover the claim is not in issue, so long as you prove that the insured was at fault for the accident.
A recent case in Missouri presented an interesting study in how far or how much insurance will be willing to cover.
Women Gets STD In a Car
The case involved a woman who alleged that she received an STD after having unprotected sex inside of a car (that was not being operated at the time).
She sued her partner for the transmission of the disease, and her partner forwarded the claim to his insurance company GEICO. As you can imagine, GEICO took the position that contracting a sexually transmitted disease inside of the car was not the kind of injuries or damages that the insurance company covered, and thus, coverage for the injury was denied.
The case went to an arbitration (required under the insurance contract), and the arbitrator eventually found that the man—and thus, GEICO—was liable for $5 million.
GEICO said that it should not have to pay the claim, because it never actually had the chance to defend the lawsuit. But the court said that GEICO’s inability to defend was voluntary—that is, GEICO voluntarily took the position that there was no insurance coverage, so GEICO voluntarily didn’t defend the merits of the claim, and thus, waived its right to do so.
Don’t Assume Nobody is Liable
It appears that GEICO is now continuing to appeal the claim in federal court.
But the case is certainly a lesson that even in situations where it seems like there is no insurance coverage, or where a wrongdoer may not have the financial means to pay a damage award, there may still be an avenue for a personal injury victim to recover damages.
This isn’t unique to car accident cases either—this is often the case in negligent security cases, where a victim of a criminal act feels like the criminal acted alone and that nobody else could be liable for the victim’s injuries.
This is often not true, and in many cases, crime victims can be awarded when they suffer physical injury after a criminal act, for a business’ failure to take measures to protect victims, or minimize the opportunity for criminal acts to happen on the business’ premises.
Call the Knoxville personal injury lawyers at Fox Farley Willis & Burnette, PLLC, today for help if you are a victim in any kind of accident. We can see who may be liable for your injuries.