Georgia Court of Appeals Rules in Favor of Studstill Firm, LLP Clients After GEICO Attempts to Limit UM Recovery
Studstill Firm, LLP is pleased to announce a recent successful case result secured by our Valdosta personal injury attorneys in a matter that went to the Georgia Court of Appeals. In its decision earlier this month, the Court of Appeals ruled against the insurance company, GEICO, which was trying to improperly limit its policyholders’ underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage (UM). As a result of the case, which was closely watched by legal and insurance professionals, the Georgia Court of Appeals sided with our argument that the UM coverage was the full $100,000.
The case, Government Employees Insurance Company v. Morgan, stems from a 2013 car wreck which required one of our clients to undergo surgery on her neck. As a result of her surgery and other medical treatment, she accumulated roughly $100,000 in medical expenses. Unfortunately, the driver who caused the collision was underinsured, and his insurance company paid its $25,000 policy limit early on in the case. Our legal team was left to pursue the remaining portion of our clients’ damages by filing a claim against their own insurance company, GEICO, as they had purchased underinsured motorist coverage.
In its argument, GEICO claimed that our clients should be limited to the minimum amount of underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage of $25,000 per person. However, they were not able to prove that this was the policy our clients selected. As such, our legal team provided the court with legal arguments as to why GEICO’s position was improper. Ultimately, the Court ruled that the policy provided our clients with UM coverage equal to their policy’s liability limit of $100,000.
Not only was the decision a significant trial victory for our clients, who need the additional compensation to pay for expenses and damages caused by the negligence of another driver, it also sets a precedent that may prove invaluable to other similar cases in the state of Georgia moving forward. Specifically, the court’s opinion confirms prior Georgia law and states that without evidence to show otherwise, policyholders will be entitled to underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage equal to the liability limits of their policy.
Our legal team is pleased with the result attorneys Haynes and Justin Studstill were able to secure in this case, and know it is a product of their hard work and unwavering passion for fighting on behalf of the injured and the wronged. As attorney Haynes Studstill said, “This was a victory beyond the $75,000 we secured for our clients, and concerned a much bigger issue of making sure insurance companies play by the rules and treat policyholders fairly.”
As personal injury attorneys dedicated to fighting on behalf of injured victims, including those harmed in auto accidents, we have seen all too often how insurance companies place profits over people in their attempts to defend against claims and pay as little as possible. Their concerns are centered on making money and increasing profits, not paying out what victims deserve.
Our clients, both the victim and her husband, were long-time GEICO customers who made the wise decision to protect themselves in the event of the unforeseen by purchasing UM coverage. They faithfully paid premiums to GEICO for over 25 years but unfortunately, GEICO was not on their side when it came time to make a claim under this coverage, and attempted to fight payment to which our clients were entitled.
Studstill Firm, LLP serves to act as a bold and unwavering advocate for injured victims and their loved ones, and to level the playing field against large insurance companies that care very little about the average person. If you have questions about a potential personal injury case, our legal team stands ready to help. Contact us for a FREE consultation.