We recently settled a case with Geico. The defendant had crossed the double yellow line and crashed into our client's car.
This looked to be a pretty straightforward claim. Geico denied the claim, and we tried to settle it without filing a lawsuit. The Geico adjuster told us that the accident was due to a "medical emergency" and that their insured had no negligence.
We said send us the medical records. "Let us look to see what you're talking about."
Geico refused to send us the medical records, citing "privacy" concerns.
We filed suit and issued "discovery" to the defendant. Discovery is when a law firm requests that the opponent in a lawsuit produce documents, answers questions, and provides other evidence that supports their claim.
We asked Geico to produce the medical records. After all, we argued, surely there were medical records which supported the position Geico was taking.
What was Geico's response? "Sorry, we don't have the records. Get them yourself." (Remember, when we spoke to them before filing suit they didn't tell us they didn't have the records. They told us they couldn't give us the records because of "privacy concerns.")
How could this be? Geico had denied a claim forcing the parties to go to court. This increased the costs to everybody.
Attorney James Abrenio in our office filed the lawsuit and handled the case.
What did James find when he subpoenaed the records from the hospital? Sure, there were some evidence of a "medical emergency" but guess what else he found? Pretty clear evidence that this had happened before to this defendant. She had actually had a prior accident and ran her car off the road. We argued that this evidence supported our position that if this defendant got behind the wheel of a car without being on appropriate physician care that she may cause an accident that she would be held responsible for. (The police officer had written in his report that the defendant had told him that she had not taken her prescription medication for a chronic condition.)
The case settled shortly after we obtained the subpoenaed medical records that Geico had never requested
The bottom line: don't take "no" as an answer from an insurance company. You at least have to go looking.