– In this video, I’m going
to talk about Lyft passenger injury claims. I may touch on the claims
of an injured Lyft driver as well, but the focus is
going to be on Lyft passenger injury claims. I’m going to talk about
how insurance works, an actual $70,000 settlement
I had for a Lyft passenger and everything in between. Stay tuned and watch the whole
video so you get a better understanding how Lyft injury claims work. JZ Helps a Florida injury law firm. I’m injury attorney Justin Ziegler. I represented a gentleman
who was a Lyft passenger and we settled his injury
claim for $70,000 in total, $45,000 of that was paid by
Lyft’s insurer at the time, Zurich American Insurance Company. $25,000 was paid by the at
fault driver’s insurance. They were insured by Geico. My client claimed that his
neck, his foot, and his hand were injured in the crash. We claimed that cartilage was
either torn from the accident in both his foot and his hand,
or the accident aggravated, meaning it worsened a tear
that he had in his foot and his hand. One important thing to
note is Lyft’s insurer, Zurich American Insurance
Company, their first offer may be a lot lower than the
final offer that you end up settling for. Now Lyft really isn’t
involved with the claim. What happens is the vehicles,
the Lyft vehicles are insured with Zurich American
Insurance Company and Zurich has hired York Claims,
York Risk Management Group, to administer the claims. So York is the one handling
the claim, but the money’s being paid by Zurich
American Insurance Company who is the insurer. York’s initial offer was
$16,000 and we settled for $45,000, again this was just
for the uninsured motorist insurance portion of the claim, which I’ll get into in a moment. It’s important to know that
that first offer was only about 35%, about one-third
of the total final offer from York. So just because you get a
low first offer, doesn’t mean that the case is bad and
sometimes the insurance companies have a lot of room to
move and pay you more. Other times they may not have much room to increase their offer. Once we settled the case
with York, who again was the third party administrator
for the uninsured motorist insurer of the Lyft
vehicle that my client was a passenger in, and my client signed the
release, York sent the check rather quickly. So that was nice, there
wasn’t any delay there. My client as a passenger
qualified through PIP, Personal Injury Protection
Insurance through the Lyft vehicle, my client
did not own a car at the time of the crash, he did not
live with any relatives who owned a car at the time of the crash, therefore the next place
to look for PIP Insurance was through York. My client had to fill out
a form and swear under oath that he did not a car or live
with anyone who owned a car, and then York processed his
PIP benefits and essentially they paid $10,000 to his doctors. I believe they paid 100%
of the doctors’ bills up to the $10,000 whereas most
of the time in Florida, PIP pays 80% of the doctors’ bills. So I found that to be unique. It’s very interesting to note
that starting on July 1, 2017, Lyft cars, when there’s a
passenger inside the car, do not have to have Personal
Injury Protection Insurance, however Lyft as recent
as September 22, 2017, that’s the most recent
certificate of insurance that you can find online
on Lyft’s website actually, they actually say that all their policies are covered with Personal
Injury Protection Insurance so whether the
driver’s driving and he has the app on, it must be on, the
driver can get PIP Insurance through Lyft, or if a
passenger’s in there, Lyft’s policy still allows PIP insurance. The downside with the fact
that the Lyft vehicles are covered with PIP
Insurance is that if the Lyft vehicle causes an accident
due to the Lyft driver’s negligence the injured party
will likely need to have a permanent injury in order to get money for pain and suffering. Now in this case, just
a little facts about it. My client was a passenger,
and the other car, it was allegedly wet roads
and another car rear-ended, crashed into the back of
the car that my client was a passenger in the Lyft vehicle in. The other driver who caused
the crash, he was insured with Geico Insurance, they
paid $25,000 of the settlement. So what happens is because
we argue that my client’s injuries were worth more
than $25,000 the next place to look if there’s no other
bodily injury liability insurance, which is what
existed on the car that caused the accident, we then look at
uninsured motorist insurance. So Lyft required my client to
fill out an affidavit stating he didn’t have any uninsured
motorist insurance, or that he didn’t own
any vehicles that had uninsured motorist insurance
or live with anyone who had any vehicles that had
uninsured motorist insurance. And after he filled out that
affidavit, Lyft accepted that there was uninsured
motorist insurance through York and Zurich and we
ultimately settled the claim like I had said for $45,000,
but it’s a good idea for the Lyft passenger to
fill out this affidavit from day one and send it to
York Insurance Company so that they get the ball
rolling for the uninsured motorist insurance claim,
because if someone waits too long to send the affidavit,
that could delay the settlement with the
uninsured motorist insurance, but getting that affidavit
to the York representative, again that’s Lyft’s insurers,
the company that they’re using to administer the
claims, the sooner they get it, the better and the sooner
they can set up the uninsured motorist
claim and establish that coverage exists. Now in the state of Florida,
if you are making a claim for Personal Injury Protection Insurance, which like I said, if you’re
inside a Lyft there is PIP Insurance as right now,
Lyft has it on their policy, although they’re not required to, you have 14 days to get
medical treatment, otherwise there’s no PIP. A doctor needs to diagnose
you with an emergency medical condition, otherwise the
PIP is only limited to $2500 and not $10,000. It can be a big loss of PIP benefits. PIP pays up to $10,000 of
your lost wages and toward your medical bills. I’d mentioned that I
represented the passenger in the Lyft case, if he would have owned a car, his PIP Insurance would
have likely been the source that would have paid
PIP Insurance benefits. Or if he would have lived
with a relative then their PIP Insurance on their
vehicle would have paid for his PIP benefits to his
doctors and his lost wages. However in my case, he didn’t own a car, live with anyone who owned a
vehicle who was his relative that’s why Lyft’s PIP Insurance paid. If the Lyft driver does not
have their own ride-share coverage, meaning that they
specifically told their personal auto insurer
that they drive for Lyft then their insurance
company’s likely going to deny coverage for the claim. For example, if they
have Geico, or State Farm and they never told State
Farm they’re driving for Lyft, State Farm or Geico’s
going to deny coverage and the passenger can’t make
a claim against the personal auto insurer. However, once the
passenger’s inside the car, the passenger can make a
claim if the Lyft driver caused the accident, for
up to a million dollars of bodily injury liability insurance. If a Lyft passenger is
injured in an accident, it’s a good idea for them to
get the Lyft PIP application in the comments section to
the video, or below the video, I have a link to the article that I wrote, that I’m basing this video
on, and I have the actual Lyft application that was
used, the Lyft PIP application that was used in my claim. If I were to represent
someone again in a Lyft claim, a Lyft passenger, I would
immediately have the Lyft passenger complete the PIP
form, just again to get the ball rolling. And this assumes my client
did not have their own auto insurance on their
vehicle or live with a relative who had PIP auto insurance. Now Lyft’s PIP auto insurance
does not have a deductible which is nice for the injured passenger, or even the driver, if the
driver happens to be injured and is making a PIP claim. If the York adjuster, Lyft’s
insurer’s adjuster, wants to take your recorded
statement you have to give them your recorded statement, part
of the contractual duties of the policy are to comply with this. So you have to comply
with reasonable requests. They want to take your
examination under oath, you have to agree to that as well. And the scope they can ask you
a lot of different questions. They can ask you about
your prior injuries. They can ask you about
how the accident happened, what your current injuries
are, who’ve you treated with, and other things. It’s important to note that
everything that you tell the York adjuster or Lyft’s
insurance adjuster is going to be documented in their
notes and if they record the call, it’s all going to be
there for them to transcribe and put into writing. So it can later be used
against you so use your words very carefully. You need to be honest, nothing
is worse in an auto accident injury claim than lying to an adjuster. One lie that you may
think is saving you money can ultimately crush an entire case. I’ve seen people lie in auto
accident claims in general over things that are very,
very minor and potentially blow an entire case so
always tell the truth. If PIP Insurance applies in
the case, the next source where your medical bills
should be sent to is your health insurance, or Medicare or Medicaid, if any of that insurance applies. Then oftentimes if PIP is
paid, your health insurance may not pay anything and the
medical provider may write off the bills, but once the PIP
is exhausted then the health insurance pays at the contracted rate. Understand that oftentimes
in Florida, your health insurance may have a
lien on the settlement. So let’s say the health
insurance company pays $5000, they may be entitled to
recoup up to $5000 from your settlement if you end up
making an uninsured motorist settlement with Lyft’s
insurer, or the car that caused the accident, or Lyft’s
bodily injury insurer, if the Lyft driver was negligent. Now I’ve already mentioned
that the passenger of a Lyft vehicle, if the other
car causes the accident, meaning due to speeding or
failure to yield right of way, or improper turn, if the
other car’s driver causes the accident you can sue the other driver. Typically it’s making a
claim against them and trying to resolve it before a
lawsuit which can save stress and expense and you’d be
entitled to past out of pocket medical bills and future
medical bills, lost wages, and future lost wages,
and pain and suffering, both past and future. You may need to have a
permanent injury in order to qualify for money for pain and suffering. That’s because if the Lyft vehicle had PIP and you were entitled to PIP
and the party that caused the accident also had an auto
insurance policy in Florida that had PIP, you likely need
a permanent injury in order to get money for pain and suffering. Now if the other car caused
the accident, and they don’t have enough bodily
injury liability insurance, such has what happened in
my case, but they only had $25,000, and we argued that
the claim was worth more than $25,000, Lyft’s uninsured
motorist insurance is excess, it’s above any
other uninsured motorist insurance, or at least
that’s what the Lyft adjuster told me, the York adjuster, told me. In terms of if you’re
making an uninsured motorist insurance claim, Lyft has the
ability to send you to their doctor, it’d be a one time
exam where they examine you. Most uninsured motorist
insurers will send you to a doctor who is more conservative,
meaning they’re more likely if your injury is in
a gray area where one doctor can say that you’re badly
injured and another doctor can say no, the odds are
that the uninsured motorist insurer is going to send
you to a doctor who’s more likely to side with saying
that you’re less injured. Now it’s always a great
idea to get a crash report, also you can notify Lyft
through the app that the passenger is injured. You can also directly
submit the claim to York, again who administers the claims for Lyft, you need to send your notice
out as soon as possible. It’s always good, again,
to get a crash report, sooner rather than later, and
to get treatment if you need it as soon as possible
and don’t be surprised if a passenger waits to get
medical treatment and the Lyft adjuster ends
up telling them or York’s adjuster ends up telling them
how badly were you injured, if you waited two weeks
to get medical treatment. Is your injury related to the accident? Also all things equal, the
greater the damage to the car, the greater the settlement,
because the theory goes, at least the insurance
adjusters and many jurors assume that a badly damaged
car can equate to someone being hurt very badly,
whereas if there’s very little damage to the car expect Lyft’s
insurer to fight the case harder or the other
company’s insurer to fight the case harder. In the case that I represented,
the gentleman in where he had tears to his foot and
his hand and we settled for $70,000, one of the reasons
why Geico quickly paid their $25,000 per person
bodily injury limits is because the value of
my client’s case was about $70,000 and the limits were
25,000 and if Geico failed to pay that amount, and we
ended up getting a verdict against the Geico’s insured,
the driver, for 75,000, that driver could end up suing
Geico or signing his claim to my client and Geico
doesn’t want to have to pay an extra $50,000 when they
could have just paid $25,000 and gotten out of the case. So Geico was relatively quick
about paying the $25,000 and it’s not uncommon if
there’s a low limits policy and an injury that’s worth more. And Lyft actually wasn’t
that bad in terms of the time it took to resolve the claim
with them once we submitted all the paperwork. There really wasn’t much
delay, and when I say Lyft, again, York, there really
wasn’t too much delay in resolving the case once
negotiations began, they went kind of smoothly. The York adjusters that
I dealt with were overall very friendly. When an injured person settles
a case with the other car’s insurance company, or Lyft’s
uninsured motorist insurance, what typically happens is
you sign a release at the end of the claim. Understand that that language
needs to be negotiated on most of the time. My claim went back and forth
with Lyft and I made sure that the language was in the
best interest of my client. I didn’t just agree to have
my client sign what Lyft’s release said. Lyft’s release was not
confidential, it didn’t have a confidentiality clause so
that’s why I’m talking about the settlement here that appears
to be different from Uber. If you go online, I wasn’t
able to find any Uber settlement amounts other
than two, so I likely think that Uber may be
requiring confidentiality, but I have to give some
points to Lyft just for doing the right thing. If you settle with State
Farm, Geico, Progressive, Allstate, Travelers, USAA,
they typically do not require confidentiality,
so all Lyft is doing, or York is doing with
Zurich Insurance Company is just doing the right
thing and not requiring confidentiality as it can
possibly have tax consequences that can hurt the injured person. If you liked this video, please like it, please comment, please
subscribe to our channel, watch our other videos. We have a lot of interesting
information on all types of accidents and I plan on
making many, many more videos. My name is Justin Ziegler,
my office is in Miami. I serve the entire state of Florida. Have a beautiful day.