On September 3, 2015, Mike (not real name) was working as a valet. While he was a pedestrian, a driver of a car backed up over Mike’s foot.
It was my position that liability is clear. At the time of the accident, Mike was working as a parking attendant.
Allstate insured the careless driver who backed up and rover of his foot.
Police were called to scene.
Driver Gets Ticket
The driver was cited for careless driving. The investigating officer recreated the scene of the incident with the diagram at the top of this article.
We sent Allstate a copy of the full police report.
Nature of Injury and Medical Treatment
Mike felt excruciating pain when the driver’s tire rolled over his foot. Paramedics were called to the scene and gave him first aid.
They recommended he be transported to the hospital. Mike’s manager also assisted him and agreed to take him to the emergency room of Mount Sinai Hospital.
Mike was diagnosed with a right foot contusion and right ankle pain. The pain was noted as a 5 on a scale from 1-10.
We included an excerpt of that medical record in our demand letter to Allstate.
Orthopedic Doctor Examined Mike at the ER
At the emergency room, he was examined by an MD and an orthopedic doctor. X-rays were ordered to see if he had fractures.
Upon release from the hospital, he was given Motrin, Percocet (a prescription pain-killer) and ice.
As a result of the accident, Mike had difficulty walking. A doctor recommended that he use an air splint and crutches. He was told to follow up with a physician.
The next photograph shows Mike wearing the air cast.
Since Mike was working at the time of the accident, workers compensation paid 100% of his medical bills. Workers compensation also paid for 2/3 of his lost wages.
GEICO insured Mike on his personal car.
Allstate Insured the Driver with $10K in Bodily Injury Liability Insurance
We demanded the driver’s $10,000 bodily injury liability (“BIL”) insurance limits. The driver’s insurer, Allstate, offered around $2,500.
Are you surprised?
Allstate is the same company that hired a consultant (McKinsey) who recommended that it delay, deny and defend claims to make smaller payouts.
We again demanded that Allstate pay us the $10,000 BI limits. Finally, Allstate agreed to pay us its insured’s $10,000 limits. In August 2016, we settled the case.
The best part?
Mike was very happy with the settlement. And so am I.
In this accident, the at fault driver was driving for pleasure. But what would have happened if the car was an Uber of Lyft instead of someone driving for pleasure?
For starters, the insurance limits would have been much higher. If the Uber or Lyft driver had the app on, there would have been $50,000 per person in BIL coverage available. This assumes that the Uber or Lyft driver was not en route to pick up passengers or during a ride.
However, for Mike to get a much bigger settlement from Uber or Lyft’s insurance company, he likely would have need worse injuries. I’m referring to a torn tendon, ligament or broken foot. All of those injuries have are worth more than just ankle pain.
On the other hand, if the Uber or Lyft was en route to pickup a passenger or during trips, there would have been $1 million available in liability coverage. You can read more about Lyft claims and Uber accident settlements.
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No way $10,000 what about future pain? Down the line? It will come back and bite you years later. Happen to me
Justin Ziegler, Lawyer says
Unfortunately, that was all the bodily injury liability (BIL) insurance that was available. Additionally, my client didn’t have uninsured motorist insurance.
If the other driver would’ve been uninsured, my client would’ve gotten zero. So my client and I were grateful.