Car crash leaves Australian stuck in the USA

Andrew Munro 13 June 2017

shutterstock car crash accident 738x410

Lyft and Allstate car insurance are fighting over the injured tourist.

A two-week holiday has turned into a months-long stay for Gabriel Diaz following a car accident, as reported by local US news stations.

Diaz was catching a ride with the Lyft rideshare service on 1 March when his vehicle was struck by another driver running a red light. Suffering neck and back pain following the accident, especially when sitting, Diaz was unable to make the 14-hour return trip without first getting medical treatment in the USA.

Now, Diaz is caught between mounting medical bills and accommodation expenses as Lyft wrangles with the other driver's car insurance provider to determine who's going to pay for it.

Caught between Lyft and Allstate car insurance

Diaz is stuck until he can get the medical treatment for his return trip, but can't pay for the medical treatment until the insurance companies have settled the issue. As a passenger, he was covered under Lyft's car insurance, but because another driver was at fault, Lyft is pursuing damages from Allstate who insured the at-fault driver.

Lyft has said that Diaz is free to come to them after the Allstate claim is settled. However, this could take months or even years. So far, none of the insurers have been willing to offer any kind of guarantees other than a $250 settlement offer from Allstate.

He got the wrong travel insurance

Travel insurance should not be a last minute purchase, but it too often is. In Diaz's case, he made sure to get cover insurance but chose a plan that only provides medical cover in countries with reciprocal healthcare agreements.

This type of insurance is often cheaper but does not offer worldwide cover. With a lot of people bee-lining right for the cheapest policy, Diaz' case serves as a clear example of what can happen when you don't carefully look at your cover before buying.

The difference between being insured and having insurance

This case highlights the stark differences between being insured, and actually having your own insurance. In Diaz' case, this would be travel insurance.

With his own travel cover, Diaz would have a point of contact. His travel insurance provider would be able to pay for either the required medical treatment or a medically suitable way of returning to Australia. The travel insurance provider would be able to seek remedies from either Lyft or Allstate, as applicable, at their own pace.

Instead, Diaz is still stuck in America, with little recourse other than to wait until two other insurance companies are finished settling things between themselves.


Picture: Shutterstock

More help from finder.com.au

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, read the PDS or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.
Ask a question