Auto Accidents Newsletters
If a motor vehicle driver had permission to use an insured vehicle and has an accident, the vehicle owner’s automobile insurance policy may provide coverage. The permission had to be given by a named insured on the policy. The permission could be either express or implied. The permission had to exist at the time of the accident.
Possession of a valid driver’s license, while a prerequisite for the legal operation of a car or truck on the public roads, is clearly not a prerequisite for being physically capable of driving a vehicle. As a result, a great many motor vehicles in the United States are driven by persons not legally licensed to do so. Such unlicensed operations, and the vehicular accidents that inevitably result from them, raise a number of issues in the area of motor vehicle insurance.
The essential elements of proof that a plaintiff has to establish in a products liability action against a manufacturer or seller of a motor vehicle are that the vehicle as sold contained a defect that created an unreasonable risk of death, personal injury, or property damage when used for its intended purpose and that the defect caused an accident or similar occurrence, such as a vehicle fire, that resulted in the loss for which the plaintiff seeks to recover damages. Claims of vehicle defect can include allegations of inadequacies in the design of a motor vehicle, errors in the manner in which its parts were manufactured and assembled into a complete car or truck, or failure to warn the purchaser or user of the vehicle of some risk inherent in its use.
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that can be used by an insurance company and an insured to settle a dispute between themselves regarding uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage as well as other disputes. The alternative to mediation would be a lawsuit. In mediation, a third person, who has experience with insurance disputes, meets with the insurance company and the insured to try to work out a solution on which both parties can agree.
An automobile insurance policy may contain a set-off clause, which provides that an insured cannot recover bodily injury benefits under both the liability coverage part and the underinsured motorist coverage part of the policy. When an insured fully recovers his or her losses under the liability provision of an automobile insurance policy, the insured could not then seek to recover under the underinsured motorist provision of the same policy.