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Articles Tagged with insurance

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By Kyle Roby, Attorney and Partner
English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP

close-up-of-road-300x200Would you consider an ATV – an all-terrain vehicle – a motor vehicle? Kentucky law and some insurance companies do not – and that’s what the case we recently won for a client concluded, to the client’s benefit.

The client, Thomas Robertson, was driving an ATV on a public roadway in Metcalfe County. Stacy Morgan was driving a vehicle on the same road, and as she attempted to pass Robertson, he turned left, and she collided with his ATV.

Both were injured in the accident. Robertson did not have insurance, but Morgan did. Robertson, driving the ATV, sought Basic Reparations Benefits (BRBs) from the insurance company that insured Morgan’s vehicle. Under the terms of Morgan’s insurance, Robertson was considered to be a pedestrian, and pedestrians are entitled to basic reparations benefits.

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If you don’t have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, you should talk to your insurance agent about purchasing this very important coverage as soon as you can. Such coverage can mean the difference between a fair recovery and financial ruin in the event of a serious accident with a driver who has no insurance or who has only the minimum policy limits.

However, should you ever need to actually use your uninsured or underinsured coverage, do not expect your insurance company to be on “your side” of the case.

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wrecked vehicleMany people think of “car insurance” as something you either have or don’t have. When a claim arises, these folks can be very surprised to learn that there are a multitude of issues outside of parties simply being insured or uninsured.

This is because, at its essence, an insurance policy is a contract that has many different terms, provisions, and exclusions. So it is very important to understand exactly what is – and is not – covered under one’s policy.

As a recent case illustrates, it is also important to discuss your policy with your insurance agent regularly, especially if your household situation changes.

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hand writing in notebookInsurance companies have certain duties not only to their insureds but also to those who file legitimate claims against those who they insure.

A company’s failure to uphold these duties can result in a finding of liability under Kentucky’s bad-faith laws, but the claimant has the burden of proving his or her case by a preponderance of the evidence. This is not always an easy task, since there those involved may not agree about who is at fault or the amount of damages to which the claimant is entitled.

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tractor trailerLawsuits arising from 18-wheeler accidents can be very complex. One reason for this is that the tractor and trailer may be owned by or insured by different entities. This greatly complicates the path to recovery of a fair settlement or judgment for a person injured in a semi-truck wreck.

In a recent case, a rather unique issue arose. The owner of a certain tractor-trailer requested liability insurance on both the tractor and the trailer, but the insurance agent accidentally left the tractor off of the list of the trucking company’s vehicles when she sent the application to the insurance company.

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Most people who own an automobile know that it is important to obtain a copy of the insurance policy. However, many consumers do not fully understand all of the different options that may be available to them, much less the many limitations and exclusions contained in a typical policy.

When an accident happens, a misinformed consumer can be extremely surprised and disappointed to find out what exactly is and, perhaps more importantly, is not covered, especially after years of faithfully paying monthly premiums to the insurance company.

As the plaintiff in a recent insurance dispute lawsuit found out, just a few words in an insurance policy can make a tremendous difference in the insurance company’s responsibility to pay out certain benefits in the event of an accident.

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man holding calculatorEveryone would agree that being seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident and having no insurance for damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, is a bad thing. Uninsured motorist insurance can be very beneficial in such situations.

However, you may be surprised to learn is that simply having uninsured motorist coverage does not ensure a quick and easy payout of benefits to the injured party. To the contrary, as the circumstances presented in the recent case of Countryway Insurance Company v. United Financial Casualty Insurance Company illustrate, an injured person sometimes has to battle for the benefits to which he or she is entitled.

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Do you know how much uninsured motorist coverage you have, or whether you have such coverage at all? One man thought that he had such coverage, but, as it turns out, uninsured motorist coverage was not part of his insurance plan with Allstate.

In a case that went all the way to the state’s highest court, the parties vehemently disagreed about the issue of coverage. Ultimately, the man lost his case in an appellate court opinion issued some 10 years after the automobile accident that led to the dispute.

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Uninsured motorist insurance coverage can help pay for property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering in the event that an insured is involved in an accident with an uninsured (or underinsured) driver.  An uninsured driver is just what you would think it means – a driver that does not have insurance. Underinsured driver means the at fault driver has insurance, but they do not have enough insurance to cover your damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

If an insurance company makes payments to its insured under a uninsured motorist policy, the insurance company has a right to file suit against the uninsured driver in order to assert its subrogation rights. In such cases, the insurance company essentially stands in the shoes of the insured and is held to the same procedural rules as the insured if he or she filed the lawsuit.

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lawn mowerBy Kyle Roby, Attorney and Partner
English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP

The reported cases decided by the appellate courts sometimes come in batches of cases involving similar issues. Since a criminal case questioning the applicability of the death penalty, for example, involves an entirely different set of issues, research, and analysis than does a tort case arguing about liability in a medical malpractice lawsuit, there is judicial economy when the courts decide similar cases during the same time period.

Lately, it seems the courts have been faced with a number of cases involving whether or not a given situation is covered under a particular insurance policy. In the recent case of Auto-Owners Insurance Company v. Holland, the Court of Appeals of Tennessee at Nashville was called upon to decide whether a commercial general liability insurance policy provided coverage in an accident in which a child was injured by the gate of a trailer that an insured used to transport lawn care equipment.

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