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Articles Tagged with wreck

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As one might expect, a large number of motor vehicle and motorcycle accident cases focus on the issues of who was at fault and how much money it will take to fully compensate the injured person (or deceased person’s family) for the damages suffered in the collision.

Sometimes, however, the issue is not who is at fault but instead whether a particular insurance company is obligated to pay a claim arising from the accident. Such was the case in a recent declaratory judgment action that was reviewed by the Tennessee appellate court.

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Many 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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Lawsuits 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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In a pedestrian accident involving a motor vehicle, most people would assume that the pedestrian’s medical expenses and other damages would be paid by the driver’s insurance carrier. If for some reason that did not happen, most would assume the injured person’s own uninsured motorist insurance would honor its contractual obligation and pay the medical claim.

Unfortunately, those assumptions proved to be wrong in a case arising from an incident that occurred in 2012. Instead, the injured man had to file a lawsuit and take his case all the way to the state supreme court in order to obtain relief under uninsured motor vehicle provisions in his insurance.

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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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How much do you know about your insurance coverage? For instance, if you have two cars insured under separate uninsured/underinsured motorist policies, do you assume that you are covered under both policies for an accident in either vehicle? Or do you know that there may be an insurance exclusion that applies?

This issue was the subject of a recent Kentucky Supreme Court case in which the justices strongly disagreed about whether an “average American” could understand certain exclusions in two insurance policies issued to a man who was later hurt by an underinsured driver.

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Some of the first concepts that law students are taught involve identifying the potential parties to a lawsuit and the appropriate court to file their claim. For instance, in order to seek relief in a court of law, a potential plaintiff must have standing. This means that the party has a sufficient connection to the issue to support that person’s participation in the legal proceedings at issue.

It’s a simple enough idea. But what happens when a plaintiff dies before the matter is resolved? Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure 25.01 states that, unless the claim is extinguished by the plaintiff’s death, another interested party (such as the successor or representative of the plaintiff) may file a motion to be substituted as the plaintiff.

A Tennessee appellate court recently had an occasion to review a trial court’s decision regarding this issue in a motor vehicle collision case.

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It is always a good idea to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage insurance, but settling a UM/UIM claim can be more complicated than it might initially seem. This is true even when the claimant is the insured person, but settlements can be even more difficult when a person other than the insured is seeking to recover UM/UIM benefits.

The Kentucky Court of Appeals was recently presented with a rather unusual UIM case filed by the friend of the insured under a policy issued by State Farm.

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The obvious defendant in a motor vehicle accident case is the person whose negligent driving caused the wreck. However, for a variety of reasons, it is possible that other defendants may be named in some lawsuits. In a fatal drunk driving accident, the plaintiff may want to sue those besides the driver who the plaintiff believes is partially responsible for the state of intoxication the driver was in.

It is usually to the plaintiff’s advantage to name as many potential defendants as possible in order to increase the chances of a settlement or judgment, especially if some defendants may be be uninsured, underinsured, or immune from suit.

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In lawsuits involving motor vehicle accidents, it is not unusual for there to be multiple defendants. Sometimes, this is because two or more drivers’ negligence may have contributed to the accident. It can also happen when a driver was on the job at the time of the accident. In this tractor-trailer accident case, just getting to the heart of who was responsible was difficult.

Under the doctrine of respondeat superior, an employer can be held liable for the tortious acts of a servant, agent or employee. This includes negligent driving. Discovering all of the possible defendants in a case can be a complex endeavor that may take some time. This is one of the reasons that it is best to contact an attorney as soon as possible after an accident.

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