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Articles Tagged with wreck

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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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By Kyle Roby, attorney
English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP

Even car accident cases that seem simple in the beginning can grow complicated very quickly. In a recent Kentucky fatal car accident case, who was driving the car at the time of the accident was the legal question. The alleged operator of a car involved in a fatal collision accused his passenger of being behind the wheel, even after the operator had pled guilty to manslaughter in criminal court.

It was up to the trial court – and the court of appeals, on review – to decide whether the issue was to be resolved by judicial admission or by the jury at trial.

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If you drive or ride in an automobile, there’s a pretty good chance that you will be involved in an accident at some point in your life. If and when this happens, it pays to seek legal counsel early in the process, even if the negligent driver’s insurance company seems cooperative. This is because the legal process can be complex. This Tennessee injury accident case shows why it is important to have a qualified attorney involved in your lawsuit as soon as possible.

Unexpected issues such as the timeliness of service of process or the determination of whether a negligent driver is covered under a vehicle owner’s insurance policy can pop up even in a seemingly simple car accident case in which fault is clear.

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In an unpublished opinion, a couple was apparently injured in a Warren County car accident case that involved three vehicles. According to the couple, they were hurt when their truck was struck from behind by a minivan that was rear-ended by another car while stopped at a traffic light. As a result of their harm, the couple filed a personal injury lawsuit against the driver of the minivan and the car operator in Warren County Circuit Court.

Prior to trial, the couple resolved their claims against the driver of the car through mediation. Because of this, the motorist did not participate in a subsequent jury trial between the couple and the minivan driver. Still, jurors were provided with apportionment instructions related to both the minivan operator and the car driver at the close of trial. Following trial, the jury issued a verdict stating the driver of the car breached his duty to maintain reasonable control of his vehicle. In addition, the jury absolved the minivan operator of liability. The Warren County Circuit Court then issued a final judgment dismissing the couple’s complaint against the minivan driver.

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