Tort Law

Uninsured Motorist Assaults

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Uninsured Motorist Assaults

Brien Roche

This page within Virginia Tort Case Law is a compilation of cases reported by the Virginia Supreme Court and summarized by Brien Roche dealing with the topic of Uninsured Motorist-Assaults.  

2004 Fireman’s Fund Ins. Co. v. Sleigh, 267 Va. 768, 594 S.E.2d 604. 

Actions by uninsured motorist to use car door to hit plaintiff constituted use of uninsured vehicle as a vehicle so as to make uninsured motorist statute applicable. Where the vehicle is employed in a manner that is foreign to its designed purpose, for instance, a drive by shooting from a moving vehicle, there is no coverage under the uninsured motorist statute but where the injury arises from the use of the vehicle in a manner contemplated by its designers and manufacturers, then coverage would exist. The intent of the uninsured motorist is not of importance. In this instance, the use of car doors, which are designed to be opened and closed, in a negligent or willful fashion was within the contemplation of the manufacturer and designer. 

2002 Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co. v. Smelser, 264 Va. 109, 563 S.E.2d 760. 

Pedestrian injured when her purse was snatched by unidentified passenger in moving vehicle. Injuries in this case did arise out of use of uninsured motor vehicle for purposes of uninsured motorist statute. Here, the vehicle’s movement and its resulting force were used to help wrest the handbag from plaintiff and to remove the assailants from the scene. As such, the uninsured vehicle was being used as a vehicle. 

1996 Lexie v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 251 Va. 390, 469 S.E.2d 61. 

Intentional shooting by person occupying uninsured vehicle does not constitute use of vehicle for purposes of uninsured motorist coverage since causal relationship between incident and employment of vehicle does not exist. 

1994 Erie Ins. Co. v. Jones, 248 Va. 437, 448 S.E.2d 655. 

Man and wife in truck stopped at controlled intersection. Car behind them stopped. Driver of truck got out of his vehicle with rifle, tapped rifle on car window causing it to discharge, killing passenger in car. Truck of man with gun was uninsured. Car of decedent was insured through Erie with uninsured motorist coverage. In this instance there was no causal relationship between this accident and employment of the insured motor vehicle as vehicle, and therefore no coverage.

For more information on Assaults see the pages on Wikipedia.


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Uninsured Motorist Assaults

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