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Uninsured Motorist-Defense of Case

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Uninsured Motorist-Defense of Case

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-Defense of Case.   

2003 Allstate Ins. Co. v. Wade, 265 Va. 383, 579 S.E.2d 180. 

Uninsured motorist carrier sought to introduce fact that it was liable for verdict returned by jury. Trial court properly disallowed that. Insurance carrier is not only party with standing to object to admission of insurance. Even though plaintiff did not formally object before the trial court, that was not dispositive. Existence of punitive damage claim likewise is not basis for mention of insurance on theory that carrier would be paying judgment as opposed to individual defendant. Punishment of wrongdoer is not only purpose of punitive damages, rather, such an award also serves purpose of protecting the public and providing an example and deterrence to others. 

2000 Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co. v. Hylton, 260 Va. 56, 530 S.E.2d 421. 

Plaintiff served underinsured motorist carrier. Judgment improperly entered against that insurance carrier since carrier was not party to action. 

1999 Rivera v. Witt, 257 Va. 280, 512 S.E.2d 558. 

Plaintiff filed suit against John Doe serving the uninsured motorist carrier. After the statute of limitations had run, plaintiff sought to amend so as to identify the unknown motorist by name. This amended pleading is time-barred since it was filed after the two-year limitation period had run. 

1995 State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Beng, 249 Va. 165, 455 S.E.2d 2. 

Shortly before trial, tortfeasor confessed judgment. Uninsured motorist carrier still had right to appear and defend on issues raised in its answer. Possible solutions to dealing with confession of judgment are to allow judgment to be entered against tortfeasor only and to allow carrier to present defense. On other hand, if verdict is in excess of confessed amount then verdict should be limited to that lesser amount. 

1994 State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Cuffee, 248 Va. 11, 444 S.E.2d 720. 

Even though uninsured motorist admitted liability, uninsured motorist carrier is still entitled to appear and defend on all issues in this personal injury action. 

1983 GEICO v. Gallop, 224 Va. 720, 299 S.E.2d 525. 

John Doe defendant had standing to appeal, having been manifestly aggrieved by court’s action in erroneously eliminating co-defendant who could be held jointly liable. 

1972 Facchina v. Richardson, 213 Va. 440, 192 S.E.2d 791. 

Insurance coverage injected into case; not error to refuse instructions on presumption from failure of uninsured motorist to testify or produce evidence. To apply presumption would create undue advantage since insurance carriers do not have opportunity to explain absence of uninsured motorist. 

1972 Travelers Ins. Co. v. Lobello, 212 Va. 534, 186 S.E.2d 80. 

Uninsured motorist carrier appeared in own name and also on behalf of defendant uninsured motorist. Jury was informed of Travelers involvement. This was error. Counsel for Travelers should have been allowed only to inform jury that he was present to assist defendant without any mention of that defendant being uninsured. To do otherwise would create impression that co-defendant was insured. 

1971 Mobley v. Pendleton, 212 Va. 418, 184 S.E.2d 798. 

Motion to strike as to John Doe was granted when phantom vehicle was identified as belonging to another defendant. 

1970 Baker v. John Doe, 211 Va. 158, 176 S.E.2d 436. 

Uninsured motorist statute allows joinder of John Doe; however, plaintiff pleaded against defendant and John Doe in alternative. Not allowed as interpretation of uninsured motorist statute would run counter to rule of court requiring that defendant be apprised of case against him. 

1969 Enos v. Fidelity & Cas. Co., 210 Va. 112, 168 S.E.2d 254. 

Plaintiff claimed in pleading that defendant was agent of employer and also claimed that defendant was uninsured in that he was not permissive user. This in-consistency does not defeat plaintiff’s claim against defendant’s insurance company.

For more information on traffic collisions see the pages on Wikipedia.


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Uninsured Motorist-Defense of Case

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