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Uninsured Motorist-Use of Vehicle

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Uninsured Motorist-Use of Vehicle Cases

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-Use of Vehicle.

2010 Simpson v. Virginia Municipal Liability Poll, 279 Va. 694, 692 S.E.2d 244.
Deputy Sheriff who, in the attempting to take suspect into custody, left his vehicle and was tackled to the ground 10 feet away did not suffer injuries that arose out of the use or occupancy of the vehicle.

2004 Slagle v. Hartford Ins. Co., 267 Va. 629, 594 S.E.2d 582.
Plaintiff sued for coverage under uninsured motorist policy relating to tractor trailer. Tractor trailer was being backed up by driver while plaintiff was assisting driver by giving signals to driver from outside of vehicle. As such, plaintiff was not occupying and did not intend to occupy the tractor trailer. This activity by plaintiff did constitute use of the vehicle as contemplated by Va. Code § 38.2-2206(B).

1998 Newman v. Erie Ins. Exch., 256 Va. 501, 507 S.E.2d 348.
Student was using school bus as vehicle at time he was injured based upon his use of specialized safety equipment and his immediate intent to become passenger in bus. In this instance he was hit on roadway by other vehicle. These facts established required causal relationship between accident and student’s use of bus as vehicle. Plaintiff entitled to uninsured/underinsured coverage of school board.

1998 Edwards v. Government Employees Ins. Co., 256 Va. 128, 500 S.E.2d 819.
Plaintiff at time of accident was repairing vehicle parked on street with intention of driving it to service station for further repairs. Issue was whether there was causal relationship between accident and use of vehicle as vehicle. Court concluded that there was such relationship. Edwards, however, was not occupying vehicle at time of accident as that term is used in policy.

1998 Randall v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 255 Va. 62, 496 S.E.2d 54.
Issue was whether highway worker was using his employer’s vehicle while placing lane closure signs along side of highway. Actual use of vehicle for purposes of underinsured motorist coverage mandated by Va. Code § 38.2-2206 is not restricted to transportation function of vehicle. In this case employee was following prescribed safety procedures to accomplish work of his employer and as such he is insured under the terms of § 38.2-2206 because he was using his employer’s vehicle when he was struck and killed.

1997 Trisvan v. Agway Ins. Co., 254 Va. 416, 492 S.E.2d 628
Uninsured motorist coverage in tortfeasor’s insurance policy would not be afforded to passengers in that vehicle in single vehicle accident when determining extent to which tortfeasor’s motor vehicle is underinsured. In this case, tortfeasor’s vehicle had policy limits of $25,000.00 and passenger had uninsured motorist coverage of $100,000.00. Passenger entitled to receive $25,000.00 from tortfeasor plus $75,000.00 from his uninsured motorist carrier.

1996 Stern v. Cincinnati Ins. Co., 252 Va. 307, 477 S.E.2d 517.
A ten-year-old girl was waiting at her usual bus stop. Bus stopped to allow her to board. Child began to cross road in front of bus. When she was two or three feet east of center line of roadway and several feet from front of bus, she was struck by car. Issue was whether child was using school bus as that term is defined in § 38.2-2206 of Virginia Code. Use in this instance is tied to and limited to actual occupancy of motor vehicle. Child was clearly not using bus as vehicle because she was not yet passenger of the bus and therefore no coverage.

1996 Stone v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 253 Va. 12, 478 S.E.2d 883.
Employer’s insurance policy did not cover employee driving his own car while delivering pizzas so as to make employee an insured under uninsured motorist endorsement of employer’s policy.

1989 State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Rice, 239 Va. 646, 391 S.E.2d 71.
Injury caused by accidental discharge of gun while hunter was getting his rifle out of vehicle. Accident arose out of use of vehicle.

1966 Pennsylvania Nat’l Mut. Cas. Ins. Co. v. Bristow, 207 Va. 381, 150 S.E.2d 125.
Interpretation of word “occupying” defined by policy as “in or upon or entering into or alighting from” uninsured motorist case.

1964 INA v. Perry, 204 Va. 833, 134 S.E.2d 418.
Plaintiff was killed while standing 164 feet from insured vehicle. Death did not occur while he was using vehicle, and therefore there is no coverage.

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

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Uninsured Motorist-Use of Vehicle

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