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Personal Injury Automobile Accident Cases

If an insurance policy covers accidents of travel, it must be shown that a death or disability resulted from such a risk before benefits can be paid. A death caused by the collision of automobiles is clearly within the ordinary interpretation of accidental means. This result is not prevented by any negligence of the insured. Courts feel that clauses of this nature must be given a reasonable construction. If the insurance terms are not expressly limited, some courts will extend coverage to situations where the use of an automobile was not an important factor or where the particular loss was fairly removed from an event that involved the use of an automobile. Other decisions, however, are not as generous. Some courts will not trace back an injury to an automobile or extend benefits to a particular loss or expense.

Property Coverage under Auto Insurance Policies

While statistics on the deaths and personal injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents are understandably the most vivid and immediate reminders of the societal costs incident to the extensive use of cars and trucks in the United States, property damage resulting from vehicular accidents in this country has its own significant economic impact. Motor vehicle insurance policies accordingly contain numerous provisions dealing with various kinds of property damage and loss.

Named Driver Exclusions in Auto Insurance

Because motor vehicles are often operated by residents of a named insured's household other than the insured himself or herself, the driving records of such household members may create difficulties for the insured in obtaining auto insurance coverage for a car or truck. Named driver exclusions in motor vehicle insurance policies have been devised as a means of resolving this difficulty.

Expert Witnesses in Automotive Products Liability Cases

A plaintiff in a products liability action against the manufacturer or seller of a motor vehicle is generally required to prove that the vehicle as sold contained a defect that created an unreasonable risk of death, personal injury, or property damage when the vehicle was put to its intended use and that the defect caused the loss for which the plaintiff is seeking to recover damages. The types of alleged vehicle defects that may be made the subject of an automotive products liability action include shortcomings in the design of the vehicle, mistakes made in the manufacture of its parts or in their assembly into a completed car or truck, and failure to warn the purchaser or operator of the vehicle about dangers inherent in its use and operation. Because products liability actions involve complex technical issues of science and engineering, expert witnesses are normally made use of by both sides in trying to either prove a case of liability or establish a defense.

Drunk Driving Exclusion in Automobile Insurance Policies

Drunk driving or driving while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance is illegal. Public policy does not permit a criminal to profit from a criminal act. Commonly, insurance companies include a clause in their automobile insurance policies that prohibit an insured from receiving damages for bodily injuries or death that occurred in an automobile accident caused by drunk driving. A drunk driving exclusion can be a separate clause in the policy or drunk driving could be excluded under the policy's crime exclusion.

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