The issue of how many different Uninsured/Underinsured policies might provide coverage and in what order. After a Georgia car accident, injury victims often find that the driver who caused the crash does not have enough insurance and have to seek a recovery for their damages from their own insurance company. Georgia law requires that insurance companies allow policyholders to purchase uninsured motorist coverage (UMC). This coverage allows an injury victim to obtain adequate compensation if they are involved in a serious car accident. Although the law provides this safeguard, there are many instances where an insurance company denies coverage. These situations may lead to a contentious and complex dispute over the availability of coverage.
An issue that often arises is whether the liability policy provides coverage to a driver under more than one liability policy. This often occurs when an injury victim tries to evoke coverage under a policy while they were operating another person’s vehicle, with permission. In most cases, the non-owner is an additional insured party under the policy. However, courts will look to the totality of the circumstances to determine whether the policy affords coverage. The court will consider the driver’s status, the vehicle’s owner, and the coverage limits under the policy.
UMC disputes between insurance providers and policyholders or injury victims often arise when there are issues regarding stacking coverage, selection or rejection of coverage, liability limits, insurance off-sets, and exclusionary provisions. In these cases, the contentions generally involve various principles, statutes, and rules of law. However, ultimately, courts must evaluate the case’s nuanced factual details before deciding whether coverage is appropriate.
For example, recently, an appellate court issued an opinion in a case stemming from a plaintiff’s action seeking a declaration that they were covered under a UMC policy. In that case, the plaintiff visited a store to purchase items for her business. When she was in the parking lot, an uninsured motorist struck and hit the plaintiff. The plaintiff settled with the other party’s insurance company and her vehicle insurance company. The settlements did not cover the extent of her damages, so she filed a claim with her LLC’s vehicle insurance carrier. The insurance company denied the claim arguing that the personal vehicle the plaintiff drove on the day of the accident was not among the listed insured vehicles under the policy.
In this case, the plaintiff argued that the insurance contract included ambiguous terms. They contended that the terms “you,” “your,” “relative,” and “person” were ambiguous because the words referred to familial and individual terms. In this case, the court found that public policy did not bar reasonable UMC exclusions. Further, they reasoned that the terms were not ambiguous. They found that the policy’s terms cleared covered losses while a party was occupying one of the listed vehicles. Therefore, because the plaintiff was not driving one of the listed vehicles, the insurance company did not err in denying the claim.
Have You Suffered Injuries in a Georgia Car Accident?
If you or someone you love has been injured in a Georgia motor vehicle accident, contact the Simon Law Firm. The attorneys at our office have extensive experience successfully resolving complex personal injury lawsuits on behalf of our clients. We understand how daunting and frustrating it is to deal with contentious insurance companies. Our attorneys possess unique skills, resources, and legal acumen to address these complex challenges these cases present. Through our representation, our clients have recovered substantial amounts of compensation for the losses they suffered. Contact our office at 404-259-7635, to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney at our law firm.