In April of 2013, the United States Court of Appeals of Kentucky heard a case that involved a Louisville car accident where the lower court had granted summary judgment to the defendant insurance company and now the plaintiff was appealing. (See Arguelles v. Nationwide Investment Services Corporation, 2013 WL 1384922 (Ky. App. 2013)). In this case, the plaintiff claims she was seriously injured and that the defendant insurance policy covered her. But the lower court, and this appellate court, did not agree with her. The plaintiff’s Louisville car accident lawyer could not make his case.
The plaintiff in this Louisville car accident serious injuries case was injured on September 29, 2009, in a car accident. At the time of the accident the plaintiff was driving a car that she owned and insured through a third-party insurer not party to this action. At the time of the Louisville car accident, the plaintiff lived with her parents and the car that struck her was underinsured. The plaintiff’s Louisville car accident lawyer settled with the at fault liability carrier for the policy limits. The plaintiff then filed for underinsured motorist benefits (UIM) which had issued a policy to plaintiff’s parents.
At the time of the accident, the car that plaintiff was driving was not insured under her parents’ policy, thus defendant insurance company denied coverage. The language in the defendant insurance company’s policy stated that the coverage did not apply to bodily injury suffered while occupying a motor vehicle available for the regular use of a relative. Id. The plaintiff responded that the policy provision violated public policy and was void ab initio. Id.
Plaintiff in this Louisville car accident serious injury case argued that public policy requires underinsured motorist coverage be available to pedestrian/relative insureds. At the time of the accident, the injured plaintiff did not have UIM coverage on the car she was driving and she was also not on her parent’s policy with the defendant insurance company.
This appellate court, like the trial court, did not find that the policy violated public policy. Under these facts, the policy was valid and could exclude the plaintiff. At the time she was not a pedestrian. The court did not agree with the plaintiff that the defendant insurance coverage had to cover her. If the court had agreed it would have been sending a message that it permitted recovery under a family member’s UIM coverage would mean that ever person in Kentucky who owns a car could satisfy their insurance obligations by living with a relative who has automobile insurance. That would render the Motor Vehicle Reparations Act meaningless as there would be no incentive for a family with multiple vehicles to purchase optional insurance coverage (such as UIM coverage) for all the vehicles. Id.
If you have been the subject of a Louisville Car Accident Serious Injury case, please call and speak to a Louisville Car Accident Serious Injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Andrew Alitowski, P.A. at 888-ASK-ANDREW (888-275-2637) or contact us. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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