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New SC Supreme Court Ruling on UIM – Rock Hill Car Accident Attorney

Let’s talk about what it means to be “upon” a vehicle, says the SC Supreme Court in recent case Farm Bureau v. Kennedy.  The case generally hashes over what it means to be in a car or truck under underinsured motorist (UIM) car insurance policies and the public policy governing these cases.

In the business owner’s Farm Bureau auto insurance in this case, for a personal injury to be covered by the policy the person injured must have been occupying the insured vehicle at the time of injury.  This is generally true of such car insurance policies.  The car insurance contract helpfully defined occupying as “having actual physical contact with an auto while in, upon, entering, or alighting from it.”  If you think that adds much meaning to “occupying,” let us know in the comments.

Generally, it is pretty obvious whether someone is occupying the relevant vehicle.  Those are the easy cases.   In this case, the plaintiff had actually been leaning on the tailgate of the insured vehicle (occupying the vehicle by being upon the vehicle) right before a truck was coming straight for him.  He then fled the path of the truck.  He came into contact with the insured vehicle again when the truck from which he was fleeing pinned him against the insured vehicle.

Farm Bureau argued that the injuries occurred after he lost contact with the vehicle, and since he was not upon the insured vehicle, he was not a covered person under the UIM policy.

The plaintiff argued that to expect a person to not flee danger or forfeit their insurance coverage is unconscionable, and for that reason, the plaintiff should be a covered person.

The Court agreed with the plaintiff and argued that UIM coverage must be read broadly, for reasons of public policy, and that the UIM statute may prevent the reading of the contract offered by Farm Bureau.

The full opinion is appended below the break.

The Serious Car Accident Attorneys of Reeves, Aiken & Hightower

If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in a car accident or any other accident, you need the help of a serious accident attorney like those at Reeves, Aiken & Hightower.  Call us at 877-374-5999, or contact us at this link, to schedule a free, private consultation.  We can help you evaluate your claim and get you the recovery you deserve.

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3 Killed in I-26 SUV Rollover – Rock Hill/Columbia Car Accident Attorneys

A single car accident, involving an SUV claimed its third victim yesterday when a 1-month-old old baby died days after the crash.  The SUV merely went off the side of Interstate 26 (I-26) and rolled over.  Two other passengers were died immediately after the crash.  Five people survived.

Car accidents like this one show how easily individuals are injured and how likely death is in rollover accidents.

The Car Accident Attorneys of Reeves, Aiken & Hightower

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car accident, you need a serious car accident attorney like those at Reeves, Aiken & Hightower.  Review our credentials, make sure that we are right for you, and call us at 877-374-5999, or contact us here, for a private consultation.

 

Car Accident Claims Rising in UK Despite Accidents Falling

According to the Accident Claim Company of England, claims for car accident injuries and whiplash claims are increasing, even though actual car accidents are decreasing in number as British roads become safer.  Apparently, the press there is beginning to believe that the litigation culture is worse there than in the US.

In the UK, becoming a lawyer requires far less schooling than in the US.  In addition, the US was historically more progressive when it came to recognizing tort claims for personal injury.

Others are characterize the UK trend in car accident claims in other terms.  They believe that even though auto accidents have become fewer, that as British citizens become more tech savvy and are surrounded by more information, they have become more knowledgeable about what is owed to them.  Few are willing to argue that individuals who are injured should bear cost of their injury when they have been severely injured, even in an ordinary auto accident.

The Car Accident Attorneys of Reeves, Aiken & Hightower

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car accident, you need a serious car accident attorney like those at Reeves, Aiken & Hightower.  Review our credentials, make sure that we are right for you, and call us at 877-374-5999, or contact us here, for a private consultation.