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I was a pedestrian hit by my wife's car. The act was intentional. How do I make a claim against my car insurance?

Tustin, CA |

Soon to be Ex-Wife is facing 4 felonies. Car insurance rejected claims to repair her vehicle and are also rejecting claims for my injuries? Is there any means to seek restitution? The state will cover medical expenses but will not offer and compensation unless I file a civil suit against her. She has no money so I don't see the point. I've spoken with a few attorneys and some say they can take care of it, others say they won't touch the case. Separation WAS effective and I'm NOT the owner or on title of vehicle. I just payed for her car insurance. She is a secondary named on the policy (SNI)

Attorney Answers 8


  1. Insurance covers negligent acts, not intentional acts as you describe.
    The point of filing the lawsuit is exactly what you said: so that the state will cover your medical expenses.

    The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.


  2. While it is possible to have such acts covered - your problem is you are married to the tortfeasor (insured) and presumably at the time residing in the same residence, as such any claims against her policy will be excluded.

    If you are preparing for dissolution of marriage you may want to proceed with a suit which may likely be a simple default judgment (meaning she fails to respond to your lawsuit). I believe any judgment will go against her separate property and her 1/2 of the community property. This may assist you in dividing assets but you should consult which a family law attorney.


  3. If you have attorneys who believe that they can make the insurance company pay damages for your injuries, hire one of them.

    You write that you were hit intentionally by your wife’s car. I assume your wife was the driver. If that turns out to be factual the insurance company will not have to respond in damages. Insurance is for negligent acts, not intentional ones.

    There could also be exclusionary language in the policy if both you and your wife were named insureds. If you have medical payments coverage, you are probably entitled to that coverage. It’s not a case I would take on contingency.

    I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. Answers provided by me are for general information only. They are not legal advice. Answers must not be relied upon. Legal advice must be based on the interplay between specific exact facts and the law. This forum does not allow for the discussion of that interplay. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if that interplay were explored during an attorney-client relationship. I provide legal advice during the course of an attorney-client relationship only. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such a relationship. That relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us. The communications on this website are not privileged or confidential and I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo or because I have answered or commented on a question. All legal proceedings involve deadlines and time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice in answer to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult with an attorney for legal advice. Also, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference


  4. I agree with posts above. No insurance company covers intentional acts. Also, if you are relatives living in the same house, there is probably an exclusion of coverage as well.


  5. Your second sentence answered your question. As previously stated by my colleagues, insurance coverage excludes intentional acts.


  6. I have to agree with everyone else. It is highly unlikely that your insurance will cover intentional acts. Moreover, in New York, most insurance policies have language the excludes coverage for one spouse suing the other.


  7. I would proceed with the case with one of the attorneys that suggested that you have a case. Due to the nature of the events (your soon to be ex-wife's intentional acts), your case is tricky.


  8. Everyone has answered this question but it also worth exploring whether the act was intentional. You might think it was intentional but its possible that she has told the insurance companies, police and stated in court records that it wasn't intentional. Thus, at that time you might have a possibility to make a claim against the insurance.

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