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Intentional act exclusion in personal injury car accident case.

Lakewood, WA |

Rear ended on freeway in WA and driver was different than owner of the pick up. To state patrol I have a statement that he was speeding and was unable to stop but later at my visit to chiropractor, on written 'accident questionnaire form' that 'I think he was determined to hit me as he was angry'. can insurance company of the owner of the truck find this statement as an excuse saying that it was intentional act and not accident. Driver was not the owner of pick up, not sure if driver was insured at all. Owner admitted that driver had an permission to drive his pick up.Even though I gave a wrong statement to chiropractor, owner's insurance company is still liable to pay for owner's negligence? Also just my statement to chiropractor is enough for them to prove that it was intentional?

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Attorney answers 4

Posted

How would you know what his state of mind was when he hit you? It sounds like the police determined that he was at fault for going to fast for conditions. I would leave it at that. Unless, you come forward with some evidence that he hit you on fault I don't know how that statement you made will make this an intentional tort. I would suggest you hire an injury attorney in lakewood and discuss this matter with them. Even, so I suppose you are right to consider this a possible problem. Insurance companies do look for reasons to cut off benefits. See a qualified attorney and good luck.

You should consult an attorney in your State at once. This response does not constitute legal advise outside the State Of Michigan and is not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship with our offices. It is for informational use only of the general laws in the State of Michigan, only. To retain our offices, you need to sign a contingency contract with us. We do offer free consultations and we can refer clients to lawyers in your State if you call us. Visit our webpage and tell us what you think. www.schnitzerlaw.net

Asker

Posted

Thanks, You did not mention ...if owner ( who was not the driver or with the driver at the time of accident) is still liable (or his insurance company is still liable for negligence ) for driver's intentional act?

Bret A. Schnitzer

Bret A. Schnitzer

Posted

It depends on how the policy is written. Sometimes people are angry that they were hit and can't understand how the driver behind did not stop. This can lead to statements like "they hit me on purpose" when that person really has no foundation to say that. It sounds like that could be what happened to you. Good luck.

Asker

Posted

You are right ..I gave the statement to police that 'he was speeding and unable to stop' but later in his statement I found that he was blaming me so I was angry when I visited chiropractor and gave different statement 'I think he was angry and determined to hit me'. But now am worried if owner(not driver) insurance company will use my statement as an excuse to insist it was an intentional act? can they do so?

Asker

Posted

He was not charged with 'hit and run attended' and driving with suspended driving license' he was not charged with assault or any charge that can be considered as intentional act ...based on all above can I relax this weekend?

Bret A. Schnitzer

Bret A. Schnitzer

Posted

Anything can happen in this world, so I can't give you a certain "yes" or "no", but i can say that I doubt it. Having said that have a relaxing weekend.

Asker

Posted

Ok..thanks...

Bret A. Schnitzer

Bret A. Schnitzer

Posted

you should be ok.

Asker

Posted

Very rarely attorney would respond on weekend...so special thanks...

Posted

Your question is somewhat confusing. If you misstated something to your chiropractor or he didn't hear you correctly, you can ask the chiropractor to correct the entry with a later entry that corrects the conversation. But, the important thing simply comes down to the "intent" of the third party. Either the person drove negligently and it was an accident and it is covered or the person "intended" to run into you. In the latter event, the insurance company may be able to assert the "intentional act" exclusion against the driver so there is no insurance coverage. However, that doesn't end the discussion. As an innocent third party, the insurance company still may be obligated to pay you under the liability portion of the policy since there is a strong public policy in Washington to protect innocent third parties. Moreover, if there was some reason that the owner of the truck should know that the person he loaned the truck to was likely to drive negligently or was intent on trying to injure you or someone else, you may have a claim against the truck's owner for negligence. You should contact a local attorney immediately.

1 - If you and I do not have a written and signed Fee Agreement for attorney services, then you are not my client and the content herein is for your education only and does not create an attorney/client relationship between us. Assenting to and signing a Fee Agreement with me and paying any agreed-upon fee makes you my client. 2 - IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, you are informed that any U.S. federal tax advice in this communication (including attachments) is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of: (1) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code; or (2) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. 3 - You should not rely upon the information provided in this response for any reason. You should seek advice from an attorney in your area who can review all of the necessary facts so that attorney can provide you with legal advice that is relevant to your specific facts and applicable Washington law. I hereby disclaim any legal liability of any kind for the information supplied in this response.

Posted

the Nevada Supreme Court concluded in the case of Fire Ins. Exch. v. Cornell, 120 Nev. 303, 90 P.3d 978 (2004), that a homeowner’s carrier had no duty to defend or indemnify the parents of an adult child who committed statutory sexual seduction against allegations that the parents negligently supervised the adult son. In that case, the policy did not just exclude coverage for the intentional actor. The policy language was broader. The policy said that that there would be no coverage for damages intentionally caused by ANY insured. Therefore, the denial for coverage of the parents was upheld because of the intentional acts of the adult child.

The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this Web site or any of the e-mail links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between Howard Roitman, Esq. and the user or browser. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney.

Posted

I recently had a case in which my client's girlfriend hit her with her car after a heated verbal argument. My client was injured and understandably told the police officers and the EMS that her girlfriend purposefully ran her over. Indeed the hospital records reflected that it was an intentional act. The police promptly arrested the girlfriend and charged her with felony assault with a deadly weapon (the car). After a couple of weeks my client, after hearing the girlfriend's side of the story through friends, honestly believed that it was an accident - the girlfriend was "tunnel-vision" mad and tried to cut my client off with her car but in her fury she misjudged and hit my client. Rather than even attempting to contact the insurance company I immediately filed a Complaint along with requests for admissions directing the girlfriend/defendant to either admit or deny that she intentionally hit my client. The girlfriend denied that it was intentional and having admitted that the act was unintentional, the insurance company promptly settled the lawsuit for the policy limits which was in the six figures.

If you have a lawyer, go ahead and have them file a Complaint and Requests for Admissions of Fact asking the defendant driver to admit or deny that he or she intentionally hit you. If the defendant says is was intentional - case closed. However, in the more likely event that he says it was unintentional - you have eliminated that defense to coverage. Hope this helps and is not too lawyerly. With kindest regards,

Andrew P. Copenhaver
www.bellbrigham.com

The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change.

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