Insurance Coverage Question in Auot Accident Case

Date: September 23, 2010
Posted In: DLP Law

Pam\’s best friend Paula always seemed to be on the wrong side of luck. Paula had recently had her license suspended because of a D.U.I. conviction. Paula was pretty much dependent upon Pam to take her wherever she needed to go.

On one occasion though, Paula had to go downtown to pick up some medication and asked Pam to loan her the car to take her on this very short trip. Pam knew that Paula\’s license had been suspended but for some reason, since it was such a short trip, she said it was ok.

Unfortunately for both ladies, Paula\’s bad luck continued and she rear ended another vehicle on Main Street. A law suit ensued and Pam\’s insurance company denied coverage.

ISSUE: Is Pam\’s insurance company obligated to defend with the auto accident that Paula was involved in?

ANSWER: No. Insurance policies on automobiles almost always have a provision that if the owner of the policy allows a non-licensed or impaired driver to drive their vehicle, then that insurance company will no longer be responsible if an accident occurs. Under no circumstances should an owner or family member of an auto ever allow an individual to drive a vehicle who is not legally allowed to do so.

Disclaimer: The above article is for instructive purposes only and each case is fact sensitive. Consultation with an attorney should be obtained instead of reliance upon the legal issues discussed in this column.

Tom Cummings
Thomas P. Cummings has been a Partner with Dougherty Leventhal & Price, LLP since 1996 and has been with the firm since 1991. He focuses his practice on workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability and personal injury cases.