Auto Accident Newsletters
When an insured has suffered a loss and wants to prove coverage under an automobile insurance policy, the insured must show the issuance and delivery of the policy, payment of the premium, a loss caused by a risk insured against, and notice and proof of loss to the insurance company. The proof of loss must give the insurance company adequate data from which it can determine its liability under the policy. The proof of loss must be in writing and set forth the injuries or damage sustained. A valuation of the loss should also be provided.
The system of streets and highways in the United States covers many thousands of miles of road surface constructed of various kinds of materials and designed for a variety of vehicle types and operations. The extensive use of the streets and highways inevitably results in a large number of motor vehicle accidents that annually cause thousands of deaths and personal injuries and extensive amounts of property damage. In the legal actions that follow, it is not surprising that the design and construction of the roadways on which such accidents take place should be brought into a case as possible bases for a finding of liability.
The basic elements of proof that a plaintiff in a products liability action against the manufacturer or seller of a car or truck has to establish are that the vehicle as sold contained a defect that created an unreasonable risk of death, personal injury, or property damage when the vehicle was used for its intended purpose and that the defect caused an accident or similar incident, such as a vehicle fire, that resulted in the loss for which the plaintiff is seeking to recover damages. Allegations of product defect in automotive products liability cases include inadequacies in vehicle design, errors in the manufacture of vehicle parts and their assembly into a completed car or truck, and failure to warn users of a vehicle about dangers inherent in its use.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, commonly known as NHTSA, an agency of the United States Department of Transportation, enacted an initial set of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, or FMVSS, in the late 1960s. NHTSA has amended and updated the FMVSS, and has added new standards to the original group of FMVSS, since that time. Every new motor vehicle sold in the United States is required to comply with all of the FMVSS that are applicable to that type of vehicle. (Due to differences in the configurations of passenger cars and trucks, certain of the FMVSS are limited in their application to one type of vehicle or the other.) In an automotive products liability case, a legal action in which a plaintiff seeks to recover damages from the manufacturer or seller of a motor vehicle for death, personal injury, or property damage caused by an alleged defect in the design or manufacture of the vehicle or by the failure to warn of a danger inherent in its use and operation, the FMVSS sometimes play a role in determining the outcome of the dispute between the parties.
Vehicles are very important for the conduct of business. From making deliveries to taking employees on sales calls, employers often make vehicles available to employees to use in the course of their employment. Corporate insureds can obtain fleet insurance for motor vehicles from their automobile insurance company. That insurance generally covers injury, damage, or theft of owned or leased vehicles. It also provides coverage to the corporate insured if its employees are involved in an accident while driving a fleet vehicle on company business. A fleet insurance policy will cover a number of vehicles in one policy that are owned or leased by one corporate insured.