Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Claims in Washington, D.C.

Although drivers are required to have insurance, there are drivers on the road without adequate coverage or without insurance at all. However, in the event of a Washington, D.C. car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, an accident victim may be able to seek compensation through their own insurance policy by filing a claim for uninsured or underinsured motorist benefits.

Washington, D.C. law requires that insurance companies offer uninsured motorist coverage to drivers. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage protects insured motorists if the insured is involved in a Washington, D.C. car accident with another driver who is uninsured or underinsured. Uninsured motorist coverage refers to coverage after an insured is involved in an accident with a driver that does not have any motor vehicle liability insurance. Underinsured motorist coverage refers to coverage after an insured is involved in an accident with a driver that has liability insurance but whose coverage is less than the insured’s underinsured motorist coverage. The limits of coverage generally depend on the language in the insurance policy, as in the case below.

Driver Obtains Uninsured Motorist Benefits After Crash with ATV

In a recent opinion, the state appellate court found uninsured motorist coverage applied after two ATVs crashed at an ATV park. According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff was injured in an accident at a publicly owned and operated all-terrain vehicle (“ATV”) park. The plaintiff was a passenger on an ATV when it collided with another ATV. The crash occurred at the intersection of two paved trails within the park. The plaintiff sought UM benefits from his insurer, claiming that the other driver was driving an uninsured motor vehicle. The insurer moved for summary judgment, arguing that the ATV was not an uninsured motor vehicle because the policy provided that an uninsured motor vehicle did not include a vehicle “designed for use mainly off public roads except while on public roads.”

The issue before the court was whether the accident occurred on a public road. The crash occurred at an ATV park that was owned and maintained by the Public Park Authority of two cities. The park was open to the public, but visitors had to pay an admission fee and sign a liability waiver. The court found that the crash occurred on a public road, because the roads were publicly owned, publicly maintained, and publicly accessible for a fee. Thus, because the crash took place on a public road, the ATV involved in the crash qualified as an uninsured motor vehicle under the plaintiff’s insurance policy.

Call a Washington, D.C. Personal Injury Lawyer Today

It is critical to take action quickly when you have been hurt in a crash. Claims have a limit on when they can be filed, so it is important to act fast. The Washington, D.C. motor vehicle accident attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen will immediately begin investigating your case while the evidence is still fresh to ensure that your claim is brought in a timely — and effective — manner. We have the tenacity and resources to pursue liability against all of the parties that were responsible for causing your harm or loss. To set up a free consultation regarding your claim, call us toll-free at (800) 654-1949, or you can contact us online.

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