Legal Question in Personal Injury in North Carolina

insured car, uninsured driver

I was involved in an auto accident in June 2002. The other driver was charged with failure to yield right of way. I suffered a broken ankle and many subsequent medical problems. The other driver was driving his mother's vehicle, registered to his mother in another state, while he was attending college in NC. His mother was insured but she specifically excluded her son from her policy. However, he was driving her car with her permission. I had to claim the loss of my car under my uninsured motorist coverage. Can I pursue a personal injury claim against the other insurance company even though the driver was not insured on his mother's policy with that company?

Asked on 1/13/04, 3:51 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

John Kirby Law Offices of John M. Kirby
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Re: insured car, uninsured driver

We probably need more information for this question. It may be determined by the law of the state where the mother lives. If we were to assume that NC law applied, or that the other state's vehicle insurance laws were similar, then the general answer should be that as a "permissive user," the son is an additional insured under the policy; I am not sure that he can be "excluded." (In fact, that terminology sounds odd here.) So, under these assumptions, you would be able to puruse him or her (and his insurer) for your injuries. The simplest approach, however, would be to submit the claim to your insurer (and your damages should generally be very similar), and perhaps the two insurers can "fight it out"; your uninsured (UM) insurer has an interest in establishing coverage under the other policy. You should probably consult a lawyer about this, especially as your injuries do not appear insignificant.

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1/13/04, 11:37 pm

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