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Auto Insurance Coverage for Underage Drivers

Age and gender are two of the criteria used by insurers in the process of determining risks in the writing of motor vehicle insurance policies. As a result, auto insurance policies sometimes contain provisions that exclude from coverage incidents that occur while a covered vehicle is being operated by a driver under a specified age, or by a male driver under a specified age. Questions of coverage arise when as is inevitable, such incidents of operation by underage drivers take place and result in injury or property damage.

Coverage for Hit-and-Run Accidents

A typical hit-and-run accident is a collision between two vehicles, and one of them leaves the accident scene. However, there are other types of hit-and-run accidents. A hit-and-run accident may also involve chain reaction accidents, flying auto parts, auto debris on the road, and objects thrown or shot from other vehicles.

Disclosure Obligations and Motor Vehicle Insurance Policies

Automobile insurance policies may have a clause that requires an insured to disclosure information to his or her insurance company that would allow the insurance company to determine if there is a valid defense to a claim against the insured. This disclosure obligation, which could be part of an insurance policy’s cooperation and assistance provision, requires the insured to make a truthful disclosure of all information reasonably requested by the insurance company.

No-fault Coverage

No-fault insurance coverage essentially provides a less expansive insurance coverage than that of the traditional system, limiting the right of parties to bring traditional fault-based legal actions and the availability of certain types of damages that cannot be directly measured in economic terms, such as damages for what the law terms “pain and suffering,” which often make up the bulk of the damages awarded in a traditional court action. In return, the no-fault system attempts to indemnify persons who have suffered personal injury or property damage in an auto accident more quickly and efficiently than can be accomplished by traditional methods, and also to reduce costs for all the participants in the insurance system. No-fault insurance laws often contain exceptions to their limitations on coverage and allow the bringing of traditional court actions in cases in which serious injuries are involved.

Tort Liability for Highway Maintenance

The massive collapse of an interstate highway bridge in Minnesota in 2007 has served as a stark reminder of the problems created by the aging infrastructure in the United States. Numerous less dramatic examples of the consequences of failure to maintain properly and repair highways and associated structures, such as bridges and tunnels have led to the bringing of legal actions claiming damages for deaths, personal injuries, or property damage caused by such occurrences. Such actions can involve both governmental units and contractors who perform highway repair and maintenance work on behalf of those governmental units.

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