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.
Underinsured motorist and uninsured motorist provisions in auto insurance policies often contain language stating that the underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage will not become available until the policy limits of all insurance policies that are applicable to the accident have been exhausted by the payment of judgments or settlements. Such exhaustion requirements are included in the policy because of the substitute or supplemental nature of the coverage and the understandable desire of the insurer to assure that all other available coverage has been applied before it is obligated to pay benefits under the underinsured or uninsured motorist provisions of the policy.
When a person, who is injured in an automobile accident, needs an attorney to file a lawsuit against those who caused the person's injuries, the attorney's fees could prevent the injured person from proceeding. Most injured persons cannot afford to pay an attorney's hourly fee to bring a lawsuit to recover damages that could include medical expenses, lost wages, pain, future medical needs, and other expenses. To make litigation affordable for an injured person, attorneys in automobile accident cases do not charge an hourly rate or a fixed amount for legal fees. Instead, the attorney and injured person agree that the attorney's fee will be determined by the amount of the settlement awarded to the client. This is called a contingency fee arrangement.
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.
Mass transit vehicles such as buses play an important role in carrying out the necessary activity of enabling the residents of the United States to conduct their public and private business. The sheer volume of human activity involved in mass transit operations, and the number and types of vehicles employed in mass transit around the country, create numerous issues related to the motor vehicle insurance aspects of the mass transit business.