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Insurance coverage for injuries sustained when using the vehicle as a vehicle in Virginia


July 13, 2023 by Tom Roberts, Esq.

In Virginia, there is coverage under the automobile insurance when injuries occur from the use of a vehicle even if that use is not related to the transportation function.  The vehicle use need not be the direct, proximate cause of the injury as long as there is a a causal connection between the accident or injury and the use of the vehicle as a vehicle.  For example coverage exists where 

  1. a nonowner was injured replacing a tire
  2. a person was injured loading the vehicle – it was a car-loading accident that occurred in a car-loading area and involved car-loading equipment. USAA V ESTEP -CT. APP.  2023

Examples where there was no coverage – 

  1. assault on a bus – the court finding that the bus was merely the situs of the attack – Corriveau ex rel. Ballagh v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 298 Va. 273, 278 (2019) 
  2. injuries suffered by the victim of an abduction and sexual assault within a stolen vehicle did not arise from the use of that vehicle as a means of transportation – Doe v. State Farm Fire and Cas. Co., 878 F. Supp. 862, 865-67 (E.D. Va. 1995)

Claimed insurance losses “are not vehicle-caused when the proximate cause is merely incidental or tangential to the ownership, maintenance, or use of the vehicle.


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