A 78 year old man on his way to buy donuts was killed when he was struck
by a police cruiser involved in the active pursuit of a criminal suspect.
The Whitehall police officer was also injured in this accident.
Rourke and Blumenthal extends our condolences to the family of the man killed in this crash
as well as the police officer. Unfortunately, from a legal perspective,
the family of the man killed in this crash may be limited in their ability
to recover damages for his death even though he may not have been at fault
whatsoever for this tragic accident.
For public policy reasons, Ohio law generally does not allow police and
emergency responders to be held liable for causing injuries and/or death
in auto accidents so long as the cruiser or squad had its lights and sirens
on at the time of the crash. Since a recovery cannot be made against the
government in this situation, the logical next step is to turn to the
victim's own auto insurance company to make a claim through the uninsured
motorist coverage. The sole reason people purchase uninsured motorist
coverage as part of their automobile insurance is to cover them in situations
where they are injured by another driver through no fault of their own
and the other driver does not have insurance to cover the damages caused.
In an effort to avoid compensating their clients for injuries and even
the death of a loved one, insurance companies fight very hard to prevent
paying claims where their own clients are hurt by an emergency vehicle.
Insurance companies argue that, since their own client isn't legally
able to recover from the government because it was an emergency run, the
innocent client isn't allowed to recover from the insurance company
either. So much for insurance premiums and all those feel good insurance
commercials we see on TV all the time.
Read the entire article here.
We bring this issue to your attention in case you may want to talk to your
insurance agent about what your uninsured motorist coverage really covers.
Columbus personal injury attorneys also recommend that all concerned citizens bring this grossly unfair insurance
practice to the attention of their State Legislators as the only way it
will be changed is by legislation. Here are the sites that enable you
to identify and contact your state house of representative and senator: