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Uninsured Motorist Coverage Does Not Apply To Accident Caused by Hit-and-Run Car That Did Not Strike Insured
Description Appeals court upheld a trial court decision denying coverage to a motorist by his insurer. The motorist was struck by a truck that was forced into them by a hit-and-run third party. Since the third party did not strike the insured vehicle, the uninsured motorist coverage did not apply.
Topic Insurance
Key Words Uninsured Motorist; Third Parties; Hit-and-Run
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Blain was driving his semi-truck near an exit on an Interstate highway when, he claims, an unidentified car hit his left-front tire, forcing him to move into the next lane, where he struck a car driven by Smith. Smith sued Blain for negligence and sued his insurer, General Casualty, as his uninsured motor vehicle carrier. General moved for summary judgment, as its policy would not provide coverage to Smith because there was no "hit" or contact between the unidentified motor vehicle and the Smith vehicle. The court granted summary judgment. Smith appealed.
Decision Affirmed. The uninsured motorist statute did not mandate coverage for driver of an insured third vehicle involved in a hit-and-run chain reaction accident, in the absence of physical contact between the hit-and-run vehicle and the insured vehicle. "This conclusion is consistent with the policy underlying the physical contact requirement, including prevention of fraudulent claims."
Citation Smith v. General Casualty Insurance Co., 601 N.W.2d 844 (Ct. App., Wisc., 1999)

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