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Student Walking to Board Bus Covered By Its Uninsured Motorist Insurance
Description An uninsured motorist struck a student who was walking to board a stopped school bus. Court held that this constituted use of the vehicle, so the uninsured motorist insurance of the bus covered the student.
Topic Insurance
Key Words Coverage; Vehicle Use; Uninsured Motorist
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts An uninsured motorist improperly passed a stopped school bus, striking a student who was 140 feet from the bus and approaching to get on it. The student sued the insurer of the bus for uninsured motorist coverage. Trial court held for insurer, holding that the student was not using or occupying the bus at the time of the accident. Student appealed.
Decision Reversed. A student walking to board a parked school bus that was waiting for them, was using the bus and, therefore, was entitled to uninsured motorist benefits from the insurer of the bus. "Clearly, not all preparations to board a covered vehicle, no matter how remote, should be held to constitute 'use' of the vehicle in question. Nevertheless, the courts are fully capable of establishing reasonable parameters in this regard, and the difficulty of proving use of a covered vehicle in some cases should not lead this Court to draw artificial and arbitrary distinctions in all cases."
Citation Johnson v. United States Fidelity & Guaranty Insurance Co., 1998 WL 784848 (Slip Copy, Sup. Ct., Miss., 1998)
726 So.2d 167 (Sup. Ct., Miss., 1999)

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