Injury Law Alert: Why a Victim Can Be Worse Off If Someone Else Injured Him On Purpose, Rather Than in an Accident.
Here’s a summary of a recent injury law case.
A high school student named Damon suffered a fractured jaw. Steven, a fellow member of the wrestling team, punched him. Steven did not intend the precise injury. But Steven never disputed that he intentionally inflicted the blow.
Damon sued Steven. Steven testified he was angry. He came up from behind and struck Damon. Steven intended “to make him feel the sting of a punch.”
Steven’s parents submitted a claim under their homeowners’ insurance policy. They did not want to pay Damon any compensation out of their own pockets. But the insurer declined to cover the claim.
Why did the insurer decline? Because the insurance policy in question stated that it didn’t have to cover any injury “which is expected or intended by one or more insureds.”
Damon and Steven settled their lawsuit. Damon agreed that he would only seek payment from the insurer, not from Steven’s parents.
The insurer then filed a lawsuit. It asked a judge to declare that it didn’t have to pay anything. And that’s exactly what the judge ruled. The ruling was upheld on appeal.
The moral of the story is that, under most liability insurance policies, only accidents are covered. People generally aren’t insured against what they do intentionally.
Don’t Lose Hope if You’re A Victim
If you’re the victim of an intentional bad act, you may have trouble getting compensated. Many people do not have the resources to pay compensation to injury victims.
As with most legal rules, there may be an exception in any given injury law case. There also may be other parties, besides the wrongdoer, who could be sued. (For example, a school, for lack of proper supervision). And sometimes the perpetrator does have assets.
The law limits the time you have to sue. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney immediately if you’re ever hurt. Let the attorney determine if you can get compensation.
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