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Insurance company may deny claim after pattern of violations

Drivers carry insurance to cover the expenses of property damage and medical care if they should be involved in an accident. If they keep their premiums current and file their claims according to the insurer's instructions, they may have little problem obtaining the funds they need after an accident, including for those losses another driver may have suffered. However, insurance company policies often have exclusions that may cause a claim to be rejected, and accidents may happen under circumstances that can invalidate a claim.

For example, if a company shows a pattern of safety violations on the road, it may find the insurance company is less likely to cover its claims. The insurer has the right to suspect that one more accident in a line of accidents could have been avoided if the company had taken the appropriate precautions before sending its drivers out. One New York company may be under just such scrutiny.

A local sanitation company has failed 65 percent of the inspections conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Those safety violations included failing to secure truck loads, driving on worn tires, failing to maintain the brake systems on their trucks and missing wheel fasteners. A recent New York accident adds one more mark to the dismal safety record when an enormous rear tire came off a sanitation truck and landed on the hood of a passing SUV, smashing into the windshield and crushing the driver.

In accidents like this one, the owners of the vehicle found to be liable for the accident may have a battle to obtain the coverage they believe they deserve from the insurance company. However, the insurance company may also have the right to deny the claim based on the past violations and depending on the language in the company's insurance policy. The insurer will find it helpful to seek legal advice from an experienced attorney if they wish to challenge the claim for coverage.

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