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Shapiro & Appleton

Reckless Student Driver Sued

Do you wince when you see a vehicle with a sign that reads "Student Driver" while driving? Perhaps you should. More than 300 learner drivers and examiners were injured in car accidents last year.

A court recently ruled that a driving instructor could sue for injuries she sustained while administering a driving test. The decision by Missouri's Western District Court of Appeals overturns the ruling of a lower court, which held that the driver's license examiner took on the risk of injury when she accepted the job.

Patricia Ivey sustained a shoulder injury when a license applicant "slammed on the brakes" to avoid running a red light. Workplace injuries are normally covered by  workers' compensation law, but the Court of Appeals ruled that Ivey could sue Nicholson-McBride for negligence, noting that even unlicensed drivers are obliged to "operate their vehicles with the highest degree of care."



As a Virginia personal injury attorney I know that because of the sheer numbers of drivers in America that car insurance is a requirement. But while the states make sure that everyone on the road has at least minimum coverage, they do a very poor job in making sure that the insurance companies themselves live up to their financial obligations. On what is quite literally a daily basis, insurance companies delay payment, offer insufficient settlements before the crash victims fully understand the extent of their damages, or sometimes simply flat out deny any valid injury claims made against them. And this is how they act when they are dealing with their own policyholders. They are even worse when it comes to the claims of those that don't have policies with them.



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