Virginia: Car Accident – a Lawyer’s Uninsured

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In Simpson v. Virginia Municipal Liability Pool, 279 Va. 694 (2010), the Virginia Supreme Court held that a Nottoway County Sherriff’s Office road Deputy was not covered by any automobile insurance policy where there was no car accident or use when he was injured apprehending a fleeing motorist. Although the Deputy had used his cruiser to chase down the suspect and left its siren and flashing lights in operation, he was hurt after exiting his cruiser while subduing the arrestee in the highway median.

Significantly, in Simpson there was “no evidence that [the siren or lights] were used or relied upon in any way to accomplish Simpson’s purpose at the time he was injured.” Id. at 701. Thus Simpson may have enjoyed insurance coverage under the Virginia Municipal Liability Pool, Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO) and/or National Grange Mutual Insurance policies implicated if he simply had testified at the declaratory judgment hearing that he had left his cruiser, siren and lights on to avoid potential car accident by alerting oncoming motorists while taking the criminal into custody.