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Washington State Insurance Court interprets "pedestrians" to include driving



Insurance law is seldom logical. People who ride bicycles are subject to vehicle laws, must stop a boulevard stop, must signal for turns and must follow all road rules. Yet when he was injured while cycling in the state of Washington and the rider's policy excludes injuries while on a vehicle, the court made the cyclist a pedestrian to provide coverage. Logic and the usual meaning of the term were violated in Todd Mclaughlin, a resident of Washington v. Travelers Commercial Insurance Company, a foreign company No. 97652-0, Supreme Court of the State of Washington (December 10,

Todd McLaughlin cycled on a Seattle street when the door of a parked vehicle opened right into him, McLaughlin fell, was injured and sought insurance coverage for various losses, including his medical expenses.

McLaughlin's insurance covered these expenses if McLaughlin was a "pedestrian" at Clerk & # 39; s Papers (CP) at 39. McLaughlin claims that a cyclist is a pedestrian and relies on the definition of "pedestrian" in Washington's accident insurance laws.

FACTS

McLaughlin lived previously in California and bought his car insurance there.This policy included medical payments, or MedPay coverage, which is similar to the PIP coverage required by Wa shingtons lag. It was asked to interpret the meaning of the undefined term "pedestrian" in McLaughlin's insurance. As explained below, according to McLaughlin's insurance, he was covered for medical payments, in the amount specified in the insurance, for his bicycle car accident if he qualified as a "pedestrian."

The trial court ruled that a cyclist is not a "pedestrian" and the policy provides no coverage. The Court of Appeals confirmed but relied heavily on its view that the Washington Charter, which defines pedestrians for accident insurance, excludes cyclists.

The policy defined "insured" in part as " You as a pedestrian when struck by [] a motor vehicle ." The policy did not define "pedestrian". common meaning of "pedestrian" someone who walks or runs on foot, as I do every day I strive for my constitutional.

Travelers denied coverage because McLaughlin was not a "pedestrian" under the policy. Travelers quoted definitions of "pedestrian" allegedly from the Vehicle Codes of Washington and California, both of which expressly exclude cyclists.

McLaughlin sued travelers for, among other things, allegations of breach of contract.The trial court did not agree that the ordinary and ordinary meaning of pedestrian does not include cyclist.The court granted Travelers' request for partial summary judgment and denied McLaughlin's. The Court of Appeal agreed. The only question for appeal to the Supreme Court was whether as the word "pedestrian" according to the insurance policy includes cyclists?

ANALYSIS

Washington's lawmakers have defined "accident insurance" for Washington accident insurance as follows: "pedestrian" means a natural person not occupying a motor vehicle as defined in RCW 46.04.320. "Here, McLaughlin's bicycle did not contain an engine and was thus not a motor vehicle. McLaughlin's injuries occurred while cycling on a Seattle street and was hit by an opening door to a parked car. He did not occupy a motor vehicle at the time of the accident. According to the noted charter, qualifies he considered himself a "pedestrian" at the time of the accident; consequently he was "a pedestrian… struck by [] a motor vehicle" which led to personal injury and thus an "insured" under the passenger policy.

the Court of Appeal considered it necessary to " harmonize the definition of "pedestrian" in RCW 48.22.005 (11) with RCW 46.04.400, which explicitly excludes cyclists from the definition of "pedestrian", which favors the latter charter. The Supreme Court found that courts in Washington have long recognized that relevant Since the state can regulate insurance, the closer the industry is affected by the public interest, the more statutory statutes are. r becomes part of the insurance policy. Thus, a valid charter becomes part of and should be read into the insurance policy.

For the Supreme Court's application of RCW 48.22.005 (11)'s definition of pedestrians here, Washington's strong general policy in favor of full compensation for medical benefits for victims of road accidents supports. The conclusion that the term "pedestrian" has several different meanings in the state of Washington, shows the vigorous debate in this case about the meaning of "pedestrian" that the term is receptive to more than a reasonable interpretation.

Furthermore, where several reasonable definitions of an undefined term in an insurance policy exist, (such as the various statutory definitions of pedestrians mentioned above, e . g ., RCW 48.22. 005 (11) (defines pedestrians in the context of non-life insurance), RCW 46.04.400 (defines pedestrians in the context of motor vehicles) and RCW 47.04.010 (23) (defines pedestrians in public roads and transport contexts)) courts adopt the definition that favors the insured the most

The Supreme Court therefore concluded that an insured under McLaughlin's insurance would expect coverage when he was injured in a collision with a car, regardless of whether the insured walked, skateboarded and used a wheel chacha. ir, standing on a sidewalk, sitting on a park bench, cycling or doing something else. The average buyer of insurance expects to be covered by this insurance when it is damaged by a car.

As the prevailing insured in this insurance case, McLaughlin is entitled to contributions.

The undefined term "pedestrian" in the insurance. the current agreement must be considered ambiguous in the light of the different definitions of "pedestrian" discussed in this opinion. As the Supreme Court was ambiguous, it concluded that it must interpret the insurance period positively for the insured. Consequently, we turn the Court of Appeal and detain for further proceedings.

This case, with the help of the finding of ambiguity, took shape over the content and allowed a desire to compensate an injured person in order to overcome common sense or logic. Because the legislature was less than clear about what constituted a pedestrian by defining it differently in different statutes. For example, which is not mentioned in the opinion, was Washington code 46.61.261 which stipulates that “The driver of a vehicle shall grant the right to all pedestrians, bicycles or personal delivery devices on a sidewalk. The cyclist must give the right to a pedestrian on a sidewalk or pedestrian crossing … ”which makes it clear that the state considers that there is a difference between a pedestrian and a person who rides a bicycle. The Supreme Court did so with the exception of insurance purposes. handling, insurance shortfall and insurance fraud almost equally for insurers and policyholders. He also acts as an arbitrator or mediator for insurance-related disputes. He practiced law in California for more than 44 years as an insurance coverage and claims lawyer and more than 52 years in the insurance industry. He is available at http://www.zalma.com and zalma@zalma.com.

Mr. Zalma is the first recipient of the first annual Claims Magazine / ACE Legend Award.

For the past 53 years, Barry Zalma has devoted his life to insurance, insurance claims and the need to defeat insurance fraud. He has created the following library of books and other materials to enable insurers and their indemnity staff to become professionals in insurance claims.

https://zalma.com/zalmas-insurance-fraud-letter-2/ Last read two issues of ZIFL here.

Go to Barry Zalma videos on Rumble.com at https://rumble.com/c/c-262921 [195659003] Read posts from Barry Zalma at https://parler.com/profile / Zalma / posts [19659003] Listen to the podcast: Zalma on insurance https://anchor.fm/dashboard/episodes Zalma on insurance

Go to Barry Zalma on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel / UCysiZklEtxZsSF9DfC0Expg] / [1965900Gotoinsuranceclaimslibrary-https://zalmacom/blog/insurance-claims-library/

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