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3.7-14  Negligence - Un/Under-Insured Motorist

Revised to January 1, 2008

The plaintiff has brought this action against the defendant, (his/her) own insurance company, under coverage known as uninsured / underinsured motorist coverage.  The purpose of such insurance is to provide compensation to the plaintiff for the damages that would have been recoverable if the uninsured / underinsured motorist, <defendant's name>, [or the unknown driver of the other car] had maintained an insurance policy to adequately cover the plaintiff's losses from this collision.  For this defendant to be liable to the plaintiff, the plaintiff must show that the other driver was negligent, that the negligence caused injury to the plaintiff and that the other driver did not have (any / adequate) insurance.

The defendant has stipulated that the plaintiff's insurance policy with the defendant provides this type of coverage and that the policy was in full force and effect, and thus you need not concern yourself with the specifics of the policy.

[<If there is no stipulation on negligence:>  Rather, you must determine if the plaintiff has proved that the other driver was negligent, whether any such negligence caused injury to the plaintiff, and if so, what amount of money will fully and fairly compensate the plaintiff.  <See Negligence - Definition, Instruction 3.6-1, Proximate Cause - Definition, Instruction 3.1-3, and Damages - General, Instruction, 3.4-1.>]

[<If there is a stipulation on negligence:>  The defendant has agreed that the other driver was negligent and caused the accident, and thus you need not concern yourself with the question of who caused the accident.  Rather, your only task is to determine whether the plaintiff suffered injury as a result of the accident and, if so, what amount of money will fully and fairly compensate the plaintiff.  <See Damages - General, Instruction 3.4-1.>]

[<If there is evidence of underinsurance:

<Select one of the following as appropriate:>

  • You have heard testimony that the plaintiff has already received some compensation from the other driver.

  • The fact that the plaintiff is suing <name of insurance company> for underinsured motorist benefits suggests that the other driver had some insurance which was paid out to the plaintiff. 

If you determine that the plaintiff was injured as a result of the negligence of the other driver, and awarded damages from the defendant insurance company, the plaintiff will not receive compensation twice for the same injuries.  Your task is to determine whether the plaintiff is entitled to an award of damages and, if so, in what amount.  After you determine the full amount to which the plaintiff is entitled, I will make any necessary mathematical calculations after your verdict to adjust for any sums the plaintiff may already have received.]

Notes

If there is no contest over the terms of the defendant's insurance policy, the policy and the coverage limits are not admissible.  Evidence of the amount of coverage in the insurance contract or the amount of recovery from the tortfeasor are deemed irrelevant to the jury's determination of damages.  Fahey v. Safeco Insurance Company, 49 Conn. App. 306, 314-15 (1998).
 


 

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