John M. Kirby
Prouse v. Bituminous Casualty Corp.
On August 7, 2012, the Court of Appeals held that a passenger injured by an object that fell from another vehicle (which departed the scene) cannot recover under an uninsured (hit and run) policy
In this case, a tire fell from a vehicle, which caused another driver to lose control of his vehicle, rolling over. A passenger in this latter vehicle sustained injury, and sought to recover under a Uninsured Motorist (UM) policy, under the “hit and run” portion of the policy. The Court ruled, however, that the statute requires a “collision between vehicles,” and that the policy did not provide coverage. This case followed another case in which a passenger similar argued that his injuries arising from striking a log in the road should be covered. The court in Prouse in this case rejected the distinction that the tire struck the following vehicle in one continuous motion, versus the vehicle striking the log that could have been in the road for an extended period of time. Prouse v. Bituminous Casualty Corp. applies North Carolina’s law of Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage.