If someone is injured on your property and sues, you naturally expect your insurance company will cover any damages. But insurance policies are complex contracts often containing multiple exclusions, which could leave you on the hook for a large award. That is why it is important to understand every term used in an insurance policy, as any ambiguity may lead to litigation between you and the insurer over just what the policy covers. A recent decision by the Georgia Court of Appeals illustrates this problem in greater detail.
Partin v. Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company
The victim in this case was a 14-year-old girl visiting her mother’s boyfriend’s farm in Georgia. The boyfriend owned an all-terrain vehicle he used in the course of his farm work. He often allowed the girl to use the vehicle with his permission. On the day in question, the girl and one of her girlfriends had asked to use the ATV, but the owner refused because he was heading out to the store and did not want the girls driving the vehicle unsupervised. The girls ignored this, and after the owner left, they found the keys and took the vehicle out. While the girlfriend was driving, she lost control of the vehicle while attempting a curve, throwing her from the ATV and severely injuring her feet.