Determining “Use” of an Automobile

Using the duty/risk analysis, it must be determined whether the insured’s conduct of which the plaintiff complains is a legal cause of the accident. If so, then it must be determined whether the insured’s conduct arose out of the “use” of an automobile. In order for the insured’s conduct to arise out of “use,” the automobile must be essential to the theory of liability being asserted against the insured. The specific duty breached by the insured must flow from “use” of the automobile. If the specific duty breached by the insured existed independently of the “use” of the automobile, then liability does not arise out of “use” even though the insured’s duty could have been performed by use of an automobile. In the final analysis, common sense must be utilized in making the determination of whether “use” of the automobile is an essential ingredient of the duty breached by the insured. McKenzie & Johnston, Louisiana Civil Law Treatise, Insurance (West).

Contact Information