Legal Memorandum: Accident as defined by the court

Issue: Under Illinois law, how do courts determine what is an ‘accident’?

Area of Law: Personal Injury
Keywords: ; Accident; Unforeseen; Unexpected; Injury; Intent; Consequence; Natural
Jurisdiction: Illinois
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 03/01/2016

[C]ourts have defined an accident as "an unforeseen occurrence, usually of an untoward or disastrous character or an undersigned [sic] sudden or unexpected event of an inflictive or unfortunate character." (internal quotation marks omitted.) Monticello Insurance Co. v. Wil-Freds Construction, Inc., 277 Ill.App.3d 697, 703 (1996). "The focus of the inquiry in determining whether an occurrence is an accident is whether the injury is expected or intended by the insured, not whether the acts were performed intentionally." (Emphasis in the original.) Lyons v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., 349 Ill.App.3d 404, 409 (2004). "The natural and ordinary consequences of an act do not constitute an accident." Aetna Casualty & Surety Co. v. Freyer, 89 Ill.App.3d 617, 619 (1980).

Travelers Personal Ins. Co. v. Edwards, 2016.IL.141595 (Ill. App. Dist. 1. Jan. 29, 2016).

Date: March 1, 2016

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