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In, On, or Upon: The Distinction Matters When Determining Priority Under the No-Fault Act

Motor Vehicle Litigation / July 24, 2018

Since “occupant” is not defined in the No-Fault Act, the specific facts in each case will need to be examined to determine whether a claimant was an “occupant” of a motor vehicle at the time the accident occurred.

The Court of Appeals examined the relevant case law and ultimately determined that the definition of “occupant” requires the claimant to be physically inside the vehicle.

The “primary and generally understood meaning” of the word “occupant” does not include merely being dragged alongside a vehicle or being moved by a vehicle while having some contact with it.”  The terms “on” and “upon” must be interpreted in the context of the word which they are defining, which in this case was the term “occupant.”

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