Death by Accidental Means Law and Legal Definition

Death by accidental means refers to death caused by some act of the deceased not designed by him, or not intentionally done by him. [Ogilvie v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., 189 Cal. 406, 412 (Cal. 1922)].

The difference between accidental death and death by accidental means is that, a person may do a certain act the result of which act may produce unforeseen consequences, and may produce what is commonly called accidental death, but the means are exactly what the man intended to use, and did use, and was prepared to use. [Fidelity & Casualty Co. v. Stacey's Ex'rs, 143 F. 271, 274 (4th Cir. S.C. 1906)].

A death resulting from sunstroke, the insured having under normal conditions voluntarily exposed himself to the sun while playing golf, is not within the meaning of a policy insuring against death effected solely by external and accidental means. [Landress v. Phoenix Mut. Life Ins. Co., 291 U.S. 491 (U.S. 1934)].