Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin is expected to sign Senate Bill 272 into law. Senate Bill 272 limits the recovery of Plaintiffs to actual medical expenses, property damage and lost income; and, takes away the right to sue for pain and suffering, if the plaintiff failed to carry compulsory liability insurance. Effective date of the new law will be November 1, 2011.
A similar Bill was vetoed by Governor Brad Henry last year, however, the Oklahoma Legislature believes that twenty five percent of Oklahoma drivers are uninsured by virtue of refusing to purchase the compulsory liability insurance, thus, the legislature wants to punish everyone who doesn’t buy auto liability insurance by taking away their right to sue for pain and suffering.
The text of Senate Bill 272 is found below.
BILL NO. 272 By: Aldridge and Stanislawski of the Senate
Faught of the House
An Act relating to the Compulsory Insurance Law; limiting recovery for damages or claims against insurer for liability for motor vehicle accidents in certain circumstances; providing exceptions; providing for who may assert limitation; providing for codification; and providing an effective date.
SUBJECT: Compulsory Insurance Law
BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA:
SECTION 1. NEW LAW A new section of law to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 7-116 of Title 47, unless there is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows:
A. Except as provided in subsection B of this section, in any civil action to recover damages arising out of an accident involving the operation of a motor vehicle or for any claim against the motor vehicle liability insurance coverage of another party, the maximum amount that a plaintiff or claimant may receive, if the plaintiff or claimant is not in compliance with the Compulsory Insurance Law, shall be limited to the amount of medical costs, property damage, and lost income and shall not include any award for pain and suffering.
B. The limitations provided for in subsection A of this section shall not apply:
1. If the plaintiff or claimant was injured by a motorist who at the time of the accident was operating or using a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol in violation of any provision of law relating to the illegal operation or use of a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and that motorist:
a. was convicted of, or pled guilty or nolo contendere to, the offense, or
b. dies as a result of the accident if it is proven by a preponderance of the evidence that the motorist was operating or using the motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol in violation of any provision of law relating to the illegal operation or use of a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
2. If the plaintiff or claimant was a passenger in a motor vehicle involved in the accident, unless the plaintiff or claimant is an owner of the vehicle;
3. If the plaintiff or claimant was not in any motor vehicle involved in the accident;
4. To wrongful death claims;
5. If the motorist who caused the accident:
a. intentionally caused the accident,
b. left the scene of the accident, or
c. at the time of the accident, was acting in furtherance of the commission of a felony;
6. If, at the time of the accident, the plaintiff or claimant was claimed as a dependent on the federal income tax return of one or both parents of the plaintiff or claimant and the parent or parents were not in compliance with the Compulsory Insurance Law; or
7. If, at the time of the accident, the plaintiff or claimant previously had been covered by an insurance policy meeting the requirements of the Compulsory Insurance Law that was terminated or non-renewed for failure to pay the premium, unless at least thirty (30) days prior to the accident notice of termination was sent to the last-known mailing address of the policyholder.
C. Each person who is involved in the accident which is the basis for the action or claim by the plaintiff or claimant and who is found liable for damages to the plaintiff or claimant may assert the limitation of recovery provided for in subsection A of this section, unless the provisions of subsection B of this section apply. The motor vehicle liability insurer of the person asserting the limitation of recovery also may assert the limitation.
SECTION 2. This act shall become effective November 1, 2011.
Passed the Senate the 18th day of May, 2011.
Presiding Officer of the Senate
Passed the House of Representatives the 19th day of May, 2011.
Presiding Officer of the House of Representatives