WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Crash Compensation Bill Expected To Die In D.C. Council Committee Again

Play associated audio
Under D.C. law, if you're found to be even the tiniest bit responsible for a crash, you can't receive compensation.
Inal Uygur via Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/oh8H7t
Under D.C. law, if you're found to be even the tiniest bit responsible for a crash, you can't receive compensation.

It appears legislation to help cyclists and pedestrians receive compensation for crash injuries will stall before a D.C. Council committee on Friday.

Council member Tommy Wells wants to change a law that allows insurance companies to deny a claim if the cyclist or pedestrian is found to be even 1 percent at fault. It will be the third effort to eliminate the "contributory negligence" provision, but Wells doesn't expect the bill to make it through the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee.

"I don't see the votes there, but I am going to give the committee a chance to speak to it, and see what they will do," Wells (D-Ward 6) says. "But I expect what they will do is table is a procedural tactic which is to table it or postpone it, and then it dies at the end of the session."

Wells' bill is opposed by the insurance industry.

"Well, we just don't think this legislation is the right way to go, creating a separate class — this vulnerable class — for liability," says Wayne McOwen with the District of Columbia Insurance Federation.

Another member of the committee, Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3), says she cannot support the legislation in its current form. It would compromise crash victims' ability — especially in major accidents — to be fully compensated if they are injured by more than one person, she says.

Her stance may prove decisive on the five-member committee.


Remembering Robert Swanson, Advertising's 'King Of Jingles'

Robert Swanson revolutionized American advertising and wrote some of the most memorable ad jingles of the 1950s and '60s for products ranging from Campbell's Soup to Pall Mall cigarettes. He died at 95 July 17 at his home in Phoenix, Ariz.

In Alaska's Remote Towns, Climate Change Is Already Leaving Many Hungry

Melting ice has made it harder to hunt walrus, a traditional staple for Native Alaskans. Warmer temps mean caribou aren't where hunters used to find them. It all adds up to more food insecurity.
WAMU 88.5

Democratic National Convention Day Two: Uniting The Party

An update on day two of the Democratic convention: Bill Clinton takes the stage and ongoing efforts by party leaders to build unity.

WAMU 88.5

How To Help Teens And Children Fight 'Tech Addiction'

Many parents and therapists say obsessive internet use is a very real problem for some teens and children. But the term “internet addiction” is controversial and not officially recognized as a disorder. How to help kids who compulsively use computers and mobile technology.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.