OKLAHOMA CITY – Tyler Brown was recently in a car accident.
“Before I knew it there were headlights coming at me and air bags where in my face,” he said. “The car is totaled. It completely ripped off the front corner panel of the car. One wheel is completely gone and my door is ripped off as well.”
Brown didn’t have any major injures but now has a huge headache on his hands because the driver who hit him was uninsured.
“After the deductible is taken out, I’m stuck owing $2,200 on a car that I don’t even have anymore,” he said.
But he’s not the only one paying out-of-pocket.
The Oklahoma Insurance Department said drivers in the state are spending $8.8 million a year, eating the cost for uninsured motorists.
Rep. Steve Vaughan District 37 (R) is introducing updated legislation hoping to mitigate this problem.
“You will be towed, that’s just what’s going to happen,” Rep. Vaughan said. “You and I pay an extra premium. We pay a higher cost for those who choose not to do it.”
House Bill 1276 changes the verbiage of the current law that gives law enforcement discretion over if a vehicle is towed.
If passed, any driver caught without insurance will have their vehicle towed immediately.
Attorney Joe Carson said it’s imperative that all drivers have uninsured motorist protection in their plan.
“One of my former clients who was injured will be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life and there is absolutely nothing that can be done for her,” he said “She is going to end up being on welfare, she’s going to cost tax payers money. If the driver had insurance it could have paid for some of her medical cost and her living expenses as a result of her injuries.”
Brown is using a relatives vehicle to get to work for now but hopes new legislation will help prevent situations like this.