Okla. Senate Gives Backing to Bill to Help Victims of Uninsured Motorists

March 16, 2005

The Oklahoma Senate Communication Office reported that the state Senate approved Senate Bill 613 by State Senator Kathleen Wilcoxson, who said her bill to give assistance to victims of uninsured motorists is not a new concept. The Oklahoma City Republican said it is modeled after the state’s Victim’s Compensation Fund.

“When a person’s vehicle is struck by an uninsured motorist, that person has to rely on their own insurance company to cover the costs. But there is almost always some out of pocket expense—particularly the vehicle and medical insurance deductibles—and these expenses can be substantial,” Wilcoxson said. “This compensation fund will provide a source of financial aid to those with the greatest needs.”

Sen. Wilcoxson said the money for the fund would come from a $10.00 fee required of any vehicle impounded for violation of state law. There would also be a minimum assessment of $50 for failure to have insurance.

As with the Crime Victim’s Compensation Fund, there would be a process for determining whom would be eligible to receive funds and the amount awarded.

Wilcoxson noted, however, that a person would be eligible to receive compensation from the fund only if they were not at fault in the accident and were in full compliance of the law in terms of vehicle insurance and a driver’s license.

“Those guidelines are necessary because there will be a finite amount of money in the fund. But I believe this will create a way to help those with the greatest needs get the assistance they need to put their lives back together,” Wilcoxson said.

The measure now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

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