Insurance Companies Push to Deny Recovery to Fault-Free Passangers

A recent car crash involving a Hulbert family could leave some without means of a full recovery.  On March 7, 2012, members of the Whisenhunt family were involved in two-car collision near Tahlequah.  Muskogee’s Air Evac and Tulsa Lifeflight were called to transport the injured parties to a Tulsa hospital.  According to a story published by the Tahlequah Daily Press, several family members sustained serious injuries.   Story here: Victims of Car Crash Remain Hospitalized.

Without knowing details of the accident, it brings to mind a statute recently passed as part of Oklahoma’s tort reform measure.  In 2011, the Oklahoma Legislature enacted 47 O.S. Section 7-116 which prevents a fault-free passenger injured in an auto accident from recovering non-economic damages if that passenger owed the car and had not complied with the state’s compulsory insurance law.  The law makes no exception for situations where the actual driver had coverage in fact.

In other words, the Legislature has enacted a law that will deny recovery to a fault-free victim in a auto accident even in cases where all the drivers had fully complied with the State’s insurance law.