Bike and Pedestrian Advocates Rejoice: 'Contributory Negligence' on its Way Out in D.C.

A new law with the support of the mayor and an initial approval by the D.C. council will make it easier for bicyclists and pedestrians to collect insurance after a crash with a motor vehicle.

1 minute read

August 2, 2016, 10:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

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Andrew Giambrone reports on a victory for pedestrian and bike advocates, after Washington, D.C. has made progress toward adopting the Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act [pdf] into law.

The Washington, D.C. Council voted unanimously to upvote the act, with a second vote expected in September. Existing D.C. law allows for bicyclists and pedestrians to collect insurance after a collision only if the driver in the crash was 100 percent at fault.

As a separate article by Luz Lazo on the new legislation explains, the new law gives "[b]icyclists and pedestrians in the District could soon have a greater chance of recouping a share of medical bills and other costs after a crash."

"The legislation would give bicyclists the right to argue fault in shades of gray with insurance companies and juries, giving them a greater shot at collecting damages," adds Lazo.

Both Lazo and Giambrione note that insurance groups like AAA Mid-Atlantic oppose the new law.

An article by Eillie Anzilotti earlier in July surveyed the places where contributory negligence was still the law of the land, including Washington, D.C., Virginia, North Carolina, and Alabama.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016 in Washington City Paper

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