THE CARNAGE OF UNINSURED MOTORISTS
By Devvy Kidd
April 28, 2003
Imagine being 27 years old, beautiful, gainfully employed making good money, and then one day your whole world gets turned upside down because you live in a state that refuses to enforce the law. You lose your job and life changes dramatically.
On May 28, 2002, the aforementioned young woman was rear ended on the freeway in LA. Since she was stopped because of another accident right next to her lane, this victim took the entire brunt of the forceful impact. The driver who hit her car turned out to be an uninsured Mexican, possibly an illegal, who attends UCLA and continues to drive the streets. Specialized medical treatment for this victim ran $375.00 per hour - up front.
Our victim then receives months of medical attention and on the way to her final appointment of specialized treatment, November 8, 2002, she is rear ended again at a stop sign. This driver is insured, but her mini van striking the car, reinjures the young woman. This driver's insurance company balks at paying any medical to the person their insured rear ended.
Our victim is still getting physical therapy, trying to recover from this battering to her body. On February 21, 2003, she is then broad sided by an illegal Mexican with no insurance who runs a red light. Thankfully, this uninsured illegal hit the passenger side of the vehicle. The damage is extensive this time. This illegal driver with no insurance has skipped back across the border, leaving behind the carnage of a battered body that is in constant pain.
Our victim has uninsured motorist coverage, but the insurance company, realizing they are going to be on the hook for settlement money as provided for in our victim's policy, is not cooperating. The parents of our battered victim then cough up five grand to retain legal counsel to protect her rights regarding settlements for these accidents; none have been settled yet.
How do I know so much about this case? Because the victim is my only child.
Is this an isolated case of an uninsured driver in California? Certainly not. Another case I have verified: Stay at home 29-year old mother of two. Husband works at a decent paying job. Unaware of how out of control the uninsured motorist problem is in California and living like so many today, paycheck to paycheck, they have no uninsured motorist coverage, just the minimum required.
Mother is driving on I-880 in Fremont, CA (SF Bay Area) with the two minor children. Wham! She is hit by an uninsured motorist who loses control of his truck, killing the mother and the daughter. The toddler son goes into a coma; after coming out of it, the brain damage is so severe, he will require specialized care the rest of his life. The father is devastated. He buries his wife and daughter and faces bankruptcy for costs ranging from the funerals to his son's future care. The driver of the vehicle who destroyed this family had no insurance. His justification was he couldn't afford it and feed his family, too. Instead, he's now on trial with a public defender for involuntary manslaughter. More lives destroyed.
Those who oppose mandatory auto insurance
There are many in the patriot' movement who are vehemently against mandatory automobile insurance. They maintain it's unconstitutional to force them to pay insurance in exchange for their God-given right to drive the roadways.
I fully understand their sentiments. However, then there is reality.
The 50 states of the Union have state legislatures that make the laws. The citizenry of those states elect representatives to their state house to pass laws that conform to their state constitutions for the benefit of the people. If enough of the citizens stand up to the legislatures and demand repeal or passage of certain laws, change occurs. That's how the process works. It doesn't work perfectly, how well we all know. But, the reason is because most people no longer involve themselves with what these scalawags and scoundrels are doing over at the state house. They just continue to line up like sheep and pay and pay and pay.
If people believe mandatory automobile insurance is unconstitutional, then they have to work to get the law overturned either legislatively or through the courts. It's not easy, but it can and does happen. Part of the problem with getting in an accident is lawsuits and the high cost of medical treatment, but those are arguments for another day.
The reality of the situation regarding automobile insurance, especially if one doesn't carry the uninsured motorist coverage, is without it, you and your family face not only bankruptcy, but there may be no money available to get the needed medical treatment after the accident. My daughter's uninsured motorist coverage contains a clause whereby she has a hefty medical account. Still, some of the treatment had to be paid for in advance and then the insurance company reimburses. How many people have $5,000 or $15,000 sitting around in their checking account to pay for this kind of unexpected emergency medical expense?
What are the odds of you being a victim of an uninsured motorist?
Here in California the numbers are astronomical. Statewide, over one third of drivers lack insurance--about 33 percent, according the California Department of Insurance. The figures skyrocket in low-income and minority city neighborhoods: nearly 50%. In San Jose, California, 55% of all drivers on the road have no insurance. Statewide, the problem is worst in the Los Angeles, Imperial, San Diego and Alameda counties. With the exception of Alameda, the uninsured rates in those counties reaches a whopping 90 percent range. Alameda County's worst neighborhood, Oakland, is 63 percent uninsured.
Just to put things in perspective: Statewide, every third car that goes by you - the driver has no insurance. In LA, one of the two cars involved in an accident, one has no insurance.
Additionally, in the LA basin, you can't even get an accident report by the police unless there's a bloody body or death. That's right. You can call the coppers, but they won't come unless a meat wagon has been called. In the case of my daughter's three accidents, they just told her to exchange information and go on her way; in their eyes she wasn't injured seriously enough to bother. If there is some dispute over responsibility for the accident, you're on your own with only your word against the other driver.
Equal protection under the law
The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees that everyone receives equal protection under the law. Now, either we all pay insurance or no one should pay insurance.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles is allowing this cancer to grow without taking any steps to enforce the law already on the books.
California actually has special automobile insurance programs for those folks who live on very fixed, low incomes. But, guess how many of those who can quality for reduction even bother to acquire coverage?
Associated Press Nov 30, 2000 by John Howard
Few taking advantage of new low-cost auto insurance program
"Five months after California launched its landmark program to provide auto insurance to low-income drivers, hardly anyone is taking advantage of it.
"The experimental low-cost policy, the first of its type in the nation, first was offered July 1 in Los Angeles and San Francisco counties. The three-year pilot project was approved by the Legislature and Gov. Gray Davis to reduce the number of uninsured drivers.
"But as of Oct. 31, the most recent period for which figures are available, 434 people have obtained the low-cost policies, almost all of them in Los Angeles, according to figures compiled by the state Insurance Department. In San Francisco, 12 people signed up."
This is why those of us who abide by the law are being fleeced in exorbitant rates. Our roadways are filled with illegals driving around and those who refuse to even take advantage of low cost insurance that the rest of us can't get because our incomes are "too high." It's not up to the Governor to reduce the number of uninsured motorists. It is the sole responsibility of the Department of Motor Vehicles to enforce existing laws.
Why the system doesn't work
There is no enforcement of existing laws. California's lawmakers and our Governor coddle and protect illegal aliens coming across the border from Mexico. Our Governor and legislature not only do nothing to stop this invasion, they go to extraordinary lengths to protect illegals. That's a fact.
Illegals running freely in this state purchase social security numbers off the street corners as well as driver's licenses. They drive around with phony documents and then when they cause accidents, they simply skip back across the border and wait for another opportunity to re-enter the U.S. and wreck more lives without fear of being prosecuted.
Illegals using counterfeit documents, and those who willfully choose to break the law, buy insurance using the pay-by-the-month plan to get away with driving without insurance. They buy an insurance policy with the promise to pay the monthly premium. They need this insurance to get a valid driver's license. I have absolutely no problem with this monthly payment plan as long as the individual follows through with their responsibility to maintain the policy.
However, this payment program is exactly how the uninsured drivers are getting away with sticking it to the rest of us: They go buy an insurance policy, make one payment, go to the DMV and get a four year license. Then, they never make another payment on the insurance policy and DMV here in California does nothing to follow up on individuals who no longer pay on their policy.
Back in 1992, the State of California stopped routinely checking drivers for insurance. Because of this lax policy, people simply choose to drive around with no insurance, hoping they won't get caught and can save a few bucks. The consequences of such choices have been described above.
Last August I had a sit down with Sen. Pete Knight over at the California State Legislature. He's one of the really good guys in office. While he agreed he could introduce a bill to close the loop hole in the law, he said it wouldn't get past senators like Sheila Kuehl. You see, here in California, the bleeding heart socialists (Democrats) run the State Legislature. Kuehl is a flaming lesbian who promotes every filthy, deviant behavior in the world. Isn't that just grand?
I spoke with several lawyers before I chose one to represent my daughter. A couple of them used to represent insurance companies as staff counsel. When I brought up the subject of going after the legislature and the DMV, their advice to me was to buy the maximum uninsured motorist policy available. Isn't that just grand? What a solution.
My daughter and I both have insurance through USAA which provides auto and home insurance for retired military officers and their families. I have written to the CEO of USAA asking him to help me file a lawsuit against the California Department of Motor Vehicles for negligence in performance of mandatory duties as stated by the law. The only way to get the DMV to enforce the law is to sue them. All I got back was a letter telling me they're sorry I'm not happy with the treatment of my daughter. However, they don't seem to mind taking $3,000 a year from me in premiums. Very disappointing.
The insurance companies appear to have no real interest in cleaning up this mess. On March 18, 2003, while sitting in a meeting with my daughter and the senior claims analyst at USAA, she stated that USAA would do "little to nothing" to go after the illegals who plowed into Brandy. How reassuring for the criminals who break the law. But, just look at things from the standpoint of the insurance carriers: If everyone buys the maximum coverage for uninsured motorists under their existing policy, the insurance companies make more money!
This reminds me of an incident back in 1998. Someone broke into my car parked in our driveway; it had to have occurred during the night. Thieves punched a hole in the door lock and rummaged through the glove box. The police said the object was to find auto insurance documents, car registration, a checkbook and hopefully, something with a social security number on it. You see, this is a multi-billion dollar a year industry. Fortunately, neither our registration nor our insurance policy (which were stolen) carried our SSNs.
The police also refused to come over and finger print my vehicle (the crime scene). They said they didn't have time. How reassuring for the criminals. Why should they worry about getting caught if they leave fingerprints? The police are too busy to dust for them. Isn't that just grand?
Is it any wonder so many productive individuals are moving out of California? People are sick to death of supporting illegals and being the victims of broken systems that the State refuses to fix. However, the number of illegals and people who refuse to obtain mandatory auto insurance is growing in other states. Texas: Approximately 27% of drivers are uninsured. Florida: 15-25%. Colorado: 32%. Check your state and see what you find and then go out and buy the maximum uninsured motorist policy you can find to protect your family and assets. Your insurance company appreciates the extra business!
Pressure the lawmakers and the insurance carriers
Nothing will change until the people of California get on talk radio and put the pressure on the California State Legislature to close the loop holes in the law and boot out the illegal aliens flooding across our border at will. In the meantime, insurance rates will continue to get higher and higher as the wave of uninsured motorists continues to grow. So will the carnage left behind by these uninsured motorists.
We all see the wrecks along the freeways. Here in California your chances of getting hit by an uninsured driver are better than one in three. In LA, it's one in two. Think the tragedy described earlier can't happen to you and your family while motoring over to Disneyland or the gas station? Think again. Lives are forever changed in a heart beat.
My greatest fear is the thought that the next uninsured driver (legal resident or illegal alien) driving around LA will kill my daughter, while the biggest concern for a California State Senator is how many new laws she can introduce to protect the "rights" of Sodomites.
© 2003 Devvy Kidd - All Rights Reserved