Code of the District of Columbia

§ 31–2401. Findings; purpose.

(a) Findings. — The Council of the District of Columbia finds that:

(1) Motorists, motor vehicle passengers, and pedestrians in the District are not adequately protected, by current law and practice, from the consequences of motor vehicle accidents.

(2) If a person suffers personal injuries because of an accident involving a motor vehicle in the District, he or she is unlikely to recover the amount of his or her actual losses because:

(A) Approximately 50% of the victims do not satisfy the prerequisites to compensation under the present law;

(B) Approximately 40% of the operators in the District do not maintain any motor vehicle insurance or have other financial resources sufficient to pay losses;

(C) The average motor vehicle insurance policy in the District will pay only up to $10,000 for the personal injuries of any 1 victim, a sum that is insufficient to compensate adequately a victim with serious injuries; and

(D) Satisfaction of the prerequisites to compensation under the present law is time-consuming and expensive to policyholders because a victim must establish that the accident was the fault of another person; that the person injured was free from contributory fault; and that the injuries suffered were the natural and probable consequences of the accident.

(3) Far greater protection to victims of motor vehicle accidents is available at a lower price than that afforded for coverage currently available.

(4) The purchase of this better insurance protection should be compulsory because of the great potential of a motor vehicle to cause personal injury.

(b) Purpose. — It is the purpose of this chapter to provide adequate protection for victims who are injured in the District or who are injured while riding in motor vehicles registered or operated in the District.