By: Allan M. Siegel
Mayor Bowser recently signed into law the much-anticipated Motor Vehicle
Collision Recovery Act of 2016. The act will provide additional protections
to the legal claims of pedestrians, cyclists and other ‘non-motorized
users’ injured in a collision with a motor vehicle. ‘Non-motorized
users’ include people on skateboards, non-motorized scooters, Segways,
tricycles, and other similar ‘non-powered transportation devices.’
The act will limit the application of
contributory negligence law to non-motorized DC resident and visitors’ claims. Contributory
negligence is an old law that significantly limits a crash victim’s
ability to seek compensation. For example, under contributory negligence
law, if a person were on foot, hit by a truck, and found to be just 1%
at fault for the collision-that individual would not be eligible for compensation.
Once officially enacted, the Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act will
change this outdated law. For example, under the new law, if a pedestrian
or cyclist is found to be less than 50% liable for the collision, they
may seek compensation for their injuries.
It is of note that this law does not affect the legal application of the ‘Last Chance Doctrine’ on these cases.
On October 13, 2016 the Act was sent to Congress for review, and the projected
law date is now in mid-December of 2016. The attorneys of Chaikin, Sherman,
Cammarata & Siegel are always closely monitoring the law and how any
changes may affect those injured in a
vehicular collision. Please
call today for a free consultation.