A new bill going through the Oklahoma Senate in the USA has been criticised by a number of lawyers as being unfair.
It seems a provision in the new act will allow money from insurance and other sources to be subtracted from the total amount of compensation awarded to a plaintiff. Lawyers believe this to be unfair.
One lawyer James Dunn from Oklahoma City told reporters: “Why should a drunk driver or negligent person get credit?”, while another lawyer Clark Brewster remarked that he didn’t believe the new bill makes sense. He said: “Say you have an insurance policy that you are paying $1,500 a month to make sure you have medical insurance and another person is poor and doesn’t have the same policy.
“You get into the same accident. All the money you get from the insurance company offsets their liability to you so they don’t owe you anything because you are covered by insurance, even though you paid it.
“The other person does recover because they don’t have it. The defendant gets off scot-free if he hits the one who has insurance.”
The new bill however enjoys support from the Oklahoma State Medical Association and other groups. Ken King, who is the executive director of the Oklahoma State Medical Association, told reporters: “If they have recovered something, I am not sure how I see that is unfair,
These remarks were also supported by a fellow physician who is also president of a medical practitioners’ liability company. He said: “If I am being made whole for injuries … that needs to be made aware to people making the decision on how much someone should be awarded.”