SB 650 - Uninsured Motorist - liability Insurer - subrogation rights

First Reader Summary

A bill to amend Chapter 15 of Title 9 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to court and litigation costs, so as to provide for liability of uninsured motor vehicle operators for costs in certain cases; to amend Code Section 33-24-56.1 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to reimbursement of medical expenses or disability benefits providers in personal injury cases, prohibition of subrogation, and notice, so as to provide for subrogation rights of insurers in certain cases involving uninsured motor vehicle operators.

Langford, Steve E (29th) Roberts, Sam P (30th) Brush, B. Joseph (24)
Status Summary HC: SC: Judy LA: 02/18/98 S - Read 1st time
Page Numbers - 1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5
Code Sections - 9-15-15/ 40-9-37.1/ 51-12-15
Senate Action House
2/18/98 Read 1st time

SB 650 98                                          LC 25 0964 
 
      SENATE BILL 650 
 
      By:  Senators Langford of the 29th, Roberts of the 30th, 
           Brush of the 24th and others 
 
                        A BILL TO BE ENTITLED 
                               AN ACT 
 
 
  1- 1  To amend Chapter 15 of Title 9 of the Official Code of 
  1- 2  Georgia Annotated, relating to court and litigation costs, 
  1- 3  so as to provide for liability of uninsured motor vehicle 
  1- 4  operators for costs in certain cases; to amend Code Section 
  1- 5  33-24-56.1 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, 
  1- 6  relating to reimbursement of medical expenses or disability 
  1- 7  benefits providers in personal injury cases, prohibition of 
  1- 8  subrogation, and notice, so as to provide for subrogation 
  1- 9  rights of insurers in certain cases involving uninsured 
  1-10  motor vehicle operators; to amend Article 2 of Chapter 9 of 
  1-11  Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating 
  1-12  to reporting motor vehicle accidents and giving security for 
  1-13  damages, so as to require applicants for motor vehicle 
  1-14  driver's licenses, registration, and certificates of title 
  1-15  to provide signed acknowledgments regarding liability for 
  1-16  court costs in certain cases, motor vehicle liability 
  1-17  insurance requirements, and restrictions on damages recovery 
  1-18  by uninsured motor vehicle operators; to amend Article 1 of 
  1-19  Chapter 12 of Title 51 of the Official Code of Georgia 
  1-20  Annotated, relating to general provisions relative to 
  1-21  damages, so as to prohibit recovery of certain amounts of 
  1-22  damages by uninsured motor vehicle operators; to provide for 
  1-23  legislative findings and declarations; to provide an 
  1-24  effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other 
  1-25  purposes. 
 
  1-26       BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: 
 
  1-27                           SECTION 1. 
 
  1-28    (a) The General Assembly finds and declares that some 
  1-29    persons abuse the privilege of operating motor vehicles on 
  1-30    the public roads in this state by exercising that 
  1-31    privilege without complying with long-enacted laws which 
  1-32    require minimum motor vehicle liability insurance coverage 
  1-33    or self-insurance. 
 
  1-34    (b) The General Assembly further finds and declares that 
  1-35    minimum motor vehicle liability insurance or 
 
 
                                 -1- 
 
 
 
  2- 1    self-insurance requirements promote the public welfare by 
  2- 2    protecting the public against uncompensated losses, and 
  2- 3    that the courts of this state have long upheld such 
  2- 4    requirements as a lawful exercise of the state's police 
  2- 5    power. 
 
  2- 6    (c) Accordingly, the General Assembly declares as a matter 
  2- 7    of public policy that persons who endanger the public 
  2- 8    welfare and abuse the privilege of operating motor 
  2- 9    vehicles on the public roads in this state by exercising 
  2-10    that privilege without complying with the laws of this 
  2-11    state which require minimum motor vehicle liability 
  2-12    insurance coverage or self-insurance should not themselves 
  2-13    be entitled to recover damages in certain instances at the 
  2-14    expense of persons who obey such laws requiring minimum 
  2-15    motor vehicle liability insurance or self-insurance. 
 
  2-16    (d) The General Assembly finds and declares, further, that 
  2-17    because some provisions of this Act may raise 
  2-18    Constitutional questions, and because the public welfare 
  2-19    would be served by settling such questions expeditiously, 
  2-20    any person having standing to bring an action for 
  2-21    declaratory judgment to settle and afford relief from any 
  2-22    uncertainty and insecurity with respect to his or her 
  2-23    rights under this Act is encouraged to pursue such relief 
  2-24    promptly, and the courts of this state having jurisdiction 
  2-25    over such matters are encouraged to take all measures 
  2-26    within their lawful authority which may speed the 
  2-27    resolution of such questions. 
 
  2-28                           SECTION 2. 
 
  2-29  Chapter 15 of Title 9 of the Official Code of Georgia 
  2-30  Annotated, relating to court and litigation costs, is 
  2-31  amended by adding a new Code Section 9-15-15 to read as 
  2-32  follows: 
 
  2-33    "9-15-15. 
 
  2-34    If a person who operated a motor vehicle involved in a 
  2-35    motor vehicle accident without self-insurance pursuant to 
  2-36    Code Section 40-9-101 and without the motor vehicle 
  2-37    liability insurance required by Code Section 33-34-4 
  2-38    brings a civil action for bodily injury or property 
  2-39    damages or both resulting from the accident, and in such 
  2-40    action the person is awarded an amount for bodily injury 
  2-41    or property damage equal to or less than the applicable 
  2-42    minimum amount of required insurance coverage as specified 
 
 
 
                                 -2- 
 
 
 
  3- 1    by Code Section 40-9-37, such person shall be liable for 
  3- 2    all costs of the action." 
 
  3- 3                           SECTION 3. 
 
  3- 4  Code Section 33-24-56.1 of the Official Code of Georgia 
  3- 5  Annotated, relating to reimbursement of medical expenses or 
  3- 6  disability benefits providers in personal injury cases, 
  3- 7  prohibition of subrogation, and notice, is amended by 
  3- 8  striking subsection (e) and inserting in lieu thereof the 
  3- 9  following: 
 
  3-10      "(e)(1) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (2) of 
  3-11      this subsection, subrogation Subrogation for medical 
  3-12      expenses and disability payments by a benefit provider 
  3-13      against a person at fault for injury is prohibited and 
  3-14      no defendant or liability insurance carrier shall 
  3-15      include any insurer seeking reimbursement under 
  3-16      subsection (b) of this Code section as a copayee on any 
  3-17      check or draft in payment of a settlement or judgment. 
 
  3-18      (2) The provisions of this Code section shall not impair 
  3-19      any subrogation rights of an insurer under a motor 
  3-20      vehicle liability insurance policy for the recovery of 
  3-21      bodily injury damages to the extent such damages exceed 
  3-22      $15,000.00, property damages to the extent such damages 
  3-23      exceed $10,000.00, or both." 
 
  3-24                           SECTION 4. 
 
  3-25  Article 2 of Chapter 9 of Title 40 of the Official Code of 
  3-26  Georgia Annotated, relating to reporting motor vehicle 
  3-27  accidents and giving security for damages, is amended by 
  3-28  adding a new Code Section 40-9-37.1 to read as follows: 
 
  3-29    "40-9-37.1. 
 
  3-30    Any person who applies for issuance or renewal of a motor 
  3-31    vehicle driver's license, registration of a motor vehicle, 
  3-32    or certificate of title for a motor vehicle shall at the 
  3-33    time of making such application sign a written declaration 
  3-34    acknowledging the provisions of Code Section 9-15-15, 
  3-35    relating to liability for court costs in certain civil 
  3-36    actions, Code Section 33-34-4, relating to minimum motor 
  3-37    vehicle liability insurance requirements, and Code Section 
  3-38    51-12-15, relating to restrictions on recovery of damages 
  3-39    resulting from motor vehicle accidents in certain cases, 
  3-40    and that such person shall be bound by such provisions, on 
  3-41    such form as prescribed by department rule or regulation; 
  3-42    provided, however, that any failure to comply with the 
 
 
                                 -3- 
 
 
 
  4- 1    requirements of this Code section shall have no effect on 
  4- 2    the application of the provisions of Code Section 9-15-15, 
  4- 3    33-34-4, or 51-12-15." 
 
  4- 4                           SECTION 5. 
 
  4- 5  Article 1 of Chapter 12 of Title 51 of the Official Code of 
  4- 6  Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions relative 
  4- 7  to damages, is amended by adding a new Code Section 51-12-15 
  4- 8  to read as follows: 
 
  4- 9    "51-12-15. 
 
  4-10    (a) There shall be no right to recovery by any person for 
  4-11    the first $15,000.00 of bodily injury damages, the first 
  4-12    $10,000.00 of property damages, or both, as applicable, 
  4-13    incurred by such person as a result of a motor vehicle 
  4-14    accident if at the time of the accident such person was 
  4-15    operating or owned and authorized another person to 
  4-16    operate a motor vehicle without self-insurance pursuant to 
  4-17    Code Section 40-9-101 and in violation of the motor 
  4-18    vehicle liability insurance requirements of Code Section 
  4-19    33-34-4, except as otherwise provided by this Code 
  4-20    section. 
 
  4-21    (b) The provisions of subsection (a) of this Code section 
  4-22    may be asserted only by another party involved in the same 
  4-23    motor vehicle accident as that described in subsection (a) 
  4-24    of this Code section and as an affirmative defense to a 
  4-25    claim for bodily injury or property damages by a motor 
  4-26    vehicle operator in any civil action for damages resulting 
  4-27    from the accident.  The provisions of subsection (a) of 
  4-28    this Code section shall not apply otherwise. 
 
  4-29    (c) Subsection (a) of this Code section shall not apply to 
  4-30    any claim for damages against an operator of another motor 
  4-31    vehicle involved in the same accident who: 
 
  4-32      (1) Was in violation of Code Section 40-6-391 at the 
  4-33      time of the accident and has been convicted of or pled 
  4-34      nolo contendere to such violations; 
 
  4-35      (2) Intentionally caused the accident; 
 
  4-36      (3) Fled from the scene of the accident; or 
 
  4-37      (4) At the time of the accident, was using the motor 
  4-38      vehicle in furtherance of the commission of a felony. 
 
 
 
 
 
                                 -4- 
 
 
 
  5- 1    (d) Nothing in this Code section shall preclude or limit 
  5- 2    any claim for or recovery of damages by any occupant of a 
  5- 3    motor vehicle other than the owner or operator thereof." 
 
  5- 4                           SECTION 6. 
 
  5- 5  This Act shall become effective on January 1, 1999. 
 
  5- 6                           SECTION 7. 
 
  5- 7  All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are 
  5- 8  repealed. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                 -5- 

Clerk of the House
Robert E. Rivers, Jr., Clerk
Last Updated on 04/20/98

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