| Home > 105th Congressional Bills > S. 2455 (is) To amend the Railroad Retirement Act of 1974 to prevent the canceling of annuities to certain divorced spouses of workers whose widows elect to receive lump sum payments. ...
S. 2455 (is) To amend the Railroad Retirement Act of 1974 to prevent the canceling of annuities to certain divorced spouses of workers whose widows elect to receive lump sum payments. ...
Calendar No. 568 105th CONGRESS 2d Session S. 2454 _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To provide for competition between forms of motor vehicle insurance, to permit an owner of a motor vehicle to choose the most appropriate form of insurance for that person, to guarantee affordable premiums, to provide for more adequate and timely compensation for accident victims, and for other purposes. _______________________________________________________________________ September 10, 1998 Read the second time and placed on the calendar Calendar No. 568 105th CONGRESS 2d Session S. 2454 To provide for competition between forms of motor vehicle insurance, to permit an owner of a motor vehicle to choose the most appropriate form of insurance for that person, to guarantee affordable premiums, to provide for more adequate and timely compensation for accident victims, and for other purposes. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES September 9, 1998 Mr. McConnell (for himself, Mr. Moynihan, Mr. Lieberman, Mr. Nickles, Mr. Grams, and Mr. Gorton) introduced the following bill; which was read the first time September 10, 1998 Read the second time and placed on the calendar _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To provide for competition between forms of motor vehicle insurance, to permit an owner of a motor vehicle to choose the most appropriate form of insurance for that person, to guarantee affordable premiums, to provide for more adequate and timely compensation for accident victims, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Auto Choice Reform Act of 1997''. SEC. 2. FINDINGS. Congress finds that-- (1) the costs of operating a motor vehicle are excessive due in substantial part to the legal and administrative costs associated with the resolution of claims under the tort liability insurance system; (2) the tort liability insurance system often results in-- (A) the failure to provide compensation commensurate with loss; (B) an unreasonable delay in the payment of benefits; and (C) the expenditure of an excessive amount for legal fees; (3) the incentives of the tort liability insurance system for motor vehicles are distorted, and result in-- (A) significant fraud in the claims process, which exacerbates the level of distrust of many individuals in the United States with respect to the legal process and the rule of law; (B) significant, wasteful, fraudulent, and costly overuse and abuse of scarce health care resources and services; (C) unbearable cost burdens on low-income individuals, imposing on them the Hobson's choice of driving on an unlawful, uninsured basis or foregoing essential needs, such as food and adequate shelter; (D) significant reductions in, access to, and purchases of, motor vehicles, which-- (i) damage the economic well-being of many low-income individuals; and (ii) cause unnecessary harm to a critical component of the economy of the United States; (E) significant deterioration of the economic well- being of the majority of major cities in the United States through the imposition of a massive tort tax that-- (i) places a disproportionate burden on urban residents; and (ii) contributes to the abandonment of the cities by many taxpayers who are able to achieve substantial after-tax savings on automobile insurance premiums by moving to adjacent suburban communities; and (F) significant inability to achieve market-based discounts in insurance rates for owners of safer cars, which reduces the level of safety for drivers and passengers of motor vehicles; (4) insurance to indemnify individuals for personal injuries arising from motor vehicle collisions is frequently unavailable at a reasonable cost because of the potential liability for third-party tort claims; (5) a system that gives consumers the opportunity to insure themselves and that separates economic and noneconomic damages for the purposes of purchasing insurance would provide significant cost savings to drivers of motor vehicles; (6) a system that enables individuals to choose the form of motor vehicle insurance that best suits their needs would-- (A) enhance individual freedom; (B) reduce the cost of motor vehicle insurance; and (C) increase average compensation in the event of an accident; and (7) a system that targets and emphasizes the scourge of those individuals who drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol will further deter such dangerous and unlawful conduct. SEC. 3. PURPOSE. The purpose of this Act is to allow consumers of motor vehicle insurance to choose between-- (1) an insurance system that provides substantially the same remedies as are available under applicable State law; and (2) a predominately first-party insurance system that provides for-- (A) more comprehensive recovery of economic loss in a shorter period of time; and (B) the right to sue negligent drivers for any uncompensated economic losses. SEC. 4. DEFINITIONS. In this Act: (1) Accident.--The term ``accident'' means an unforeseen or unplanned event that-- (A) causes loss or injury; and (B) arises from the operation, maintenance, or use of a motor vehicle. (2) Add-on law.--The term ``add-on law'' means a State law that provides that persons injured in motor vehicle accidents-- (A) are compensated without regard to fault for economic loss; and (B) have the right to claim without any limitation for noneconomic loss based on fault. (3) Economic loss.--The term ``economic loss'' means any objectively verifiable pecuniary loss resulting from an accident, including-- (A) reasonable and necessary medical and rehabilitation expenses; (B) loss of earnings; (C) burial costs; (D) replacement services loss; (E) costs of making reasonable accommodations to a personal residence to make the residence more habitable for an injured individual; and (F) loss of employment, and loss of business or employment opportunities, to the extent recovery for such losses is allowed under applicable State law. (4) Financial responsibility law.--The term ``financial responsibility law'' means a law (including a law requiring compulsory coverage) penalizing motorists for failing to carry defined limits of tort liability insurance covering motor vehicle accidents. (5) Injury.--The term ``injury'' means bodily injury, sickness, disease, or death. (6) Insurer.--The term ``insurer'' means-- (A) any person who is engaged in the business of issuing or delivering motor vehicle insurance policies (including an insurance agent); or (B) any person who is self-insured within the meaning of applicable State law. (7) Intentional misconduct.-- (A) In general.--Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the term ``intentional misconduct'' means conduct-- (i) with respect to which harm is intentionally caused or attempted to be caused by a person who acts or fails to act for the purpose of causing harm, or with knowledge that harm is substantially certain to result from that action or failure to act; and (ii) that causes or substantially contributes to the harm that is the subject of a claim. (B) Clarification.--For purposes of this paragraph, a person does not intentionally cause or attempt to cause harm-- (i) solely because that person acts or fails to act with the understanding that the action or failure to act creates a grave risk of causing harm; or (ii) if the act or omission by that person causing bodily harm is for the purpose of averting bodily harm to that person or another person. (8) Motor vehicle.--The term ``motor vehicle'' means a vehicle of any kind required to be registered under the provisions of the applicable State law relating to motor vehicles. (9) No-fault motor vehicle law.--The term ``no-fault motor vehicle law'' means a State law that provides that-- (A) persons injured in motor vehicle accidents are paid compensation without regard to fault for their economic loss that results from injury; and (B) in return for the payment referred to in subparagraph (A), claims based on fault including claims for noneconomic loss, are limited to a defined extent. (10) Noneconomic loss.--The term ``noneconomic loss'' means subjective, nonmonetary losses including pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental suffering, emotional distress, loss of society and companionship, loss of consortium, hedonic damages, injury to reputation, and humiliation. (11) Occupy.--The term ``occupy'' means, with respect to the operation, maintenance, or use of a motor vehicle, to be in or on a motor vehicle or to be engaged in the immediate act of entering into or alighting from a motor vehicle before or after its use for transportation. (12) Operation, maintenance, or use of a motor vehicle.-- (A) In general.--The term ``operation, maintenance, or use of a motor vehicle'' means occupying a motor vehicle. (B) Exclusions.--The term ``operation, maintenance, or use of a motor vehicle'' does not include-- (i) conduct within the course of a business of manufacturing, sale, repairing, servicing, or otherwise maintaining motor vehicles, unless the conduct occurs outside of the scope of the business activity; or (ii) conduct within the course of loading or unloading a motor vehicle, unless the conduct occurs while occupying the motor vehicle. (13) Person.--The term ``person'' means any individual, corporation, company, association, firm, partnership, society, joint stock company, or any other entity, including any governmental entity. (14) Personal protection insurance.--The term ``personal protection insurance'' means insurance that provides for-- (A) benefits to an insured person for economic loss without regard to fault for injury resulting from a motor vehicle accident; and (B) a waiver of tort claims in accordance with this Act. (15) Replacement services loss.--The term ``replacement services loss'' means expenses reasonably incurred in obtaining ordinary and necessary services from other persons who are not members of the injured person's household, in lieu of the services the injured person would have performed for the benefit of the household. (16) Resident relative or dependent.--The term ``resident relative or dependent'' means a person who-- (A) is related to the owner of a motor vehicle by blood, marriage, adoption, or otherwise (including a dependent receiving financial services or support from such owner); and (B)(i) resides in the same household as the owner of the motor vehicle at the time of the accident; or (ii) usually makes a home in the same family unit as that owner, even though that person may temporarily live elsewhere. (17) State.--The term ``State'' means any State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, the United States Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands, and any other territory or possession of the United States. (18) Tort liability.--The term ``tort liability'' means the legal obligation to pay damages for an injury adjudged to have been committed by a tort-feasor. (19) Tort liability insurance.--The term ``tort liability insurance'' means a contract of insurance under which an
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