The Dangers of Uninsured Motorists.
If you're driving without insurance in Kansas and get into a car accident that wasn't your fault, you can file a claim for property damage and medical expenses. However, you won't be able to seek compensation for pain and suffering, with one exception: if you've been uninsured for less than 45 days and were insured for a full year before that.
That's the basic idea behind the Kansas "No Pay, No Play" statute, which aims to prevent uninsured driving on Kansas roads. But does it work?
Studies have shown "No Pay, No Play" laws do decrease the rate of uninsured motorists on the road by a maximum 1.6%. They can also help relieve drivers who were at fault from having to pay extra to a driver who wouldn't have been able to do the same for them.
These laws also benefit insurance companies. After all, it's not the driver who pays for pain and suffering costs - it's the insurance companies. With as many as 10% of drivers uninsured, and millions of cars on the road in Kansas, cutting down on pain and suffering claims from uninsured drivers can save a lot of money in the long run.
However, let's say someone loses her job and is facing foreclosure. After three months, she still can't find employment. She can't afford insurance, or anything else for that matter, but she's trying. She takes her car out for a job interview, and on the way gets hit by a driver running a red light. The crash paralyzes her for life.
Under the "No Pay, No Play" law, this woman's plight is written off in some ways because she committed a crime in driving without insurance. She can get compensation for the damaged car and medical expenses she'll have, but what about the lifestyle change she has to face? What about the therapy she might need years down the road, not just to help her deal with paralysis but to help her recover from a traumatic accident that still haunts her?
Laws like the "No Pay, No Play" law can often do a lot of good; but in questioning whether they work or not, it's always wise to consider everyone affected by such broad regulations.
In general, insurance companies' bank accounts will remain more stable and drivers will have a better incentive to stay insured. But any law that prevents someone from seeking full justice can have negative consequences, even if the victim was uninsured.
If you've been injured in a car accident, our office can help! Call us today at 816-842-7100 to speak with an attorney that will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Or you can click here to email us and schedule your free consultation.