TODAY, THANKS to the considerable influence in city hall of the trial lawyers' lobby, some members of the D.C. Council are scheduled to trot out all sorts of flimsy excuses--including the declaration of an "emergency"--to kill the no-fault auto insurance protection law. And even though five responsible "no" votes--or even an abstention or two --could call this "emergency" bluff and preserve the law, the lawyers' lobby is threatening to prevail. After all the work that went into this law, it would be terrible for it to be killed.
Those who have concocted the "emergency" argue that the city isn't prepared to handle the law, which would--at last--make automobile insurance mandatory and would establish a no-fault system that cuts out the legal middleman, the lawyer who prefers litigation, lawsuits and fees to quick and fair compensation for accident victims. However inept the Barry administration may have been in preparing for the effective date of this law, there are many who have strong reason to believe that the city is capable of enforcing a law duly enacted.
No one should be fooled, either, by the argument that this is just a temporary delay. Once an "emergency" is declared, a simple majority of the council could kill the law altogether, or postpone it into oblivion. Those members who want to look out for the interests of accident victims--instead of for the interests of a minority of lawyers who like their unnecessary piece of your insurance premium-- should vote down the "emergency" and let the law take effect.