Friday, February 21, 2014

UK: Fatal Encounter With Uninsured Driver

Vehicle manslaughter and fraud on the part of Majid Bashir, who had neither a driver's license nor auto insurance.

As reported by the Daily Mail on February 15, 2014:
Uninsured hit-and-run driver who killed father-of-four was caught by police after trying to claim for damage to windscreen... using his WIFE's policy

A hit-and-run killer who callously drove off after fatally injuring a father-of-four was caught after trying to claim for the damage on his wife's car insurance.

Majid Bashir did not have a licence when, driving his wife's Nissan Micra, he hit Stephen Chappell crossing a busy road last January.

He carried on driving for one-and-a-half miles with a shattered windscreen, before abandoning the vehicle near Great Barr, West Midlands.

Mr Chappell, an HGV driver, suffered severe head injuries and died days later.

But soon after, Bashir, 39, contacted his wife's insurance company to make a claim for the damage.

...Bashir was found guilty of causing death while uninsured, aggravated vehicle-taking and dangerous driving.

He was jailed for four years and nine months at Birmingham Crown Court, and banned from the roads for four-and-half-years....
Read the rest HERE.

What do Muslims believe about insurance?
Under common interpretations of Islamic law, conventional insurance is forbidden in Islam.

Many scholars criticise the system of conventional insurance as exploitative and unjust. They point out that paying money for something, with no guarantee of benefit, involves high ambiguity and risk. One pays into the program, but may or may not need to receive compensation from the program, which could be considered a form of gambling. The insured always seems to lose while the insurance companies get richer and charge higher premiums.

However, many of these same scholars take into consideration the circumstances. For those living in non-Islamic countries, who are mandated to abide by insurance law, there is no sin in complying with the local law. Sheikh Al-Munajjid advises Muslims about what to do in such a situation: "If you are forced to take out insurance and there is an accident, it is permissible for you to take from the insurance company the same amount as the payments you have made, but you should not take any more than that. If they force you to take it then you should donate it to charity."...
Perhaps a reader of this blog knows if the following true in the UK; in any case, those of us living in the United States should take notice:
Do Muslims in the US have to pay car insurance?

Answer: Not required in any state. If you live/drive in area where Muslims reside, do not waive uninsured motorist coverage.
Another caveat....Here in the United States, taxicabs are often driven by Muslims and foreign nationals of all ilks.  As I learned to my chagrin back in May of 2005 when I had a serious auto accident resulting in permanent physical injury to my back — an accident the fault of a cab driver who ran a stop sign — cab companies typically transfer all liabilities to the individual cab driver instead of cab companies carrying a policy on the vehicle for hire even if the cab is not a gypsy cab.

To be fair, I should note the following: here in the state of Virginia any driver can register a vehicle whether or not that vehicle is covered by insurance.  Is the situation similar in the state where you live?

12 comments:

  1. Wow, I don't know about Britain, but in Belgium it's a criminal offence driving without insurance.
    There are of course people who do drive without insurance hoping not to get caught or involved in an accident.
    Belgium does have a fund to cover uncovered damage claims who come from uninsured drivers, the money comes from the insurance companies who deposit a percentage of the 'insured' drivers in that fund, of course they charge the totality of the drivers for this 'coverage'. In Belgium insurance rates are determinated by maker, model and horsepower, the more HP the higher your insurance.

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    1. Every state in the United States has specific policies related to auto insurance. Here in Virginia, the parameters are as follows:

      Virginia requires the following minimum coverage:

      Bodily injury/death of one person $25,000
      Bodily injury/death of two or more persons $50,000
      Property damage $20,000

      Penalties

      Vehicle owners who are uninsured or have not paid the UMV fee will have their driving and vehicle registration privileges suspended. To be reinstated, they must pay a $500 statutory fee, file a Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate (SR-22) with DMV for three years, and pay a reinstatement fee, if applicable.


      Under the damaged party sues the driver (not the insurance company). Of course, if the driver has few or no assets, recovery for damages over and above any insurance carried by the party at fault are usually futile.

      When I had a car accident in 2005 (I was rear ended by a cab driver and suffered permanent physical injury), I struggled to find an attorney to represent me in a civil suit -- precisely because there was little insurance to pay out and because the driver of the cab had no assets other than his cab, which was totaled. He lied at the scene of the accident by claiming that he had such-and-such insurance policy; he neither reported the accident to the insurance company that he had (low insurance coverage, BTW), nor did show up in court for the hearing about the accident. No criminal charges were ever filed against him. The settlement that I managed to eke out was a joke -- and didn't even cover the medical bills. Fortunately, my health insurance policy paid the bills but only for the first year following the accident; I'm still shelling out money for medical bills directly related to the injury I sustained. Also, as a result of the accident, I can no longer work the hours that I used to work.

      When we get behind the wheel here in Virginia, we don't even know the risks we are taking because most of us do carry insurance -- and wrongly assume that other drivers have taken insurance responsibility.

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  2. Do Muslims in the US have to pay car insurance?

    Answer: Not required in any state.
    ------
    Absolutely required to register a vehicle in Massachusetts.

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    1. Section 34D. The applicant for registration may, in lieu of procuring a motor vehicle liability bond or policy, deposit with the state treasurer cash in the amount of ten thousand dollars or bonds, stocks or other evidences of indebtedness satisfactory to said treasurer of a market value of not less than ten thousand dollars as security for the payment by such applicant or by any person responsible for the operation of such applicant’s motor vehicle with his express or implied consent of all judgments rendered against such applicant or against such person in actions to recover damages for bodily injuries, including death at any time resulting therefrom, judgments rendered as aforesaid for consequential damages consisting of expenses incurred by a husband, wife, parent or guardian for medical, nursing, hospital or surgical services, or for indemnity, in connection with or on account of such bodily injuries or death, and judgments rendered as aforesaid for contribution as a joint tortfeasor in connection with or on account of such bodily injuries, sustained during the term of registration by any person other than a guest occupant of such motor vehicle or any employee of the owner or registrant of such motor vehicle or of such other person responsible as aforesaid who is entitled to payments or benefits under the provisions of chapter one hundred and fifty-two, and arising out of the ownership, operation, maintenance, control or use of such motor vehicle upon the ways of the commonwealth or in any place therein to which the public has a right of access, to the amount or limit of at least ten thousand dollars on account of any such judgment; provided, however, that if the applicant for registration is engaged in the business of leasing motor vehicles under any system referred to in section thirty-two C, such applicant shall deposit with said treasurer additional security in the amount or value of at least one thousand dollars for the payment by such applicant or by any person responsible for the operation of such applicant’s motor vehicle with his express or implied consent, including such consent imputed under section thirty-two E, of all judgments rendered against such applicant or against such person in actions to recover damages for injury to property and judgments rendered as aforesaid for indemnity, or for contribution as a joint tortfeasor, sustained during the term of registration by any person, and arising out of the ownership, operation, maintenance, control or use upon the ways of the commonwealth of such motor vehicle, to the amount or limit of at least one thousand dollars on account of any such judgment and provided further that no such deposit shall be required in the case of vehicles leased for a term of more than thirty days and the depositor shall in writing authorize the state treasurer to pay over to the insurer assigned a claim under section thirty-four N any and all amounts, including without limitation the reasonable costs of investigating and settling any such claim and such other reasonable expenses expended by it to satisfy a claim for personal injury protection made against it by any person, other than the depositor or members of his household, who is entitled to such payments as a result of the unavailability of personal injury protection benefits on said depositor’s motor vehicle.

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    2. (cont) The depositor shall be entitled to the interest accruing on his deposit and to the income payable on the securities deposited and may from time to time with the consent of the state treasurer change such securities. Upon presentation to the state treasurer by an officer qualified to serve civil process or an execution issued on any such judgment against the registrant or other person responsible as aforesaid, said treasurer shall pay, out of the cash deposited by the registrant as herein provided, the amount of the execution, including costs and interest, up to but not in excess of ten thousand dollars. If the registrant has deposited bonds, stocks or other evidences of indebtedness, the state treasurer shall, on presentation of an execution as aforesaid, cause the said securities or such part thereof as may be necessary to satisfy the judgment to be sold at public auction, giving the registrant three days’ notice in writing of the time and place of said sale, and from the proceeds of said sale the state treasurer shall, after paying the expenses thereof, satisfy the execution as hereinbefore provided when a cash deposit has been made. Any payment upon an execution by the state treasurer in accordance with the provisions of this section shall discharge him from all official and personal liability whatever to the registrant to the extent of such payment. The state treasurer shall, whenever the amount of such deposit from any cause falls below the amount required by this section, require, at the option of the registrants, the deposit of additional cash or securities up to the amount required by this section or a motor vehicle liability bond or policy as provided in this chapter. Money or securities deposited with the state treasurer under the provisions of this section shall not be subject to attachment or execution except as provided in this section. The state treasurer shall deposit any cash received under the provisions of this section in a savings bank or the savings department of a trust company or of a national bank within the commonwealth, or on paid-up shares and accounts of and in co-operative banks, or shall use such cash to purchase share accounts in federal savings and loan associations located in the commonwealth.

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    3. Hmmm, live and learn. I wonder how many people are even aware of it.

      Does seem to count os self insurance.

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    4. Duck,
      I was unaware of some of the ins and outs of auto insurance until "the bad thing" happened.

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  3. Ah, so Ducky doesn’t know what he’s talking about after all. No one saw that coming.

    Does anyone understand why any state would allow the operation of a motor vehicle and NOT impose a requirement for insurance? Seems irresponsible not to do that … to me, anyway.

    State insurance laws have holes large enough to drive large trucks through. A lady I know was back-ended by a commercial truck. Totaled her car, but she escaped injury. Police showed up and the driver of the truck produced an insurance card. Turns out, the company (run by Hispanics) obtained the insurance, let it remain in effect for 30 days, and then cancelled it. No insurance. So the lady’s insurance paid pennies on the dollar for the damage and then increased her premiums. How does any state manage something like this?

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    1. Mustang,
      the company (run by Hispanics) obtained the insurance, let it remain in effect for 30 days, and then cancelled it

      That kind of thing happens quite frequently.

      In the case of the cab driver who injured me, he filed the required documentation with the cab company ($300,000 liability insurance, as required by Virginia law for a vehicle for hire), but dropped the coverage later and opted for much lower coverage. According to Virginia statute at that time, the cab company was not required to confirm the limits of the driver's coverage beyond the date of allowing the cab to be painted with the logo.

      Does anyone understand why any state would allow the operation of a motor vehicle and NOT impose a requirement for insurance?

      I cannot answer that question specifically. However, at the court hearing during my civil suit, the officer of the court said the following to me, word for word: "The sympathies of the court lie with the poor immigrant. If this situation were reversed, he'd be taking you to the cleaner's."

      So, I'm guessing that pleading poverty will allow someone to drive without insurance coverage.

      Just because a company's logo is on a vehicle does not necessarily mean that the company is liable for damages. Companies can structure their businesses so that the individual drivers of vehicles with company logos are liable.

      Danger, Will Robinson!

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  4. In Pa (USA) one can purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage at a relative modest price. In how many other states/countries is this coverage available?

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