(a) A fund is established in the District, to be known as the Uninsured Motorist Fund (“Fund”), for the purpose of awarding compensation to a victim of an accident who sustains injury therefrom and would not otherwise be compensated for his or her loss. Assessment shall be made, on a fair and equitable basis, among all insurers in accordance with projections of the District government as to costs required for reasonable funding and administration of the Fund. The Fund shall be classified by the Mayor pursuant to § 47-375. The Fund shall be administered by the Mayor.
(1) All compensation awarded under this section shall be paid from the monies in the Fund.
(2) Monies in the Fund shall consist of, and there shall be deposited in the District of Columbia treasury to the credit of the Fund, monies received pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.
(b) A victim is eligible for compensation under this section subject to the following conditions:
(1) The accident upon which the claim is based was reported to the Mayor not more than 45 days after the accident occurred, except that this requirement may be waived for good cause shown.
(2) The victim files a claim on a form supplied by the Mayor and submits all required information and documents within 180 days after the accident, except that this requirement may be extended for good cause shown or if the victim is still undergoing medical treatment for injuries relating to the accident.
(3) The victim has suffered loss in an amount exceeding $100 as a result of the accident upon which the claim is based.
(4) The victim shall be eligible if the only identifiable insurer or insurers, who would otherwise be obligated to compensate the victim, are financially unable to fulfill their obligations.
(c) The victim shall not be eligible if the victim is at fault, is an insured, owns a registered motor vehicle, or operated a motor vehicle in the accident upon which the claim is based.
(d) Claims shall be processed and maintained in the order of their filing.
(e) The amounts of compensation awarded shall be equal to the amount of the victim’s loss, decreased by all amounts received by or available to the victim from collateral sources. No compensation shall be awarded pursuant to this section in an amount exceeding $100,000 in medical and rehabilitative expenses, $24,000 in wage loss, and $4,000 in funeral expenses. No final award of compensation shall be made unless the Fund contains sufficient monies to pay the award.
(f) In addition to the amount of compensation awarded to a successful claimant, a reasonable fee may be awarded for any professional assistance required in connection with any claim under this section. The fee may not exceed 10% of the amount of the claimant’s award or $1,000, whichever is less.
(g)(1) Nothing in this section shall deprive the claimant or the claimant’s successors in interest of the right to recover damages from the negligent party.
(2) The District of Columbia shall be subrogated to the claimant’s right against the negligent party to the extent of any compensation awarded under this section. The District of Columbia may initiate a suit against the negligent party for damages. The District of Columbia shall be notified by the plaintiff of the institution of any suit against the negligent party for damages. The District of Columbia shall have a lien on any recovery made from such a suit. All monies recovered through subrogation shall be deposited in the District of Columbia treasury to the credit of the Uninsured Motorist Fund.
(h) Any agreement by a person to waive, release, or commute his or her rights under this section is void. Compensation awarded under this section is exempt from execution, attachment, or other remedy for recovery or collection of debt, except for expenses resulting from injury or death which is the basis for the claim.
(i) Any person who knowingly submits false information in support of a claim under this section or knowingly suppresses relevant information concerning a claim under this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than $2,000 or imprisoned for not more than 1 year, or both. A person convicted of an offense under this subsection shall forfeit any compensation under this section and shall reimburse and repay to the District of Columbia any compensation received pursuant to this section.
(j)(1) The Mayor shall administer the provisions of this section, and shall issue rules necessary to carry out the provisions and purposes of this section.
(2) The Mayor shall report annually to the Council of the District of Columbia on the status and activities of the Uninsured Motorist Fund. The report shall include, but is not limited to, the following information: Total number of claims filed, the number of claims approved and the amount of each award, the number of claims denied, the number of cases in which the claimant used professional assistance, the cumulative total of professional fees paid, the number of cases pending, and the future liability of the Uninsured Motorist Fund.
1981 Ed., § 35-2114.