Grimes & Fertitta, P.C.

"Crash tax" to be implemented in Missouri City in March

Having an accident can certainly be costly. After all, there are costs associated with repairing your car (or at least obtaining a rental vehicle), costs with towing the vehicle from the scene, and of course, medical costs stemming from injuries you may suffer.

Even with all of these costs, one may not imagine having to deal with the costs of being rescued from a car wreck, but that may be part of a new reality. In March, the Missouri City Fire Department will be charging individuals involved in car accidents for the city's services, regardless of whether the affected drivers called them.

The fire department's chief, Russell Sander, explained to KHOU news that the new charge was necessary to cover the costs of having first responders to handle accidents within the city, and to address concerns over the city's budget deficit. He also indicated that the charges will most likely be paid by insurance companies, and should not be a concern to drivers.

Charges will be based on how severe the accident is, and will range between $500 and $2000. Overall, the new fee is expected to garner $50,000 in new revenue.

Nevertheless, the new charge should not change a driver's duty to use reasonable care when driving. Further, it is not likely to alter a negligent person's obligation to pay money damages due to causing an accident. It remains to be seen whether the new fee will affect driver's driving habits, or whether insurance companies will push back over being required to cover these expenses.

Source: NBC, Texas city to impose "crash tax" for car accident help, February 19, 2013

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