Uninsured drivers, unfortunately, they are everywhere. The law in every state in USA says that all drivers must be licensed and insured. However, this is increasingly not the case. In California alone15% of drivers currently have no insurance. So what can you do if you are an uninsured driver and you get into an accident in California that was not your fault? Well, you can file a personal injury claim against the defendant, right? Unfortunately, any personal injury lawyer will tell you that the process is not that easy largely because of California’s Proposition 213.
What is proposition 213?
You may be wondering what “Proposition 213 is anyway?” Your personal injury lawyer in Bellflower will inform you that this proposition will limit your ability to sue if you are an uninsured driver and you get into an accident that was not your fault. The proposition is 24 years old. It was initially passed in 1996 under heavy pressure from the car insurance industry. This proposition stipulates that uninsured drivers who are involved in accidents where the other driver is at fault are unable to recover damages for emotional distress and other hardships that can’t be quantified (are not economic in nature.)
You’ll only be able to recover economic or quantifiable damages. These include:
● Medical costs
● Lost income/wages
● Property (vehicle) damage
You will not be able to recover any other damages because the proposition states that you must have insurance to be able to do so. Please note that you will still be subjected to proposition 213 if you were driving an uninsured car.
There are some exclusions
You are not subject to proposition 213 stipulations if any of the following apply to you:
● You were driving an uninsured vehicle belonging to your employer
● You got into an accident on private property
● You have personal auto insurance, but the car you were driving did not
● The at-fault driver was convicted of a DUI
What can you do if you are hurt in a car accident?
Any personal injury lawyer will tell you to take the following steps if you are ever hurt in a car accident.
● See a doctor immediately
● Photograph the accident scene extensively – this can be used as valuable evidence in court
● Photograph your personal bodily injuries extensively
● File a police report
● Obtain contact information from all witnesses
● Talk to your lawyer before speaking to an insurance rep
Inform your own insurance company (if you have one) of the accident. However, don’t submit valuable documents to them about the accident like a record statement before you meet with your personal injury lawyer.
Proposition 213 is the law in California
After having read this article, you understand what proposition 213 means for you and what your legal rights are if you are an uninsured driver who gets into an accident.