The California Litigator

January 23, 2011

By Barbara Haubrich-Hass, ACP/CAS

In 1996, Proposition 213 was enacted, which provides that that those who are in an automobile accident that do not carry automobile liability insurance as required  by the California Financial Responsibility Laws are not entitled to recovery of non-economic damages for pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement, and other non-pecuniary damages.

Typically, if you are injured in a car accident that is caused by the other driver, you are entitled to recover for economic damages (medical bills, lost wages, future damages, and out of pocket costs), and non-economic damages as mentioned above, so long as you carry liability insurance coverage.  Proposition 213 eliminates any non-economical damages to anyone who did not have in effect automobile liability insurance at the time of the incident.

An exception to Proposition 213 occurs when the driver of the “at fault” vehicle was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident. Additional exceptions to Proposition 213 include minors, and those individuals making a claim for wrongful death damages.

The provisions of Proposition 213 are embodied in the Civil Code §§ 3333.3 and 3333.4.

Civil Code Section 3333.3 prohibits a person from recovering any damages if the injured person’s injuries were in any way caused by the injured person’s committing of any felony or immediate flight from the felony, and that person is convicted of that felony.

Civil Code Section 3333.4 restricts owners and operators of motor vehicles injured in a motor vehicle accident from recovering non-economic losses for compensation for pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement, and other non-pecuniary damages if the injured person was not insured at the time of the accident as required by the Financial Responsibility Laws of the State of California, or if the injured person was driving under the influence and was convicted of that offense. Such a person, however, although uninsured, may recover these damages if at the time of the accident that person was injured by another who was convicted of driving under the influence.



+3 #3 Santi 2014-01-08 14:44
Maybe you wouldn't have this problem if you paid for insurance !!!! I hate how ppl like you feel entitled, you want disability but your driving a motorcycle..REALLY ???? Get up your lazy ass and work and pay for insurance. At least the other driver had liability insurance, you on the other hand didn't have any insurance at all ! your much to blame as he is. If you cant afford insurance DONT DRIVE !!! walk to work or take a bus stop making excuses ! :o But am sure even though all this happened to you, you still haven't learned your lesson and are still driving around uninsured. Having ppl like me worry about scum like you trying to sue us ppl who pay our premiums every month !
-3 #2 E.J. Ramirez 2013-01-27 10:01
Prop 213 protects the insurance companies like the SEC protects Wall Street Profits. It protects companies like AllState who bargain in bad faith with victims of texting drivers even though they are at fault. It makes no sense to let the "at fault" driver get away with little or no liability. It is unfair and unjust. My wife was injured by a texting driver who plowed into her car. She has significant injuries and will take years to recover but there is no recovery for future care as a result of our insurance lapsing by one week. Prop 213 makes exceptions for drunk or under the influence "at fault" drivers. It's time to hold "texting" drivers who admit liability to the same standards. See our proposal on It's time!
-5 #1 Michael Varnal 2012-06-14 19:52
:oops: So I had no insurance, poor economy and a part-time job that is no where near public transportation. I was struck down when returning home from the job-at fault driver has minimum insurance coverage; 15/30/5, me - no insurance. Motorcycle owned by me was totaled $15k to repair. Hospital bill $184k. Tow bill $1,100.00. Where is it fair that the insurance company will settle for $15k and I can't seek additional income from the "at fault" driver! My motorcycle was worth $13k! I've been out of work for 16 months now - State Disability ran out in April, Social Security Disability says am not disabled! Can't receive unemployment because I have not been released by my county physician.

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