Years ago, voters in California passed a bill known as Proposition 213, or Prop 213, which states that uninsured drivers do not get to collect an award of pain and suffering even if the accident is not their fault. However, this does not affect the passengers involved in the accident. Despite the fact that you may be banned from general damages under this law, you can still collect compensation for medical bills and expenses incurred from your injuries. The reason? It is believed that, if you are acting negligently and driving without insurance, you should not obtain damages for pain and suffering.
What This Means for Drivers of Vehicles and Motorcycles
If you have been injured in an accident in a motor vehicle but you were driving without insurance, you will not be able to receive general damages for pain and suffering. This means that, perhaps the bulk of your claim, will not be included in your damages when you try to recover. However, you should expect to recover special damages like medical expenses and loss of earnings against the other driver's insurance. The same can be said for those who operate a motorcycle without insurance - you will be barred in the same way.
However, as with many laws involving car accidents, there are exceptions. Here are a few of those to consider:
· You will still be able to get full value for special and general damages if you were the passenger in a vehicle that was being driver without insurance.
· If you were operating your employer's automobile and they were not insured, the law does not apply.
· If the accident took place on private property, Prop 213 does not apply.
· If the at-fault driver was determined to be under the influence of alcohol but you were not insured, you can still recover.
Many attorneys tend to stay away from cases involving Prop 213 because 1) They will usually not be able to recover as much since your damages are limited and 2 ) These cases can be vastly complicated. Because of this, you need an understanding attorney on your side to handle your case with experience. Call us today at A.G. Assanti & Associates if you have been injured in a vehicle or motorcycle accident and need our help.