I was stopped at a red light. A car hit me from behind. She had insurance. But i did not at the time. They say i can not sue for pain and suffering. Is this true. I also have a bad back that i had surgery on years ago.
That is correct, except in one exception, below.
California law states, "All drivers and all owners of a motor vehicle shall at all times be able to establish financial responsibility and shall at all times carry in the vehicle evidence of the form of financial responsibility in effect for the vehicle." It is a violation of the law not to do so and you will be cited. It does not seem that the police responded to the scene, so you were not cited.
Not having a vehicle insurance means that you are not entitled to those non-economic damages like pain and suffering, “nonpecuniary” damages, physical impairment or disfigurement, regardless of severity of the injury. These are damages awards that are intended to compensate the the injured person for things that their economic value cannot readily be quantified and calculated.
The one exception to the prohibition against non-economic damages is if the at fault driver is convicted of driving under the influence at the time of the accident. That does not appear to be the case here.
Even though you were uninsured and cannot collect for pain and suffering, you can still collect economic damages such as medical bills, lost income, car repair bills, and rental car bills. They are those damages that can be calculated and quantified.
I've also changed the practice area from medical malpractice so that you can get more responses.
I’m not sure who “they” is, but if you were truly uninsured then it is correct, you can’t get pain and suffering damages. The theory behind the law is that since you were driving around illegally and willing to screw over someone you injured by having no insurance to cover them, then you should at least have to likewise suffer a loss of a right when someone injures you.
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Attorney Bolin has it right. Hope you are not seriously injured. This is an atrocious law that penalizes the impecunious. Not only applies in your case of a rear-end collision but also denies you the right to make a claim for pain and suffering against a public entity for a dangerous condition of public property or a defective vehicle manufacturer. Believe this came into being via a proposition, Prop 211, supported by the insurance industry and opposed by the trial lawyers, nurses and labor. This statute is nothing to be proud of and one alternative remedy to assure insured drivers would be to fund coverage for minimum policies through a gas tax, leaving others to purchase Insurance above whatever floor was prescribed, most probably $15/$30. This is a hard lesson to learn but no doubt you will do all in your power to avoid this situation in the future. Hope you are well soon.
There is a way to deal with this issue which requires a face to face consultation.
If you were driving without car insurance then Proposition 213 holds that you cannot get pain and suffering money. However, there are ways around Prop 213 if the injuries are large enough by posting a bond. I would consult with an injury attorney more fully to ensure what is best to do. We provide free consults and charge on a contingency basis if were thereafter retained. 844-444-CPLG.
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