California Proposition 213, Limit on Ability of Drunk Drivers, Persons Without Insurance and Felons to Sue for Damages (1996)
How Proposition 213 affects your personal injury settlment
Back in 1996, California voters passed proposition 213, 76.83% to 23.17%. The crux of Proposition 213 was to limit the damages that certain persons, who at the time were doing bad things, could receive, if they were injured by the negligence of someone else.
Basically, the public policy behind it was that certain persons doing bad things shouldn't have the same rights as others. They can still receive economic damages which include medical bills and/or loss of earnings, but they cannot receive compensation for non-economic damages which include: pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement, and other non-pecuniary damages.
Hypothetically speaking, if someone falls under Proposition 213 and loses their leg, they could not recover damages (money) for the pain of losing that leg, the daily struggles they will have without their leg and the disfigurement as well. This dramatically decreases the amount of compensation they would have received if they did not fall under Proposition 213
If a person was driving drunk (and convicted) is gets injured in an auto accident caused by another person, the person driving drunk cannot receive compensation for pain and suffering.
This means that if someone had a blood alcohol level that was over the legal limit, was stopped at a red light and someone plowed into them, they only receive compensation for their medical bills and/or loss of earnings. One of the many reasons to NOT DRINK AND DRIVE.
Persons Without Auto Insurance
It is true that many people operate vehicle in California without insurance. One way to discourage this, was to create Proposition 213. If you are the driver of a car that is not insured and you are involved in an accident that wasn't your fault, you cannot receive compensation from the at fault party for non-economic damages (pain and suffering) from the at fault party.
If you are a passenger in a car without insurance, you can still recover the typical damages.
There are a few exceptions if you were a driver without insurance which include:
the accident happened on private property,
the owner of the car did not have insurance, but the driver who borrowed the car did have insurance on another vehicle.
the operator of the car was driving their employer's uninsured vehicle
Persons Committing a Felony
If you were in the mist of committing a felony, you'll fall under Proposition 213 and you'll have no luck receiving noneconomic damages. So don't commit any felonies!
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