Prop 213: How California law can limit your auto accident injury recovery

Posted on March 11, 2015 by Aman Shah

Nearly 20 years ago, California lawmakers proposed Proposition 213, which, among other things, would limit certain drivers from fully recovering for their auto accident injuries. Prop 213 was borne out of intensive lobbying by an insurance industry eager to limit liability pay-outs. The lobbying worked, as Prop 213, codified as California Civil Code §3333.4, became law in 1996.

Who exactly does Prop 213 target, and what damages are injury victims prohibited from recovering? The law prohibits the uninsured driver from recovering general damages for injuries resulting from an auto accident where another party was at fault. General damages refer to noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering, a key recovery element in any auto accident injury claim. Basically, Prop 213 severely impacts an uninsured motorist's right to full monetary recovery for accident-related injuries. Some exceptions to Prop 213: 1.) where a passenger in an uninsured vehicle is injured in a crash, the passenger can still recover general damages even if he/she has no auto insurance; 2.) an uninsured driver can still recover general damages for accident-related injuries in the isolated instance where the at-fault party was arrested and convicted of a DUI.

Bottom Line: Make sure you have a valid liability automobile insurance policy. But even if you are uninsured, The Law Office of Aman N. Shah can help. Contact us at 714-312-3974 for a no-cost confidential evaluation of your auto accident case.