Prop 213 and Your Accident
In California, Prop 213 is a law designed to prevent uninsured motorists, drunk drivers, and felons from receiving significant insurance payouts when involved in an accident. While the purpose of the law sounds positive, unfortunately, it is often used by insurance companies to shortchange compensation for innocent people who have a momentary lapse on their auto insurance.
How Prop 213 works
Prop 213 has a couple of parts, each of which is similar but covers a slightly different topic. The first part (in summary) states that:
No damages may be sued for if the injured driver’s injuries were in any way caused by his or her commission of any felony or flight from a felony, and the driver was convicted of that felony.
The second part states that non-economic losses to compensate for pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement, or other noneconomic damages cannot be sued for if:
- The driver was violating California’s laws regarding drinking and driving (even if the drunk driver was the victim)
- The driver was driving his or her own vehicle, and that vehicle was not insured per the laws of California
- The driver cannot prove his or her financial responsibility as required by the State of California
In a nutshell, this means that if you are either drunk or uninsured, this law states that you are eligible ONLY for economic damages if you are the victim in a car accident. You cannot sue for any non-economic damages – no matter how severe.
I have insurance, so how can this affect me?
Even if you think you have insurance, you could, in error, have a lapse in your insurance plan. Or maybe you’re driving a friend’s vehicle that you thought was insured but wasn’t. Unfortunately, innocent and law-abiding citizens are often up against Prop 213 from an honest mistake – and it’s the insurance companies who benefit.
Exceptions to Prop 213
The good news is that several exceptions apply to a Prop 213 case:
- If you were driving your employer’s uninsured vehicle, you might be exempt – even if you were individually uninsured
- If the accident happened on private property, Prop 213 does not apply
- If you can show evidence of your insurance on another vehicle, you may be exempt from Prop 213
Whether or not any of the exceptions to Prop 213 apply to you, having a good auto accident attorney by your side is vital – you can minimally recover all of your economic damages (medical bills, lost wages, etc.).
The importance of uninsured motorist insurance (UMI)
On the other side of the coin, if you’re the victim of an accident where the offending driver was uninsured or the victim of a hit-and-run, you can be in for a challenging case to recover full compensation from your own insurance company.
However, there is a type of insurance that covers you in this case called “uninsured motorist insurance.” This type of insurance is specifically designed to cover you in hit-and-run accidents and accidents with uninsured motorists, ensuring that you can get the compensation you need to recover from an accident.
Now I understand what’s involved in my accident, but what do I do?
The most important thing to do is to retain the services of a skilled auto accident attorney to defend your rights. If you’ve been injured in an auto accident caused by the negligence of another, we believe that you deserve significant compensation to help get you through this challenging experience.
At Aghabegian & Associates, PC, our team of experienced Glendale personal injury attorneys is devoted to helping our clients get back on their feet, relentlessly pursuing the maximum compensation possible.