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California Proposition 213: What It Is and How It Affects Your Car Accident Case

What is California's Prop 213 and how does it affect uninsured motorists' ability to collect non-economic damages?

Proposition 213, also known as the Personal Responsibility Act of 1996, is a California law that affects the rights of uninsured drivers to seek compensation after a motor vehicle accident. Prop 213 was designed to encourage responsible driving and promote the purchase of car insurance by limiting the damages that uninsured drivers can recover in personal injury lawsuits. Specifically barring non-insured drivers from collecting non-economic damages such as pain and suffering or emotional distress.

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of Proposition 213, its history, how it works, who it affects, exceptions to the law, and the benefits of hiring a personal injury attorney if you are involved in a case where Proposition 213 applies.

Proposition 213: History and Overview

Origins of Proposition 213

Proposition 213 emerged as a California ballot initiative in 1996. Insurance companies supported the proposal, claiming that uninsured motorists were causing insurance costs to rise for all other drivers. The electorate approved the initiative, and it was enacted into law on November 6, 1996.

Key Provisions

Under Proposition 213, uninsured motorists and motorists at fault in an accident are prohibited from recovering non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, in a personal injury lawsuit. They can still recover economic damages, like medical expenses, property, and lost wages.

How Proposition 213 Works and Who It Affects

Impact on Uninsured Motorists

The main demographic impacted by Proposition 213 consists of uninsured drivers. The legislation intends to motivate people to get car insurance by limiting their settlements and restricting their capacity to claim non-economic damages if they find themselves in a collision.

Consequences for At-Fault Drivers

Proposition 213 additionally affects drivers who are responsible for causing an accident. Regardless of their insured status, they are not permitted to claim non-economic damages. This stipulation aims to foster responsible driving habits and discourage dangerous conduct on the streets.

Exceptions to Proposition 213 in California

Stolen Vehicles

There are a few exceptions to Proposition 213’s restrictions on non-economic damages. One such exception is for individuals who are injured while driving a stolen vehicle. If the injured party can prove that they were unaware that the vehicle was stolen, they may still be able to recover non-economic damages.

Employer-Owned Vehicles

Another exception to Proposition 213 is for employees who are injured while driving a company-owned vehicle that is uninsured. In these cases, the employee may still be eligible to recover non-economic damages, as long as they were not personally responsible for the vehicle’s lack of insurance.

Government Vehicles

Proposition 213 does not apply to government vehicles. If a person is injured while driving a government-owned vehicle that is uninsured, they can still recover non-economic damages in a personal injury lawsuit.

Benefits of Hiring West Coast Trial Lawyers for Proposition 213 Cases

Proposition 213 is an intricate California law that affects the rights of certain drivers to recover damages after a motor vehicle accident. Understanding the law, its exceptions, and how it may apply to your case is crucial. To achieve the best possible outcome for your case, we highly suggest seeking the guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney.

Our experienced legal team at West Coast Trial Lawyers is here to assist you in seeking compensation for any injuries you’ve sustained from a negligent driver. WCTL has represented hundreds of car accident victims across California and recovered over 1 billion dollars in settlements. 

The founder and president of WCTL is a former federal prosecutor and Harvard graduate. Neama Rahmani has built an expert legal team, composed of super lawyers and talented individuals ready to assist you every step of the way. 

Whether you have incurred medical expenses, lost income, endured pain and suffering, or experienced any other damages, our personal injury attorneys will work tirelessly to win the full compensation you deserve.

Contact us today by calling 888-407-7969 or filling out our contact form to schedule a free consultation with our amazing, caring, and compassionate legal team.

FAQs about Prop 213

What is Proposition 213?

Proposition 213 is a California law that limits the recovery of non-economic damages for uninsured motorists and at-fault drivers in personal injury lawsuits.

When was Proposition 213 enacted?

Proposition 213 was enacted on November 6, 1996, after being approved by California voters.

Are there any exceptions to Proposition 213?

Yes, there are exceptions to Proposition 213, such as cases involving stolen vehicles, employer-owned vehicles, and government vehicles.

Why should I hire a personal injury attorney for a Proposition 213 case?

Hiring a personal injury attorney with experience handling Proposition 213 cases can help you understand your rights, navigate the legal system, and maximize your compensation. They can assess whether any exceptions apply to your car accident case and work diligently to protect your interests.

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