Uninsured Driver or Owner – Prop 213 and how not having liability insurance can affect the outcome of my case
In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 213, officially called The Personal Responsibility Act. It affects the uninsured driver or owner. The new law was codified in Civil Code section 3333.4. This measure prevented anyone that did not have liability insurance at the time of an accident from recovering for general damages from the at-fault party. That is, the injured person is not able to recover for pain and suffering, disability, emotional distress, etc. The injured party is only entitled to recover from the at-fault party his/her property damage, rental expenses, medical bills incurred and loss of earnings. In addition to limiting your ability to recover, you will also face a one-year license suspension for driving without liability insurance as mandated by the State of California.
There are only a few exceptions to this requirement which are as follows:
• If the accident was caused by something other than automobile operational negligence or roadway defect negligence.
• The Claimant is not the uninsured driver or owner of the vehicle. For example, The heir of a driver who was uninsured and killed in an auto accident is not limited in recovery so long as that heir was NOT the uninsured driver or owner of the vehicle involved in the accident.
• Uninsured driver was driving an employer-owned vehicle;
• The party at fault for the accident is convicted of Driving Under the Influence
• Claimant is not the OWNER of the uninsured vehicle;
• The driver is insured by some liability police;
• Damages to the uninsured victim did not arise out of the operation or use of a motor vehicle;
• Post a $35,000.00 cash deposit with the DMV;
• Lack of insurance is due to highly unusual circumstances.
The minimum policy limits for liability coverage in the state of California is 15/30. If you have assets that need to be protected in case of an accident, you should consider purchasing higher liability coverage in addition to an umbrella policy.