Car accidents often cause substantial injuries that not only lead to financial or “economic” losses but also cause significant trauma, suffering, and mental anguish, otherwise known as “non-economic” losses. Under California law, people involved in car accidents can typically pursue claims against the parties responsible for their losses. While the law allows all injured parties to seek damages for their economic losses, certain people are precluded from recovering compensation for their non-economic losses pursuant to California Proposition 213. If you were hurt in an accident, you should consult a knowledgeable Los Angeles car accident lawyer to learn more about how California laws may impact your rights.
What is Prop 213?
California Proposition 213, or The Personal Responsibility Act of 1996, was an initiative presented to California voters to limit the rights of uninsured motorists and drunk drivers involved in car accidents. Prop 213 passed into law with the help of substantial support from the insurance industry and is codified at California Civil Code § 3333.4.
Essentially, Prop 213 prohibits uninsured motorists and drunk drivers from recovering non-economic damages in lawsuits arising out of car crashes. Specifically, the law states that in any action to recover compensation that arises out of the use of a motor vehicle, an individual cannot recuperate non-economic losses, including those compensating them for physical pain or impairment, suffering, and disfigurement, if they owned or operated a vehicle involved in the accident but did not carry the required insurance, or were convicted of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Exceptions to Prop 213
Notably, even if Prop 213 applies, it does not prevent injured parties from recovering compensation for the economic losses they sustained in a collision, like the cost of medical care, lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, or punitive damages. There are exceptions to Prop 213 that allow people to recover non-economic damages as well. For example, passengers of insured vehicles are not barred from recovering non-economic damages if they do not own the vehicle. Similarly, people driving company cars that their employers failed to insure are not limited by Prop 213. Fatal accidents and those that occur on private property do not fall under Prop 213 either. Finally, if a drunk driver causes a collision, Prop 213 does not bar uninsured individuals hurt in the collision from seeking non-economic damages.
Talk to a Qualified and Experienced Los Angeles Injury Attorney
People hurt in car accidents have the right to seek compensation for their harm, but Prop 213 and other California laws may impact what damages they can recover. If you were harmed in a collision, you should talk to an attorney to evaluate your options for protecting your interests. The capable Los Angeles car accident attorneys of Los Angeles City Law can assess the facts of your case and develop a strategy designed to help you seek the best legal result possible. We frequently represent people in cases arising out of car accidents in Los Angeles and in other cities and counties throughout the state. You can contact us through our form online or at (424) 317-9781 to set up a confidential and free meeting.