CAN I RECOVER COMPENSATION FOR A CAR ACCIDENT IF I AM UNINSURED?
Posted on Monday, February 11th, 2019 at 7:04 am
The simple answer is “maybe.” There are several factors to consider before answering this question. In the article below, our Sacramento car accident attorneys examine when an uninsured driver may obtain compensation for all damages under California’s Prop 213 law.
California Minimum Car Insurance Limits
California requires all drivers to carry minimum liability insurance to operate a motor vehicle. Liability insurance pays compensation to accident victims when a driver causes a car crash. The minimum liability coverage for bodily injury is $15,000/$30,000 (single victim/per incident) and $5,000 for property damage.
Failing to carry the minimum car insurance in California can have several consequences. You can lose your driver’s license, have your car impounded, pay fines, and be personally responsible for damages caused by a car accident that is your fault.
However, there is another serious consequence of driving while uninsured. Prop 213 may prevent you from recovering money in a car accident claim.
What is Prop 213?
California enacted Prop 213 in 1996. Plaintiffs have challenged the law many times, but it remains in force and effect. The law restricts the damages an uninsured driver may claim for his injuries from an accident that was not his fault.
Let’s look at some examples:
- You Have the Required Car Insurance Coverage — Prop 213 does not apply to you.
- You Are A Passenger in a Vehicle with an Uninsured Driver — Prop 213 does not apply to you.
- You Are an Uninsured Driver — You cannot sue another driver who may be at fault for noneconomic damages.
In other words, if a car crash caused by another driver severely injures you, you will not be entitled to compensation for your physical pain, emotional suffering, permanent disability, disfigurement, mental anguish, and other “pain and suffering” damages. Unfortunately, pain and suffering damages can be significant in some cases. Therefore, an uninsured driver could be giving up hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages because he failed to purchase insurance.
Are There Exceptions to Prop 213?
Yes, there are a few exceptions to the restrictions in Prop 213. You may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering damages if:
- The car accident occurred on private property;
- You are driving your employer’s uninsured vehicle; or,
- You borrowed a car that does not have insurance coverage, but you have insurance coverage on another vehicle.
If you believe you may be entitled to compensation, but the insurance company is denying your claim based on Prop 213, call a Sacramento car accident attorney immediately. You may fall within an exception, or there could be other circumstances that apply in your case.
Call a Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer for a Free Case Review
A skilled California car accident attorney works to ensure you receive every dollar you are entitled to receive by law for a car accident claim. Our legal staff works closely with you to obtain the details of the accident to conduct a thorough investigation to determine fault and responsibility.
For a free legal consultation, you can contact The Tiemann Law Firm by calling (916) 999-9000 or by visiting our website.