Our Blog

What Is Prop 213?

Prop 213 is a California state law that went into effect on November 6, 1996. This law primarily restricts uninsured drivers from collecting non-economic damages resulting from a car accident, even if the accident was not their fault. This law has been challenged numerous times but has not been overturned at this point. While the law primarily affects those involved in an accident who are uninsured, there are portions that may affect you in other accident claims as well.

Our San Francisco car accident lawyers explain the details of Prop 213 below.

What Compensation Is Affected by Prop 213?

Prop 213 only restricts compensation for non-economic damages in a car accident. This would include damages for pain and suffering, physical impairment, disfigurement, inconvenience, and emotional or mental distress.

It is important to note that accident victims affected by Prop 213 are still entitled to economic damages. This includes compensation for medical expenses, repairs to damaged vehicles or other property, lost wages due to missed time at work, and costs for rehabilitation to return to work. It is only the non-economic damages impacted by Prop 213.

Who Is Affected by Prop 213?

Prop 213 applies primarily to uninsured drivers. If you are not insured at the time of the accident, and the vehicle you are driving is not insured, Prop 213 may apply in your case, denying you the ability to seek compensation for non-economic damages. Even if you had reason to believe that the vehicle you were driving was insured, Prop 213 will limit you to pursuing only economic damages.

Another important category of people affected by Prop 213 are those driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI). In cases where a driver did not cause the accident but was driving under the influence at the time of the accident, the law may restrict them from collecting damages for pain and suffering and other non-economic compensation. It is important to note that this applies even in cases where they are the victims of the accident, not the cause.

Are There Exceptions to Prop 213?

Prop 213 makes certain narrow exceptions under which you may be able to seek all the damages you are entitled to, even if you were not insured at the time of the accident or the vehicle you were driving was not insured.

First, if you were driving a vehicle for your employer and that vehicle was not insured, you may still seek non-economic damages for your accident injury. This applies even if you were uninsured at the time of the accident.

Second, if the accident happened on private property, you may seek all the compensation to which you are normally entitled. Because state law requires drivers to have auto liability insurance to drive on public roadways, it is not a requirement to have insurance to drive on private property.

Finally, if the owner of the vehicle you were driving did not have insurance on the vehicle, but you, the driver, have insurance on another car, you are exempt from Prop 213. While the car was not insured, your insurance entitles you to seek all the compensation you would normally be entitled to.

Should I Pursue a Personal Injury Case If I Was Not Insured?

If you were injured in an accident as a result of someone’s negligence, you still have the right to seek compensation, even if Prop 213 applies to your case. You have the right to have your medical bills, your lost wages, the damage to your property, and any other economic damages you have suffered compensated by the person whose negligence caused your injury. For legal guidance and superior representation in the Bay Area, contact Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger to schedule a free consultation. Our firm has more million-dollar verdicts and settlements than any other Northern California firm.