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Homepage >> Injuries >>Proposition 213

Proposition 213

In November of 1996, the State of California passed a law called “Proposition 213”. Civil Code 3333.3 prohibits a person from recovering any damages if the injured person's injuries were in any way proximately caused by the injured person's committing of any felony or immediate flight therefrom and that person is convicted of that felony. Civil Code Section 3333.4 restricts owners and operators of motor vehicles injured in a motor vehicle accident from recovering non-economic losses for compensation for pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement, and other non-pecuniary damages if the injured person was not insured at the time of the accident as required by the Financial Responsibility Laws of the State of California, or if the injured person was driving under the influence and was convicted of that offense. Such a person, however, although uninsured, may recover such damages if at the time of the accident that person was injured by another who was convicted of driving under the influence.

What Does This Mean?

If you’re involved in a motor vehicle accident caused by another person, and you DO NOT have car insurance, you will only be entitled to medical expenses, not pain and suffering.

How Can I Prevent This From Ever Happening To Me?

You will need to take a closer look at your insurance policy. It is important to have Uninsured (UM)/Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage. California requires ALL motorists to have $15,000 of liability coverage. Your UM/UIM coverage cannot exceed the amount of liability coverage you have. In this example, if you have $15,000 of liability coverage, you will only be allowed to have $15,000 in UM/UIM coverage. If you have $100,000 in liability coverage, then you’re allowed to have up to $100,000 of UM/UIM coverage. With the staggering prices in medical expenses these days, $15,000 will barely cover your ER visit.

If you are involved in an accident and the other driver possesses a policy less than what you possess, then you may use your UM/UIM coverage to make up the difference. Example, if the driver who caused the accident only has $15,000 in liability coverage and you possess UN/UIM coverage of $100,000, then you are able to use up to $85,000 in your coverage to supplement any medical expenses exceeding the $15,000 in coverage the other person has available.

A Medical Payments (Med-Pay) option in your insurance policy could also help you with paying your medical expenses. This is normally affordable through your insurance company sometimes as low as $8 a month for $5000 of coverage (check with your carrier). This can be used to pay doctors right away if you do not have the funds. If you receive a settlement, most companies will ask you pay this back through what is called “subrogation”. If you have an attorney, most insurance companies will reduce the amount needed to be paid back.

Statistics

The Insurance Research Council published a report in 2014 stating in 2012 there were 29.7 million drivers in the United States who were uninsured. In the same study, 4.1 million of those drivers happen to be from California ranking it number 1.

In the United States, males tend to be the biggest offenders of being uninsured at 62%. Between the ages of 18-24 the statistics show these individuals make up 22%. With these staggering statistics, it’s even more important to have UM/UIM coverage on your policy.





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