Proposition 213 is a law that prevents anyone who is a driver injured on the California roadways, and does not have auto liability insurance in force at the time of the injury, is 100% barred from collecting "pain and suffering" damages. This is referred to as a "nudge" economic incentive to encourage all drivers to have valid liability insurance in force at all times while driving so that costs can be covered by insurance as opposed to being absorbed by the consumer. It makes financial sense, our San Diego personal injury lawyer explains, and if you don't know if your auto insurance is in force, you need to make sure before you take to the wheel in California.
"Pain and suffering" damages are the biggest "value driver" on any personal injury case, and by not making sure you have auto liability coverage in force automatically hurts your case when you are not at fault in an auto collision in California. Why do this to yourself and your family? You are taking away the full ability to recover for these damages when you fail to take financial responsibility for yourself and your family. Having auto liability insurance is within your full control and it is the law.
Over the years, I have had many calls from people who have been injured in car collisions that have very good cases except for the fact that they did not carry auto liability insurance. Which means I cannot take their case because obtaining pain and suffering damages is simply not allowed. Sure, there is one exception to Proposition 213, but it is extremely rare. When you are injured by a drunk driver, then you are excluded from being a Proposition 213 when you do not have auto liability insurance. The best policy is to always review your auto insurance situation, and take great care in making sure your auto insurance payments are met each month. I always recommend you pay your auto insurance premium in advance either for six months or the entire year. This way you ensure you are insured when driving on California roadways.
Another way of looking at this is you are letting the at-fault party off cheap because you were not making sure you carried auto liablity insurance when the car collision occured. The at-fault party already betrayed your trust by choosing to violate a safe driving rule of the road and causing a car collision which produced your injuries. Why on earth would you allow this at-fault party to escape justice by not obtaining your pain and suffering damages as well?
Also, from a greater standpoint, you are helping the economy by carrying auto liability insurance because you are helping to defray costs that would otherwise be absorbed by you personally. This helps you, and by helping yourself, you are making the local community stronger. And, let's not forget, that by having insurance in effect to protect you and your family, you increase the odds that you also have uninsured motorist coverage, in adition to auto liability insurance, to help protect you and your family further from an uninsured at-fault driver.
If you find yourself in a situation where you think you might be, or you are Proposition 213, and you still have questions, please consider reaching out to me to see if there is anything that can be done. Depending on your situation, there is a rare circumstance where a good personal injury lawyer might be able to still help you. A good legal consultation can go a long way in terms of seeing if there is a way to help. You can call me anytime at 619.813.7955, and I would be happy to see if I can help.
Stay strong, Attorney Mark