Proposition 213 became law in 1996.  That law says that an uninsured driver who is injured in an auto accident  may not recover certain damages due her, even though the accident was entirely the fault of the other driver.  The damages the innocent driver is prohibited from collecting are her non-economic damages, which include pain and suffering.

The insurance companies passed Prop 213 to save money and maximize profits at the expense of the driver who was not at fault in an accident. The only exception: an uninsured driver my collect damages for pain and suffering if the negligent driver who caused the accident is later convicted of drunk driving.

By its terms, Prop 213 applies to those uninsured drivers who were actually at the wheel when they were struck by another driver.  But courts have  applied this law broadly to keep compensation from drivers who weren’t even in their cars when the accident took place.  For example, courts have ruled that Prop 213 deprives uninsured drivers of the right to be compensated for the injuries even if they were outside their parked car when they were run down. 

Given the harsh results, it is important  that all drivers carry liability insurance on their cars and trucks.