If you’re injured in a road traffic accident, you may qualify for general damages. These are intangible, non-monetary losses that can’t be mathematically assessed at the date of trial. Serious physical injuries can be accompanied by pain and suffering.
In California, your damages may be limited, depending on whether or not there was insurance on the car. More exactly, uninsured motorists can’t receive significant payouts when involved in a collision, even if the accident wasn’t their fault. They can’t get the compensation they deserve.
Since its passage, Proposition 213 has been applied in many cases
Proposition 213 came into effect on November 6, 1996. It applies exclusively to the driver of the vehicle, not the passengers. While the driver doesn’t have access to general damages, the uninsured motorist is still able to collect compensation for medical bills and any expenses resulting from the injuries incurred in the accident.
Undoubtedly, this is helpful, yet there’s no guarantee that lawyers will want to defend the case due to the lack of money available to cover their contingency fee.
The California law has been the source of much litigation over the past couple of years. In 1998, in a case called Cabral vs. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Authority, the plaintiff, an uninsured motorist, parked his car on the Olympic Boulevard and opened the driver’s door, without checking for oncoming traffic. The defendant’s bus collided with the door of the legally parked car, causing not only property damage but also personal injury. The court concluded that the plaintiff couldn’t recover non-economic damages.
Many agree with the fact that Proposition 213 has been applied in a very unusual manner. Some go so far as to say that the law promotes unfair and untrue beliefs regarding uninsured drivers, suggesting that they’re not able to pay for the damages they caused via independent means.
Whether or not it’s unfair, the law is the law. Any person that doesn’t have adequate legal liability coverage can’t recover various damages, regardless of the vehicle type (vans, buses, trucks, etc.)
If you were a passenger, Proposition 213 doesn’t apply
Understanding Proposition 213 is essential. Many are oblivious to the fact that, although the law covers a wide range of situations, there are still noteworthy exceptions. For instance, Proposition 213 doesn’t apply to passengers of uninsured drivers. Therefore, if you’ve been involved in a car crash, you’re entitled to a full recovery for your injuries. You’re allowed to recover both economic and non-economic damages.
You have the right to file a claim or lawsuit against the driver whose negligence was the cause of the road traffic accident. California follows an at-fault negligence principle, meaning that you can retain your right to sue for additional damages.
Besides general damages for any pain and suffering sustained, you can secure medical expenses, travel expenses, and loss of earnings, among other things. Without some form of a legal proceeding, people refuse to do the right thing. You have nothing to lose if you go to court.