What Is California Proposition 213?

The Basics of Financial Recovery for Uninsured Motorists

Image of blue sign that states, "car insurance" with arrow

If you, or someone you love, has been injured in a California car accident, you may be entitled to compensation.  As a general rule, car accident victims who are not at fault recover both economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages

Generally, economic losses are readily identifiable and easy to calculate by simply adding up the cost of medical treatment and property damage.  Economic damages cover a variety of financial losses, and include reimbursement for the following items:

  • Cost of car replacement or repairs
  • Medical bills incurred to treat the injuries, including hospital bills, X-Rays, lab tests, physical therapy, prescription medications, and mileage to and from treatments.
  • Wage Loss

 Non-Economic Damages

Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages are not easily calculated. Non-economic damages include compensation for the following:

  • Pain & Suffering
  • Inconvenience
  • Physical impairment
  • Disfigurement
  • Other compensation allowed by law

How Prop 213 Limits Recovery in Car Accidents

California Proposition 213, codified into California Code 3333.4, limits damages in some circumstances.  Championed by the insurance companies, and originally part of the “Personal Responsibility Act” of 1996, Prop 213 prevents injured individuals from collecting non-economic damages if any of the below circumstances exist.

No Insurance

When an injured driver does not carry basic liability insurance, as required by law, they cannot recover non-economic damages, even if the accident wasn’t his or her fault.

Failure To Prove Financial Responsibility

Where an uninsured driver can’t prove that they meet financial responsibility requirements in the state of California, Prop 213 prohibits recovery of non-economic damages.

Establishing financial responsibility requires taking certain steps. This is best done with the assistance of a California Car Accident Attorney to ensure all steps have been taken, and all laws have been complied with.

DUI Conviction

Where the injured driver is convicted of a DUI in conjunction with the accident, Prop 213 prohibits recovery of non-economic damages.

Prop 213 Exceptions

Another driver is convicted of drunk driving

The innocent victim would be entitled to collect non-economic.


If the injured person is a passenger in an uninsured vehicle, they retain the right to recover non-economic damages in most circumstances.

Insured Driver Of Uninsured Vehicle

Where a driver carries insurance, but the vehicle owner doesn’t Prop 213 does not apply to accidents involving the insured driver of the uninsured vehicle.

Driver Establishes Financial Responsibility

If a driver establishes “financial responsibility,” Prop 213 may not apply. Again, the assistance of a California Car Accident Attorney is advisable to ensure that all requirements are met.

Operating Employer’s Uninsured Vehicle

Where a driver operates his or her employer’s uninsured vehicle, and this fact is not known to the employee, the injured employee may recover non-economic damages for his or her injuries.

Private Property Exception

Additionally, if the car accident occurred on private property, rather than public land, Prop 213 does not apply.

Highly Unusual Circumstances

Finally, there is an exception to Prop 213 for “highly unusual circumstances.” Because these “highly unusual circumstances” depend on the specific facts of each case, a free consultation with a qualified California car accident lawyer at Nadrich & Cohen Accident Injury Lawyers will help you best determine how to maximize compensation for your injuries and losses.

No Auto Insurance and injured in a California accident?

If you or a loved one was uninsured at the time of a California auto accident, immediately contact Nadrich & Cohen Accident Injury Lawyers, for a free and confidential case evaluation.

Even if you think that you might not be entitled to certain damages, or if you have been told that you are not eligible for recovery due to a lack of valid car insurance, call us for a second opinion.

Our California Car Accident Attorneys ensure that uninsured clients recover economic damages to the fullest extent possible.  We will provide you with a free and honest assessment of your right to recovery.  Don’t wait, call us now at 1-800-718-4658.


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