in a car accident but not carrying auto insurance

In a Car Accident, But Not Carrying Auto Insurance?

If you were not carrying liability insurance (on your auto insurance policy) at the time of your automobile accident, your recovery will be limited to economic damages. There will be NO recovery for pain and suffering. That is the law set out by Proposition 213 that was passed in 1996.

As per Proposition 213

As per Proposition 213, if you were not insured while driving, you are not entitled to recover non-economic damages like pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement, and disability. As an uninsured injured driver you are only allowed to recover economic damages like your medical expenses, lost earnings, and vehicle towing, storage, and repairs.

This law was pushed through by the insurance industry, who claimed the proposition was meant to lower auto insurance rates. Clearly, there were other motivations. Prop 213 significantly limits valid personal injury claims and lets insurance carriers off the hook in some very big damage cases.

Alleged Policy Reason for Prop 213

Another alleged policy reason given by the insurance industry for Prop 213 is that drivers who are out on the streets driving around uninsured should not reap the benefits of insured drivers (who injure them.) It is true… driving around uninsured is not a good idea and is a disservice to those around you.

The California minimum liability insurance limit is only $15,000.00. This small amount of coverage is hardly enough to cover someone’s pain and suffering, let alone some humble medical bills. So, even though a driver may have the minimum coverage, it is barely more than someone who is totally uninsured.

Major Distinction Through Prop 213

However, the insurance industry makes this tiny difference into a MAJOR distinction through Prop 213. Insurance carriers profit a whole lot more from the person carrying the measly $15,000.00 policy than the uninsured person. But, the injured party does not receive much more from the person who is minimally insured than they would from an uninsured driver.

The real winner in this whole situation, no matter how you spin it, is the insurance carriers.

Carrying Liability Coverage

This is most clearly punitive to drivers who are usually diligent in carrying liability coverage, but accidentally miss a premium payment or inadvertently allow their policy to lapse and the accident occurs before they can reinstate coverage.

Additional Exceptions To Prop 213

Note that if you are a passenger in a vehicle that is not insured, you can recover both economic and non-economic damages. Additional Exceptions to Prop 213 include minors and people bringing wrongful death claims. As an aside, you can recover both economic and non-economic damages even if you do not have liability insurance if the accident was the result of a defective vehicle, rather than another driver.

Accident Client

If you’re someone who is considering an attorney for a personal accident, I highly recommend Sally Morin and her professional staff of attorneys. If you would like to know more details, feel free to contact me via Yelp and I would be happy to share more details. While I use Yelp quite often, I rarely post reviews… unless I’m truly blown away by great service (or angry with horrible service). If there were a sixth star, I would certainly give it to Rebecca and Sally!

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It is essential to know your rights after a traffic accident so you can protect yourself and the value of your claim.
This guide will help you:

  • 1Know what to do when dealing with insurance claims, police reports and lawyers.
  • 2Avoid making mistakes that undermine the value of your claim
  • 3Put yourself in a position to get the best settlement possible