If you don’t have liability insurance in California, you are technically not in compliance with California’s Financial Responsibility laws. As a result of proposition 213, passed many years ago, your recovery for personal injury will be limited to your "economic damages." You see, many years ago, tons of people were getting into car accidents and making claims. Many of them didn't have their own insurance. Some argued they were abusing the system. They argued these folks were driving up insurance premiums. Californians were fed up and passed proposition 213 in 1996.
So this basically means if you bring a claim for personal injury, you can only recover your economic damages if you didn’t have liability insurance. Examples of economic damages are lost earnings, medical bills, etc. You are not entitled to non-economic damages, also known as “pain and suffering” damages or "general damages."
Many lawyers won’t take such cases due to the limited recovery. After liens are paid, you could end up with nearly nothing! Basically, if you don’t play by the rules, your claim will be severely limited.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia, Saugus, Canyon Country, Newhall, Stevenson Ranch, Castaic and surrounding communities.