Collecting Money for Pain and Suffering as an Uninsured Motorist
In California, collecting money for pain and suffering even as an uninsured motorist is allowed. The general rule in California is that if you’re a driver and the owner of a vehicle in an auto accident and you do not have auto insurance, you are deemed an uninsured motorist. An uninsured motorist cannot collect money for pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is described as physical pain, mental suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, physical impairment, inconvenience, grief, anxiety, humiliation, and emotional distress. CACI 3905A. To read more about pain and suffering, click here. An Uninsured Motorist can only collect money for their economic damages, like medical bills and property damage, pursuant to Civil Code 3333.4, otherwise popularly known as Proposition 213. To learn more about economic damages, click here. The law is designed to encourage everybody to get auto insurance and at the same time, punish those who don’t.
But sometimes, that’s pretty unfair. For example, a person who might not have money to buy auto insurance because they have children to support may forgo auto insurance at their own risk. But that doesn’t make them a bad person. Rent, clothing, and food for their children comes first. What about a driver who does have the money to buy auto insurance and chooses to drive intoxicated. Now which person is worse? Should the intoxicated driver be allowed to collect pain and suffering while the uninsured mother is not? An intriguing moral and philosophical debate. Thankfully, in California, the legislators have decided this question.
In California, if you are an uninsured motorist and you are in a car accident with an intoxicated driver, collecting money for pain and suffering is possible. The only requirement is that the intoxicated driver must be convicted of California Vehicle Code 23152 or 23153. Civil Code 3333.4(c). If you’re injured by an intoxicated driver, you are entitled to money for your pain and suffering even if you did not have auto insurance at the time of the accident. At the Law Firm of R. Sam, we can help you get maximum compensation for your pain and suffering. Call us for a free consultation. Remember: Nothing Recovered, Nothing Owed. We serve Modesto, Stockton, Sacramento, Merced, and Fresno. If you’re injured in a traffic jam, call R. Sam.