California Proposition 213, Limit on Ability of Drunk Drivers and Felons to Sue for Damages (1996)
Proposition 213 limits the ability of certain people to sue to recover losses suffered in accidents. Specifically, it:
- Prohibited an uninsured driver or a driver subsequently convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of an accident from sueing someone at fault for the accident for non-economic losses.
- Prohibited a person convicted of a felony from suing to recover any losses suffered while committing the crime or fleeing from the crime scene if these losses resulted from another person's negligence.
Text of measure
The official ballot summary that appeared on the ballot said:
- Denies all recovery of damages to a convicted felon whose injuries were proximately caused during the commission of the felony or immediate flight therefrom.
- Denies recovery for noneconomic damages (e.g., pain, suffering, disfigurement) to drunk drivers, if subsequently convicted, and to uninsured motorists who were injured while operating a vehicle.
- Provides exception when an uninsured motorist is injured by a subsequently convicted drunk driver. With this one exception, provides that insurer is not liable for noneconomic damages.
The California Legislative Analyst's Office provided an estimate of net state and local government fiscal impact for Proposition 213. That estimate was:
- Probably minor annual savings in state and local government court-related costs.
- Reduction in insurance tax revenue to the state of probably less than $5 million annually.
- Official Voter Guide to Proposition 213
- Full text of Proposition 213
- November 5, 1996 California election results (PDF)
- PDF of the paper version of the November 5, 1996 Ballot Propositions Voter Guide