This initiative measure is submitted to the people in accordance with the provisions of Article II, Section 8 of the Constitution.
This initiative measure adds sections to the Civil Code; therefore, new provisions proposed to be added are printed in italic type to indicate that they are new.
SECTION 1. Title
This measure shall be known and may be cited as ''The Personal Responsibility Act of 1996."
SECTION 2. Findings and Declaration of Purpose
(a) Insurance costs have skyrocketed for those Californians who have taken responsibility for their actions. Uninsured motorists, drunk drivers, and criminal felons are law breakers, and should not be rewarded for their irresponsibility and law breaking. However, under current laws, uninsured motorists and drunk drivers are able to recover unreasonable damages from law-abiding citizens as a result of drunk driving and other accidents, and criminals have been able to recover damages from law-abiding citizens for injuries suffered during the commission of their crimes.
(b) Californians must change the system that rewards individuals who fail to take essential personal responsibility to prevent them from seeking unreasonable damages or from suing law-abiding citizens.
(c) Therefore, the People of the State of California do hereby enact this measure to restore balance to our justice system by limiting the right to sue of criminals, drunk drivers, and uninsured motorists.
SECTION 3. Civil Justice Reform
Section 3333.3 is added to the Civil Code, to read:
3333.3. In any action for damages based on negligence, a person may not recover any damages if the plaintiff's injuries were in any way proximately caused by the plaintiff's commission of any felony, or immediate flight therefrom, and the plaintiff has been duly convicted of that felony.
Section 3333.4 is added to the Civil Code, to read:
3333.4. (a) Except as provided in subdivision (c), in any action to recover damages arising out of the operation or use of a motor vehicle, a person shall not recover non-economic losses to compensate for pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement, and other nonpecuniary damages if any of the following applies:
(1) The injured person was at the time of the accident operating the vehicle in violation of Section 23152 or 23153 of the Vehicle Code, and was convicted of that offense.
(2) The injured person was the owner of a vehicle involved in the accident and the vehicle was not insured as required by the financial responsibility laws of this state.
(3) The injured person was the operator of a vehicle involved in the accident and the operator can not establish his or her financial responsibility as required by the financial responsibility laws of this state.
(b) Except as provided in subdivision (c), an insurer shall not be liable, directly or indirectly, under a policy of liability or uninsured motorist insurance to indemnify for non-economic losses of a person injured as described in subdivision (a).
(c) In the event a person described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) was injured by a motorist who at the time of the accident was operating his or her vehicle in violation of Section 23152 or 23153 of the Vehicle Code, and was convicted of that offense, the injured person shall not be barred from recovering non-economic losses to compensate for pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement, and other nonpecuniary damages.
SECTION 4. Effective Date
This act shall be effective immediately upon its adoption by the voters. Its provisions shall apply to all actions in which the initial trial has not commenced prior to January 1, 1997.
SECTION 5. Severability
If any provision of this measure, or the application to any person or circumstances is held invalid or void, such invalidity or voidness shall not affect other provisions or applications that can be given effect without the invalid or void provision or application, and to this end, all of the provisions of this measure are declared to be severable.
SECTION 6. Conflicting Measures
In the event another measure to be voted on by the voters at the same election as this measure, and which constitutes a comprehensive regulatory scheme, receives more affirmative votes than this measure, the electors intend that any provision or provisions of this measure not in direct and apparent conflict with any provision or provisions of that other measure shall not be deemed to be in conflict therewith, and shall be severed from any other provision or provisions of this measure that are in direct and apparent conflict with the provision or provisions of the other measure. In that event, the provision or provisions not deemed in conflict shall be severed according to Section 5 of this measure upon application to any court of competent jurisdiction.