Each state handles car accidents, claims, and insurance according to its own laws and systems. States generally adhere to one of two systems when it comes to liability and insurance following a vehicle accident. These systems are “fault” and “no-fault,” and your claim process will be different depending on which system your state utilizes.
Having a general idea of how Louisiana car accident and insurance law works can give you an idea of where to start after an accident. You can generally file an insurance claim against the driver who hit you. Filing a claim for compensation following a car accident can be somewhat overwhelming, though.
If you are suffering from car accident injuries, a personal injury lawyer in Louisiana may be able to simplify the process and improve your chances of filing a successful claim.
Is Louisiana a No-Fault State?
Louisiana currently follows a fault system, which means the court will attempt to identify who was legally at fault in the event of a car crash and will hold that driver accountable.
According to DMV.org, the fault system holds the guilty driver liable for any injuries or property damage. In most cases, the negligent driver’s insurance company will cover the damages. As an innocent car accident victim, this has an impact on how you can proceed with a claim. There are three primary ways to claim compensation from the negligent driver:
- Directly with your own insurance company
- With the other driver’s insurance company
- Through a personal injury lawsuit
A car accident lawyer can help you weigh each of these options and determine your best choice based on the facts of your case, including the strength of the evidence, the injuries you suffered, and the available insurance coverage.
Most cases do not require a jury trial. Instead, they settle through the insurance claims process or because of an offer made by the insurer. However, personal injury lawsuits do occur and are sometimes the best choice.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-537-8185
Proving a Fault-Based Car Accident Case
In a fault-based state, one of the keys to recovering compensation for your medical care, car repairs, lost wages, and more is proving fault. You must show that the other driver’s action or inaction caused the crash before you can hold them legally responsible.
In personal injury law, this is known as proving negligence. Negligence occurs when a driver is careless, reckless, or intentional and violates a traffic law or otherwise acts in a way that puts others in danger. To prove negligence, you must show:
- The driver had a responsibility to behave in a specific way.
- They failed to do so, often violating traffic laws.
- This failure caused a collision.
- You suffered harm and financial losses as a result.
It is necessary to prove these four elements, as well as the value of your damages, regardless of the path you take to pursue financial recovery. Working with a personal injury law firm can make this much easier. They will manage your case while you undergo treatment, return to work, and move on with your life.
Full Coverage Insurance Claims
If you have insurance coverage above and beyond what is required under Louisiana law, you may be able to file a claim based on your own insurance and then let your insurer take care of getting their money back from the at-fault driver’s insurance. In an injury accident, you would need:
- Collision coverage
- Medical payments coverage
It is important to note that you will need to pay deductibles if you file a claim based on your own insurance. There are no deductibles on claims based on the other driver’s liability policy.
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Auto Liability Insurance Claims
Most car accident claims in Louisiana begin as an auto liability insurance claim. This is when the victim—you, in this case—files a claim and demands compensation from the at-fault driver’s auto insurance provider. This allows you to present evidence to support your claim and negotiate with the insurer to hopefully reach a fair and appropriate settlement.
There are some things to note about these claims, however. The insurance adjuster will likely do what they can to minimize the value of your case, and that could include trying to make you an offer immediately after the accident, interviewing you and using your words against you, or blaming you for the crash. For this reason, working with a lawyer is a good idea.
In addition, you will need to know the value of your damages to ensure you are negotiating a fair settlement and getting the money you need to pay your bills. It is always recommended to speak with an attorney before signing anything from the insurance company.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
Many people choose to file their personal injury claims through a personal injury lawsuit and rely on the assistance of a lawyer who has knowledge regarding cases of this nature. The Louisiana Department of Public Safety requires drivers to have minimum insurance levels, but if the negligent driver does not have enough to cover your injuries, it may be more effective to follow a civil procedure.
Regardless of the circumstances of your crash and how you attempt to file a claim, it may be beneficial to seek the advice of a personal injury attorney. At Morris Bart, LLC, we handle a variety of car accident claims, and we pride ourselves on skillfully representing people who suffer injuries due to another person’s negligence.
Car accident claims are often complicated, but we can assess the circumstances surrounding your accident and determine if you may be able to recover medical expenses and lost wages due to injuries.
Morris Bart, LLC Provides Free Case Consulations
You can learn more about your options and how to hold the at-fault driver legally liable by speaking with one of our attorneys for free today. We have offices throughout Louisiana to serve you. Call us today to schedule an appointment: (800) 537-8185.
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