Louisiana law allows law enforcement to impound vehicles of uninsured drivers following a single traffic stop and citation for not having the required auto liability coverage. This rule is a part of the state’s crackdown on uninsured drivers that began with the “no pay, no play” law.
If you are in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, you may still have options for recovering compensation. A car accident attorney will be able to assess your case and offer legal advice.
Driving Without Mandatory Auto Liability Insurance Could Mean Serious Penalties
Since August 1, 2012, local and state police in Louisiana have been allowed to tow and impound vehicles of drivers who cannot provide proof of insurance even on their first offense.
House Bill 1053, signed into law by Governor Bobby Jindal on June 5, 2012, repealed the prior ban that had been in place. This ban prohibited law enforcement officers from towing an offender’s vehicle and impounding it unless:
- The driver or the car presented an imminent danger to the public; or
- The driver had previously faced legal concerns for the same issue
Police, courts, lawmakers, and others criticized the previous law as being “unworkable.” There was no way for an officer to tell how many times an offender had previously received a citation for driving without auto insurance during a traffic stop.
The new law, and several others passed around the same time, aims to decrease Louisiana’s number of uninsured drivers. In 2019, 11.7 percent of drivers in the state lacked the required coverage, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III).
According to the Louisiana Department of Insurance, potential penalties for driving without insurance include:
- Fines of $500 to $1,000
- Suspended driving privileges
- Getting their vehicle impounded, registration revoked, or license plates canceled
For a free legal consultation, call 800-537-8185
Louisiana Law Requires a Minimum Amount of Auto Liability Coverage
Under Revised Statute § 32:861, all drivers must carry a minimum level of liability coverage. This coverage protects those injured in a car accident caused by the policyholder.
Louisiana’s state minimums for liability coverage include:
- Bodily injury liability: $15,000 per injured person and $30,000 per accident
- Property damage liability: $25,000 coverage for damage to someone else’s vehicle or other personal property
Do not run the risk of losing your car and incurring costly impound fees and a hefty fine. Also, you should not endanger the health and well-being of your fellow motorists in the event you do cause a car accident injury while driving without insurance coverage.
What if an Uninsured Motorist Is Involved in My Collision?
What happens when an uninsured motorist is in a crash in Louisiana depends on their role in the accident. They could still face the penalties listed above, regardless of their role. In addition, their role could alter the claims process for the crash victim significantly.
If the At-Fault Driver Was Uninsured
If the driver who caused the crash did not have liability insurance, the victim will likely need to pursue a claim based on their own uninsured motorist coverage. In Louisiana, this is an optional policy, but you must opt out in writing. As a result, many drivers carry this inexpensive coverage without knowing it.
If the Victim Was Uninsured
In some cases, an insured driver causes a collision, but the victim does not have insurance. While this type of accident would normally rely on the at-fault driver’s liability policy, Louisiana has a “no pay, no play” law.
Under Revised Statute § 32:866, the law limits the financial recovery of an uninsured driver in a collision. This includes the first $15,000 of their injuries and treatment and the first $25,000 in property damage.
An Attorney May Be Able to Navigate the Claims Process for You
If you were hurt in a collision in Louisiana, working with a car accident lawyer may benefit you. Most provide free consultations for victims so you can discuss your crash, your concerns about insurance, and other issues with a legal professional today.
Most personal injury firms handle car accident claims, including uninsured motorist claims. They can also discuss your options if you were uninsured and wonder if you can recover compensation in your case.
Speak With Morris Bart, LLC About Your Car Accident Case Today
If you were in a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you can speak with the Morris Bart law firm today. We offer a free case evaluation with our personal injury attorneys in any part of Louisiana.
Our team will review the details of your case and advise you on the best approach to getting the compensation you deserve for your car accident injury. We handle these cases based on contingency.
Call (800) 537-8185 to learn more today.
to find a Morris Bart office near you.