As a result of the financially devastating effects of car accidents, many states enforce minimum insurance requirements to protect both crash victims and at-fault drivers. Having the required auto liability coverage ensures the victim can recover compensation and the at-fault driver does not lose their home or other assets because of a mistake behind the wheel.
Understanding the minimum insurance requirements in Louisiana is critical in navigating the insurance claims process after a crash. Louisiana has some unique laws meant to reduce the number of uninsured and underinsured drivers on the road.
Minimum Insurance Requirements for Louisiana Drivers
Louisiana legislators enacted laws that require every motorist to have a minimum level of insurance that will pay out in the event of a car accident. This liability insurance offers some degree of financial protection to both the injured victim and the policyholder who caused the crash.
According to the Louisiana Department of Insurance, the law requires motorists to carry at least $15,000 in auto liability coverage for those hurt or killed in a crash. This could include:
- The driver of another vehicle
- A passenger in the policyholder’s car or another vehicle
- A pedestrian
- Another road user
If multiple people suffer injury or death in a crash, the policy must include at least $30,000 worth of coverage. Additionally, there is a $25,000 minimum for property damage.
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Understanding How the Insurance Claims Process Works in Louisiana
Louisiana, like most other states, has fault-based car accident laws. This means that victims of a crash can hold the responsible party legally accountable and recover compensation for their injuries and other damages. This is where auto liability insurance comes in. Instead of asking the at-fault driver to pay out of pocket, their insurance company should cover the costs up to the policy maximum.
When a driver does not have insurance or does not have at least the minimum required, it can create several problems:
- The victim may struggle to recover the compensation they need to pay bills
- The at-fault driver could be financially responsible for the crash and lose assets
- The driver who caused the collision will likely face citations and legal penalties
Louisiana penalizes drivers who do not have insurance even when another party causes the crash. If you cause an accident and the other driver is uninsured, La. Rev. Stat. 32:866 will likely apply. This is known as Louisiana’s “no pay, no play law.”
It prevents an accident victim from recovering some or all of the compensation available to them if they did not have the required insurance when the crash occurred. The amount barred is equal to the coverage required. This means they cannot recover the first $15,000 in medical care and $25,000 in property damages.
Additional Auto Insurance Coverage Is Advisable
Experts suggest that it may be beneficial to have more than the minimum insurance requirements if you are a Louisiana driver. Car accidents can cause significant damage, and in many cases, these minimum amounts are not enough to cover every expense that results from the collision.
Furthermore, if a court finds you liable for damages sustained in a car accident and your insurance does not cover all the damages, you may have to compensate individuals from your personal finances. This could mean selling assets, losing a home or your car, filing bankruptcy, or struggling financially until you can pay the bill.
You can pay for higher limits, add collision and comprehensive coverage to repair your own car, and accept the offered uninsured motorist coverage when you choose your liability policy. All these decisions could pay off if you are in a crash.
What Should I Do After a Louisiana Car Accident?
If you were hurt in a Louisiana car accident, you want to work with a law firm that has the resources to build a strong argument and represent your interests. They can help you understand the insurance policies in place and demystify the accident claims process.
Most personal injury law firms will assess your case and discuss your options for compensation for free. Most accident victims can file a claim based on the at-fault driver’s liability insurance and recover damages. If not, your attorney will help you sue the at-fault driver and present a solid case at trial.
Morris Bart, LLC Is Available to Evaluate Your Car Accident Case for Free Today
If you were in a serious car accident and are facing mounting medical bills and lost wages, the Morris Bart law firm is here to help. We will investigate your crash and establish if you have grounds for an insurance claim or lawsuit against the negligent driver.
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