When there is a motor vehicle accident, and the at-fault party does not have insurance, it can create serious problems for victims of the accident that suffer injuries and damages. In many of these situations, the victim’s recovery will fall on their own coverage and if their coverage is insufficient, they may have few options to recover their losses successfully. In an effort to combat the number of uninsured motorists in the state, Louisiana’s no-pay-no-play system punishes those drivers that choose not to carry insurance as required by state law.
What Does No Pay No Play Entail?
The motor vehicle laws of Louisiana require all owners of vehicles to carry minimum liability insurance coverage for their vehicle. The requirement for the minimum coverage to comply with the law is $15,000 in bodily injury to an individual, $30,000 in bodily injury when there are multiple victims in the same accident, and $25,000 in coverage for another person’s property damage. If a driver fails to comply with the insurance requirement, they can face fines or other consequences if they themselves are in an accident.
The no pay no play statute does not allow a victim of a motor vehicle accident to fully recover damages against a negligent driver if the victim is not insured per the requirements of Louisiana laws. Under the statute, an uninsured victim of a car accident cannot recover against a negligent driver for the first $15,000 in damages that relate to their injuries and the first $25,000 in damages to their property such as their vehicle. Since many minor accidents will result in costs below these limitations, many car accident victims that violate the insurance requirement can be completely barred from recovering for any of their losses from the at-fault party.
If your damages are above the exclusions to recovery in the statute, you can still seek recovery of your losses against the negligent party for those costs that go above the $15,000 in bodily injury or any property damage above $25,000. You are still responsible for the damages that the statute excludes you from recovering against the negligent driver. However, this allows victims of severe accidents with overwhelming damages to still seek compensation even if they are uninsured at the time of the crash.
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What Is the Intention Behind the No Pay No Play Approach?
The problem that no pay no play looks to solve is to reduce the number of uninsured motorists on the streets of Louisiana. The mindset behind the law is that if an individual does not pay into the system and protect others in case of an accident, they should not be able to reap the benefits of the system if they themselves are a victim of a car accident.
Unfortunately, car accidents are unpredictable and some can have devastating consequences on an individual’s life. If you are in a serious motor vehicle accident you can face lifelong health and financial effects from an accident that is not your fault.
What Are the Exceptions to the No Pay No Play Statute?
The no pay no play statute can leave many victims of a car accident with frustration and confusion when they are in an accident through no fault of their own but unable to recover their damages. The costs of a car accident for injuries and the loss of your vehicle or other property can put a significant strain on your finances. Fortunately, there are several exclusions to the no play no pay statute that will allow uninsured car accident victims to still recover from their losses.
If you are a driver licensed in another state that does not require minimum liability vehicle insurance coverage and you are in a crash in Louisiana, your losses remain recoverable against the at-fault party under the statute.
The Negligent Driver Committed Certain Crimes
If the negligent driver is under the influence at the time of the crash, strikes your vehicle intentionally, flees the scene of the accident, or is in the commission of a felony at the time of the accident, the uninsured victim is not prevented from recovering the entirety of their losses against the negligent driver.
You Are a Passenger in a Vehicle that Is Not Your Own
If you are a passenger at the time of the crash and you have no ownership of the vehicle involved in the accident, then there will be no limitations on your recovery regardless of whether you have other vehicles under your name that are uninsured.
Your Vehicle Is in a Parking Spot at the Time of the Crash
If the vehicle that is stricken by the negligent driver is at a complete stop and parked legally at the time of the accident, the vehicle owner may recover for their losses even if the vehicle and owner do not have insurance coverage.
When Do You Need to Call an Attorney?
If you are uninsured but are in an accident that you believe is the fault of another driver, you must immediately contact a car accident attorney to discuss your case. Depending on the actions of the other driver or the extent of your damage, it is possible you will still be able to seek compensation for your losses from the at-fault party or their insurance company. It is important that you not delay taking action if you find yourself in an accident that is another driver’s fault.
Do not automatically assume that, because you were uninsured at the time of an accident, you will not be able to seek compensation. There may be circumstances of the accident that you are unaware of, such as the actions of the other driver before the accident. A car accident lawyer can help you investigate the accident and discover the liability of all parties involved.
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A Louisiana Car Accident Attorney Can Help You with Your Case
A car accident attorney will evaluate your case and advise you as to the best course of action that could benefit you. Ultimately, it is the goal of a car accident lawyer to help you recover for the damages and losses you sustain in an accident when recovery is available to you.
Questions?Call (800) 537-8185
to find a Morris Bart office near you.