Understanding a Louisiana car insurance policy is essential before a crash, but it becomes even more critical if you were the victim of a collision in the state. All drivers should have at least a minimum amount of auto liability coverage as this will cover a victims’ damages. Drivers risk facing penalties if they do not have this mandated policy.
In addition, many lenders require drivers who finance their vehicles to have additional policies, including collision and comprehensive coverage. You may also want to invest in uninsured and underinsured motorist policies. A car accident attorney can help you understand the coverage available to you after a crash.
What Are the Minimum Car Insurance Policy Requirements in Louisiana?
According to the Louisiana Department of Insurance, the state mandates that every driver has at least:
- $15,000 per victim for bodily injury
- $30,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $25,000 for property damage
This is known as a 15/30/25 policy, and this coverage pays for the personal injuries and damages a victim suffers in a crash. That is, it covers the liability of the policyholder. If the policyholder acted negligently and caused a car accident, this is the coverage the victims will file a claim against.
Without this mandatory policy, an at-fault driver may face a lawsuit, and the case could go to court, where a judge could take personal assets to pay for the damage done. In addition, the driver could face additional penalties such as fines and vehicle impoundment.
No Pay, No Play Law
Under La. Rev. Code Art. 32:866, Louisiana has a “no pay, no play” law. This law bars drivers who fail to carry the mandated insurance minimum from recovering some of their compensation if they were the crash victim.
If a driver is uninsured or did not have at least the required liability insurance, they cannot recover the first:
- $25,000 in property damages
- $15,000 in bodily injury damages
This means that these accident victims will have to cover these costs on their own, even if they did not cause or contribute to the collision. There are exceptions, though, so you should consult an attorney if this may apply to your Louisiana car accident claim.
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 537-8185
Is There Optional Insurance Coverage Available to Drivers in Louisiana?
While liability coverage is the only required policy in Louisiana, many people opt to pay for additional coverages, so they are protected no matter the circumstances. These policies could include:
This coverage pays for your medical care following a car crash regardless of fault.
Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist
These policies would cover your damages if an uninsured or underinsured motorist caused your accident.
This policy will repair your vehicle after an accident regardless of fault. A deductible applies.
This coverage provides a way to pay for your vehicle repairs after non-crash damage occurs. For example, if a tree fell on your vehicle.
How Car Insurance Works After a Crash
While many of the optional coverages available to you in Louisiana work regardless of fault, who caused the accident will still matter. If you only have the other driver’s mandatory coverage to rely on, you will need to prove they caused the car accident and file a claim with their insurer to recover compensation.
If you have collision coverage and medical benefits, you can pay the deductible and pursue compensation under these policies. Your insurance company will pay out and then go after the at-fault driver and their insurer to recover their losses.
Do I Need an Attorney to Help Me with a Car Accident Claim?
You have every right to file your car accident claim on your own. However, you may not want to take on this chore. It can be time-consuming and frustrating. Working with a car accident lawyer offers you access to someone who can:
- Review the policies and explain what you should do
- Determine fault and liability
- Gather evidence to support your claim
- Value your case
- Seek fair compensation for you through settlement negotiations
- Sue the at-fault driver if necessary to recover money damages
If a personal injury lawsuit becomes necessary, you should know there are strict time limits under La. Civ. Code Art. 3492. Louisiana accident victims usually only have up to a year to sue, and some circumstances can reduce this time even further.
We Can Help You Understand the Insurance Policy Coverage Involved with Your Accident
At the Morris Bart law firm, our team provides free case assessments and consultations. We can help accident victims understand their rights, options for pursuing justice, and what we can do on their behalf. We are a contingency fee personal injury firm with seven offices in Louisiana: New Orleans, Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Monroe, Lafayette, Shreveport, and Lake Charles.
Questions?Call (800) 537-8185
to find a Morris Bart office near you.