The last bill to change how auto accident claims are handled failed after the governor vetoed it, but now there are two new efforts in the Louisiana House to change how auto accident cases are handled in the courts. The Center Square reports.
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House Bill 44 is the most similar to the previous bill. It would lower the right to a civil jury trial from $50,000 to $5,000. Also, for cases worth between $5,000 and $35,000, a reduced jury size would be used. Six people would serve, of which five would need to agree to reach a verdict. Proponents say this would reduce the amount of time and money needed for cases. The bill also allows for new admissible evidence in court and would allow plaintiffs to sue insurance companies directly.
Other changes in this bill would include limiting medical damages to the true costs of the care, and also extend the deadline to file a lawsuit from one year to two. Insurance companies would also be required to reduce their rates by 10% unless that would make them insolvent.
The second bill, House Bill 57, is similar but not as sweeping. It sets the threshold to $10,000, allow certain kinds of evidence, and also adds a process for moving accident cases to district courts.
Time will tell if the Senate and the governor decide to enact one of these bills. The last bill failed because the governor didn’t see enough evidence that these changes would reduce premium rates.
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