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How to Recover Compensation After an Accident with an Uninsured Motorist in Louisiana

Posted in Car Insurance Claims on August 3, 2020

Severe car accidents have severe consequences for victims and their households. In addition to the physical pain of injury and healing, car accidents come with medical expenses, lost wages, and non-economic costs from pain and suffering. Typically, accident victims can file an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company to recover compensation. Yet, when the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, other motorists involved in the accident are left to deal with the economic consequences of property damages and injuries from the accident.

A review of Louisiana’s insurance laws, uninsured motorist insurance in Louisiana, and steps you should take after an accident with an uninsured driver will provide the information you need to recover compensation for your losses and injuries related to the accident.

Louisiana Auto Insurance Laws

Louisiana law requires all motorists to carry liability auto insurance. The minimum coverage requirements are:

  • $15,000 bodily injury and death liability coverage per person
  • $30,000 bodily injury and death liability coverage per accident
  • $25,000 property damage liability coverage

Uninsured motorists who do not comply with Louisiana’s insurance requirements are breaking the law. They face fines between $500 and $1,000 for knowingly driving a car without insurance as well as license suspension or revocation and having their car impounded.

Uninsured Motorist (UM) Insurance in Louisiana

Under Louisiana law, motorists do not have to buy uninsured motorist insurance; however, UM coverage can prevent economic loss in the event of an accident. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, it will kick in if a driver causes an accident and doesn’t have auto insurance. Your policy will only kick in up to your policy limit. Even if your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages exceed your UM policy limit, your coverage can help cover immediate financial needs. You can also purchase UM coverage for property damage that will cover the cost of repairs to your vehicle if an uninsured driver hits your vehicle and causes damage.

If you do not have Louisiana UM coverage, you are forced to absorb your losses unless you contact a personal injury attorney to help you take direct legal action against the uninsured driver.

Steps to Take After an Accident with an Uninsured Driver

If you’ve recently suffered injuries in an accident with an uninsured driver, take the following steps to preserve the value of your claim. Your insurance company will still investigate your claim before they pay out on your policy. Steps you should follow to help you recover the maximum amount of compensation in an insurance claim and/or lawsuit include:

  • Seek continued medical treatment. Your injuries need to documented by a physician so you have proof of injury for insurance companies and the court if necessary. Follow your doctor’s orders and go to all scheduled appointments if you are not still hospitalized.
  • Keep meticulous records. Recovering compensation after an accident requires proving all of your losses. Keep meticulous records of your medical expenses, lost wages and benefits, as well as any other you spend as a result of your accident injuries.
  • Keep a healing journal. Part of an insurance claim or lawsuit is sharing the impact your injuries have had on your life. Keep a journal about your struggles and also include pictures of your injuries and healing process.
  • Consult with an experienced Louisiana car accident attorney. Uninsured motorist accident cases are complex and hiring a lawyer gives you the best odds of recovering compensation for your losses.

Recovering Compensation After an Accident with an Uninsured Driver

A skilled personal injury attorney can navigate the complexities of your uninsured driver case. If an uninsured driver hits you and causes injuries, you typically have three options going forward to recover some or all of your financial loss:

  • Use your personal health coverage to pay for medical expenses. This is a viable option, but likely will be your last resort to get funds to cover injury-related expenses. You will be responsible for any deductible you have on your policy and you likely will have challenges concerning in-network vs. out-of-network coverage. Most health insurance coverage pays out less when policyholders visit a doctor or emergency department out of their network. Once you exceed the policy limits of your health insurance, you must pay the remainder of your medical bills out-of-pocket. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you could be responsible for tens of thousands of dollars. For some victims and their families, this means bankruptcy, and maybe even foreclosure is imminent.
  • File an insurance claim under your uninsured motorist coverage. It’s likely you’ve reported the accident to your insurance carrier already, but if you haven’t, you must do so as soon as possible. If you have UM coverage, it can partially or fully cover economic losses related to your injuries depending on the severity of your injuries. If you or your loved one has suffered catastrophic injuries causing permanent damage, it’s likely you will quickly exceed your UM policy limits.
  • Bring a lawsuit against the uninsured driver.  Some uninsured drivers simply forget to pay their bill and accidentally created a gap in coverage. Unfortunately, most drivers without insurance did not have money for premiums, so it’s unlikely they can compensate you directly. Filing a lawsuit holds the driver accountable and gives you a chance to recover compensation directly from the driver.

Contact a Louisiana Auto Accident Attorney Today

If you’ve sustained injuries in a traffic accident with an uninsured driver in Louisiana, you deserve compensation for losses related to the accident. A skilled lawyer can support you through investigating your case and gather evidence to support your claim. The experienced legal team at the Law Office of John W. Redmann has decades of experience representing injured accident victims, including those who suffered harm at the hands of an uninsured driver. Contact us online today or at 504-500-5000 for a free case evaluation to determine the viability of your claim and learn the best way forward for you after an accident with an uninsured motorist.