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Posted in Our Blog on April 11, 2019
Every state follows different rules for car accidents, but state laws fall into one of two main categories: fault and no-fault. In a fault-based state, drivers involved in an accident must determine liability for the accident for insurance and legal purposes; the at-fault driver is responsible for the other driver’s damages. In a no-fault state, the state requires all drivers to carry personal injury protection insurance and use their own auto insurance policies after accidents regardless of who was at fault.
Louisiana follows a fault-based system for car accidents. If a driver causes an accident with another driver or another person’s property, the driver is responsible for any and all resulting damages. Every Louisiana driver offers his or her implied consent to this system by obtaining and using a Louisiana driver’s license. Obtaining and maintaining a Louisiana driver’s license also hinges on a driver’s auto insurance coverage. Every driver must purchase and maintain an individual auto insurance policy that meets the state’s minimum insurance requirements.
Thanks to technology, proving liability for a car accident is easier than ever. If another driver caused an accident with your vehicle, check yourself for injuries and wait for paramedics to arrive if you suffered any severe injuries or if you are in too much pain to move. Moving while injured could make your injuries worse or even endanger your life.
Try to document as much as you can from the accident scene before you leave. Take photos of your injuries and the damage to your vehicle as well as all involved vehicles’ final resting positions in the road. Take photos of the damage to the other vehicles, any property damage in the area, and debris and skid marks in the road. These photos could be incredibly valuable in a future insurance claim or lawsuit.
If you decide to hire a New Orleans accident attorney to pursue a lawsuit against a negligent driver or handle your auto insurance claim, your attorney may secure additional evidence to help your case. For example, your attorney may be able to subpoena traffic camera data or obtain a negligent driver’s cell phone records to prove he or she was texting behind the wheel.
Since Louisiana follows a typical fault-based system, all drivers must purchase auto insurance that meets the state’s minimum liability coverage requirements. A Louisiana auto insurance policy must include, at minimum, $15,000 for bodily injury liability coverage for a single person in a single accident the policyholder caused, $30,000 for total accident liability coverage for a single accident the policyholder caused, and $25,000 for property damage liability coverage.
This coverage will pay for an injured driver’s medical expenses and other damages if the policyholder causes an accident. However, all drivers should know that a minimum policy will not cover the policyholder’s own damages. Almost every auto insurance carrier offers additional and/or expanded coverage with any auto insurance policy, but more extensive coverage will cost more to maintain with higher monthly premium rates.
Every driver should take certain steps after a car accident regardless of how the accident happened.
Any car accident can be a traumatic and stressful experience. All Louisiana drivers should know their rights and obligations when it comes to insurance and fault under state laws.