UNINSURED / UNDERINSURED
INFORMATION AND WHAT TO DO
According to the Insurance Research Council (IRC), roughly 14% of all motorists in the U.S. are uninsured-that’s nearly one out of every seven drivers. Louisiana is the second most expensive state for auto insurance-partly because of its high number of uninsured drivers. Hundreds of negligent drivers take to the road with lapses in coverage, policies below the minimum, or no insurance at all. In an effort to reduce insurance premiums for its consumers, the state legislature passed Act 1476, known as the Omnibus Premium Reduction Act, in 1997. One section of this complex law was the “No-Pay, No-Play” provision , enacted to penalize uninsured and underinsured drivers, while encouraging them to purchase adequate levels of car insurance.
Under the ‘No-Pay, No Play’ law, uninsured and underinsured drivers are barred from collecting the first $15,000 of bodily injury and the first $25,000 of property damages. This means that even if the other driver is at fault, an uninsured driver will have to cover medical costs up to $15,000, and car repairs up to $25,000.
After a car wreck involving one of these drivers, you might not know how to apply for benefits to pay for your medical bills, property damage, and lost wages. In this predicament, come see our car accident attorneys at the Murphy Law Firm in Baton Rouge.
Louisiana's Mandatory Insurance Coverage
In Louisiana, driver must maintain minimum insurance coverage to legally operate a motor vehicle, with rare exceptions.
The bare minimum a driver must purchase is:
There are two types of coverages insurance companies will either include or offer, but these are optional; drivers can choose to reject them (often with a signature stating they’re declining this coverage). One such coverage type helps you during uninsured and underinsured motorist claims.
Uninsured motorist bodily injury insurance comes with a minimum legal requirement of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident-if a driver decides to purchase this optional coverage. A driver can reject this insurance in Louisiana, but it’s common for policies to include UM/UIM coverage. This type of insurance can protect you if an at-fault driver does not have adequate insurance.
A driver can reject this insurance in Louisiana, but it’s common for policies to include uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. This type of insurance can protect you if an at-fault driver does not have adequate insurance.
The other type of optional insurance is a $1,000 minimum in medical payment coverage.
If you bought a new vehicle or if you lease your car, you might have to purchase full coverage. Full coverage combines comprehensive and collision coverage and often includes uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance. Look at your insurance policy and see if you’re paying for uninsured motorist bodily injury insurance. You can also ask your insurance agent for this information. If you aren’t, consider adding this coverage for protection in the event of a car crash. Already in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist? Contact our dedicated team of Baton Rouge personal injury lawyers at Murphy Law Firm at (225) 928-8800.
What to Do After an Accident with an Uninsured Driver
If at this point you discover the other driver doesn’t have insurance, call the cops if you haven’t already. It’s important to get police involved in uninsured and underinsured motorist car accidents to protect your rights and to penalize the negligent driver in the hopes of preventing someone else from dealing with the same problem you’re having. Once you visit a hospital for your injuries, call your own insurance company and explain what happened. If you have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, this will pay for the damages. If you don’t, you may have to consider a personal injury claim instead. Call Murphy Law Firm at (225) 928-8800 to discuss your options with an experienced car accident attorney.
Art. 2323. Comparative fault
A. In any action for damages where a person suffers injury, death, or loss, the degree or percentage of fault of all persons causing or contributing to the injury, death, or loss shall be determined, regardless of whether the person is a party to the action or a nonparty, and regardless of the person’s insolvency, ability to pay, immunity by statute, including but not limited to the provisions of R.S. 23:1032, or that the other person’s identity is not known or reasonably ascertainable. If a person suffers injury, death, or loss as the result partly of his own negligence and partly as a result of the fault of another person or persons, the amount of damages recoverable shall be reduced in proportion to the degree or percentage of negligence attributable to the person suffering the injury, death, or loss.
B. The provisions of Paragraph A shall apply to any claim for recovery of damages for injury, death, or loss asserted under any law or legal doctrine or theory of liability, regardless of the basis of liability.
C. Notwithstanding the provisions of Paragraphs A and B, if a person suffers injury, death, or loss as a result partly of his own negligence and partly as a result of the fault of an intentional tortfeasor, his claim for recovery of damages shall not be reduced.
Amended by Acts 1979, No. 431, §1; Acts 1996, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 3, §1, eff. April 16, 1996.