Louisiana motorists who file insurance claims may face additional challenges for receiving maximum compensation due to a new law that went into effect on January 1, 2021.
What Are the New Changes?
The bill was originally sponsored by Republican House Speaker Clay Schexnayder and initially passed last June by state legislators. Essentially, the new law changes the way that civil litigation is done for crash lawsuits by:
- Forcing jury trials more frequently so that attorneys have to argue evidence in front of more people than a single judge.
- Allowing information on whether the person was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash to be used as evidence.
- Limiting the mentions of insurance coverage during trial.
- Capping certain medical expenses for damages, except for medical malpractice cases or lawsuits against government agencies.
What Are the Pros and Cons?
Supporters, many of which include Republicans who were elected with business backing, and business lobbyists for the bill hope that the changes will discourage fraudulent or frivolous lawsuits and the promise of lucrative payouts, as they claim that frequent litigation is damaging business retention in the state. Additionally, they hope that the effort will ultimately lead to lower insurance rates in Louisiana, which are some of the highest in the nation.
Opponents of the reform, which include personal injury lawyers and Democratic legislators, claim that the litigation changes will favor businesses in lawsuits and prevent injury victims from getting the money they need to cover medical expenses and related legal fees. Additionally, they argue that there is no guarantee that insurance companies will lower rates.
If you have any questions about how this specific law applies to you and your car accident lawsuit, please feel free to reach out to The Chopin Law Firm at (504) 475-2429 to speak with our legal team at your earliest convenience. Our personal injury attorneys are available and happy to help you in any way that we can.