Pursuing compensation after a car accident may seem easy on paper. You didn’t do anything wrong, and it’s clear which driver caused the accident. It seems simple: the other driver or their insurance company is responsible for paying for your damages, right?
Well, that’s not always the case. Car accident laws are complex, and each state follows its own unique rules that can make pursuing compensation a difficult matter by yourself. Below, we discuss what you need to know about fault laws in Louisiana and how “No Pay, No Play” laws may impact a driver’s ability to pursue compensation against an at-fault driver.
Fault Laws in Louisiana Car Accidents
Like many other states, Louisiana follows a traditional fault-based insurance system, meaning that whoever is found to be at fault for an auto accident will be responsible for the damages of those injured in the crash.
Typically, this involves using one’s insurance to cover the cost of medical bills and lost wages. But, an uninsured or underinsured driver who causes an accident will be held personally responsible for paying the damages they cause, including to people or to property. That money comes straight out of their pockets.
No Pay, No Play Law and Uninsured Drivers
On the other hand, let’s say that the uninsured driver is involved in an accident because of another driver. In this scenario, you may believe that the at-fault driver would be responsible for paying the uninsured driver’s damages.
However, due to a state law that went into effect in 2011, an uninsured driver may be barred from pursuing compensation against someone that caused their accident. According to Louisiana’s “No Pay, No Play” law, victims of another driver’s negligence are prevented from collecting the first $15,000 in bodily injury damages and $25,000 in property damage if they are uninsured at the time of the accident.
Essentially, uninsured drivers will be responsible for paying out-of-pocket for a good chunk of their damages, even if they did nothing to cause the accident. Louisiana drivers can protect their rights to file personal injury claims by ensuring that they keep their auto insurance policies up-to-date.
Exceptions to This Law
The No Pay, No Play law is complex, and there are many specific exceptions to this rule that we want to be sure to clarify:
- The law only requires drivers to have minimum liability coverage. A driver is only required to have the bare minimum coverage, not full or comprehensive coverage.
- The law does not apply to out-of-state drivers. The law may not apply if either driver is from another state that has different insurance requirements.
- The law does not apply to legally parked cars. This applies to insurance claims for property damage.
- The law doesn’t apply if certain laws were broken. An uninsured driver may pursue compensation if the at-fault driver was driving while intoxicated, intentionally caused the wreck, fled the scene, or was in the commission of another felony at the time of the crash.
- The law does not apply to a passenger of a vehicle. Unless an injured passenger is the co-owner of the uninsured vehicle, the passenger may pursue compensation against the at-fault driver.
Injured in a Car Accident? Get Help Today
At The Chopin Law Firm, our team of New Orleans car accident attorneys is dedicated to protecting the rights of injury victims like you. If you’ve been injured in an accident, even as an uninsured driver, we are here to help you recover the maximum compensation that you are entitled to receive.
We offer no-fee, no-obligation consultations, so you have nothing to lose by reaching out to our firm and discussing your legal options moving forward. Contact us today at (504) 475-2429 to get started!