Who Pays For a Car Accident in Louisiana?
Attorney John S. Williams explains the process
A car accident can changes your life in seconds. Suddenly, you are left injured and in need of medical treatment. It may take months or even longer to recover. Medical expenses add up quickly, but your injuries may prevent you from working and there’s less income coming in. Who is going to pay for all of the damages you suffered?
If negligence caused the crash that left you hurt, you have the right to seek financial compensation. But insurance companies aren’t on your side. That’s why you need an experienced New Orleans car accident lawyer to fight for you. The Law Offices of John S. Williams can guide you through the process of filing a car insurance compensation claim.
Louisiana is an “at-fault” state for car accidents
This is also known as a “tort” state. It means that the driver who is at fault for the car accident (and their insurance company) is responsible for paying damages. If you were hurt in crash caused by a negligent driver, your options for recovering compensation are:
- File a third-party claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company
- File a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, who will be represented by their insurance company.
You may also be able to file a first-party claim with your own insurance company if you have certain types of benefits on your policy. An attorney can go over all of your options.
What if I was partially at fault for an accident?
Louisiana is a comparative negligence or “comparative fault” state. This means that even if you were found to be partially responsible for causing a car accident, you are still able to recover compensation for the damages you suffered. However, the compensation you receive will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
For example, a jury awards you $100,000 in compensation for your injuries but you are found to be 20% at fault. Your compensation would be reduced by 20% and your total recovery would be $80,000.
Insurance companies are very familiar with how comparative negligence works. That’s why they will try to put some of the blame on you.
What does car insurance cover in Louisiana?
Under Louisiana law, each vehicle registered in the state is required to 15/30/25 liability limits. That means:
- $15,000 in bodily injury liability for injury or death of one person in an accident
- $30,000 total in bodily injury liability for injuries or death to multiple people in a single accident
- $25,000 for property damage in a single accident.
However, the injuries and damage suffered in a car accident can easily exceed those amounts. That’s why it’s recommended to buy policies that have higher limits.
There are also other types of coverage you choose to add to your policy, such as:
- Collision coverage – This covers damages to your car from the accident, whether or not you were at fault.
- Comprehensive coverage – This covers damages to your car from other causes, such as flood, fire, vandalism, or theft.
- Medical payments (MedPay) – This helps pay for medical expenses following a car accident, no matter who was at fault.
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) – This helps cover damages you suffered if the other driver has no car insurance, or not enough to cover the costs of the accident.
What if the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance?
Every driver in Louisiana is required to have car insurance by law – but some people don’t follow the law. That’s why it’s a good idea to protect yourself by choosing UM/UIM coverage for your policy. This can also be used if you are injured in an accident caused by a hit-and-run driver. Without this coverage, your options are limited. Even if a hit-and-run driver is identified, that person may not have insurance or the assets to pay for damages.
A lawyer who will pursue all options for compensation after a car accident.
Many people aren’t sure what to do after a crash. They are suffering from lower back pain or another car accident injury. All they have are questions. Can I file a car accident lawsuit in Louisiana? How much money can I recover in a car accident claim after a crash? Do I even have a case?
Attorney John S. Williams will investigate your car accident. Our legal team gathers evidence such as video from traffic cameras, carefully reviews accident reports and medical records, and interviews witnesses. If needed, we consult accident reconstruction experts and other specialists.
Attorney Williams identifies negligent parties and builds a strong case to hold them accountable. He will also determine the total damages you are owed. How much compensation can you recover for a car accident? It depends on many factors. It’s difficult to determine the average compensation for a car accident, as each case is different.
In general, you can seek compensation for:
- All current and future medical expenses related to your injuries (including surgery, hospitalization, medication, and physical therapy)
- Lost wages and future earnings if injuries prevent you from working
- Property damage to your vehicle
- Replacement services for tasks you can’t perform due to injury (such as childcare and yardwork)
- Home or vehicle modifications if you were left with a disability
- Pain and suffering, as well as emotional distress.
If you were hurt in crash, it’s important to talk to a New Orleans car accident lawyer as soon as possible. In Louisiana, you only have one year from the date of your accident to take legal action. Learn more about your legal options and how we can help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.