Because Louisiana is a fault state for traffic accident claims, you are required to carry minimum liability insurance coverage. Liability insurance protects individuals who are injured in a car accident that is your fault. It does not pay for your damages. If you cause an injury to another person, your liability insurance pays that person for his or her damages.
Louisiana’s minimum insurance requirements to operate a motor vehicle legally within the state are:
- $15,000 for bodily injury to one person
- $30,000 for bodily injury to more than one person
- $25,000 for damage to property
Insurance companies must also offer medical payment coverage and uninsured motorist coverage with each policy. However, you can reject this coverage if you desire.
What Happens If I am Uninsured in Louisiana?
Louisiana and ten other states have adopted what we refer to as a “No Pay No Play” law regarding automobile insurance. The No Pay No Play law is extremely important in car accidents involving a driver who is uninsured. According to the law, if a driver does not have the minimum liability insurance coverage required by law at the time of a traffic accident, that driver is barred from recovering the first $15,000 in bodily injury damages and the first $25,000 in property damages.
In other words, Louisiana punishes drivers who do not purchase minimum liability insurance. Even if you are not at fault for the car accident, if you do not have the required insurance coverage, you are penalized. If your damages are less than $15,000 for bodily injury (i.e. medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, etc.) and less than $25,000 for property damage, you receive nothing from the other driver. You are solely responsible for your own costs.
Are There Exceptions to the No Pay No Play Law?
Yes, there are some exceptions to this law. Louisiana’s No Pay No Play law does not apply if:
- The accident involves a parked vehicle;
- You are covered by the state’s minimum liability insurance coverage;
- You are a passenger in the vehicle unless you are a co-owner of the vehicle; or,
- The traffic accident involves a drunk driver, felony, hit-and-run, or intentional act.
Because damages in a car accident case can be substantial depending on the severity of the injuries, a victim without insurance could sustain a financial hardship if he or she must bear the cost himself. It is wise to carry the minimum insurance coverage to protect yourself from being subject to the No Pay No Play rule.
Call a New Orleans Car Accident Lawyer
Even if you are uninsured at the time of a collision, it is best to consult with a NoLa car accident attorney instead of assuming you cannot file a claim. You could fall within an allowable exception to the rule, or your claim could be worth much more than the restriction on recovery.
Call Attorney Fred Olinde of The Olinde Firm at (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to request a free consultation with a New Orleans accident attorney. We accept most cases on a contingency fee basis, so it does not cost you anything up front to hire our firm to handle your traffic accident claim.