When you are injured in a traffic accident caused by another driver, you can file a personal injury claim against that driver to recover compensation for damages. However, the driver’s liability insurance company is the source of the compensation in most car accident claims. Therefore, the policy limits of the other driver’s liability insurance policy has an effect on your ability to recover full compensation of all damages.
Actual Damages vs. Policy Limits
Under Louisiana law, drivers are only required to carry minimum liability coverage of $15,000 per person for bodily injury. Regardless of the total of your damages, the most you can receive from the insurance company is $15,000. Even a minor injury in a car accident can quickly exceed the minimum insurance limits if you have an emergency room visit, a couple of nights in the hospital, physical therapy, and lost time from work.
For instance, if your damages total $200,000, the insurance company will only pay you $15,000. Therefore, you need to look to other sources for payment of the balance of your damages.
Other Sources of Compensation
Your accident claim is actually against the driver; therefore, the driver is liable for the claim. However, the average person does not have the ability to pay a large claim. You can get a judgment against the other driver, but you probably will not be able to collect the judgment unless the driver has substantial assets that are not protected from judgment liens. Since you cannot get the money from the driver, you can look to other sources for payment.
Another potential source of payment is, for medical bills, is your health insurance coverage. Your health insurance may cover your medical costs related to the accident. Once your settlement is received, our lawyers can try to negotiate with medical providers and your health insurance provider to settle bills and subrogation rights.
A third party could also be partially liable for your accident. For example, if a defective part or a road hazard contributed to the accident, you could have a claim against another party. An experienced New Orleans car accident attorney investigates the accident thoroughly to identify all potential parties to the claim.
Of course, we will also look at your car insurance policy to determine if you have underinsured motorist coverage on your policy. If so, you might be entitled to recover money from your insurance policy once your damages exceed the policy limits of the other driver’s insurance coverage.
Call a New Orleans Car Accident Attorney
When you are injured in a car accident, it is important to protect your rights. Contact an attorney is one of the ways you can increase your chance of recovering the maximum amount available for your injury claim. Our New Orleans car accident lawyers have the experience, resources, and skills you want on your side as you fight for compensation to pay all your financial and non-economic damages.