Insurance protocols and procedures aren’t exactly everybody’s cup of tea. However, it is extremely essential to be aware of the pertaining laws of the land. Following a car accident, you might have to bear the expenses of your medical bills, your property damage, or even your lost wages. All of these expenses can be claimed from the insurance companies. At Edward B. Jones & Associates, we are here to guide you through the entire process of recovering your compensation for the injuries and the damages that you might have suffered in some motor vehicle accidents in Louisiana.
Here are the top 10 things that you need to know.
1. Clear the Roadway
Keeping in mind the safety of the other drivers on the road, the Louisiana law mandates you to remove your vehicle from the roadway to the nearest possible safe spot. However, this is possible only if your vehicle is in an operable condition. This also ensures the safety of those who were victims of the accident.
2. Provide a Law Enforcement Notice of the Accident
According to the Louisiana law, every motorist who is involved in any kind of motor-accident causing any kind of injury or death, or in cases where the property damage exceeds $500, is required to report such an accident to the local police.
Along with this, mostly all the automobile insurance policies, via their terms and conditions, require you to call the police in case of a motor vehicle accident. This only works in your favor, as the police will take a wholesome account of the accident, assess the damage, and speak with the witnesses.
3. Medical care
Seeking the appropriate medical care after a car crash is important to a person’s health first and foremost and extremely important for the documentation of injuries to their case. Some injuries from car crashes may not appear immediately after the crash but a person can start feeling symptoms days or even weeks after. So it is very important to seek thorough medical treatment.
4. “Pure comparative negligence” system
This system is based on the standard that, each driver involved in the accident has contributed in some way. It is accounted for in terms of the percentage of fault in the accident. So, if you are injured or have suffered damages, but at the same time were also partly responsible for the accident, the ratio of damages arising from your fault shall be deducted from your claim.
Hence, if you were at 10% fault for some accident and the defendant was at 90%, your claimed damages will be deducted by 10%.
5. Initial rejection of the claim
In most of the cases, the insurance companies, either reject your claim entirely or offer something much less than its true value. This majorly is supported by one of these defenses: “you have falsely projected your losses,” “this injury is attributable to a pre-existing condition,” or “this injury is not consequential to the accident.”
In lawsuits pertaining to the claims raised for personal injury or property damage caused by a motor vehicle, the onus of proving the primary duty on the part of the defendant to drive with reasonable care is on the plaintiff. The plaintiff must make a case, to prove the clear recklessness and negligence on the part of the defendant, which became the proximate cause of the accident, which in turn brought damages to you.
6. Uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM)
Louisiana law requires insurance policies to have UM and UIM insurance covers. These usually serve the policyholders who suffer injuries or property damages, caused by some driver, who is either without car insurance or whose policy’s value is lower than the damages. In such a scenario, an insured, after completing a special form from the State of Louisiana, can select a lower amount of claim.
7. The “No Pay, No Play” Law
In order to dissuade citizens from driving without having valid motor-vehicle insurance, the State of Louisiana has enacted the law of, “No Pay, No Play.” This essentially averts the uninsured driver from getting a full claim for the damages, arising from the fault of another driver.
8. ‘Louisiana’- the direct-action state
According to the Louisiana Direct Action Statute, direct action can be brought against the defendant’s insurance company, only if it was either issued or delivered in Louisiana or the occurrence of the car accident was in Louisiana, and the insurance policy covers the risk. Along with this it also allows the victim to bring a sole action against the insurance company, in cases where the defendant is bankrupt or not in a condition to pay.
9. Limitation of a year to file claims
All claims for personal injury or property damage as a result of a motor vehicle accident must be filed within one year. Since such cases are time-sensitive Louisiana law prevents any such claims which are brought after one year of occurrence.
10. No max limit on damages
Unlike the other states, Louisiana doesn’t put a cap on the number of damages that a single plaintiff can claim from the defendant who is at fault. The only exception to the same is in the small claims court, where the claim must be below $3,000.
For further information you can connect with Edward B. Jones & Associates, LLC, we have extensive experience in various areas. We dedicate ourselves fully to our clients and our work on their behalf. We learn how success is defined by each, and then help identify how to get there. Whether your case involves auto accidents, wrongful death, family law, or criminal defense anywhere in Louisiana, Edward B. Jones & Associates, LLC may be able to help. We bring a strong commitment to each case we accept.