Personal Injury Claim in Louisiana

Things you need to know when filing a personal injury claim in Louisiana.

The Impact on a Personal Injury Claim if You Don’t Have Insurance

There are minimum insurance rates required in Louisiana to drive a car lawfully:

  • Bodily Injury Liability Coverage: $15,000 minimum per person/$30,000 minimum per accident.
  • Property Damage Liability Coverage: $25,000 minimum.

If you drive without the minimum legal liability coverage on a vehicle you own or are operating, you are subject to what is called the “No-Pay, No-Play” law. This means if you get into an accident, even if it’s not your fault, you forfeit the right to collect the first $15,000 of bodily injury damages and the first $25,000 of property damages arising out the accident. If you are more seriously injured you may still have a personal injury claim, but it will be reduced by these amounts if you fail to buy the minimum coverage.

RELATED: Personal Injury FAQ: 10 Key Questions to Ask

Impact of Opting Out of UM Coverage

It is also highly recommended that you purchase, and do not opt out of, underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage (commonly called “UM coverage”). Louisiana has a high number of uninsured and underinsured drivers on the road and having “UM” coverage can be very important if you are involved in an accident that is not your fault. UM coverage protects you if you are in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, but it can also protect you even if you get hit while you are walking down the street. It can cover you if you are a passenger or driver of someone else’s car. Many drivers opt out of UM coverage to save a little money on premiums, and often end up regretting it.

The fine print:

LARS 32:866 | Compulsory motor vehicle liability security; failure to comply; limitation of damages

A.(1) There shall be no recovery for the first fifteen thousand dollars of bodily injury and no recovery for the first twenty-five thousand dollars of property damage based on any cause or right of action arising out of a motor vehicle accident, for such injury or damages occasioned by an owner or operator of a motor vehicle involved in such accident who fails to own or maintain compulsory motor vehicle liability security.