What happens if the at-fault party doesn’t have car insurance after a collision may depend on the coverage you have available via your own insurance policy. If your policy includes uninsured motorist protection, you might be able to tap into it to cover your accident-related expenses. You might also be able to seek compensation by suing the at-fault driver personally.
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), roughly 13% of all drivers in the U.S. were uninsured in 2015. If you or someone you love was involved in a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, we can help you explore your options for financial compensation.
Our Team Can Review Your Insurance Policy
The Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) only requires minimum liability coverage for residents of the state. This type of policy is normally what injured drivers turn to after a collision when another driver is at fault. When negligent drivers do not have this insurance, car accident victims may look to their own policies for help.
One type of coverage you may be able to turn to is an uninsured motorist (UM) policy. If you are unsure about what your auto coverage includes, your attorney can carefully review your policy to see where you may be able to file a claim for damages.
You May Have Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Having uninsured motorist coverage is not required of drivers in Louisiana. However, state law does require auto insurance companies to offer it with their other policies.
If UM coverage is part of your insurance package, you may be able to tap into its benefits to cover the financial consequences of an accident with an uninsured driver. If not, your lawyer could help you leverage UM protection from a family member who shares your household.
UM protection may also offer you the financial protection you need if the driver who caused your accident fled the scene without accepting responsibility or providing contact information. If you or a member of your household does not have a policy that could provide you with some coverage, you may consider seeking a lawsuit against the driver. This process can be difficult, but having an attorney on your side can help.
The Personal Injury Lawsuit Process
When an uninsured driver injures you, you may have to seek financial compensation by filing a civil lawsuit against them. When that happens, the typical process involves:
- Collecting evidence of the driver’s fault
- Valuing the damages that you experienced and will experience in the future because of the collision and your injuries
- Preparing a case against the driver
- Conduct depositions and interviewing all involved parties, witnesses, and the police who created the official crash report
- Filing the paperwork to initiate a lawsuit
- Going to court to present your case
Based on your evidence, the court may rule that the at-fault driver must pay all or a portion of your damages. It’s important to note that your time to initiate a lawsuit is severely limited in Louisiana, so it’s essential to get started with the process as early as you can.
The Timing of a Personal Injury Civil Lawsuit
Civil Code (CC) §3492 restricts the amount of time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit in Louisiana to one year. Additional rules are also in place that could lengthen or shorten the amount of time you have, so it is important to understand the deadline for your case.
Your lawyer can inform you of the exact amount of time you have to file your lawsuit and of any factors that might alter the timeline. Circumstances that may alter the filing deadline include:
- A fatality
- The involvement of a minor
- The involvement of a commercial or government vehicle
If you fail to comply with the filing deadline in your case, you can lose your right to seek damages through a lawsuit. This means any damages your insurance coverage did not cover will have to come out of your own pocket.
Damages You May Collect for Car Accident Injuries
A car accident can lead to an incredible amount of financial damage. Whether you seek compensation directly from the at-fault driver or from varied coverage stemming from your own insurance policy, you may be entitled to recover these damages:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Car repair
- Car value
- Emotional pain
- Pain and suffering
- Physical disfigurement
When you work with a personal injury lawyer, they can help you gather the estimates, bills, and receipts that document the cost of your collision damages. Assigning each item a monetary value and adding them up will determine the overall value of your case.
Laborde Injury Lawyers Is Here to Help After a Collision
You should not have to add financial strain to an already stressful situation because the driver who hit your car was uninsured. The team at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers might be able to help you explore your other available options for financial recovery. Learn more about what happens if the at-fault party doesn’t have car insurance when you contact us at (337) 777-7777.