Under Louisiana’s No Pay, No Play law (RS §32:866), if you are in a car accident with no insurance, you cannot recover damages from the at-fault party’s insurance company. However, you might be able to if your damages meet the legal threshold of $25,000 for property damages and $15,000 for personal injuries or in the event of other extenuating circumstances that the statute describes.
On top of this outcome, driving as an uninsured motorist exposes you to substantial fines and penalties.
What is Louisiana’s No Pay, No Play Law?
RS Art. 32:866 explains Louisiana’s requirements surrounding compulsory motor vehicle liability security. It also outlines the state’s stance on failure to comply and the limitation of damages for uninsured motorists who sustain damages in a motor vehicle collision.
If you do not have liability insurance at the time of your crash and your damages do not meet the threshold established in the Louisiana statute, you will pay these damages out of pocket.
Exceptions to Limitation of Recovery
In addition to meeting the thresholds for property damages and/or personal injuries, other circumstances of an accident would also lift the restrictions on recovering your damages:
- If the law enforcement officer who responds to the accident cites the other driver for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, and the other driver is later convicted of the offense or enters a plea of no contest
- If the other driver intentionally caused the crash
- If the other driver flees the accident scene
- If the other driver’s actions at the time of the collision contributed to the driver furthering a felony
- If you are from another state that does not require you to have liability insurance at the time of an accident
Minimum Compulsory Liability Coverage in Louisiana
Please note that Louisiana law does not require that you have full coverage to recover damages from the at-fault driver. The statute requires that you have the minimum liability insurance.
According to the Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI), if you own a vehicle, you must carry liability coverage to pay for damage to property or personal injury for which you might be found liable. The limits are as follows:
- $15,000: Bodily injury to a single person
- $30,000: Bodily injury to two or more people in a single collision
- $25,000: Property damage
Could I File a Claim Against the Other Driver?
Louisiana statute also contains information about what will happen if you are an uninsured motorist, and you initiate an action to recover damages from the other driver’s insurance company.
In this event, if you are awarded damages, and the amount is equal to or less than the minimum liability coverage amount required by the state, you will be assessed and have to pay all the court costs associated with the action.
Can Injured Passengers in my Vehicle Still Pursue Damages If I am Uninsured?
The No Pay, No Play law does not interfere with passengers in a car accident where the driver did not have insurance. If a passenger in your vehicle suffered an injury in a collision caused by someone else’s negligence, the passenger could file a claim with the insurance company to recover damages.
There may be exceptions that one of our attorneys can explain.
Can I Recover Damages If the At-Fault Driver is Uninsured?
If you have the minimum liability coverage required by Louisiana law, you can still pursue damages if the at-fault driver is uninsured or even underinsured through your uninsured/underinsured motorist policy.
Typically, your insurance provider would recover your losses from the at-fault driver’s insurer. When the other driver does not carry liability insurance, your insurance company could attempt to recover damages directly from the at-fault party. Unfortunately, an individual who does not carry liability insurance is not likely to have the financial means to pay for your damages out of pocket.
You have the option under the No Pay, No Play law to purchase Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist economic-only coverage, which gives you the same coverage as uninsured motorist coverage, except you cannot claim pain and suffering.
If You Were Uninsured at the Time of Your Accident, an Attorney Can Help
If you suffered an injury in a car accident that was not your fault, the attorneys at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can review your insurance plan, answer your questions, and devise a strategy aimed at helping you get the compensation you deserve.
Call us today for a free consultation.