Louisiana has fault-based traffic collision laws, meaning the at-fault driver pays the victims’ damages after most car accidents. So, in most cases, if you are injured or suffer property damage in a collision that another driver causes, you will aim to recover compensation from that driver’s insurance company.
However, if you were uninsured or not carrying the minimum required coverage at the time of the crash, Louisiana’s “No Pay, No Play” law (RS: 32:866) reduces the compensation available to you. This law bars you from collecting the first:
- $25,000 of property damages
- $15,000 of bodily injury damages
You would have to pay those costs out of your pocket even if the other driver was entirely at fault. Working with a personal injury law firm can help you identify and pursue fair compensation in your case based on the value of your economic and non-economic losses and the applicable laws.
Are There Any Exceptions to the “No Pay, No Play” Law?
There are some circumstances when this law will not affect your compensation in a traffic accident case. The “No Pay, No Play” rule does not apply when:
- All drivers involved in the crash have coverage that meets the state’s minimum insurance limits
- Your vehicle was parked when the accident occurred
- The at-fault driver is from another state that did not require liability insurance
- The driver who caused the accident was driving drunk, fled the scene, caused the crash intentionally, or committed another felony that caused the crash
- A passenger files a claim, unless they are a co-owner of the uninsured vehicle.
Your attorney may be able to prove that you meet an exception to this law and can recover the documented value of your damages through an insurance settlement or at trial.
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Do Other States Have Laws Similar to Louisiana’s “No Pay, No Play” Law?
Besides Louisiana, ten other states have a law similar to the “No Pay, No Play” law. However, there is no state with the same limits on recovery that Louisiana puts in place.
In each of those other ten states, the law only applies to non-economic damages, covering the victim’s intangible losses such as pain and suffering. Louisiana is the only state where the statute applies to economic damages, including vehicle repairs and healthcare bills.
This could prevent you from seeking and recovering the money you need to pay bills, repair your vehicle, and cover other financial impacts of the crash. This makes the stakes of not having insurance even greater in Louisiana than in states where the law only bars recovery of a portion of non-economic damages.
What Are the Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements in Louisiana?
According to the Louisiana Department of Insurance, the minimum liability car insurance requirements in Louisiana are as follows:
- $15,000 per person for bodily injury liability
- $30,000 per accident for bodily injury liability
- $25,000 for property damage liability
These are the policies the state requires all drivers to carry. They are mandatory coverages that protect victims of any accident you may cause. You may have to pay for an accident out of your pocket if you cause a crash and do not have adequate coverage.
Your insurance carrier also offers you medical payments coverage of at least $1,000 and uninsured motorist coverage of $30,000 per accident and $15,000 per person. These are first-party policies that protect your assets and wellbeing after an accident. However, these coverages are not required. You can reject these policies in writing to avoid paying for them.
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What to Expect from the Insurance Company When You File Your Claim
If you are in an accident and do not have the minimum amount of auto insurance required under Louisiana law, you must cover the first $15,000 in medical expenses and $25,000 in property damages before the liable party’s insurance company will be responsible for the rest.
After you cover your portion under the “No Pay, No Play Law,” you can file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurer. Since the insurance company will lose money by paying out on your claim, you can expect them to look for every opportunity to reduce or deny you the benefits you are entitled to.
However, it is important to keep in mind that the insurance company will only be required to pay out up to the limits of the policyholder’s claim. If your damages exceed the policyholder’s protection limits, the insurance company will not be responsible for covering your costs beyond the policy threshold.
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Are Auto Insurance Settlements Enough to Cover Your Damages?
Since the insurance company is only obligated to cover certain types and amounts of damages, you may be surprised to find that your insurance settlement does not adequately compensate you for your damages.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of insurance companies only provide compensation for certain types of economic damages such as your medical bills, the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle, and in some cases, lost wages.
However, you likely suffered more than just financial losses. If you hope to recover full and fair compensation for your damages, you may need to exhaust all avenues of justice.
How to Recover Fair Compensation After a Car Accident in Louisiana
When you cannot secure the compensation you are entitled to through the insurance company, you may need to bring your case to civil court. Having the Louisiana civil court system hear your car accident claim may be the best way for you to recover every loss you suffered due to your car accident.
Through your claim, you have the opportunity to seek compensation for your non-economic and economic damages. Some of the awarded damages in Louisiana car accident claims include:
- Lost income
- Loss of potential future earnings
- Cost of physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Prescription medication fees
- Costs of medical equipment and hospital bills
- Skin scarring and disfigurement
- Diminished quality of life
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Unexpected child care expenses
- Costs of maintaining your household
- Damage to your reputation
- Costs of increased insurance premiums
If you lost a loved one in a car accident, you may be able to recover additional damages in a wrongful death case, such as:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost household income
- Loss of companionship and love
- Loss of guidance and support
- Loss of advice and society
- Loss of consortium
Find out more about how much your civil car accident claim could be worth when you contact your attorney to discuss the claims process for your case.
A Car Accident Attorney May Be Able to Help You Receive Fair Compensation
If you were injured in a collision and are concerned about your ability to recover compensation, you should work with a car accident lawyer from our firm. We provide free case reviews that allow victims to get a better idea about the strength of their case, the steps they need to take, and how a lawyer can help.
You might only have one year to take your case to trial under CC Art. 3492, so you should connect with an attorney at our firm as soon as you can after the crash. Your lawyer will be able to review your accident and determine how the “No Pay, No Play” law could affect your payout.
You Can Speak with a Team Member from Our Law Firm Today
If you are concerned that Louisiana’s “No Pay, No Play” law will affect your traffic accident claim, contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers to learn more. Our attorneys have more than 250 years of combined experience, and we will use our knowledge and resources to help you fight for the settlement or award available based on the circumstances of your crash.
Call for a free consultation with an auto accident team member. We have someone available to discuss your case now.
Call or text (337) 777-7777 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form