Shreveport Uninsured Driver Accident Lawyer
Dedicated Injury Lawyers Helping Car Accident Victims Throughout Shreveport-Bossier City and North Louisiana
Louisiana law requires all automobile owners to purchase liability insurance in case they get into a wreck and damage another person’s vehicle or injure another driver. Not everybody obeys that law, however. More than one in ten cars on the road in Louisiana right now are uninsured. What happens if you get hit by an uninsured driver? Who will pay for your medical bills and property damage, not to mention lost income, pain and suffering, and the other damages that arise if you get injured in a crash? Fortunately, you can still take steps to protect yourself and recover valuable compensation to help you deal with the harm done to you. The Shreveport-Bossier City uninsured driver accident lawyers at Rice & Kendig can help you understand your options and take on the task of recovering fair compensation on your behalf. If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Shreveport-Bossier City or North Louisiana, even if the driver who hit you didn’t have insurance, call Rice & Kendig for a free consultation regarding any potential claims you may have and how to go about getting the compensation you need and deserve.
Louisiana Requires All Drivers to Carry Insurance
Louisiana law requires all car owners to carry liability insurance in at least the minimum amounts of 15/30/25: $15,000 for personal injury to someone injured in an accident; $30,000 if more than one person is injured in the crash; and $25,000 for property damage. The at-fault driver is responsible for paying crash victims for the damages they incur, and liability insurance is meant to cover those costs for the negligent driver. Automobile owners can purchase more than the minimum amounts of insurance required by law, and many drivers protect themselves with $100,000 or more in liability insurance.
According to the Louisiana Department of Insurance, fines can range from $500 to $1,000 for knowingly operating a vehicle without insurance, getting into an accident without insurance, or falsely claiming to have insurance. Additional penalties can also be imposed for lack of proof of insurance or letting insurance lapse. An uninsured driver’s license can be suspended and their vehicle impounded, registration revoked and license plate canceled.
If you get into an auto accident while uninsured, your driver’s license can be suspended for 180 days. Additionally, under Louisiana’s “No Pay, No Play” law, you won’t be able to collect the first $25,000 in property damage or the first $15,000 in personal injury damages, even if the other driver was at fault in causing the accident.
Despite all these compelling reasons to make sure you have liability insurance coverage, the most recent data shows that 13% of Louisiana drivers don’t carry insurance. That means that if you get hurt in a car crash in Louisiana, the odds are greater than one in ten that the driver who hit you won’t have insurance. What can you do if this happens?
Uninsured Motorist Insurance Can Help
If you have uninsured motorist (UM) insurance, this coverage is specifically designed to cover your expenses when the driver who hits you is uninsured. UM is often sold together with underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, which protects you when the other driver has only the minimum amount of insurance and it’s not enough to cover all your damages. UM/UIM coverage is optional in Louisiana, but it’s highly recommended, given the chances you could get hit by a driver who doesn’t have insurance. UM insurance can also kick in if you are injured in a hit-and-run and can’t locate the driver. Hit-and-run accidents have been on the rise across the country, making UM coverage even more important.
When buying UM/UIM coverage, make sure you are choosing the appropriate coverage. Louisiana allows you to buy “economic-only” coverage, which covers your medical bills but doesn’t pay any “pain and suffering” damages. There is also UM property damage coverage, which comes with a $250 deductible and pays the lesser of $25,000 in damages or the actual cash value of your vehicle unless you purchase higher coverage. You’ll need to evaluate your options and determine what you can afford, but full UM/UIM protection can be a valuable benefit that only amounts to a fraction of your overall car insurance bill.
Do I Need a Lawyer to File for UM/UIM Benefits?
If you need to make a UM claim, don’t assume that dealing with your own insurance company will be any easier than if you were facing the other driver’s insurance carrier. Your insurer will still send out an adjuster to minimize the damage and downplay the serious nature of the accident, and they will also try to get you to make a recorded statement they can use to show you were partly or wholly at fault.
Insurance companies don’t want to pay out any more in claims than they absolutely have to you; if they can turn down your claim or get you to accept less than your claim is actually worth, then that’s what they will do.
The insurance company’s interests are not aligned with yours, but your attorney’s interests are. Rice & Kendig only want to get you the best result possible and do not have any conflicting reasons to strive for anything less. Whether dealing with your insurance company or the other driver’s, always call an experienced car accident lawyer at Rice & Kendig to help you get the settlement that best meets your needs.
Hit by an Uninsured Driver in Shreveport-Bossier City? Call Rice & Kendig Injury Lawyers
After a car crash with an uninsured driver in Shreveport-Bossier City or North Louisiana, call Rice & Kendig injury lawyers for a free consultation. With Rice & Kendig on your case, you’ll know that you are being taken care of by skilled and experienced attorneys looking out for your best interests.