In Louisiana, 13.9% of motorists are uninsured. Without proper coverage, they can create headaches for any driver they collide with. If an uninsured motorist injures you in an auto accident, you will likely worry whether you will pay for your medical expenses out-of-pocket. While it is unlikely that you will, it is important to consider your options for receiving compensation.
Filing an insurance claim
Louisiana follows a fault-based insurance system. Under this system, when another motorist injures you in an auto accident, you must file your personal injury claim through their insurance company. After sustaining injuries caused by an uninsured driver, however, you will file your claim through your insurance policy’s uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. Louisiana does not require residents to carry UM coverage on their insurance policies. Yet, under state law, insurance companies must offer it as an add-on.
When an insurance claim is not enough
After receiving your insurance settlement, you may discover that it failed to cover the entirety of your medical expenses. Especially if you lost wages or endured prolonged pain and suffering, your compensation may seem inadequate. If it is, you can appeal your insurance company’s initial offer or try negotiating it with them. Or, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault motorist. Louisiana’s statute of limitations for doing so, though, is shorter than those in most other states. From the date of your accident, you have one year to take legal action against the at-fault motorist.
Receiving proper compensation after an auto accident can be difficult enough when the at-fault motorist has auto insurance. When they lack coverage, the process becomes much more challenging. An attorney can help you weigh your options for working toward an appropriate settlement.