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What to Know About Uninsured Motorists in Louisiana

December 15, 2022

A guide to everything you should know about car accidents involving an uninsured driver, as well as what No Pay, No Play means in Louisiana.

After you’ve been in a car accident, you may have many questions.

One of the most common questions we get here at Brandt & Sherman Injury Lawyers after someone’s been in an accident is regarding auto insurance. In Louisiana, drivers with a registered vehicle must have liability coverage commonly called the “15/30/25” coverage. By law, you’re required to have a minimum of $15,000 in bodily injury liability per person, $30,000 in bodily injury liability per accident, and $25,000 in property damage liability per accident. But what does this mean for your situation? See below for a list of commonly asked questions about uninsured motorists involved in car accidents in Louisiana.

What if I don’t have car insurance in Louisiana?

You are required by law to have auto insurance in the state of Louisiana (a minimum of 15/30/25 coverage). If law enforcement finds that you’ve been driving your vehicle without insurance, you can be fined up to $1,000. You risk having your license suspended and your registration revoked for 180 days, as well as having your car impounded—and that comes with a hefty fee to get it back.

If you’ve been involved in an accident and are uninsured, keep in mind that the penalty for driving without insurance is a fraction of the penalty for fleeing the scene of an accident. Don’t let the fear of a no-insurance ticket cause you to make the wrong decision after a car crash. Stay on the scene, take photos, document the accident, and speak to police.

What does the “No Pay, No Play” law mean in Louisiana?

The “No Pay, No Play” law was passed in Louisiana in 2011. It states that the victim of another driver’s negligence is prevented from collecting financial compensation if they were uninsured at the time of the accident. The state government passed this law in the hopes of reducing the number of uninsured drivers on the roads, as well as to not reward someone for breaking the law and driving without insurance by awarding them money after a car accident. The No Pay, No Play law means different things depending on whether the uninsured motorist was the victim of the crash, or the at-fault driver.

What if the person who hit me doesn’t have car insurance?

If you’ve been injured in an accident and the at-fault driver is uninsured, then you may be on the hook for your own medical bills and property damage expenses. You will need to seek compensation through your own Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM) if you have it. This insurance policy makes sure you are covered financially should the at-fault driver not have a policy of their own. In Louisiana, auto insurance companies are required by law to offer this policy, but you are not required to purchase it. You must, however, opt out of the UM/UIM policy in writing, otherwise you will be automatically enrolled and start paying for the coverage. We recommend purchasing UM/UIM coverage to ensure you’re never left without the ability to pay for your medical bills after an accident. 

The uninsured at-fault driver will be on the hook for potentially tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the severity of the car wreck. The victim is permitted to seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit, but keep in mind that if the driver had tens of thousands of dollars, they would probably have purchased car insurance.

What if the car accident victim doesn’t have car insurance?

If you have been seriously injured in a car crash but you don’t have any insurance, you may still be able to receive some compensation. The No Pay, No Play law prevents you from collecting compensation for the first $15,000 of medical expenses and bodily injury, and the first $25,000 in property damages. If, however, your expenses exceed that amount, you still must pay the deductible out of pocket, but can then seek the remaining amount from the at-fault driver’s liability insurance.  If the at-fault driver also does not have insurance, your personal injury lawyer can help you file a lawsuit to seek compensation, perhaps by garnishing the driver’s wages or putting a lien on their home. 

The No Pay, No Play law does not apply if the at-fault driver broke certain laws before the crash like driving while under the influence or fleeing a crime scene. In other words, if you are the victim of a crime-related car accident and are uninsured, you are permitted to seek full compensation. The No Pay, No Play does not apply to a non-owner passenger either, whether the person was riding in the at-fault vehicle or the car that was hit. This means that a passenger who does not own either vehicle would not be penalized the initial $15,000 on a bodily injury claim. 

Will a personal injury lawyer take my case if I don’t have insurance?

It is important to contact an attorney after you’ve been involved in a car accident. Most law firms will offer free consultations to discuss the details of your case. Every person’s accident case is unique, so speak with a personal injury lawyer to see if they would be a good fit to represent you after you’ve been injured in a car wreck.

At Brandt & Sherman Injury Lawyers, we are committed to being the best possible legal representation for you. With over 60 years of combined experience, we’ll help you get the help you need and deserve. Contact us today, and see how we become your lawyer, your voice.

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