When another driver negligently causes an automobile accident and injures you, the other driver is legally responsible for the damages caused. Typically, payment of the damages is made by the automobile liability insurance coverage for the other driver’s vehicle. However, many drivers in Louisiana violate the law by driving without any automobile liability insurance coverage. Many other drivers have purchased only the minimum amount of automobile liability insurance required by the law. In Louisiana, at present, the law requires a driver to have liability insurance which will pay a maximum of $15,000.00 per person, $30,000.00 per accident, for all damages caused by the driver, other than property damage.
Unfortunately, it also seems that the drivers who break the law by driving without automobile liability insurance coverage also cause more than their share of the accidents in Louisiana. If you are injured by the fault or negligence of an uninsured driver, you will typically be unable to collect your damages, including pain and suffering, mental anguish, medical expenses, and lost wages, unless you have purchase your own protection from your insurer referred to as uninsured motorist insurance coverage. We strongly recommend that all drivers purchase this extra coverage, because of the likelihood that the damages you will suffer as the result of an accident will either not be paid if the other driver is uninsured, or they will not be completely paid if the other driver does not have enough liability insurance coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage is not very expensive, when you consider the benefits of purchasing it. Additionally, if you do need to use this coverage because the other driver that caused your accident was insured or insufficiently insured, your insurance company is prohibited by law from either increasing your insurance rates or canceling your coverage. As a practical matter, your insurer will understand that this coverage has been sold to you for your protection from negligent drivers, and that you are still a good customer for them even though you may have been struck by a negligent driver, through no fault of your own. Gary P. Koederitz has been representing injured individuals in claims arising out of automobile accidents, including hundreds of uninsured motorist claims, and has never witnessed an automobile insurance company trying to raise a customer’s rates or cancel the policy because they used their uninsured motorist coverage.
Many people also refer to this insurance coverage as “uninsured/underinsured” motorist coverage. That is because your uninsured motorist coverage might be called upon to pay the portion of your damages that remains after all of the automobile liability insurance for the other driver has been exhausted. Thus, if the driver that causes your accident has a $15,000.00 per person liability policy, and your damages total $25,000.00, the at-fault driver’s liability policy will pay $15,000.00, and your uninsured motorist coverage will pay $10,000.00. We again urge our clients to have uninsured motorist coverage, since any injury from an automobile accident, beyond a very minor injury, will result in damages exceeding $15,000.00. For example, if you should experience pain in the back, neck, knee, shoulder, or any other joint, your treating physician will probably prescribe medications, physical therapy which will probably cost several thousand dollars, and often an MRI study, which may cost about $1,000.00. You may experience pain and suffering and mental anguish for many months, for which you are entitled to recover thousands of dollars, and you may lose wages. Without uninsured motorist coverage, you will recover only the amount of automobile liability insurance coverage the negligent driver has, assuming he has any.
If you have been involved in an accident and sustained injuries, you should consult with an experienced Louisiana attorney. Gary P. Koederitz of Koederitz Law Firm has over thirty years of experience representing individuals who have sustained injuries in every type of vehicle collision imaginable, and he is available to provide advice and representation to you. Call us today at Koederitz Law Firm, (225) 295-9494, for a free consultation regarding your Louisiana automobile accident.