Will a driver’s car insurance leave you with unpaid bills?

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2022 | Motor vehicle accidents

State law in Louisiana mandates that every driver carry liability insurance coverage. You can choose to carry as much insurance as you want, as long as you meet the minimum requirements.

People with higher-than-average income levels or significant personal property may decide that more insurance coverage helps protect them from risk if they ever cause a crash. People with fewer assets may worry less about liability risks, meaning they will carry only what the state demands in liability coverage.

Typically, people dealing with catastrophic injuries or major damage to their vehicles will need to bring a claim against the policy of the driver at fault for the wreck. Unfortunately, you may learn that the insurance coverage of the other driver isn’t enough to pay your costs.

What does Louisiana require?

Drivers only need to carry property damage and bodily injury liability coverage. Drivers can insure their vehicles with just $25,000 worth of property damage coverage if they cause a wreck. Bodily injury liability requirements are $15,000 if a crash hurts one person or $30,000 if multiple people get hurt.

Obviously, replacing a newer or imported vehicle could cost far more than $25,000. Bodily injury liability coverage should reimburse you both for medical bills and for lost wages. Even broken bones and soft tissue injuries might cost more than minimal coverage will pay.

What protects you from underinsured drivers?

You have no way of knowing until after a crash if a driver has irresponsibly low insurance amounts. If you find yourself in that situation, you may be able to make a claim against your own policy.

If you carry collision coverage or underinsured motorist protection, your policy can pay to repair or replace your vehicle. It can also help you pay for medical expenses and offer indemnity benefits for your lost wages. Many times, even drivers with good insurance themselves may decide to file a civil lawsuit rather than making a claim against their own coverage. You can take the other driver to court for losses you suffered in the wreck that exceed their coverage.

Understanding your rights after a car crash in Louisiana can help you ensure that the person responsible for the wreck is the one paying those costs.