Car Accidents In Louisiana Involving Out-Of-State Drivers

Car Accidents In Louisiana Involving Out-Of-State Drivers

It’s hard to describe what makes Louisiana so unique and special. From the historic buildings of Baton Rouge to the charming streets of New Orleans to the Cajun dance halls of Lafayette, everything about the Pelican State offers travelers authentic and beautiful experiences. 

Most of these travelers to Louisiana arrive in vehicles.

Many car accidents in Louisiana involve out-of-state drivers unfamiliar with local traffic practices and laws. While looking at famous landmarks, a GPS app, maps, or other directions, a driver can quickly get into a rear-end accident or hit a pedestrian or a cyclist. Being in an accident caused by someone living outside Louisiana may complicate an injury claim. But you still have a right to seek compensation from the negligent driver. 

Louisiana Is A Fault-based State

Louisiana follows a “fault”-based system regarding financial responsibility for injuries, lost income, vehicle damage, and other losses from a car accident. The person at fault for causing the car accident is also responsible for compensating others for any harm resulting from the accident, which is typically established by proving that the driver was negligent, which can include being distracted, violating traffic laws, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and many other circumstances.

Minimum Liability Insurance Requirements In Louisiana 

In Louisiana, you must maintain liability insurance that covers at least:

· $15,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in an accident caused by the insured vehicle’s driver. 

· $30,000 for total bodily injury or death liability in an accident caused by the driver of the insured vehicle and

· $25,000 for property damage per accident caused by the insured vehicle’s driver.

Most insurance policies sold within the United States cover drivers throughout the U.S. Since Louisiana falls on the lower end of the spectrum for required minimum car insurance, there is every chance the out-of-state driver who hit you may have more coverage than the Louisiana minimum.

Most car insurance companies will adjust coverage levels to meet state minimums. 

If a driver with an insurer who doesn’t adjust the coverage hits you, you could still pursue a claim under your uninsured/underinsured motorist policy.

In Louisiana, the risk of encountering an uninsured or underinsured driver is more significant than in other states. Nearly twelve percent of Louisiana drivers do not have car insurance. 

Although it is not mandatory to have uninsured or underinsured insurance coverage, in Louisiana, the law provides an extra layer of protection for victims of accidents caused by uninsured or underinsured motorists. 

State law requires all auto insurance policies to include Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage unless the policyholder explicitly rejects it in writing.

If you have used finance to purchase your vehicle, the bank/credit union/loan provider typically requires comprehensive coverage to protect your interests.

Mandatory Reporting Of Accidents

Under Louisiana law, drivers in the state must report any vehicle accident that:

· results in injury to or death of any person or

· results in property damage above $500.

It is essential to notify the police immediately after an accident that causes an injury so that the police can complete an accident report, which may provide crucial evidence in a lawsuit. 

Louisiana law also requires that drivers involved in an accident forward a copy of a written accident report to the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections (DPSC) within twenty-four hours if the accident resulted in: 

· Injury to any of the parties involved. 

· A fatality. 

· Property damage over $100.

Statute Of Limitations

A significant difference in Louisiana accident laws from other states is Louisiana’s statute of limitations.

You only have a one-year deadline for filing car accident lawsuits in Louisiana’s civil court system. 

Pure Comparative Fault In Louisiana

Louisiana has adopted the “pure comparative fault” rule, which allows financial recovery when the claimant was partly or even primarily responsible for causing the car accident.

Everyone contributing to the accident is apportioned liability equal to their proven fault. 

For example, if a jury finds you thirty percent responsible for the accident and the other driver seventy percent at fault and awards you a total of $100,000 for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. In a final judgment, the court may reduce your award from $100,000 to $70,000 based on the jury’s determination of fault.

Louisiana Is A Direct Action State

An injured party in Louisiana can name an insurance company directly in court. Adding an insurer can help the injured party because a jury in the lawsuit or the judge overseeing it knows an insurance company is available to cover any damages. 

Often, juries can turn sympathetic towards drivers who cause accidents. 

Jury members may hesitate to penalize drivers and hold them responsible for huge judgments. Adding the insurance carrier’s name in a lawsuit makes it clear to the jury that the negligent driver will not have to pay for all the damages. The insurance company is available to cover most of the damages.

Can I File A Lawsuit In The Out-of-State Driver’s State?

You can always bring a suit in the defendant’s state. If you’re a Louisiana citizen, but a Texas driver injures you, you can sue in Texas. Texas courts have “personal jurisdiction” over all of the citizens of that state. You may be able to file a suit in Texas by mail, but you’ll probably have to appear at the court in person for hearings related to the case.

If you file a lawsuit in another state, you must travel to that state to deal with it.

Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers: Louisiana Personal Injury Lawyers Excelling in Complicated Litigation

Right after your car accident, one minor detail worth observing is the license plate of the at-fault driver’s vehicle. If it is not a Louisiana plate, you have a car accident case with an out-of-state driver on your hand. 

If there was one word to sum up a car accident with an out-of-state driver, it is – complicated.

Since 1997, Louisiana personal injury attorney Bart Bernard has helped clients navigate the most complicated legal cases. And he can do the same for you.

No matter how complicated or complex your case is, attorney Bernard will design a legal strategy that suits your specific legal needs. 

At Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers, we’re more than just another successful law firm; our Louisiana personal injury lawyers genuinely care about each of our clients and provide them with the one-on-one attention they need and deserve. 

If an out-of-state driver caused your injuries in Louisiana, you have the legal right to pursue compensation.

Contact a car accident lawyer at Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers for a free evaluation of your case. 

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