Traveling in a motor vehicle is an inherently dangerous activity. Even a simple, short trip that you’ve already taken a hundred times can result in a crash due to mechanical issues, mistakes on your part or bad driving habits practiced by someone else.
Given that the risk exists for crashes to cause catastrophic injuries or even death, drivers with registered vehicles have an obligation to carry insurance that protects them from liability in a crash. Unfortunately, Louisiana has relatively low insurance requirements that can leave the victims of a crash caused by an irresponsible driver vulnerable to financial losses.
Louisiana only mandates liability coverage
Some states have no-fault insurance that allows a driver’s policy to cover their own losses regardless of who causes a crash. Other states have mandatory coverage for uninsured drivers that helps protect people if someone with a lapsed insurance policy causes the crash. Both of these situations help protect people from other drivers who either don’t have insurance or just don’t have enough coverage.
Louisiana only mandates liability coverage. Specifically, drivers must have $25,000 worth of property damage coverage in case they wreck someone else’s car or crash into a building or other personal property. State law also requires at least $15,000 worth of medical liability coverage if one person gets hurt and $30,000 worth of coverage if two or more people suffer physical injuries in a crash.
Drivers have the option of carrying more insurance than the minimum, but many lower-income or youthful drivers will only have the lowest amount of insurance they can legally carry and drive.
Your costs might be much higher than the other driver’s insurance coverage
The expense involved for trauma care or a single surgery to repair an injury may consume the entire available insurance coverage. That means that the person who got hurt has no coverage to compensate them for lost wages and additional medical expenses.
If you already have uninsured and underinsured driver coverage, your insurance company may cover some of the expenses that exceed what the other driver’s policy will pay. If you don’t have this coverage at the time that you get hurt in a crash or if it still isn’t enough to cover all of your expenses, you may have to explore other options, which might include taking civil action against the other driver.