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Auto Accident

Can you file a lawsuit if you don’t have car insurance?

By June 22, 2020No Comments

Individuals who lack car insurance will face a much more difficult road to pursuing a lawsuit after they’ve been involved in a car accident. That’s because Louisiana is one of only nine states that has a “no pay, no play” policy.

The “no pay, no play” policy takes the stance that you would be unable to pay out in a lawsuit if you were the at-fault driver due to your lack of insurance. Therefore, you should not be able to seek that kind of compensation from someone else. If you don’t pay into the system by paying for car insurance, you can’t take part in it with a lawsuit.

Defining Louisiana’s no pay, no play law

In 2011, Louisiana passed RS 32:866. The law outlines what happens when an uninsured driver is in a car accident. The law states that:

“There should be no recovery for the first fifteen thousand dollars of bodily injury and no recovery for the first twenty-five thousand dollars of property damage based on any cause or right of action arising out of a motor vehicle accident, for such injury or damages occasioned by an owner or operator of a motor vehicle involved in such accident who fails to own or maintain compulsory motor vehicle liability security.”

This only applies if the victim of the accident is uninsured at the time of the accident. If you recently reinstated your insurance or had a period where you didn’t have insurance in the past, this is not relevant to your current car accident.

Likewise, you cannot call the same day of an accident to try and get car insurance to avoid falling under the no pay, no play law. Louisiana courts will take a look at your insurance status at the time of the accident itself.

Excluded situations under the no pay, no play law

Some situations could negate the no pay, no play laws based on the status of the other driver at the time of the accident or that driver’s actions. These situations can include:

  • The other driver is cited for driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Hit and run scenarios where the other driver flees the scene of the accident
  • Intentional accidents where the at-fault driver caused the accident on purpose, such as road rage
  • In the course of the accident, the driver was commissioning a felony offense under Louisiana state law


Understanding Louisiana’s auto insurance requirements

To avoid losing your right to a lawsuit if you are involved in a car accident, you must carry the minimum liability insurance. You do not need full or comprehensive coverage, though you might consider it in case you are the at-fault driver of an accident at some point.

The legal minimum auto insurance coverage in Louisiana is 15/30/25. That means you must have $15,000 of bodily injury coverage to one person, $30,000 of bodily injury coverage for more than one person as well as $25,000 in property damage to someone else’s vehicle or other property.

There are several options for providers of car insurance, so feel free to shop around for the best prices. Insurance companies create their rates based on many factors and each company might put different weights on your risk factors, making their rates differ.

Louisiana car accident attorney

The best way to know if you have a case for a car accident lawsuit is to discuss the matter with a Louisiana car accident attorney. Your attorney will review the documentation related to your accident and determine the best next steps in your case. Contact us for a confidential case evaluation.

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