The Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that 11.7 percent of drivers in Louisiana are uninsured, meaning that there is a roughly one in 10 chance that the person you are involved in a motor vehicle accident with will have the necessary automobile insurance to cover any damages. You always want to contact an experienced New Orleans car accident attorney after any car crash, especially if the other driver was uninsured.
While Louisiana does not require drivers to maintain uninsured motorist (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, it does require insurers to include uninsured motorist coverage in insurance packages unless the coverage is explicitly rejected in writing by the buyer. While UM and UIM are optional, they are often recommended for your own protection and you should still seek the help of a lawyer when dealing with a UM or UIM claim, even when you did have either form of coverage.
Defining UM and UIM Coverage
Uninsured motorist or UM claims arise in Louisiana car accidents when at-fault drivers have no coverage or cannot be identified, such as when an at-fault motorist flees the scene of a crash (commonly known as a hit and run). A Louisiana State Police (LSP) crash report should contain the name, address, and driver’s license or permit number of all drivers involved, registration numbers and license plate numbers of any vehicles involved, and all relevant insurance information for all of the drivers involved.
Underinsured motorist or UIM claims arise in Louisiana crashes when the at-fault motorist does not have a sufficient amount of insurance coverage. This may mean that the injuries or damages from an accident are more than the amount of coverage available, and a UIM claim could be filed to pursue the damages that may include medical bills, pain and suffering, or other damages that cannot be recovered from the at-fault motorist.
UM and UIM Claims
While you might believe that simply having UM or UIM insurance will be sufficient in ensuring you can recover all of the money you need and deserve, you really should not place that much faith in an insurance company, even your own. In an uninsured motorist scenario, there will be a conflict of interest between you and the insurance company, making legal representation critical.
The result for many people can be exceptional challenges just in getting approval for basic claims. The entire process can be extremely distressing for individuals who have been paying monthly premiums on time and being good customers, but insurers often take adversarial roles because they are always trying to limit expenditures for their companies.
One of the most common reasons insurance companies reject claims is because of missed deadlines, which makes it critical for you to retain legal counsel as soon as possible. If you delay too long, you could end up forfeiting your right to recover any compensation.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with a New Orleans Car Accident Attorney
Have you been involved in a car crash caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver in the greater New Orleans area? Egenberg Trial Lawyers can work to help you recover all of the financial compensation that you are entitled to.
Our firm can immediately step in and take control of your case so you will not have to worry about dealing with any insurance company or negotiating a settlement on your own. You can call (504) 229-3117 or contact us online for a free consultation that will allow us to take a long look at the details of your case and provide advice about what you can do next to take the steps toward a complete recovery.