One of the key reasons that you should have auto insurance—and why states require you to maintain auto coverage—is so that your car can be repaired after it has been involved in an accident.
Louisiana requires all drivers to have at least $25,000 in auto liability coverage, and this kind of policy will pay up to $25,000 in repair costs following an accident.
So what does this mean if you get in a car accident? Our car accident attorneys at Pierce & Shows have decades of experience helping car accident victims recover damages to help them move forward with their lives. Read on to learn more about how that works with insurance companies.
How Do I Recover My Repair Costs in Louisiana?
In order to recover the full amount of your repair expenses, you will need to file an insurance claim. If the other driver was at fault, then you will need to know who insures their vehicle and file a claim with them. You should be able to learn who their insurer is by asking them after the accident or from the police report.
You need to call the other driver’s insurance company and fill out all of the claim paperwork. It may be helpful to have a copy of the police report or, at least, as much of the identifying information of the other driver as possible. You will also need to provide your own vehicle’s make, model, and VIN number.
Before the insurer makes the payout, they will conduct an investigation to confirm the details of the accident. A claims adjuster will likely ask you some questions regarding the accident. Although in most cases, this is a straightforward process that requires only honesty on your part, many people inadvertently make serious mistakes like taking responsibility for some or all of the accident.
That is why it’s so important to hire legal counsel like our Pierce & Shows team before speaking with the other driver’s insurance company. These attorneys can guide you through this complicated and legally risky process.
An experienced accident attorney can also help you avoid costly missteps like downplaying physical or mental trauma, or settling for a low amount. You should keep in mind that a lawyer can expedite the claims process with your own insurer as well as the other driver’s insurer.
What If the Other Driver Is Uninsured?
Things may get more complicated if the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured.
Although Louisiana state laws require that all motorists be insured, many still drive around with auto coverage. The Insurance Information Institute estimates that 11.7 percent or one in eight Louisiana drivers is uninsured.
Although there is no other insurer to file a claim with, you may be able to go through your own insurer to recover repair costs. If you have Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UMC), then your own insurance policy should cover some or all of your repair bills.
Similarly, if the other driver’s insurance is insufficient to cover the entirety of your repairs, then your Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage can be used to cover the remainder.
In order to use your UMC, you will need to file a claim with your insurer. A claims adjuster will perform an investigation that will include an interview with all of the parties involved. You should keep in mind that your insurer will be looking for any grounds to deny your claim, so hiring an attorney to defend your rights is advisable.
Finally, you may also want to consider filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. With the right legal team, you can recover all of your medical and repair expenses.
Contact Pierce & Shows Personal Injury Attorneys Today
If you have been injured or suffered property damage due to another driver’s negligence, then you need the right kind of legal representation to get everything you deserve. Trust Baton Rouge’s Pierce & Shows to fight for you. Contact our practice to learn more about your rights to compensation and a free consultation.