When you or a loved one suffers serious injuries in an auto accident, it is important to assert your family’s legal rights by all means available. While this may mean filing a claim with the other driver’s insurance company, it may mean filing a variety of other types of claims as well.
Auto insurance serves as an important source of financial recovery for many victims and families—and, in Louisiana, all drivers are required to carry liability insurance. Unfortunately, the mandatory policy limits are fairly low. As a result, filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer won’t be enough in many cases. Plus, this is only an option if the other driver was at fault in the collision. In this article, we provide an overview of the other types of claims an experienced car accident lawyer may be able to help you file.
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Types of Auto Insurance that Cover Accident-Related Injuries and Costs
While there are several types of auto insurance that cover property damage and other accident-related expenses (i.e., rental car costs), there are three main types of auto insurance that cover the costs of car accident victims’ injuries. These are:
1. Medical Payments Coverage
Medical payment coverage (or MedPay) is insurance you buy to protect yourself in the event of an accident. While MedPay policy limits are usually fairly low, you are entitled to this coverage without proof of fault. As a result, you should be able to secure this coverage fairly quickly, and you should be able to rely on it while any other claims are pending.
2. Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) Auto Insurance
If the other driver was at fault in the accident, your lawyer should be able to file a claim under his or her bodily injury liability (BIL) insurance policy. In Louisiana, drivers must have BIL coverage of at least $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. However, many drivers purchase additional coverage to protect themselves in the event that they cause a serious collision.
3. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Auto Insurance
If you or a member of your household has uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, your lawyer may be able to help you file a UIM claim as well. This is an option if: (i) the at-fault driver is uninsured, (ii) the at-fault driver’s BIL coverage isn’t enough, or (iii) the at-fault driver fled the scene of the accident. In all three cases, you must be able to prove fault in order to secure coverage.
Other Types of Claims After a Serious Car Accident
Along with auto insurance claims, victims of serious car accidents in Louisiana may be able to file a variety of other types of claims as well. For example, depending on the circumstances involved in a collision, it may be possible to file one or more of the following:
4. A Claim Against the Driver’s Employer
Employers can be held liable for employees’ negligence within the scope of their employment. This means that if an employee causes a car accident while driving for work, his or her employer can be held liable in most cases. Typically, filing an employer liability claim after a car accident involves dealing with the employer’s commercial auto or commercial general liability (CGL) insurer.
5. A Claim Against the Driver’s Rideshare Company
Rideshare companies (or their insurers) can be held liable for drivers’ negligence in some cases. Even though rideshare drivers are not employees under Louisiana law, rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft still have insurance that covers their drivers’ accidents. If you cannot fully recover your losses under an at-fault rideshare driver’s policy, then the next step may be to file a claim with the rideshare company’s insurer.
6. A Claim Against a Vehicle Manufacturer
Vehicle manufacturers can be held liable when defects cause (or contribute to causing) serious car accidents. For example, if a brake failure or tire blowout played a role in causing your (or your loved one’s) collision, you may have a claim against the manufacturer. This is true whether the defect affected your vehicle or another driver’s vehicle.
7. A Claim Against a Vehicle Component or Accessory Manufacturer
Along with vehicle manufacturers, manufacturers of individual components and accessories can also be held liable for selling dangerous and defective products. For example, if your (or your loved one’s) airbag exploded—which is a concern with millions of vehicles currently on U.S. roads—you may have a claim against the airbag’s manufacturer.
8. A Claim Against a Dealership or Shop
In some cases, accident victims and their families will have claims against dealerships and repair shops. If a vehicle-related issue results not from a defect but instead from a negligent repair or service job, then the dealership or shop that performed the work may be liable instead of the vehicle, component, or accessory manufacturer.
9. A Claim Against a Government Agency
Filing a claim against a government agency is also a possibility in some cases. Along with accidents involving government employees, government agencies can also be held liable for accidents that result from potholes, structural failures, dangerous construction zones, and other issues with the road.
10. A Claim Against a Bar, Restaurant, or Social Host
Bars, restaurants, and social hosts can be held liable following accidents involving underage drunk drivers in some cases. While Louisiana’s “dram shop” and “social host” laws only apply in limited circumstances, it is important to carefully evaluate all options when dealing with the aftermath of a life-altering collision.
Discuss Your Legal Rights with a Louisiana Car Accident Lawyer for Free
Do you need to know what type of claim (or claims) to file after a serious car accident in Louisiana? If so, it is important that you hire a lawyer to investigate the accident as soon as possible. Louisiana car accident lawyer Chris J. Roy represents accident victims and families statewide. To speak with Mr. Roy about your legal rights in confidence, call 318-413-6731 or tell us how we can reach you online now.