What You Need To Know About Car Accident Claims in Louisiana

August 26, 2019 car accident, car accident claim 0 Comments

car accident claim la legal

We are all familiar with the injury attorney billboards lining the interstate, but in what situations should we pick up the phone to call these guys? How do you know which accidents are worthy of calling an attorney’s office?

If you find yourself in this situation, what are you supposed to do? 

What type and severity of accidents should I report?

Getting rear-ended is never fun. And although classifying an accident as a “fender-bender” can seem cliche’, it often undermines the damage that can actually occur not only to your vehicle, but your body as well.

Should you report this accident? 

If so, How? And where?

Well, per Louisiana’s car accident settlement process and timeline, there is a correct way to go about it.

Related: 6 Signs That You Are Working With A High Performance Insurance Agent

Louisiana’s Car Accident Settlement Process and Timeline

Civilian instructions on what to do when in a car accident can be found in  Louisiana Statutes Section 32:398.

This section states that you are to:

  • Immediately give notice to the local police department if the accident resulted in: (1) injury, (2) death, or (3) property damage over $500

  • File a report within 24 hours to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections if the accident resulted in: (1) injury, (2) death, or (3) property damage over $100


What sort of timeline am I on in order to file a claim?

Per Louisiana law, you have approximately one year to file both a personal injury or property damage claim. The timeline starts on the day of your accident. 

Meeting this timeline for claims is extremely important due to the fact that if you miss the year span allotted for submitting a claim, Louisiana judges are more than likely to deny your claim. This could leave you empty handed in regards to recovering any damages no matter how deserving you may be of them.

Does my car insurance matter?

Particularly, Liability Insurance comes into play with car accident claims.

Per Louisiana Law, drivers must carry liability coverage on any vehicle that they own, and the coverage must meet with minimum requirements allowed by the state.

This coverage will pay for personal injury and property damage for the amount insured.

But, what happens to those drivers without appropriate protection or those without insurance? Well, they will more than likely be subject to hefty fines or even have their license suspended.

How does the whole “settlement” process work?

Most claims made by drivers that have been victim to car accidents are usually resolved in the form of a settlement. This occurs when the two parties agreement to a certain amount of money in order to avoid a lawsuit.

Once the driver submits a claim to their insurance company, the insurance company will start the process of evaluating the extent of the damages in regards to cost and will issue a settlement offer to the driver.

An important reminder for all the insured out there: you do NOT have to accept any of the initial settlement offers made by your insurance company. If you feel that more is owed to you, you have the right to file a “complaint” and pursue a lawsuit against the other driver at fault.

This complaint is filed to the Louisiana Department of Insurance.

From there, since Louisiana follows the “at-fault” system, the onus usually falls on the driver at fault for the accident. They will be seen as liable for any of the injuries or the cost of the damages due to the accident. The most common forms of damage are:

  • Loss wages

  • Rental cars

  • Auto repair

  • Auto replacement

  • Pain and suffering