The state of Louisiana requires all motorists to have valid driving licenses in order to operate motor vehicles. In addition to that, motorists must also have a valid auto insurance policy that covers the damages another driver may incur in the event of a car accident. Louisiana is an at-fault state, which implies that the driver responsible for an accident pays for the injured victim’s damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and vehicle repairs.
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), Louisiana was ranked as the most expensive state for auto insurance in 2020, with an average expenditure of $1,494.70, which may explain why some motorists who are unable to pay high premiums opt to drive on the road uninsured. Drivers who decide to drive on Louisiana roads while uninsured or underinsured and cause accidents may be held personally accountable for the damages they cause to other road users. That compensation typically comes straight from their pockets.
In an effort to curb uninsured drivers in Louisiana, the No Pay, No Play statute was passed in 2011. This statute helps resolve the complexities of how accident cases and damages are handled if one of the drivers is uninsured. At Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers, our experienced car accident lawyers are well-versed in the No Pay, No Play law and can offer sound legal guidance if and when you are involved in a car accident.
What Is Louisiana’s “No Pay, No Play” Law?
In 2019, roughly one in eight drivers, or 12.6% of motorists, were uninsured in the U.S. In Louisiana, an estimated 11.7% of motorists had no insurance. The No Pay, No Play statute intends to persuade such motorists to purchase Louisiana car insurance.
But what is the “No Pay, No Play” law? This statute does not allow victims of motor vehicle accidents to fully recover damages against at-fault drivers if they don’t carry minimum liability coverage. The law (LA R.S.32:866) states, “There shall 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.”
Since many minor accidents don’t result in costs above $15,000 in bodily injuries and $25,000 in property damages, uninsured drivers must cover these damages on their own. Once an uninsured driver covers these costs, they can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company for any additional damages. However, it’s important to note that even though the insurance company may pay for any additional costs, they only cover damages up to the policyholder’s limit. This allows uninsured victims to seek compensation for severe injuries, such as spinal cord injuries or traumatic brain injuries, that may exceed the $15,000 threshold, even if they are uninsured.
Are There Exceptions to This Law?
Yes. If you are underinsured or uninsured, you will have to pay for your medical bills and vehicle repairs regardless of whether you are at fault for the accident or not. However, several exceptions to this law may let you off the hook, including:
- If the other driver is cited for operating their vehicle while intoxicated
- If the other driver intentionally causes the car accident
- If the other driver flees the scene
- If, at the time of the crash, the driver was furthering the commission of a felony
- If your vehicle was legally parked during the incident
- If you are a driver from a different state with different insurance requirements
- If you are a passenger in a car that you don’t own. However, this law will apply if you are a passenger but co-own the uninsured vehicle
- If you don’t have full coverage. This law covers drivers carrying state-required minimum liability insurance.
If you believe you qualify for any of the above exceptions to the No Pay, No Play, it’s advisable to speak to an experienced Louisiana car accident lawyer. At Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers, our lawyers can review your case, guide you on what to do after a Louisiana car accident, determine the cause of your accident, and deal with insurance companies on your behalf.
What Are Louisiana’s Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements?
According to the Louisiana Department of Insurance, drivers are required to carry a 15/30/25 minimum liability coverage, broken down as follows:
- $15,000 for bodily injury to one person
- $30,000 for bodily injuries per accident
- $25,000 for damage to someone else’s vehicle or other property.
What if the At-Fault Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
Unfortunately, if the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, your damages may go unpaid. Your insurance provider will likely try to recover damages from the driver directly since they don’t have a valid auto insurance policy. These efforts may be unsuccessful. In this case, your Louisiana car insurance company may offset your damages and likely raise your premiums.
You also have the option to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer in Louisiana to sue the liable uninsured driver and seek compensation for damages.
What Are the Benefits of Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Insurance companies offer additional coverage for motorists in Louisiana, including uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This supplemental coverage pays for damages if you are involved in a car accident with a driver with little or no insurance. It covers your injuries, injuries to your vehicle’s occupants, and property damage.
Hit-and-run drivers in Louisiana may also be classified as uninsured motorists. You may recover damages under this policy if someone hits your vehicle and flees the scene. Eyewitnesses are crucial in such cases when proving your claim.
Learn More About Louisiana’s “No Pay, No Play” Law Today
If you are worried about how Louisiana’s “No Pay, No Play” law or its exceptions might affect your motor vehicle accident, contact Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers to learn more. Our Louisiana car accident attorneys will evaluate your case, gather relevant evidence to strengthen your injury claim, answer any questions you may have, and protect your rights. Ultimately, the goal of our legal team is to help you recover the best possible compensation for your damages and losses.
Call us today at (318) 221-1508 to schedule a free case review. We will help you understand whether the “No Pay, No Play” law applies to your case or if you are exempt. Get started now to discuss your legal options.
- New Licenses. Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles. Accessed on August 13, 2023.
- Facts + Statistics: Auto Insurance. Insurance Information Institute. Accessed on August 13, 2023.
- Facts + Statistics: Uninsured Motorists. Insurance Information Institute. Accessed on August 13, 2023.
- Compulsory Motor Vehicle Liability Security; Failure to Comply; Limitation of Damages. Louisiana State Legislature. Accessed on August 13, 2023.
- Driving Offenses. Louisiana State Legislature. Accessed on August 13, 2023.
- Consumer’s Guide to Auto Insurance. Louisiana Department of Insurance. Accessed on August 13, 2023.