Every time you turn on the television or the radio, you probably hear a car insurance ad. The national companies advertise aggressively, and even local agencies try hard to establish a brand that people trust.
When you get hurt in a crash, your first thought will be to turn to your insurance provider for help. Understanding what obligations an insurance company has to a driver hurt in a Louisiana crash will make handling your claim a little bit easier.
What if you were at fault?
If you are the one who caused the crash, then your policy will protect you from personal liability. The other people affected by the wreck can make a claim against your coverage for medical bills, lost wages and car repair costs. Your insurance provider should cover claims up to the maximum amount that you paid for on your policy.
What if the other driver was the one to blame?
Typically, the driver who caused the crash is the one whose policy covers the expenses, so you would make a claim against their policy rather than your own. In Louisiana, drivers have to have at least $25,000 in property damage coverage and $15,000 in bodily injury coverage if they hurt one person, which will go up to $30,000 if two or more people get hurt in a crash.
You can count on it that minimum level of coverage, maybe more if the driver has more robust coverage. If you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, you might make a claim against your own policy when the other driver doesn’t have enough insurance. You may also be able to make a claim against your collision coverage for the cost to repair your vehicle.
Insurance companies have an obligation to policyholders and claimants
Both Louisiana state laws and federal laws make it clear that insurance companies have an obligation to the people who pay for their policies and those who make appropriate claims against that coverage.
You should be able to expect at an insurance company will approve a claim that the policy should cover, and the insurance company should respond to your claim in a timely manner rather than delaying its resolution indefinitely. Finally, they should offer an appropriate amount of compensation or a reasonable settlement based on the coverage available in the costs you incurred. Failing to do so could be bad faith insurance practices that open the company up to civil litigation.
Learning about your rights after a car crash can make it easier to deal with the insurance company.