It’s essential to know the answer to the following question if you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident in Louisiana: Is Louisiana a no-fault state? At Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys, we’re here to help, and want to be your source for information!
So, first things first—Louisiana is NOT a no-fault state when it comes to auto insurance. Instead, the Pelican State abides by a fault-based system when it comes to traffic accident claims. Broadly, this means if you’ve unfortunately been hurt in a car accident, you’ll need to validate that the other driver was at fault in order to file a personal injury claim. To learn more about how one of our Louisiana car accident lawyers can legally have your back, feel free to continue reading along or schedule your free consultation today!
Fault System vs. No Fault System
The usage of “at-fault” or “no-fault” systems allows all states to be divided into one of the two, but what does this actually mean? To start, if you’ve been in a car accident, the key difference between these two systems is whether you have the right to file a claim or not, and who is held accountable for damages.
According to the at-fault system, an insurance company will compensate the other party depending on how the policyholder was at fault. Most states, including Louisiana, utilize this system. However, since Louisiana uses comparative negligence laws, it’s not always straightforward.
Comparative negligence enables two drivers to “share” the blame. According to Louisiana Civil Code Article 2323, a driver’s ability to recover damages after an accident will be affected by how much of a role they played in the collision. If both parties are at fault after all evidence is considered, then each person will be assigned a percentage of fault and compensated accordingly.
Statute of Limitations
Louisiana maintains a statute of limitations for all traffic accidents. This means you must file the lawsuit against the party you’re claiming at fault within one year of the accident. If not, you will not be able to bring legal action against the driver for the accident in question.
The no-fault system specifies that an insurance company must compensate for the injuries of its policy holder, no matter who was at fault for the accident. Plus, there is a more limited right to sue because damages are settled through insurance payouts rather than in court.
How to Determine Who Caused a Car Accident in Louisiana
Deciding who was at fault for a car accident is either straightforward or very complex, there’s really no in between. Keep in mind that as a Louisiana driver, you owe an implied duty of care to others. In other words, you’re main responsibility is to:
- Follow the law
- Act reasonably
- And take measures to avoid causing accidents and/or injuries to others
By not doing these things, you have breached the duty of care, and can then share some of the blame for the accident. Most frequently, drivers violate the duty of care by being careless or breaking the law. Some examples include:
- Distracted driving
- Reckless driving
- Violating traffic laws
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- General carelessness
- Aggressive driving
If you need help determining who is at fault after a car wreck, we recommend documenting the accident as much as you’re able to with photos, witness reports, and by filing a police report before contacting one of the experienced auto accident lawyers at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys. We’ll help you navigate the complex criteria involved when determining who is at fault when filing an insurance claim while working to get you the compensation you deserve.
How Do Car Accident Claims Operate in Louisiana’s Fault System?
When it comes to a fault-based system in Louisiana, the following elements must be established by car accident victims in order to file a claim:
- Another driver (or a third party) had a duty of care to the injured party
- The defendant violated the duty of care
- The plaintiff sustained quantifiable losses
Our Louisiana car accident lawyers at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys are on standby, ready to help you conclude if you have enough evidence for a claim. We conduct in-depth investigations to determine what led up to and/or caused the accident that left you injured. Without a doubt, we fight hard for your recovery and maximum compensation you’re owed!
A Louisiana Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Gain the Compensation You Deserve
No matter how big or small the injury may be, it’s important to get in touch with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible because your time is limited. The team at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys is here for you if you’ve been in a car accident! Contact our law firm today at 888.501.7888 for a free legal consultation with one of our dependable attorneys.