After a Louisiana car accident, injury victims often face significant property damage and personal injury. Notwithstanding maintaining insurance, claimants can be hesitant to file a claim with their insurance providers. Much of this reluctance comes from the unfounded fear that their insurance premiums will increase if they file a claim. However, Section 22:1284(A) of the Louisiana Revised Statutes prohibits insurance companies from increasing premiums, charging additional fees, canceling a policy, or refusing to renew a policy because of an accident the claimant did not cause.
However, despite this statute, insurance companies continue to engage in bad faith practices. Bad faith practices occur when an insurance company engages in “arbitrary, capricious, or without probable cause” conduct. This conduct might include unlawfully investigating, delaying, or denying a lawful claim. This most frequently occurs when a motorist is involved in an accident, resulting in serious damages, with an uninsured driver.
Under the law, motorists have the option to purchase uninsured motorist coverage (UIM) in addition to their liability coverage. UIM coverage provides drivers with protection if they are involved in an accident with a motorist who does not have enough insurance or any insurance to cover the victim’s damages. The coverage is also crucial in cases where the motorist is involved in a hit-and-run collision. The coverage is automatic in Louisiana, and drivers must specifically reject the coverage if they do not want it.
Section 22:1284(A), of Louisiana’s motor vehicle statute only permits an insurance company to raise premiums if the policyholder was responsible for the accident. The statute makes it illegal for an insurer to increase the rate in any “nonfault” incidents. Nonfault incidents cover any collisions, accidents, or incidents involving a vehicle covered by the policy in which the vehicle’s driver was not responsible. This applies irrespective of whether the incident was reported to law enforcement. If an insurance company violates the statute, they may be responsible for refunding the policyholder’s premium, penalties, and attorneys’ fees. The penalty may amount to triple the amount of the refund or $1000, whichever is greater. Car accident injury victims who have trouble effectuating claims with their insurance company should consider filing a lawsuit to recoup their damages.
Have You Been Involved in a Louisiana Car Accident?
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a Louisiana car accident, contact the attorneys at Manard Law. Our attorneys have extensive experience handling New Orleans accident lawsuits stemming from car accidents, defective products, premises liability, and wrongful death. Our attorneys understand the financial and emotional toll that these incidents can have on a person and their loved ones. We work with our clients to help ensure that they recover the compensation they deserve from insurance companies and other at-fault parties. Compensation in these cases typically include payments for medical expenses, ongoing medical treatment, lost wages and benefits, pain and suffering, and funeral and burial costs. Contact our experienced Louisiana personal injury attorneys at 1-800-795-7246, to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney at our law firm.