The various types and levels of automobile liability insurance have become increasingly complex over the years, leading a considerable amount of confusion for consumers. In addition, state insurance requirements can differ significantly, adding to the confusion. Although you are only required to carry the minimum coverage required by law in the State of Louisiana, you may find that coverage to be lacking if you are involved in an accident. In order to make an informed choice when you purchase liability insurance it is certainly helpful to educate yourself with regard to the different types of insurance available so you have a better understanding of what they cover and what you really need to protect yourself in the event of an accident. For example, do you know what PIP insurance is? Because it is not required by law in Louisiana you may not be familiar with it; however, it is advantageous to have if you are in an accident.
States fall into one of two broad categories with regard to motor vehicle liability insurance – “fault” and “no fault.” Under a “no fault” system drivers are required to carry the minimum level of no fault insurance that will cover a percentage of their medical bills and lost wages without regard to who was at fault in an accident. In this system, a victim is prohibited from pursuing a traditional personal injury lawsuit against an at-fault driver unless the victim’s injuries are serious enough to surpass an established injury “threshold.”
The State of Louisiana falls into the other category of states that use a traditional fault system. In a fault system a victim must pursue an at-fault driver for payment of medical bills, lost wages, and other damages caused by an accident.
Personal Injury Protection, or PIP, insurance is an extension of basic car insurance that is mandatory in many “no-fault” insurance states and optional in other states. PIP insurance is not mandatory in the State of Louisiana but is available. PIP insurance covers a percentage of an insured’s medical bills and, in some policies, lost wages. PIP insurance is similar to traditional medical payments coverage with a couple of important differences. First, with PIP insurance it does not matter who was at fault and, therefore, there is no need to wait for the insurance companies to determine fault before your coverage can kick in and start paying out. Second, medical coverage only covers medical bills whereas PIP often covers lost wages and even consequential costs such as transportation or child care costs.
If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident and you are having problems with your PIP insurance carrier, contact the Louisiana personal injury attorneys at Broussard & Hart, LLC by calling 337-439-2450 to schedule your appointment today.