Louisiana motorists are required to maintain liability insurance on their vehicles with minimum policy limits of 15/30/25. These limits represent $15,000 of bodily injury liability coverage for any person injured in an accident, $30,000 of aggregate bodily injury liability coverage for two or more people injured in an accident, and $25,000 of property damage liability coverage for all vehicles damaged in the accident.
Owners and operators of uninsured motor vehicles in Louisiana may be subject to civil penalties under Louisiana Revised Statute §32:866, commonly referred to as the “No Pay, No Play” law. Under the statute, the owner or operator of an uninsured motor vehicle who is involved in an accident shall forfeit the first $15,000 of his or her injury claim and the first $25,000 of the property damage claim. The recognized purpose of the “No Pay, No Play” law is to reduce the premiums charged for motor vehicle insurance and to discourage the ownership and operation of uninsured motor vehicles. Notwithstanding, the uninsured motorist can recovery personal injury damages in excess of $15,000 and property damages in excess of $25,000.
Several years ago, Christian A. Shofstahl, Esq. represented a client who fractured her calcaneus bone (i.e., heel bone) during a car wreck. The client’s car insurance policy had unknowingly lapsed a few days before the accident, and a misinformed attorney advised the client that she could not assert an injury claim because she was uninsured at the time of the accident. The client contacted Mr. Shofstahl for a second opinion, and Mr. Shofstahl was able to settle the client’s claim for the per person bodily injury liability limits of the at-fault driver’s liability insurance policy. The Shofstahl Law Firm, L.L.C. does not recommend that anyone drive without insurance; however, if you are seriously injured in an accident while operating an uninsured vehicle, you may still receive a large settlement or trial verdict.
There are several situations where the “No Pay, No Play” statute does not apply. The statute does not apply when the driver of the other vehicle (1) is convicted of, or pleads nolo contendere to, driving while intoxicated; (2) intentionally causes the accident; (3) flees from the scene of the accident (i.e., Hit and Run); or (4) is in the commission of a felony at the time of the accident. Further, the statute does not apply to passengers injured while occupying an uninsured vehicle, unless the passenger owns the vehicle, or to property damage claims where the uninsured vehicle is damaged while legally parked. In these situations, the penalty provisions of the “No Pay, No Play” statute are inapplicable and the owner or operator of the uninsured vehicle can recover the full amount of the injury and/or property damage claims.
If you have been injured in a car accident and have questions concerning the “No Pay, No Play” law, contact the Shofstahl Law Firm, LLC for your free consultation with an experienced, knowledgeable and aggressive attorney who has recovered millions for his injured clients.
Christian Shofstahl esq.
Personal Injury Attorney dedicated to maximizing recoveries for clients. Information contained herein does not constitute legal advice.