Car Insurance Practices in Louisiana: What You Should Know
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Uninsured motorist coverage
Young told us that, in his mind, what stands out the most is dealing with a potential uninsured motorist (UM) or under insured situation. He explained, "That arises when the person who causes the damage does not have enough insurance to cover the damage. In that situation, you will actually end up filing a claim against your own insurance company under the UM portion or under insured portion of your policy."
Being aware of adversarial situations
Young told us that it's important to understand that your insurance company will absolutely be adverse to your interest at some point in that process and you will be seeking damages from your own insurance company at some point during the process. He explained, "The importance of this is to know that your insurance company will ask you to provide a statement and will essentially defend your claim. They may even try to get you to admit to some type of fault in the accident, for example, that maybe you could have avoided it if you had done something differently. People need to understand that simply because it's their own insurance company does not necessarily mean that they're going to be treated fairly by that company." These practices often make policyholders feel pressured."
How to avoid the pressure
We asked Young for advice on what policyholders should do if they feel this sort of pressure from their insurance company. He told us, "Policyholders should speak to an attorney right away if they're not comfortable dealing with their own insurance company. It's usually a very big red flag if they have a sense that their own insurance company is trying to blame them for the accident or trying to suggest or ask if they're not seriously injured. Those questions have nothing to do with the insurance company's obligation to pay the claim."
"Those types of questions are simply the insurance company trying to defend the claim. So, when they get into what lawyers would call 'the merits of the case' (who was at fault and how badly the person was injured) they are essentially in an adversarial position with their insurance company. They should phone attorneys right away under that type of situation."
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, contact an attorney whose practice focuses in this area of law. Click here, to contact a qualified Louisiana Car Accident attorney for a free, no-obligation consultation.