The Louisiana legislature has been making headlines recently with their proposed “Omnibus Premium Reduction Act of 2019.” This Act seeks to lower insurance premiums by various means. Louisiana is a direct action state, but what does that mean? Louisiana Revised Statute 22:1269 provides that it is sometimes possible for drivers to sue a third-party insurance company directly so as to avoid the headache of attempting to collect from an individual.
For example, you’ve been in an accident with another driver. After weeks and maybe even months of phone calls and emails to your insurance company, the other driver, and maybe even their insurance company, you have had enough. You are ready to pursue filing a lawsuit in order to recover for the damages that the other driver caused through their negligence. There’s only one problem: you don’t know who to sue.
Louisiana Direct Action Statute grants a plaintiff a right of action against the other driver’s insurance. The law provides for a direct action against a liability insurer in two instances:
1.Where the policy or contract of insurance was issued or delivered in Louisiana; OR
2.Where the accident or injury occurred in Louisiana.
Therefore, if your accident occurred in Louisiana, you have a right of action against the other driver’s insurance company as well as the driver. In addition, under the following circumstances, you can bring the lawsuit against the insurer alone:
1.When the insurer is bankrupt;
2.When the insured is insolvent;
3.When service of process cannot be made on the insured;
4.When the insurer is an uninsured motorist carrier; OR
5.When the insured is deceased
If you were in an accident, and it looks like the other driver has skipped town or is unable to pay, you should consider suing their insurance carrier directly. Unfortunately, dealing with insurance carriers after an accident isn’t always simple or pleasant.
Should you have any questions or you would like to discuss this issue in further detail, please do not hesitate to contact us to schedule a free consultation.