Under our general tort law that allows for damages to be awarded for the negligent conduct of another human being, we have the Civil Code Article 2315. Such a claim would be against the opposing driver and their insurance company. If you, as the injured party has an uninsured motorist carrier, that is a claim that should be pursued above and beyond the policy limits. If the policy limits of the offending driver are not sufficient to satisfy the damages or they don’t have insurance whatsoever, then you must file a claim against your uninsured motorist carrier. With the support of an attorney, this process can result in compensation for the payment of incurred medical bills.
If the injured party is within the course and scope of their employment, the question of whether a workers’ compensation claim should be filed. Workers’ compensation claims can be especially tricky situations. For instance, I had a client who was injured while driving an employer’s vehicle. She was in the course and scope of her employment, and she was injured by another vehicle. That vehicle only had $15,000 in coverage, which was not sufficient to cover her injuries. She ultimately had to have surgery. But the employer’s vehicle had a significant uninsured motorist policy. Many lawyers would have just instinctively filed a workers’ compensation claim, but I did not because when it comes to payment of reimbursement of claims, the workers’ compensation carrier has significant rights in the third-party litigation.
That would have reduced her ultimate recovery on the backside. Hence, we tactically decided not to pursue that claim and it worked out great. That decision resulted in the client getting about $100,000 more than she would have.
To summarize, a workers’ comp claim must be addressed, then it must be decided whether the other party is in the course and scope of employment. Ultimately, a decision must be made based on the availability of coverage.
Who Is Going To Pay For My Medical Bills While I Wait For My Personal Injury Case To Settle?
It depends on what medical insurance that client has. If that client has a private health insurance policy, they have subrogation rights. This is the easiest way for medical bills to be paid. Also, most policies have a medical payments provision in them for the victims’ policy. For many cases, I sign letters of guarantee to healthcare professionals. They require payment upfront and are paid in advance. They are guaranteed by my office to secure appropriate medical care once we resolve issues of coverage and liability to our satisfaction. Essentially, we front medical expenses during the pendency of the claim.
What Happens If Someone’s Injured In A Car Wreck Caused By An Uninsured Or Underinsured Driver? Is It Still Possible To Get Any Sort Of Financial Recovery?
It’s unlikely that they will receive financial compensation. However, it’s possible that they were in the course and scope of some employment. Generally, that’s not the case, but it does happen. A very crucial point is the question of whether the victim of the accident has uninsured motorist coverage. Oftentimes, that line item on a debt page showing how much we pay for uninsured motorists is a big chunk. People might say, “Well, I don’t need that because I just want to be legal, I want to have basic coverage so that I can drive my vehicle” and it’s unfortunate because more than 50% of the drivers in Louisiana are underinsured or uninsured.
Without uninsured motorist coverage, an injured party is going to be limited to what the other party has for insurance. There are situations where I have sued people individually even though they didn’t have enough insurance. We try to collect against them because the injuries are significant, and the conduct was too reckless to let it slide. I’ll sue them individually and if necessary, seek to get assets from them or garnish their wages. Doing whatever it takes to get the additional recovery my client deserves. One of our jobs is to find out what those pursuable assets are. Also, to find out if there’s any additional coverage available.
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