Louisiana: A Direct Action State

Car wrecks can be traumatic and horrific experiences no matter where they occur. Legally, however, your location may matter more than you think. In Louisiana, auto accident victims are subject to a different set of rules than victims in other states particularly because Louisiana is a “direct action state.” The injury attorneys at Smiley Law Firm want you to be prepared for the unexpected. Here’s what you need to know:

How does it work?

Louisiana is a direct action state. A direct action state allows the injured party to bring a direct-action lawsuit, which names the insurance company as the defendant. In a non-direct action state, an injured party can only name the insured who actually harmed the victim. In a direct-action lawsuit, the insured is treated as a third party in the case.

Who benefits?

A direct-action lawsuit can be helpful for the injured party for a variety of reasons. First, such a lawsuit can let the jury and/or judge know that there is insurance to cover the damages.

Juries and/or judges are more likely to award damages if they know that an insurance company is on the hook for them, not a specific individual. Meaning, if the jury and/or judge think that the individual being sued is going to have to pay damages out of his/her own pocket, then they are less likely to award a large judgment to the injured party, even if he/she rightfully deserves it.

Additionally, a direct-action lawsuit can help you avoid the extra time and process necessary to eventually be paid by an insurance company after a judgment is given against an individual.

What should I keep in mind?

If you are a plaintiff in a direct-action lawsuit, you must still prove all of the same facts that you would have to prove in a lawsuit brought against the insured. In addition, you must also prove that the insured was covered by the insurance company and that the coverage of the insurance policy extended to the kind of wrong for which you seek a remedy.

Where to go for help?

If you find yourself in a car wreck in Louisiana, we recommend you reach out to local counsel to help file your claim. Because Louisiana has some unique rules that can help determine the success of your claim, speaking to a professional as quickly as possible is highly recommend. Contact the attorneys at Smiley Law Firm if you have any questions regarding a potential accident claim. The injury attorneys at Smiley Law Firm serves clients in the New Orleans metro area, the Baton Rouge Metro area and all cities and towns along Interstate 10 and Interstate 12.

Learn More From Smiley Law Firm’s Injury Blog

Here at Smiley Law Firm, we write about the topic of insurance issues all the time. In every personal injury case, there is an insurance element that is crucial. If people are educated on insurance, in the beginning, it makes the case flow more smoothly.
As personal injury attorneys, we believe in educating our clients and the public with the most up to date information available. We have a number of blogs and articles covering the following topics. Please read them and leave comments if you find the information helpful.

Comments

  1. Seth Smiley

    on July 17, 2019

    Thank you for the comment, please tell your friends! 🙂

  2. Seth Smiley

    on July 17, 2019

    Thank you for the comment. I am sorry to hear about your sister. Please reach out to our firm as we may be able to help. If the accident was not in a jurisdiction where we are licensed then we can help her find a qualified attorney in the proper jurisdiction.

  3. Seth Smiley

    on July 17, 2019

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  4. Seth Smiley

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  6. Angela Waterford

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    My brother was injured in a car accident because of a drunk driver. I think I should tell him to hire an auto accident attorney in order to address his concerns with the insurance company. Thanks for mentioning that they’ll be able to help him prove that he was harmed by the driver so that he can get compensation for his injuries.

  7. Thomas Jameson

    on July 15, 2019

    It’s good to know that roughly 40% of auto accidents are caused by alcohol. My sister was in a car accident last week where she was t-boned by a driver who might have been drunk. I’ll pass this information along to her so that she can look further into her options for hiring an attorney to help her get the money she deserves from her case.

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  11. Seth Smiley

    on July 12, 2019

    Thank you for the comment. Tell your sister to give us a call and we can point her in the right direction with regards to legal representation for her texting and driving accident.

  12. Seth Smiley

    on July 12, 2019

    Thank you. We appreciate your comments on our legal guide.

  13. Thomas Jameson

    on July 11, 2019

    It’s good to know that you should hire an attorney to help you press charges if you are injured by someone who is texting and driving. My sister was in an accident the other day, and the other driver was a teenage girl who was most likely texting. I’ll pass this information along to my sister so that she can look further into her legal options.

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  23. Seth Smiley

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  24. Braden Bills

    on July 5, 2019

    I was in a car accident, and I’m not sure what to do about it. It makes sense that getting a professional lawyer to help with this would be important. They would be able to ensure that I get compensated for this, and can pay my medical bills.

  25. Seth Smiley

    on July 3, 2019

    Gillian, I could not agree with you more. Thank you for the comment.

  26. Gillian Babcock

    on July 3, 2019

    My sister was crossing the street when a speeding motorcycle passed by and she was hit and badly injured. It was explained here that a lot of experience grave injuries from vehicular accidents some of them even die. Moreover, it’s ideal to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to help her file claims.

  27. Seth Smiley

    on July 2, 2019

    Thank you for the comment. We have a number of other blogs on our site that are helpful. Click around or give us a call for more information on injury claims.

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  29. Seth Smiley

    on July 2, 2019

    Angela, thank you for the comment. If you or your grandmother need help with the texting and driving accident and injury, please reach out to our firm.

  30. Angela Waterford

    on July 2, 2019

    There was a teenager who injured my grandmother due to texting while driving. I think I’ll hire a car accident lawyer because her life had been irreparably changed. Thanks for pointing out that I’ll be able to point out his negligence with the attorney’s help, so I’ll be sure to hire a good one.

  31. Seth Smiley

    on July 1, 2019

    Thank you for the comment, Jackson!

  32. Jackson Bush

    on July 1, 2019

    I like how you mentioned that an attorney can help establish negligence. My daughter recently got her license and I’m worried that she could get in an accident and automatically blame it on herself because that’s just her personality. I’ll be looking for a reliable attorney for any possible accidents in the future.

  33. Seth Smiley

    on June 28, 2019

    Thanks for the comment

  34. Angela Waterford

    on June 27, 2019

    I had been injured in a car accident last week. As far as I know, the driver who drove the other car was drinking alcohol. Thanks for mentioning that I should call an attorney for this, so I’ll be sure to do that.

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    It’s good to know that many car accidents are caused by texting and that you can easily make a legal case against it. My sister was injured in a car accident last week where the other driver was texting. I’ll pass this information along to her so that she can look further into her legal options.

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  39. Camille Devaux

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  40. Kate Welling

    on June 11, 2019

    I like how you said that a car accident attorney might be able to help us locate a local repair shop. This is great to know, especially since my husband just got in a car accident. It happened at a busy intersection! I’ll definitely look into finding a personal injury lawyer to help him out.

  41. Stefan Bradley

    on June 11, 2019

    It’s a shame that 40% of accidents are caused by irresponsible drinking, it really makes you worry about your family’s safety. My sister got into a car accident a few years ago and struggled to figure out exactly what to do after the accident. Knowing who to call and what to do next would have saved her a lot of time and prevented her from being too stressed after such a scary experience.

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  43. Sam Li

    on June 6, 2019

    I appreciate what you said about determining which party was at fault during a car crash. Working with a reliable injury attorney is vital if you have been hurt due to the fault of another. If I were to get hurt in an auto accident, I would find an attorney with a winning track record to work with.

  44. Shayla Cademis

    on May 31, 2019

    I didn’t know you could get compensation for things like losing a job, having difficulties with mortgage payments, or getting a divorce after an auto accident. My brother-in-law was in a car accident last week after another driver ran a red light at an intersection. He’s definitely had a few medical bills, but I’ll have to let him know he should be aware of other possible compensations. Hopefully we can help him find a good attorney in his area. Thanks for the info!

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    I love your personal injury lawyer tips. My father just got hit by a drunk driver. I’ll have to get him a lawyer so he can sue the guy to his last dime.

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