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Louisiana’s Seat Belt Gag Law: What it Means for Insurance Premiums
Louisiana’s “seat belt gag law” was established to protect injured motorists who were not wearing a seat belt at the time of an accident from being penalized by the jury during a civil trial. Sen. Sharon Hewitt – (R) Slidell recently introduced a bill that would reverse the current law, but it failed to pass. Proponents of the new bill stated that it would have reduced the exorbitant auto insurance premiums that Louisiana drivers currently pay.
Would the bill have helped reduce the cost of insurance in Louisiana? How does the current “seat belt gag law” affect auto insurance rates for drivers in the state?
If you have been injured in an automobile accident through no fault of your own and you were not wearing a seat belt, contact the personal injury attorneys at Cueria Law Firm in Louisiana today. Our experienced attorneys understand the “seat belt gag law” and have successfully helped many accident victims recover the maximum in damages for their injuries.
What is the “Seat Belt Gag Law?”
The 1980’s statute known as the “seat belt gag law” states that a jury should not know whether a person injured in an auto accident was wearing a seat belt. The purpose of the law was to protect injured accident victims from being penalized by the jury for not wearing a seat belt when the accident was through no fault of their own.
The state of Louisiana is a comparative fault state. This means that drivers involved in an accident are responsible for their percentage of fault in the crash. For drivers who were not wearing a seat belt, the “seat belt gag law” prevents the jury from assigning fault to them because of their failure to abide by the state’s law that all drivers must wear a seat belt while operating a motor vehicle. In this way, injured parties may be able to recover the maximum compensation from the insurance companies to cover their medical bills and other expenses after an accident.
For and Against the “Seat Belt Gag Law”
Opponents of the “seat belt gag law” believe that the law causes hikes in auto insurance premiums in Louisiana due to the high costs insurance companies must pay in damages to those accident victims. Opponents state that the medical costs for a motorist who was not wearing a seat belt can be as much as three times higher than those of a motorist who was wearing a seat belt. Therefore, they believe that repealing this law would help decrease the auto insurance premiums paid by drivers in the state of Louisiana.
Proponents of the “seat belt gag law” believe that it is unfair to place blame on the accident victim for not wearing a seat belt when the accident was of no fault of their own. They further state that repeal of the current “seat belt gag law” would not drastically reduce the auto insurance premiums that drivers pay.
In 2017, Louisiana had the second highest auto insurance rates of any state in the country. A primary reason is the high number of uninsured and underinsured drivers on the road in the state today. Insurance companies must increase their rates because of the high costs associated with covering damages in accidents involving uninsured motorists.
When you have been injured in an auto accident, you need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney who knows the law in Louisiana. Contact the New Orleans attorneys at Cueria Law Firm today.
Our attorneys will review your auto accident case and help you get the compensation that you need and deserve to get back on your feet.
Awards & Honors
Attorney Brent Cueria founded the Cueria Law Firm, L.L.C. located in New Orleans, in order to focus on the representation of injured individuals, where his true passion is. Mr. Cueria uses his past experience to diligently advocate for the injured and disabled clients he now represents against the insurance companies.
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There are many factors that can affect the outcome of your case, but time is often the most important. Call Cueria Law Firm today to speak to an attorney about your claim, and get started on the path to physical, emotional and financial recovery.
The team at Cueria Law Firm is here to assist you in all steps of your case - setting up doctor's appointments, starting an insurance claim, requesting a rental car, and more. We understand life after an accident can be overwhelming, but you aren't going through it alone.