What happens if you are injured in a car accident while as a passenger in a vehicle operated by your husband or wife? Since we are traveling with our spouses constantly, it happens more than you think. Obviously, no one wants to sue their spouse, but they don’t want to forgo compensation following an accident. Good news is that Louisiana law specifically addresses this issue and prohibit a suit against your spouse in most scenarios.
At the same time, if you are injured in an accident through no fault of your own, you will want to make a claim to recover for your injuries. Thankfully, Louisiana’s Direct Action Statute allows you to file a lawsuit against your spouse’s insurance company without naming your spouse in the lawsuit which makes dinner table conversation a lot less awkward!
Louisiana enacted the Direct Action Statute, R.S. 22:1269 which provides for certain circumstances where a tort victim can bring a lawsuit against the insurance company alone. The Direct Action Statute gives an injured married person a special right of action against their spouse’s insurer even though the law prohibits suit directly against the negligent spouse.
The Statute applies only if the insurance policy was issued in Louisiana or the accident occurred in Louisiana. The statute does not create a cause of action against the insurer, rather it merely provides a procedural right of action against the insurer where a victim has a cause of action against the insured. As such, you must prove all the same requirements you need to prove had you brought the lawsuit directly against your spouse. Further, the Direct Action Statute does not extend the coverage of the liability policy to risks that were not protected by the policy or to those that were excluded by the policy. Thus, you will need to prove that the policy covered the insured and that the policy’s coverage extends to the accident.
if you have been involved in a car accident with your spouse, give us a call for a free consultation on your possible claim.
This is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice.