What happens if you are injured in a car accident while a passenger in a vehicle operated by your husband or wife? Obviously, you don’t want to sue your spouse, but you may consider it if you believe that is the only way to recover compensation for the accident.
Luckily for you and your marriage, there is a Louisiana law that specifically addresses this issue and prohibits a suit against your spouse in most scenarios.
With tens of millions of dollars recovered for their clients, Kiefer & Kiefer is one of Louisiana’s most respected personal injury law firms. Their highly experienced accident attorneys will put all of their talents into getting the compensation that you deserve.
Louisiana Direct Action Statute
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.
In most other states which do not have a similar law on the books, you could not name the insurance company as a party to a lawsuit. Louisiana affords this privilege because state lawmakers have long upheld the belief that insurance policies should protect the policyholder but moreover, they should protect the public.
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 with the help of an experienced Louisiana car accident attorney 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 and your attorney will need to prove that the policy covered the insured and that the policy’s coverage extends to the accident.
How A 2020 Law May Affect the Louisiana Direct Action Statute
In 2020, the governor of Louisiana signed into law the Louisiana Civil Justice Reform Act of 2020. Among other things, this new law imposed new restrictions on disclosing to a jury that a party has insurance coverage.
Initially, it appears that there is no serious impediment to suing your spouse’s insurer directly, but future cases involving the Direct Action Statute could reveal unforeseen legal conflicts that could influence the outcome of your personal injury case.
Ask your Louisiana car accident attorney about the latest tort reform efforts before filing a lawsuit that could be jeopardized by a new law.
Contact Kiefer & Kiefer Today
If you have been involved in a car accident with your spouse, then you need an attorney with experience regarding all of the applicable case law including the latest legislative developments. Kiefer & Kiefer has consistently proven for decades their attorney’s dedication to their clients throughout Louisiana. Give Kiefer & Kiefer 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.