Articles Posted in Around Louisiana

Screenshot-152-300x249As if rebuilding and recovering after a natural disaster is not difficult enough, individuals must also beware of scammers looking to capitalize off of Hurricane Ida. Unfortunately, opportunists are looking for any way to take advantage of vulnerable people devastated by the storm. The biggest types of scams to watch out for are disaster charity relief scams, insurance scams, and FEMA imposters.

Disaster Charity Relief Scams. Whenever Americans see devastation in the U.S., many people feel inspired to help in any way that they can. Often times this includes donating money or supplies to hurricane relief organizations. However, fraudsters are always ready to take advantage of those giving back.

hurricane ida damage nolaOn August 29, 2021, Hurricane Ida ripped through southeast Louisiana as a Category 4 storm causing mass destruction and leaving communities completely devastated. Ida’s powerful winds and heavy rain resulted in many Louisianians being left without power, water, and even homes.

After such a devastating storm like Hurricane Ida, Louisiana residents are eager to start rebuilding and resume normal life. Homeowners who carry private insurance should first file a claim with their insurance company for any disaster-caused damage.

LA Supreme CourtLast year, Louisiana legislators pushed for one of the State’s biggest tort reform packages since the 1990s in hopes of lowering automobile insurance rates and encouraging out of court settlements. The Civil Justice Reform Act of 2020 (CJRA) was signed into law on July 13, 2020 and became effective on January 1, 2021. These changes are not retroactive and will only apply to any cause of action arising on or after January 1, 2021. The most significant changes include:

Amount in Controversy for Jury Trials. For many decades, jury trials were only available in cases where the amount in controversy exceeded $50,000. In the district court, the threshold has been reduced to $10,000, exclusive of interest and costs. The party seeking a trial by jury is required to post a $5,000 jury bond within 60 days of filing a jury demand. If a party files a jury demand but fails to timely post the bond, then right to a jury is waived. Although the CJRA did not change the jurisdictional limits of city or parish courts, it allows a defendant to seek a transfer to the district court to obtain the right to a trial by jury when the amount in controversy is more than $10,000 and the transfer is made timely.

new orleans potholeLouisiana road conditions are ranked among some of the worst in the United States. This is especially true in New Orleans, where potholes are nearly unavoidable. A ride through the city can be very bumpy, and it may ultimately put a dent in your wallet.

Flat tires, rim damage, punctured exhaust pipes, broken axles, alignment problems and other damage to the body of the vehicle are just a few ways in which hitting a pothole can damage your automobile. A study done by the American Automobile Association revealed that potholes cost American drivers roughly $3 billion in vehicle repairs annually.

louisiana gavelIn Louisiana, uninsured/ underinsured motorist insurance (UM/ UIM) follows the person, not the vehicle. So, if you have UM/ UIM coverage and are involved in a motor vehicle accident where the at fault driver is not insured, you will be covered even if you are not in your own vehicle, or any vehicle at all! But, there may be an exclusion in your UM/ UIM policy which could limit your insurance company’s liability.

The “regular use” exclusion contained in many policies excludes an insurance company from liability when an insured driver uses another vehicle they do not own and is not named on their policy, but which they use regularly. The term “regular use” may apply to a vehicle provided to you by your employer for regular transportation to and from work and for everyday work duties.

balance billingThere are very few individuals who can afford their healthcare entirely out of pocket. This is why a majority of people utilize health insurance which pays for most of the care. If your medical provider is an in-network provider and accepts the insurance you carry, you are guaranteed to be paying much less than if you were not covered.

But what happens when you receive a bill in the mail for services that you believed were covered by your insurance? This typically occurs when you have a motor vehicle accident and go to your family doctor using your health insurance to pay for the visit. Your health insurance company pays for most of your care, but then the doctor sends you a bill for the uncovered portion. Is that legal?

mardi grasEach year, Mardi Gras attracts millions of visitors to the Big Easy. It is one of the city’s largest holidays and generates millions of dollars for New Orleans. But, with the massive crowds, rowdy celebrations, and significant alcohol consumption, an accident seems almost inevitable.

So, what happens if you are involved in an accident during the course of a parade?

NOLA TouristNew Orleans thrives off of tourism. Millions of people visit the city each year to enjoy the unique music, exquisite cuisine, beautiful architecture, culture, festivals, and particularly Mardi Gras parades. But, what if one of those tourists suffer an injury during their visit?

Unfortunately, many visitors can be involved in an accident while on vacation. Not only does it put a damper on your vacation plans, an accident can also have long term effects such as life changing injuries and outstanding medical bills. The most common injuries include pedestrian accidents, vehicle accidents, and slip and falls in hotels, restaurants, or bars.

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When you are involved in a car accident, it is usually the fault of another driver who was not paying attention or was driving carelessly. But, what if you were involved in an intentional accident? One might think to themselves, “why would anyone purposely cause a car accident?” However, the sad reality is that staged car accidents are much more common than you may want to believe.

Individuals who cause staged car accidents are only looking to make a personal injury claim and get a quick check by scamming the insurance company. These types of accidents have caused auto insurance premiums to skyrocket. Insurance companies are having to spend billions of dollars to payout claims for staged accidents.

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