Typically, a car insurance policy covers the policyholder and those members of the household who are old enough to drive or those who've been specifically added to the policy by name. Many policies also have provisions for permissive use of borrowed vehicles, although this type of coverage may come with a higher deductible and/or more limited benefits.
Excluded drivers are named individuals who are specially not covered by an insurance policy. Often, this is because they're considered high risk due to a DUI or a poor driving record. Excluding a driver from coverage isn't allowed by all insurers, but many will permit it to save the policyholder money or to prevent the entire household from being uninsurable.
Compensation for Accidents Caused by Excluded Drivers
When a person is named as an excluded driver for a specific vehicle but operates it anyway, this is legally the same as driving without insurance. If an accident occurs, the policy will not pay for damages caused by the excluded driver.
Drivers or passengers who are injured by another person's negligence are entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. When no insurance coverage is available, they can attempt to collect from either the at-fault driver or the vehicle owner's personal assets.
If the at-fault driver or vehicle owner is without the means to provide compensation, your only other option is to use your own uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UM or UIM coverage). Louisiana law requires all car insurance policies sold in the state to come with this type of coverage, although you can specifically request to have it waived. Most policies are issued with the state's bodily injury liability limits of $15,000. However, some drivers who want to provide additional peace of mind choose higher coverage limits.
We Can Help
Retaining the services of an experienced personal injury attorney can help you decide how to proceed with a claim involving an excluded driver. Neblett, Beard & Arsenault is dedicated to helping Louisiana residents receive the compensation they need to move forward with their lives following an auto accident caused by another driver's negligence. Contact us today to learn more.