A Republican Senator in Louisiana recently proposed a new bill that would change the way car accident cases are handled in the state, and the Senate voted to pass it into law. It went through by a vote of 29-8. It will next go to the House.
The goal of the bill is to “limit damage claims” and alter the way those cases are presented. For instance, many cases simply go before a judge, who then makes a ruling. Under the new law, more cases are expected to go to a jury trial, instead. This way, more people would be involved in the decision-making process. The bill would also:
- Add a cap on some damages
- Increase some of the time limits for filing
- Focus more on negotiations to settle
- Limit the instances when a person can directly sue an insurance company
Lobbyists have been fighting hard for these changes. They claim that the insurance rates in the state would go down if this law passed and that is the reason they want to put it in place.
Of course, it does not have support from everyone. Those who stand against it claim that court costs would go up and that many people who need money for medical bills after an accident would have trouble getting it — if they can at all.
As noted, this is not a law yet. It simply passed the Senate. It still has to pass in the House, as well. It will be very important for all residents of the state to keep a close eye on this process and to see how it impacts their legal options.