Contrary to popular belief, operating a motor vehicle in Louisiana is a privilege, not a right. With that said, the state has the freedom to take away your driving privileges if you violate specified regulations. A few instances that will result in a license suspension in Louisiana include:
- Getting arrested for a DWI
- Being convicted for your first DWI
- Acquiring 3 reckless driving charges in 12 months
- Being convicted for your first DWI in a commercial vehicle
How long your suspension lasts and when it begins depends on the severity of your offense and the circumstances of your conviction. Although prohibited, many people continue to drive while their license is suspended. They may think they’re getting away with it by simply avoiding law enforcement, but in the event of a car accident, jail time is one of the many consequences they may face.
The Legal View of Suspended Drivers
Louisiana law views those who have their license suspended as not having a license at all during that specified time frame. Many insurance companies also have clauses that disqualify unlicensed drivers coverage, even if they were licensed when they opened the policy; however, Louisiana courts liberally interpret insurance policies. This means that they look into insurance policies with the intentions of providing the afflicted with coverage, rather than denying it. The courts also have the power to ignore any clauses in an auto insurance policy if they believe it goes against public policy.
Past Rulings in Louisiana
The Louisiana court systems had rulings on both sides of the issue, but a recent case that made it to the Louisiana Supreme Court featured a surprising decision. In Adams vs. Thomas, the courts ruled that the denial of auto insurance coverage by a provider was unenforceable as it went against public policy. They continued to state that an insurance company cannot deny liability coverage to an unlicensed driver if:
- The unlicensed driver is insured under the policy.
- The policy gives implied or expressed consent for the unlicensed driver to operate the vehicle.
Those unaware of this supreme court decision may rely on their limited knowledge of insurance policies and allow their provider to deny them coverage. This is why it is essential that you contact an experienced car accident attorney who can guide you through the claims process.
The Louisiana car accident attorneys at E. Orum Young Law Offices are here to help you get the compensation you’re entitled to by law. With over 35 years of experience representing ailed drivers, we know what it takes to negotiate favorable terms. Contact us today for a free case evaluation. Our Trial Guarantee ensures that we will take your case to trial per your request.