After a collision, victims can often submit claims to the insurance provider of the negligent motorist. Sadly, some drivers who cause collisions do not have insurance or have expired policies. Where does the victim turn for compensation for medical costs and other damages? This is an obvious concern raised by accident victims involved in an accident with an uninsured driver. The at-fault driver is financially responsible for the victim’s damages in Missouri. You can sue the at-fault motorist, but they might not have the resources to pay for your damages, which is likely why they don’t have insurance in the first place.
You likely have uninsured motorist insurance unless you deliberately choose to forego it. According to state law, unless the motorist decides to opt out, auto insurance firms must provide a minimum level of this coverage in a car insurance policy. This coverage is intended for collisions involving uninsured drivers or drivers who fled the crash site and the authorities could not find them.
What happens, though, if the other driver is uninsured? In this situation, you would use your own policy’s uninsured motorist (UM) protection, which Missouri law requires. Your medical expenses, past and future lost wages, pain and suffering, and other emotional harms will all be covered by this coverage.
You can get back as much as your policy’s UM allowance. For instance, you can receive up to $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident if you have the bare minimum UM coverage. Your insurance agent or attorney can assist you in reading and understanding your policy documentation if you are unclear about your limits.
You might be able to file a claim with another party’s insurance company or companies if you were involved in an accident with more than one liable party. They would likely only be held responsible for the damages brought on by their part in the collision. Even while you can get money back from these other people, you might need more to cover your losses. Your uninsured motorist insurance policy may still require you to submit a claim.
Call the police immediately and provide them with identifying details about the vehicle or driver if they fled the area. You shouldn’t pursue the vehicle because there are situations when a driver is trying to escape a crime scene or is being sought for arrest. Police officers are instructed to hunt down criminals. You can make a claim with the driver’s insurance company if the police apprehend the driver and they find out they are insured. If not, compensation can be available under your uninsured motorist coverage.
Even though you have uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance provider might attempt to avoid paying damages. Instead, they might say you caused the collision. If this occurs, your lawyer can sue the insurance provider to seek compensation. You typically have five years from the accident date to initiate a lawsuit.
Every driver in Missouri must carry auto insurance, but as we know, only some drivers do. Drivers may choose to drive without insurance in some circumstances due to financial difficulty, insufficient preparation, or administrative oversights. Whatever the justification, the questions that matter the most to you are what to do and how to get compensated if you get into an accident and the other driver doesn’t have insurance.
Your possibilities for recovery rely on several variables. Below, we will go over some of the fundamentals of recovering damages following an uninsured driver collision in Missouri. Don’t hesitate contacting us for a free consultation if you want case-specific information or legal representation to assist you in maximizing your recovery.
The average percentage of uninsured drivers nationwide in 2020 was 12.6%. According to state uninsured motorist rates, Missouri is ranked number 17 among the top 20 states. In Missouri, around 16.4% of drivers lack insurance. Missouri is a state that assigns blame for car accidents, as it is considered an at-fault state. This indicates that the party responsible for the accident’s damages is the one who must pay. As a result, following an accident, you would make a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance and be compensated by his liability coverage. However, when a driver lacks insurance altogether, UIM insurance is what kicks in to protect you.
It doesn’t matter if the other driver had insurance if you caused the collision. For compensation, you should contact your own insurance provider. You will require medical payments and collision coverages, which are optional in Missouri, to be able to receive compensation for damages under your policy. Many drivers choose not to carry them, but some do. Carefully review your policy to determine what is and is not covered.
If you were at fault but lacked collision or medical payment insurance, you would have to look for another form of compensation. For instance, to make up for your losses, you might need to use your private health insurance, workers’ compensation, and disability insurance.
Note that even if you contributed to the accident in any way, you could still be eligible for compensation under your UM policy. This is so that you can recover damages after an accident even if you were up to 99 percent at fault because Missouri works on the pure comparative fault rule. The only caveat is that depending on how liable you are found to be, the less your settlement will be.
Many variables may be at play in the aftermath of a collision involving an uninsured motorist. An experienced car accident attorney can help you decide which legal options are best for you. However, before making any judgments or agreeing to any settlement offers, you should discuss the essential factors with an accident attorney, including determining liability, demonstrating fault, knowing which insurer to file with, and maximizing damages.
Before submitting a claim or pursuing legal action, you should have your case reviewed by an attorney at Goldblatt + Singer, the St. Louis Injury Law Firm. We provide free consultations. By doing this, you may be sure that you are making the best choice for yourself and that you will have assistance if your claim is unsuccessful. Call us today at (314) 888-1000 or contact us online.
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