An at-fault driver’s insurance carrier is expected to cover the resulting costs of a car accident in Missouri. Therefore, you may be unsure of what happens if the driver who hit you is uninsured.
Drivers are required by law to carry liability insurance to pay for any damage or harm they cause. Since Missouri is a “fault” state when it comes to car accidents, normally, you would file an insurance claim directly with the at-fault party’s insurer. When an uninsured driver hits you, you will have to turn to your own auto insurer for coverage. Fortunately, Missouri drivers are also required to purchase uninsured motorist (UM) coverage.
Uninsured Motorist Protection
UM coverage of $25,000 in bodily injury per person and $50,000 in bodily injury per accident is mandatory. That means, as long as you purchased car insurance, you will have at least this amount of coverage to pay for medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering caused by the uninsured driver. Unfortunately, UM does not cover vehicle damage, which means you may be responsible for this expense out-of-pocket unless you have other forms of optional insurance.
Collision coverage is an optional form of insurance that will help pay for repairs or the replacement of your vehicle if it is damaged in an accident, regardless of who was at fault. However, you will be responsible for paying your deductible.
Filing a Lawsuit Against the At-Fault Driver
There is the option to sue the at-fault driver personally, but in many cases, uninsured drivers do not have any assets to cover the costs of the accident. As a result, filing a lawsuit may be a waste of your time and money.
The uninsured driver who hit you may be subject to severe consequences. For instance, they may receive:
Additionally, they may face personal liability for the damages caused by an accident.
What To Do After an Uninsured Driver Hits You
There are critical steps to take after an accident with an uninsured driver:
Call the Police
It is always a good idea to call the police after an accident, especially when the other party does not have insurance. The police report will include that fact, which will help make your claims process easier. The at-fault driver may ask you not to call the police and offer you money so they can avoid penalties for driving uninsured. However, accepting money can cost you in the end if your injuries are severe or have long-term repercussions.
Seek Medical Care
When you call the police, emergency responders will arrive on the scene, treat you, and transport you to the hospital if necessary. On the other hand, if your injuries are not severe and you remain at the scene, be sure to see a physician as soon as possible after leaving.
You will need the uninsured driver’s contact information and if there are any eyewitnesses, ask how to contact them as well. Their statements can be very beneficial when filing your insurance claim or a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Take pictures or videos of the scene, including the damage done to the vehicles, their final resting positions after impact, the other driver’s license plate, any traffic signs, debris, and your injuries.
Notify Your Insurer
Report the accident to your insurance company, discuss your coverage options, and file a claim as soon as possible.
Consult a Lawyer
Speak to St. Louis Uninsured Motorist Accident Lawyer. They can help you by discussing your legal options and advise the best course of action.