Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Missouri
Posted in Lawsuit on July 10, 2019
To lawfully operate a vehicle in the state of Missouri, you need to carry a minimum amount of car insurance. This law is in place because Missouri is a fault car accident state – this means that whoever is responsible for causing an accident must pay for the injuries and damages of the other people involved. If the at-fault driver in your accident does not have insurance or does not have enough coverage to pay for your damages, you still have options to recover compensation.
Car Insurance Requirements in Missouri
Under Missouri law, all drivers must carry a minimum amount of insurance coverage to protect their losses if they cause a car accident. To comply with these requirements, you must have two types of coverage in Missouri: liability coverage and uninsured motorist coverage. Liability insurance helps cover damages in accidents that you cause, while uninsured motorist coverage helps protect your injuries in the event the at-fault driver does not have insurance.
You must carry the following minimum amounts of liability and uninsured motorist coverages. You can purchase higher than the minimum requirements if you prefer additional coverage.
- $10,000 for property damage per accident that you cause
- $50,000 for total bodily injury or death per accident that you cause
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death per person per accident that you cause
- Uninsured motorist coverage in the amount of $25,000 for bodily injury per person and $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
Uninsured motorist coverage does not provide compensation for property damage in a car accident.
Consequences for Driving Without Insurance in Missouri
If the other driver in your accident does carry the minimum amounts of car insurance that Missouri requires, he or she can face significant penalties. The uninsured driver will receive four points against his or her driving record and the state will monitor him or her to ensure that he or she obtains car insurance.
Depending on how many times this particular driver has received a violation for driving without insurance, he or she will have to pay certain fines and lose his or her driving privileges for an amount of time.
- If the driver is receiving his or her first suspension for driving without insurance, he or she will not receive a license suspension. The driver will have to pay a $20 reinstatement fee.
- For a second suspension, he or she will lose driving privileges for 90 days and have to pay a $200 reinstatement fee.
- For a third and subsequent suspension, the driver will lose driving privileges up to one year and have to pay a $400 reinstatement fee.
The driver may not be able to pay for your damages following your car accident, but if you require additional compensation, he or she will have to pay for your injuries out-of-pocket. You can file an insurance claim against this driver or file a personal injury lawsuit in Missouri civil court. These damages can be quite high and the driver may not be able to pay for your injuries right away.
What to Do If You Are in an Accident with an Uninsured Driver
If you suffer injuries in an accident with an uninsured driver in Missouri, do not panic. You can still claim compensation for your injuries, either completely or partially, if you carry uninsured motorist coverage as the state requires. You can pursue additional claims against the driver on a later date.
As soon as possible after the accident, call 911 and receive medical attention. Collect the at-fault driver’s personal and vehicle information, and take pictures of the accident scene and your damage. Ask witnesses in the area for their information as well. Receive copies of your medical records and the police report to aid in filing your claim.
Once you have received emergency medical attention, contact a Kansas City personal injury attorney to help you through the uninsured motorist claims process. Your attorney can help you calculate your damages, gather important evidence, and negotiate with your insurance company.