What if I get in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have insurance? What do I do? What can I do? Who will pay for my injuries, and how can I get them to pay? These are common questions regarding accidents with uninsured drivers. There is no denying that being hit by an uninsured driver is completely unfair. Not only are you suffering injuries and property damage through no fault of your own, but you now have concerns about how those damages will be paid for.
If you’ve been in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, you need an attorney on your case. For a knowledgable, skilled attorney who understands both your legal needs and your needs as an individual who has recently been through an upsetting and traumatic experience, Amanda Hayden of the Hayden Law Firm is the answer. Call (314) 480-3100 to speak to us with no obligation today.
Missouri Laws on Insurance
In Missouri, all motorists are required by law to have insurance on their vehicle. At the least, state law requires them to have liability insurance. This type of insurance is used to pay the other party when the policyholder is at fault in an accident. The liability insurance must cover at least the minimum amounts Missouri requires for injuries and damages.
Unfortunately, not everyone follows this law, and there are drivers on our roads who do not pay for any kind of car insurance. In fact, it is estimated that around 14 percent of drivers in Missouri and 13.7 percent in Illinois are driving without the required insurance. If you do get hit by a driver who does not have insurance, what do you do?
St Louis Claims Involving Uninsured Drivers
Each state in the US will either have an at-fault (also referred to as tort) or no-fault law regarding vehicular accidents and insurance coverage. Some states follow a no-fault rule where if you are in an accident, you generally use your own insurance to cover the damages, regardless of who caused the accident. Missouri and Illinois, on the other hand, are comparative fault states. This is a type of at-fault rule where each driver pays the percent of which they were responsible for the accident, and receives the percent of the accident for which they were not at-fault. In a simple accident where one driver is totally responsible, and the other driver had no fault, the at-fault driver is responsible for 100% of the other driver’s damages. The person they hit would receive that 100%.
The type of fault laws Missouri has is relevant in uninsured driver accidents, becuase it affects the type of coverage and the way your insurance company will cover accidents involving a driver who doesn’t have any
You do have the right to sue the at-fault driver for damages. However, the laws on this can get complicated and vary by state. Also, if your priority is to get the financial coverage you are owed because of the damage the accident caused, this isn’t always going to be fruitful. People have different reasons for what they decide to do or not do, but commonly drivers who do not have any insurance on their vehicle don’t have insurance because they can’t afford to pay it or don’t want to pay for it. If they won’t pay a regular insurance premium, it may be difficult to get them to pay the sum of all the damages you’ve suffered.
In most cases, your best solution is to pursue compensation from your own insurance policy. The common reaction to this notion is, “That’s not fair. I didn’t cause the accident, so my insurance company should not have to pay,” and “Will that make my insurance rates go up? I can’t afford to pay more!” These are valid concerns, but understand what uninsured coverage is and how it works.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Uinsured motorist coverage is also required by law in Missouri as in Illinois. This is insurance that is included in your regular car insurance plan that is meant to replace what the other driver’s liability insurance would have covered, had they been insured. Uninsured motorist coverage, then, has the same minimum rules as liability insurance in Missouri. Missour law requires that both liability and uninsured motorist coverage will pay up to at least $25,000 per person for injuries.
You can and should use this uninsured motorist coverage when you’re in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance. It is covered by your regular insurance payments, and the purpose of paying those monthly or biannual premiums to your insurance company is to have access to the sum of money necessary to receive medical treatment, pursue recovery, and repair or replace your damaged vehicle in the event of an accident like this. Your rate should not go up because you make a claim for an accident for which you are not responsible.
You will need a car accident lawyer to get the most out of your situation. Insurance companies can be tricky, and a lawyer who has experience in car accidents and in dealing with insurance companies and policies can make sure you get the financial compensation you need to cover your injuries and property damage without being penalized.
In serious accidents, the amount of uninsured motorist coverage available to you will not come near the true value of your case. If this is the case, your lawyer can help you pursue additional compensation from other sources. You may be able to stack your insurance coverage or pursue the at-fault driver for additional compensation.
Get Help With Your St Louis Uninsured Motorist Accident
To get the best outcome from your accident with a driver without insurance, you need an lawyer who can navigate your case and has your best interests at heart. You can receive and deserve to receive compensation for the damages the uninsured driver has caused you. You should not have to pay for your injuries yourself. Contact the Hayden Law Firm online or call us at (314) 480-3100 to begin your journey to physical and financial recovery today.