INJURED? LET US HELP YOU
What Do I Do if the Other Driver Didn’t Have Insurance?
If the other driver who caused your accident didn’t have insurance, your first step is to get in touch with an uninsured motorist lawyer in St. Louis, MO, to determine different avenues toward covering your damages.
There are typically two ways to go about this in an uninsured motorist crash:
- Suing the uninsured or underinsured motorist – whether or not this is a fruitful option will depend upon the at-fault driver’s income and assets.
- Filing a first-party claim against your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage – You can make a claim against your own insurance company to recover damages. This works the same as if you were pursuing the other driver’s insurance company in order to receive the medical care, financial recovery, and other costs you are owed for a car accident that was not your fault.
Uninsured Motorist Laws in Missouri
There are an alarming number of uninsured drivers on Missouri’s roads. According to data gathered since 2007, around 14% of drivers in Missouri are driving without insurance. As a safety net against these irresponsible drivers, the state government has enacted uninsured motorist laws.
Missouri law dictates that anyone who operates a motor vehicle should have an insurance policy that contains at least $25,000 of uninsured motorist coverage. That way, if you are injured by a reckless driver who does not have auto insurance, your uninsured motorist coverage should pay for all or a portion of your injuries, lost wages, and other damages sustained in the accident.
Filing an Uninsured Motorist Lawsuit or Claim
You may be able to file an uninsured motorist lawsuit against the negligent driver to recover damages for your injuries, but this can be very difficult to pursue on your own. Contact a St. Louis personal injury lawyer at The Hayden Law Firm to explore this option!
On the other hand, the best route in many cases may be to make a claim against your own insurance company to recover damages. You should be covered up to $25,000 in Missouri for uninsured motorist claims — but we know that the insurance company may not always play fair though.
As a responsible driver yourself who makes diligent payments to your insurance company, you would think that they will be there for you during this trying time; however, this is not always the case. At The Hayden Law Firm, we see far too many instances in which the insurance company refuses to pay innocent, hardworking people that suffered an accident that was out of their control. We want to help them with this process.
If your insurance company refuses to pay what you are owed, or is arguing that they only have to pay a percentage of your costs, then you should speak with an uninsured motorist lawyer in St. Louis, MO, to immediately protect your claim.
What is an Underinsured Motorist and How Are the Claims Different?
An uninsured motorist is someone who lacks any type of auto insurance perhaps because they let their policy lapse or because they never purchased liability coverage to begin with.
An underinsured driver is someone who has some amount of auto insurance but not enough to cover your injury costs. Missouri law mandates that all drivers carry no less than $25,000 of liability insurance per person, and $50,000 per accident. The 25/50 liability mandate is the minimum requirement that one must have to be “legal” in Missouri.
By way of an example, if you were involved in a devastating accident with a reckless driver who had the minimum 25/50 insurance limit, you are only entitled to $25,000 from their insurance company; however, your significant injury required an emergency room visit that used up most of this amount and you still have ongoing treatments. You now bear the burden to pay anything past $25,000, including medical bills, lost wages, future medical care, and numerous other injury damages. In cases like these, however, your underinsured motorist coverage may be available to help.
But this is where it differs from uninsured motorist claims and can often get quite complicated. Uninsured motorist coverage is mandated by the State of Missouri and therefore governed by public policy. Underinsured motorist coverage, on the other hand, is governed by the terms of the contract and insurance you purchased. One mistake in following the terms of the contract and you may forfeit your right to pursue an underinsured motorist claim. This is why you need an underinsured motorist accident lawyer in St. Louis, MO, on your side who will safeguard your rights and always have your best interests at heart.