Having an accident is bad enough. But it’s even more complicated when the other driver was uninsured. Perhaps you’ve been in a hit-and-run accident, and the driver was able to flee the scene and get away easily. What are your options? What do you do next?It’s illegal for anyone in Missouri to drive without the financial protection of automobile insurance, but many people still do. The latest information from the Insurance Information Institute shows that 14% of Missouri drivers are uninsured. That’s a lot of risk driving around. A specific driver may have any number of reasons why they’re uninsured, including an unintentional lapse in coverage, and may be the reason they flee an accident site.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
This type of coverage is mandatory in the state of Missouri. With it, you’ll be able to file a claim for damages under this part of your policy for compensation.
When you file a Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist claim, only bodily injury costs are covered, up to the limits of your policy. Vehicle damage is not covered under UM, but Missouri does require coverage of $25,000 in bodily injury per person, and $50,000 in bodily injury per accident. Depending on how much coverage you purchase, you’ll be able to collect up to the policy’s limit.UM will cover:
- Medical bills
- Wages, lost and future (if applicable)
- Pain & suffering and related emotional injuries
If this kind of accident has left you with more than you can handle, you may also be able to cover your accident expenses with:
- Your own health insurance or MedPay to cover accident-related medical expenses
- Collision coverage for vehicular damage and repairs, or replacement
- Car rental and towing costs under your own policy, if you elected to purchase this option
A Kansas City car accident attorney can advise you on how to proceed and help you by working with your insurer.
Filing A Lawsuit
While you may be able to sue the other driver and take them to court, it may be an exercise in futility. In many cases, the other party is uninsured for a reason. Even though Missouri requires drivers to have insurance, there are still those who drive without it.If their uninsured state is due to unemployment, disability, or other financial obstacles, they won’t have the resources to help you recover from the accident. So if you decide to go to court and sue, chances are that you won’t recover anything. Getting a judgment won’t necessarily get you a settlement unless the other party comes into a financial windfall, such as winning the lottery.
If you do file a claim for uninsured or underinsured motorist, count on your insurance company to begin closely investigating your accident and injuries, including medical records and treatments. Should they begin stalling or otherwise handling your claim badly, they may be committing something known as “bad faith.”
Get Help From KC’s Oldest Car Accident Firm
A hit-and-run accident, or one with an uninsured driver, makes everything more difficult, even with UM coverage. Don’t let the insurance company take you for a ride.The Popham Law Firm has helped hundreds of people in all kinds of accident cases since 1918. An experienced car accident attorney from our Kansas City, MO law office can meet with you to review your case, explain everything, and discuss how you should proceed. Contact us at (844) 243-2288 or (use our online contact form) to schedule your appointment.