Getting into a car crash that was not your fault can be a frightening, psychologically jarring experience. Ordinarily, though, we expect the at-fault driver’s car insurance to help us recover. But sometimes, the other motorist is grossly negligent—they may try to run away from the scene or could have flouted Missouri law and failed to buy an automobile insurance policy. Fortunately, you may still be able to make a claim for compensation through your insurance company.
Missouri’s Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Missouri mandates that every resident have coverage to protect them if they are ever involved in an accident with someone who does not have the required liability insurance coverage. This is known as uninsured (UM) or underinsured (UIM) motorist coverage.
While the extent of everyone’s coverage varies in accordance with the value of their policy, the minimum amount you are required to carry under Missouri law is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $10,000 for property damage.
When You Can Use Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Missouri uninsured driver policies are meant to protect motorists if:
- They are hit by an uninsured, at-fault driver. If you are in an accident and the other driver does not have automobile insurance, you can file a claim with your own company.
- They are involved in a hit-and-run accident. If you are in an accident and the other driver immediately flees, you may not have any way of identifying them, let alone collecting their insurance information.
However, uninsured motorist coverage will not protect you if an accident was your fault or if one of your passengers was injured.
Why You Should Contact an Attorney
Missouri’s uninsured motorist law is meant to protect people. Unfortunately, proving that you were hit by an uninsured driver or were the victim of a hit-and-run can be difficult. After all, insurance companies tend to look out for their own interests. They may ask you to submit evidence that the at-fault driver was actually uninsured, which can be complicated if you do not have their contact information or if they are not cooperative.
Even if you were in a hit-and-run, your insurance company might offer flimsy excuses to avoid a pay-out.
Thankfully, an experienced personal injury attorney will know how to deal with an insurance company’s excuses and may even be able to negotiate a higher settlement.