An Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Hit Me. What Should I Do?
April 25, 2023
Getting hit by another car on the road is always frustrating and upsetting, but even more so when the driver who hits you is uninsured or underinsured. Unfortunately, uninsured/underinsured drivers are common in Missouri, where an estimated 16.4% of motorists do not have auto insurance, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
That’s why it is imperative that you know your rights and options if you have been involved in a car crash with a motorist who has insufficient insurance coverage or no auto insurance at all. Our car accident attorney at Chionuma Law Firm, LLC assists motorists who have been involved in automobile crashes in seeking the compensation they deserve, even if the other party involved is uninsured or underinsured.
From our office in Kansas City, Missouri, we also serve victims of automobile accidents in Liberty, Lee’s Summit, Independence, and throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area.
Required Insurance Coverage in Missouri
In Missouri, car owners are required to have liability insurance, which covers the cost of any damages or injuries they cause to another person or their property in an accident. According to the state’s Department of Insurance, minimum coverage requirements for auto insurance in Missouri are set at $25,000 per person, $50,000 for multiple persons per accident, and $25,000 for property damage.
Missouri Is a Fault Insurance State
Missouri is a “fault” state when it comes to filing claims and recovering damages after automobile accidents. This means that the person responsible for the accident must pay for the damages or injuries they caused. In a fault state, the insurance company of the driver who caused the accident is responsible for paying for the other driver’s losses. If the at fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, then the injured driver's own insurance policy will kick in if they have the appropriate coverage.
If you have been hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist in Missouri, there are several options available to you. Your own insurance policy may cover you through your uninsured or underinsured motorist provision. You may also be able to file a personal injury claim against the other driver to pay for your damages and medical expenses.
You might want to seek the assistance and guidance of a skilled automobile accident attorney if you were hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist in Kansas City, Missouri, or other parts of the state. Our attorney at Chionuma Law Firm, LLC can help you determine whether you can obtain coverage for your damages and explore your compensation options.
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Provision
Auto insurance policies in Missouri are required to have uninsured motorist coverage, which provides protection in case the other driver does not have insurance or cannot be identified (a hit-and-run crash). Coverage minimums for the uninsured motorist provision in Missouri are set at $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
Underinsured motorist coverage can also be purchased to provide additional protection in case the other driver’s insurance is not enough to cover your medical bills and other costs.
Steps to Take if You Were Hit by an Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist
Thousands of motorists on Missouri’s roads drive without auto insurance or with insufficient insurance. When you get into an accident with one of them, you need to know what steps to take to protect your legal rights:
1. Call the Police
The first thing you should do after being hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist is to call the police to report the accident. If the other motorist drives without insurance, you will need an official report of the accident for insurance purposes. When the police arrive, they will issue a traffic ticket to the uninsured driver because it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle in Missouri without insurance.
2. Seek Medical Attention
Your health is the most important thing after a car accident. Do not delay seeking medical attention, as not all injuries are apparent immediately after the crash. Some injuries, such as whiplash, may not show up until days after the accident. A medical report can also serve as evidence in your insurance claim or litigation case.
3. Document the Scene of the Crash
If you can, take photos of the accident scene, damage to your car, and any injuries you and/or your passengers have sustained. Write down the other driver’s information and any witnesses’ contact information. All of this documentation will be useful when you file an insurance claim or lawsuit.
4. Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
Even if the other driver does not have insurance, you should still report the accident to your insurance company. You may have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage that can help cover the damages. Be sure to provide your insurance company with all the information about the accident and any documentation you have.
5. Discuss Your Compensation Options With an Attorney
Even if the other driver is insured, you may need to consider legal options to recover compensation for your damages. An attorney can help you determine whether you have a case and negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company or file a lawsuit if necessary. It is critical that you find an attorney with experience handling uninsured/underinsured motorist cases.
Personal & Professional Legal Guidance
Getting hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist is always frustrating, especially if you do not know what steps to take to get compensation for your damages and losses. Fortunately, you may still be entitled to compensation even if the other driver is not insured or does not have enough insurance. Reach out to our car accident attorney at Chionuma Law Firm, LLC for personalized and professional legal guidance.