Missouri state law requires that drivers carry a minimum amount of insurance coverage. Liability insurance protects others who are injured in a car accident when you are found to be at fault. If you are found at fault for causing a car accident, your liability insurance coverage will compensate the victims of the accident for their injuries and damages. The same situation applies if you are injured by someone else who caused an accident. Their liability coverage compensates you for your injuries. Unfortunately, all over the country, including in Missouri, many drivers ignore the insurance requirements for drivers.
Steps to Take After an Accident Caused by an Uninsured Driver
Drivers who are uninsured may not want to pay for insurance coverage; they may have a suspended driver’s license; or they may have other reasons for avoiding insurance. Whatever the reason might be for driving without insurance, the victims of an accident caused by an uninsured driver are the ones who suffer the most consequences. However, there are some steps you can take and recourse for you to get compensation for your injuries.
- Call 911 to report the accident. Call 911 to report the accident, and request police assistance and emergency medical services. Uninsured drivers are very likely to flee the scene of an accident. However, even if the other driver leaves the scene, call 911 to report the accident and request assistance. If you’re able, try to document information about the other car, including the make, model, color, and license plate number. You should make sure you file a police report and obtain a copy when you file an insurance claim with your insurance provider.
- Get the other driver’s information. If possible, get the other driver’s name, address, and driver’s license number. In some cases, a driver may be unwilling to provide this information. It is best to stay calm and not confront the other driver. Let the police handle the matter when they arrive and get the required information from the other party. However, you can take a photograph of the license plate of the vehicle that hit you in case the driver decides to leave before the police officers arrive.
- Document the accident scene. If it is safe to do so, take photographs of the accident scene, and make a video of the accident scene with your cellphone. Try to capture the damage to the vehicles, the location of the vehicles, skid marks, debris, and traffic signs or signals. It is also a good idea to ask witnesses for their names and contact information. Some witnesses may leave the accident scene before police officers can speak with them to take their statements.
- Seek medical treatment for injuries. The shock of being in an accident can mask some injury symptoms. It is generally best to be seen by a medical professional as soon as possible after a car accident. Make sure to report all your symptoms to your doctor, and note that you were in a traffic accident. It is essential to document your injuries for an insurance claim. Delays in medical care can hurt your claim. The insurance company may allege that if you were injured in the accident, you would have sought medical care sooner.
- Report the accident to your insurance provider. Contact your car insurance provider to report the accident. Confirm with your insurance company the amount of your Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage. The minimum amount of UM coverage in Missouri is $25,000 per person ($50,000 per accident). Uninsured motorist coverage compensates you for damages caused by an uninsured driver or a hit-and-run driver. The compensation you receive is limited to the coverage amount in your policy.
- Contact a Kansas City car accident attorney for a free consultation. Insurance companies are not on your side. If you are hit by an uninsured motorist, you will file a claim through your own insurance company under your uninsured motorist coverage. You should never assume that you will receive adequate compensation for your uninsured motorist claim just because you are working with your own insurance provider. When you file an uninsured motorist claim, you do not work with your agent; rather, you work with the claims department, and they will evaluate all the circumstances of your case. Your claim is treated just like all other insurance claims. Insurance companies stay in business by paying as little as possible on claims, and they will try to do the same to your claim as well. Therefore, you may find that your UM claim is denied or undervalued. The adjuster may try to blame you for causing the accident or claim that you do not have sufficient evidence to prove that the other driver caused the accident.
Proving fault for a car accident can be complicated. An attorney has the resources, experience, and skills to investigate the cause of the crash and gather evidence proving fault. They know what the insurance companies are looking for. A car accident attorney also understands how to value and document the damages you’ve sustained after an accident to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses caused by an uninsured driver.
Before you discuss the claim with an insurance adjuster, make a statement, sign a medical release, or accept a settlement offer, you need to speak with a Kansas City car accident attorney. An attorney will review your case, explain your legal rights, and discusses your options for recovering maximum compensation for your injury claim.
Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage
If you are reading this and have not been in an accident caused by an uninsured motorist, perhaps the most important thing you can do is to review your policy to make sure you have sufficient Uninsured Motorist coverage. Deciding how much UM coverage you need is a matter of personal preference. Many insurance agents and attorneys will advise that the simple answer to how much coverage you need is as much as you can afford. Adding additional Uninsured Motorist coverage is relatively inexpensive, and the benefits, as well as the peace of mind that it provides, should you ever be in an accident caused by a driver without any insurance, is well worth the minimal additional expense.