If you are involved in a car crash in Missouri, there’s a rough one-in-seven chance that the other driver will be uninsured.

That’s right. According to the Missouri Department of Insurance, more than 337,000 drivers in the state don’t carry liability insurance. That comes out to 13.7 percent of all drivers. Crashes with uninsured drivers are unfortunately all too common in the state of Missouri.

While it might seem like it isn’t possible to recover any compensation in a collision with a driver who doesn’t carry insurance, you do have options at your disposal. We’ll cover some of your options in this guide, and as always, for specific help with your case, don’t hesitate to call the St. Louis car crash attorneys at Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse at 314-241-1919 for a free case review.

Missouri’s car insurance requirements

Missouri requires motorists to carry liability insurance, which covers the costs of property damage and bodily injury should they be found responsible for an accident, and uninsured motorist coverage, which protects them in the case of a collision with an uninsured driver.

What is liability insurance?

If you’re found at fault for an accident, liability insurance serves as your financial safeguard. It covers the cost of property damage and bodily injury inflicted upon others.

The minimum amount of liability coverage required is $25,000 for bodily injury per person, with a total maximum of $50,000 per incident, and $10,000 for property damage.

It’s important to understand that liability insurance does not cover your own injuries or damages to your vehicle.

Understanding uninsured motorist coverage

Another vital piece of the insurance mix is uninsured motorist coverage. In Missouri, it is mandatory and provides protection for bodily injury damages when involved in an accident with an at-fault driver who lacks insurance.

This coverage can be a lifesaver, helping pay for medical expenses, lost wages and more, which can mount quickly following an accident with an uninsured driver.

How to protect yourself at the scene of the crash

Following a car accident, maintaining composure and evaluating the situation is crucial.

First, gather as much evidence as possible

Begin by gathering extensive information at the accident scene. This includes:

  • Photographing the scene
  • Documenting roadway conditions
  • Documenting physical damage
  • Documenting injuries
  • Collecting witness statements

These pieces of evidence will be crucial when filing insurance claims or legal cases.

Next, report the accident

Missouri law mandates the reporting of a car accident to the authorities in cases of fatality, injury or when property damage surpasses $500. The police report will provide a documented account of the crash with vital facts and information that can be crucial during the insurance claim process.

File a claim with your insurance company

After collecting essential evidence and reporting the accident, you should proceed to file a claim with your insurance company. It’s important to notify them as soon as possible after the accident, providing all relevant details such as policy numbers, date, time and location of the accident.

Use your uninsured motorist coverage

When the other driver lacks insurance, your own uninsured motorist coverage becomes vital. This insurance covers medical bills and lost wages for you and your passengers if you’re hit by an uninsured driver. It can also cover property damage caused by an uninsured driver. In such cases, you may need to file an uninsured motorist claim to receive compensation.

Tap into your collision coverage as well

Another key element of your car insurance policy is collision coverage. This coverage provides reimbursement for damage to your car regardless of who is at fault, but it does not cover damages to other vehicles, objects or any bodily injuries.

Legal options against the uninsured driver

Despite the other driver being uninsured, you still have legal options. In Missouri, the driver found at fault for an accident is responsible for covering the victim’s damages. This means they are required to provide financial compensation for any harm caused.

Filing a kawsuit

Filing a lawsuit against the uninsured driver is one possible legal action. But, before initiating a lawsuit, it’s necessary to assess the legal merits of the case and determine the likelihood of recovering any damages, considering the uninsured driver’s assets and liabilities.

In other words, if the other driver doesn’t have any money, there won’t be much compensation to collect.

Collecting judgments

Following a successful judgment against the uninsured driver, the subsequent challenge is its collection. Collecting judgments from uninsured drivers can be challenging due to the possibility of limited assets on the part of the uninsured party.

Protecting yourself in the future

An easy way to protect yourself is to regularly review your auto insurance policy with your own insurance company. Make sure you have adequate coverage, including uninsured and underinsured motorist protection, also known as underinsured motorist coverage.

How Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse Can Help

Dealing with the fallout after a crash with an uninsured driver can be daunting. But you don’t have to do it alone. The team at Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse is here to help.

Niemeyer, Grebel, and Kruse provide a personalized approach for every client they work with, focusing on understanding each client’s unique situation and providing tailored legal strategies for the best possible outcome. They are experts in car accident cases, with two of the 2023 list of Best Lawyers as well as a Top 50 and Top 100 lawyer in the area of plaintiff’s personal injury by Super Lawyers Magazine.

Call us today at 314-241-1919 for your free case review.

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