Every driver in Missouri is required by law to carry an auto insurance policy with at least $25,000 in bodily injury coverage and $25,000 in property coverage.

The problem is, many drivers often don’t.

An estimated 16% of all drivers in Missouri don’t carry any valid car insurance, according to the Information Insurance Institute. That shakes out to almost 1 out of every 5 drivers on Missouri roads driving without car insurance.

No one expects to be handed a fabricated insurance card after an accident. Yet, it’s a scenario that happens daily on Missouri roads, leaving many drivers feeling victimized a second time.

When the other party decides to play a game of deception, it’s important to know the rules to protect yourself and your wallet.

What should you do when this happens? How do you claim what’s rightfully yours when the information given is a lie? What steps can you take to ensure you’re not left holding the bag? Let’s review some tips, and as always, if you need legal help for a specific situation, don’t hesitate to contact the St. Louis auto accident lawyers at Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse at 314-241-1919.

Immediate Steps to Take After a Car Accident

The moments after an auto accident can be chaotic, but the steps to follow are always the same. Your first priority should always be safety. Ensure that you, your passengers and the other driver are safe, and get medical attention for anyone who needs it.

Next, if you’re able, it’s time to gather evidence to support your insurance claim.

Gather Evidence at the Scene

The aftermath of a car accident is stressful, but it’s important to gather information with a clear head.

Snap photos of everything: the damage to your car, the surrounding area, and importantly, the license plate of the other vehicle. These images can be very useful to dispute any false information.

Witness statements can be gold in these situations. Talk to anyone who saw the crash, and scan the scene for traffic and security cameras that might have caught the crash. 

File a Police Report

It’s always a good idea to call the police out to the scene of a crash. In fact, it’s required if anyone was injured in the crash or if the property damage exceeds $500 (in other words, anything more major than a simple fender-bender).

When the police respond to the scene, they will produce a police report. This will capture the evidence that the officer was able to gather at the scene, and it will serve as an impartial account of the crash that you can use for insurance claims or legal proceedings later on.

Notify Your Insurance Company

Once you’ve ensured everyone is safe, gathered evidence and called the police, it’s time to contact your insurance company. Even if you weren’t at fault, your insurer must know what’s happened. The sooner, the better. Why? Because delays can muddy the waters of your car accident case.

Your insurance adjuster needs to know the full story to correctly process your insurance clam. And if the other driver’s proof of insurance turns out to be fake, you might be dealing with an uninsured motorist claim.

Understanding the Impact of False Insurance Information on Your Claim

The repercussions of false insurance information ripple out far beyond your individual claim.

This kind of deception is not just a personal inconvenience; it’s a cog in the wheel of a much larger problem that affects all consumers and insurance companies. The annual financial toll of insurance fraud is staggering, and unfortunately, it’s a bill that ends up being split among all policyholders.

When it comes to your own car accident case, false information can lead to frustrating delays as the insurance adjuster investigates.

How Insurance Companies Handle False Information

Insurance companies are on high alert for fraud and employ sophisticated technology to sniff out false insurance information. Predictive modeling, link analysis and even artificial intelligence are part of their arsenal. Their goal? To prevent those who inflate claims or fabricate policies from succeeding. Soft fraud, such as lying about mileage on an application, is more common than bold-faced forgery, but it’s all on their radar.

If you suspect you’re dealing with a false claim, it’s your turn to take action. Challenge it by providing your insurer with the evidence you gathered.

The Role of Uninsured Motorist Coverage

If it turns out that the other driver’s insurance information was fraudulent, then you’re obviously not going to be able to recover any compensation from the insurer they said they had.

Here, you’ll need to rely on uninsured motorist coverage. It’s there to protect you financially when the other driver is uninsured or underinsured. This coverage is your safety net, ensuring that a hit-and-run or a deceitful driver doesn’t leave you stranded with the costs.

It’s a buffer against the unexpected and a layer of security that can make a world of difference in your car accident case.

Filing an Uninsured Motorist Claim

If the insurance policy information that the other driver provided proves to be invalid, your next step is filing an uninsured motorist claim.

It’s a step you shouldn’t delay, as timelines can affect coverage. This type of claim can be a lifeline, ensuring you’re not left out of pocket.

It’s a straightforward yet essential process in the wake of false insurance information.

Legal Actions You Can Take

After dealing with insurance matters, you might find yourself wondering about the legal ramifications. Can you take the other driver to court? What are the odds of winning your case? 

Pursuing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Pursuing a personal injury lawsuit is a path you may need to take to receive full compensation for your troubles. It’s about holding the other driver accountable. To win your car accident case, you’ll need to prove their fault and the extent of your injuries.

It’s not a journey to embark on lightly, and every case is different, but with an experienced personal injury attorney by your side, it’s one way you can obtain compensation.

Small Claims Court for Damages

For damages that don’t warrant a full-blown lawsuit, small claims court is your venue.

It’s the arena for the everyday disputes where you can represent yourself without an attorney. The process is simpler, the costs are lower, and the resolution is quick.

Filing your own claim can be empowering and effective for receiving the compensation you’re owed.

Preventing Future Issues

Circumstances involving false insurance information are not only frustrating but also teachable moments. They highlight the importance of being diligent and prepared. Taking proactive steps can save you time and protect you from future fraud.

Let’s look at how you can safeguard against this issue moving forward.

Verifying Insurance Information at the Scene

The moment you’re handed an insurance card, your scrutiny should kick in. Check the expiration date, verify the policy details directly with the insurer, and use your smartphone to document everything. 

Using Technology to Your Advantage

Embracing technology can save you time and prevent headaches later. There are apps designed to confirm the validity of insurance details on the spot.

State Farm, GEICO Mobile and others provide tools that put the power of verification in your hands. By leveraging these resources, you’ll be one step ahead of any potential fraud.

Contact Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse for Legal Help

Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be overwhelming, and it gets even worse if the other driver wasn’t being truthful. A personal injury attorney can help you understand your options and recover compensation from the other driver.

Contact the St. Louis car crash attorneys at Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse today for help with your case – 310-241-1919.


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