Imagine getting in a car accident and discovering the at-fault driver doesn’t carry auto insurance. It makes an overwhelming situation even worse. However, there are options to pursue financial compensation for your injuries. Call OnderLaw, LLC at (314) 963-9000, and we’ll help you with your case.
Whether you sustained an injury or suffered damage to your vehicle, you can depend on us to seek justice. We’ll hold the other person accountable for their actions and make sure they face the consequences of their actions.
What Is an Uninsured/Underinsured Driver?
Missouri law requires all individuals who own or operate a vehicle to carry liability auto insurance. On every liability policy, there are bodily injury limits that cover another person’s expenses after a car crash.
An uninsured driver is someone who does not carry auto insurance. Even though it’s illegal, there are currently thousands of motorists without coverage. Some can no longer afford their premiums and allow their policies to lapse. Others never apply at all.
An underinsured driver does hold liability insurance; however, their bodily injury limit isn’t high enough to cover all expenses resulting from the accident.
In the state of Missouri, the minimum bodily injury limit is $25,000, and property damage is $10,000. For some injuries, $25,000 is sufficient. If your injury is more severe and requires many months of treatment, you could reach that limit very quickly.
If you discovered the other person involved in your accident doesn’t carry insurance or their limits don’t cover your total costs, you can file an insurance claim with your carrier.
UM Insurance Coverage: What It Is and How It Works
Many states don’t legally require the purchase of UM insurance. UM stands for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. It covers the injured party’s expenses after a car crash. In Missouri, you must include UM coverage on your policy.
Your insurance carrier could potentially reimburse you for your expenses regardless of who caused the accident. It’s not necessary to prove fault to receive compensation. However, you’ll have to file a claim and submit evidence of your injury.
Additional Insurance Coverage
There are additional coverages you could add to your auto insurance policy. Although not required by law, it’s a good idea to have them.
Collision Coverage: You can repair the damage to your vehicle or replace it entirely with collision coverage.
Medical Payments Coverage: Just like health insurance, it pays the upfront costs for medical treatment related to the accident. Once the limit listed on your policy for medpay runs out, you’re responsible for any additional expenses.
It’s frustrating finding out the at-fault driver doesn’t hold auto insurance, or their limit isn’t high enough for your costs. However, you have options. Depending on the limits you chose, your UM, collision, or medical payments coverage can provide compensation.
What Expenses Does Auto Insurance Cover?
UM and liability insurance provide compensation for economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are expenses related to the treatment of your injury. Non-economic damages are intangible losses, such as the suffering you endured after the motor vehicle crash.
Typical damages covered under auto insurance include:
- Medical bills
- Future medical costs
- Past and future unearned wages from work
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of companionship
- Permanent injury or disability
Fault Laws in Missouri
Missouri follows a fault system when someone suffers an injury in a car accident. The person responsible must pay compensation to the injured party from their pocket or through their liability insurance.
If you’re able to prove fault, you can file an insurance claim with the other driver’s carrier and receive a settlement for your total costs. Proving fault is necessary to show the at-fault motorist’s actions caused your injury.
Another law dictates the percentage of compensation you could seek for your total costs. The comparative fault law determines how much blame you share for the accident. If you share 20% fault, you’re only allowed up to 80% of your damages. For example, if your damages equal $80,000 but you’re 20% to blame, you’re allowed a maximum of $60,000.
What Happens if I Want to Sue?
If you choose to file a lawsuit as opposed to an insurance claim, the number of economic damages you could receive is limitless. However, non-economic damages like emotional trauma hold a maximum limit. You can only pursue compensation up to $350,000 under Missouri law.
Every situation that results in injury must follow a statute of limitations when it comes to filing a lawsuit. A statute of limitations is a deadline for bringing legal action against another person. In Missouri, you have five years from the date of the car accident to sue the other person. After five years, the judge will likely dismiss your case because of the missed deadline.
Steps to Take Immediately After an Auto Accident
Since many drivers don’t hold auto insurance, you should immediately ask for their insurance information after a crash. Determining whether or not you need to file a claim with your insurance or a lawsuit against the other driver is crucial.
If you discover they only purchased the minimum bodily injury limit of $25,000, but you already surpassed that amount in medical bills, you can file a UM claim to supplement your costs. Additionally, you can use your medical payments coverage to pay for expensive treatment upfront.
To maximize your potential settlement, it’s also necessary to collect evidence at the crash site and while you’re treating your injury. Before leaving the scene, write down the names and phone numbers of all witnesses and take photos. You should also keep copies of your medical records to show how much compensation you need.
Why You Should Choose OnderLaw, LLC
We understand the burden you’re facing because of another person’s actions. We care about our clients and will make you a priority. You can depend on us to be there for you every step of the way. We use all the resources at our disposal to ensure you receive the maximum compensation available.
We understand Missouri laws and how to review insurance policies for all possible coverage. You won’t have to go through this challenging time in your life alone. We can handle all aspects of your case from beginning to end so you can focus on your recovery.
If it’s necessary to file a lawsuit, we’ll deal with the complicated steps to hold the other motorist responsible. We fight aggressively in court and know the kind of evidence that proves you deserve a financial award for your injuries.
We developed an excellent reputation for the results we reach in cases just like yours. Martindale-Hubbell, a peer review system, gave us the highest AV rating. We also received recognition from legal organizations, including Million Dollar Advocates Forum, SuperLawyers, and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
We believe in giving back to our community. OnderLaw, LLC supports various local and national charities to help those in need and keep people safe. We contribute to Parents for Window Blind Safety, Lupus Foundation of America, Toys for Tots, and multiple other organizations.
Since starting our firm, we secured millions of dollars for our clients. It’s our hard work and dedication that allows us to provide clients and their families with a positive outcome. When you hire us, we will make sure to meet and exceed all your expectations. We know you’re struggling and want to ensure you receive the justice you deserve.
What is a Contingency Fee?
Unfortunately, most people don’t know you can hire a lawyer without spending any money upfront. A contingency fee is an agreement between the lawyer and client to pursue legal action without collecting fees until there’s a settlement.
At OnderLaw, LLC, all our attorneys work on contingency. We won’t require you to pay a fee to retain our firm. Any ongoing costs and total legal fees get taken out of your final compensation. We don’t get paid unless you get paid.
How Much Does a Consultation Cost?
We offer prospective clients a free consultation. We’ll meet with you to review the details of your car accident and advise your legal options. We won’t pressure you into making a decision you’re not ready to make. It’s our job to let you know if you have a solid case to pursue.
If you decide you don’t want to seek representation, there’s no charge for our time. We’re happy to provide advice to help you get back on your feet.
Hit by an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver? Call OnderLaw, LLC Today
Victims of auto accidents are often unable to work. If the other driver doesn’t carry insurance, you can rest assured you will be in excellent hands with us. We work efficiently to resolve your case, so you receive the payment you need for your expenses.
Many law firms treat their clients like a number. We provide personalized, one-on-one attention to reach our clients’ goals. Our team is available 24/7 to answer your questions and provide status on your case. We understand the importance of reaching us whenever you need us. Call (314) 963-9000 to schedule your initial consultation.