Is Missouri a No-Fault State for Car Accidents?
Missouri is an at-fault state, which means that the driver is responsible for the accident and is liable to pay for damages and hospital bills.
In Missouri, a person who is injured or damages their property as a result of a car accident has three options:
Filing a claim with his or her own insurance company, assuming that the loss is covered under the policy, filing a personal injury lawsuit in civil court against the at-fault driver, or filing a third-party claim directly with the at-fault driver's insurance company.
Regardless of who caused the crash, a victim must use the personal injury protection coverage of their own vehicle insurance plan to pay for medical expenses and other losses after a car accident in a no-fault state. A person can only go outside of no-fault and file a claim against the at-fault motorist if their car accident injuries exceed a certain degree. After an in-state accident, however, Missouri drivers do not have to worry about no-fault insurance.
Missouri Insurance Coverage
Auto insurance, often known as liability insurance coverage, is compulsory for all drivers. Missouri's minimal requirements are as follows:
$25,000 per person, per accident for bodily harm
$50,000 in bodily injury for all people involved in an accident
Liability for property damage of $10,000
Uninsured motorist coverage of $25,000/$50,000
Other drivers or passengers may suffer losses as a result of the policyholder's acts or lack of actions. When the insured is liable for the losses, liability insurance does not cover them. There are, however, other types of car insurances that can be purchased, such as an accident or comprehensive coverage.
Fault vs. No-Fault Insurance: What's the Difference?
Individuals carry the guilt and financial obligation in at-fault states like Missouri. After determining who was to blame, a victim can choose whether to submit an accident claim with their own insurance company or with the at-fault driver's insurance provider. If another driver is at fault, the victim has the right to sue the other driver's insurance carrier for the full amount of compensation they are entitled to. Medical bills, pain and suffering, missed payments, and other expenses may be included.
The plaintiff has the right to sue the at-fault driver for additional compensation when a liability insurance policy does not cover all of the victim's damages in a fault state. That is why it is important to have enough car insurance in place.
In no-fault states, irrespective of who was at fault, a driver's vehicle insurance can cover the expenses of their accident up to the coverage limit. There are just a few scenarios in which an accident victim can claim reimbursement from the other driver's auto insurance policy.
No Pay, No Play in Missouri
Missouri's "No Pay, No Play" bill is also known as the House Bill 339. The Missouri State Senate passed a bill in 2013 that specifies that uninsured drivers waive their rights to non-economic damages in the event of an auto accident. This means that drivers who do not have insurance can only sue the at-fault driver for medical bills.
The rule is subject to two exceptions:
If the accident was caused by a drunk driver
If a driver's prior car insurance company canceled their policy without giving them at least six months' notice.
Furthermore, this law has been criticized by experts for punishing drivers who cannot afford car insurance. Currently, Missouri does not have a low-income vehicle insurance alternative. If someone is uninsured and has an accident, they are not able to recover damages for:
Pain and suffering
Damages to property
Penalties for Driving Without Insurance
Any driver guilty of "failure to present evidence of insurance" can face one of three penalties, according to the Missouri Department of Revenue:
1. The conviction is recorded, and the driver's record is docked four points
2. A driver can be subject to an "order of monitoring" to ensure that liability insurance is maintained
3. If the offender fails to present evidence of insurance, the court may restrict the offender's driving privileges and compel the offender to pay costs according to the following schedule:
The first suspension is for zero days, with a $20 reinstatement fee. Thereafter, the second ban is for 90 days with a $200 reinstatement fee. Suspension for the third and subsequent offenses is one year with a $400 reinstatement fee.
Of course, these fees may be minor in comparison to the financial implications of being involved in car accidents without insurance.
Do You Need a Missouri Car Accident Attorney?
In order to protect their best interests, insurance companies employ teams of detectives, claims adjusters, and attorneys. As a result, a victim should have a legal team fighting for them to guarantee that they receive fair and just compensation for their losses.
Automobile accident lawyers in St Louis Missouri are familiar with the Missouri car accident laws that relate to these claims, such as comparative fault, negligence, and damages. A victim's lawyer also has the resources to investigate the accident and acquire information to prove fault and liability.
An attorney can help a victim document their losses in order to maximize the value of their claim. The insurance provider cannot tell a victim how much their damages are worth. Instead, the insurance providers do everything they can to minimize the value of a victim's personal injury claim. A skilled Missouri personal injury lawyer, on the other hand, understands the value of such damages and seeks that amount at a personal injury lawsuit or in settlement negotiations.
Contact a Reliable Missouri Car Accident Attorney for a Free Consultation
Powell Law provides victims some of the best automobile accident lawyers. This personal injury law firm provides free consultations to car accident victims. It is completely free to speak with a lawyer and receive legal advice, such as consulting about whether or not is it illegal to smoke in a car with a child in Missouri. As a result, it's in the victim's best interest to understand more about their rights before speaking with an auto insurance company about their case.
Either way, any lawyer from the Powell Law Firm is ready to help any car accident victims in Missouri recover the money they're entitled to.