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What Happens If You Get Hit by Someone Without Auto Insurance?

Car accidents happen. You’re driving down the road safely like you always do and, without warning, you’re hit by another car. Regardless of the amount of care and attention you show while driving, it’s impossible to avoid collisions caused by inattentive or careless drivers.

Now, due to the negligence of the other driver, your car is damaged, and you’ve sustained injury. To make matters worse, you’re informed that they are uninsured.

“How am I going to pay for medical and car repair bills?” you ask yourself. Questions begin to mount in your mind, and a wave of anxiety rolls over you.

While this is a situation no one wants to be in, there are ways that responsible drivers like yourself can recover from accidents with uninsured drivers. Keep reading to learn what happens if you get hit by someone without insurance.

Missouri Insurance Requirements

According to a study, an estimated 16.4% of drivers in Missouri are unlicensed, putting the Show-Me State 12th highest in the country. Another study in 2021 showed that approximately one in eight drivers across the U.S. doesn’t have auto insurance. If you have the legally required insurance, you should have some coverage against uninsured driving damages. This coverage is known as uninsured motorist (UM) insurance. 

Uninsured motorist insurance allows you to file a claim with your insurance carrier rather than the at-fault party’s insurance. This type of insurance provides a safety measure to prevent the non-fault party from carrying the entire financial burden of their medical bills.

Missouri is one of 21 states that requires all licensed drivers to carry some form of uninsured motorist insurance. This requirement is a safeguard against uninsured driver accidents. However, there are a few limitations to basic UM coverage

  • First, minimum liability only covers bodily injuries; it doesn’t cover damages to your vehicle.
  • Second, compensation cannot exceed your primary coverage.

Underinsured Motorist vs. Uninsured Motorist

You may have heard of underinsured motorist (UIM) insurance in addition to uninsured motorist insurance, which can lead to confusion. While UM insurance covers you if the at-fault party doesn’t have any insurance, UIM insurance covers you if the at-fault party’s insurance doesn’t completely cover your medical or property damage expenses. 

While the state of Missouri requires uninsured motorist insurance, it doesn’t require underinsured motorist insurance. 

How Do I File an Uninsured Motorist Claim?

If an uninsured motorist has hit you, you can file a claim with your insurance company to recover some of the financial damage you’ve sustained. Your insurance policy will make a difference in how much you can recover, so it’s essential to contact your agent promptly to see what your options are.

File your report as soon as possible. Many insurance policies have deadlines that need to be met for uninsured motorist coverage. 

Once you’ve filed a claim, you will most likely have to present evidence to the insurance company of your bodily injury and medical bills. 

Uninsured Motorist Claim: Can I File a Suit?

You may be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver if they don’t carry any insurance. However, it’s crucial to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney before pursuing a lawsuit. A lawyer can help you determine whether the case is worth pursuing and take you through the lawsuit filing process.

Have you recently been in an accident with an uninsured driver? Contact Eng and Woods Attorneys at Law today. With our combined legal experience, we deliver winning results for our clients and help them get the compensation they deserve.

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