Guide to Car Accident Laws in Missouri
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle collision in MO, understanding Missouri’s car accident laws is vital. Get to know your rights and responsibilities in this comprehensive overview.
Kimberly J. Benjamin, Founder & Managing Attorney
December 1. 2021.
The Different Missouri Car Accident Laws
With tens of thousands of traffic accidents occurring in Missouri each year, it is critical to understand Missouri car accident laws.
Parties involved in an accident usually prefer to care for their medical needs before seeking compensation. While it is crucial to get better first, another critical thing to do if you have been in an accident is to secure the services of a team of reputable traffic accident attorneys.
Auto accident attorneys have a good understanding of Missouri car crash laws, auto accident claim laws, and how to prosecute a car accident lawsuit. Some of the critical concepts you need to understand while working with the other driver’s insurance company or your own include:
- Proving Fault – How much compensation you stand to get will be dependent on fault. If you have contributed more to causing the accident, the insurance company will pay significantly less for any injury or vehicle damage sustained. Insurance companies are good at reducing settlement amounts by increasing your level of fault.
- Insurance Companies Make Profits by Paying Less – If the insurance settlement process is easy, you stand to benefit. Hence, the insurance company usually makes this process as complicated as possible.
- Missouri Auto Accident Claims Can be Very Valuable – If you get involved in a car accident case, the insurance company will usually set a lower claim value. In serious car accidents with property damage or serious injuries, it is critical to work with a Missouri car crash lawyer to better estimate the settlement value.
- Free Initial Consultation – Most car accident claim attorneys will provide a free initial consultation for people involved in car accidents. As such, there is only upside to contacting a car accident lawyer if you have been involved in a car crash.
If you have been involved in a car crash, you will need to retain an accident attorney in addition to filing a police report. By working with a car accident lawyer, you stand a better chance of getting a reasonable settlement value.
The Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center has experience working on all manner of car accidents and getting favorable settlements for our clients over the years. Contact us today, and our experienced car accident attorney in Kansas City may be able to provide advice and legal representation in court or arbitration with the insurance company.
Missouri Auto Accident Laws
The Missouri Department of Revenue makes use of a comparative fault system. Under the system, money as settlement is awarded based on how much fault can be placed on the drivers involved in a car crash.
For instance, Beth and Tom collide, and Beth suffers $40,000 in damages while Tom suffers $100,000. Law enforcement working with insurance then determines that Tom is 40% responsible for the car crash and Beth is 60% at fault.
In such a case, Tom is entitled to get $60,000 from Beth while Beth can get $16,000 from Tom. The fault percentages are usually calculated during the insurance claims process. However, it is essential to note that a jury or judge will have to determine it at trial if fault is not determined during the insurance claims process.
Missouri Accident Laws
Since Missouri is an at-fault state, the driver responsible for the car accident will have to pay for the lost wages, personal injury, medical bills, and property damage costs.
Who Can Be Sued in a Missouri Car Accident
People who may be found responsible for a car accident in Missouri may include the other driver, car manufacturers, the vehicle owner, and/or the driver’s employer.
A car accident lawyer will be a critical partner as they can assist you in identifying the responsible parties in the accident. They will also determine which of the responsible parties can pay damages.
Missouri Car Insurance Coverage Requirements
In Missouri, all drivers have to get liability insurance of at least $25,000 and $50,000 per incident. Optional car insurance one can get include collision and comprehensive coverage.
If you sustain a personal injury, the mandatory coverage in addition to the additional coverage the at-fault driver had may be called upon to settle any damages awarded.
Note that the Missouri Department of Revenue requires proof of insurance to be displayed in the vehicle at all times.
What to Do if There Is Insufficient Coverage
If the insurance coverage is not enough, you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver from whom you can recover any excess amounts. An experienced auto accident lawyer will usually help one file an effective suit against the at-fault party.
What to Do With an Uninsured At-Fault Driver
It is always advisable to purchase underinsured or uninsured protection in addition to the mandatory insurance covers. You can always file a claim with your insurance company if you get involved in a car accident with an underinsured or uninsured at-fault driver by purchasing this coverage.
If you do not have this type of protection, you will have to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party from whom you can then recover the damages that they will have to pay out of their pocket.
Since determining fault can be a complicated process, having an experienced car accident attorney working for you is critical. With an attorney, drivers have a better chance of proving less fault than the other drivers.
Contact the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center today as we have a solid team of attorneys experienced in auto accident claims. Over the years, our leading personal injury attorney has settled many insurance claims for clients and helped them get compensation for personal injury.
Missouri Hit and Run Laws
In the instance of a hit-and-run accident, it is still vital to contact an accident attorney. An experienced accident attorney will help you file a claim with your insurance company if you have uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance.
Note that a hit-and-run accident driver is usually deemed an uninsured motorist as it is sometimes impossible to get their insurance information.
In instances where you do not have underinsured or uninsured insurance coverage, you may be able to sue a third party such as a government agency that failed to maintain the road to the set standards.
Unfortunately, insurance companies can find excuses to refuse the settlement of hit-and-run claims. With this in mind, it is critical to secure the services of an accident attorney before taking on the insurance companies.
The Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center can help you deal with problematic insurance by either filing a lawsuit to recover damages or open negotiations with the insurance companies to get the court to compel them to pay for damages.
Missouri Car Insurance Claim Laws
Car insurance laws in Missouri attempt to make the injured party whole. This means that you can collect damages to get you back to your position before the car accident.
You can be made right through different types of damages, some of which account for emotional and physical injury and future conditions. As such, it is critical to work with an experienced auto accident attorney who can help calculate a reasonable value for your claim.
Economic damages usually include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost future earning capacity
- Past and future lost wages
- Damage to vehicles, property in the vehicle, or home
- Loss of real and personal property
- Lost income when one cannot work
Non-economic damages usually include:
- Mental suffering and pain
- Emotional distress
- Loss of spousal services and companionship
If you have been involved in a car accident, it is critical to secure the services of an auto accident attorney. Such an attorney can negotiate and communicate with insurance companies to resolve any issues. Working with an accident attorney makes you more likely to get your claim settled more efficiently.
Contact the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center today, and we may be able to provide you with the legal advice and representation you need. We have a solid track record of providing our services to clients in negotiations and court hearings with favorable outcomes.
Call our law firm today, and we may have our experienced attorney provide you with the advice you need on how to proceed with your claim.
If you have been drinking, use our "Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Calculator"to estimate your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) before you drive, but please keep in mind that the information it provides is just an estimate and may not be inaccurate.