Car Accidents with Uninsured Drivers in Missouri & Kansas
Missouri and Kansas require that drivers carry minimum liability car insurance coverage. Liability insurance protects others who are injured in a car accident that you cause. If you are legally at fault for causing a car accident, your liability insurance compensates the victims of the accident for their injuries and damages.
An additional type of car insurance that is required of all drivers in Missouri and Kansas is Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage. Unlike liability coverage, UM coverage protect you from drivers who do not have car insurance.
Unfortunately, many drivers choose to ignore the insurance requirements for drivers in Kansas and Missouri. They may not want to pay for insurance coverage, or they may have a suspended driver’s license or other reasons for avoiding insurance. Whatever the reason might be for driving without insurance, the victims of an accident caused by an uninsured driver are the ones that suffer the consequences.
If you have not yet been in an accident, perhaps the most important thing you can do is make sure you have adequate UM coverage in your car insurance policy right now.
How much UM coverage enough? From my experience as a car accident lawyer handling cases throughout Missouri and Kansas, the answer is simple: as much as you can afford! UM coverage is relatively inexpensive, and the benefits are well worth it if you are in a serious accident caused by a reckless driver.
If you are involved in a car accident caused by an uninsured driver, below are six (6) steps you should take to protect your legal rights.
6 Steps to Take After an Accident Caused by an Uninsured Motorist in Kansas & Missouri
- Call 911 to Report the Accident
Call 911 to request police officers and emergency medical services, if necessary. Uninsured drivers may flee the scene of an accident. Even if the other driver leaves the scene, call 911 to report the accident and request assistance. You should make sure you file police report and obtain a copy when you file an insurance claim with your insurance provider.
- Get the Other Driver’s Information
If possible, get the other driver’s name, address, and driver’s license number. In some cases, a driver may be unwilling to provide this information. Do not confront the driver. Let the police officers handle the matter when they arrive. However, you can take a photograph of the license tag of the vehicle that hit you just in case the driver decides to speed away before the police officers arrive.
- Document the Accident Scene
If it is safe to do so, take photographs of the accident scene and make a video of the accident scene with your cell phone. Try to capture the damage to the vehicles, the location of the vehicles, skid marks, debris, and traffic signs or signals.
It is also a good idea to ask witnesses for their names and contact information. Some witnesses may leave the accident scene before police officers can speak with them to take their statements.
- Seek Medical Treatment for Injuries
The shock of being in an accident can mask some injury symptoms. It is generally best to be seen by a medical professional as soon as possible after a car accident. Make sure to report all your symptoms to your doctor and note that you were in a traffic accident.
It is essential to document your injuries for an insurance claim. Delays in medical care can hurt your claim. The insurance company may allege that if you were injured in the accident, you would have sought medical care sooner.
- Report the Accident to Your Insurance Provider
Contact your car insurance provider to report the accident. Confirm with your insurance company the amount of your Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage. The minimum amount of UM coverage in both Missouri and Kansas is $25,000 per person ($50,000 per accident).
Uninsured motorist coverage compensates you for damages caused by an uninsured driver or a hit-and-run driver. The compensation is limited to your coverage amount.
- Contact a Kansas City Car Accident Attorney for a Free Consultation
Never assume that you will receive fair compensation for an uninsured motorist claim just because you are working with your insurance provider. When you file an uninsured motorist claim, you do not work with your agent. You work with the claims department. Your claim is treated like all other insurance claims.
Therefore, you may find that your UM claim is denied or undervalued. The adjuster may try to blame you for causing the accident or claim that you do not have sufficient evidence to prove that the other driver caused the accident.
Proving that the other driver is at fault for causing the accident can be complicated. An attorney has the resources and skills to investigate the cause of the crash and gather evidence proving fault. A car accident attorney also understands how to value your damages to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses caused by an uninsured driver.
Before you discuss the claim with an insurance adjuster, make a statement, sign a medical release, or accept a settlement offer, it is wise to speak with a Kansas City car accident attorney. An attorney reviews your case, explains your legal rights, and discusses your options for recovering maximum compensation for your injury claim.
Call for a Free Consultation About Your Uninsured Motorist Car Accident Claim
The Law Office of Kevin J. McManus represents car accident victims in Missouri and Kansas. Call 816-203-0143 for a free consultation with a car accident attorney in Kansas City.
You can also instantly download our free accident guide, Crash Course: 9 Mistakes to Avoid Wrecking Your Claim right now. This book is packed with helpful information for car accident victims, and we urge you to review it before talking to the adjuster or attempting to handle your claim on your own.