Car Accidents Uninsured & Underinsured Drivers in Kansas City
Any accident that was another driver’s fault can be terrifying and life-altering if you suffer long-term injuries or a loved one dies. The stress and worries about how to pay for your expensive medical care can dramatically increase if you discover that the negligent driver has no insurance (an "uninsured motorist") or has too little insurance (an "underinsured motorist") to pay for your injuries and treatment.
Unfortunately, uninsured motorists are all too common in Kansas City. Many drivers violate the laws in Missouri and Kansas that require all drivers to carry a certain amount of liability insurance. In Missouri, 14 percent of all motorists failed to have required insurance, and in Kansas, 7.2 percent failed to do so.
Fortunately, you may still be able to recover compensation for your injuries if an uninsured or underinsured driver caused your accident—with the assistance of an experienced car accident attorney.
What Insurance Is Required Under Kansas & Missouri Law?
Like other states, Kansas and Missouri require all drivers to carry certain amounts of automobile liability coverage. Missouri is an at-fault state which holds the negligent driver responsible for compensating the victims for their injuries. Drivers are required to carry liability coverage to compensate the victims of a crash and uninsured insurance to protect them if the negligent driver is uninsured.
Car Insurance Required by Missouri Law
These insurance coverages are required in Missouri:
- $25,000 per person for personal injuries
- $50,000 per accident for personal injuries
- $10,000 per accident for property damage
- $25,000 in uninsured motorist coverage for personal injuries per person and $50,000 per accident
Car Insurance Required by Kansas Law
Kansas is a no-fault state which means that all drivers must carry additional insurance coverage to pay for some of their medical expenses and wage losses caused by an accident. In Kansas, drivers must have these amounts of coverage:
- $25,000 per person
- $50,000 per accident for personal injuries
- $25,000 per accident for property damage
- Uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
- Personal injury protection (PIP) benefits with a minimum of $4,500 per person for medical expenses, $900 per month for disability or wage loss for one year, $25 per day for home care, and more
How to Use Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage After an Accident in Kansas City
Uninsured and underinsured are different types of coverages that may be included in your car insurance policy. If you were injured in an accident in Kansas or Missouri, you will want to identify all policies of all parties and then look at what coverages may apply to your particular case.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured motorist coverage pays for your injuries if the at-fault driver had no insurance. If your are injured by an uninsured motorist in Kansas City, you may recover from your uninsured motorist coverage up to your policy limits. Fortunately, you are required to have some uninsured coverage in both Kansas and Missouri.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Underinsured motorist coverage pays for your injuries if the negligent motorist had insurance but it was insufficient to fully compensate you. Missouri law does not require underinsured motorist coverage. In contrast, Kansas law does require all car insurance policies sold to Kansas residents to have a minimum amount of underinsured motorist coverage
Buy As Much Uninsured & Underinsured Coverage You Can Afford
Whenever possible, it is best to purchase additional uninsured and underinsured coverage, because the minimum amounts would not be sufficient if you suffered any type of injury that required ongoing medical care and time off work.
When the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, he is still responsible for compensating you. However, it may be impractical to obtain any money from him if he does have financial resources—which is common in these cases. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you pursue this claim.
This is where your uninsured and underinsured coverages can be very helpful. If you purchased additional coverage, you may be able to file a claim and receive full compensation for your injuries from your own insurance company. The payment from your insurance company could be the largest settlement that you receive.
However, you still may have to fight for the compensation that you deserve from your own insurance company. You should retain an experienced lawyer who can protect your rights and negotiate your settlement for you.
Other Compensation If the At-Fault Driver Is Uninsured/Underinsured
To ensure that you receive all the compensation that you deserve, you want to pursue claims against all possible sources of compensation. Your lawyer can help you identify possible parties in your situation and assist you in filing your claims. Possible sources of compensation include:
- PIP benefits in Kansas
- Medical benefits (MedPay) to pay your medical bills in Missouri
- Collision coverage to pay for the repair or replacement of your vehicle
- Car rental and towing costs if you purchased this optional insurance
- Your health insurance
Contact Our Kansas City Accident Lawyer for Help With Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist Claims
Injury claims that seek recovery from uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage can be complicated. If not handled correctly, you can waive your right to recovery or forgo collecting from policies that cover your claim. As with any personal injury claim, you only have one chance to get it right, so you should do everything you can to increase your chances for the maximum recovery.
Our firm represents clients who have been seriously injured or have had a loved one killed in a car accident in both Kansas and Missouri. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident in Kansas or Missouri, our Kansas City accident lawyer is here to help. We believe that each case is unique and we are committed to providing our clients with the individualized attention they deserve.
For more information about personal injury claims in Missouri and Kansas, please download a free copy of my book, Crash Course: An Insider's Guide to Accident & Injury Law in Kansas & Missouri. You can also contact our firm by calling (816) 203-0143, or by filling out a form on this website for a free, no-obligation consultation to learn how we can assist you.