Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Accidents
According to Missouri law, motorists are required to hold a motor vehicle insurance policy, which provides coverage for injured parties and property damage in the event of a crash. Unfortunately, many people choose to disregard this law and hit the open road without any sort of insurance protection.
If you are involved in a collision with an uninsured motorist, it could prevent you from obtaining the full amount of compensation that you need and deserve in order to recover from your injuries and damages. In other situations, the at-fault driver has vehicle insurance, but his or her policy is simply not enough to cover the total damages resulting from the collision.
At the Law Office of Matt Uhrig, our car accident lawyers have aided many people in the Columbia area who find themselves involved in a crash with an uninsured or underinsured motorist.
Establishing Liability Against an Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist
In order to protect you from being left high and dry by an uninsured or underinsured motorist, many insurance companies will offer their insureds a separate policy that provides additional coverage in the event the at-fault driver lacks coverage or has insufficient coverage. In general, these additional coverage protections provide compensation for any bodily injuries or property damage that you or your passengers suffer at the time of the accident. If you believe that the at-fault driver lacks motor vehicle insurance or has insufficient coverage, it is best to notify your insurance company as soon as possible.
In the event you do not have additional uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, you will likely need to pursue a legal action against the defendant driver and seek a personal judgment against him or her. Missouri law requires you to show that the at-fault driver was negligent. This entails proving that the at-fault driver owed you a duty of care, failed to act according to that duty of care, caused an accident as a direct result, and forced you to sustain injuries and damages.
What Is ‘Duty of Care?’
The duty of care can depend on the specific circumstances involved at the time of the collision. In general, however, the duty of care requires everyone to act with the same ordinary care and skill that a reasonably prudent person would use in a similar situation. If the roadway was uneven and it was raining at the time of the collision, for example, the standard of care would require each motorist to drive in a safe and cautious manner according to these conditions. Additionally, the duty of care requires motorists to obey applicable traffic laws at all times.
The last step of a negligence action requires the plaintiff to provide evidence of the physical injuries and property damage that he or she suffered as a result of the accident. Medical bills, physical therapy, lost wages due to missed work, and a loss of future earning capacity are all examples of damages that can potentially be recovered from a negligent driver. If your injuries are severe, your spouse or loved one may also have a claim for loss of consortium, which recognizes the harm caused by losing the love, companionship, and support of his or her husband or wife.
Seek Legal Guidance After a Motor Vehicle Collision
Coping with an unexpected accident can be hard enough. Negotiating with insurance companies and figuring out what to do when the driver who caused the collision lacks adequate car insurance can be even more stressful.
At the Law Office of Matt Uhrig, our attorneys are dedicated to helping accident victims throughout the Columbia, MO area and surrounding communities seek compensation when the at-fault driver lacks adequate insurance.