Have you been in a car accident? Here is everything you should know about the laws in Missouri. Contact one of our experienced lawyers to turn out the top dollar for your case.
Missouri’s Vehicle Insurance Standards
Comparable to many states, an obligatory minimum of car insurance coverage is enforced in Missouri. Concretely, Missouri drivers must adhere to the following requisite protections:
– $25,000 per person for physical injury protection
– $50,000 per accident for physical injury protection
– $25,000 per accident for property damage liability coverage
Liability coverage is activated when the policyholder is responsible for an accident causing harm to others. If a driver, for instance, causes an accident injuring three people and yielding $60,000 in damages, the policy would compensate up to $25,000 to each injured party but would not exceed $50,000 for the entire accident, irrespective of the number of injured parties. In this scenario, the driver’s coverage would prove insufficient.
Liability safeguards do not compensate for the policyholder’s personal losses. Unless the driver opts for additional coverage, they would not receive any compensation for their own property damage or additional losses.
Nonetheless, Missouri does mandate $25,000 per individual and $50,000 per accident in uninsured motorist coverage. This is applicable if you are harmed in a collision instigated by an uninsured driver. This uninsured coverage would compensate for the damages the other driver’s insurance should have covered.
When Does a Missouri Car Accident Need Reporting to Authorities?
Missouri law dictates that drivers involved in an accident must not flee the scene or face the legal implications of a hit-and-run offense.
Drivers are advised not to move their vehicles post-accident before a law enforcement officer has arrived and given permission, unless the vehicle is positioned where it could potentially instigate another collision.
Drivers must exchange relevant contact details and should not abandon the scene until a law enforcement officer grants permission.
Drivers also have the responsibility to report the accident to the Drivers License Bureau if the accident:
– Took place within the preceding year
– Involved an uninsured driver
– Caused damages exceeding $500 in property damage or resulted in injury or death
Accidents can be reported using the Motor Vehicle Accident Report (Form 1140), which is sent to the Driver License Bureau at 301 West High Street – Room 470, PO Box 200, Jefferson City MO 65105-0200.
Determining Fault in Missouri Car Accidents
Two approaches are commonly adopted by U.S states when resolving car accident cases.
In no-fault states, drivers are obligated to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, which covers medical bills and lost wages, regardless of who is at fault. However, victims can only sue the at-fault driver if the injuries sustained are severe.
In contrast, at-fault states grant victims the opportunity to claim against the driver who caused the accident at all times. Being an at-fault state, Missouri victims can always seek claims against the responsible party involved in the accident.
Missouri also adopts a rule named pure comparative negligence, which means a victim can sue any time another party is even partially responsible for the accident. For example, if you were injured in an accident where another driver was deemed 40% at fault, you could sue for 40% of your total damages.
This differs from states adopting modified comparative negligence rules, where you can only sue if the other party was at least 50% or 51% responsible. It is also unlike states adopting contributory negligence rules, which prevent you from suing if you were even slightly at fault for the accident.
Steer It and Clear It Law
The “Steer It and Clear It” law obliges drivers to remove their vehicles from the roadway following an accident, providing the vehicles are still functional and there are no severe injuries.
Failure to adhere to this law can result in fines ranging from $10.00 to $50.00 and can impose additional liability on the driver. Clearing the road paves the way for emergency services and reduces the risk of secondary accidents.
Missouri Car Accident Cases Statute of Limitations
Victims have a window of five years following a Missouri accident in which to file a claim for compensation. This five-year deadline is determined by the state`s statute of limitations.
Statutes of limitations exist in every state, and these deadlines aim to ensure that no cases are pursued once evidence has been discarded and recollections have faded, as they cannot be settled fairly.
Should I Hire a Lawyer?
An accomplished Missouri accident attorney serves to ensure that your claim adheres to these limitations while assisting you in securing the maximum possible compensation following a Missouri car accident. Our aggressive legal representation, based on our years of experience and specialized knowledge, gives you the peace of mind you need at this difficult time. We understand the ins and outs of car accident cases, presenting your case strongly and arguing convincingly for the compensation you deserve. As your legal representatives, we bear the burden of dealing with insurance companies and we navigate the complexities of legal proceedings on your behalf. Being represented by Gianaris Trial Lawyers not only safeguards your legal rights but also greatly enhances your chances of obtaining a fair and robust financial settlement. Protecting your interests is our highest priority, and we’re ready to fight in your corner. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.