There are a lot of things to worry about in the immediate wake of a motor vehicle collision. You may have serious injuries that require trauma care, surgery and rehabilitation. You likely also need to arrange for repairs to or a replacement for your vehicle. Chances are good that those with injuries will probably miss some work, which can cause financial strain. Trying to handle all of these issues at once can prove to be overwhelming.
The expenses typically mount quickly in the wake of a serious collision. You may not have the resources available to cover all of those expenses without being able to work. In this scenario, you may turn to your insurance company for help and financial support. However, in some cases, you may find yourself without the coverage you need to offset the costs from a crash.
You may think that because you have always paid for your motor vehicle insurance, you’ll be protected in the event of a collision. Your insurance policy, however, is primarily designed to limit your financial liability stemming from injuring someone else or causing the property damage.
If another driver causes the crash, his or her insurance will need to pay your bills. Your insurance may pay out and seek reimbursement or may require you to work directly with the other party’s insurance company. One of the first things your insurance company will do when you attempt to file a claim is to verify the other party’s insurance coverage and review the police report to determine fault in the car crash.
If the other person doesn’t have an active insurance policy, you may end up in a difficult position financially. All of those expenses and bills could end up falling on your shoulders. If you haven’t already done so, you should contact your insurance company to add uninsured and underinsured driver coverage. These riders to your policy ensure you won’t end up footing the bill for someone too irresponsible to carry insurance.
Even if the other driver has insurance, there’s always the risk that the policy only contains the minimum protection required under Missouri law. State law only requires liability coverage for $10,000 in property damage, $25,000 for bodily injury or death and $50,000 per accident with more than one injured person.
It’s easy to see how those amounts may not be sufficient when compared with the actual costs of your crash. A single surgery could put you over the maximum coverage amount. If you find that you have expenses beyond what insurance covers, you may need to consider a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver. You may be able to seek compensation for damages, including lost wages, medical expenses and the cost to repair or replace your vehicle.