It is bad enough when a Kansas City car accident is caused by another driver’s negligence, but to find out that the driver did not have insurance can be distressing for the injured party. For the injured person who’s potentially lost a car and incurred exorbitant medical bills, the question of who will pay for it all can be the cause of much worry. Unfortunately, unless you have a dedicated attorney who knows how to handle insurance companies on the site, the answer is that the injured person or insurance company will have to cover the costs. But, the other driver may suffer the consequence for being uninsured.
The Law on Car Insurance in Kansas City, Missouri
In Missouri, state law mandates that motorists must have insurance. In our state, all vehicle owners must carry some kind of motor vehicle liability coverage. The minimum amount of cover required per accident is:
- $50,000 for bodily injury
- $10,000 for property
Motorists must also have a minimum coverage of $25,000 per person for bodily injuries incurred in a car crash. Furthermore, drivers must have uninsured motorist coverage of $50,000 per accident and $25,000 per person respectively for bodily injury.
Residents in the state are also obligated to carry proof of their insurance in their cars at all times and must present it to law enforcement officials if they are asked to show proof of insurance. If a driver fails to do so, the driver will be issued with a ticket and assessed four points on the license. The driver may further be monitored to make sure that the driver either has or takes out car liability insurance otherwise the license may be suspended for lack of insurance coverage.
In Kansas City, drivers are further required to have coverage for personal injury protection or no-fault insurance. Such policies include cover for the loss of income, disability, in-home healthcare services, medical costs, funeral and burial costs, survivor benefits, and rehabilitation expenses.
The penalties in our city for an uninsured driver are more severe than in Missouri. A first-time offender may be fined in the region of $300 to $1,000 and incur a six months jail sentence. The driver could also have the vehicle registration revoked and the license suspended.
What if the Kansas City Car Accident Was Partially the Fault of the Plaintiff?
While the plaintiff’s legal representatives will fight to show that they are not to blame for the Kansas City car accident, there may be instances where it can be shown that the plaintiff did contribute to the crash in some way. This does not mean that they will be considered liable for the accident or that the plaintiff does not deserve financial compensation for their injuries. Liability, or fault, works by demonstrating who was more at fault and then deciding compensation. For instance, if the plaintiff’s Kansas City car accident lawyer can demonstrate that the collision that caused the injury was just 10% the plaintiff’s fault, the other driver will have to pay 90% of the total cost of lost wages, emotional damages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and other expenses.
What Should I Do If I Am Involved in a Kansas City Car Accident with an Uninsured Driver?
It is thought that in the region of 10 percent of drivers in the city do not have insurance. If a person is hurt in a car crash that is caused by an uninsured driver, the injured party will likely have to rely on uninsured motorist coverage to cover the bills.
In some instances, it could be worth pursuing a legal case against the other driver in an effort to recover damages. A court can order the at-fault driver to make regular payments to the injured party or, the court could issue a lien against the responsible driver’s assets until the injured plaintiff is compensated. A dedicated Kansas City car accident attorney can help the plaintiff determine if it is worth taking legal action against the other driver.
In our state, all uninsured motorists should be reported to the police and the Driver License Bureau so that the driver can be charged and punished under the state’s law.
Should the Plaintiff Still Seek Medical Assistance After the Crash?
Regardless of the other driver’s lack of insurance, the injured party should always seek medical attention from a doctor following a Kansas City car accident. Many people that are hurt in a collision do not recognize their symptoms until sometime later due to the excitement and shock of the incident. What is worse, the injured person could be suffering from internal injuries. Visiting a doctor and getting a complete checkup can help to identify any issues that could have resulted from the accident. It further allows the attorneys to bring a solid case against the at-fault driver should the plaintiff wish to seek financial compensation.
Contact a Kansas City Car Accident Attorney Today
There is a myth that both drivers involved in a crash can settle the dispute themselves. However, negotiating a settlement with another driver may be a risky proposition, particularly when it involves major car damage. When one driver admits fault or apologizes, the other driver’s insurance provider can deny the claim. If the accident is bigger than a fender bender, it is advisable to seek legal representation. It is never up to the law enforcement officials to determine fault in a collision. Rather, liability is determined by attorneys, courts, and insurance companies, so it is vital that victims of a collision document every detail of the crash. Contrary to what many believe, insurance providers do not always look after accident victims. Injured parties need representation to navigate tricky adjusters who may attempt to deny insurance claims.
The attorneys at Krause and Kinsman handle cases involving uninsured motorists. Our firm will work with injured parties and their insurance providers, and, if it is worth it, pursue the at-fault driver for damages caused by the accident. Contact us today for a consultation.
Adam Krause is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Adam Krause has made a career of taking complicated litigation and presenting it in the most elementary terms for a jury of your peers to understand. Learn more about his experience here.