When you’re involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver, you may naturally wonder what happens next.
In a typical scenario, you would file a claim with the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company, and get reimbursed for all medical costs and damages resulted from the car accident.
But when the other driver is uninsured, or you are involved in a hit and run and the police cannot find the at-fault driver, you may have to rely on your uninsured motorist coverage.
How Much Does It Cover?
In Missouri, apart from the mandatory auto insurance, the state also mandates drivers carry uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage as a way to protect themselves in case of a car accident. Coverage minimums in the state are set at $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Drivers may also opt for better protection in case of an accident by getting a policy that would cover more costs.
But you may be wondering what bodily injury is, and when does it technically kick in?
From a legal perspective, bodily injury refers to any physical damage to a person’s body or a physical injury. This can mean any bruise, cut, abrasion, burn, disfigurement, or even damage to your organs. Bodily injury may be temporary, meaning you will recover after a treatment period or may either be permanent or result in permanent damage.
Therefore, the extent of the injury is not important. If you get into a car accident and are rushed to the hospital, even if you do not require a lot of treatment, your uninsured motorist coverage will pay for your medical expenses. The only major issue in these cases happens when bodily injury is severe, and the medical costs go beyond what the policy covers.
What Happens If My Insurance Doesn’t Cover All My Medical Costs?
You will pay for your medical expenses through your uninsured motorist coverage, but if you require long-term treatment that goes beyond your policy, your other best option is to cover the rest through your regular health insurance.
If you were the victim of a hit and run, you may also be eligible for Missouri Crime Victims’ Compensation Program, though the maximum compensation benefit is $25,000. Still, it may provide additional financial support, but only if you were involved in a hit and run. If the other driver did not flee the scene, this compensation program does not apply.
What Can You Do?
Unfortunately, around 14% of Missouri drivers do not have auto insurance, so the only way to protect yourself is to carry uninsured motorist coverage that can kick in when needed. If you need help getting the insurance company to cover your medical expenses, reach out to a St. Louis car accident lawyer for further assistance, or to find out other programs that may provide financial support.
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