Uninsured motorist claims aren’t easier because you have a contract with the insurance company carrying your policy. There can still be many bumps in the road.
Missouri mandates that all drivers carry two different types of auto insurance:
- Standard auto insurance policy: This protects the drivers in the event they are involved in a car accident and are liable for damages;
- Uninsured motorist policy: This is meant to protect someone who is involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver, or is the victim of a hit and run.
However, there are many areas where the uninsured motorist coverage may not offer as much protection as you would have hoped.
What Is Pain and Suffering and Why Is It Not Covered?
Pain and suffering is a legal term used to describe a person’s physical and emotional distress caused by their car accident injury. There are many issues that could fall under the pain and suffering category:
- Mental health or emotional disorders
- Temporary, or permanent paralysis
- Loss of job because of the injury
- Scarring, which can lead to self-esteem problems, etc.
Usually, the issues that result as a consequence of your injury is considered pain and suffering. For instance, if the car accident leaves you with a scar on your face, from a medical standpoint that scar is the only consequence of the collision.
However, a scar on someone’s face can create a lot of issues concerning one’s mental health. Because of that scar, you may not want to take part in social activities, self-isolate, or even become depressed. These consequences are considered “pain and suffering” and are usually included in the insurance claim settlement.
Unfortunately, Missouri law only mandates that this policy covers bodily injury, meaning that pain and suffering are excluded.
Does That Mean You Won’t Be Compensated?
Well, that depends. The state establishes this minimum requirement, meaning that insurance companies are obliged to cover bodily injuries, but it doesn’t mean they cannot offer more comprehensive policies.
You should consult your contract to see exactly what your policy covers. If you’ve gone with a more comprehensive (and expensive) policy, it may be possible to cover pain and suffering as well.
Unfortunately, if your contract does not mention pain and suffering, or even dismisses the possibility of paying for such damages, there may not be a lot you can do.
What Are Your Options?
Uninsured motorist claims aren’t easier because you have a contract with the insurance company carrying your policy. There can still be many bumps in the road. To get a better sense of what your legal options are, reach out to an experienced St. Louis car accident attorney right away.
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