Uninsured Motorist Coverage (or “UM”) is a required coverage available under your automobile insurance policy that covers your personal injuries in the instance that the other driver is at-fault and does not have insurance. Under Missouri’s motor vehicle financial responsibility law, all Missouri drivers are required to have at least $25,000 in liability coverage to cover any injuries they may cause in a car accident. Unfortunately, there are times when people allow their insurance to lapse or just outright do not carry automobile insurance.
However, Missouri law also requires that every automobile policy in the state has to have $25,000.00 in uninsured motorist benefits. As a result, even if you are injured through no fault of your own in a Missouri car accident and the other driver does not have insurance to cover your injuries, you still have coverage under your own insurance policy that will apply. In some cases, that will be the state minimum of $25,000.00. In other cases, there may be more coverage available if you purchased additional coverage for your policy. Although uninsured coverage is required, most people are advised to carry additional uninsured motorist coverage for these types of scenarios.
One specific scenario where uninsured motorist coverage comes into play is when you are hit or run off the road by what’s called a “phantom driver.” A “phantom driver” is another driver who hits you and flees from the scene, or causes you to wreck and flees from the scene. In that situation, there is obviously no other party to demand compensation from. Therefore, your uninsured motorist coverage may apply.
One very important thing to note is that many policies require you to make a police report or to immediately notify the insurance carrier if you are injured by a phantom driver. Failing to notify the police or your insurer about a phantom driver crash can lead to a loss of benefits. For this, and all of the reasons outlined in another post about the importance of making a police report after a car accident, please make sure you notify the authorities immediately after a wreck!
When you are making a claim for uninsured motorist coverage, you will make that claim directly against your own insurance company. Therefore, it’s important to know what rights you have when you make that claim and what requirements there are to file a lawsuit against your insurance company if one is required. If you have questions about how much uninsured motorist coverage you have, and whether it applies to your case, do not hesitate to contact our office.
Our firm has had success demanding that your insurance company pay you the uninsured motorist coverage benefits you deserve and have paid for. When it comes to obtaining compensation for your injuries, particularly in situations involving uninsured motorist coverage, it’s important you contact an experienced Missouri car wreck attorney to handle your case. We will gladly review all the information you provide to us for free and explain all of the options that you have.