The cost of a car accident that results in personal injury can be financially devastating. In Jefferson City and throughout the United States, there are over 3 million auto accidents each year, with medical costs to the victims of personal injury exceeding $40 billion dollars, according to a study released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). If you're injured in a car accident, do you know who will cover the costs of your medical care? The last thing you need following a car accident resulting in serious personal injury is a creditor calling your home, trying to collect payment for medical treatment incurred through no fault of your own.
In Missouri, drivers are required to carry insurance that covers them to a minimum amount of 25/50: that is, $25,000 per person, and up to $50,000 to be shared among all the parties injured in the car wreck. It should go without saying that after many car accidents, this amount isn't nearly enough. Motor vehicle accidents that result in brain injury, spinal cord injury, and other serious personal injury can require years of expensive treatment and rehabilitation, long after the policy belonging to the driver at fault is exhausted.
If you have car insurance in Missouri, you are automatically covered by your own policy in the unfortunate event you are in an auto accident caused by a driver without insurance. Additionally, Missouri drivers have the option to purchase underinsured motorist coverage, which can come into play if you are in an accident resulting in expenses beyond what the policy of the at-fault driver can cover.
Consider this hypothetical situation: you are involved in an accident that results in $35,000 in medical bills and other expenses, but the driver at fault only has the minimal auto coverage policy required by the state. The driver's insurance policy would cover only the first $25,000 of your medical expenses.
However, if you had an underinsured coverage option of $100,000, there would be an additional $75,000 available under your policy to cover the remaining amount of your medical expenses, after the policy belonging to the driver at fault is employed. In most cases, this coverage can be added to existing policies for just a few dollars extra, but can provide additional peace of mind. It can be used to cover expenses like medical bills and treatment, lost wages, and other damages resulting from a car crash with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
Navigating the legal issues and problems involved in these kinds of cases can be difficult and time-consuming. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible after the accident to discuss your rights and your options.
Information provided courtesy of Aaron Sachs and Associates.
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