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Is Missouri a No-Fault State?


As your truck accident attorney in Missouri, the attorneys at Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien have the experience you need to get the results you want.

We are personal injury experts who have achieved results for our clients in Missouri for over 40 years.

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What Does a “No-Fault State” Mean, and Is Missouri One?

“No-fault insurance” refers to insurance that pays benefits to victims regardless of who was at fault. In no-fault insurance states, injury victims are responsible for filing their claims with their own insurance companies.

State laws pertaining to no-fault are usually associated with no-fault insurance. In other words, the at-fault party is not required to pay the other party for damages up to a certain amount, which varies from state to state. Their own insurance company pays them. Conversely, in at-fault states, both parties are responsible for the damages they caused.

Having no-fault insurance does have the advantage of providing coverage shortly after an accident, but it also has its downsides. For instance, no-fault insurance only covers up to a certain amount of economic damages. As a result, non-economic damages such as pain and suffering cannot be recovered through a no-fault claim.

Missouri is an at-fault, comparative liability state. So, you can claim maximum damages after an accident. As with many states, Missouri adheres to the doctrine of comparative negligence, whereby all drivers are at least partially responsible for their own damages. The amount of compensation awarded is proportional to the facts of the case, which are determined by the evidence that the police have gathered.

Before car accident cases go to court, however, it is wise for Missouri drivers to consult with a reputable legal team. Developing a solid attorney-client relationship with a lawyer from Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien could provide long-term support.

Are There Any Exceptions to the No-Fault Rule in Missouri?

Missouri is not a strict no-fault state when it comes to car accidents. Instead, it operates under a traditional at-fault system, often referred to as the “tort” system. This means that the driver responsible for causing the car crash is also responsible for any resulting harm.

However, Missouri does use a comparative negligence rule, which allows accident victims to recover damages even if they were partially at fault, but their compensation is reduced by their percentage of fault.

For instance, if an accident victim in Kansas City is found to be 20% at fault, they can still recover 80% of their total damages from the other driver’s insurance company.

What Are the Benefits of Living in a No-Fault State Like Missouri?

While Missouri operates primarily as an at-fault state, there are benefits to systems that use no-fault rules. In true no-fault states, each driver’s insurance company covers their own medical bills and lost wages after an automobile accident, regardless of who caused the crash.

This can expedite the claims process, as accident victims don’t have to wait for a determination of fault before receiving benefits.

Additionally, personal injury protection insurance, a hallmark of no-fault states, can cover expenses beyond just medical bills, offering a broader safety net for accident victims.

What Is Comparative Fault in Missouri?

Where a clear cause is not easily discernible, courts and insurance companies look for the degrees of negligence to determine the liability of individual drivers. In most accidents, both parties are considered at least somewhat negligent and, therefore, partially responsible.

Negligence is acting or failing to act in an expected way that meets certain legal standards. In injury law, the phrase “criminal negligence” means that a person’s negligent or careless act resulted in an accident, thereby making them liable for any damages.

For additional information and advice regarding Missouri car accident laws, you can discuss the matter with attorneys from Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien.

Types of Auto Insurance in MO


Auto insurance can be broadly classified into two categories: liability and collision. Liability insurance pays for causing injuries to other people or damages you cause to another person’s property. Collision insurance pays for damage done to your own car.

If you are in an auto accident with an uninsured motorist, you may regret meeting the minimum car insurance requirements rather than getting collision coverage. A local lawyer can explain what types of coverage may be right for you.


What Does Liability Insurance Cover?

This type of auto insurance covers the cost of any damage you may cause to the property or injury you may inflict on another person in an accident, no matter who was at fault. The amount of coverage you will need depends on your financial situation and the state in which you live.

Missouri requires drivers to have minimum liability coverage to ensure they can fulfill their financial responsibility in the event of a car accident.


What Does Collision Insurance Cover?

Collision insurance covers the cost of repairing your vehicle after an accident, regardless of who caused it. Collisions are not covered by liability insurance; drivers must have their own collision policy in addition to their liability policy.

How Is Collision Liability Determined in Missouri?


An individual may be held liable for damages if they negligently or intentionally cause injury to another person while driving their car. Collision coverage is the responsibility of the driver who is found to be at fault in the accident.

Collision liability is determined by several factors, including:

  • Whether or not the driver violated any traffic laws
  • The severity of injuries sustained by those involved in the collision

If you are injured in a car accident, even if all parties have car insurance, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver for compensation for medical expenses. If your liability insurance does not cover everything, you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. A skilled car insurance lawyer in Missouri can help you with this entire process.

Can a Car Owner Be Sued for Another Driver’s Accident in Missouri?


Car owners are liable for injuries that they cause while driving their cars, but not if they are not in the car at the time of the accident. The statute of limitations for suing a car owner in Missouri is two years.

If you need assistance determining whether to claim damages for your accident, a car accident attorney in Missouri may provide a professional assessment of your case.


How Can an Attorney Help After a Car Accident?


You need to contact an attorney immediately whenever you’ve been involved in a vehicle accident. Your attorney will assist you in contacting both your own and the other driver’s insurance companies. All information concerning the accident, such as injuries, damages, and witness contact information, should be given to the insurance company.

For the protection of their interests, insurance companies have teams of claims adjusters, investigators, and attorneys. Regardless of what the insurance company tells you, they will not offer you the proper value for your damages. To ensure your damages are fairly compensated, it is vital for you to have a strong legal team on your side too.

An experienced Missouri car accident lawyer knows the laws governing your accident claim, including negligence, comparative fault, and damages. Additionally, your attorney will be able to investigate the accident and collect evidence to prove fault and liability. Contact Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien, P.C. now for a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer who knows how much your damages are worth and will aggressively pursue that amount in settlement negotiations or a trial.

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