How Missouri Auto Insurance Laws Work
Understanding your car insurance policy is essential, as this could help determine if you have a case against your insurance company. A typical auto insurance policy details the scope of coverage, deductibles, premiums, and other conditions explicitly stated in the agreement.
The Missouri Uninsured Motorist Statute makes it compulsory for all drivers to have motor vehicle liability insurance. Drivers must also carry proof of their auto insurance while driving.
This law has helped to create a system where most drivers are reasonably confident that the at-fault driver’s insurance company will cover them if they ever get into a car accident due to another driver’s fault.
However, you’ll need to show the insurance company that the accident and damage/loss were caused by someone else to be entitled to insurance payouts. Missouri uses the comparative fault system to determine the amount the insurance company has to pay when an accident occurs.
The comparative fault system affects the amount of money you get as damages if it is shown that you contributed to the incident that caused your loss. This means that when you file your auto insurance claim, the insurance company will investigate the accident and assess the percentage of fault attributed to the parties involved.
The amount they offer as compensation is based on their final assessment of fault. For instance, if they determine that you’re fifty per cent at fault, you’ll likely get only half of the amount required to cover your losses.
If you disagree with the insurance company’s assessment and the amount they’re offering, you can contact your car accident attorney for help on the next steps to take.
What to Expect if You Are Suing an Insurance Company
Suing an insurance company is a challenging task. It will require energy and money as you may need to travel and pay court and attorney costs.
Your attorney must investigate the accident to build a case against the insurance company. This investigation is usually done by reviewing necessary documentation about the accident, such as police and medical reports. On their end, the insurance company would investigate to find anything they can use to discredit your car accident claim.
You and your loved ones may need to testify in court as witnesses and provide evidence of your loss or injury, including medical bills and other expenses.
Insurance companies are often unwilling to go to court and might make a settlement offer while your case is pending. Do not be in a hurry to accept that offer. Instead, consider working with your attorney to review it before deciding either way.
However, you must be aware that court processes take time and require a lot of patience. It would help if you supported your attorney and trusted their ability to represent your interests regardless of any delays.
Tips to Help You Succeed With Your Auto Insurance Claim/Lawsuit
If you’re going to succeed with your insurance claim or lawsuit, you’ll need evidence to prove your case before the insurance company or the court. Understandably, you might be feeling overwhelmed in the aftermath of your accident, so here are a few tips to help you keep things together while you prepare for your case:
Keep records of all your communication and correspondence with the insurance company or its reps, including emails and letters. The information in the correspondence can serve as evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the insurance company and help you establish your claim in court.
Track Your Expenses
In the aftermath of an accident, tracking how much you’ve lost and any other expenses you incur due to the incident, including medical expenses, lost wages, and attorney fees, is essential. This can help the court determine how much you deserve from the insurance company. Keep copies of all your bills and receipts to prove your case.
Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions
Insurance companies will try to discredit your claim if they find out that you didn’t follow your doctor’s orders. It is crucial to prioritize your health and comply with any recommendations from your healthcare providers throughout the process. This can show that you’re taking your recovery seriously and help establish the extent of your injuries.
Don’t Take Too Long to File Your Claim
In Missouri, you must file a lawsuit five years after the car accident. This might seem like a long time, but it’s best not to wait too long before taking action. The longer you take, the harder it will be to gather evidence and build a strong case against the insurance company.
Get Help From Experienced Insurance Litigation Attorneys
Insurance litigation is unpredictable and complex, and you might be unable to deal with it alone, significantly since the auto accident might have affected your health.
Getting a skilled personal injury attorney to represent you can make the insurance claims and litigation process much more manageable. In some cases, the reputation of your attorney can compel the insurance company to make you a better settlement offer rather than go to court.
Once you have secured the services of an experienced attorney, please keep them informed at every point. Only sign documents or enter agreements with the insurance company after seeking your lawyer’s advice. This way, your lawyer can assess the situation and help you understand the pros and cons of your decision.
Contact Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers at Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien for Help
At Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien, P.C., we understand the gimmicks of many auto insurance companies who will do anything to avoid paying you a reasonable settlement amount. Our job is to ensure you’re not cheated out of your entitlements regardless of the insurance company’s stance.
We will negotiate with the insurance provider where necessary and help you reach a beneficial agreement. But if the company is unwilling to be flexible, we are also prepared to fight your case in court if that is what your case requires.
So, if you’re having trouble getting a reasonable settlement after an auto accident, contact us for help and legal advice. Let us work with you to achieve your desired outcome.