If you have been injured in a motor vehicle crash, one of the first questions that you will be asked is: “will insurance cover it?”
Below is a quick explanation of the most common insurance coverage for motor vehicle crashes.
Liability Insurance Coverage
If you are injured in a car crash, it is most likely that your medical bills and other expenses will be covered by the driver who caused the crash. This is typically referred to as liability insurance.
Missouri law requires that all drivers maintain some type of liability insurance coverage. The minimum level of liability coverage required by law is $25,000 per person for bodily injury and $50,000 per crash for bodily injury. Thus, in most car crashes, you can reasonably expect that the driver who caused your crash will have at least $25,000 to cover:
- Emergency medical treatment;
- Follow-up medical treatment;
- Diagnostic (X-Ray, MRI, CT Scan, etc.) treatment;
- Future medical and diagnostic treatment;
- Past income missed;
- Future income missed; and
- Pain and suffering.
Medical Payments Coverage (“Med Pay”)
In addition to liability coverage, some Missouri drivers carry medical payments coverage.Med pay coverage is not required in Missouri, but instead is optional. Med pay coverage is not “fault based” coverage, but instead provides insurance benefits (typically $1,000, $2,000, $5,000 or $10,000) regardless of who caused your car crash. Thus, keep in mind that the driver who caused your crash may have some level of Med Pay coverage to pay for your medical expenses.
Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Although all Missouri drivers are required to maintain some type of liability insurance coverage, some drivers do not follow the law. And, even if the at-fault driver follows the law, because the requirement is only for $25,000 in liability coverage, the at-fault driver may not always have enough insurance coverage to pay for all of your medical and other expenses caused by a car crash.
If you are in a car crash caused by a driver who does not have any or enough liability insurance coverage, you may still be able to recover money provided you plan ahead. The most common way Missouri car crash victims recover money even when the at-fault driver does not have enough liability coverage is by buying their own insurance ahead of time to cover those situations. This coverage is called “uninsured motorist coverage (UM),” to cover situations where the at-fault driver has no insurance, and “underinsured motorist coverage (UIM),” to cover situations where the at-fault driver does not have enough insurance. Some Missouri drivers also purchase medical payments coverage, described above, to cover themselves and the passengers riding in their car.
If you are in a car crash, please call an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer to help you discover all the insurance coverage available to compensate you for the expenses caused by a car crash.