Kansas City Townsend Law Firm

I was hit by an uninsured driver. Now what?

On Behalf of | Jan 30, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Imagine that you’re driving near your home in Kansas City when another vehicle runs a red light and crashes into you. When you try to exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver, they admit they don’t have insurance.

This is bad enough when the collision is relatively minor and nobody was hurt. But in more severe cases where you or someone in your vehicle suffered painful and debilitating injuries, it can seem like a disaster. Most people without auto insurance lack the personal wealth to pay your hospital bills and other expenses out of pocket. So what can you do? The answer is probably contained in your own collision insurance policy.

Insuring yourself against uninsured drivers

Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance (UM/UIM) exists for situations where the insured driver gets hit by someone without insurance or sufficient insurance to cover the victim’s damages. It can also be useful if you get injured by a hit-and-run driver. Instead of making a claim on the responsible driver’s insurance like you normally would, UM/UIM coverage lets you make the claim on your own policy. Both Missouri and Kansas require auto insurance companies to provide UM/UIM coverage. The minimum required coverage in Missouri and Kansas is $25,000 per injured person and $50,000 for bodily injury per accident. You can pay for higher coverage if you wish.

Other than the fact that you file the claim on your own insurance despite not being at fault for the wreck, the process of getting compensated is pretty similar. Most likely, the adjuster assigned to your case will try various strategies to pay you less than you deserve — if they don’t refuse to honor your claim completely.

Never accept a bad settlement offer

Nobody should have to accept an inadequate settlement offer or a wrongfully rejected claim. Working with a personal injury attorney who represents auto accident victims and helps them deal with the insurance company can make a huge difference in the level of compensation you end up with.