What Happens If You Get in an Accident Without Insurance in Missouri?

Have you ever wondered what happens if you get into an accident without insurance in Missouri? Every driver in Missouri must have a minimum level of coverage, which must be purchased to register a vehicle in Missouri. Let’s take a closer look at what happens if you get in a car accident without insurance in Missouri, as well as some of the legalities surrounding insurance throughout the state.

The Legal Landscape: Insurance Requirements in Missouri

Like many other states, Missouri law states that drivers must carry a minimum level of auto insurance to drive their vehicles. Insurance requirements to operate a vehicle in Missouri include:

  • Liability Insurance: Drivers must have liability insurance covering at least $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 for bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 for property damage per accident. This coverage is meant to compensate others for injuries or damages resulting from accidents the insured party causes.
  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM): Missouri law also requires uninsured motorist coverage, with minimums mirroring the liability limits ($25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident). UM coverage protects insured drivers and passengers if they’re involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
  • Proof of Insurance: Upon request by law enforcement officers, drivers must provide proof of insurance. Acceptable forms of proof include insurance cards issued by the insurer or electronic proof displayed on a smartphone or other device.

st louis car accident attorney

Consequences of Driving Without Insurance in Missouri

  • Legal Penalties: Driving without insurance in Missouri violates state law and could result in some stiff penalties. These penalties may include fines, license suspension, and the requirement to file proof of insurance (SR-22) with the Missouri Department of Revenue.
  • Financial Responsibility Laws: Missouri operates under a “financial responsibility” law, which means drivers must be able to cover the costs of damages or injuries they cause in accidents. Without insurance, drivers have to pay out of pocket for any injuries or property damage caused.
  • At-Fault in an Accident: In accidents where the uninsured driver is at fault, they can be held personally liable for damages and injuries suffered by other parties involved. This can lead to lawsuits, wage garnishment, and even bankruptcy in severe cases.
  • Limited Recovery: If an uninsured driver is not at fault in an accident, their ability to recover damages may be limited. While Missouri requires uninsured motorist coverage, not all drivers pay for the other party’s damages,, leaving innocent parties with few options for compensation.

Impact on Innocent Parties

Driving without insurance could even extend to passengers and pedestrians as well, which could add up and prove costly. Let’s check out what you will be liable for as an uninsured motorist in Missouri:

  • Financial Hardship: It’s oftentimes difficult for victims of accidents that involve uninsured drivers to struggle with paying for medical expenses, vehicle repairs, and other damages.
  • Legal Challenges: It can be difficult to receive compensation from an uninsured driver. Accident victims might need to file a lawsuit to go after the at-fault party, adding to the complexity of the situation.
  • Limited Options: Even if the innocent party has uninsured motorist coverage, the policy limits may not be sufficient to cover their losses fully. This can leave victims with out-of-pocket expenses and unresolved financial burdens.

liable for a truck accident

Mitigating the Risks

To avoid risking getting into an accident while uninsured, here are some minimum coverages you should purchase:

  • Maintain Adequate Coverage: Make sure that your auto policy meets or exceeds Missouri’s minimum liability requirements for liability and uninsured motorist coverage. Be sure to check out your policy to make sure it’s up-to-date and provides coverage that meets the requirements. 
  • Drive Safely: While accidents can happen unexpectedly, practicing safe driving habits can reduce the likelihood of being involved in a collision. Obey traffic laws, avoid distractions, and stay alert while behind the wheel.
  • Explore Legal Options: If you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, we recommend seeking legal advice, such as Mutrux Firm Injury Lawyers to learn more about your options. An experienced attorney can guide you through the process and help you understand your rights under Missouri law.

Get in Touch With Mutrux Firm Injury Lawyers Today!

Driving without insurance in Missouri is not only illegal but can become extremely costly. If you have been involved in an accident without adequate insurance coverage, Mutrux Firm Injury Lawyers is here to help! We will be your advocates throughout the entire process and ensure that you are represented every step of the way. Call us at  (888) 550-4026 or contact us here for more information.