In Missouri, disabled drivers will generally require modified vehicles that can accommodate their personal disabilities and allow them to fully operate the car.
Driving a car is one of those things that most people take for granted. In Missouri, you can get your driver’s permit at age of 16, and once you turn 18 you are officially considered a driver who does not need any other adult present in the vehicle.
However, for people with disabilities, this commodity may be harder to obtain. Often times, their opportunities are greatly restricted, and they only get a glimpse of a normal life when someone takes the time to accommodate them. This can happen in most aspects of their lives, from education to employment, social activities, and driving.
In Missouri, disabled drivers will generally require modified vehicles that can accommodate their personal disabilities and allow them to fully operate the car. However, once they get behind the driver’s seat, they are just like any other driver, completely responsible for their actions.
Disabled individuals who want to get a valid driver’s license in Missouri must take a test in a vehicle with the specific modifications they need. And, just like for the rest of drivers, if they pass the test, then they will be issued the license with the specific modifications mentioned.
These can be:
- Extension on foot device;
- Accelerator on steering wheel;
- Extra hand devices;
- Seat or back cushion;
- Electrical turn signal, etc.
Once these restrictions are added to the driver’s license, it means the driver can only operate a vehicle that has those specific modifications. If someone is caught driving without these accommodations, they can be issued a fine and even lose their license.
What about Liability?
If the disabled driver is responsible for an accident, then under Missouri law they are liable for compensation. If they were also operating a vehicle unsuited for their disability, the state can also impose its punishment.
Their impairment doesn’t necessarily mean they are absolved from breaking the law. You or your St. Louis car accident lawyer will have to build a case showing that the driver’s negligent behavior was the cause for the collision, not their disability. However, you should also know that disabled drivers are in no means more likely to cause a car accident, so don’t automatically assume they caused the incident. Sometimes, these cases need a bit of investigation until the true culprit can be found.
What Should You Do?
If you are in a car accident and a disabled driver is the one responsible for it, you can file a claim for compensation. Under Missouri law, all drivers are required to carry auto insurance. Reach out to a good St. Louis car injury attorney for further guidance, as these cases can often be very difficult to handle on your own.
The disabled driver and their legal representatives may try to use the disability as an excuse to waive liability. In this case, you will especially benefit from having an experienced attorney on your side. Call (314) 361-4242 for a FREE Consultation.