What Happens if You Don’t Have Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Get in a Car Accident?

st. louis woman and man after car accident

Picture this: you are driving home from work when you got into an accident because the other driver didn’t give the right of way. You have a mild concussion and a broken arm and are looking at a few weeks away from work. The other driver doesn’t have insurance and you aren’t carrying uninsured motorist coverage either. You are now looking at a lengthy process to get compensation for your injuries.

Unfortunately, this scenario is a reality for many American drivers. Although almost every state requires some form of insurance, around 13% of drivers don’t carry any. About 14% of drivers in Missouri lack any or sufficient insurance, although uninsured motorist coverage is mandatory.

The Consequences of Not Having Uninsured Motorist Coverage

The number of uninsured drivers has been steadily declining in recent years, although the percentage is still quite high. To put it into perspective, 32 million uninsured drivers get into their cars every day and drive around, ignoring or unaware of the consequences they may face.

The state of Missouri has been trying to reduce the number of uninsured drivers by including a “no pay, no play” policy, as well as insurance verification programs and random selection programs.

No pay, no play means that there are limits to the type of compensation you can get if you get in an accident and you don’t carry uninsured motorist coverage. More explicitly, you won’t be able to sue for non-economic damages, including pain and suffering ones. However, you can still seek compensation for economic damages, such as vehicle repairs, medical bills, and so on.

There are critics of these measures as they don’t seem to be that efficient. Although no pay, no play laws are in place to encourage drivers to purchase sufficient insurance, the data shows that the states that have these rules in place actually have higher rates of uninsured drivers (on average 13.2% compared to 12%.)

It’s in Your Best Interest

Numbers and statistics aside, common sense dictates that uninsured motorist coverage is in your best interest. The rates are modest, but the benefits are immense.

One of the reasons drivers are reluctant to get uninsured motorist coverage is that they think their health insurance will pay for their medical bills. And, that is true to some extent. But, here’s the thing that most people aren’t aware of: health insurance will pay for a car accident, but the company may ask for a portion of the reimbursement. With uninsured motorist coverage, however, you generally don’t have to worry about that.

Speak With an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

If you’ve been in a car accident and the other driver wasn’t insured, then you will benefit from the help of a good St. Louis car accident lawyer to build a case and file your claim. Get in touch with one as soon as possible.

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Updated: January 29, 2020