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Personal injury: Is Missouri an at-fault state?

On Behalf of | Nov 15, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

If a vehicle hits you while you are driving in Missouri, you may be dealing with the after-effects for weeks, or even longer. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you might need to spend time in the hospital. After going home, you could still be experiencing pain or need physical therapy and other specialized care. Who covers expenses associated with personal injury in a motor vehicle collision?

Every state has its own laws regarding personal injury. In many states, car owners must purchase personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. When you have this type of coverage, your insurance pays for medical expenses associated with a car accident, regardless of who was at fault. However, Missouri is an at-fault state, which means PIP is not a requirement, and the driver who is at fault in a collision is liable for damages.

How is fault determined in a Missouri collision?

When you have been involved in a car accident, you must inform your insurance agency. The other driver does the same. Each insurance company then sends a claims adjuster to assess damage and review the details of the incident to determine who, if anyone, was at fault. If you are a recovering victim who has survived a collision caused by another driver, you can file a claim with his or her insurance agency to collect payment for your losses.

Missouri also recognizes comparable negligence. This means that, if you were partially responsible for the collision, your percentage of fault will be a deduction from the payout you received from the other insurance company. For example, if adjusters determine that you were 15% at fault in a collision, the other insurance company will be liable for 85% of the damages.

You must purchase liability insurance in Missouri

As a licensed driver in this state, which is an at-fault state, you must carry liability insurance, which covers property damage, medical costs and other expenses related to a motor vehicle collision, if you are to blame for the accident. If you are a recovering victim, and damages exceed maximum limits, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court to request compensation for the outstanding amount.

Especially if you suffer severe physical or emotional trauma in a Missouri car accident, recovery can be stressful. Navigating legal processes often adds to that stress. Support is available, however, to help with paperwork, filing claims and more. Do not hesitate to reach out, especially if legal complications arise that you do not feel equipped to handle on your own.