Underinsured Drivers

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Posted by Christopher Combs on January 30, 2024

Underinsured Driver Accident Lawyer St. Louis, MO. While being in an accident with a driver in St. Louis, MO who does not have insurance is a problem no one wants to face, a far too common problem on St. Louis, MO roads is getting into an accident with a driver who does not have enough insurance coverage to fully cover injuries and damage sustained in the crash. Many drivers never believe they will ever need to use their insurance coverage, and as such only get the bare minimum coverage required by law to save a few bucks. However, that decision to save money now can–and often does–harm others when they get into an accident, as they may be facing astronomical medical bills only to find that insurance will only pay for a small portion of them.

The St. Louis, MO personal injury lawyers at Combs Waterkotte have years of experience handling underinsured motorist cases. Our firm takes a personalized approach to every single one of our cases, allowing us to build a strong rapport with our clients while providing them with the aggressive legal strategy they need to get the maximum possible compensation. Call us today at (314) 900-HELP to speak with an attorney and schedule a free, no-obligation review of your underinsured motorist case.

Why Underinsured Motorists Are A Problem

Every state in America, with the exception of New Hampshire, requires its drivers to purchase car insurance in order to legally own and operate a vehicle. States also specify a baseline of how much an insurance plan must payout in the event of an accident. Most states, including Missouri, have a similar minimum, known in the industry as “25/50/25”. This means that a car insurance policy must pay:

  • A maximum of $25,000 per person in an accident for bodily injuries
  • A maximum of $50,000 per accident for all bodily injuries
  • A maximum of $25,000 per accident for property damage (i.e. damage to a car or other personal property like a bicycle or fence/mailbox)

This means that, if you were to get in an accident with a driver who only had state minimum coverage, their insurance company would only pay you $25,000 for your medical damages and not a penny more. With medical costs only increasing as of late, this award could very easily be taken up by one emergency room visit or a stay in hospital of a few days or more. This now puts the victim of an accident on the hook to pay for further medical costs, rehab and physical therapy, and any other additional injury damages–and when you cannot work due to an accident and thus lose out on wages, this problem only becomes even greater.

Many Missouri drivers avoid this situation one of two ways: they either purchase insurance with liability limits higher than the state minimum, or add underinsured motorist coverage onto their own plan. This coverage allows a driver to make a “first-party” claim against their own insurance to help cover the gap between the state minimum coverage limits and the actual cost of their accident. This coverage does come at an added cost to your monthly premium: however, it usually is very small, and our firm recommends that all our personal injury clients speak with their insurance provider about adding underinsured motorist coverage to their policy. While Missouri does require car insurance to include coverage if someone gets into an accident with an uninsured driver, they have not yet expanded the requirements to include underinsured motorists unlike other states.

How A Personal Injury Law Firm in St. Louis, Missouri Can Help Your Underinsured Motorist Claim

Even if you have underinsured motorist coverage, when you get into a car accident in St. Louis, MO with a driver who only has state minimum insurance coverage, your insurance company may not pay you the money you are entitled to receive. Insurance firms are well known for playing dirty when it comes to settlements, like undervaluing your claim or outright denying it without any reason given. They do this because offering full coverage to those who purchase underinsured motorist insurance eats into their bottom line: as most insurance companies are publicly traded, billion-dollar corporations, they want to limit the amount of claims they payout, even to their loyal customers.

Combs Waterkotte has helped many St. Louis, MO motorists who have been in accidents with underinsured drivers. Our firm gives all its clients the dedication and legal acumen needed to get them the results they deserve. If you or someone you know is struggling to recover the losses they have sustained as a result of an underinsured driver car wreck, contact Combs Waterkotte today. One of our attorneys will be in touch as soon as possible to help guide you through the legal process and get to work fighting on your behalf.

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