All auto insurance policies carry uninsured motorist coverage (in Missouri and Illinois) in the amount
of $25,000. This provision means that if you, a family member or friend are injured in an automobile accident and the driver who was at fault did not
have insurance, and is uninsured, your insurance pays. This includes compensation for medical expenses, wage loss, pain
and suffering and emotional distress. Every policy holder has this coverage and it is the same as if the other driver
actually did have insurance-but your insurance policy provides coverage for the other driver’s negligence.
Uninsured coverage applies in a wide variety of situations. If there is a hit and run or phantom
driver, your uninsured coverage applies. If your car is struck by a driver who then drives away and you don’t know who
it is, if you’re walking and you are struck as a pedestrian by another driver who leaves, or a circumstance where you do
not know or cannot track down the identity of the phantom driver, you have an uninsured claim under
your own policy to recover all your damages. More typically this coverage is used in cases where the driver who rear
ended you or pulled out and struck you or did not look when they changed lanes and struck your car does not have
insurance. Also they could have failed to pay their premium and their insurance was cancelled even though they had an
insurance card at the scene and you think they had insurance. Under these circumstances, you can recover under your
Amount of uninsured coverage and stacking are two important areas. You may just have the minimum uninsured amount, or
you may have bought higher uninsured coverage. The car crash lawyers at Burger Law can figure
this out for you, or you can call your insurance agent and find out yourself. Have them email you the terms of your
policy or your declaration page. Sometimes insurance companies print this off on your insurance card. Many times
insurance companies sell $50,000 uninsured policies so you may have that amount of coverage. In addition, there is a
legal idea called “stacking” insurance coverage. The law in Missouri is that you get to stack the minimum $25,000
uninsured from every vehicle you own under that same policy.
This is because uninsured coverage is mandatory and the State of Missouri, both through statutes and court decisions,
require that coverage. For example, if you are injured and your vehicle has $25,000 of uninsured coverage, but you also
own two other vehicles that are insured on that policy, you will have $75,000 in uninsured coverage. Insurance companies
will never tell you this and very often try to settle uninsured motorists claims directly with their
claimants without advising them about stacking. I have had instances where a family with very large damages is
contemplating a $25,000 settlement that is being pushed by an insurance company. Upon inquiry we discovered that family
had 3 additional cars and actually had $100,000 in coverage available. If you settle for the $25,000 and sign a release,
you cannot go after the additional coverage. There are also unique circumstances if you are driving a company vehicle or
are a pedestrian that provides you this coverage as well.
Make sure you get fully compensated for all damages regardless of whether you are pursuing an uninsured claim against
your own insurance company. You should make sure you get all your medical treatment and reach your maximum medical
improvement. Your claim should include all of your medical expenses, your wage loss damages, and all the pain you have
gone through and the emotional distress you have experienced. You also should get your medical payment coverage in
addition to your uninsured claim.
Founder | Injury Attorney
Gary Burger has dedicated his career to standing up against bullies. The founder and principal attorney of Burger Law has helped hundreds of Missouri and Illinois individuals and families recover th …
Years of experience: 30 years
Location: St. Louis, MO
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