car accident with out insurance missouri

Getting into a car accident with no insurance can result in a number of penalties, such as fines, license suspension, and even jail time.

However, the extent and severity of the consequences will also depend on who was at fault for causing the accident.

Use our guide below to learn more about what to do if you’ve been in an accident without proper coverage, and see how the Cottrell Law Office can help you move forward. 

An Overview of Missouri Car Accident and Insurance Laws

Before discussing the penalties for driving without insurance, it’s important to first have a basic understanding of your rights and responsibilities under Missouri law. Here are a few things you should know. 

Fault Rules

When it comes to car accident insurance claims, Missouri is an “at-fault” state. This means that the accident victim can file a claim directly with the at-fault driver’s insurer rather than with their own insurer.

Whether or not you were at fault will impact the potential ramifications you might face if you were uninsured at the time of the accident. 

Missouri Car Insurance Requirements

Under Missouri Revised Statutes § 303.190, all drivers on Missouri roads must maintain a motor vehicle liability policy. At a minimum, your policy must include liability coverage of:

  • $25,000 per person for bodily injury; 
  • $50,000 per accident for bodily injury; and 
  • $25,000 per accident for property damage. 

Note that these are minimum amounts, so parties may obtain higher liability coverage amounts if they choose. 

Penalties for No Insurance in an At-Fault Accident

Failure to maintain appropriate insurance coverage is a misdemeanor under Missouri law. However, the severity of the penalty will vary depending on how many prior violations have occurred. 

For example, Missouri Revised Statutes § 303.025 specifies that a first violation is punishable as a class D misdemeanor, which can result in a fine of up to $500.

However, for second and subsequent offenses, penalties can include a fine of up to $500 in addition to up to 15 days in county jail. 

Additionally, the uninsured party will be suspended from driving until they have obtained adequate insurance and paid the required reinstatement fee

What Happens If You Have No Insurance, but the Other Driver Was At Fault

If you were in a car accident without insurance, but were not at fault in Missouri, you may be subject to the aforementioned penalties due to your failure to maintain proper coverage.

With respect to your damages—which might include property damage and medical costs—you may still be able to file a claim under the at-fault driver’s insurance. 

Typically, the victim in a car accident can also seek noneconomic damages from the at-fault party. Such noneconomic damages might include compensation for: 

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress, 
  • Disfigurement, 
  • Loss of consortium, and 
  • Loss of enjoyment of life. 

However, except in limited circumstances, Missouri law does not permit an individual who did not maintain property liability coverage at the time of the accident to seek noneconomic damages from the at-fault party.

What Happens If You Get in an Accident Without Insurance, but You Were At Fault

If you were uninsured at the time of the accident and were at fault, the consequences can be even more severe. Not only will you be subject to the penalties for failure to maintain proper insurance coverage, but you may also be personally liable to the injured party for their damages. 

That said, if the other driver was partially at fault in causing the accident, you may be able to reduce your financial liability under Missouri contributory negligence rules.

Thus, speak with a qualified Missouri personal injury attorney to discuss your case in more detail and see what options you may have.

Speak with a Missouri Car Accident Attorney Today

Regardless of whether or not you were at fault in causing the accident, driving without insurance can lead to significant penalties. As such, it’s important to have an experienced legal professional on your side. 

At the Cottrell Law Office, we have been fighting for personal injury victims for more than 32 years.

We can help you assess your claims, negotiate with opposing parties and their representatives, and take your case to trial when necessary.

If you’ve been in an accident without insurance, know that you are not alone. Give us a call today to discuss your options. 

Author Photo

Wesley Cottrell

Wes Cottrell earned his B.A. from Pittsburg State University in 1981 and his J.D. from the Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas in 1985. He was admitted to practice law in Kansas in 1986, in Missouri in 1987, in Arkansas in 1989, and Oklahoma in 1993. He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.

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