The suspect of a robbery and a serious hit-and-run car accident in St. Joseph has been taken into custody. The incident raises a question that no one wants to be in a position to ask: Will insurance cover my expenses after a hit-and-run accident?
Hit-and-Run Suspect Arrested
The incident happened at Menards early in the afternoon of January 25, 2022.
Police say that the suspect stole several items from the store and left. When a store employee followed him to the parking lot, the suspect ran the worker over with his pickup truck.
The worker suffered serious injuries.
Insurance Coverage for Hit-and-Run Victims
Generally, victims of car accidents recover compensation from the at-fault driver’s car insurance company.
However, in hit-and-run accidents, the at-fault driver is unknown because they fled the scene. This leaves the victim without the normal source of compensation for their losses. Instead, they have to turn to their own auto insurance company.
The specific terms and coverages on the victim’s policy will make a big difference in the outcome.
The following types of insurance coverage can cover, or help to cover, the costs of a hit-and-run accident:
- Uninsured property damage and bodily injury coverage
- Collision coverage
- Medical benefits coverage (MedPay)
In Missouri, state residents are legally required to have both liability insurance as well as uninsured motorist coverage for bodily injuries in order to register a vehicle or renew license plates. The uninsured motorist coverage will usually help pay for the costs of a bodily injury caused by a hit-and-run accident. Most insurance companies treat unknown drivers as uninsured drivers.
However, the law only mandates bodily injury coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Most people do not carry more than the state minimum because doing so would increase their premium payments. People who do not drive and do not have a vehicle do not have to carry it, at all. If the injuries were serious, as they were in the case of the store employee who was run over, these policy limits can leave victims drastically undercompensated.
If there was property damage in addition to injuries, then uninsured motorist property damage coverage would pay for it. This type of coverage, though, is not required in Missouri. Many people do not carry it.
Collision coverage is optional in Missouri. If the victim has it, collision coverage can help pay for property damage from a hit-and-run accident. However, the victim would have to pay the deductible.
Medical benefits coverage, or MedPay, is also optional in Missouri. It would cover the victim’s necessary medical expenses from an accident, regardless of who is at fault. Policyholders can choose how high they want their limits, though many go without MedPay because it increases their premiums.
Car Accident Lawyers at the Smith Law Office Serve St. Joseph
The personal injury and car accident lawyers at the Smith Law Office legally represent victims in hit-and-run accidents in St. Joseph, Kansas City, Springfield, and the rest of western Missouri. Contact them online or call them at (816) 875-9373 for help getting the compensation you deserve.