Kansas City LawyerHandling a car accident involving an underinsured driver can be nothing short of a nightmare, especially if you’re looking for compensation. However, you don’t have to struggle with a complex claim alone. A Kansas City underinsured motorist lawyer at Bradley Law can assess your insurance coverage, negotiate a settlement on your behalf, and pursue legal action if necessary. Contact us today for a free case review to determine your next best steps.

What Is the Difference Between Uninsured and Underinsured Drivers?

In contrast to an uninsured driver, who has no car insurance at all, an underinsured driver has some insurance coverage. In a minor accident, you may be able to get the damages you need. However, when an underinsured driver causes a serious crash, and you have significant or permanent injuries, their policy limits are usually too low to sufficiently compensate you. When the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage falls short, you could face significant financial burdens.

Another difference between uninsured and underinsured drivers is that you could file a claim against an underinsured driver’s insurance company, while this option is unavailable when a driver is uninsured.

However, if negotiations with the insurance company are unsuccessful, you may need to pursue other avenues, such as filing a lawsuit against the underinsured driver. A Kansas City underinsured motorist lawyer can help to clarify your options for recovering compensation.

A Kansas City Underinsured Motorist Lawyer Can Identify Your Options for Recovering Compensation

After being involved in an accident with an underinsured motorist in Missouri, your attorney can identify the best options for pursuing compensation for your damages.

File a Claim with Your Insurance Company

Unlike uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage is not mandatory in Missouri. However, you can add this optional cover to your auto insurance policy. According to the Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance, you must carry at least double the at-fault person’s coverage limit, meaning you’ll want to consider a higher limit for underinsured coverage.

If you have underinsured motorist coverage as part of your insurance coverage, you can file a claim with your own insurance company and could recover an adequate settlement. Inform your insurer promptly of the accident and ask to begin the claims process.

Negotiate with the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company

You may want to attempt negotiation with the at-fault driver’s insurer. However, keep in mind that when their policy limits don’t fully cover your damages, they’re probably unwilling to offer you a fair payout. A Kansas City underinsured motorist lawyer can communicate with the insurance company and level the playing field, which can result in a favorable outcome.

File a Lawsuit Against the At-Fault Driver

If policy limits don’t cover your losses, one option that might be open to you is filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Taking legal action seeks to hold the driver accountable for their negligence and allows you to pursue compensation for your injuries and financial losses. For example, you could receive awards for medical expenses, property damage, pain and suffering, and more.

Consider a Third-Party Personal Injury Lawsuit

A driver is not always at fault or wholly responsible for a car accident. In some cases, responsibility can fall on a third party, including a local government body, vehicle manufacturer, or an employer. When this happens, you could pursue compensation from the third party responsible for the accident and your injuries.

Regardless of the option you choose, consult a Kansas City underinsured motorist lawyer who specializes in handling underinsured motorist claims. They can help you understand your rights under Missouri law, identify all potential liable parties, and fight for the compensation you need to pay your bills and move forward with your life.

Compensation You Could Receive After an Underinsured Motorist Accident

After an accident with a negligent underinsured motorist, you could recover various forms of compensation to cover your losses.

  • Property Damage: If your vehicle or other property was destroyed or damaged in the crash, you can seek compensation to cover the cost of repairs or replacement.
  • Healthcare Expenses: You can receive compensation for all accident-related medical bills. This includes costs for hospital stays, surgeries, medications, medical devices, rehabilitation therapies, and other necessary treatments.
  • Lost Wages: You could recover compensation for the income you’ve lost during your recovery period. You may also qualify for future lost income if your injuries have permanently affected your ability to work.
  • Pain and Suffering: If you suffered severe or life-changing injuries, you probably experienced considerable pain and emotional distress. You could be entitled to non-economic damages such as physical pain, emotional distress, reduced life quality, and more.
  • Punitive Damages: While punitive damages are rare in personal injury cases, you could recover them if the underinsured driver acted egregiously, such as driving under the influence.

Compensation will depend on the specifics of your case and your damages. However, you should never accept less than what you deserve. A car accident lawyer at Bradley Law can determine the worth of your case.

What Does a Kansas City Underinsured Motorist Lawyer Do?

Handling the aftermath of any accident can be stressful. However, when dealing with an underinsured driver, getting what you deserve can be a complex and drawn-out process that may seem impossible to navigate. This is where an attorney at Bradley Law can step in and take some of the burdens off your shoulders.

  • Legal Expertise: Your attorney can review your insurance policy to understand your coverage. They know insurance companies’ manipulative tactics and can level the playing field in negotiations. Most importantly, your attorney understands Missouri laws and can build a strong case on your behalf.
  • Strong Advocacy: Your attorney will be by your side every step of the way, from the beginning of your claim until trial. Whether it’s negotiating with insurance adjusters, gathering evidence to strengthen your case, or representing you powerfully in court, we’re in your corner.
  • Peace of Mind: When you’re in pain, and the bills are mounting up, the last thing on your mind is adding more overwhelm by initiating legal action. A Kansas City underinsured motorist lawyer can take all legal issues off your plate and provide you with peace of mind and the time you need to concentrate on healing.

Your attorney is more than a legal representative. They are your advocate and ally during a challenging time and can walk you through the legal process one step at a time.

FAQs – Get Answers from a Kansas City Underinsured Motorist Lawyer

What should I do if I’ve been in an accident with an underinsured driver?

If you experienced an accident with an underinsured driver, take these essential steps to protect yourself and your rights:

  • Seek medical help immediately, even if your injuries seem minor.
  • Collect the other driver’s insurance information and contact details.
  • Ask eyewitnesses for their contact details, as their statements could prove fault.
  • Inform your insurance company promptly of the accident.
  • Document your accident-related expenses, including medical bills, vehicle repair costs, and lost wages.
  • Contact a Kansas City underinsured motorist lawyer for legal advice.

Will my insurance rates go up if I file an underinsured motorist claim?

Whether your insurance rates go up will depend on the circumstances of your accident. Generally, if another is responsible for the crash, your insurance shouldn’t increase your rates. However, if you’re claiming on your own insurance policy, you may lose your no-claims bonus.

Moreover, if the insurance company pays out a significant amount for your claim, they may consider increasing your rates at renewal, specifically if they consider you a higher risk. This increase would be based on several factors, such as your overall claims history, driving record, and others.

What happens if the at-fault driver’s insurance policy doesn’t cover all my expenses?

If the at-fault driver is underinsured, you face a gap in coverage. In such cases, you can turn to your own insurance policy’s underinsured motorist coverage to cover the remaining costs. You would then file a claim with your insurer, and they should compensate you up to your policy’s limits.

However, if you don’t have underinsured motorist coverage or your insurance company is fighting your claim, you’ll want to get an attorney on your side as soon as possible. They can help you handle the insurer and advise you on any other options you might have to pursue the compensation you deserve.

Bradley Law Could Help You to Recover Maximum Compensation

Don’t handle a complex underinsured driver claim alone. In the worst case, you could leave money on the table and be stuck with your medical bills and other crash-related expenses. However, if someone else is responsible for the accident, they should pay for your damages, not you.

Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers want you to recover the full value of your claim. We have over 30 years of experience helping countless injured individuals receive the compensation they need to get their lives back on track, and we could help you, too. Contact us now for a free, no-obligation consultation to clarify your legal options.