If you were involved in a car accident caused by another driver, you could suffer catastrophic injuries that require medical treatment costing hundreds of thousands of dollar over your lifetime and prevent you from continuing to work. While you may recover from a less serious injury, you may be off work for months or longer with no income before you fully heal.
Even if the negligent driver has insurance to pay for your losses, it may not be enough to cover all your expenses. That's why it's so important to pursue all possible avenues of compensation.
Potential Car Accident Injury Insurance Claims
The possible sources of compensation will be somewhat different if your motor vehicle accident occurred in Kansas or Missouri.
Missouri is an at-fault state, which holds the negligent driver responsible for fully compensating you.
Kansas is a no-fault state, which means you first must rely on your insurance coverage to pay for medical bills and lost wages before filing with the other driver's insurance company.
Here are just some of the claims you may be able to file.
Negligent Driver's Insurance
Kansas and Missouri requires all drivers to purchase liability insurance to cover personal injuries and property damage in vehicle accidents. Both states have set a minimum of coverage:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person
- $50,000 in bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 for property damage
In Missouri, this would be the first avenue of compensation, but in Kansas, your initial claim would be a personal injury claim under your insurance policy. If the driver’s insurance coverage isn't enough to fully compensate you, you may be able to file a civil lawsuit against him for the balance owed to you.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Under Kansas law, every driver is required to purchase PIP coverage in addition to liability coverage to pay for medical bills, lost wages, in-home care services, rehabilitation services, and other expenses relating to your injury. If you purchase the minimum required, it would pay for $4,500 per person in medical bills and up to $900 per month in lost wages for 12 months.
This insurance isn't required in Missouri.
Uninsured motorist coverage can compensate you when at-fault driver doesn't have insurance. Underinsured motorist coverage is an option if the driver has insufficient coverage.
All drivers in Kansas and Missouri are required to have $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in uninsured motorist coverage. In Kansas, the same amount of underinsured coverage is required, but this is an optional—and vital—coverage in Missouri you can utilize if you purchased it.
MedPay is optional coverage in Missouri. It pays your medical bills up the up to the policy limits, even if you were the at-fault driver. This type of insurance isn't available in Kansas.
Some drivers choose to purchase additional liability coverage above the minimum required in Kansas and Missouri for better protection. If the negligent driver has umbrella insurance coverage as well, you can file a claim under this policy to obtain more compensation from his insurance company.
Did a drunk driver cause your accident? In Missouri, you may be able to hold the bar, restaurant, or other establishment who served or sold the driver alcohol responsible if he was under 18 or visibly intoxicated under the state’s dram shop law.
Kansas is one of the few states that doesn't have a dram shop law.
If the driver at fault was working at the time of the crash, you may be able to hold his employer responsible for compensating you under the legal theory of respondeat superior. This doctrine holds an employer vicariously liable for the negligent actions of its employees.
In some cases, at the time of the collision, the negligent driver may not own the vehicle. If this situation applies to you, you may be able to file a claim with the insurance companies of the driver and the vehicle owner.
If a defective automobile part, such as an airbag or steering component, caused you to suffer injuries, you may have a products liability claim against the vehicle’s and part’s manufacturer.
While not the most common cause of collisions, defective repairs to brakes, tires, or other mechanical parts can cause a driver to lose control of his vehicle and crash. If this is the reason for your accident, you may have a claim against the mechanic’s or repair facility’s insurance company.
Contact Our Experienced Car Accident Attorneys for Help
Were you or a loved one injured in a car accident in Kansas or Missouri? Our skilled legal team understands the importance of pursuing all avenues of compensation to ensure you receive a proper settlement. We offer a free consultation to discuss your accident and your legal options. To get started, contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111.