What rights does a Missouri driver have after a hit-and-run?

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2023 | Car Accidents |

Drivers in Missouri are required to follow traffic laws to the best of their ability. Abiding by rules such as the speed limit and using turn signals can reduce the likelihood of a crash. There are also separate rules that apply after a crash occurs. Motorists must carry insurance and will potentially need to provide coverage for the other parties involved in a collision if they are at fault for a crash. They could also be subject to a lawsuit and could end up ticketed or prosecuted because of traffic violations leading up to a collision.

Sometimes, the threat of those consequences is enough to motivate someone to break the law in the aftermath of a wreck. Missouri statutes clearly require that those involved in significant collisions to file police reports and to stop to check on the other parties involved. What can be done when someone is affected by a hit-and-run collision where the driver who leaves the scene is to blame for the wreck?

State law extends different types of protection

One of the most basic forms of protection available for someone involved in a Missouri hit-and-run crash is the right to file a police report and to have officers investigate what occurred. Oftentimes, due to the details provided by the other motorist or captured by nearby traffic cameras, police officers can track down someone involved in a hit-and-run collision. Should they locate that other driver, the motorist who reported the wreck will then be in a position to file a liability insurance claim or possibly a civil lawsuit.

However, some hit-and-runs go unsolved, meaning that officers cannot identify the other motorist involved. In that situation, the person who files the police report could potentially use their own insurance coverage. Missouri requires uninsured motorist coverage, which can cover the expenses that the other driver’s insurance would have paid for if the police had been able to locate them.

Seeking justice can be a challenge

When the police identify the other driver, someone may immediately rush to the conclusion that insurance will cover their expenses. However, that driver may have allowed their policy to lapse, which is why they tried to avoid responsibility for the crash. In such a scenario or in situations where someone’s coverage is too low based on the consequences of the collision, it may be necessary to pursue a civil lawsuit against the person at fault for the wreck.

Understanding the different forms of recourse and compensation available after a hit-and-run collision in Missouri can be of the utmost importance for those trying to defray the costs of such a wreck. Seeking legal guidance is a good place to start.

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