When you are seriously injured in a car accident, the burden of proof is on you to present evidence of both fault (liability) and injuries (damages). Because the current state liability insurance limits in Missouri are $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, victims are often left without full compensation for their injuries. As a result, their car accident injury attorney must look to potential other avenues of financial compensation for the client. However, how do you know if the at-fault party has 25/50 in applicable coverage or more? First of all, no insurance company will ever dislose their customer's liability insurance limits to you without the assistance of an attorney. These insurance companies have strict procedures in place to rarely, if ever, disclose what the maximum amount of insurance is out there to compensate your injuries. It makes sense right? Why would an insurance company want to provide you with an idea of what compensation is out there to make you whole.
Our St. Louis car crash attorneys have seen it all. From insurance companies that conceal umbrella insurance coverage or excess insurance polices to failing to disclose other personal or business insurance coverages that could possibly provide an injured victim with
additional settlement compensation. The only true way to find out what insurance coverage is out there to compensate your injury claim is for your attorney to file a lawsuit and seek this information in the course of written discovery. You see, once a
personal injury lawsuit has been filed and the court system is involved, insurance companies cannot conceal coverage. Actually, technically they could, but the ramifications of concealing insurance coverage during litigation is punishable with sanctions up to and including "striking of the pleadings" and an adverse jury instruction at trial.
Finding out the insurance coverage policy limits for the at-fault party is important for several reasons. First, you need to know early on whether the other driver is adequately covered; at least with regards to whether the amount of policy limits will even be able to make you "whole." Second, if you have supplemental insurance coverage on your own policy, you need to put them on notice of certain aspects of your claim. But to even take this step with your own insurance carrier, you need to know what you are working with in total liability coverage. Third, if you are facing certain medical expenses which may completely exhaust total liability coverage, you need to know that from the start, before those costs are incurred. At the very least, this will provide you with an outlook on total recovery, and more importantly, what you will "net" in your pocket for lost wages, pain and suffering and other forms of damages that need to be obtained by your injury lawyer.
Being injured in a motor vehicle accident triggers an insurance claims process that is both complex and lengthy. Your St. Louis car crash attorney needs to understand how to handle your case in an efficient manner, while maximizing your compensation and preventing the case from dragging on for years. In some cases, you must take your claim to the courts. You may not have a choice in the matter. If liabilty or causation are heavily disputed, the case can drag on no matter how talented or experienced your accident lawyer is. At the end of the day, its important to make certain that you have legal representation that takes your interests to heart.