What happens to the uninsured motorist who causes a car accident?
Few things are more aggravating than when someone causes a car accident while they are uninsured. Many people think it is simply not fair for someone to get away with causing an accident without any repercussions. Why should someone who fails to follow the law get away with not paying for the damages that they caused?
Fortunately, Missouri law provides an avenue of recovery against these individuals for the property damage, lost wages, and injury losses incurred. According to RSMO 303.040, the owner of any vehicle involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist must notify the Department of Revenue (DOR) within one year of the date of the accident. The DOR can then suspend the at fault driver’s license under RSMO 303.041 until they pay the property, lost wages, and injury damages caused by the accident. To get started, all that is needed is for Form 1140 to be filled out. An attorney is not required for this process.
Form 1140 can be found here: https://dor.mo.gov/forms/1140.pdf
From my experience, many people who take the risk of driving without insurance do not care about driving on a suspended license. They will simply not pay the judgment against them. This makes the prospect of getting your money back slim.
If you are injured by an uninsured motorist, the best thing to do is file an Uninsured Motorist claim with your insurance company. They cannot raise your rates for electing to use this coverage for an accident that you did not cause.
The most common financial setback after an accident with an uninsured driver is loss of one’s property damage deductible. The insurance company will still charge a deductible even if the property damage was not the policyholder’s fault. Sometimes insurance companies will pursue the above action against an uninsured driver on behalf of their insured. If they are successful in obtaining a recovery, they will reimburse their insured for the property damage deductible.