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Can Missouri hit-and-run accident victims seek compensation?

Being involved in a car accident is never convenient. Beyond the physical damage inflicted on vehicles, drivers and their passengers are obviously susceptible to injuries. The unfortunate reality, however, is that some drivers fail to stay at the scene of an accident, which is against the law. Being subjected to this kind of experience can make an accident even more frustrating.

In the days and weeks after a hit-and-run accident, victims and their loved ones might not know exactly how to handle the situation. When the at-fault driver remains at the scene, personal and insurance information can be collected. Additionally, a personal injury claim against the driver might be a possibility. However, if the driver hasn't been identified after fleeing the scene of the accident, it might not be clear how to obtain compensation for injuries.

In the state of Missouri, all auto insurance policies must include uninsured driver coverage. Although this obviously affects situations in which the other motorist doesn't have a valid insurance policy, the Missouri Department of Insurance indicates that this coverage also applies to hit-and-run situations.

Basically, uninsured driver coverage allows accident victims to use their own auto insurance policy to be covered. One thing to note, however, is that injuries might be the only accident-related damage covered by an insurer.

Of course, dealing with insurers and seeking adequate compensation can be very complicated, which is why this post shouldn't be considered specific legal advice. Rather, it serves as a way to convey basic information.

One thing to keep in mind is that hit-and-run drivers might eventually be located if law enforcement has enough information to conduct a successful investigation. Failing to stay at the scene of an accident shows a blatant disregard for the law and the wellbeing of other people.

Source: Missouri Department of Insurance, "Auto Insurance FAQs," accessed March 17, 2014

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