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New state law allows MO drivers to show electronic proof of insurance

September 3, 2013

coponbike.jpgAt the end of August, dozens of new laws took effect throughout Missouri. As Springfield car accident lawyers, we noted that one such law, which received unanimous approval from state lawmakers, aims to provide an added convenience to Missouri drivers.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
, this new law allows Missouri motorists to show electronic proof of insurance when they are pulled over by law enforcement officials, attempting to register their vehicles, and renewing their license plates.. In the past, state law required drivers to provide a paper copy of their insurance card, and police were not permitted to accept proof of insurance via a driver's smartphone or tablet. Paper insurance cards will remain an acceptable as well. Several insurance providers have developed and provided smart phone apps that utilize this technology, and other nearby states - including Illinois and Kansas - have recently adopted legislation that permits acceptance of this form of proof.

State officials hope this new law will make it easier for drivers to store and keep track of their insurance policy information, rather than keeping and storing paper insurance cards for easy access. "Consumers are becoming more dependent on storing their important information on their smart phones or tablets for easy access," Missouri Department of Insurance Director John Huff told the Dispatch. And so far, drivers and lawmakers alike agree that the legislation makes it much simpler to provide insurance information when it's required. "It's a good common sense solution for drivers," Governor Jay Nixon told KY3. "It's a lot easier to get out your iPhone or your Blackberry and show them your insurance registration than it is to try to find that piece of paper that's down in your glove box.

Missouri motor vehicle insurance: State law requirements

In Missouri, both drivers and vehicle owners must carry some form of motor vehicle liability insurance, which covers your liability when an accident happens as a result of your actions behind the wheel. Here are the minimum levels of coverage required by state law:

• Bodily injury: $25,000 per person
• Bodily injury: $50,000 per accident
• Property damage: $10,000 per accident
• Uninsured motorist coverage: $25,000 for bodily injury per person
• Uninsured motorist coverage: $50,000 for bodily injury per accident

When traveling in Missouri, out-of-state drivers must carry coverage in accordance with their state's laws.

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Are you covered in the event of a Missouri car accident caused by an uninsured driver?

Vs-Camborne_2011_09_25_0004.JPGIt is estimated that approximately 10-15% of drivers throughout Missouri don't carry auto insurance, even though state law requires drivers to have insurance. If you're injured in an auto accident, there's the unfortunate risk that the driver who caused the auto accident is will be uninsured. Under those circumstances, do you know who would be responsible for your medical bills and other expenses?

Being involved in an auto accident can be difficult enough, even when both parties are insured and liability is clear. And if you've suffered whiplash or sustained soft tissue injuries, the physical pain you're feeling can distract you from other important issues. Further, insurance companies can be reluctant to offer even token settlements to cover the cost of personal and bodily injury, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other damages resulting from car accidents. In some cases, claims can drag on for years and years.

Now imagine jumping through these hoops because of an auto accident cause by an uninsured driver. In this situation, you may still be able to recover compensation for your property damage and even your injuries. Insurers offer uninsured motorist coverage, and in fact, this coverage is required for all Missouri drivers. This portion of the policy allows you the ability to collect damages from your own insurance carrier if you are involved in a car accident caused by an uninsured driver.

Uninsured motorist insurance coverage also applies in the event of a hit-and-run accident, where the at-fault driver eaves the scene and can't be located. In this example, uninsured motorist coverage is available to take the place of coverage that should exist, so you're not left on the hook for thousands of dollars in medical expenses and property repairs that were incurred due to the negligence of another party. Further, it applies in similar situations where pedestrians are injured by drivers who flee the scene of the accident, or where the driver who caused the crash can't be found.

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Deer Season Creates Hazards for Greene County Drivers: How to Stay Safe on the Road

November 30, 2011

1323461_deer.jpgFall is a beautiful season here in Greene County, Missouri. It's also an exciting time for many Ozarkians, as it brings the beginning of deer season - which means it's important for drivers to be especially observant during this time of year. Contrary to popular belief, auto accidents caused by car-deer collisions are a concern for both urban and rural drivers alike. In 2010, the Missouri Highway Patrol reported that almost one-third of accidents involving deer occurred in urban areas. With that in mind, Springfield car accident attorneys advise you to take extra care behind the wheel this season.

According to the Missouri Insurance Information Service, increased deer activity is a "major factor" affecting the increased number of car-deer collisions during this time of year. The Springfield Police Department concurs, reporting that the majority of car-deer collisions take place between the months of October and December, typically after dark (between 6:00 pm and midnight). When there are hunters in the woods, deer herds are more likely to be on the move, and to be spooked easily, increasing the likelihood of a collision.

The Springfield Police say the best defensive driving response is to slow down right away if you see a deer, whether or not the animal is actually in the road. Don't speed up immediately after you pass the animal by: deer usually travel in groups, so if you see one, there are likely others somewhere in the vicinity. Many accidents are caused when a driver sees a deer and slows down, only to speed up and collide with a different animal.

Often, car-deer collisions can be avoided by awareness and defensive driving. However, there are occasions when impact can't be avoided. In those circumstances, police say, drivers have better odds when colliding with a deer than with something else, like a tree, a ditch, or another car. Injuries and fatalities are most often the result of a driver swerving to miss a deer, which is a natural response, but as a result, many passenger injuries and fatalities occur when a driver swerves, overreacting, and instead collides with a fixed object or oncoming traffic.

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Battlefield Missouri Car Accident Proves Fatal and Raises Questions about Liability Insurance

November 9, 2011

Auto insurance is a constant topic in the news. And when it comes time to use auto insurance it would be better to already know the answers to these questions: what is covered and how much will be paid? After an accident involving a horse just south of Battlefield, Missouri, it is a good time to review information about auto liability coverage.

The accident happened on Missouri Farm Road 194, also known as Blue Springs Road, on Friday October 21, 2011. A Springfield, Missouri man was riding his horse eastbound along the road. A Dodge caravan came up from behind them and hit the horse. The horse died and the rider was taken to St John's Hospital in Springfield, Missouri. The rider is listed in fair condition. There was extensive damage to the caravan but the driver was not hurt.

Thumbnail image for 1024682_professor_at_work.jpgIn regards to this type of accident, assuming the rider of the horse did not cause the accident, the driver would be liable for injuries and damages to personal property.

What is Auto Liability Insurance?
First here is a review of liability and its legal usage. Liability comes in all forms and in many settings and refers to legal financial responsibility. It is used in both civil and criminal law and payment of damages (and/or time served) usually resolves the liability.

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