St Louis Missouri Personal Injury Claim and Probable Lawsuit Arising from Good Samaritan Pedestrian being Struck by Drunk and Uninsured Driver
In January 2009 around 4:30 p.m. a Missouri personal injury insurance claim and possible lawsuit arose when my client was traveling on North Lindbergh when he notice a car slowly rolling onto the center median curb with the driver slumped over the wheel. Concerned for the driver's safety as my client though he was having a heart attack he got out of his car to assist the driver. The driver's side window was down so he reached in and put the car in park and see if he could assist the driver. When my client asked the driver if he was alright he regained consciousness, and it quickly became clear that he was severely intoxicated. The drunk driver got angry and claimed my client was trying to get him in trouble as the emergency vehicles were approaching, thus the St Louis Missouri drunken driver sped off dragging my client along with him for several yards or more till he broke loose. My client sustained severe personal injuries including serious injury to his knee, back, neck shoulders, and not to mention the emotional trauma.
The driver was arrested a few blocks down after trying to hide in a strip mall and charged with DWI. The day I was retained as the victim's personal injury lawyer we investigated the driver's record and discovered not only that he was driving on a revoked license and without insurance, but that he also had multiple DWI guilty pleas.
Most likely the other driver is what we call judgment proof, meaning a civil judgment for money against him is worthless as he has no assets to satisfy the judgment. Luckily, the personal injury victim in this case had Missouri car insurance and thus as required under Missouri personal injury law the policy must have a minimum $25,000 coverage for injuries sustained as the result of an uninsured motorist. Moreover, in this case my client was wise enough to pay for a $100,000 uninsured motorist policy that applied to at least two cars, thus under Missouri injury law the two $100,000 uninsured motorist policies may be able to be "stacked" and thus increasing the maximum coverage for this personal injury loss to $200,000 for uninsured motorist coverage.
Uninsured motorist coverage applies to the insured or the person, not the vehicle. This is why pedestrians that may be nowhere near their vehicle can make an uninsured motorist claim if they are injured as the result of the negligence or recklessness of an uninsured motorist.
I have represented many people that have suffered very serious injuries as the result of an uninsured or under insured motorist; all of those people now know that the few extra bucks it costs a year to raise under insured and uninsured motorist coverage limits in well worth the small policy premium increase.