Missouri bill puts restrictions on uninsured motorists

| 5/1/2006

A bill awaiting consideration on the floor of the Missouri House would limit uninsured motorists’ right to sue.

Sponsored by Rep. Brian Yates, R-Lee’s Summit, the bill would prohibit uninsured motorists who get hit by other drivers from suing for pain and suffering damages.

Supporters say the measure is intended to provide an incentive for irresponsible motorists to ante up for insurance and prevent them from getting a windfall by suing insured drivers.

Missouri residents who get behind the wheel without insurance cost insured drivers as much as $90 million a year in increase premiums, The Kansas City Star previously reported.

Yates’ effort would waive uninsured motorists’ right to sue for non-economic – pain and suffering – damages. Uninsured drivers would retain the right to sue for economic damages, such as medical costs, damage to a vehicle and attorneys’ fees if it can be proven that they did not cause the wreck.

The bill – HB1155 – would not apply to drivers whose insurance is dropped for nonpayment and who have not received 30 days’ notice of the policy’s cancellation.