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Siegel Injury Law

What is No Pay/No Play and will it affect your case?

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In 2013, the Missouri legislature enacted the Missouri Revised Statute (RSMo.) 303.390, which we affectionately refer to as the “No Pay/No Play” statute.  Under this statute, if a driver involved in a car accident does not have liability coverage, they may be limited as to the amount they can recover for their injuries.  The law splits injuries into two categories: economic and non-economic.  Economic damages are those things that could be out of pocket for an injured party, such as medical bills, lost wages, or property damage.  Non-economic damages are less tangible and include things like pain and suffering or inability to perform acts of daily living.  The no pay/no play statute aims to take away non-economic damages.

The intention behind this law is to incentivize drivers to carry adequate insurance coverage.  Reducing the number of uninsured drivers, in theory, would cause those drivers who cause accidents to be financially responsible for the accidents they cause.  This law doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense in that it takes away the right of recovery for a person who had no fault for an accident, thus making the insured driver less financially responsible for their negligent acts.

There are a few notable exceptions to this rule. One is if your insurance was canceled for non-payment within six months of the accident. The other is if the insured driver was intoxicated or under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash. The statute also does not apply to passengers of an uninsured vehicle.

On its face, this statute may appear to be unconstitutional, as it prevents recovery when the uninsured driver was not at fault for the crash. Many have argued its unconstitutionality at the trial court level; however, to date, no court of appeals has ruled the no pay/no play statute unconstitutional. Until an appellate court or the Missouri Supreme Court takes up the issue, the only available guidance is trial court decisions and the preferences of the specific trial court judge.

As such, at Siegel Injury Law, we weigh the options of going to trial on a case where RSMo. 303.390 is in play on a case-by-case analysis, taking into account what will be in the best interest of our client.  If you have a case that you believe is impacted by the no pay/no play statute, please give us a call for a free case consultation.

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