Licensed in Missouri and Kansas

Exploring the Growth in Tort Victim’s Compensation Fund Claims

In Missouri, people injured due to someone else's negligence, yet unable to secure money compensation due to the wrongdoer's lack of insurance or funds, can get compensation from the Tort Victim’s Compensation Fund. Anecdotally, our firm has seen and heard of a surprising increase in the number of claims made to the fund over the years. This is borne out by data from the Missouri Department of Labor that shows between 2018 and 2019, the number of claims doubled.

Department of Labor

Here are a few things we think should be gleaned from this-

The amount of money you get from a claim may be reduced.

Claims to the Fund are capped at $300,000.00. However, more importantly, the amount you get is limited by the amount of money in the fund. The money in the fund is split on a pro-rata basis with all the claimants at the end of the year. If there are a lot of claims made that year, and if the fund is low on money, then you may only get half your reward or less.

There should be an increase in the car insurance policy limits.

Missouri law requires drivers to carry insurance, but only at a minimum of $25,000.00. True, many people carry higher insurance policy limits, but many more do not, if at all. Furthermore, car crashes can cause serious injuries and damages far in excess of $25,000.00. I would imagine many of the claims to the Tort Victim’s Compensation Fund are for car crashes with insufficient insurance. Raising the minimum amount of insurance would go a long way toward alleviating this problem by hopefully being enough money to fully compensate car crash victims.

The Missouri Legislature should allocate money to the Fund.

The State of Missouri enjoyed a substantial budget surplus last year. Given the increase in the amount of claims to the Missouri Tort Victim’s Compensation Fund, some of that extra money should be used to help pay out these claims.

If you have questions about the Missouri Tort Victim’s Compensation Fund, please feel free to contact Meyerkord, Russell & Hergott at any time.

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