Why Didn’t My Lawyer Sue the Other Driver’s Insurance Company?

Chris Finney, Trial Attorney

A typical area of confusion for our clients is when they sue the individual driver who caused the crash and causes the injuries.

They come in [to the office] and say “We didn’t sue State Farm, we didn’t sue GEICO, we didn’t sue Allstate, we didn’t sue Progressive, we didn’t sue AAA, you sued the wrong people!”

Missouri Tells Us Who We Can Sue

In Missouri, you are not allowed to bring a direct action, a third party action, against the insurance company. The insurance company, believe it not, gets to “hind” behind the individual defendant. In fact, you cannot mention that insurance is at issue in this case and that the individual, the defendant, will never pay a single dime out of their pocket. Because it is the insurance company that hired the lawyer, provided the defense and is paying all the damages.

The insurance companies like that because they get to hide behind little Mrs. Jones, who was just going out to get some eggs and happened to run into you. She has $5,000,000.00 of insurance behind her, provided by Farmers; they don’t want you to know that.

How Missouri Collateral Source Rule Affects Your Trial

And so actually the law prevents us from telling the jurors that and from telling the witnesses that Mrs. Jones doesn’t have to pay this, this is insurance company money, it’s not this individual’s (the defendant) money. She’s going to go on with her life after this is over and nothing is going to happen to her.

So if you have the question “why didn’t my lawyer sue the insurance company?” And, they sued the defendant instead, the reason is, you can’t in Missouri. You have to sue the defendant because the insurance company has a contract to defend and indemnify that individual defendant. [1]

How Can A Missouri Personal Injury Attorney Help Me

Finney Injury Law is a St. Louis, Missouri-based law firm. We are dedicated to providing you with dedicated legal representation throughout your claim. We handle all aspects of your case and keep you updated on the status of your case and your options as they arise. Our experienced lawyers and professional legal staff are here to fight tirelessly until we obtain the case outcome you desire and provide unwavering support and guidance during the stress and uncertainty that can accompany filing a personal injury claim. We’re here for you and will fight for you right away. To learn about your personal injury case options complete the contact form or give us a call today, 314-293-4222.

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[1] https://revisor.mo.gov/main/OneSection.aspx?section=490.715

“It has long been the law of this state that the improper injection in a jury tried case that the defendant was covered by liability insurance constitutes error…” Means v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 550 S.W.2d 780, 787 (Mo. banc. 1977).

Posted Under: Car Accident FAQs, General Personal Injury FAQs, Truck Accident FAQs