What To Do After a Missouri Car or Truck Accident
Many people will experience the unfortunate circumstance of getting into a car or truck accident. This can be a very stressful and life altering situation. Then, when it comes to dealing with the insurance companies, your own and that of the other driver, things can get much more complicated and frustrating. It is tempting to believe that the insurance companies have your best interests in mind, but more often than not, this is not the case. Rather, they want to save money, which means that they don’t want to offer a fair settlement, but the lowest settlement possible, and they hope you’ll agree to it without giving it a lot of thought. Don’t fall for this. Talk to an auto accident attorney instead.
You might be surprised at how much you don’t really know about dealing with auto insurance companies. You don’t have to provide a statement, and would be wise to avoid doing so without first talking to a lawyer. You should also avoid agreeing to a low ball settlement offer. If you want fair compensation that will cover your current and future expenses, then you need to seek the advice and representation of a qualified and experienced auto accident attorney from Cornerstone Law Firm. We’re here to help you every step of the way.
Steps to Take After an Auto Accident in Missouri
When an auto accident occurs, you will want to begin by evaluating the situation. Is anyone hurt? Can the vehicles be moved out of the line of traffic? Are your injuries severe enough that you should remain still? Are you physically able to assist others who are injured?
The next thing is to call 911 and alert the emergency response of the situation and the injuries involved. You will likely receive some instructions from the 911 operator, which you should follow while waiting for help to arrive. Some auto accidents may not be serious enough for 911, but you should still contact the police to file a police report. If you are offered a ride to the emergency room, accept it. Even if you don’t think you are seriously injured, you should seek a full medical evaluation after any accident. There may be injuries that you are unaware of or that are more serious than you think. This is more common than many people realize because the adrenaline that comes with an accident can mask the pain.
You should take pictures of the damage if you can, and collect the information of the other driver and any witnesses who saw the accident or provided assistance. This will be useful later when you seek compensation for your damages and have to prove liability. Do not say anything to anyone that might indicate that you accept responsibility for the accident. Even an apology could be used against you.
When you are contacted by the other driver’s insurance company, which will likely happen soon after the accident, politely decline to give a statement until you’ve had a chance to consult with an attorney. You should not offer any information to the insurance company without legal advice. This is because anything you say might be used against you when you seek compensation. When it comes to your own insurance company, you should contact them right away to inform them that an accident has occurred. You do not have to provide a statement, however, until you’ve spoken to an attorney.
What Compensation Can You Receive After an Accident?
There are many forms of compensation that you can seek for your injuries and damages after an auto accident. It is difficult to say exactly what your claim is worth, however, because every auto accident is different, and much of it will depend on who was at fault for the accident. If you were at fault, then your insurance company and health insurance will cover your medical expenses and, depending on your policy, some or all of your property damage. If the other driver was at fault, then their insurance company will be responsible for covering your damages, including present and future medical expenses, lost wages, lost future earning potential, pain and suffering, vehicle repairs, and property damage.
Auto Accident and Truck Accident Attorneys in Missouri
Some of the most severe injuries come from truck accidents involving commercial vehicles, like semis. These can weigh as much as 80K pounds and can do unimaginable damage to a 4K pound car. Furthermore, many auto accidents occur in such a way that you could not have possibly avoided it. In a lot of cases, you won’t even see it coming. You might be waiting at a red light one moment and waking up in a hospital the next. Whatever sort of accident you’ve been involved in and whatever damage was done, you will want to talk to an truck and auto accident attorney as soon as possible.
When the at fault driver’s insurance company contacts you, the insurance claims adjuster might sound polite and concerned about your wellbeing. Keep in mind that their end goal is to save money by getting you to settle for less than you deserve. The actual value of your claim can’t be known until everything has been considered and your medical condition is thoroughly evaluated. Even then, it can be difficult to estimate the costs of your future medical care and lost wages. This is why it is so important to talk to an attorney before you talk to the insurance company and certainly before you accept a settlement.
You can help your attorney in building your case by taking photographs of the accident and of your injuries. You can even continue to take photos as the injuries heal, to document your progress. You should also maintain adequate records, including medical reports and bills, estimates for your vehicle damage, and anything else that might be useful in your auto accident claim. Obtain a copy of the police report as well, and keep the contact information of any witnesses handy.
Ultimately, it will be up to you and your attorney to prove liability and to prove your damages. The attorneys at Cornerstone Law Firm have the experience and expertise to ensure that you get fair compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact us today for a free consultation, and we’ll get you started on the right path.