What to Do After a Car Accident in Columbia, MO
Greater St. Louis and Southern Illinois Personal Injury Lawyers
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What to do after a car accident in Columbia, MO. Car accidents are unfortunately commonplace in today's world. They happen without any notice, and can cause significant physical, mental and financial damage. If you find yourself in a car accident, it's important to know what to do next to protect yourself. If you're wondering what you should do after a car accident in Columbia, MO, reach out to a personal injury attorney at Halvorsen Klote. We've pledged our practice to ensuring the average person in Columbia, Greater St. Louis and Southern Illinois have access to the same high-quality legal representation that large insurance companies have. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us through our website to discuss your case at no cost or obligation to you.
Immediately After Your Car Accident in Columbia, MO
Getting injured in a car accident can be overwhelming. However, it's crucial to stay calm and do the following:
- See if anyone is injured — Check yourself and any passengers to see if you or they have been hurt. If anyone is hurt or non-responsive, call for emergency personnel immediately and give first aid if you can.
- Get out of the way of traffic — If possible, move your car to the side of the road or stop in a nearby parking lot to avoid blocking traffic and avoid getting hit by oncoming traffic.
- Stay at the scene — Do not leave the scene of the accident, even if the damage and injuries don't seem too severe. Law enforcement will let you know when you can leave. Both Missouri law and Illinois law make it a felony to leave the scene of any accident that causes personal injury or death.
- Call the police — Even if the accident is minor, the police can write a report, and some jurisdictions require you to call the police. You're not doing this to get the other person in trouble; all they're there for is to write the report. Police are trained on how to assign blame in a car accident. Their report is essential for recovering the compensation you are owed.
- Exchange information — Get the insurance and contact info of the other driver(s) involved in the accident. You should also get contact information from any witnesses to the accident.
- Document the scene — Get photos of both vehicles, in addition to your injuries. Also take photos of the nearby street and the entire accident site. Things that seem insignificant at the time, like brake marks – or the lack thereof – can be crucial pieces of evidence later on.
- Don't take the blame — Do not take blame for the accident or apologize, as this can be used against you later. In interactions with police and the other driver, be truthful about how the events occurred, but don't go into too much detail about what you did leading up the crash.
If you or anyone else is seriously injured, get medical treatment right away by going to the nearest emergency room in Columbia, MO or asking for an ambulance.
In the Days, Weeks and Months After Your Columbia, MO Car Accident
Once you've left the accident scene, there are still several things you should do to ensure you get the financial recovery are owed. Those are:
- Go to the doctor if you haven't already — Even if you feel fine after the accident, it's important to get checked out by a doctor. Some injuries, like brain injuries, whiplash or internal bleeding, aren't noticeable immediately after the accident.
- Notify both insurance companies — Contact both insurance companies as quickly as your can. Most insurance companies require you to file a claim within 30 days after an accident. Be honest and accurate when describing the accident, but don't accept responsibility admit that you caused the accident.
- Continue your medical treatment — Make sure to follow the full treatment plan recommended by your doctor. This is important not only for your physical recovery, but it will increase your financial recovery as well.
- Keep records — Keep a file with all documents related to your injuries, including police reports, documentation of medical expenses and insurance correspondence.
- Don't talk to the other driver's insurance company — If the other driver's insurance company contacts you, don't speak to them without first consulting with a car accident lawyer. They will try to use your answers against you.
- Consult with a car accident lawyer — If you were injured by a negligent driver, it's important to consult with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. They can help you understand the injury claim process and ensure the insurance company doesn't treat you poorly. We accept our attorneys' fees on a contingency fee basis, meaning there's no risk in consulting with us, and there's no reason for us to take on your case if we don't believe you are entitled to much more money than the insurance company is offering.
Being in a car accident can be an overwhelming occurrence, but taking the right steps after the accident can make a big difference. By following our guidelines, you can help protect your future. If you need further assistance, don't hesitate to reach out to a car accident attorney at Halvorsen Klote for help.
Do I Need a Lawyer For My Columbia, MO Car Accident Claim?
If you've been in a minor car accident in Columbia, MO with no injuries or minor injuries, it may be possible to get fair compensation if you represent yourself. But, if you're injuries are significant, you'll likely need a lawyer to win your claim. A lawyer can help you navigate the legal process, ensure you get fair compensation and defend your future.
There are several circumstances in which you may need a lawyer for a car accident claim, including:
- Serious injuries — If you have suffered serious injuries in the accident, a lawyer can help you pursue compensation for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. The higher your damages, the more the insurance company will fight your claim. That's when you need a car accident lawyer in Columbia, MO to hold them accountable and get the full compensation you deserve.
- Liability dispute — If the other driver refuses to be held accountable, a lawyer can help you acquire evidence and argue your case. The other insurance company will take the side of their policyholder, so you'll need evidence and a legal strategy to support your claim.
- Insurance company denial — If you know your claim is valid and the insurance company denies it, a lawyer can review the evidence, policy and denial letter and negotiate a fair settlement.
- Multi-vehicle collisions — If there are multiple parties involved in the accident, a lawyer can assign the appropriate amount of blame to each party, and look for as much insurance coverage as possible.
- Wrongful death — If someone you love died in the accident, a lawyer can file a wrongful death claim and seek justice for you and your family. As these cases result in great amounts of compensation, you'll likely need to file a lawsuit in Columbia, MO to make a full financial recovery.
- Legal issues — If complex legal issues arise, such as statutes of limitations, rules of evidence, being hit by a government vehicle, getting injured in a hit and run or if you were partially at fault, a lawyer can help you navigate these issues and ensure you get the best possible compensation.
The best way to know if you need a lawyer is to consult with one. Call Halvorsen Klote today at 866-382-4167.
What Can a Car Accident Lawyer in Columbia, MO Do For Me?
If you do need a lawyer to get fair compensation, they will stand by your side and deal with all of the negotiation and litigation for you. Here are a few ways a knowledgeable Columbia, MO car accident lawyer can help your case:
- Investigate the accident — A car accident lawyer can investigate the accident to demonstrate how the other party caused your injuries. They can review police reports, take depositions, consult with accident reconstruction experts and obtain other evidence like video surveillance to have the best case possible.
- Handle communication with insurance companies — Communicating with insurance companies can be overwhelming, especially if you're injured and need fair compensation. A car accident lawyer will communicate with the insurance company on your behalf ensure that you're not taken advantage of.
- Negotiate a settlement — Personal injury lawyers are aggressive negotiators and won't back down until you get a fair settlement for your car accident. They can calculate the cost of your medical bills, lost wages and other damages to make sure no money is left on the table.
- File a lawsuit — If your Columbia, MO car accident lawyer cannot secure fair compensation in negotiations or mediation, your lawyer can file a lawsuit in court to start the process of the case going before a judge and jury.
- Stand by your side in court — If you have to go to court for your car accident, a lawyer can fight for you in front of a judge and jury. They can argue on your behalf and convince the jury to see things from your point of view.
- Provide legal advice — An attorney can provide legal advice and answer any questions you may have about the personal injury process. An experienced Columbia, MO car accident lawyer should keep you up-to-date on your case. While the ultimate decision is left up to you, a lawyer will offer sound advice on whether it's best to settle or try to get more money.
- Help you receive fair compensation — A car accident lawyer can help you recover your full damages after a car accident, including medical expenses, lost wages and non-economic damages.
- Offer peace of mind — Knowing that you have a knowledgeable and experienced Columbia, MO car accident lawyer on your side can provide peace of mind during this trying time. You can spend your energy on recovering from your injuries while your lawyer handles the legal details.
A car accident lawyer can provide valuable assistance after a car accident. If you've been hurt in a car accident in Columbia, MO, you should at least speak with an attorney before accepting any settlement offer.
Other cases we handle in Columbia, MO include:
- Premises Liability Attorneys
- Automobile Injury Attorney
- Motorcycle Accidents Attorney
- Lawyer for Bicycle Accident
- Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
- Injury Claim Lawyer
- Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers
- Auto Crash Attorney
- Truck Crash Lawyers
What to Do After a Car Accident in Columbia, MO? Call Halvorsen Klote's Personal Injury Attorneys
A car accident can have devastating consequences, and it's essential to know how to best protect your rights. At Halvorsen Klote, we dedicate ourselves to giving high-quality legal advocacy to everyday people. If you were injured a car accident and don't know what to do next, schedule a free consultation with a Halvorsen Klote Columbia, MO injury attorney at 866-382-4167 or through our online contact form.
Attorney at Law
Joel Halvorsen and his partner Greg Klote founded the Halvorsen Klote law firm on the principle that injured people and their families should have access to the same quality legal representation as large insurance companies.
Attorney at Law
Greg Klote is a partner and founder of Halvorsen Klote.
Greg has successfully fought for people who were injured through no fault of their own. He became a lawyer to help make a difference in the lives of those who have been wronged and treated unfairly.