What to Do After a Car Accident in St. Louis, MO
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What to do after a car accident in St. Louis, MO. Car accidents are unfortunately ubiquitous in today's world. They can happen in a heartbeat, and can cause significant physical, mental and financial hardships. If you were injured through no fault of your own, it's important to know what steps to take to get the full and fair financial recovery you're legally entitled to. If you want to know what you should do after a car accident in St. Louis, MO, reach out to a personal injury attorney at Halvorsen Klote. We've dedicated our careers to ensuring everyday people in St. Louis, Greater St. Louis and Southern Illinois have access to the same high-quality legal representation that massive corporations 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 St. Louis, MO
The moments immediately following a car accident can be overwhelming. However, it's imperative to keep your wits about you and take the following steps:
- Check for injuries — Check yourself and anyone else involved in the accident to see if you or they have been hurt. If anyone is hurt or non-responsive, call 911 immediately and give first aid if you know how to.
- Get out of the way of traffic — If possible, pull over to the side of the road or stop in a nearby parking area to avoid getting in the way of traffic and avoid being hurt by other cars.
- Don't leave the scene — Stay at the scene of the accident, even if it seems minor. Wait for the police to arrive. 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 determine why an accident occurred and who is to blame. Their report will be vital for your insurance claim or if you need to file a lawsuit later on.
- Exchange information — Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver(s) involved in the accident. Also get the info of anyone who saw the accident.
- Take photos — Get photos of both vehicles, in addition to your injuries. Also take photos of the surrounding scene. Things that seem insignificant at the time, like tire marks – or the lack thereof – can later make or break your case.
- Don't take the blame — Do not admit fault or apologize, as this can be used against you later. In interactions with police and the other driver, be truthful but don't go into too much detail.
If you or anyone else is seriously injured, seek immediate medical attention by going to the nearest emergency room in St. Louis, MO or requesting an ambulance.
In the Days, Weeks and Months After Your St. Louis, MO Car Accident
After the initial shock of the accident wears off, you still need to follow certain steps to protect yourself and your legal rights. Those are:
- Seek medical attention if you haven't already — Even if you don't think you're seriously injured, it's important to get checked out by a doctor. Some injuries, such as brain injuries, whiplash or internal bleeding, may not become apparent until days or even weeks after the accident.
- Notify both insurance companies — Make a claim with 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 giving details about the accident, but don't accept fault 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.
- Document everything — Keep a file with all documents related to your injuries, including police reports, documentation of medical expenses and insurance correspondence.
- Don't give a recorded statement to the other driver's insurance company — If the other driver's insurance company contacts you, don't say anything before you speak with a personal injury lawyer. They will try to use your answers to devalue your claim.
- Consult with a car accident lawyer — If you were hurt in the accident, it's important to consult with a personal injury lawyer right away. They can help you navigate the personal injury process and ensure the insurance company doesn't treat you poorly. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning there's no downside for you in discussing your case with us, and we won't take on your case if we don't truly think you are owed much more money than the insurance company is offering.
Being being injured in a car accident can be a traumatic experience, but taking the right steps after the accident is crucial in getting the financial recovery you deserve. By following the above steps, you can help protect your legal rights. If the insurance company won't be fair, call a car accident attorney at Halvorsen Klote immediately.
Do I Need a Lawyer For My St. Louis, MO Car Accident Claim?
If you've been in a minor car accident in St. Louis, MO and your injuries are either non-existent or minor, it may be possible to get fair compensation if you represent yourself. But, if you're injuries are severe, never accept a settlement offer without consulting with a car accident lawyer first. A lawyer can help you navigate the injury claim process, ensure you receive fair compensation and protect your rights.
There are numerous circumstances in which an attorney's services are required for a car accident claim, including:
- Significant 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 St. Louis, MO to hold them accountable and get the full compensation you deserve.
- Liability dispute — If the other driver is blaming you for the accident, a lawyer can apply the evidence and relevant laws to win your case. The insurance adjuster will take the side of the other driver, so you'll need evidence and a legal strategy to support your claim.
- A denied claim — If you know the other driver is responsible for your injuries but the insurance company denies the claim, a lawyer can help you appeal the decision and get you the compensation you deserve.
- Multi-vehicle collisions — If multiple drivers were at fault, a lawyer can assign the appropriate amount of blame to each party, and look for as much insurance coverage as possible.
- Wrongful death — If a family member died as a result of the accident, a lawyer can help you pursue a wrongful death claim and seek justice for you and your family. As wrongful death claims result in high damages, you'll likely need to file a lawsuit in St. Louis, MO to make a full financial recovery.
- Legal issues — If complex legal issues come into play, 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, an attorney can guide you through these issues and ensure you get the best possible compensation.
What Can a Car Accident Lawyer in St. Louis, MO Do For My Case?
If you do need a lawyer for your claim, they will fight on your behalf and deal with all of the negotiation and litigation for you. Here are a few ways a knowledgeable St. Louis, MO car accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you are owed:
- Investigate the crash — A car accident lawyer can investigate the accident to demonstrate how the other party is liable. They can look over police reports, take depositions, consult with crash experts and gather other evidence like video surveillance to have the best case possible.
- Handle communication with insurance companies — Dealing with insurance companies can be overwhelming, especially if you're injured and need fair compensation. A car accident lawyer can handle all communication with insurance companies and ensure that they're fair to you.
- 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 determine the full value of your claim to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
- File a lawsuit — If your St. Louis, MO car accident lawyer cannot secure fair compensation in negotiations or mediation, your lawyer can file a lawsuit in court to begin the process of the case going to trial.
- Stand by your side in court — If you have to go to court for your car accident, a lawyer can fight for you in trial. They can argue on your behalf and persuade the jury to empathize with you.
- Provide legal advice — An attorney can provide legal advice and assuage any doubts you may have about the legal process. An experienced St. Louis, 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 the full value of your 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 St. Louis, MO car accident lawyer on your side can soothe any anxiety during this trying time. You can focus on recovering from your injuries while your lawyer handles the legal details.
A car accident lawyer can provide crucial assistance after a car accident. If you've been involved in a car accident in St. Louis, MO, call Halvorsen Klote now.
Other cases we handle in St. Louis, MO include:
- Fatal Car Accident Lawyer
- Auto Accident Attorney
- Bike Wreck Lawyer
- Premises Liability Attorneys
- Automobile Injury Attorney
- Motorcycle Accidents Attorney
- Lawyer for Bicycle Accident
- Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
- Injury Claim Lawyer
What to Do After a Car Accident in St. Louis, 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 representation to everyday people. If you were injured a car accident and don't know what to do next, discuss your case with a Halvorsen Klote St. Louis, MO injury attorney at 866-382-4167 or through our online contact form.