What to Do After a Car Accident in Washington, MO
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What to do after a car accident in Washington, MO. Car accidents are an unfortunate reality of today's world. They can happen in a heartbeat, and can lead to significant physical, mental and financial burdens. If you were injured through no fault of your own, it's important to know what steps to take to protect your legal rights. If you're wondering what you should do after a car accident in Washington, MO, reach out to a personal injury attorney at Halvorsen Klote. We've committed our careers to ensuring the average person in Washington, Greater St. Louis and Southern Illinois have access to the same skilled legal advocacy that powerful insurance companies have. Call us today at 866-382-4167 or contact us through our website to discuss your case for free.
In the Moments Directly After Your Car Accident in Washington, MO
Being in a car accident can be overwhelming. However, it's essential to stay calm and do the following:
- Check for injuries — Check yourself and anyone else involved in the accident for injuries. If anyone is hurt or unconscious, call for emergency personnel right away and provide medical attention if you are able.
- Move to a safe location — If you and your vehicle are able, pull over to the side of the road or stop in a nearby parking area 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 Revised Statute §577.060 and 625 ILCS 5/11-401 obligate you to remain at the scene of any accident that causes personal injury or death.
- Call the police — Even if the accident is minor, it's important to call the police to file a report. The point of this isn't 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 is essential for your insurance claim or if you need to file a lawsuit later on.
- Exchange information — Get the insurance and contact info of the everyone else involved in the accident. Also get the info of anyone who witnessed the accident.
- Document the scene — Get photos of the damage to all vehicles involved, in addition to your injuries. Also take photos of the surrounding scene. Seemingly minor details, like brake marks – or the lack thereof – can be what ends up proving 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 Washington, MO or requesting an ambulance.
In the Days, Weeks and Months After Your Washington, 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 legally entitled to. Those are:
- Go to the doctor if you didn't immediately after the accident — Even if you feel fine after the accident, it's important to at least get examined by a medical professional. Some injuries, for example brain injuries, whiplash or internal bleeding, don't immediately show symptoms after an accident.
- Notify both insurance companies — Make a claim with both insurance companies as quickly as your can. Most insurance companies have strict time limits for filing claims. Be honest and accurate when giving details about the accident, but don't accept fault admit that you caused the accident.
- Keep going to medical treatment — Make sure to attend every follow-up, physical therapy and/or chiropractic appointment. This is critical not only for your physical recovery, but it will increase your financial recovery as well.
- Document everything — Keep detailed records of everything related to your injuries, including police reports, documentation of medical expenses and communications with the insurance company.
- 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 consult with with a car accident lawyer. They will try to use your answers to devalue your claim.
- Consult with a car accident lawyer — If you were injured by a negligent driver, you need to talk to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. They can help you understand the personal injury process and ensure that your rights are protected. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning there's no risk in discussing your case with us, and there's no reason for us to take on your case if we don't truly think you deserve much more money than the insurance company is offering.
Being in a car accident can be an overwhelming experience, but taking the right steps after the accident can make a big difference. By following the above steps, you can help protect your financial well-being as it relates to the accident. If the insurance company won't be fair, call a car accident attorney at Halvorsen Klote immediately.
Do I Need a Lawyer For My Washington, MO Car Accident Claim?
If you've been in a slight car accident in Washington, MO and your injuries are either non-existent or minor, it may be possible to get fair compensation if you represent yourself. However, if you're injuries are significant, never accept a settlement offer without consulting with a car accident lawyer first. A lawyer can help you understand the injury claim process, ensure you get maximum compensation and defend your future.
There are many situations in which an attorney's services are required 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 Washington, MO to hold them accountable and get the full compensation you deserve.
- Liability dispute — If there is disagreement over who is at fault for the accident, a lawyer can apply the evidence and relevant laws to win your case. The insurance adjuster will believe their policyholder over you, 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 get you the compensation you deserve.
- Multi-vehicle accident — If multiple drivers were at fault, a lawyer can assign the appropriate amount of blame to each party, and pursue all avenues for compensation.
- Wrongful death — If someone you love died in the accident, a lawyer can help you pursue a wrongful death claim and seek justice for you and your family. As these claims result in high damages, you'll likely need to file a lawsuit in Washington, MO to make a full financial recovery.
- Legal issues — If there are legal technicalities that may impact your case, 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 the legal process and ensure you get the best possible compensation.
What Can a Car Accident Lawyer in Washington, MO Do For Me?
If you do need a lawyer for your claim, they will stand by your side and deal with all of the negotiation and litigation for you. Here are a few ways a talented Washington, MO car accident lawyer can help you:
- Investigate the accident — A car accident lawyer can investigate the accident to determine who was at fault. They can review police reports, take depositions, consult with accident reconstruction experts and obtain other evidence like video surveillance to build a strong case.
- Handle communication with insurance companies — Dealing with insurance companies can be incredibly frustrating, especially if you're dealing with injuries and other damages. A car accident lawyer will communicate with the insurance company on your behalf ensure that they're fair to you.
- Negotiate a settlement — Personal injury lawyers are aggressive negotiators and can work to get you 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 Washington, MO car accident lawyer cannot get the insurance company to be fair in negotiations or mediation, your lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf 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 persuade the jury to see things from your point of view.
- Provide legal advice — An attorney can provide legal advice and assuage any doubts you may have about the personal injury process. An experienced Washington, 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 Washington, 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 Washington, MO, you should at least speak with an attorney before accepting any settlement offer.
Other cases we handle in Washington, 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 Washington, MO? Call Halvorsen Klote's Personal Injury Attorneys
A car accident can have a significant impact on your life, and it's essential to know how to best protect your rights. At Halvorsen Klote, we pride ourselves on our high level of customer care and on giving the highest standard of legal advocacy to everyday people. If you were injured a car accident and want to know what to do next, schedule a free consultation with a Halvorsen Klote Washington, MO injury attorney at 866-382-4167 or through our online contact form.