Car accidents happen in Missouri everyday. The most recent statistics produced by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) show that in 2011, there were a total of 142,966 traffic crashes. There were 51,060 injured in 2011, and 786 individuals perished in or as a result of automobile accidents. Speed, substance abuse, age, and other factors were listed prominently among the causes of auto accidents in the 2011 statistical study.
Given that an accident with injuries occurs every 10.3 minutes on average according to the MoDOT study, there is always a risk that you will be involved in a traffic accident. Whether you made an error while driving or were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, it is important to know what steps you need to take if you are involved in a car accident. Taking informed action will protect your rights and ensure the best possible outcome. It is important to speak with a Missouri personal injury attorney from our office as early on as possible in the process.
If you are involved in an accident, Missouri law requires that you stop at the scene of the accident. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately, which will summon the fire department and the police.
It is important to collect as much information as possible from the other party. You may be shaken up, but it is important to obtain the name, address, insurance information and driver’s license number of the other party involved.
A picture really is worth a thousand words. They can be extremely important during any negotiations or trial. Use your cell phone to take pictures of the damage to your car, your injuries, and the immediate area surrounding the accident.
Often in the heat of the moment, people say things regarding the accident that can hurt their case later on.
If police question you about the accident, give your objective account of the accident.
It is extremely important to notify your insurance company right away after an accident. Failure to report an accident can prevent you from pursing a claim in the future.
Often victims of car accidents put off going to the emergency room immediately following an accident, feeling that their injuries may not be serious enough. Failing to immediately seek medical attention can affect your ability to obtain a favorable settlement in the future. An insurance company can argue that you were not injured because you did not seek medical attention.
Under Chapter 300 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, a driver involved in a car accident involving more than $500.00 in property damage or bodily injury must report the accident to local police. A police report is also useful because it will provide important information such as insurance information, diagrams, witness information, and document whether someone was taken to the hospital.
Many complex insurance issues can arise in car accident cases. There are specific insurance laws that limit what types of injuries can be legally pursued. To obtain the best possible chance of a just recovery for your injuries, speak with E. Ryan Bradley to ensure that your rights are protected.