Columbia Missouri Car Accident Lawyer
When you leave for work or to run an errand, you’re thinking about your plans or what you need to do. You’re not thinking about getting into an accident — but that’s a real possibility every time you get into a vehicle. If you find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time and injured in a car accident, don’t make the situation worse by trying to settle your case with an insurance company by yourself. You may not have foreseen the car accident but handling your accident on your own is a mistake that’s easy to predict.
In the state of Missouri thousands of people are injured in car accidents and hundreds are killed. These crashes occur in rural areas, the suburbs and the cities; day and night; in good weather or bad. Negligent drivers are young and old. They may be distracted, fatigued, asleep or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They run red lights and stop signs. They speed and weave in and out of lanes no matter the visibility or weather conditions and treat Missouri’s roads and highways as their own. You’re just in their way.
At Bley & Evans Trial Attorneys, we help you get the medical treatment you need. We deal with the insurance company, so you won’t have to. You can focus instead on your recovery and your family. We put our expertise and experience to work for Missouri car accident victims, helping them recover the compensation they’re entitled to for accident-related medical bills, property damage, pain and suffering lost wages, and more.
What to Do After a Missouri Car Accident
How much you can do after a wreck depends on the nature of the accident, its location and whether you’re too injured to do anything other than just wait. Whatever you do, stay out of the way of traffic so you’re not struck a second time.
- The first and most important step is to make sure everyone involved is okay. If anyone is injured, call 9-1-1 and wait for assistance.
- Do not attempt to move an injured person unless it’s absolutely necessary.
- If no one is injured, and if it’s possible, try to move the affected vehicles to the side of the road or shoulder and away from traffic to avoid traffic flow problems and another accident. Call the police and report the accident.
- Get the names and phone numbers of any witnesses and ask them to wait so they can provide a statement when police arrive.
- Photos can be very helpful in establishing how the accident happened, why and who was at fault.
- If there is damage to your car, safely take pictures of the damage and get photos of the entire accident scene.
- If road conditions contributed to the accident, get photos that document them as well.
- Exchange information with the other driver but don’t make comments about the accident, apologize or admit that you’re at fault.
Getting Medical Treatment
Assuming your injuries weren’t serious enough to be taken to a hospital after an accident, you should see a doctor ASAP even if you feel fine. Some injuries after an accident may take time to become apparent. And if you file an insurance claim but cannot document your injuries and treatment, it is quite difficult to be compensated for any injuries you suffered.
If you suffered any injuries and received treatment, keep all records of your bills and any other receipts of relevant expenses following the accident.
How an Attorney Can Help After a Missouri Car Accident
Contact an attorney as soon as it’s practical. You need to report the accident to your insurance company, but report only the bare minimum facts and inform the adjuster that your attorney will be following up with them.
One of the most critical parts of representing an accident victim is conducting an investigation.
- You should contact us soon after the accident; we want an early start to the investigation because it will make it easier to get the information we need. We should have an easier time tracking down witnesses, gathering evidence like security camera footage and damaged vehicle parts.
- Only after a thorough investigation will we know the facts, have a good idea of how and why the accident happened, decide who may be responsible (there may be more potential defendants than just the other driver) and how the law may be interpreted in light of the facts we found.
An attorney can help protect your rights if your insurance claim is denied or their offer is far less than what’s reasonable and fair. Often car insurance companies will try to pay out less than what is truly owed to the accident victim in the hopes that they just want to put the issue behind them and will accept it.
With the help of an attorney, you can better understand accident and insurance law and make informed decisions about your case, including settlement offers and how the case should proceed. We can help you review your settlement offer so you can make the right decision for you and your family. We can give you the support you need so you won’t have to accept anything less than what you’re entitled to recover for your medical bills, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering and any other expenses.
Many people make the mistake of thinking their car insurance adjuster will be fair, but an adjuster doesn’t work for you — he or she works for the insurance company.
Your claim could be denied in violation of the policy and state law, and then you will need to go to court in order to have the decision overturned by a judge. This is not something you will want to try to do on your own. Having an attorney represent you from the beginning may make the difference between being taken advantage of or receiving a fair and just settlement.
How Much Money Can I Get?
There are many variables in determining the value of an injury claim, beginning with the nature and seriousness of injuries, medical expenses and lost income and your pain and suffering. The value of a claim varies from thousands to millions of dollars.
A seasoned attorney helps maximize your chances of receiving compensation that is fair and meets your needs. Without one, you will likely receive much less than your claim deserves.
How do I Know if I Have a Claim?
If you suffered serious, costly, painful injuries, and if another person was responsible for your suffering, you can rightfully pursue compensation. Once you consult a seasoned accident attorney, you will have a much better idea of your case’s potential for success.
Types of Injuries
- Head and brain injuries – such as concussions, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and skull fractures
- Neck and back injuries – including whiplash, spinal column (herniated disks) or spinal cord damage
- Facial injuries – commonly associated with air bags
- Broken bones – which can sometimes be accompanied by compound fractures
- Internal injuries – can occur in very violent crashes, or from safety restraints, and in rollover accidents
- Soft tissue injuries —muscles, tendons, and ligaments can be stretched or torn in any vehicle accident
- Burn injuries – can range from minor first-degree to fatal fourth-degree. Survivors of serious burns undergo years of skin grafts and plastic surgery.
Causes of Accidents
Though there are numerous causes of vehicle accidents, several studies reveal the top five are:
- Distracted driving has become the greatest cause of accidents for nearly a decade, usually due to universal cellphone use and navigation (or other on-board) technologies.
- Drunk driving was for many years one of the greatest causes of wrecks.
- Speeding alternated with drunk driving at the top of the list for many years and is still a prominent cause.
- Reckless driving.
- Slippery road surfaces due to rain snow or ice.
Columbia, Missouri, Car Accident Attorneys
At Bley & Evans Trial Attorneys, we handle car accident cases all the time and have represented clients with a variety of injuries. We know how to best represent you to receive the full compensation you’re entitled to, and we’d love to start with a free consultation. Contact us to schedule yours today.
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I was in two accidents and used this law firm to help me with both my settlements. I was impressed by their professionalism and the care and concern they showed me. If I ever need an attorney to help me with any accident or other matter, I will be using Bley and Evans. I have referred many friends to them for help. I can’t recommend them enough for any lawsuit or personal injury case. They are the best to handle these kinds of cases. If I could give them more than five stars I would. Jan P. Bley & Evans LC