If you’ve been seriously injured in a St. Louis car accident, every moment after the crash can feel like a lifetime of uncertainty. Your mind may race from how badly you are injured, to who was at fault, to how you are going to afford to deal with this.
The dedicated St. Louis car accident attorneys at The Bruning Law Firm have helped many injured car accident victims get through the initial shock and secure the financial compensation they need to heal. We combine a commitment to outstanding customer service with extensive legal experience and knowledge of car accident liability laws in Missouri and Illinois. Our membership in both the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Top 100 Trial Lawyers organization are just two of the recognitions we have received for our success on behalf of injured people.
Contact us today to discuss the steps that need to be taken in your car accident case. In the meantime, here are some practical car accident tips that can help protect your legal rights, improve your recovery time, and build your case for compensation:
In the Moments Immediately After the MO Car Accident
Check to see who is injured.
If anyone is injured, call 911 or your local emergency number. Do not move an injured person who is unconscious, who cannot move one or more limbs, or who is complaining of head, neck, or back pain.
Move off the road or warn other drivers of the accident.
If possible, move the vehicles and people involved in the crash out of the way of traffic. If a person or vehicle cannot be moved, use hazard lights, flares, and bright or reflective objects to warn oncoming traffic that a crash has occurred.
Contact MO law enforcement.
A law enforcement officer will interview the people at the scene and take notes about the vehicles and factors that may have led to the crash. The report he or she prepares may be helpful in proving your case.
Find out who was involved.
Get the contact information and insurance information of those who were involved in the accident, if you can. Gathering contact information from any witnesses who saw the crash or stopped to help can also provide support for your claim for compensation.
Document what you remember.
Take photos of the accident scene if you can. If you cannot, draw a diagram showing where the vehicles ended up and what directions they were traveling when the crash occurred. Writing a short summary of what you remember about the moment of impact can also help you recall what happened and establish who was at fault.
Get medical attention.
Even if you don’t think you were injured, it is wise to see a doctor after an accident, just in case. Some car accident injuries, such as whiplash, take time to fully manifest. The sooner a doctor diagnoses your injuries, the more promptly and thoroughly you can receive the treatment you need.
Don’t take the blame.
Even if you think the accident was your fault, don’t say so at the scene. Wait until all the facts are in. In many accidents, a driver may think he or she was at fault, when other unknown factors – such as a hidden defect in the vehicle – were the true cause of the crash.
In the Days and Weeks After the St. Louis Car Accident
Even if you didn’t collect information at the scene, you can take steps in the days and weeks after your accident to gather information and protect your claim for compensation.
File a claim with your insurance company.
Most insurance companies have strict deadlines for filing claims. If you do not notify the insurance company about your accident by this deadline, the insurance company will deny your claim. When you notify the insurance company, simply report the facts: what happened, who was involved, where it happened, and the date and time.
Keep all your doctor’s appointments.
If you have not seen a doctor since your accident, do so immediately. The doctor will make sure that all your injuries are documented and treated. If you’ve already seen a doctor, follow the doctor’s instructions closely. Keep all follow-up appointments, including appointments with specialists or appointments for tests such as X-rays. If you are prescribed a medical device like a cervical collar or medication, use these according to the instructions. Call your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions.
Keep track of your expenses from the accident.
Keep copies of your medical bills, lost wage statements, car repair bills, and other documents related to the accident in a single, secure location. If you have to hire someone to perform household tasks that you normally perform, such as cleaning, yardwork, or childcare, keep a copy of these bills or receipts as well. If you aren’t sure whether an expense is “related” to the accident, keep a copy of the bill or receipt just in case.
Don’t accept a car accident settlement unless you are certain it’s fair.
Insurance companies often push to get injured people to accept a settlement quickly. In many cases, the settlement offered is not enough to compensate you for both the losses you have already suffered and any losses you are likely to suffer in the future – especially if your injury prevents you from working the way you did before the accident. Instead, seek car accident settlement help from an experienced attorney who can evaluate your case and determine maximum compensation.
Talk to an attorney.
A lawyer can help you establish your claim for compensation, challenge a denied insurance claim, or even go to court to fight for the compensation you need. Choose a lawyer you feel comfortable working with, who communicates with you about your case, and who has the experience and dedication to pursue full and fair compensation for your losses.
Let Us Help You Take the Next Step in Your MO Car Accident Case
At The Bruning Law Firm, we value our clients and work hard to make sure they understand what we are doing to demand maximum compensation for their injuries. You can trust that we will stay on top of all the paperwork and deadlines related to your MO car accident claim, and we will keep you updated on our progress every step of the way.
Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation, and find out how we can take the burden off of you.