MO Car Accident Frequently Asked Questions
Prior to calling an accident lawyer, it is common to have questions and concerns about your situation. Please use this resource as well “Top 5 St. Louis Car Accident FAQs” to help prepare yourself for a MO car accident or to help you decide what to do now, after a MO car wreck. Click here for information about Illinois car accidents.
ABOUT MISSOURI CAR ACCIDENTS
Auto accidents happen to even the safest of drivers. One minute, you can be driving down the road, heading home from work or out running errands, and in the next you could be involved in a potentially serious accident resulting injuries that can be severe and life-threatening.
At The Bruning Law Firm, our St. Louis car accident lawyers have extensive experience in handling these types of cases, and we understand the impact they can have on every area of your life. Your injuries may require ongoing medical care and treatment, while preventing you from working or even enjoying hobbies and social activities with those you love.
Although every case is different, the following are among the most frequently asked questions we hear from our clients.
When dealing with insurance companies and their representatives, it is important to realize that they have a financial motive in disputing or denying your claim. Any statements you make admitting liability, about your behavior leading up to the accident, or regarding pre-existing injuries you suffer from can be used to either reduce or deny your claim.
In the event your insurance company does issue a denial, you have the right to know the exact reasons and to ask for clarification from your insurance representative’s manager. If your claim still cannot be resolved, you may be able to appeal the decision through the Department of Insurance.
Again, consulting with an experienced auto accident lawyer prior to making any statements to the insurance company is always advisable, and if your claim has been denied, our lawyers can help you gather the evidence needed to appeal the decision. You may also be able to pursue other avenues for compensation, such as filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Without proper legal representation, you are likely to receive a settlement offer that is far less than what you actually deserve. According to the car experts at Edmunds, your insurance representative may be overwhelmed with other cases, preventing him or her from providing a complete investigation into your claim, and adjusters are often under heavy pressure to resolve cases for the least amount possible. Costs that may be downplayed in your settlement include:
- The actual costs you are likely to incur in repairing or replacing your vehicle
- Ongoing medical care and treatment you may require, including physical therapy
- Lost wages during your recovery, as well as future losses in income and benefits due to lasting disabilities
Be wary of any settlement offers prior to when you have completely recovered from your injuries. Your doctor will let you know when you have reached your maximum level of medical recovery, meaning any ongoing issues are likely to be permanent.
Under the Missouri Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law, all drivers are required to maintain minimum levels of insurance coverage in the event car accidents and injuries occur. Unfortunately, drunk driving arrests, speeding tickets, and financial irresponsibility may cause drivers to ignore this requirement or allow their insurance to lapse.
The Department of Insurance advises that drivers involved in accidents with uninsured or underinsured motorists should report the incident to the department, while checking their own insurance company to see whether it will cover their damages. In addition, at-fault drivers without insurance may still be held accountable through a personal injury lawsuit. In the event the court issues a judgment in your case, the uninsured or underinsured drivers may be subject to liens against their property and wage garnishment until the debt is paid in full.
Missouri law dictates that failure to stop for an accident could result in hit-and-run charges, which carry the potential for heavy fines and even jail time. In the event that you are the victim in this type of accident, you should notify the police immediately, while making note of as many details as possible about the other driver.
Through police investigations, there may be videotape evidence that can identify the hit-and-run driver, while witness testimony may be able to provide information as to vehicle type and license plate number. If the driver cannot be identified, you may be able to pursue compensation for your injuries and damages through your own insurance policy.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), an estimated 300,000 commercial vehicle accidents occur each year in the United States, resulting in close to $90 billion in damages.
Whether you are injured on a bus or train, or as the result of a collision with a truck or other commercial vehicle, it is important to get both the driver’s name as well as the name of the company he or she works for to file an insurance claim. Be warned that these companies have deep pockets and may offer a quick settlement in order to get you to accept an amount that is far less than what you deserve.
Due to the large size of most commercial vehicles and the lack of safety restraints on public transportation, the injuries you suffer could have long-lasting ramifications, which need to be factored into any financial settlement. Again, this is a situation in which you want an experienced lawyer negotiating on your behalf to ensure your rights and interests are protected.
In most cases, our St. Louis injury lawyers work on a contingency basis when dealing with car accident claims. This means you pay no legal fees upfront. Instead, we collect our fees if and when we secure compensation for you. If we are unsuccessful in getting you compensation, you pay no fees. Find out how much a St. Louis car accident lawsuit costs here.
When you suffer serious injuries in a car accident, you need a lawyer with knowledge, resources, and experience to fight for your rights. At The Bruning Law Firm, we pursue the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to by:
- Conducting extensive accident investigations
- Gathering police reports and traffic video surveillance
- Consulting with experts in the field to determine underlying causes and contributing factors
- Identifying witnesses and subpoenaing statements
- Obtaining medical and hospital records
- Gathering testimony from your doctors and other medical experts as to your injuries and any long-term impacts you are likely to suffer
- Discussing the impacts your auto accident and injuries have had on your home and personal life with family members and friends
- Calculating lost wages and determining future losses in benefits and earnings that could result from your injuries
LET US GET STARTED ON YOUR MISSOURI CASE TODAY
If you or someone you care about has been seriously injured in an auto accident, contact The Bruning Law Firm today. We provide the comprehensive, professional legal representation you deserve at a time when you need it most.
Call or contact our office online today to schedule a free consultation.
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