What to Do After a Car Accident – Important Steps
Ryan Bradley | July 22, 2012 | Car Accident
Car accidents happen in Missouri everyday. Statistics show that in 2010 alone, there were a total of 54,875 people involved in auto accidents in the state of Missouri, and 821 people were killed. 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.
Take Pictures of the Accident
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.
Do Not Engage in an Argument
Often in the heat of the moment, people say things regarding the accident that can hurt their case later on. Do not get into a discussion with the other party about the circumstances of the accident. If you are questioned by police, give your account of the accident.
Notify Your Insurance Company
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.
Go to the Doctor
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.
File an Accident Report
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.
Speak with a Missouri Car Accident Lawyer Right Away
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.