In 2019, Kansas City had nearly 65,000 car accidents. The same year, over 400 individuals died in car accidents. Incidentally, over 80% of these accidents occurred during good weather and in daylight hours.
In April of 2021, the Kansas City Police Department recorded 113 crashes at a single intersection: 1-435 & Holmes Rd. The majority of these crashes resulted from drivers merging lanes inappropriately.
Unfortunately, most car accidents happen because drivers are inattentive. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you might not know what to do. Should you file a police report? Call a car accident attorney?
In this guide, we’ll cover some of the factors that can influence your decision to hire a car accident attorney.
Table of Contents
When is an Accident Lawyer Needed?
There are many situations in which a car accident attorney can be a valuable resource. If you’re in a minor accident with little to no damage and no injuries, you might be able to settle your claim directly with the insurance provider.
However, if the at-fault driver denies liability or their insurance company refuses to pay, a car accident lawyer can help ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
If there are extensive damages, injuries, uninsured motorists, or factors that make liability more difficult, it’s also a good idea to get in touch with a skilled personal injury lawyer.
Is It Worth It to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
In most cases, it’s a good idea to schedule an initial consultation with a team of St. Louis injury lawyers after an accident. Many lawyers will offer a free, no-obligation consultation with potential clients.
During this meeting, you can ask questions about the strength of your case, the likelihood of getting compensation, and more.
Oftentimes, car accident victims face injuries. Common injuries from car accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Spinal injuries
- Back injuries
- Muscle strains
- Internal injuries
- Brain injuries
- And more
Hiring a car accident lawyer means that you’ll have a knowledgeable professional in your corner who can fight for the full compensation you deserve.
Without a lawyer, insurance companies may attempt to delay or deny your claim. They might also attempt to offer a lowball settlement that won’t fully account for all of the damages you’ve endured.
When accident victims settle quickly, it lets the insurance company off the hook for any further liability, including any injuries that may arise as a result of the accident in the future. So if an injury causes lifetime pain and suffering, the victim will be left to pay for that care on their own.
A seasoned car accident lawyer can fight to ensure that the insurance company will account for those damages in any settlement that you accept.
How Much Will a Car Accident Settlement Be?
Car accident settlements are determined by the specific details of the accident. In general, a settlement should account for:
- Hospital bills
- Medications and medical devices
- Ongoing pain
- Anguish, stress, and depression caused by the accident
- Loss of income
- Loss of life
- And more
A personal injury attorney can help you to collect relevant medical records, speak with care providers who can evaluate the chances that you’ll need ongoing care, and fight for you to receive the compensation you deserve.
Time Limits for Personal Injury Cases in Missouri
You must act quickly if you’re injured in a car accident. There is a five-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Missouri. This means that you must file a lawsuit within five years of the date of the crash. If you fail to do so in time, you will not be able to collect damages.
A car accident lawyer can make sure that your case is filed well within the statute of limitations.
Can’t I Just Work with the Insurance Companies?
One of the most important reasons to hire a car accident lawyer is that insurance companies do not have your best interests in mind.
Insurance companies are designed to make profits for their shareholders. They do this by minimizing the amount that they pay out in settlements to their own policyholders and to accident victims who have been injured by their policyholders.
Some insurance companies are known to outright lie to customers so that they don’t have to pay a claim. Others simply offer a fast, extremely low settlement amount — in some cases, even less than the total of your established medical bills.
When car accident victims accept a settlement offered by an insurance company, they will have to sign away all rights to future claims. If you discover later that you have a lifelong injury caused by the accident, you will have no legal recourse to collect on those damages. Instead, you will be left to pay for all future problems on your own.
An experienced car accident lawyer knows these tricks. They know how to negotiate successfully with insurance companies and get more accurate and fair settlements.
When the insurance companies are being unreasonable, a seasoned car accident lawyer can take the matter to court. In some cases, the threat of going to trial is enough to make the insurers willing to come to the table to negotiate.
If the insurance company is still unwilling to provide adequate compensation, the lawyer can represent a car accident victim in court, fighting for the full value of their damages.
Can I Afford to Hire a Car Accident Attorney?
Many people believe that they’ll need to have a lot of money to hire a lawyer to represent them after a car accident. Fortunately, that is not the case!
Many car accident lawyers are willing to offer potential clients a no-obligation consultation. During this meeting, clients have a chance to talk to the attorney, sharing the facts of their case.
If the lawyer agrees to take the case, they’ll draft up an agreement that specifies a portion of your damages that will be used to cover your legal fees for representation. This means that clients do not have to pay any attorneys’ fees upfront. Instead, the lawyer will only be paid if they negotiate a settlement or win a case in the courtroom.
Contact the experienced professionals at Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers today for a free evaluation of your case. We’ll discuss the facts of your case, explore all of your legal options, and answer any questions that you might have.