action following missouri car accident

No one can truly prepare for a car accident. More often than not, accidents happen out of nowhere, and suddenly, your world is turned upside down. While you can’t predict what will happen in that moment, you can prepare for what happens next. These are some of the steps you should take after a car accident in Missouri.

Stay at the Scene

With the exception of serious or life-threatening injuries, you’re required by Missouri law to stay at the scene of a car accident. Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime with severe consequences like fines, jail time, and a suspended license; however, if someone flees the scene of an accident that caused an injury, that person could be charged with a felony. If possible, you may move your vehicle to the shoulder or a safer location. Otherwise, stay where you are and follow the next steps. 

Call 911

There are several good reasons to call 911 after an accident. First, Missouri law requires an accident report to be filed if the accident resulted in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $500. While you technically have 30 days, you’ll want a police report for insurance purposes that negates the need to file your own report. An official police report serves as a third-party account from a third party perspective. Just remember to stick to the facts when talking to the office; don’t admit fault during your conversation. Additionally, the dispatcher can send an ambulance to assess the injuries of everyone involved in the accident. Car accident injuries like whiplash or spine injuries should be treated by a medical professional as soon as possible. 

Document Everything

As long as you aren’t seriously injured, you should start gathering evidence. Exchange contact and insurance information with any other drivers involved, then take pictures of all vehicles from a few angles. Write down the details from your perspective so your memory is fresh. If any witnesses are present, ask for their contact information in case you need it for your claim. 

If you did sustain an injury, keep track of all costs involved such as surgeries, office visits, rehabilitation, or physical therapy. Likewise, keep receipts or repair bills if your vehicle was damaged. You can claim property damage including your vehicle and personal belongings as part of your compensation. 

Consult an Attorney

Before you file an insurance claim or talk to the other party’s insurance company, you should consult with a Missouri attorney who can give you legal advice to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your damages. Because Missouri uses comparative fault in car accident cases, the other driver’s insurance may try to place more blame on you than you deserve in order to reduce your settlement amount. Your attorney can help you provide a statement that protects you and your legal rights to get you proper compensation. Additionally, a skilled attorney will make sure that you’re receiving the proper medical care you need instead of worrying about the details of your case.
Do you want to talk to a Missouri car accident lawyer about your case? If you’ve been injured in a car accident, don’t hesitate to call Dreyer & Tinney right away. Our attorneys can get started on your case right away so you can focus on healing. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.