Have you been involved in a car accident?
With over 38,000 car accidents occurring annually, you, or someone you know might end up in a car accident. In 2019, there were 60 fatal car accidents in the Kansas City area alone. Even if it wasn’t your fault, you still may wish to retain the services of a lawyer to represent you in court. Various reasons exist for this – you may wish to take action against the other party, or their insurance company, you may have injuries that persist or perhaps don’t even manifest themselves until months after the vehicle accident. If you think you may have been at fault in the accident, you need someone who is experienced in the legal defense of someone who is liable for the car accident.
If I am not at fault, do I need a lawyer?
If you are sure you are not at fault, you may still need a lawyer. You want to ensure that you are treated properly by the other party’s insurance company and that whatever you accept in the way of the settlement will cover any unexpected damages down the road, including damages to your property and injuries that were sustained in the car accident. Head, neck and back injuries don’t always become noticed immediately following the accident, but are common in rear-end car accidents and rollovers. You should always get checked out as soon as possible by medical professionals if you have been involved in a car accident.
What happens if the other driver has no insurance?
Most states, including Kansas and Missouri, require a minimum level of car insurance for a vehicle owner to register their vehicle. Unfortunately, lapsed insurance policies are not uncommon. There are several strategies to recovering what is owed you from a negligent party who causes a car accident and is not properly insured. Your insurance company can foot the bill for liability, which doesn’t sit well with some people, or you can hire a lawyer to help you recover damages in this event.
What should I do if I have been in a car accident.
First of all, you should call the police and fill out an accident report. You should never admit fault. If you have sustained any injuries you should seek medical attention as soon as possible after the accident. Often, seeking medical treatment will help to determine if there are any long term injuries that might have occurred or a follow up visit can be set.
Generally, your insurance company will get an adjuster involved to help with repair of the car and any injury claims you have accrued. Keep good records of time missed at work, and any out-of-pocket medical expenses so that can be accounted for in the claim.
The insurance company does want to settle your claim as quickly as possible, but don’t feel the pressure to close the claim until you are certain there are no long term injuries that persist. Seeking legal advice for a car accident is a prudent way to ensure you are treated fairly and get a fair compensation for any damages.