What to Expect Following Your Accident
According to statistics from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, there were 146,726 total traffic crashes statewide in 2021, causing 72,640 injuries. When an accident occurs, the victims involved in the traffic crash may suffer bodily injuries, property damages, and other kinds of accident-related losses. Generally, knowing the next steps to take after an accident and what to expect from the claims process can help make your case feel more manageable. An experienced Missouri personal injury attorney can enlighten you about some of the things to expect following a traffic crash in the Show-Me State. At Chionuma Law Firm, LLC, we’re ready and poised to advocate for the best interests of accident victims in their personal injury claims. Our trusted legal team can fight compassionately for your rights, guide you through the injury claims process, and help you hold those responsible for your injuries and damages accountable. The firm is proud to serve clients across Kansas City, Missouri, throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area.
Personal Injury Claims Process in MissouriMissouri is an “at-fault” auto insurance state. According to the state’s fault laws, the driver who caused the traffic crash (the at-fault party) is liable for medical expenses, property damages, and other accident-related losses suffered by the victims.
Filing a Claim or LawsuitIn order to recover damages, the auto accident victim can do the following:
- File a claim with their own insurance company
- File a third-party claim against the insurance carrier of the at-fault party
- File a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver in civil court
Proving NegligenceUpon filing a claim, the claimant will be required to prove negligence by showing the following facts:
- The defendant owed you a legal duty of care
- The defendant breached that legal duty of care by acting negligently
- The negligent or careless actions of the at-fault party caused your injuries
- You suffered actual harm, bodily injuries, or damages due to the at-fault party’s actions
Reviewing a SettlementFurthermore, your legal counsel can evaluate the extent of your injuries and damages, estimate case value, and help seek fair compensation. The insurer will review the available information and propose a settlement offer. However, the insurer’s offer is often low and may not cover all your damages. Your legal counsel can review the settlement and help negotiate an improved offer to cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other potential damages.
Medical TreatmentMissouri personal injury laws require auto accident victims to mitigate their damages by taking reasonable measures such as seeking medical treatment immediately after a traffic crash to control and ameliorate any injuries sustained in the crash. Generally, getting immediate medical attention after an accident is important due to the following reasons:
- For Your Own Sake – After a crash, your health, safety, and well-being must be your priority. Even if you feel fine or only sustained minor injuries, you should still seek medical help. The physician can identify any hidden symptoms and injuries, recommend adequate treatment, or refer you to a specialist.
- For Proper Documentation – In addition, seeking medical treatment can ensure proper documentation of your injuries and treatment received. Moreover, you will need the official documentation of your medical diagnosis and other health records when filing your injury claims.
Recovering ExpensesIn Missouri, you may be entitled to financial compensation to cover the following damages:
- Medical expenses associated with the accident, including ongoing and future medical treatments
- Lost wages/income and other benefits
- Reduced earning capacity
- Disability expenses
- Property damages
- Damages for physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish or emotional distress