People are injured in car accidents on a daily basis in St. Louis and the surrounding areas. In fact, according to statistics compiled by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, there were nearly 40,000 injury-causing accidents in 2017 – or more than 100 each day. In many cases, people who sustain injuries in car crashes are legally entitled to compensation for their accident-related losses, such as their medical expenses, repair bills, pain and suffering, and lost income.
However, there are certain things that accident victims need to do to protect their rights and get the compensation they deserve. Four of the most important steps to take after a crash are detailed below.
SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION
You should always seek medical attention after a crash, even if you think that your injuries will get better on their own. It’s critical that an official medical record of your injuries is developed so that you are able to establish them for any insurance claim that you will be making in the future.
DO NOT PROVIDE THE INSURANCE COMPANY WITH A RECORDED STATEMENT
Many insurance companies pressure victims to provide a recorded statement in which they describe their accident in order to help “process” their claim. It’s important to understand that you are under no legal obligation to provide a statement and that the insurance company is only asking for one because they hope that you will say something that justifies lowering your settlement or denying your claim outright.
DO NOT ACCEPT A SETTLEMENT BEFORE YOU GET A CHANCE TO SPEAK TO AN ATTORNEY
You only have one chance to settle a car accident case. Once you sign a settlement agreement, it’s nearly impossible to obtain more compensation if new losses come to light in the future. As a result, you should never accept a settlement offer before you have had a chance to speak to an experienced lawyer. Non-economic losses like physical and emotional pain and suffering and lost quality of life can be difficult to calculate and often comprise a significant percentage of the total value of a claim.
CALL AN ATTORNEY AS SOON AS YOU CAN
Finally, you should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. There are many things that you can do that can hurt your claim, and the sooner you have secured the representation of an attorney, the sooner you can rest assured that your rights are protected. In addition, waiting to start investigating your case could result in the loss or destruction of evidence that is vital to the success of your claim.
CALL BRUNTRAGER & BILLINGS TODAY TO SCHEDULE A FREE CONSULTATION WITH A ST. LOUIS PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER OR AUTO ACCIDENT LAWYER
If you have been injured in an accident in St. Louis or the surrounding areas, you should call an attorney as soon as possible. The lawyers of Bruntrager & Billings have been representing the rights of injured victims since 1954 and work hard to secure the largest possible settlement or award in each case we handle. To schedule a free case evaluation with a personal injury lawyer in St. Louis, call our office today at 314-646-0066 or send us an email through our online contact form.