Car accidents happen far too often in Missouri. In a single year, there are over 100,000 total crashes. In these crashes, over 34,000 people were seriously injured.
The roads did not get any safer during the pandemic. Instead, traffic fatalities are now on the rise.
In April 2020, the fatality rate per miles driven was up nearly 40%. Nearly 1000 people lost their lives in a car accident over the year.
Read on to learn what to do after a car accident in Missouri. Explore topics like reporting a Missouri car accident and legal considerations.
Call First Responders
Some people involved in a car accident like to handle it privately. This means that they do not want the police or auto insurance involved. Their goal is to prevent their auto insurance premiums from rising after an accident.
However, this decision is short-sighted. The first thing you should do after a Missouri car accident is contact first responders.
You never know if serious injuries are lurking under the surface. EMTs will check to see if diagnostic testing and hospitalization is necessary. They help ensure the safety of all people involved in the accidents.
In addition, the police may file a report about the accident. This accident report proves critical if there are any legal or insurance issues.
According to the experts at waltontelken.com, Missouri police officers only write a report under two circumstances. Injuries and the need for a tow truck trigger the need for a police report under state law.
In the event of an insurance claim or lawsuit, evidence and information are critical. Start at the accident site by taking pictures of the cars involved. Also, take photos of the surrounding area including intersections, on-ramps, and street signs.
It is also wise to talk to witnesses. Exchange contact information with each witness and find out what happened.
Collecting medical bills and receipts is the next phase of this step. It is not uncommon for car accidents to result in significant medical expenses. Some victims require extensive physical therapy after an accident.
You will need receipts and bills for insurance claims or a legal process. Many legal experts recommend that their clients wait until medical treatment is complete before filing a lawsuit. This way, they are compensated for the complete costs of their treatment.
Submit an Insurance Claim
Once the medical condition of you and your family is settled, it is time to go through the insurance process. Most insurance companies allow you to submit a claim online or over the phone.
They will assign a claims adjuster to review your case. You should not authorize a repair shop to do any work until the claims adjuster is finished with their assessment.
The risk here is that your claims adjuster approves a smaller amount than the repair estimate. This leaves you stuck with a bill if the repair shop prematurely performs the work.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Missouri: A Recap
Car accidents are scary and your health is the top priority. It is important to collect information to help with insurance and legal issues. Ultimately, you will file an insurance claim to help you pay for the vehicle damages and medical bills.
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