1. What should I do after a car accident? 


After a car accident, it is normal to feel scared or overwhelmed. Above all, it is important that you stay as calm as possible, and stay safe. Remember, you should not try to move your car unless it is blocking traffic. Before exiting your car, make sure to look out for traffic and call the police. If you can, it is helpful to use your phone to take pictures of the accident scene. If there are witnesses, see if you can write down their contact information. If you have been injured, it is important to be treated by the first responders that arrive on the scene. 


Remember, that oftentimes symptoms of injuries can be delayed, which is why it is still important to be checked out. If you believe you need medical attention, go to the hospital as soon as possible and carefully follow your doctor’s treatment plan. You should also contact an experienced Kansas City car accident attorney for advice, especially if you have been injured. 


  1. Do I need to file a police report after a car accident?     


If you are in an accident in Missouri, and property damage or injuries are worth $500 or more, you are required by law to report the accident to the police. 


  1. After a car accident, when should I file a report with the police?


If you are in a car accident, you should file a police report immediately after an accident, ideally at the scene of the accident. Police reports are important as they provide a thorough documentation of the accident. This report is crucial as it can help strengthen your case if you seek monetary damages from an accident. The police report will include the contact information of the drivers, insurance company information as well as an overview of the car accident. 


  1. What are common car accident injuries? 


There are various different types of injuries that can occur after a car accident, which can be minor, severe, or even fatal. Common injuries include broken ribs, whiplash and blunt-force trauma. In terms of more severe injuries, these can include concussions, skull fractures, spinal cord damage, herniated disks and traumatic brain injuries. 


  1. How do authorities determine fault after a car accident?


Fault refers to who was responsible for causing the car accident.  In a police report, officers will often list who was at fault in an accident. For example, in cases where a car is rear-ended, it is typically the other driver’s fault. However, it is important to keep in mind that the conclusion from the police is not always final as an investigation may prove otherwise. 


  1. Is Missouri an at-fault state for car accidents? 


Yes, Missouri is an at-fault state in regards to car accidents. Therefore, the at-fault driver who caused the accident is responsible for damages including property damage, injuries and pain and suffering. 


  1. What will my insurance cover in a car accident?


In Missouri, the at-fault driver is required to pay for the medical expenses of those injured. If injured, you can also request compensation for additional damages, such as lost wages from missed time from work and pain and suffering. However, what your insurance company will cover varies depending on fault, level of coverage and your insurance company’s tactics. 


  1. Do I need to pay my deductible if I am not at fault in a car accident?


In general, you typically do not need to pay a deductible if you were not at fault for causing an accident. However, if fault is not clear, you may be required to file a claim and pay a deductible through your own insurance company. In that way, your insurance company can potentially pursue the other driver’s insurance and you may be reimbursed for your deductible if they recover money. 


  1. If a car accident is my fault, what does the insurance company do?


If you are determined to be at-fault for the accident, your insurance company is supposed to pay for property damage, medical bills, pain and suffering and lost wages. These damages are paid through liability coverage. However, to maximize their profits, the insurance company’s tactics are to minimize the claim they pay to the victim of the accident. That is why if you were a victim, it is important to consult with an experienced car accident lawyer to help ensure you receive the full compensation you deserve. 


  1. After a car accident, how long do I have to file a claim? 


In Missouri, the statute of limitations for a personal injury or property damage car accident claim is five years. If you have been seriously injured, it is crucial to contact a skilled car accident attorney for a consultation as soon as possible. An attorney will work to help you through every step of your case to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, pain and suffering and lost wages. 


  1. After a car accident, how much is my pain and suffering worth?


An experienced Kansas City car accident attorney can thoroughly investigate your claim and evaluate the full extent of your injuries and other damages to determine the value of your pain and suffering. 


  1. What kind of car accidents will appear on my driving record?


Moving violations, such as speeding, that you receive a ticket for could be added as points on your driving record. Points generally range from 2-12 in accordance to the severity of the violation. There are penalties for having too many points on your record. For example, if you receive 8 points in 18 months, your license will be suspended for 30 days. If you reach 12 points in a year, your license will be suspended. 


  1. How long will a car accident remain on my driving record?

In Missouri, points stay on your driving record for three years. 


  1. After a car accident, how many points will appear on my license?


Points on a driver’s record in Missouri range from 2-12, depending on the severity of the violation. For example, speeding offenses can range from 2-3 points, careless driving can result in 2 points and driving while intoxicated can range from 8-12 points. 


  1. How much time do I have to see a doctor after a car accident? 


If you are injured, should see a doctor as soon as possible after a car accident to be evaluated, ideally within the first three days after an accident. Your doctor can examine the extent of your injuries, document them thoroughly, and start you on a treatment plan toward recovery. These records are critical in supporting your case if you are pursuing damages. 


  1. After a car accident, will some injuries take time to show up?


During an accident, the body generally produces adrenaline which increases your energy and can temporarily mask the pain of injuries. In addition, some injuries can take time to become noticeable.  That is why it is common for injuries to take hours, days or even weeks to appear. 


  1. What is the average total cost of a car accident?


The damages associated with car accidents can be incredibly expensive. The average cost of property damage from a car accident is about $7,500.  Injuries can range from around $61,600 to about $1,130,000 if the injuries were fatal. That’s why if you are injured, contacting a skilled car accident attorney is important to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve to pay for medical bills, missed time from work and other expenses. 


  1. What are the best ways to avoid a car accident?


To avoid accidents, the most important advice is to stay alert and drive responsibly and defensively. Common causes of accidents include speeding and distracted driving. You should avoid using your phone when driving, always follow the speed limit, and stay alert and focused on the surroundings in front of you. You should also ensure you do not follow cars too closely. Ensure you have enough space if you need to brake and always use your turn signals. 


  1. After a car accident, how long do I have to file a lawsuit for a personal injury claim? 


In Missouri, you only have five years to file an insurance claim for property damage or personal injury. Therefore, you only have five years to contact an attorney to receive the compensation you deserve. After that, unfortunately, nothing can be done, and you no longer have the opportunity to make a claim. Keep in mind, after a serious accident, it is important to contact an attorney. A skilled car accident lawyer will evaluate the full extent of your damages, such as lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering to help ensure you can move forward after an accident. 


  1. After a car accident, what documents will I need to file a personal injury claim? 


To file a claim, your attorney will begin an investigation and gather all possible evidence.  Your attorney will request your medical records and will collect witness statements. After the investigation, your attorney will prepare a demand letter, which outlines the accident, injuries and the amount of money demanded for your damages. If a settlement cannot be reached, a lawsuit is filed. 


  1. After a car accident, how long will a car accident case take?

Each case is unique, and the timelines for a car accident case may vary. After a thorough investigation, your attorney may come to an agreement and reach a settlement. However, if an agreement cannot be reached, your case will go to trial. Each step in the process is important, and an experienced Kansas City car accident attorney will help ensure you receive the compensation you deserve to move forward.