It is easy to feel helpless if you have been involved in a truck or automobile accident. You aren’t getting the help you need from your insurance company, and the other driver’s insurance company is refusing to be fair, or worse yet, ignoring you completely. We all want to believe that other people care about us and want the best for us. Unfortunately, insurance companies only care about money. Having a skilled automobile accident attorney on your side can help you work with the insurance companies and avoid a variety of pitfalls that can happen in these cases.
For example, did you know that you have no obligation to provide a written or oral statement to the other driver’s insurance company? More importantly, you shouldn’t speak with the other insurance company without the assistance of an attorney.
To assist you, we have put together a variety of information regarding automobile accidents that can help. Once you have read the information on our website, call our office today for a free consultation regarding your case.
Since, many insurance companies are unwilling to offer you fair and just compensation for your injuries, it is important to hire an attorney that, if necessary, is willing to take your case to trial. At Hollingshead & Dudley, we are ready, willing and able to try your case.
What to do if you have been involved in an automobile accident
If you are involved in an automobile accident, the first thing you should do is assess your situation. Call 911 immediately. Are you, your passengers or any other person injured? If so, make sure emergency personnel are aware of the injuries. If you are injured, follow the directions of the paramedics. Although it is human instinct to shake off an injury and reject treatment, doing so is extremely detrimental to both your health and any future case. There have been many instances of people refusing treatment at the scene only to experience a life threatening emergency later. Many injuries are not readily apparent due to adrenaline.
It is not uncommon for the other driver’s insurance company to contact you, even while you are in the hospital. They will ask you for a recorded statement. Do not provide any statement to the other driver’s insurance company. Do not inform the other driver’s insurance company that you have health insurance. Providing any statement could adversely affect your ability to obtain a financial recovery in the future.
You do have an obligation to speak with your own insurance company. Contact them as soon as possible after the accident. Before providing any statement, even to your own insurance company, contact an attorney.
If you do not require ambulatory care on the scene, drive yourself to the emergency room to get a thorough checkup. Again, in many instances, you may be injured and not know it. Only a thorough examination by a qualified emergency care physician can determine the extent of any injuries.
After leaving the hospital, make sure and complete all follow up care. If you were instructed to complete physical therapy, do it. If you were referred to a specialist, keep the appointment. The most important thing is for you to get better.
At the earliest possible time, contact our office for a free consultation.
How much money will I get for my case?
Although this is the most frequently asked question by people that contact our office, it is an extremely difficult question to answer. Whether you will recover at all depends, first and foremost, on whether you were at fault in the accident. If the accident was your fault, your recovery will be limited to collecting from your insurance company, along with any health insurance you might have. On the other hand, if the other driver was at fault, you are entitled to full compensation for your injuries from the other driver’s insurance company. Full compensation includes:
- Medical bills (past, present and future)
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Vehicle repair costs or the value of the vehicle (if totaled)
- Rental car costs
- Loss of value on your automobile
Until your injuries are entirely known and fully treated, it is not possible for an attorney to determine the value of your case.
Truck Accident Lawyer in St. Louis or Kansas City, Missouri
It is estimated that there are nearly half a million truck accidents every year. With semi-trucks weighing anywhere from 10,000 to 80,000 pounds and the average automobile weighing around 4,000 pounds; the damage these trucks can do is unimaginable.
An accident involving one of these trucks will undoubtedly lead to severe injuries, sometimes even death; while the drivers of these trucks usually walk away unharmed.
Car Accident Lawyer in St. Louis or Kansas City, Missouri
Sometimes there is nothing you could have done. You were sitting in your car. The radio was blaring as you waited for the light to turn green. Next thing you know you wake up in a hospital bed with an IV in your arm.
While the above is more of a worst-case scenario, we all understand that bad things often happen to good people. Not everyone is a good driver, and every time you are behind the wheel, you are taking a risk.
However, you shouldn’t have to pay the price for someone else’s bad driving. If you are in a car accident, the first thing you need to do is seek medical attention for any injuries that you may have sustained in the accident. Next, you need to contact a qualified attorney to represent you. It is important to contact an attorney before speaking with any insurance company, as this will help ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to. You need someone who will fight for you before the insurance company takes advantage of you. Remember, no matter how nice the other driver’s insurance adjuster may seem to be, the insurance company has only one job: to make sure you get as little money as possible for your injuries. If possible, take pictures of your injuries at the various stages of healing, as well as of any damage to the vehicles involved in the accident. If you are able to, take pictures of the accident scene. If not, and if it is at all possible, instruct a family member, friend, or witness to take pictures. If you have a witness take pictures, make sure to get the name and address of the witness, so you attorney can obtain the pictures for later use in settlement or litigation.
At the time of your accident, call the police and file an accident report. The police should be able to determine which driver was at fault for the accident. They will provide important information that can be used on your case.
It is important to keep a pen, paper, and a camera in your car so that you can take pictures and exchange insurance information. It is also important to get the names and numbers of any nearby witnesses.
As the injured party in a car accident, you have the burden of proving that the other party was negligent. That is why it is so important to gather all of this information and to choose the right attorney. At Hollingshead & Dudley, we will examine the evidence and prepare the case to help you receive full compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, as well as other costs associated with your car accident. It is important to note that, due to a recent change in Missouri law, if you are the driver of the car, and you do not have car insurance, your recovery will be limited to ONLY your out of pocket medical bills. You would not be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering. This is not the case if you were merely a passenger in a car, even if you don’t have car insurance. Thus, if you are reading this, do not have car insurance, and have not yet been injured in a car accident, get insurance NOW! If you drive a car in Missouri, it is also the law that you, at a minimum, have liability insurance on your vehicle that would cover damage or injuries to another person in the event you were at fault in an accident.
Why You Should Hire an Auto Accident Lawyer
That’s it. Two words. If you have been in a car accident, you need to hire a car accident lawyer to handle dealings with an insurance company. Insurance companies are not your friends. They are not attempting to help you when you file a claim. They are trying to pay as little out of pocket as possible.
This means they will lowball you with insufficient offers. This means they will deny claims that they should be accepting. This means they will not pay for any mental anguish, pain, or suffering you endured.
You don’t have to fight insurance companies. Hire a car accident lawyer to fight your battle with the insurance company for you.
When you hire a car accident lawyer after a crash, you are paying him or her for their expertise. An experienced car accident lawyer will know all the laws that pertain to your accident and injury. Your lawyer will be able to apply the laws that help your case while ignoring others.
As well, an experienced personal injury lawyer will see other settlement avenues that you may not have known about. These avenues will give you flexibility in pursuing your settlement. This can be of extra importance when dealing with an uninsured driver.
Going To Court
If an insurance company refuses to treat you fairly, you may end up in court attempting to sue. This situation often arises when medical expenses begin to add up. An experienced car accident lawyer will be able to represent you in court. By having a lawyer in court, you will ensure insurance companies take your case seriously.
Pain & Suffering
Often, insurance companies will refuse to pay any extra money for pain, suffering, and mental anguish. However, you may be entitled to pain and suffering payments after a car crash. This depends on the severity of the accident and your injuries.
In severe car accidents, you may be entitled to a large amount of money due to your pain and suffering. An experienced car accident lawyer will make sure you get every penny that you are due.
Car Accident Lawyer in St. Louis or Kansas City, Missouri
If you are in need of a car accident lawyer in St. Louis or Kansas City, we hope you’ll contact us. At Hollingshead & Dudley, we strive to be the best car accident and personal injury attorneys in St. Louis and Kansas City. If you are dealing with any issue involving a car accident, contact us immediately for a free consultation.
How long will it take to resolve my case?
Some automobile accident cases can be resolved in a couple of months. Complicated cases involving serious injuries, however, take much longer. Until you are done treating, your case cannot be negotiated. Patience is extremely important in these types of cases, as a quick settlement is rarely in your best interest. Insurance companies understand that people want money now, and attempting to quickly settle a case can send a message to the insurance company that you are desperate for money. Appearing desperate almost always results in low ball offers from the insurance company. More importantly, if you were seriously injured, it takes time to heal.