How to File a Car Accident Claim
By Chris Dixon
If you’ve had a driver’s license since you were 16, chances are good that you will experience a car accident by the time you’re in your 30s since the average driver files a car accident claim every 5 to 10 years. If you are involved in a car accident in Saint Louis, it’s essential to take action and immediately file a car accident claim. A car accident claim will allow you to recover any damages or compensation that you may be entitled to for your injuries.
What Goes into a Car Accident Claim?
If you’ve been in a car accident, insurance companies recommend immediately filing a car accident claim after it happens. Doing so means that the details of the accident will be documented, and that you will hopefully receive compensation quicker. Documenting the scene of the car accident will ensure that your claim will be backed by accurate evidence. Take pictures of any damage at the scene, personal injuries, and jot down any other information that you think could help your case such as license plate numbers, contact information for other drivers and any witnesses.
The other party’s insurance company will probably reach out to you immediately after the accident, but it is important to stay silent. Contact your insurance company, file a claim, and then call a Saint Louis car accident attorney so that they can deal with the insurance company for you. A car accident attorney will have the experience and skills necessary to win the most for your car accident claim and make sure that you receive any compensation that you’re entitled to.
Types of Damages that Can be Included in a Car Accident Claim
The average collision claim is worth an estimated $3,144, and the average auto liability claim is around $15,433. The value of a car accident varies, and is based on a number of different factors. When filing a Missouri car accident claim, it’s worth it to know the different types of general and special damages that can be claimed for your case.
- Property Damage – Any internal or external damage that is done to your vehicle during the accident can be recovered with a car accident claim. It is important to document any damage that is done to your vehicle and report it to your insurance company. After consulting with your car accident attorney, allow the insurance company to inspect your vehicle for total damages. This will give you a more accurate estimate of the damage that was done to your vehicle.
- Medical Expenses – Injuries stemming from a car accident are not always noticeable immediately. It’s important to seek prompt medical help after an accident to rule out any internal or external injuries from the car accident. If any injuries are found, they will be documented in a medical report, which can later be used to recover medical expenses in the form of damages. This can include medical bills, ambulance fees, medicine for any treatment of injuries and more.
- Pain and Suffering – Car accidents can be traumatic, so if you’re in substantial mental or physical distress after a car accident, this should be included in your car accident claim. Any therapy costs or fees, and treatment required for injuries from the accident can potentially be recovered.
- Lost Wages – Some car accident injuries prevent those that are injured from working. If you have missed work because of injuries related to an accident this should be included in your car accident claim so that any wages lost can be recovered.
- Loss of Affection – The spouse of an injured person can claim loss of affection, which cites that there has been a loss of intimacy or affection in their relationship due to injuries from the accident.
How Can a Lawyer Help in Filing a Car Accident Claim?
A Saint Louis car accident lawyer can help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your case, and can aid in making sure that your car accident claim will be successful. There are tons of legal procedures to follow when dealing with a car accident, and a lawyer can help make sense of them by creating and enacting a plan to win your case. When selecting a lawyer to represent your case, it is important to select someone who specializes in auto collisions and personal injury. They will know from experience how to get the most in damages for your car accident claim. Be sure to ask friends and family for recommendations too, as they may have worked with or know someone who could be a good fit for your case.
Risks of Not Filing a Car Accident Claim
If any amount of damage has been done to your vehicle in a car accident, it’s critical to file a car accident claim. Even if you think that an accident is just a minor fender bender and that little damage has been done, it’s important to report it. Failure to do so could cost you a lot of money and be stressful later on. By not filing a car accident claim, you will forfeit any rights to receiving money from the other party in damages for any injuries, either mental or physical, sustained in the car accident. The best thing to do if you are involved in a car accident is to immediately document everything, call an attorney and file a car accident claim.
Missouri Statutes of Limitations
Traffic laws differ from state to state in regards to how long someone has to file a car accident claim after an accident. In Missouri, a car accident claim must be filed within 2 years of an auto accident for it to be valid, and within 5 years for property damage and personal injury. The Missouri Statutes of Limitations is in place to ensure efficiency and order in the legal process, and to avoid the deterioration of evidence from the accident over time.
Ready to Win Damages for Your Car Accident Claim?
Even if you think that you don’t need or can’t afford a lawyer, it is worth it to at least discuss your case with one. Most lawyers offer free initial consultations in which you’re able to discuss your car accident claim. Take this opportunity and ask any questions that you may have about the legal process. Consulting a lawyer about your car accident claim is perhaps the most influential factor in the outcome of your car accident claim. A lawyer will be able to make sure that you are fully informed of the options for your case under Missouri law, and will keep you aware of any updates. Not to mention, the right lawyer for your case will know the ins-and-outs of Missouri auto accident laws which is useful when dealing with large insurance companies. If you are ready to win damages for your car accident claim, or you’re interested in learning more about the legal process of a car accident claim in St. Louis, contact the Dixon Injury Firm for more information.