Howell County Crash Raises An Often Overlooked Single Car Accident Insurance Issue

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is reporting serious injuries sustained in a single car crash which occurred in Howell County, Missouri on October 9, 2014. The driver, Danny Essary of Willow Springs, age 65, is reported to have sustained serious injuries after his vehicle left the roadway. It is currently unknown why Mr. Essary’s Dodge pickup left the eastbound roadway on Route CC 2 miles west of West Plains. Mr. Essary was taken to Ozark Medical Center in West Plains.

Mr. Essary’s ability to seek reimbursement for his injuries will depend on why his vehicle left the roadway.

Can I Make An Injury Claim After My Single Car Accident?

Single car crashes are often the result of being forced off the roadway by a driver who then intentionally leaves the scene or is unaware their driving forced another person off the roadway. If this occurs, most motorists are unaware that they are entitled to make a personal injury claim under their own uninsured motorist policy. If you are forced off the road by a negligent driver who leaves the scene, Missouri law refers to the driver as a phantom motorist and deems then to be uninsured. The victim can then submit a claim for the reimbursement for their damages to their own insurance company.

However, if a deer forces you off the roadway, you are NOT able to submit a claim under your uninsured motorist coverage. While wildlife is responsible for countless car accident injuries and deaths every year, only the negligence of another motorist will trigger your ability to bring a uninsured motorist claim seeking compensation for injuries.

How Do I Submit A Single Car Accident Claim?

Following your crash with a driver who left the scene of the accident, your first focus is protecting your health and seeking medical treatment. After you have ensured there is no medical emergency, you will next need to begin dealing with the process of having your vehicle repaired. Following a single car accident in which injuries were sustained, you will need to deal with the injury side and the property damage side of the claim.

  • Property Damage: Once you contact your insurance company to fix your car, they will immediately want a recorded statement from you in regards to how the crash occurred. It is important to never give this recorded statement until you are mentally capable of remembering what occurred. Insurance companies often try to obtain a recorded statement from a driver while they are medicated or suffering from a concussion. In this state of mind, the insurance companies tactics are geared towards leading you say something that will destroy your ability to bring a claim for your injuries. This in turn saves them money.
  • Personal Injury: The personal injury side of the case will require the assistance of a lawyer who has experience in dealing with uninsured motorist claims. Uninsured motorist claims should be extremely easy. After all, it is your own insurance company and you pay them large monthly premiums. However, the insurance company is first and foremost a for-profit corporation. They make billions of dollars each year by bringing on more in premiums than they pay out in claims. It is crucial to remember the insurance company’s interest and your own are not the same. You should immediately contact an injury lawyer after your crash to protect your case.

NOTE: The Statute of Limitations in Missouri for a Uninsured Motorist Case is 10 years. This means an injury victim can bring a claim for reimbursement for their injuries for up to 10 years after the crash occurred. Don’t let the insurance company try to rush you through the process. Once you settle your injury claim, you can never come back and ask for additional money for your injuries. The insurance company makes money from fast settlements at your expense. It is extremely important that you make sure you have completely healed from all known injuries before discussing settlement with your attorney.

Contact An Attorney for Single Car Accidents Today

Recognized as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer and Lifetime Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Christopher Dixon has helped guide hundreds of client’s through their uninsured motorist claims. Mr. Dixon has had success helping uninsured motorist victims despite other lawyers turning their case away.

Call us today for help with your accident case by calling (314) 409-7060.

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