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Do I Need A Lawyer For A Car Accident In Missouri?

individuals involved in car accident in missouri

Were you involved in a collision on Missouri roads and now you’re asking yourself ‘Do I need a lawyer for a car accident in Missouri’? Read this comprehensive guide by McShane & Brady, LLC, a top-rated personal injury law firm in Kansas City, Missouri. Discover why legal representation can be crucial to protect your rights and maximize your compensation.

Car accidents can be devastating, leaving victims with physical injuries, emotional trauma, and financial burdens. If you’ve recently been involved in a car accident in the Kansas City area, you may be wondering if hiring a Kansas City car accident lawyer is necessary. In this article, McShane & Brady, LLC, a leading personal injury law firm in Kansas City, will shed light on the importance of legal representation following a car accident. We’ll discuss key reasons why seeking the expertise of a knowledgeable attorney can make a significant difference in protecting your rights and obtaining fair compensation.

Understanding Missouri’s Car Accident Laws

Navigating the legal system and understanding Missouri’s car accident laws can be overwhelming for accident victims. A skilled attorney can provide invaluable guidance and explain the intricacies of the legal process. They will ensure you understand your rights and obligations under Missouri law, such as the following: 

  • Statute of Limitations: In Missouri, there is a statute of limitations that sets a time limit on filing a car accident lawsuit. Generally, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims arising from car accidents is five years from the date of the accident. It’s crucial to be aware of this deadline to ensure your rights are protected.
  • Comparative Negligence: Missouri follows a comparative negligence system, specifically the “pure comparative fault” rule. This means that even if you are partially at fault for the accident, you can still recover damages. However, your compensation may be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you. Understanding how comparative negligence works is important when negotiating a settlement or presenting your case in court.
  • Insurance Requirements: Missouri law mandates that all drivers carry liability insurance coverage. The minimum required coverage includes $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 for bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 for property damage per accident. It’s crucial to be familiar with these insurance requirements and how they may impact your claim.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: Missouri law also requires insurance companies to offer uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) to policyholders. This coverage can protect you if you’re involved in an accident with a driver who lacks insurance or has insufficient coverage. Understanding your rights and options under UM/UIM coverage is essential in ensuring you receive adequate compensation.
  • No-Fault Insurance: Missouri is not a “no-fault” state. Instead, it follows a traditional fault-based system. This means that the at-fault driver and their insurance company are generally responsible for compensating the injured party. Understanding this distinction is crucial in pursuing a claim against the responsible party’s insurance company.
  • Seat Belt Laws: Missouri has mandatory seat belt laws. Failure to wear a seat belt can impact your claim if it’s determined that your injuries were worsened due to not wearing one. It’s important to follow these laws and understand their potential implications on your case.
  • Reporting Requirements: Missouri law requires drivers involved in car accidents resulting in injury, death, or significant property damage to report the accident to the police. It’s crucial to comply with these reporting requirements to ensure an accurate record of the incident.

If you or someone you know was involved in an accident in the Kansas City area, we recommend that you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney.  Here at McShane & Brady, LLC, our personal injury attorneys fully understand the intricacies of Missouri’s car accident laws. We can provide personalized guidance based on the specific details of your case, ensuring that your rights are protected and you receive fair compensation.

Determining Liability and Building a Strong Case

Proving liability is a critical aspect of any car accident claim. Experienced personal injury attorneys have the resources and expertise to investigate the accident thoroughly. They will gather evidence, interview witnesses, review police reports, and consult with accident reconstruction experts, if necessary. By building a strong case on your behalf, they increase your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve.

Dealing with Insurance Companies

Dealing with insurance companies can be complex and frustrating. Insurance adjusters are trained to protect their company’s interests, often undervaluing or denying valid claims. Furthermore, insurance adjusters will often try to communicate with you right away and coax you to say something over the phone that will minimize or invalidate your claim. With a lawyer representing you, you can level the playing field. They will handle all communication with the insurance company, negotiate skillfully on your behalf, and fight for a fair settlement. We highly recommend that after an accident, before speaking with insurance representatives, you consult with a personal injury attorney, to protect your rights. For more information, read our blog article, “Dealing With Insurance Adjusters After A Car Accident In Missouri’.

Maximizing Compensation

One of the primary reasons to hire a car accident lawyer is to maximize your compensation. Attorneys experienced in personal injury cases understand the various types of damages you may be entitled to, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. They will work diligently to ensure you receive the full and fair compensation you deserve. Some crucial aspects of successful personal injury cases include the following:

  • Economic and Non-Economic Damages: In Missouri, you may be entitled to various types of damages after a car accident. Economic damages include medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and future financial losses. Non-economic damages cover pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and other subjective harms. Understanding the types of damages available can help you assess the full extent of your compensation claim.
  • Medical Documentation: Proper documentation of your injuries is crucial for maximizing compensation. Seek immediate medical attention after the accident, follow all recommended treatments, and keep a record of all medical expenses, prescriptions, and therapies. This documentation serves as evidence of your injuries and the associated costs, supporting your claim for compensation.
  • Negotiation Skills: Insurance companies often try to settle claims for the lowest possible amount. Having a skilled negotiator on your side can significantly impact the outcome. A personal injury attorney experienced in car accident cases understands the tactics used by insurance adjusters and can effectively negotiate on your behalf, fighting for fair compensation that considers all your damages.
  • Gathering Evidence: Building a strong case requires gathering evidence that proves the other party’s liability and the extent of your damages. This can include photographs of the accident scene, witness statements, police reports, video footage, and any other relevant evidence. A skilled personal injury attorney can assist in collecting and preserving this evidence to bolster your case.
  • Timely Filing: Adhering to deadlines and filing requirements is crucial in car accident cases. Missing deadlines, such as the statute of limitations, can result in the loss of your right to pursue compensation. Working with an attorney ensures that all necessary documents are filed correctly and within the required timeframes.

Peace of Mind So You Can Focus on Recovery

Recovering from a car accident requires physical and emotional healing. By entrusting your legal matters to a reputable law firm like McShane & Brady, LLC, you can focus on your recovery while knowing that skilled professionals are advocating for your rights. This peace of mind is invaluable during such a challenging time. 

If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Missouri, seeking legal representation is highly recommended. The personal injury law firm of McShane & Brady, LLC, is dedicated to helping car accident victims navigate the legal complexities, protecting your rights, and securing the compensation you deserve. If you’re still unsure and find yourself wondering ‘Do I need a lawyer for a car accident in Missouri’, we are happy to speak with you and answer your questions. Contact us today at (816) 888-8010 or visit our website to schedule a free consultation. Let us guide you through the process and ensure your rights are protected every step of the way.