An accident can be a traumatic and confusing event. Dealing with insurance companies in the aftermath can be daunting, especially when you're trying to recover. This guide will help you navigate insurance claims after an accident in Missouri, and inform you about your rights and obligations.
Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
The first step after an accident in Missouri is to report it to your insurance company. It's advisable to do this as soon as possible, providing a straightforward account of the incident. Avoid admitting fault or providing more details than necessary.
Gather Necessary Documentation
Gather all relevant documentation, including the accident report, medical records, photographs of the scene, and witness testimonies. This evidence will be crucial when filing your claim.
Understand Your Policy
Know what your insurance policy covers. Understand terms like deductible, premium, liability coverage, and comprehensive coverage. If you're unclear about any aspects, contact your insurance agent for clarification.
Seek Legal Representation
Engaging a personal injury attorney can be beneficial, especially in complicated cases involving severe injuries or disputes over fault. They can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, and ensure your rights under Missouri law are protected.
Be Prepared for an Investigation
Insurance companies will investigate the accident. They may ask you for additional information or to make a recorded statement. Always consult with your attorney before providing these.
Negotiate a Fair Settlement
Your attorney can help you calculate a fair settlement amount, considering medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. They can negotiate with the insurance company, leveraging their knowledge of Missouri law to ensure you get fair compensation.
Be Ready to File a Lawsuit if Necessary
If negotiations fail, be prepared to take your claim to court. In Missouri, you generally have five years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. Your attorney can guide you through this process.
In conclusion, dealing with insurance companies after an accident in Missouri can be complex. Having a comprehensive understanding of the process and the assistance of a personal injury attorney can greatly improve your chances of securing a fair settlement.