The Association for Safe International Road Travel reports that car accidents are responsible for injuries, disability, or death of more than 2.35 million individuals in the United States annually.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident, and have sustained injuries as well as damages to your vehicle, then you would need to seek compensation for the expenses incurred.
In St. Louis, Missouri, all motor vehicle drivers and owners are required by law to have motor vehicle liability insurance coverage. This means you are entitled to compensation if the driver responsible for the accident is not financially able.
Do You Need a Car Accident Lawyer?
The total amount of money you might spend on medical bills and car repair or replacement must be shouldered by the driver at-fault or their insurer.
Most of the time, insurance companies will negotiate for a far lower amount. The process can take weeks, even months. Meanwhile, your expenses continue to pile up. The situation is compounded when you lose income due to your incapacity to work.
You should not settle for an offer that is not commensurate to the financial and emotional damages you suffered. If the offending party or their insurers remain uncooperative, you may need to take the matter to court.
Compensation is your legal right. Whether you settle or file a suit, you will benefit from being represented by an experienced St. Louis car accident attorney.
What Documents Do You Need to Prepare?
Your St. Louis auto accident attorney can build a solid case with enough evidence to support your claim if you supply them with pertinent documents. These documents may include:
A Police Report
If law enforcement officers covered the scene of the accident, you need to obtain the report they filed.
If you were rushed to the ER, request for treatment records filed by your attending physician and other specialists who administered medical care in connection to the injury you sustained from the accident.
Compile all hospital and pharmacy receipts as well. If you were not hospitalized, you need the bill from the medical practitioner you consulted.
Vehicle Damage Report
Bring your car to a shop that can issue an inspection report along with valuations and repair estimates. If you’ve already done some work on the damage sustained from the accident, ask for an invoice.
Proof of Income Loss
Request your employer for documents showing the hours and days of missed work, which must be consistent with the date of the accident, the extent of your injury, your hospitalization, and doctor appointments.
Write down as many details as you can of the accident. Record the consequences, including your physical injury, the negative effect on your emotional and mental health, and the impact on your ability to perform daily activities.
Should You Accept a Settlement Offer?
The good news is that very few demands for compensation end in a trial. Most parties at-fault, and their insurers, prefer settlement. However, before accepting any settlement offer, it is important to have an experienced attorney review your claim and make sure you are getting the full amount of compensation you are legally entitled to.
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