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What Are My Options If I Am Disabled after a Car Accident?

Car accidents happen in a matter of seconds, yet they have a strong impact on your life, sometimes changing it forever.

For some car accident victims, this means being disabled for life. 

However, disability can have various degrees of severity, and your options change, depending on what state you are in and other variables. 

St. Louis man in wheelchair after car accident

Making a Claim with the Insurance Company

Being disabled after a car accident means that you suddenly have a lot of medical bills to cover. You might also not be able to resume your job, and your day-to-day activities are affected. In the mid and long-term, your relationships will suffer, and you might have a hard time adjusting to your new life. 

All this trouble can cost a lot of money, and the financial pressure adds a lot to the problems disabled people report in general. Bills are piling up while your income is reduced to a fraction, or interrupted entirely. 

What Are Your Options?

The best option you have, and the most common one, is to make a claim with your insurance company, or with the insurance company of the at-fault driver. This depends on the state where the accident happened. 

In at-fault states, like Missouri, you will typically make a third-party claim to the insurance company of the at-fault driver. If you are at fault for the accident, then your auto insurance policy will generally cover the damage, according to the policy you have. 

In case the driver that caused the accident is uninsured or underinsured, you can be covered by your uninsured motorist policy. In Missouri, drivers are required to be covered for accidents with uninsured drivers, but underinsured motorist policies are optional. Check what is covered exactly by your policy and gather as much evidence as you can to prove that the other driver caused the accident.

Let’s say you do make a claim with the insurance company responsible in your case, but your damages exceed the limits of the policy. In such cases, you might have to make a claim to your own health insurance, or demand compensation from a healthcare program like Medicaid or Medicare.

Getting Fair Compensation

While checking the limits of your policy is, indeed, important when you make a claim, it’s still good to know that most first offers coming from an insurer will be lowball offers. In other words, don’t accept the first offer that’s put on the table. You might need to bring strong, hard evidence of your disability when negotiating with the insurer, but the final settlement will be more helpful. 

In serious car accidents that result in severe injury, it is a good idea to speak with an experienced St. Louis auto accident attorney. With so many options and details to consider, leaving the legal hassle to a professional will make the difference in your quality of life in the long run.

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Updated: June 22, 2020