WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE AUTO ACCIDENT CLAIMS PROCESS

Car Accident In Missouri Or Kansas? Learn Your Rights.

The pain and chaos of a motor vehicle collision can be overwhelming. It is important to know your rights and to understand the process as you begin the journey of recovering your health and getting your life back on track.

The law firm of Monsees & Mayer, P.C., offers guidance, support and experienced representation. We are known for our personalized attention and devotion to our clients’ needs and interests during a difficult time. Our lawyers handle motor vehicle accidents in Kansas City, Springfield and throughout Missouri and Kansas.

Call us for answers to your questions in a free consultation. See our Case Results page for examples of recoveries in a wide range of auto accident cases.

Understanding The Legal And Insurance Process

See the information below on what to do after an accident. These tips will help you protect your rights and get the most value for your claims — which is precisely our goal as well.

There are two prongs to a car accident claim — liability (responsibility for the accident) and damages (compensation for injuries and related losses). In almost all cases, damages are paid by insurance. This may be a combination of:

  • The other driver’s liability policy if he or she was at fault
  • Your own auto policy if the other driver is uninsured or underinsured
  • Coverage of third parties (trucking company, construction contractor, automobile manufacturer) that caused or contributed to the crash or its consequences

Damages are based on the economic impact and the personal aftermath. This includes all medical bills and future medical care, lost wages and projected loss of income, compensation for pain and suffering, and compensation for disfigurement or permanent disability. You are also entitled to coverage for repair/replacement of your damaged or totaled vehicle.

Each insurance policy has an upper limit on damages, depending on how much coverage was purchased. In cases of catastrophic injury or wrongful death, we may seek compensation from several sources to reach the needed amount, including claims under your own insurance for the excess losses.

The vast majority of claims are settled out of court, although negotiations may take several months. We will file a formal lawsuit to preserve your rights or to put pressure on a party that is reluctant to admit liability or settle the claim. The last recourse is to try the case before a jury. This is an expensive undertaking involving many experts and witnesses, and there is always the risk of coming up empty. However, we do go to trial (and regularly win) when the facts support our client but the defense refuses a reasonable settlement.

What You Can Expect From Monsees & Mayer

When you contact us after an accident, we begin an investigation into the circumstances of the crash. Our lawyers will talk to you and other passengers in your vehicle, and contact any witnesses. Depending on the nature of injuries or complexity of the crash, we may hire professional investigators and accident reconstructionists.

We take on the burdens of dealing with insurance companies. We keep clients informed and involved at every stage of the process. We are always accessible to answer questions or address issues that arise, such as problems with hospital bills or property damage claims. We assist with these matters at no additional charge.

Monsees & Mayer is not a settlement mill that takes the first lowball offer and sends clients on their way. We develop relationships with clients over time so that we can understand their medical progress, their symptoms and limitations, their financial hardships, and the impact on their daily life and their future. Those insights and details help us get the maximum recovery so that you and your family can move forward.

What You Should Do After A Car Accident

Stay At The Scene Never leave the accident scene until it’s appropriate to do so. You can face serious criminal penalties for leaving the scene of an accident, particularly when someone was injured or killed.

Check On All Drivers And Passengers – Before assessing property damage, make sure everyone involved in the accident is OK. Get medical attention for anyone who needs it. Do not move a person who is unconscious or has neck or back pain, unless there is an immediate danger.

Call The Police – If there is any reasonable chance of physical injury or if there is significant property damage, you need to call the police. When they arrive, ask that a police report be filed and note the name and badge numbers of all responding officers.

Exchange Information – Get the names, phone numbers, addresses, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, and basic insurance information from all drivers involved, as well as passengers.

Be Careful What You Say Try to be cordial and cooperative, but do not offer apologies such as “I’m sorry, I ran the red light.” Even innocent expressions of kindness such as “I’m so sorry” may later be attributed as admitting liability or fault.

Talk To Witnesses Ask every witness what he or she saw. Get their names, numbers, or addresses, if possible. Ask locals if they’ve ever witnessed other accidents in the same place.

Inform Your Insurance Company Promptly tell your insurance company that you have been in an accident. Explain the facts clearly and be truthful about what happened and the extent of your injuries. Giving false or misleading information to the insurance company can get you into serious trouble, including possible denial of coverage for the accident. Obtain and review any police report filed, to support your explanation of who broke what traffic laws or who was at fault.

Take Photos – Most people have a smartphone with photo and video capability. Record any damage to your vehicle as soon as possible after the accident. Photos of the positions of the vehicles, skid marks, road debris and injuries are also invaluable.

Be Wary Of Early Settlement Offers Be careful if you’re offered a settlement by an insurance adjuster. Some injuries don’t show up or reach their greatest level of discomfort until many days, weeks or months later. Avoid giving any recorded statement to any insurance company. Do not settle a claim until you know you’ll be compensated for all your injuries, and consult an attorney before signing any waivers or settlement documents.

Consider Hiring A Lawyer If anyone was injured in the accident, it’s best to consult an experienced attorney. An attorney can help you maximize your recovery if you’re injured. The attorneys at Monsees & Mayer, P.C., do not charge for initial consultations. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only receive a fee if you are awarded damages or receive a settlement.

Did We Answer All Your Questions?

Of course not. (We probably raised some new ones.) We are here to discuss your specific accident and the unique issues in your case. Please don’t delay in arranging a free consultation. Call 816-361-5555 or contact us online.