Should I Get a Lawyer After a Car Accident in Missouri?

This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by Founding Partner, Terry Crouppen who has more than 40 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney. Our last modified date shows when this page was last reviewed.

This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by Founding Partner, Terry Crouppen who has more than 40 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney. Our last modified date shows when this page was last reviewed.

BY
Rachel Weinhaus, Attorney

If you’ve been involved in a car wreck, you may be wondering whether you should hire a lawyer to help with your case. However, no two car wrecks are the same and there are a variety of factors to consider when determining whether you should seek counsel.

Generally, it’s in your best interest to consult with a lawyer after a car accident if you have sustained an injury, need treatment beyond the initial emergency department or urgent care, or have had to miss work because of your injury.

Signs You Should Get a Car Accident Lawyer in Missouri

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, there are several signs that indicate you should consider hiring a car accident lawyer:

  • Serious injuries: If you or any passengers sustained severe injuries in the accident, especially if they require long-term medical treatment or have resulted in disability, it’s crucial to consult with a lawyer. They can help you navigate the complex legal processes to ensure you receive fair compensation for medical bills after a car accident, which is approximately $50,000 on average. 
  • Multiple parties involved: If the accident involves multiple vehicles or parties, determining liability can become complex. A lawyer can assist in sorting out the details and negotiating with multiple insurance companies.
  • Disputed liability: If the other party disputes their responsibility for the accident, or if the insurance company is challenging your claim, a lawyer can help. They can gather evidence, interview witnesses, and build a strong case to establish liability.
  • Insurance company challenges: If the insurance company is being difficult, delaying your claim, or offering a settlement that seems inadequate, it may be time to consult with a lawyer. They can negotiate on your behalf and ensure you receive fair compensation.
  • Policy limits: If the at-fault driver’s insurance policy limits are insufficient to cover your damages, a lawyer can explore other avenues for compensation. This includes pursuing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver personally.
  • Complex legal issues: If there are complicated legal issues involved in your case such as unclear liability, shared fault, or issues related to government entities (like accidents involving public transportation), a lawyer’s expertise is essential.
  • Wrongful death: If the accident resulted in the death of a loved one, consulting with a lawyer is essential. They can help you navigate a wrongful death claim and seek compensation for your loss.
  • Long-term or permanent disability: If the accident has left you with long-term or permanent disabilities that affect your ability to work and lead a normal life, a lawyer can help you pursue compensation for future medical expenses, lost earnings, and quality-of-life issues.
  • Limited time to file a claim: There are time limits, known as statutes of limitations, within which you must file a personal injury lawsuit. If these deadlines are approaching, it’s important to consult with a lawyer right away to ensure your rights are protected.
  • Uninsured or underinsured motorists: If the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, a lawyer can help you explore options for compensation such as your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Additionally, it’s important to note that Missouri’s “No Pay, No Play” law prevents uninsured motorists from pursuing non-economic damages after an accident.

Should I Wait to Get a Car Accident Lawyer?

Don’t wait too long before consulting with a car accident lawyer, especially if you believe you have a legitimate claim for compensation. There are several reasons for this:

  • Statute of limitations: Every state has a statute of limitations, which is a legal time limit within which you must file a lawsuit after an accident. If you wait too long, you may lose your right to pursue legal action. Consulting with a lawyer early on can help ensure that you are aware of and adhere to these time limits.
  • Preservation of evidence: Evidence is crucial in personal injury cases. The sooner you involve a lawyer, the better they can help gather and preserve evidence such as witness statements, accident reports, medical records, and other documentation that may be critical to your case.
  • Communication with insurance companies: Insurance companies may try to settle quickly, sometimes offering lower amounts than you may be entitled to. Having a lawyer early on can help protect your interests and ensure that any communication with insurance companies is managed properly.
  • Legal guidance from the beginning: A lawyer can provide valuable guidance from the outset, advising you on what steps to take and what information to gather. This can help strengthen your case and avoid potential pitfalls.
  • Negotiations and settlement discussions: If you are seeking a settlement, having a lawyer early in the process can help with negotiations. They can assess the true value of your claim, handle discussions with insurance companies, and work towards securing a fair settlement on your behalf.

Note: The typical car accident settlement amount is over $25,000. However, each case is unique and highly dependent on case factors, which means your case may be higher or lower than the average settlement.

How Can a Missouri Car Accident Lawyer Help?

A car wreck attorney can provide valuable assistance to an injury victim in various ways, helping them navigate the complex legal process and pursue fair compensation for their damages. Here are some ways in which a car wreck attorney can help…

Case Evaluation

  • Assess the merits of the case and determine if there is a legal basis for pursuing a claim.
  • Estimate the potential value of the claim based on the extent of injuries, property damage, and other relevant factors.

Case Invesigation

  • Conduct a thorough investigation of the accident and gather evidence such as witness statements, accident reports, photos, and medical records.
  • Work with accident reconstruction experts, if necessary, to establish the cause of the accident and determine liability.

Legal Guidance

  • Provide legal advice and guidance throughout the entire process and explain the victim’s rights and options.
  • Advise on whether to accept a settlement offer or pursue a lawsuit, considering the specific circumstances of the case.

Documenting Damages

  • Assist in documenting and quantifying damages, including current and future medical expenses, lost wages, and other economic losses.
  • Work with medical experts to assess the long-term impact of injuries and calculate future medical costs.

Filing Legal Documents

  • Prepare and file all necessary legal documents, including the initial complaint if a lawsuit is filed.
  • Ensure that all court deadlines are met and that the legal process is followed correctly.

Negotiation and Settlement

  • Engage in negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance company to reach a fair settlement.
  • Advocate for the best possible outcome and take into account the victim’s best interests.

Contingency Fee Arrangement

  • Most car wreck attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if the victim receives compensation. This can alleviate financial burdens for the victim during the legal process.

Litigation

  • If a fair settlement cannot be reached, represent the injury victim in court and advocate for their rights during trial.
  • Present a compelling case, cross-examine witnesses, and argue legal points to secure a favorable judgment.

Support and Advocacy

  • Provide emotional support to the injury victim and their family during a challenging time.
  • Be a strong advocate for the victim’s rights and ensure that they’re treated fairly and with respect throughout the legal process.

Overall, a car wreck attorney plays a crucial role in protecting the rights of an injury victim and helping them pursue the compensation they deserve after a car accident.

Getting Started with A Free Case Evaluation After an Auto Accident

Don’t wait until it’s too late to consult with a lawyer. Even if some time has passed since the accident, an attorney may still be able to help you. However, the earlier you involve legal representation, the better positioned you may be to protect your rights and pursue fair compensation. Brown & Crouppen offers free initial consultations, so you can discuss your case without any initial cost.

Getting started with your case is easy. Call (888) 802-8156 or get a free case evaluation online. And remember, there are no upfront costs or legal fees – we only get paid if you win.

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