Springfield is one of the cities of the United States known for experiencing a significant number of car accidents. In 2019, 80.5 percent of workers in Springfield, MO, drove alone to work, followed by those who carpooled to work (10.1 percent) and those who worked at home (3.4 percent). With as many as 80.5 percent of people commuting by the road on a daily basis, the rate of road traffic has increased the probability of accidents in the city.
If you are part of a severe car accident, it is essential to know what to do. You need to take many steps to protect yourself and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
The following article will help you understand the steps following a car accident and how car accident lawyers in Springfield, Missouri, can help.
1. Stop, Get Out Of The Car and Check for Injuries
It is required that you stop your vehicle immediately following a car accident. If you can, you can get out of your vehicle and move to a safe area. If you do not have any injuries, help other people involved in the accident. It is required that you call 911 to notify the authorities.
If you can, check yourself and others involved in the accident for injuries. If someone is injured, do not move them unless they are in danger. You must call for medical attention as soon as possible.
2. Exchange Information
You must exchange data with the other driver involved in the accident. It includes name, address, phone number, insurance company, and policy number. You must also get the contact information of any witnesses who saw what happened.
If the police have arrived at the spot, discuss the accident with the police officer in detail. You should always be in a safe place after an accident, even if you are not injured.
A police officer can help you file a report and start the process of recovering damages. If you are injured, seek legal assistance from car accident lawyers in Springfield, Missouri, to help you through the process.
3. File A Claim
The fatal accident count in Springfield in 2019 was 15. The standard number of people injured in accidents was 263.
After the accident, you should contact an insurance company and file a claim. Filing a claim means you are asking for damages to be paid. Your insurance company might try to settle with the other driver’s insurance company. You should always seek legal help in these situations.
If the insurance firm tries to settle with you, do not sign anything until you have talked to a lawyer. You need to ensure that the compensation you receive from the insurance company is adequate to meet all the damages you have suffered due to the accident.
It is important to remember that you have a limited time to file a claim. You must file within a few years of the accident. If you exceed the time, you could lose your right to receive compensation.
4. Keep Records
Documentation is a vital step in recovering damages after a car accident. Here are some of the papers you need to keep:
- The police report and medical bills after the accident.
- Receipts for repairs or any other expenses related to the accident.
- Pictures of your car before and after the accident.
- Witness contact information.
- Statements from witnesses.
- The insurance company’s contact information.
You should keep all of this documentation in a safe place. It will help you with the claim process and prove that you are entitled to compensation.
5. Consult A Lawyer
If you are injured, it is essential to seek a licensed lawyer. A car accident lawyer can help you file a claim and get the compensation you deserve.
A licensed attorney can help you recover damages for:
- Medical expenses.
- Car repairs or replacement.
- Pain and suffering.
- Emotional distress.
- Loss of income.
An experienced lawyer will fight for your rights in court.
6. Talk About Their Charges Beforehand
Some lawyers might charge a contingency fee, a percentage of the damages recovered. Others might charge an hourly rate. Make sure you understand their charges beforehand.
It is essential to ask the total charges, which include the following:
- The lawyer’s fee.
- Additional expenses such as photocopies, investigative work, and postage.
- The court’s filing fees.
- Charges for expert witnesses and court reporters.
If you are unsure about their charges, ask the lawyer to provide a fee agreement. This document will outline the services the lawyer will provide and their fees.
7. Read the Contract Carefully
Once you agree to their fee, request a written contract. Please read the document carefully before you sign it. You should understand what services the lawyer will provide and their fees.
If a loved one has been severely injured in an accident, seek legal help. A lawyer will help you recover damages for your injuries and get you the proper compensation.