No one likes to think about the prospect of being injured in an automobile accident, but it is a fact of life that just tends to happen. When it does happen, understanding whether or not you have a claim for damages is important, as is understanding what kinds of damages you are allowed to claim. While it is best to get the advice of an attorney when you have questions about whether or not you have a claim for damages, there are a few things you should know going forward.
Accidents where no one is injured, but there is extensive damage
Missouri uses comparative fault to determine who is responsible in the case of an accident and which insurance company should pay damages. This determination is not an all-or-nothing situation as it is in many other states, and insurance companies will make offers based on how they believe fault is divided.
In these cases, you typically have a claim for the costs related to the vehicle repair if you are not at fault, and your own insurance company should handle the claim if you are determined to be at fault. In these cases, having a lawyer who can negotiate for you is important no matter what happened, because legal advice will help you to understand your options.
Accidents where you are injured
In addition to the damages that can be recovered to help with the vehicle repair, the state of Missouri also allows you to collect damages relating to personal injuries as a result of an automobile accident. These damages can include:
- Direct medical costs for acute injuries
- Medical costs relating to recovery, such as physical therapy
- Lost income due to the injury
When you have been injured in an accident, it is even more important to have experienced legal help, because often getting access to the right treatments and therapies is the key to getting back on your feet with your earning potential intact and any personal debt or financial fallout minimized.
What to do if you are injured
First, make sure you access any medical care you need to be safe and stable. Then, talk to an attorney who understands the state's comparative fault statute and the ways that it affects the damages you are likely to receive when insurance companies make their offer. An experienced attorney can negotiate on your behalf and will know if the time comes to move past negotiation and into a suit.