Motor Vehicle Accidents: Answers To Frequently Asked Questions
For more than 60 years, The Wilbers Law Firm LLC has advocated for motor vehicle accident victims throughout Missouri. We will help you through each step of your case, making sure you have the information you need.
Below are answers to frequently asked questions about motor vehicle accidents. If you have additional questions, call our St. Louis office at 314-667-4586 to schedule a free consultation. You may also contact us online.
Does fault matter in a Missouri car crash?
Yes. Missouri is an at-fault state. This means that the driver responsible for the crash is liable for the other driver’s damages. Usually the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier will cover the costs.
Do you need to call your insurance company if the motor vehicle accident was not your fault?
You are required to report most accidents in Missouri within 30 days of the crash. You must report any accident that:
- Results in an injury or death
- Has property damage of more than $500
- Involves an uninsured driver
What should you not say to your insurance company after a car crash?
After a car crash, do not admit fault, apologize or explain what you think might have happened. Only tell the basic facts of the incident. Car accidents can be confusing, and you might not know all the factors that contributed to the crash.
Once you hire a personal injury attorney, they can speak to the insurer on your behalf to ensure that you do not say anything that could jeopardize your claim.
What should you do after a car accident?
Take the following steps after a car accident to protect your health, insurance claim and potential personal injury claim:
- Call the police and get a copy of the police report*
- Write down the name, phone number and insurance information of the other driver involved in the crash
- Write down the name and phone number of any witnesses
- Take photos of the accident scene, including property damage and any visible injuries
- Seek medical attention and get a copy of the doctor’s medical report
- Speak with a personal injury attorney before calling your insurance company
*Please note that you should always first seek emergency medical assistance if necessary.
Will your insurance premium go up if you are not at fault for the car accident?
The at-fault driver’s insurance carrier is responsible for your costs after an accident. If you are not at fault for the crash, your insurer should not increase your insurance premium.
What happens if the driver who hit you does not have insurance?
If the at-fault driver does not have insurance, your insurance company may have to cover your property damage and medical costs. If you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, this will kick in to cover your costs.
Do you file a claim against the truck driver or the trucking company after an accident?
If a negligent truck driver hit your vehicle, you can file a claim against the trucking company that the driver works for to secure compensation. Truck companies are well-prepared to defend against accident claims, so your best chance for success is to hire a personal injury attorney well-versed in these types of accidents.
What are the signs that you could have a traumatic brain injury from a motor vehicle accident?
You may not experience brain injury symptoms for days or even weeks after a motor vehicle accident. Carefully monitor your health and seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following signs of a potential traumatic brain injury:
- Vision or hearing problems
- Changes in sleeping habits
- Loss of coordination
- Light or sound sensitivity
- Nausea or vomiting
- Loss of consciousness
- Mood changes/swings
- Dilated pupils
When do you need to hire an attorney after a motor vehicle accident?
Always contact an attorney after a motor vehicle accident. An experienced personal injury lawyer will carefully evaluate the facts of your case and explain whether you have a potential personal injury claim. An attorney can also speak to your insurance company on your behalf to ensure that you do not unintentionally threaten your claim.
What kind of compensation can you collect after a motor vehicle accident?
If you file a personal injury claim after a motor vehicle accident, an attorney can help you pursue compensation for:
- Property damage
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages (in select circumstances)