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Motor vehicle accidents cause thousands of injuries and fatalities every year and cost billions in property damage, medical treatment and lost wages. If you or a loved one have been involved in a serious car accident in the St. Louis, Missouri area, call the car collision attorneys at Goldblatt + Singer today. Our attorneys will listen to your story and help you make an informed decision about what legal solution to pursue. The call and the consultation are absolutely free.
Our St. Louis Personal Injury Lawyers handle car accident cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid when you do.
A car accident can lead to serious injuries, expensive medical treatment, huge hospital bills and even death. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a recent car collision, a Goldblatt + Singer attorney can help in several important ways. Primarily, your legal counsel will help you build a personal injury case so that you receive fair compensation for your car accident injuries. This involves conducting an investigation of the accident, taking statements from witnesses and compiling documentation to prove the extent of the plaintiff’s damages. Your attorney will also handle court filings and the other aspects of your case.
Car accident attorneys in St. Louis can also help with handling insurance claims. After a car crash, dealing with insurance companies can be extremely stressful. Car insurance companies are not there to help you; they send their claims adjusters to ensure every claim merits a settlement, and they generally look for any reasons they can find to reduce or deny coverage. Having a car accident lawyer act on your behalf in your dealings with an insurer can move the process along more quickly and with fewer frustrations.
Finally, good attorneys offer peace of mind. With the right car accident attorney, you can rest assured knowing he or she has your best interests at heart. The St. Louis attorneys at Goldblatt + Singer work with your medical providers, work hard on the investigation of your case and for a speedy resolution of your claim. Additionally, our car collision attorneys can help coordinate with various relief services and other programs that may prove beneficial to car accident victims. Professional legal assistance will help you focus on your recovery instead of meeting deadlines and filing paperwork.
Missouri is an at-fault state when it comes to car insurance, so every driver must carry the state’s minimum liability coverage in their auto insurance policy. A Missouri auto insurance policy must include:
Although these minimums are relatively affordable for most drivers, past driving history including accidents, arrests and other factors can lead to higher premium payments for some drivers. Drivers in Missouri also have the opportunity to purchase additional bodily injury coverage, as well as medical expense coverage, collision coverage and comprehensive accident coverage. Adding these options to your auto insurance policy will increase your premium payment amount, but you will have far more flexibility in the event of an accident and will be less likely to have to pay for any expenses out of pocket.
Missouri also has specific laws in place pertaining to your first steps after an accident. You must call the police to report any accident that causes more than $500 worth of property damage, injuries, deaths or a driver without insurance coverage.
For more information on Missouri’s car and motor vehicle laws, speak to a St. Louis car accident lawyer at Goldblatt + Singer today.
Insurance is one of the most complicated and stressful issues car accident victims face. Insurance companies exist to make money, and they do so by collecting premium payments from policyholders. The insurer loses money when it has to pay out on claims, so claims adjusters look for any reasons they can find to reduce a settlement amount or deny a claim. Typically, a claims adjuster will attempt to assign the claimant some measure of fault for the accident, citing that fault as justification for reducing policy coverage or denying a claim.
When you get into an accident with an at-fault driver, his or her insurance coverage is the first line of compensation for you. You will need to file a claim against the responsible driver’s insurance, but you may need to resort to claiming against your own policy in some situations. For example, if you suffer serious injuries in an accident with an uninsured driver, you may be able to collect compensation through a car accident lawsuit, but that won’t happen immediately. In the interim, an insurance claim against your own policy can help you manage your medical expenses and vehicle repair costs. Additional coverage will afford you more flexibility as well.
Having a car accident attorney handle your interactions with an insurer is a great way to encourage a fair settlement offer on your claim. If you encounter any resistance or believe your insurer is not acting in good faith, your lawyer can handle these issues as well. Sometimes, just knowing you have a St. Louis car accident attorney can compel an insurance company to be more reasonable in resolving your claim.
Many people who suffer serious injuries in car accidents wonder how they will manage their medical bills, especially when they are not at fault for their accidents. An at-fault driver will not have to pay your medical expenses as they occur, but instead will need to repay you for the total cost of your medical expenses once you are no longer receiving treatment for your injuries.
The right car collision law firm can make a huge difference in your recovery from serious injuries. Goldblatt + Singer has experienced motor vehicle crash attorneys that can negotiate a settlement of your medical bills, lost wages and damages for pain and suffering.
If you or a loved one become involved in a car accident, the first step is to remain as calm as possible until you can stop your car. Check yourself for injuries and call 911 if no one else already has. Do not move if you have sustained serious injuries or you risk worsening your condition. Wait for emergency medical responders to arrive. If you can move, check to see if anyone else involved needs help and then wait for the police to arrive. Even if you believe you were not at fault and the damage is minimal, leaving the scene of an accident is a very bad idea. You may face a hit-and-run charge later.
While you wait for the police, take the opportunity to capture photos of the accident scene, the damage to your vehicle and the other vehicles involved and your injuries. Having pictures of these things immediately after the accident can help tremendously in a later lawsuit. Once the police arrive, answer their questions truthfully and concisely without admitting any fault. After the police conduct their interviews they will allow you to leave while the accident scene is cleaned. It’s important to take pictures of debris, skid marks and nearby landmarks to help the jurors in your case form a more accurate picture of events as they occurred in your accident. You will be able to obtain a copy of the police report after the police officers file it at their duty station.
After the police allow you to leave, seek medical attention immediately, even if you believe your wounds are minor. Some injuries may not show symptoms right away and some internal injuries may not be noticeable for quite some time after your accident. Have a physician conduct an examination and make sure you tell the doctor you were involved in an auto accident. The doctor will provide you with a report of your medical condition, prognosis and future treatment options. The medical report you receive from your doctor and the police report for your accident will be the foundation of your personal injury lawsuit.
Car accidents happen for a variety of reasons, many of which involve driver error. Some of the leading causes of collisions in St. Louis include:
Cell phones, eating, daydreaming, children in the backseat, or following directions can easily take a driver’s focus away from the road. Even if it’s only for a split second, a distracted driver can cause a catastrophic accident.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, even prescription medications, dramatically impairs a driver’s ability to make decisions, react quickly, and operate a vehicle safely.
Fatigued drivers are three times more likely to be involved in an accident, according to the National Safety Council.
Speed limits are in place to promote safety. The faster a vehicle travels, the longer it takes to stop to avoid an accident.
Driving behaviors such as speeding, erratic lane changes, failure to yield the right-of-way, and failure to obey traffic signs and signals. All of which can easily contribute to an accident.
Inclement weather such as rain, snow, or thunderstorms, construction zones, gravel, and dirt roads can all pose a serious threat to drivers—for example, by causing low visibility or making it challenging to maintain control.
If just one part of a car is defective or was poorly installed and fails, the entire vehicle can be affected and may lead to a serious crash.
Here are some of the common types of injuries involved in car accident claims:
All injuries from car accidents require immediate medical treatment, especially since it can take up to 72 hours for symptoms of a severe injury to fully materialize.
Each case is unique in its facts, so there is no way to know exactly how much your claim is worth. However, an attorney can give you an accurate estimate of the amount of compensation you are entitled to after considering the following factors:
The at-fault driver’s policy limits can play an essential role in your recovery since their insurance company is not required to pay compensation beyond them. As a result, if your damages exceed the policy limits, your damages may not be completely covered. If that were to occur, your attorney will explore other options for recovering the difference. For instance, suing the at-fault driver personally or holding another party liable that also contributed to the accident.
How long it will take to recover compensation after a car accident is unique in each case, often due to its complexity, whether fault is disputed, and the severity of your injuries. In the best-case scenario, the insurance company will settle your claim within 30 days. However, here is an alternative timeline to give you a general idea of how long a case can take:
If you are severely injured, the first six months are often dedicated to recovering. Your attorney will advise you not to settle your case until you recover or reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). That way, you understand the full extent of your physical limitations, related losses, and the impact on your future. During this time, your lawyer will investigate to determine which parties are liable and gather evidence to support your claim. Once you heal, your attorney will carefully draft and send a demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurance company to begin negotiations.
If you cannot reach an agreement with the insurance company, you and your attorney may choose to file a lawsuit. In St. Louis, you typically have five years from the date of the accident to file suit under the state’s statute of limitations law. Keep in mind that your case can still settle at any point, even once trial has begun, and oftentimes, filing the lawsuit is enough to prompt the insurer to resolve the case.
The discovery portion of your lawsuit will begin, which takes up the majority of the process. Both sides to the lawsuit will often send interrogatories, take depositions, hire expert witnesses for trial, and the defense (at-fault party) may request an independent medical examination.
The remaining time will involve further negotiations, possibly mediation, and trial if necessary. A trial can take anywhere from a few days to several months to complete. If you are awarded compensation, it will often be dispersed to your attorney within 30 days of successful mediation or a favorable verdict.
Studies show that injury victims with legal representation often recover two to three times more in compensation, even after lawyer fees. Insurance companies can be very challenging to work with. If you handle the claims process alone, the insurance adjuster will know you do not intend to go to trial. Here are a few tactics of intimidation you may experience:
An experienced car accident lawyer will handle all communication with the insurance company and protect you in these situations. They will not settle for less than you deserve and will go to trial for you to obtain fair compensation.
At Goldblatt + Singer, our St. Louis car accident attorneys can help injured drivers secure compensation for their:
Compensation for verifiable monetary losses, such as:
Compensation for subjective, non-monetary losses.
Once you’ve handled your immediate medical concerns, secure representation from a reliable car accident attorney to start the claims process. To succeed in a personal injury claim, the plaintiff must prove the defendant was negligent and his or her negligence directly resulted in the plaintiff’s damages. There are four elements to negligence in personal injury cases:
Goldblatt + Singer has helped clients in Missouri since 1949, and we would like to put our experience to work in your case. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation about your car accident claim and we will let you know how we can help.