Dealing with the aftermath of an accident is always distressing, especially when you’re trying to juggle recovering from injuries with trying to recover your financial losses. But when it’s clear that you were not the one at fault for the accident, you might think you can simplify a complex matter by skipping the process of consulting and contracting with a lawyer, but is that the best thing to do? Even when the facts seem clear and you know that you didn’t cause the car accident, there are very good reasons why it’s still essential that an attorney represents your best interests aggressively throughout the process. When your physical and financial recovery after a car accident depends on insurance company representatives who don’t happily write out checks for payouts, you could face an unexpected and disappointing outcome on your claim.
Understanding Comparative Fault in Missouri
Missouri’s comparative fault system requires accident victims to prove the fault of the other party in the accident. Even if you did everything correctly, you could still find yourself bearing a percentage of the fault. Because insurance companies depend on maximizing profits from premiums and minimizing payouts on claims, they hire insurance adjusters expressly for finding ways to deny or undervalue claims. One tactic they may use in Missouri is to attempt to assign you an undue percentage of fault in the accident.
If your damages from the accident amount to $100,000, by determining you were 20% at fault, they can reduce the amount they pay out to $80,000. Insurance companies may also use the following methods to undervalue or deny injury claims:
- Calling you soon after the accident with a low settlement offer when you don’t yet know the full scope of your damages
- Ask for medical authorization to review your injuries and then combing through your history to claim your pain is from a pre-existing condition
- Recording phone calls and taking your words out of context to use against you
- Claim your doctor-recommended treatment isn’t necessary
You need an experienced car accident attorney to diligently counteract these tactics to secure your full compensation.
What Can a Missouri Car Accident Lawyer Do For Me?
Even if you know you were not at fault in an accident, you need a seasoned Missouri car accident lawyer representing your interests and investigating your case to prove liability by showing clear evidence of the following:
- That the person at fault owed a duty to keep others safe on the road by taking reasonable precautions and following traffic laws
- That they breached this duty by acting negligently or recklessly
- That it was their negligent breach that caused the accident
- That the accident directly caused your injuries
- That you have suffered real damages from the injury
Once your accident attorney crafts a compelling case, your side can negotiate with insurance companies from a position of strength, maximizing your chance for an ample settlement offer. A confident, capable St. Louis personal injury attorney is also willing to take the matter all the way to court on your behalf if necessary to achieve the outcome you deserve.
What Damages Can a Car Accident Attorney Help Me Recover?
Having a car accident attorney arguing for your best interests throughout the investigation and drafting a strong demand letter to begin negotiations helps to maximize your chances of gaining full compensation for the following damages after a car accident:
- Property damage to your vehicle and personal belongings
- Medical expenses
- Any future medical expenses relating to treatment for your injuries
- Lost paychecks from your recovery time
- Any future gaps in pay or lowered earning capacity due to a disabling injury
- Pain and suffering and other non-economic damages like loss of consortium or loss of pleasure in life
A good accident attorney can prove that the accident you experienced was preventable and that you were not the party at fault; therefore, the liable party owes you full compensation through the terms of their own insurance policy.