FAQ’s Personal Injury

Personal Injury

1.    What do I need to do after an accident?

The immediate priority is your safety and the safety of those around you.  Do not leave the accident scene.  Call for 911 immediately and get medical attention for those who have been injured.  If you are able to do so, make sure you gather important information regarding the other driver’s identification and insurance information.  If you are injured, make sure you follow up with all of your doctor’s orders and make all follow up appointments.

Call your own insurance company within 24 hours to report the accident and any injuries.

DO NOT talk to ANY other insurance companies besides your own.

DO NOT give a recorded statement.  DO NOT sign anything until you meet with a lawyer.

Retain copies of any photographs showing the damage done to your vehicle and keep copies of towing bills, storage costs and repair expenses.

Call Harper, Evans, Wade & Netemeyer and get immediate experienced legal representation working for you.

2.   What if I do not know I am injured at first?

After an accident, you may have a lot of adrenaline running through your system.  Some injuries do not make themselves known immediately.  It is important to get medical attention as soon as you know you are in need of a doctor.  Do not put this off as it may negatively impact your claim.

3.   Should I cooperate with the other driver’s insurance company?

No. Do not communicate with any insurance company, other than your own, until you have talked to an experienced personal injury attorney.

DO NOT sign a medical authorization.

DO NOT give a recorded statement.

DO NOT even consider a settlement until you have called Harper, Evans, Wade & Netemeyer.

4.   What if I am not sure who was at fault for the accident?

There are many variables in determining who may be at fault for an accident.  This may involve multiple drivers, and can even involve the State depending on road design and maintenance.  Missouri is a comparative fault state, so it may be a situation where more than one driver shares in the fault for the accident.  It is important that you consult with an experienced lawyer to discuss all of the details regarding your specific accident.

5.   What if I don’t have insurance?

This is where it is really important to consult with a good personal injury lawyer.  Even though you don’t have insurance, there may be insurance coverages from the other driver that will apply to your injuries.  Additionally, there can be multiple insurance policies that cover the same vehicle and the same driver in one accident.

6.   What if the other driver doesn’t have insurance?

If you are injured in an accident and the other driver has no insurance, you will be covered by your own uninsured motorist coverage.  These coverages can even be stacked.  There are other coverages you need to know about.  Your own underinsured motorist coverage, medical pay coverage, disability coverage and death and dismemberment coverage may all apply to your injury claim.

7.   How do I know if I need a lawyer?

At Harper, Evans, Wade & Netemeyer we offer a free, no obligation consultation for all of our injury clients.  For our potential clients who have injuries that prevent them from traveling, we are even available to make house calls.  Please call us and let us help you decide if we can make the difference in your injury case.

8.   Will I have to go to court?

The majority of personal injury cases settle out of court.  However, the best way to reach a fair and timely settlement is to hire an attorney who is ready and able to take your case all the way to trial and convince the insurance company that it is in their best interest to settle your claim.  Even though not all cases go to trial, at Harper, Evans, Wade & Netemeyer we stand ready to win your case in front of a jury if that is what it takes.  Often times, after a lawsuit has been filed, depositions have been taken, and the discovery process is complete, we are able to persuade the insurance company that it is better to settle with you out of court than to have a trial.

9.   How long do I have to file a car accident lawsuit in Missouri?

Generally, in Missouri you have five (5) years to file suit or your claim may be barred by the statute of limitations.  This can change if your accident involves a Wrongful Death claim, which is only three (3) years.  Also, shorter time periods may apply to some accidents involving claims against the State or other government agencies.  It is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible.  The sooner you get a good attorney working on your case the sooner you can be sure that important evidence, such as possible video and photographs of the accident, aren’t lost or spoiled.

10.   What if I was not wearing my seat belt?

Even though it is possible than your damages could potentially be slightly reduced by not wearing a seat belt, the ultimate factor is going to be who caused the accident and the extent of your injuries.

11.   What if there was a minor child involved in the accident?

If you are a parent of a son or a daughter who is involved in an accident while still a minor, it is even more important that you consult with an experienced attorney.  There are Missouri statutes that require court approval for cases involving minors, even if the case is to be settled out of court.  Additionally, it may be necessary to go to probate court to have a parent appointed as conservator for their own child in order to complete a settlement under some circumstances.  At Harper, Evans, Wade & Netemeyer we are experienced in handling all issues regarding injuries to minor children.

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If this is an emergency please contact our office immediately at 573-442-1660