Many people have similar concerns and questions following a car accident in Missouri. Will you be compensated for your injuries? Will you be compensated for your lost wages? Should you see a doctor for your injuries? Do you need to speak to the other driver’s insurance company? Here are some answers to some common questions many people have following a car accident.
Do I Have to Speak to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company?
In short, don’t speak with the defendant’s insurance company until you’ve spoken with an attorney. Oftentimes an insurance company will want to take a recorded statement regarding the facts of the accident and to get a synopsis of your injuries. In many cases, the other driver’s insurance company will ask you questions regarding your personal injuries which may not be in your best interest to answer. For instance, many people will naturally reply “I’m fine” if asked how they are feeling by an insurance adjuster.
The insurance company may use this statement to try to prove that you were not feeling any pain or did not have injuries from the wreck. You do not have to offer any additional personal information regarding how you are feeling or if your medical condition is getting better. It is also not advisable to give an insurance company full rights to access your medical history or records. Many of those records are protected by HIPAA and the insurance company may not be entitled to receive them.
How Do I Get My Medical Bills and Lost Wages Paid After a Missouri Car Accident?
Immediately following a Missouri car accident, you will be responsible for any medical bills for treatment rendered that is related to the accident. In Missouri, if you have health insurance your health insurer is primarily responsible for paying for your medical bills. Some people have an optional type of coverage for medical bills through their auto insurance carrier called Medical Payments (MedPay).
However, there are usually balances owned even after health insurance or Medical Payments have paid. In Kansas, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance through your auto insurer is primarily responsible for the first $4,500 of medical treatment. After the PIP has been exhausted, then your health insurance is responsible for payment of the medical bills. If it is determined that the other party was negligent and a settlement is reached, you may have to repay your health insurer or PIP provider if they have a valid right of subrogation under state law.
What Does the Settlement or Judgment Include?
A settlement offer from the insurance company or a court judgment includes payment for any of your lost wages, pain and suffering, medical bills, liens, future medical care, and all other losses that relate to the accident. It is important to have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side to negotiate with insurance companies in order to get the settlement that you deserve. Insurance companies typically attempt to offer the lowest settlement amounts possible including very low pain and suffering settlement amounts. Make sure you never settle for less than you deserve following your accident.
What if I Do Not Have a Valid Driver’s License or Auto Insurance?
If you were in an accident and did not have a valid driver’s license in either Missouri or Kansas, this should not affect your ability to obtain compensation for any injuries or damages resulting from someone else’s negligence. You may be subject to a fine or ticket if you don’t have a valid driver’s license. However, if you were driving a car you are required to carry auto insurance. If you are not properly insured and even if the accident was not your fault, the other insurance company may try to get out of paying you for your injuries.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Experienced in Missouri Car Accidents Today
You may have many questions and concerns following your Missouri car accident. We look forward to the opportunity to help you answer those questions and help you understand your legal options. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Griggs Injury Law at (816) 474-0202 today to find out how we can help you build a strong personal injury case and help you get the compensation you deserve.