Missouri laws allow car crash victims to make claims against drivers who cause collisions. Missouri is a fault state, so car crash victims can pursue legal action when they suffer injuries. Missouri drivers must purchase $25,000 in liability coverage per person injured in a collision, and a total of $50,000 in liability coverage per accident. Missouri drivers also must purchase uninsured motorist coverage in case they sustain an injury in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have required car insurance. Drivers can purchase more insurance than the minimums, but not less.
Knowing how to report a Missouri car accident is the first step to making sure these significant losses are covered after a crash happens.
How to Report a Car Accident
After a crash, call your insurance company and call the police. These are the first two calls to make and ideally they should be made at the scene of the accident. You should contact 911 if you or anyone in the crash was badly hurt so an ambulance can come and so the police can make a report. If calling the insurance company right away is not possible due to serious injuries, call as soon as it is practical to do so.
Most auto insurers have people working all the time who can get a claim started. You’ll need to provide basic information on where the accident happened and what it involved. You should be careful what you say to the insurance company. Don’t provide any information suggesting you are to blame. Be sure to get the information about the other driver’s insurance company too. If the other driver caused the accident, that driver’s insurer should be the one who actually pays for damages.
The other driver at the crash scene may try to get you not to call the police or not to call the insurer. The driver may promise to just pay for your property damage. You should not agree. You should always report the crash and always contact the insurance company. Some conditions and injuries, particularly soft-tissue injuries, don’t show up until 24-48 hours after the accident. Serious property damage to a car may also not always be readily apparent. If it turns out you’ve been injured or suffered extensive property damage, the other driver may not have the money to pay. Even if your injuries and damage are minor, the other motorist may not follow through on his promise to provide you with compensation.
If you have not notified the police, you’ll lose your chance to get a collision report about what happened. If you’ve not notified your insurer, you could lose access to their help and lose collision or uninsured motorist coverage. Speaking with an experienced Springfield injury attorney can help best protect your rights and the financial well-being of you and your family following a serious traffic collision.