Car accidents are unfortunately common in Kansas City. Each year, hundreds of residents suffer serious injuries in collisions with negligent drivers, resulting in thousands of dollars worth of damages. If you are the victim of a car accident, you can feel scared, disoriented, and unsure of what to do next.
In these situations, trust the car accident lawyers at Goza & Honnold, LLC to help you secure the compensation you need. Under Missouri’s fault insurance system, you may be eligible to hold the at-fault driver liable for your losses. Our attorneys will work tirelessly to secure the compensation you deserve.
Why Choose Us
- Our attorneys are former defense lawyers who know how insurance providers prepare their cases and handle critical evidence.
- We understand how painful car accident injuries can be. We will handle each aspect of your case so you can focus on recovery, not complex legal processes.
- Our attorneys have secured millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. We will advocate for your maximum compensation during each step of your case.
- Our firm practices empathy and compassion from consultation to settlement. We will take the time to listen to your story and understand your goals so we can provide you with the best possible representation.
Legal Options for Kansas City Car Accident Victims
Missouri is an at-fault state, which means that drivers who cause car accidents must pay for the damages of the other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians who suffer injuries in the crash. All Missouri drivers must carry liability insurance in case they cause an accident, as well as uninsured motorist coverage in case they are in an accident with an at-fault driver who does not have this insurance.
If you are in an accident where the other driver was at fault, you have three options to secure compensation for your losses.
- Filing an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
- Filing an insurance claim under your own insurance policy, if you have the appropriate coverage.
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver in civil court.
Most car accident victims file an insurance claim first and proceed to a lawsuit if the claim is unsuccessful. Depending on the facts of your case, you may want to file a lawsuit instead of an insurance claim. For example, if you have damages that exceed the insurance company’s policy limits, you are more likely to recover sufficient compensation in a lawsuit rather than an insurance claim.
To determine your optimal path to compensation, speak to a car accident attorney at Goza & Honnold.
Should You Speak to an Insurance Adjuster After an Accident?
After you receive medical attention, a representative from the insurance company may contact you. The representative may ask you to provide a statement about the accident so he or she can begin processing your claim. Do not speak to the insurance representative until you contact a car accident lawyer.
It is important to remember that an insurance company is responsible for paying your claim, so it is not the company’s goal to award maximum compensation. The company could use any statement you make about your accident and injuries as evidence against you in the future. If you later discover that your injuries are worse than you realized, the company could point to inconsistencies in your statement as evidence to reduce or dismiss your claim. They may also try to offer you a settlement very early in the process before you fully understand the extent of your injuries. If your treatment ends up exceeding that settlement amount, you will be unable to recover more compensation.
“Don’t expect an insurance adjustor to offer you a fair settlement initially. Their job is to minimize claims by pointing only to your immediate injury. We work with a network of competent professionals and witnesses to tell your whole story and make sure the full extent of your losses are considered for compensation. ” — Attorney Brad Honnold
At Goza & Honnold, our attorneys understand how insurance companies and defense attorneys operate. Your attorney will advise you on how to engage with insurance adjusters and can handle most of these conversations on your behalf. Unlike the adjuster, your attorney shares your goal of maximum compensation and will advocate for your needs during insurance negotiations.
What to Do After a Car Accident
The moments after a car accident can feel painful and overwhelming—but this time is crucial for your future claim. Evidence is freshest immediately after the accident, and the insurance company will scrutinize the actions you take in the hours and days following your collision. To protect your right to compensation, take the following steps to preserve evidence and seek the help you need.
- Call 911. When law enforcement arrives at the scene, the responding officer will interview all parties and create a report. You can use the police report as evidence in your case. After speaking to the officer, ask for his or her name and badge number to find the report later.
- Seek medical attention. You should always go to the emergency room as soon as possible after a car accident. You may have internal injuries that you may not be aware of after the crash. In addition, your medical records will provide valuable evidence for your claim. These documents can prove the severity and long-term impact of your injuries, along with the cost of your treatment.
- Document the scene. If you can move around the accident site without harming yourself, you can preserve evidence at the scene. Take several photographs of your visible injuries, vehicle damage, and any debris around the accident. If there are traffic signs or signals in the area, photograph them as well.
- Collect information from the other driver, including his or her name, contact information, and license and insurance details. Keep your conversation brief and avoid making statements about your injuries or how the accident occurred.
- Ask witnesses for their information. If people saw the accident happen, their testimony can provide valuable evidence for your claim. While you are at the accident scene, ask others in the area if you could have their contact information for your future claim.
Missouri Car Accident Statistics
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MHSP), 37,832 personal injury crashes and 819 fatal crashes occurred in Missouri during 2019. A total of 881 people died in these accidents, and 55,112 others sustained injuries due to their collisions. Of these injuries, MHSP data shows that 4,491 victims developed a disability.
Many factors played a role in these 2019 accidents:
- 282 fatal accidents and 6,922 personal injury crashes involved speeding.
- 111 fatal crashes and 1,736 personal injury crashes involved alcohol use.
- 53 fatal crashes and 415 personal injury collisions involved drugs.
- 234 people sustained injuries and 30 people died in collisions involving simultaneous alcohol and drug use.
- 553 fatal crashes and 23,760 personal injury accidents involved aggressive driving behaviors.
Contact a Kansas City Car Accident Lawyer
Are you the victim of a Kansas City car accident? You are not alone and help is available. The car accident lawyers at Goza & Honnold, LLC will work tirelessly to hold the at-fault driver accountable, supporting you on your path to recovery.
Schedule a free consultation with a car accident attorney. At your appointment, your lawyer will review your case and determine your optimal path to maximum recovery.