Millions of unsuspecting Americans are injured in motor vehicle crashes every year. While no one wants to be involved in car accidents, there is only so much you can do to avoid them. . Safe driving habits might reduce your risk of suffering an injury in a crash, but nothing can eliminate the risk entirely.
Because there is no way to guarantee to avoid a wreck, the next best thing is to know exactly what to do after you have been in one. Knowing the steps to take after a car accident can help you, your passengers, and other drivers involved in a crash get the help they need.
What to Do After Getting Into a Motor Vehicle Crash in Missouri
If you are driving on a Missouri road and get hit by another vehicle, you should try to remember the following steps:
Step One: Try to Remain Calm
After getting hit by another driver, it is all too easy to let our emotions take over. But as with any emergency, one of the best things you can do is remain calm. Panicking is not helpful for anyone and puts you at a greater risk of saying or doing something you might later regret.
Be sure to avoid aggressive behaviors such as shouting, name-calling, or physical violence. Allowing your emotions to get the best of you can distort your decision-making skills or prevent you from obtaining the medical care you need. Instead, try to focus on staying courteous and providing the authorities with accurate information.
Step Two: Remain at the Scene of the Crash
Check yourself and others for injuries and provide first aid if you are able to do so. Notify emergency services immediately of the incident and any known injuries. If visibility is low due to bad weather or lighting conditions, turn on your hazard lights, or use reflectors or flares to warn other drivers.
Leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident before law enforcement officers give you permission to do so is a crime in the State of Missouri. You can remove damaged vehicles out of the roadway to prevent additional accidents, but otherwise, do not move them unless permitted by a police officer.
Step Three: Exchange Contact Information
Exchanging information with the other drivers is crucial after a car accident. If you were involved in an accident, be sure to collect the following information from the other involved parties:
- Driver’s license number
- Insurance policy information
- License plate number
- Vehicle identification number
This information is necessary to process your claim successfully.
Step Four: Report the Accident
Missouri requires any accidents that meet all of the following criteria to be reported to the police:
- The incident occurred less than one year ago.
- At least one uninsured driver was involved in the accident.
- It resulted in bodily injury or over $500 in property damage.
You will also need to report the incident to your own insurance company. When discussing the crash with the involved parties, stay calm and avoid discussing:
- Fault: Avoid giving any apologies or admitting to being at fault for any part of the accident or blaming another driver. There will be a comprehensive investigation to uncover all of the facts about the crash.
- Injuries: Do not say that you are okay or discuss how you feel. It is common to go into a state of shock after a crash, which can mask injuries. Jumping to the conclusion you are uninjured couldprevent you from recovering fair compensation for your damages.
Make sure you see your doctor for a complete medical exam to identify your injuries and any treatments you may need. Documentation of your injuries is important for your claim.
After a Kansas City Car Accident, Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Goza & Honnold personal injury attorneys have represented thousands of clients in Kansas City and nationwide. We thoroughly investigate our clients’ accidents to determine fault and ensure we understand the full scope of their damages. Over the years, we have successfully recovered millions of dollars for our clients’ damages, including pain and suffering, medical bills, and loss of income.
To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, you may fill out a contact form or call our office at (913) 451-3433.