If you travel to Missouri only to wind up in a hospital emergency room after a car accident, you may deal with the after-effects of the incident in the months that follow. Getting the help you need can be challenging at times, especially if there are legal issues involved. It’s important to know what to do after a collision and where to seek support.
The top priority in the immediate aftermath of a motor vehicle collision should always be to seek medical support. Even if you have no visible injuries, you could have suffered organ damage or other internal injuries, some of which may be life-threatening, such as brain trauma. Some people decline medical attention after an accident, but this is typically not a good idea.
Exchange all relevant information after a Missouri collision
If you’re coherent and able to speak after a collision has occurred on a Missouri roadway, you’ll want to make sure you obtain the contact and relevant insurance information from any other motorist who was involved. If you’re unable to do so due to the severity of your injuries, a person you trust can act on your behalf.
Always avoid confrontation. If another driver is acting enraged, it’s best to seek support from the investigating police officers who arrive at the scene, assuming someone has notified them, which should be one of the first things you do if you are able.
Gathering evidence is important, especially if you later file a legal claim
In addition to obtaining pertinent information from other drivers who were involved in the collision that resulted in your injuries, it is also wise to compile evidence, such as photographs of the scene, including property damage, injuries, road conditions and more. It’s also a good idea to write down all the details that you can remember or to dictate information to another person, if you’re unable to write but can speak.
This will help you later recount the events as they unfolded, in case your memory fails you, which often happens after a collision, especially if you have a concussion or other traumatic brain injury.
Notify your auto insurance company as soon as possible
You must inform your insurance company that you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle collision. If any driver who was involved is under-insured or was driving without a valid insurance policy in place, it can cause serious legal complications as you attempt to process your claim.
Was the other driver’s behavior a direct cause of the collision?
If a Missouri collision occurs because a distracted driver runs a red light or was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may have grounds to seek compensation for damages in civil court. This type of litigation is complex and usually stressful (because the details of the collision are publicly restated, sometimes multiple times, in court). For this reason, most people filing such claims hire experienced personal injury attorneys to represent them in court.
When a collision occurs in Missouri, it’s always best to seek legal support in this state as well. Every state has its own personal injury laws, so it makes sense to discuss your case with someone who is well-versed in the laws of the state where the accident took place.