If you’ve been reading my blogs, you’re already aware of the fact that driver safety is something I’m passionate about. It’s important to me that I not only do everything I can to protect my clients who have been in tragic car crashes, but to also do everything I can to educate drivers about protecting themselves from future crashes. There’s a lot we can do in the state of Missouri to prevent accidents and crashes.
As a personal injury lawyer who’s also an advocate for roadway safety, I often hear stories about individuals who have been in a crash or know someone who was and believe certain facts to be true that actually aren’t. I hear some interesting car crash myths when meeting with potential clients for the first time.
The unfortunate truth is that there’s a great deal of misinformation out there. I’m here to help change that. Here are 5 of the most common car crash myths in the state of Missouri and the truth behind those myths:
Myth 1: If the crash is minor, you don’t need to exchange insurance information or file a police report.
Missouri drivers are sometimes under the impression that unless a car crash is major and causes severe damage, there’s no need to pull over, exchange insurance information, or file a police report. This is 100% untrue. When a driver is involved in a crash or accident that causes any type of damage to another vehicle, person, or piece of property, they are required by law to pull over, share their insurance info, and inquire about filing a police report.
If the accident doesn’t cause any major injuries or damage, the police may tell you that filing a report isn’t necessary. You should still ask for one just to be safe, because if any issues regarding the crash come up later, you may wish you had that report on hand.
Myth 2: There’s no need to go to the hospital if your injuries seem minor at the time.
Similar to the above myth, many drivers are under the impression that if you aren’t in a lot of pain after a car crash, you don’t have to go to the hospital. The truth is that many injuries—especially car accident injuries—appear in a delayed manner due to the dramatic nature of most crashes. The human body often experiences a rush of adrenaline during traumatic events that can make it easy to dismiss pain.
Many types of back, neck, and head injuries may not present themselves fully until hours or even days after an accident. To make sure there’s nothing wrong—even if you aren’t feeling immediate pain—you should always head to the hospital and/or doctor’s office as soon as possible after any type of serious car crash. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Myth 3: The insurance company’s settlement offer is the best you can receive.
If the insurance company’s settlement offer isn’t enough to cover the costs of your injuries and/or lost wage costs, remember that you do not have to settle! If your injuries are serious, you are likely entitled to far more compensation than you believe. Most insurance companies are out to earn a profit, so they’ll try and cut corners however they can—even if it means misleading you about the amount of compensation you truly deserve.
Myth 4: If you’re partially at fault for the accident, there’s no point in opening a civil claim.
In many states including the state of Missouri, partial settlement amounts can be awarded to accident victims even if they’re found to be partially at fault. After a claim is filed, percentages of fault will be determined. These percentages determine how much you are awarded. Depending on the total award amount, a partial award may still cover the costs of most of your medical bills or even all of them.
Myth 5: Personal injury lawyers are expensive.
Personal injury lawyers like myself work off contingency fees. What this means is that I don’t get paid for car accident cases unless my client wins their case. No money is ever required upfront. This makes it easy for any accident victim—no matter how much money they have—to get the help they need.
If you have any further questions or would like to speak to me regarding a recent car crash you were involved in, don’t hesitate to get in touch today.