You finally save enough money to purchase your own car after years of working in a local Kansas City pizza shop. It is a used car, but you are so proud of yourself and cannot wait to get it out on the road. You drive to work and show it off to all of your co-workers and friends. On the way home, you suddenly feel a bump from behind and hear a loud thud. You look and realize you were just rear-ended. The other driver looks back at you angrily, and you know your car just suffered major damage. What should you do in the immediate aftermath of your car accident?
I Just Had a Car Accident in Missouri. What Should I Do?
When you are in an accident with another vehicle in Kansas City, Missouri (or anywhere else), the first thing you should do is get out of the road so you are not blocking traffic. Once you determine that there are no injuries to yourself or the other driver, you need to do the following:
- Call the police – even if it is a minor fender bender, you need to contact the Missouri State Highway Patrol or 911 as soon as you can. It is important that the authorities come to the accident scene and make an official report.
- Exchange information with the other driver – give the other driver your name, address, phone number, driver’s license, and registration number of the vehicle you are driving. You also need to provide the name of your insurance company.
- Collect any other vital information – you need to get the other driver’s name and contact information as well as any other passengers in the car with them. If there are any witnesses, you will need to collect their information as well.
- Use your phone to take pictures of the damage – take pictures of damage to your vehicle and the other driver’s car to submit with your claim to your insurance company.
- Document the traffic and weather at the time of the accident – It is also a good idea to take photos of the location of the accident and the weather (rain, snow, or the sun) to further support claims for damages.
- Never admit guilt at the scene of the accident – even if you are sure you are the cause of the accident, do not volunteer any information claiming fault. Remain polite when you speak with the law enforcement officer and the other driver and keep your cool at all times.
Do I Need to File an Insurance Claim in Kansas City if the Damage is Minor?
In Kansas City, Missouri, state law indicates you will need to file an accident report with the Driver’s License Bureau if the following are true:
- The accident took place within the last 12 months
- One of the drivers did not have vehicle insurance
- There is property damage of $500 or more
- Someone died from accident injuries
If your accident does not result in personal injuries or death, you can still notify the Driver’s License Bureau if the other driver did not have automobile insurance. You should consider scheduling a consultation with a car accident attorney if the other vehicle’s driver does not have car insurance. An attorney can assist you if you sustain injuries and need to collect damages and receive compensation from an uninsured motorist. They will protect your rights and get you all the compensation you are entitled to receive.
What Insurance Coverage Do I Need to Carry in Kansas City, Missouri?
It is the law of the state of Missouri that all drivers operating vehicles maintain basic liability insurance on their vehicles. The minimums for the state are:
- $25,000 of coverage per person for injuries to the body
- $50,000 of coverage for each accident for injuries to the body
- $10,000 of coverage for each accident for damage to property
You also need to have coverage of $25,000 for bodily injuries per person for uninsured motorists and $50,000 in coverage for bodily injuries per accident for uninsured motorists. Anyone that fails to have and keep this coverage on their vehicle could lose their right to drive on Kansas City roads.
How Will They Determine Fault in My Missouri Accident?
It can be hard to determine which driver is at fault in an automobile wreck. There are many factors that can contribute to a car crash like poor road conditions, defective car parts, and negligence by a vehicle driver. In the state of Missouri, pure comparative negligence will determine fault in an auto accident. In other words, if a driver has insurance, he or she can receive compensation even if partially responsible for damages. Any compensation given to the driver will be at a reduced amount due to the percentage of fault assessed to the driver.
How Can a Kansas City Car Wreck Attorney Help Me?
The attorneys at Krause and Kinsman Law Firm can help you if you have injuries from a vehicle accident. We can assist you with navigating the confusing laws surrounding car accident compensation. Being in a car accident can be a confusing time for everyone involved. Let us work on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve. Our dedicated attorneys have the resources and the knowledge to deal with the difficult aspects of auto insurance claims.
Call our office today to schedule a free consultation to discuss the details of your automobile accident claim and see how we can best help you. We will work hard to determine who is at fault for the accident and make sure any and all damages you are due are paid. Our lawyers are compassionate and understand you may be confused about how to go about filing a claim for compensation. Contact Krause and Kinsman Law Firm and let us take the worry out of your accident.
Robert Kinsman is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Robert Kinsman is passionate about normalizing the life of his clients after they have been seriously injured. Learn more about his experience here.