Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Sep 17, 2012

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If you have a Missouri car accident, one of the first things you should do is consider contacting a Missouri car accident attorney. Missouri law allows you to collect damages from those at fault for your accident. Hiring a Missouri car accident attorney can be invaluable in making sure you get the damages you deserve.

Missouri is an at-fault car accident state, which means that the driver who is responsible for the car accident is responsible for paying your medical bills and lost wages that result from that accident. The driver who caused the accident is also responsible for compensating you for your pain and suffering and emotional distress. Most often, that compensation comes from the insurance company of the person who hurt you. Missouri requires that all drivers buy $25,000 per person in liability coverage and $50,000 per incident, so this full amount (or more if the person bought optional additional protection) is potentially available to provide you with compensation.

Hiring a lawyer to get the compensation you deserve is essential because:

  • Your lawyer can help to ensure that you gather the appropriate evidence to prove fault. If you call a Missouri car accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident, your lawyer can interview the police and witnesses at the scene of the accident and can help to take pictures and gather the evidence you may need later if fault becomes a question.
  • Your attorney can help make sure you comply with the Missouri time limits for filing a car accident claim. Missouri allows three years to file a car accident claim if the auto accident injuries resulted in death, and five years to file your claim for non-fatal injuries. Filing a claim outside this statute of limitations is prohibited, so if you don’t proceed in a timely manner you could be barred forever from recovery.
  • A lawyer can help you prove the full extent of your injuries. Some injuries don’t become apparent immediately after a car accident, so your lawyer will may be able to help you prove the injuries were a result of the accident. Other injuries, such as whiplash, can be devastating and permanent… yet hard to prove.
  • A Missouri car accident attorney can assist you in negotiating with the insurance company. Insurers are out to make money, and to do this, they may try to give you a low ball insurance settlement offer. Having a lawyer on your side to negotiate with the insurance company can be a great help in getting a better settlement offer and getting the damages you deserve.
  • If you can’t reach a settlement, a Missouri car accident attorney can take your case to court for you. Make sure your attorney is an experienced trial lawyer, who has been through the process of jury selection and trial and who can help you to make a convincing case in court.

Most Missouri car accident attorneys charge a contingent fee, which means there is little risk to you in hiring a lawyer. Your attorney will be paid only if you win your case, so you won’t get stuck with legal fees and your lawyer is guaranteed to be invested and on your side during the entire process.

How to Hire a Missouri Car Accident Lawyer

When you choose a Missouri car accident attorney, you need someone who specializes in car accidents and someone who is experienced in the particular type of case you are facing. Your lawyer should be responsive, return phone calls quickly, show that he is knowledgeable about the law, and shouldn’t hand your case off to assistants. You need a lawyer who is really on your side, who is there and willing to act as an advocate to help you collect the damages you deserve.

Page Law handles exclusively personal injury cases, including tractor trailer accidents, truck accidents, car accidents, bus accidents, motorcycle accidents and boat accidents. Page Law has the resources and staff to handle the most complex accident cases. Although it is a large and experienced law firm, you’ll still get the attention and care you deserve. Consider contacting Page Law for a free consultation after your Missouri car accident.