Missouri auto accidents often include the heavy involvement of insurance companies and their legal teams. Even when you are not at fault for the car accident, your right to collect the full compensation for your damages may be at risk. The other driver’s insurance company will typically search for ways to reduce their liability and place some of the blame back on you.
The Dickman Law Group has been protecting the rights of car accident injury victims for over 20 years. Charles Dickman previously worked for one of the largest insurance defense law firms in the state. His experience there provided him with valuable insight into the workings of insurance claims from the inside.
The Lake of the Ozarks car accident lawyers of Dickman Law Firm put this knowledge to work to protect injury victims, and we may be able to help you.
What does Pure Comparative Negligence Mean and How does It Affect My Car Accident Claim?
Pure comparative negligence essentially assigns percentages of fault to the parties involved in car accident claims. Many parties can be held liable for a crash, and the injury victim may also be held partially responsible. So, if the other party is found to be 90% at fault, they can still claim compensation.
Missouri follows the doctrine of pure comparative negligence regarding car accident liability. So if you are the plaintiff in a car crash case, your recovery will be reduced by your share of the fault in the car accident.
For example, if you are awarded $100,000 but you are determined to be 30% at fault for the accident, your award would be reduced by 30% and you would collect $70,000. A car accident attorney in the Lake of the Ozarks can defend you against any claims of liability brought against you and protect your right to collect the full amount of the damages you are entitled to.
For a free legal consultation with a car accidents lawyer serving Lake of the Ozarks, call 573-744-4878
Should You Talk to the Insurance Adjusters?
You are obviously entitled to deal with the insurance company without the benefit of legal counsel, but you probably shouldn’t. The insurance company is never on your side because they run their business to make a profit. Insurance company adjusters are under extreme pressure to minimize their payouts and protect the bottom line of their employers.
If you speak to insurance company adjusters, they may seem friendly and even sympathetic to your situation. They often engage in small talk with you to gain your trust. However, they are highly skilled interviewers who are seeking information. The information you provide to them may seem inconsequential, but it can be twisted and used against you to reduce or deny your claim. Remember the following if you do speak to the insurance adjuster:
- You are not obligated to provide information about your occupation
- You are not obligated to provide any information about your family
- Do not agree to a recorded statement
- Do not sign anything
What Should You Do?
It’s not uncommon for accident victims to be exploited by insurance companies. The best course of action is to avoid making any recorded statements or signing anything until you have discussed it with your attorney. You are completely within your rights and you will not risk your settlement by doing the following:
- Let them know that it isn’t a good time to talk right now
- Ask for their name and the insurance company they represent
- Ask for their business address, email address, and phone number
- Be pleasant, and let them know you will get back to them
- Contact a car accident lawyer in the Lake of the Ozarks area for legal advice
Your attorney can handle all contacts with the opposing counsel, the insurance companies, and representatives of the other parties involved. Attorneys are highly skilled negotiators who can protect your rights by fighting to maximize the value of your claim.
Lake of the Ozarks Car Accident Lawyer Near Me 573-744-4878
Lake of the Ozarks Car Accident Claim Damages
After an accident, many people wonder what damages are recoverable in their claim. Your damages can generally include your medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. A Lake of the Ozarks car accident lawyer can calculate the damages in your case to ensure that you are justly compensated for your losses.
Most accident victims are simply not aware of what they may be entitled to collect and consequently settle for less than they deserve. While there isn’t an exact predictor to indicate the amount of money a jury would award or what the insurance company will agree to, your lawyer can provide you with a reasonably accurate estimate based on the results of similar cases.
Some damages you may pursue include but are not limited to the following:
- Lost Income – Your lost wages. Treatment, hospital time, and future medical appointments related to your injuries will require you to miss work. The loss of this income is included when calculating the damages. Vocational rehabilitation, loss of benefits, loss of retirement, and potential commission losses can also become factors in a car accident injury claim.
- Medical Expenses– Any cost related to the care or ongoing treatment of your injuries, including prescriptions, medical devices, home health care, and mobility aids can be included.
- Non-economic Damages – The pain and suffering, mental and psychological trauma, loss of consortium, and overall disruption to your life can be considered in the non-economic damages.
The state of Missouri does not cap the value of damages in personal injury cases unless the claim is related to medical malpractice. A lawyer can calculate the real value of the damages in your claim and fight through negotiations or legal action to recover the full value of your compensation.
Contact Us Today for a No-Risk, No-Obligation Consultation
When you are injured in a car crash, you need the help of a lawyer who knows insurance companies. We understand the legal and financial challenges that injury victims face. Our firm remains committed to helping car accident victims in the Lake of the Ozarks area, and we are here to help you.
Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation to learn more about how we may be able to maximize the value of your claim and help you to get back on track after a car accident.