When filing a car accident claim, at some point, you’ll be asked to provide a statement to your insurance company.

In the statement, your insurance company will ask for details about your accident. What time of day was it? What were the road conditions like? What happened in the moments before the accident, and what actions did you take?

It’s important to be thorough, detailed and accurate when describing your car accident to your insurance company. However, the devil is in the details. There are some things you can say that can see your claim reduced or rejected entirely.

Car crashes can be complex, and if you need help navigating the intricacies of your case, the St. Louis car accident attorneys at Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse are here to help. Call us today at 314-241-1919 for a free case evaluation.

How to Communicate with Insurance Companies

One of your first steps after a car accident should be to report the incident to your insurance company. This ensures you receive any applicable collision coverage and starts the claims process promptly.

Contact your insurer as soon as possible after the accident, while the details are still fresh in your mind.

However, a cautious and strategic approach is crucial when communicating with insurance representatives. The key is to stick to the facts when providing your car accident description. This prevents the insurer from potentially taking your statements out of context or using them to assign you fault for the accident.

Providing a Clear, Factual Account

When describing the accident to your insurance company, your focus should be on providing only the basic details such as the time, date and location of the incident. It’s vital to maintain a neutral, factual description of the accident without making statements that could be interpreted as admitting responsibility.

Stick to observable facts and avoid speculating about what other drivers might have been thinking or doing.

Be aware that providing a written statement to the insurer can potentially be used against you later, so it’s often best to give your initial report verbally. If you’re asked to provide a written account, consider consulting with a car accident lawyer before doing so to ensure you’re not inadvertently compromising your claim.

What Not to Say to Insurance Representatives

Being mindful of your words is crucial when communicating with insurance representatives.

Never admit to any mistakes or fault when talking to them, even if you think you might have been partially responsible for the accident. Admitting fault at the scene or during conversations with insurance companies can be used against you later, potentially reducing your compensation or even leading to a denied claim.

Instead, stick to the facts of what happened without offering opinions or apologizing. If you’re unsure about how to answer a question, it’s perfectly acceptable to say, “I’m not certain” or “I’d prefer not to speculate.”

Remember, your goal is to provide an accurate account of the events without compromising your position or rights.

Importance of Photographic Evidence

In the digital age, photographic evidence has become an invaluable tool in documenting car accidents. To capture critical details that might be overlooked or forgotten later, taking pictures and videos at the crash scene is essential. Immediately after the accident, if it’s safe to do so, start documenting the scene with your smartphone or camera. Capture images of the vehicles’ positions, any visible damage, and the overall accident scene. These photos can provide clear evidence of vehicle damage and the accident scene, which can be crucial when filing your insurance claim or if legal action becomes necessary.

When taking photos, be sure to document all visible damage to the vehicles involved. Don’t forget to include license plate numbers in your photos or videos, as this can help identify the vehicles involved. Additionally, capture any debris, skid marks, or other indicators of the crash. These details can be used along with pictures of the cars to explain the mechanics of the accident to insurance representatives.

Remember, photographs play a crucial role in car accident investigations, providing insurance company investigators with visual evidence of how the accident occurred. Failing to take photos or videos at the scene can significantly weaken your claim, so make this a priority as soon as it’s safe to do so after the accident.

Dealing with the Other Party’s Insurer

When dealing with the other driver’s insurance company, remember that their primary goal is to pay as little as possible for claims. This means you need to be cautious and strategic in your interactions with them, and in most cases, the best course of action is to no talk to them at all.

Be especially wary of quick settlement offers, as these are often lowball attempts to resolve the claim quickly and cheaply, potentially leaving you undercompensated for your injuries, damages, and medical bills.

Should You Provide a Recorded Statement?

When dealing with the other driver’s insurance company, you may be asked to provide a recorded statement. However, it’s generally advisable to avoid giving such a statement without first consulting with a lawyer. While auto insurers may request a recorded statement as part of their investigation process, you are not obligated to provide one.

The reason for this caution is that providing a recorded statement can lead to unintentional admissions against your interest, potentially harming your case. Insurance adjusters are trained to ask questions in ways that might elicit responses that could be used to minimize your claim.

If you’re asked for a recorded statement, it’s best to politely decline and inform them that you’ll be seeking legal advice first. Remember, protecting your rights and ensuring fair compensation should be your primary concern.

Legal Representation Can Help

Engaging legal representation can be a game-changer when dealing with insurance companies, particularly the other party’s insurer. An experienced car accident lawyer can:

  • Prevent the insurer from taking advantage of any inconsistencies or misstatements in your account of the accident

  • Be well-versed in the tactics insurance companies use to reduce payouts

  • Navigate these challenges effectively

  • Ensure you receive a fair settlement

Many law firms, including Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse, handle all communications and negotiations with insurance companies on behalf of their clients.

This not only relieves you of the stress of dealing directly with insurers but also ensures that your rights are protected throughout the process. With legal representation, you can focus on your recovery while your attorney works to secure the compensation you deserve.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Describing a Car Accident

There are several common pitfalls in describing a car accident that can potentially weaken your case or complicate your insurance claim. As we mentioned above, admitting fault, even partially, is one of the most critical mistakes as it can provide a legal excuse for the other party’s insurance company to deny your claim or reduce your compensation.

Another frequent error is neglecting to seek immediate medical attention. Even if you feel fine initially, some injuries may not manifest symptoms right away. Delaying medical care can give insurance companies grounds to argue that your injuries weren’t caused by the accident.

Remaining truthful and objective in your account is crucial. Embellishing details or making assumptions can undermine your credibility and potentially harm your case. By being aware of these common mistakes, you can better protect your interests and strengthen your position when dealing with insurance companies or potential legal proceedings.

Overlooking Small Details

One of the most common mistakes people make when describing a car accident is overlooking small details that may seem insignificant at the time. However, these minor details can often play a crucial role in determining fault or the extent of damages. For instance, neglecting to document minor injuries or slight vehicle damage might seem unimportant in the immediate aftermath of an accident, but these details can become significant if complications arise later. Small details like the exact position of vehicles, the presence of skid marks, or even the timing of traffic signals can provide critical evidence about how the accident occurred.

Admitting Fault or Guilt

Be particularly cautious about using phrases like “I’m sorry” at the accident scene or during subsequent discussions, as these can be interpreted as admissions of fault.

Remember, even in what might seem like clear-cut cases, such as rear-end collisions, factors like mechanical failures could complicate the determination of fault. Therefore, it’s always best to stick to the facts and avoid making any statements that could be interpreted as accepting blame for the accident.

Inconsistent Statements

Maintaining consistency in your statements about the accident is crucial. Insurance companies are adept at identifying discrepancies in accounts, and they may use these inconsistencies to challenge the credibility of your entire claim. Even small variations in your description of the accident across different statements can lead to disputes over the facts of the incident, potentially weakening your case.

To avoid this pitfall, it’s important to ensure consistency in your account from the very beginning. Before giving any statements, take the time to carefully recall the events and write them down. Refer to these notes when speaking with police, insurance representatives or legal professionals to maintain a consistent narrative.

When to Seek Legal Help

Hiring a car accident attorney can help maximize your compensation if you’re dealing with serious injuries or significant financial losses as a result of the accident.

Complex Cases Involving Severe Injuries

When a car accident results in severe, life-changing injuries, such as major head trauma, spinal cord damage or extensive fractures, it’s critical to seek legal representation. These types of injuries often require long-term medical care and can have profound impacts on your quality of life and ability to work.

In such cases, accurately estimating and negotiating a fair settlement becomes incredibly complex, and the expertise of a seasoned car accident lawyer can be invaluable.

Disputes Over Fault

Fault and liability disputes are common in car accident cases, especially when multiple parties are involved or when the circumstances of the accident are complex.

In these situations, having a lawyer to investigate and prove fault can be crucial. An experienced attorney will know how to gather and present evidence effectively, interview witnesses, and potentially work with accident reconstruction experts to build a strong case in your favor.

Handling Denied Claims

Insurance companies often deny claims or offer significantly lower settlements than what claimants deserve. In these situations, legal help becomes crucial for appealing the decision and proving the true value of your claim. If your insurance claim has been denied, a lawyer can assist in negotiating a larger settlement or, if necessary, threatening a lawsuit to secure fair compensation.

The process of appealing a denied claim often involves extensive discovery and negotiation, areas where a lawyer’s expertise can be invaluable. They can help with:

  • Gathering additional evidence

  • Obtaining expert testimonies if needed

  • Presenting a compelling case for why your claim should be approved or why you deserve a higher settlement.

Contact Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse for Assistance

If you’ve been involved in a car accident in St. Louis and need expert legal assistance, Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse is here to help. Recognized for their personalized client service and thorough legal knowledge, the attorneys at NGK Law Firm are listed among the Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers in Missouri.

With a impressive 98% client success rate and over $1 billion recovered for our clients, Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse have the experience and track record to handle your case effectively. Call today at 314-241-1919 to schedule your free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How soon after a car accident should I report it to my insurance company?

Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible, ideally within 24 hours of the incident, to ensure the details are fresh and the claims process can begin promptly. If you’re injured, seek medical attention before contacting your insurer.

Should I admit fault if I think the accident was my fault?

No, you should never admit fault, even if you think the accident was your fault. Admitting fault can jeopardize your claim and limit your ability to receive compensation. Stick to providing factual information about what happened instead.

Is it necessary to seek medical attention if I feel fine after the accident?

It is necessary to seek medical attention after an accident, even if you feel fine immediately. Some injuries may not show symptoms right away, and getting a medical evaluation creates a record for insurance and legal purposes. It also helps to identify and treat hidden injuries early.

How important are photographs in documenting a car accident?

Photographs are crucial in documenting a car accident as they provide visual evidence of vehicle damage, accident scene, and road conditions, helping insurance adjusters and legal professionals understand the incident. It’s important to take plenty of pictures from various angles immediately after the accident.

When should I consider hiring a car accident lawyer?

Consider hiring a car accident lawyer if you’ve suffered severe injuries, property damage, dispute over fault, insurance claim denial, multiple parties, or complex legal/medical issues. A lawyer can help protect your rights and ensure fair compensation.

Free Case Evaluation

    Practice Areas

    CASE STUDIES & TESTIMONIALS

    $1.8 Billion: Yaz Birth Control MDL

    $1.8 Billion: As National Lead Counsel for the MDL, NGK Law negotiated, coordinated, and administered the national litigation and settlement of the Yaz birth control litigation. This litigation involved women that sustained injuries, including blood clots, pulmonary embolisms, and deep vein thrombosis, as a result of the birth control Yaz.

    $745,000,000.00: Wrongful Death

    Jury verdict: Jury verdict in St. Louis, Missouri against the distributor of Whip-It’s nitrous oxide after a 20 year old passed out after using them and crashed into a building, killing a 25 year old woman.

    $650,000,000.00: Pradaxa MDL

    $650,000,000.00: As National Liaison Counsel for the MDL, NGK Law negotiated, coordinated, and administered the national settlement of the Pradaxa blood thinner litigation. Clients sustained injuries, including internal bleeding, as a result of the dangerous medication.

    $23,071,000.00: Product Liability

    A 9 month old boy suffered a severe traumatic brain injury due to a defective component on a boat.

    Gladys R.
    Kindness, thoughtfulness and patience
        

    I really appreciated Dave’s kindness and thoughtfulness and especially his patience with me throughout my lawsuit.
    Lou P.
    Helped me through the process
        

    Initially, I was reluctant to bring a lawsuit. But Dave answered all of my questions and helped me through the process. I really appreciate all he did to get me what I deserved.
    Matthew G.
    I only recommend NGK anytime
        

    Very responsive and they help you in any way they can. Micheal Kruz has handled many cases for me and he is very professional and will fight for you every time. I only recommend NGK anytime.
    Dianne C.
    Very professional and friendly!
        

    This group is great! Very professional and friendly! It was a pleasant experience dealing with these folks! Give them a call! If they can’t be of help, they know someone who can! 😊
    Larry S.
    Far exceeded my most optimistic expectations
        

    Efficient, effective, have to say they far exceeded my most optimistic expectations. You are doing yourself a disservice if you do not use there services!
    John P.
    Excellent law firm
        

    NGK is an excellent mass tort and personal injury law firm. Highly recommend.
    David F.
    Proficient
        

    Proficient and stands up to Big Insurance.

    If the costs from a car accident exceed the at-fault driver’s policy limits, the difference may need to be covered out-of-pocket.

    This can make an already stressful situation overwhelming. If you’re juggling medical bills, repair costs and time away from work, the last thing you want to be doing is trying to get the at-fault driver to cover your expenses out of pocket.

    The good news is that you don’t have to go it alone.

    Contact the St. Louis car accident attorneys at Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse today for help. Call 314-241-1919 for a free case evaluation.

    How A Lawyer Can Help You Obtain Full Compensation

    Your attorney will send a demand letter to the insurer. In the letter, they will outline the case against the other driver and the amount of compensation requested. This is the beginning of a negotiation process that could lead to a fair settlement or even a lawsuit.

    If a car accident case goes to trial and the jury awards damages beyond the insurance policy limits, the defendant could face a lien or seizure of their assets to cover the difference. This means that the other party may be liable for paying for the excess sum from their pocket.

    An attorney can help you pursue compensation for:

    • Lost wages

    • Future earning capacity

    • Pain and suffering

    • Mental anguish

    • Emotional distress

    Securing a settlement that exceeds policy limits can be challenging as it requires proving the case is worth more than what the liability insurance provides.

    However, with the help of a skilled car accident attorney, accident victims can navigate this complex process and aim for a settlement that adequately covers their damages.

    What Is An Auto Insurance Policy Limit?

    Auto insurance policy limits define the highest amounts an insurance company will cover for property damages and medical bills.

    Missouri law sets minimums for auto insurance policies, and many drivers don’t carry policies that extend beyond the legal minimums. Those are:

    • Bodily injury – $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
    • Property damage – $25,000 per accident
    • Uninsured motorist coverage – $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident

    When a car accident claim exceeds the other driver’s policy limits, you can either accept a deal with the insurance company or file a lawsuit to recover the money needed.

    Common Scenarios Where Claims Exceed Insurance Limits

    Severe car accidents are often the main culprits behind claims that exceed insurance limits. Medical bills, lost income and long-term expenses for treatments and rehabilitation can quickly mount up.

    Another scenario is when a car accident involves multiple parties and multiple people at fault, such as a pileup accident.

    If more than one party is responsible for the accident, it can make it very complicated to get full compensation for your damages. 

    Supplementary Insurance Coverage Options

    In cases where a car accident claim surpasses insurance limits, supplementary insurance coverage options can offer the extra compensation required. Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance can cover the difference between the at-fault driver’s insurance limits and your actual damages. This type of coverage is invaluable when the defendant cannot pay the full amount.

    Additionally, an umbrella insurance policy can provide coverage for damages that exceed a regular insurance policy’s limit, including bodily injuries and property damage. Health insurance can also be used to cover medical expenses exceeding the defendant’s auto policy limits.

    Lastly, personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, medical payments coverage and health insurance can all contribute to paying for injuries after an accident. By understanding and utilizing these supplementary insurance options, you can better protect yourself financially in the aftermath of a serious car accident.

    Legal Actions Against the At-Fault Driver

    If medical bills are higher than the defendant’s policy limits, the defendant remains legally responsible for the entire amount of damages.

    Victims can sue for the total amount of their damages, even if it exceeds the at-fault party’s insurance policy limits.

    In such cases, the defendant could face a lien or seizure of their assets to cover the difference. Victims can pursue compensation directly from the at-fault driver or their assets if the insurance policy limits are insufficient. 

    It is also possible to target multiple defendants for compensation if more than one party is responsible for the accident. Legal actions, such as suing the liable driver and obtaining a judgment, are often a last resort when insurance coverage runs out. Consulting an experienced attorney can help you navigate these legal complexities and pursue the compensation you deserve.

    Call Today for Legal Help

    As we mentioned above, when your accident claim exceeds the at-fault driver’s insurance limits, consulting a car accident attorney can significantly boost your chances of obtaining full compensation.

    Contact Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse at 319-241-1919 for experienced legal assistance. Our team of car accident specialists is available to help with your case.

    Free Case Evaluation

      Practice Areas

      CASE STUDIES & TESTIMONIALS

      $1.8 Billion: Yaz Birth Control MDL

      $1.8 Billion: As National Lead Counsel for the MDL, NGK Law negotiated, coordinated, and administered the national litigation and settlement of the Yaz birth control litigation. This litigation involved women that sustained injuries, including blood clots, pulmonary embolisms, and deep vein thrombosis, as a result of the birth control Yaz.

      $745,000,000.00: Wrongful Death

      Jury verdict: Jury verdict in St. Louis, Missouri against the distributor of Whip-It’s nitrous oxide after a 20 year old passed out after using them and crashed into a building, killing a 25 year old woman.

      $650,000,000.00: Pradaxa MDL

      $650,000,000.00: As National Liaison Counsel for the MDL, NGK Law negotiated, coordinated, and administered the national settlement of the Pradaxa blood thinner litigation. Clients sustained injuries, including internal bleeding, as a result of the dangerous medication.

      $23,071,000.00: Product Liability

      A 9 month old boy suffered a severe traumatic brain injury due to a defective component on a boat.

      Gladys R.
      Kindness, thoughtfulness and patience
          

      I really appreciated Dave’s kindness and thoughtfulness and especially his patience with me throughout my lawsuit.
      Lou P.
      Helped me through the process
          

      Initially, I was reluctant to bring a lawsuit. But Dave answered all of my questions and helped me through the process. I really appreciate all he did to get me what I deserved.
      Matthew G.
      I only recommend NGK anytime
          

      Very responsive and they help you in any way they can. Micheal Kruz has handled many cases for me and he is very professional and will fight for you every time. I only recommend NGK anytime.
      Dianne C.
      Very professional and friendly!
          

      This group is great! Very professional and friendly! It was a pleasant experience dealing with these folks! Give them a call! If they can’t be of help, they know someone who can! 😊
      Larry S.
      Far exceeded my most optimistic expectations
          

      Efficient, effective, have to say they far exceeded my most optimistic expectations. You are doing yourself a disservice if you do not use there services!
      John P.
      Excellent law firm
          

      NGK is an excellent mass tort and personal injury law firm. Highly recommend.
      David F.
      Proficient
          

      Proficient and stands up to Big Insurance.

      When we think of car accidents, we often picture collisions involving multiple vehicles.

      However, single-vehicle accidents are a significant and sometimes overlooked category of road incidents. A single-vehicle accident, as the name suggests, refers to any accident damaging only one vehicle.

      These crashes can occur in various scenarios, including:

      • Driving off the road to avoid another vehicle and colliding with a tree

      • Losing control on a wet or icy road and crashing into a guardrail

      • Crashing due to distracted or careless driving

      Even though only one vehicle is involved, single-vehicle accidents can still result in serious injuries or fatalities. In 2020, a staggering 55% of all motor vehicle fatalities in the United States occurred in single-vehicle crashes.

      These crashes can often be more complex and severe than multi-vehicle collisions, leading to a slew of legal and insurance complications. If you or someone you love has been involved in a single-vehicle car crash, the St. Louis personal injury attorneys at Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse are here to help. Call us at 314-241-1919 to schedule a free case evaluation.

      Common Causes of Single-Vehicle Car Accidents

      Single-vehicle accidents aren’t random events. They often stem from a mix of factors that can surprise even the most seasoned drivers.

      Poor Weather Conditions

      Mother Nature can be unpredictable, especially in Missouri. 

      • High winds can make steering difficult, especially for larger vehicles or those with high profiles.
      • Sudden storms can flood roads or reduce visibility.
      • Snow storms can drastically reduce visibility and cause vehicles to lose traction.

      These conditions can catch even the most experienced drivers off guard. However, when the weather gets harsh, it’s important to adjust your driving. This might mean reducing speed, using proper signaling, or even pulling over if conditions become too hazardous.

      Distracted Driving

      In our increasingly connected world, distracted driving has become a leading cause of single-vehicle accidents.

      It’s not just about texting; activities such as talking on the phone, eating or adjusting the car’s entertainment system can all take your attention away from the road, significantly increasing the risk of a crash.

      The dangers of distracted driving are particularly evident when we consider that:

      • Reading or sending a text takes your eyes off the road for approximately 5 seconds

      • At highway speeds, that’s equivalent to driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed

      • Even seemingly innocuous actions like glancing at a text or taking a sip of coffee can cause enough distraction to result in a crash

      Mechanical Failures

      While driver behavior and environmental factors play significant roles in single-vehicle accidents, we can’t overlook the impact of mechanical failures.

      A sudden tire blowout can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle, leading to a crash. Similarly, brake failure can prevent a driver from stopping in time to avoid an accident. These mechanical issues can be particularly dangerous because they often occur unexpectedly, giving the driver little time to react.

      Speeding

      Speeding is a major contributor to single-vehicle accidents. Some key points to remember about speeding and single-vehicle accidents are:

      • Speeding increases the risk of losing control of your vehicle

      • Speeding can make the impact of a crash more severe

      • Driving too fast for conditions can lead to accidents, even if you’re within the speed limit

      • Inexperienced drivers may fail to slow down enough when navigating curves, increasing the risk of rollover accidents.

      Bear in mind that speed limits apply to ideal conditions, and conditions such as weather, traffic and the quality of the road may require driving slower than the posted limit. 

      Determining Fault in Single Car Accidents

      When it comes to single-vehicle accidents, determining fault isn’t always as straightforward as it might seem. While the driver is often found at fault, there are exceptions that can shift liability.

      For example, if you swerved to avoid a collision with a negligent driver or encountered unsafe road conditions, you may not be held responsible for the accident. Even without another car involved, it’s possible to assign fault, and an investigation by a car accident attorney can uncover potential responsible parties.

      Driver Negligence

      In many single-vehicle accidents, the driver is usually at fault and responsible for any damage caused to their vehicle and other property. This is often the result of the driver’s negligence or recklessness.

      For example, if a driver is found texting and drifts into another lane, causing another driver to swerve and crash, the texting driver may be liable even if no collision occurred between the two vehicles.

      However, it’s worth noting that the driver isn’t always to blame in a single-car accident. Factors such as sudden mechanical failures, unexpected road hazards or the actions of other drivers can sometimes absolve the driver of fault. 

      External Factors

      Some examples of external factors that can lead to loss of vehicle control include:

      • Poor road conditions, such as construction zones or damaged roads

      • Unexpected obstacles like objects, animals or pedestrians suddenly appearing on the road

      • Another vehicle driving dangerously, forcing a driver to swerve and lose control

      • Unsecured cargo falling from a vehicle, causing other drivers to stop or swerve suddenly

      In these situations, liability may shift away from the driver to other parties, such as the local municipality responsible for road maintenance or the driver who created the hazardous condition. 

      Legal Implications of Single Vehicle Accidents

      In cases where the driver was at fault for the crash, single-vehicle accidents can result in a range of legal consequences, including:

      • Traffic violations and tickets

      • More serious charges like DUI or reckless driving

      • Criminal hit-and-run charges if the driver fails to stop and report the crash to authorities or property owners

      Traffic Violations

      When it comes to single-vehicle accidents, traffic violations are almost a given if traffic laws were violated during the incident. These violations can range from minor infractions to more serious offenses, depending on the circumstances of the accident.

      Some common traffic violations that may occur in single-vehicle accidents include:

      • Speeding

      • Running a red light or stop sign

      • Failure to yield

      • Reckless driving

      • Driving under the influence

      One of the most severe violations is leaving the scene of an accident. Even if no one is hurt, this is considered a misdemeanor and can escalate to a felony if property damage or injury is involved.

      Failing to report an accident and fleeing the scene can result in a hit-and-run charge, which is punishable by jail time depending on the severity of damage or injury caused. 

      DUI Consequences

      Driving under the influence is a serious offense that significantly increases the risk of single-vehicle accidents. Drunk or drugged driving results in impaired reaction times and poor decision-making. 

      The legal consequences of a DUI in a single-car crash can be severe, including:

      • Hefty fines

      • License suspension

      • Potential jail time

      • Mandatory restitution for any damages caused

      These penalties can have long-lasting effects on your personal and professional life, from increased insurance rates to limited job opportunities. 

      Will Insurance Cover the Damages If I Get Into A Single-Vehicle Car Accident?

      The answer is that it depends on the circumstances around the crash and the type of insurance coverage you have. Collision insurance can cover damages in single-car accidents, but they cover different scenarios.

      Additionally, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) can cover medical expenses for you and your passengers.

      Some insurance policies might cover property damage resulting from single-car accidents. However, fault findings are crucial as they significantly impact the driver’s ability to recover damages from insurance claims.

      Collision Insurance

      Collision insurance comes into play when your vehicle collides with another object, regardless of who’s at fault.

      Nevertheless, it’s important to note that collision coverage typically involves a deductible that the policyholder must pay out-of-pocket before the insurance takes effect. This means that if you have a $500 deductible and the damage to your car costs $2000, you would pay the first $500 and your insurance would cover the remaining $1500.

      While collision insurance can provide significant financial protection in single-car accidents, it’s crucial to weigh the cost of the car insurance coverage against your vehicle’s value and your ability to pay for potential repairs out of pocket or filing an insurance claim.

      Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

      Personal Injury Protection, or PIP, is a type of auto insurance coverage that can be particularly valuable in the aftermath of a single-car accident. PIP is mandatory in some states, but it is optional in Missouri, and it can cover rehabilitation costs after a single-car crash.

      One of the key benefits of PIP is that it can cover lost wages in addition to medical expenses after a single-car accident. This means that if your injuries prevent you from working, PIP can help replace some of your lost income.

      PIP coverage may also include essential services like child care and household chores if you are unable to perform them due to injuries from the accident.

      It’s worth noting that PIP coverage applies irrespective of who was at fault for the accident, making it a valuable safeguard in single-vehicle crashes where the driver is often presumed to be at fault.

      Steps to Take After a Single-Car Crash

      Immediately following a single-car crash, it’s important to take appropriate steps to safeguard your safety, legal rights and financial interests. After ensuring your safety and the safety of any passengers, your first action should be to turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers.

      If the accident occurs on a busy road and your vehicle is operational, move it to the side to avoid obstructing traffic.

      Once you’re in a secure position, you should begin documenting the scene.

      Gathering Evidence

      Here are some steps to follow:

      1. Use your smartphone to take photos of the entire accident scene, including any skid marks and the final position of your vehicle

      2. Don’t forget to document any damaged sections of your car with close-up photos

      3. Look for any video or surveillance cameras nearby that might have captured the accident

      4. If there are any witnesses, interview them and get their full contact information and written statements if possible.

      This thorough documentation can be invaluable if there are disputes about the cause of the accident or if you need to prove that external factors contributed to the crash. Keep in mind, evidence can quickly vanish or alter, so it’s vital to gather as much information as possible while you’re still at the scene.

      If you’re unable to collect evidence due to injuries, consider contacting an attorney immediately after the accident to help collect crucial evidence and witness statements that could be lost over time.

      Report the Accident

      Here’s what you need to do:

      1. Notify the local police department immediately after the accident. Call 911 if it is an emergency or if there’s an injury, or call the non-emergency line if there is only minor property damage.

      2. Law enforcement will arrive and will gather information to create police report. Provide a comprehensive account of the accident, including the circumstances.

      After contacting the police, notify your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. Be honest and accurate in your reporting, but stick to the facts and avoid admitting fault or making speculative statements about the cause of the accident.

      Seek Medical Attention

      After a single-car accident, seeking medical attention should be a top priority, even if you feel fine initially. Internal injuries may not be immediately apparent, and the adrenaline rush from the accident can mask pain or other symptoms. 

      This medical evaluation serves two important purposes. First and foremost, it ensures your health and well-being, potentially catching and treating injuries before they become more serious. Secondly, it creates an official medical record of any injuries sustained in the accident, which can be crucial for insurance claims or potential legal proceedings.

      While at the medical facility, make sure to document any visible injuries sustained in the accident. This documentation, along with the medical professional’s assessment, provides valuable evidence linking your injuries directly to the accident.

      When to Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

      Knowing when to contact an experienced car accident attorney following a single-car crash is crucial to protect your legal rights and guarantee you receive fair treatment.

      While not every single-vehicle accident requires legal representation, there are certain situations where professional legal advice can be invaluable. If you have sustained serious injuries or if fault is not clearly established, it’s advisable to speak with a car accident lawyer. An experienced lawyer can help navigate the complex legal landscape, especially in cases where liability is unclear or disputed.

      Even in accidents where no other vehicles were involved, a car accident attorney’s investigation might reveal liability that wasn’t initially apparent. This could include factors like poor road maintenance, defective vehicle parts or the actions of another driver who didn’t directly collide with your vehicle. An attorney can also help with getting the compensation you deserve after a single-vehicle accident, which may include coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

      If you need help with a St. Louis personal injury claim, don’t hesitate to contact Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse at 314-241-1919 for a free case evaluation.

      Frequently Asked Questions

      Can I be held liable for a single-car accident if I swerved to avoid hitting an animal?

      You could potentially be held liable for a single-car accident if you swerved to avoid hitting an animal, as the law generally expects drivers to maintain control of their vehicles. However, if you can prove that swerving was the safest option, you might be able to avoid liability. It’s best to consult with a car accident attorney to understand your specific situation.

      Will my insurance rates go up after a single-vehicle accident?

      Yes, in most cases, your insurance rates are likely to increase after a single-vehicle accident, especially if you’re found at fault. However, the extent of the increase can vary depending on factors such as your driving history and the severity of the accident. It’s worth checking with your insurance provider for any accident forgiveness options.

      Do I need to report a single-car accident if there’s only minor damage to my vehicle?

      Yes, it’s advisable to report any accident, even if the damage seems minor. Reporting creates an official record and is often a requirement of insurance policies, and some injuries or damages may not be immediately apparent. It’s also important to check local laws, as some jurisdictions have specific reporting requirements.

      Can I still file an insurance claim if I was speeding when I had a single-car accident?

      Yes, you can still file an insurance claim after a single-car accident, but your speed may impact the outcome. Although your insurance should cover the damages with collision coverage, excessive speeding could lead to complications with your claim, potentially resulting in denial or reduced coverage. Consider seeking legal advice to protect your interests.

      Free Case Evaluation

        Practice Areas

        CASE STUDIES & TESTIMONIALS

        $1.8 Billion: Yaz Birth Control MDL

        $1.8 Billion: As National Lead Counsel for the MDL, NGK Law negotiated, coordinated, and administered the national litigation and settlement of the Yaz birth control litigation. This litigation involved women that sustained injuries, including blood clots, pulmonary embolisms, and deep vein thrombosis, as a result of the birth control Yaz.

        $745,000,000.00: Wrongful Death

        Jury verdict: Jury verdict in St. Louis, Missouri against the distributor of Whip-It’s nitrous oxide after a 20 year old passed out after using them and crashed into a building, killing a 25 year old woman.

        $650,000,000.00: Pradaxa MDL

        $650,000,000.00: As National Liaison Counsel for the MDL, NGK Law negotiated, coordinated, and administered the national settlement of the Pradaxa blood thinner litigation. Clients sustained injuries, including internal bleeding, as a result of the dangerous medication.

        $23,071,000.00: Product Liability

        A 9 month old boy suffered a severe traumatic brain injury due to a defective component on a boat.

        Gladys R.
        Kindness, thoughtfulness and patience
            

        I really appreciated Dave’s kindness and thoughtfulness and especially his patience with me throughout my lawsuit.
        Lou P.
        Helped me through the process
            

        Initially, I was reluctant to bring a lawsuit. But Dave answered all of my questions and helped me through the process. I really appreciate all he did to get me what I deserved.
        Matthew G.
        I only recommend NGK anytime
            

        Very responsive and they help you in any way they can. Micheal Kruz has handled many cases for me and he is very professional and will fight for you every time. I only recommend NGK anytime.
        Dianne C.
        Very professional and friendly!
            

        This group is great! Very professional and friendly! It was a pleasant experience dealing with these folks! Give them a call! If they can’t be of help, they know someone who can! 😊
        Larry S.
        Far exceeded my most optimistic expectations
            

        Efficient, effective, have to say they far exceeded my most optimistic expectations. You are doing yourself a disservice if you do not use there services!
        John P.
        Excellent law firm
            

        NGK is an excellent mass tort and personal injury law firm. Highly recommend.
        David F.
        Proficient
            

        Proficient and stands up to Big Insurance.

        Receiving a call from the other driver’s insurance company after a car accident can be puzzling and concerning. What are they after?

        In short: The other driver’s car insurance company is collecting information to undermine your claim and minimize their own payout.

        It’s important to remember that you are not obligated to provide detailed information or recorded statements to the other driver’s insurance company. Their game is to use your own words against you, so always limit the information you share.

        Insurance adjusters use intimidation tactics and tricks to get what they want. If you need help with a car accident claim, don’t go it alone. Call the St. Louis personal injury attorneys at Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse for a free case review today at 314-241-1919.

        Understanding the Other Insurance Company’s Motivations

        No matter what caused the accident or who was at fault, the other driver’s insurance company’s primary goal is to limit their payout. This means their motives may not align with your best interests. 

        When they call, the representative of the other insurance company may appear helpful, even acting like they are on your side.

        However, they are just looking for justification to challenge your claim.

        The Role of the Insurance Adjuster

        Insurance adjusters are representatives of their respective insurance companies. They are tasked with:

        • Investigating the circumstances of an accident

        • Speaking to claimants and witnesses

        • Reviewing medical records

        • Analyzing police reports

        • Determining who was at fault for the crash

        Ultimately, their job is to safeguard the insurance company’s financial interests by reducing payouts as much as they are allowed under the law.

        Gathering Information to Challenge Your Claim

        As we mentioned above, the main reason the insurance insurance adjuster calls is to collect information to fight your claim.

        They may appear friendly and supportive, but remember that their primary goal is to protect the insurer’s interests. They might ask seemingly innocent questions about the accident and your injuries, prodding to get you to slip up and reveal evidence that could reduce the payout.

        We’re taught to be friendly to people who are friendly to us. It’s nice to be polite.

        However, this is a time to be firm and short. 

        How to Respond When the Other Driver’s Insurance Company Contacts You

        1. Verify the Caller’s Identity

        After picking up the phone, the first step is to confirm the caller’s identity and their affiliation with the other driver’s insurance company.

        Ask for their full name, position and the name of the insurance company they represent. This ensures that you are speaking to a legitimate representative from the other insurance company.

        At this moment, you are free to end the call. You are under no obligation to speak with representatives from the other driver’s car insurance company.

        However, if the conversation goes further and the representative asks for more than basic details about the accident like the date, location or time of accident, it’s best to refer them to your own insurance company or the official police report (your choice!).

        2. Limit the Information You Share

        If you choose to speak to the representative, provide only basic necessary details, such as your name and contact information. Avoid discussing opinions, specifics of the accident or any injuries sustained, as this can harm your claim.

        Respond only to the questions asked without offering additional information or explanations.

        Do not engage in conjecture; only share information that is factual and confirmed.

        3. You Always Have The Right to Remain Silent

        Bear in mind, you’re under no obligation to talk to the representative of the other insurance company in the first place.

        You have the right to end the conversation at any time and state that any further communication will be through your attorney. This is especially important if discussions go beyond basic facts, as involving your own insurance company or legal representation can protect your interests.

        Individuals are not legally obligated to provide a recorded statement to the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

        If you’re uncertain about your rights or feel overwhelmed, consider consulting an attorney to handle the claim on your behalf. This ensures that your case is managed professionally and that your rights are protected.

        Why It’s Dangerous to Give Recorded Statements

        Providing a recorded statement is a major risk when dealing with the other driver’s insurance company, and it’s always best to refuse a statement.

        These statements can severely damage your claim, as insurance adjusters scrutinize them for inconsistencies to undermine your case. They might provoke you into making remarks that downplay your injuries or suggest distraction at the time of the accident, for example.

        Recorded statements are often compared with police reports and other testimonies to find discrepancies and attack your credibility. In court, a previous recorded statement can be used during cross-examination to focus on any discrepancies and question your reliability.

        Silence truly is golden here.

        A Quick Settlement Offer Should Make You Suspicious

        If they can’t challenge your claim outright, a common strategy among insurance companies is to push for a settlement.

        These settlements often come very soon after the accident, when the full extent of your injuries and expenses might not yet be clear. The aim is to close the claim quickly and pay out as little money as possible.

        It can be tempting to accept a settlement offer. After all, who doesn’t want to put a car crash behind them and move on with life?

        However, when you accept a settlement, that’s it. That’s all the compensation you can recover.

        Early settlement offers may not cover all your medical bills, lost wages or ongoing treatment needs. 

        How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

        A car accident lawyer can secure larger settlements, ensuring victims receive compensation proportional to their injuries and damages.

        Attorneys who specialize in accident-related laws handle complex legal processes, communicate with insurance companies and take cases to court if necessary. This allows you to focus on your recovery and getting back to life.

        When to Directly Engage with the Other Driver’s Insurer

        In certain situations, it might be necessary to engage with the other driver’s insurer.

        If the other driver is clearly at fault but is not communicating with their insurance provider, direct engagement can help avoid delays in claim resolution. Another scenario is if the other driver is misrepresenting the facts of the accident.

        When deciding to speak directly with the other driver’s insurance, always remember to be cautious about the information you share.

        How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help

        With extensive experience in handling various claims, a car accident attorney can proficiently manage the negotiation process with insurance companies. Their duties include:

        • Negotiating with insurance companies to secure fair settlements.
        • Managing all communications with the insurance company to protect your interests.
        • Collecting evidence.
        • Advising on handling medical records to prevent disclosures that might compromise your claim.

        Hiring an experienced attorney increases the likelihood of receiving a fair settlement offer due to their knowledge and negotiation expertise.

        Get Legal Help Today

        Having an experienced car accident attorney on your side can significantly impact navigating the claims process and ensuring a fair settlement. If you’ve been involved in a car crash, don’t hesitate to contact Niemeyer, Grebel, and Kruse for the legal help you need to protect your best interests.

        Call today at 314-241-1919 to schedule a free consultation.

        Frequently Asked Questions

        Why is the other insurance company calling me after an accident?

        The other insurance company is likely calling to gather information that can challenge your claim or lead to a quick settlement. Be cautious about the information you provide.

        Should I give a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company?

        No, it is not recommended to give a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company, as it can potentially be used against your claim.

        What information should I share with the other insurance company?

        You should only share basic necessary information such as your name and contact details with the other insurance company. Avoid discussing opinions, specifics of the accident or any injuries sustained.

        Can I refuse to speak with the other insurance company?

        Yes, you have the right to refuse to speak with the other insurance company and can state that any further communication will be through your attorney.

        Free Case Evaluation

          Practice Areas

          CASE STUDIES & TESTIMONIALS

          $1.8 Billion: Yaz Birth Control MDL

          $1.8 Billion: As National Lead Counsel for the MDL, NGK Law negotiated, coordinated, and administered the national litigation and settlement of the Yaz birth control litigation. This litigation involved women that sustained injuries, including blood clots, pulmonary embolisms, and deep vein thrombosis, as a result of the birth control Yaz.

          $745,000,000.00: Wrongful Death

          Jury verdict: Jury verdict in St. Louis, Missouri against the distributor of Whip-It’s nitrous oxide after a 20 year old passed out after using them and crashed into a building, killing a 25 year old woman.

          $650,000,000.00: Pradaxa MDL

          $650,000,000.00: As National Liaison Counsel for the MDL, NGK Law negotiated, coordinated, and administered the national settlement of the Pradaxa blood thinner litigation. Clients sustained injuries, including internal bleeding, as a result of the dangerous medication.

          $23,071,000.00: Product Liability

          A 9 month old boy suffered a severe traumatic brain injury due to a defective component on a boat.

          Gladys R.
          Kindness, thoughtfulness and patience
              

          I really appreciated Dave’s kindness and thoughtfulness and especially his patience with me throughout my lawsuit.
          Lou P.
          Helped me through the process
              

          Initially, I was reluctant to bring a lawsuit. But Dave answered all of my questions and helped me through the process. I really appreciate all he did to get me what I deserved.
          Matthew G.
          I only recommend NGK anytime
              

          Very responsive and they help you in any way they can. Micheal Kruz has handled many cases for me and he is very professional and will fight for you every time. I only recommend NGK anytime.
          Dianne C.
          Very professional and friendly!
              

          This group is great! Very professional and friendly! It was a pleasant experience dealing with these folks! Give them a call! If they can’t be of help, they know someone who can! 😊
          Larry S.
          Far exceeded my most optimistic expectations
              

          Efficient, effective, have to say they far exceeded my most optimistic expectations. You are doing yourself a disservice if you do not use there services!
          John P.
          Excellent law firm
              

          NGK is an excellent mass tort and personal injury law firm. Highly recommend.
          David F.
          Proficient
              

          Proficient and stands up to Big Insurance.

          Do you have to call the police after a car accident in Missouri?

          Yes, if there are injuries, damage greater than $500 or if the driver is uninsured. In other words, unless it’s a straightforward fender-bender with no other complications, you need to call the police.

          If you or someone you love was involved in a collision and you need legal help, don’t hesitate to reach out to an experienced St. Louis personal injury attorney. Contact the experienced team at Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse today at 314-241-1919 for a free consultation.

          When to Call the Police After an Accident

          While you are required to call the police in many cases, it’s not just major car crashes that merit a call to the local police.

          Even if you’re involved in a minor car accident, having an officer at the accident scene can prevent potential headaches down the road. The officers’ assessment and the subsequent accident report help establish the facts, protecting you from possible false claims of vehicle damage or bodily injury by the other driver.

          Serious Injuries and Medical Care

          In crashes with serious injuries, the first thing you should do is call emergency services.

          Dialing 911 ensures that medical care arrives promptly and that the accident scene is secured. The responding officer’s report will include details on the injuries, providing an official record that links them to the accident – a critical element if insurance claims or legal actions are pursued.

          Even when the police can’t reach the scene, possibly due to more severe incidents, your prompt request for medical help remains a recorded response to the injuries incurred.

          This can prove invaluable in the following circumstances: when it’s time to prove the severity and cause of the injuries during the insurance claim process.

          Significant Property Damage

          As we mentioned above, when the property damage from a vehicle accident exceeds $500, you are required to file a police report. But beyond legal obligation, involving the police provides a clear narrative of events which is instrumental in determining fault and the extent of damages when dealing with insurance companies.

          In the absence of a police report outlining the accident, insurers might dispute claims, putting you at risk. That’s why creating police reports for such incidents isn’t just about ticking a box, it’s about safeguarding your interests down the line.

          What Happens If You Don’t Report an Accident?

          Failing to promptly report a traffic accident in Missouri can result in fines and potentially more severe penalties depending on the circumstances.

          • License Suspension – The Missouri Department of Revenue may suspend your driver’s license if you fail to report an accident. This suspension can occur if the accident involved significant property damage, injury, or death and was not reported within the required timeframe.
          • Insurance Issues – Not reporting an accident can complicate insurance claims. Insurance companies typically require accident reports to process claims. Without a report, you might face delays or denials of coverage, leading to out-of-pocket expenses for damages or injuries.
          • Legal Liability – If you don’t report an accident and it is later discovered, you could be held liable for damages and injuries. This can result in lawsuits, increased insurance premiums and potential financial burdens from court judgments.
          • Criminal Charges – In cases involving serious injuries or fatalities, failing to report the accident could result in criminal charges, including hit-and-run allegations. These charges can carry severe penalties, including imprisonment.

          Minor Car Accidents: Should You Call the Police?

          A minor scrape or bump might not seem worthy of police attention, but even the smallest incidents can spiral into major disputes.

          It’s a common misconception that minor car accidents don’t require a police report, yet experts, including insurance companies and car accident lawyers, recommend erring on the side of caution and calling the police. The report acts as an impartial record of the incident and a defensive wall against potential future claims.

          It’s understandable to question the need for police involvement in what seems like a straightforward exchange of insurance information. However, the absence of an official report opens the door to potential challenges, from disputes about the accident’s details to false injury claims. By getting the police on record, you’re not just documenting the incident; you’re protecting your interests in any forthcoming negotiations or legal battles.

          Exchanging Information

          In the immediate aftermath of a minor car accident, the exchange of information is a priority. You’ll need the other driver’s name, contact details, and insurance information – all the essentials for both parties to move forward with their respective claims with the other driver’s insurance company. Even if the police are not present, this step cannot be skipped; it’s the foundation upon which any future claims or disputes will be built.

          But what if the other driver is uncooperative, or worse, flees the scene? In such cases, any information you can gather becomes even more crucial.

          License plate numbers, vehicle descriptions, and even the direction in which the other car was headed can help law enforcement track down the other party and ensure that justice is served.

          Documenting the Scene

          Snapshots of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, positioning, and any relevant road signs or signals, can corroborate your account of the incident. These images are silent witnesses, speaking volumes when you need to report the accident to both police and your insurance company.

          Consulting a Car Accident Lawyer

          With a lawyer by your side, handling police reports and navigating insurance claims is a lot easier. Your attorney will be your trusted advocate throughout the process, doing the heavy lifting on your auto accident case while you focus on recovering from your injuries.

          In addition, an experienced car accident lawyer, familiar with the legal system, can assist in maximizing your compensation.

          From collecting evidence to negotiating with insurance companies, a lawyer can be the difference between an adequate settlement and one that truly covers all your damages and suffering.

          Free Case Consultation

          If you’re dealing with the aftermath of a car accident, a free case consultation with Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse could be the first step toward achieving the justice and compensation you deserve. 

          Don’t hesitate to reach out at 314-241-1919 to review your case.

          Free Case Evaluation

            Practice Areas

            CASE STUDIES & TESTIMONIALS

            $1.8 Billion: Yaz Birth Control MDL

            $1.8 Billion: As National Lead Counsel for the MDL, NGK Law negotiated, coordinated, and administered the national litigation and settlement of the Yaz birth control litigation. This litigation involved women that sustained injuries, including blood clots, pulmonary embolisms, and deep vein thrombosis, as a result of the birth control Yaz.

            $745,000,000.00: Wrongful Death

            Jury verdict: Jury verdict in St. Louis, Missouri against the distributor of Whip-It’s nitrous oxide after a 20 year old passed out after using them and crashed into a building, killing a 25 year old woman.

            $650,000,000.00: Pradaxa MDL

            $650,000,000.00: As National Liaison Counsel for the MDL, NGK Law negotiated, coordinated, and administered the national settlement of the Pradaxa blood thinner litigation. Clients sustained injuries, including internal bleeding, as a result of the dangerous medication.

            $23,071,000.00: Product Liability

            A 9 month old boy suffered a severe traumatic brain injury due to a defective component on a boat.

            Gladys R.
            Kindness, thoughtfulness and patience
                

            I really appreciated Dave’s kindness and thoughtfulness and especially his patience with me throughout my lawsuit.
            Lou P.
            Helped me through the process
                

            Initially, I was reluctant to bring a lawsuit. But Dave answered all of my questions and helped me through the process. I really appreciate all he did to get me what I deserved.
            Matthew G.
            I only recommend NGK anytime
                

            Very responsive and they help you in any way they can. Micheal Kruz has handled many cases for me and he is very professional and will fight for you every time. I only recommend NGK anytime.
            Dianne C.
            Very professional and friendly!
                

            This group is great! Very professional and friendly! It was a pleasant experience dealing with these folks! Give them a call! If they can’t be of help, they know someone who can! 😊
            Larry S.
            Far exceeded my most optimistic expectations
                

            Efficient, effective, have to say they far exceeded my most optimistic expectations. You are doing yourself a disservice if you do not use there services!
            John P.
            Excellent law firm
                

            NGK is an excellent mass tort and personal injury law firm. Highly recommend.
            David F.
            Proficient
                

            Proficient and stands up to Big Insurance.

            Car accidents are not something that happens every day. In fact, the average driver in the United States is involved in a collision only once in every 17.9 years.

            When crashes do happen, it can be hard to know what to do next.

            If you were not at fault for the crash, what should you do to protect your rights and make sure you receive any necessary compensation?

            We’ll break down some tips below. If you need help recovering compensation or have a question on a specific car crash case, don’t hesitate to contact the St. Louis personal injury attorneys at Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse. We are here for you – 314-241-1919.

            What to Do Immediately After a Car Accident

            You’ve just experienced the shock of a collision, and your heart is racing. Now what? The steps you take in the immediate aftermath of a car accident are pivotal in protecting your legal rights and setting the stage for any claims you may need to file.

            Ensure Safety and Check for Injuries

            Once you’ve taken a deep breath, assess yourself and your passengers for any signs of injury. If you’re able, move your vehicle out of oncoming traffic to avoid further hazards.

            Remember, some injuries are not immediately apparent, so even if you feel fine, remain vigilant for any delayed symptoms.

            Call Emergency Services

            Your next step is clear and non-negotiable: call law enforcement. Use 911 if there’s an emergency or call a non-emergency number of there’s not (SLMPD’s number is 314-231-1212).

            Whether injuries are visible or the damage seems minor, having a law enforcement presence there can be very helpful for collecting evidence for your claim. Police officers will document the incident and file a police report.

            They might also direct traffic to prevent additional accidents, while emergency medical personnel can assess and treat any injuries on the scene.

            Avoid Admitting Fault

            You might have heard that you shouldn’t admit fault around the other driver, and it is true.

            As you interact with the other driver, be mindful of your words. A simple “I’m sorry” can be misinterpreted as an admission of guilt, jeopardizing your car accident claim.

            It’s essential to exchange information calmly and factually without discussing fault. If the other driver, who might be the at-fault driver, presses you, politely refer them to your insurance company.

            This moment is about information, not interpretation.

            Gathering Information at the Accident Scene

            The evidence you collect at the scene of the accident can be a linchpin for your car accident claim. Once things calm down, start collecting evidence that will shed light on the incident and support your potential compensation claim. This includes taking photos and noting witness details.

            Exchange Information with the Other Driver

            Exchange names, addresses, phone numbers and insurance information with the other driver. Note their vehicle’s make, model, and license plate number. If there are passengers, get their details too.

            This exchange should be straightforward and factual — no need for discussion about the accident’s specifics or who might be to blame.

            Take Photos and Videos

            Your smartphone is your ally here. Take clear photos and videos of the vehicles, their positions, the damage, and any landmarks that help establish the scene. Document the road conditions, traffic signs, and any skid marks or debris.

            These visuals are invaluable for insurance claims and, if necessary, legal proceedings.

            Identify Witnesses

            Did anyone else see the accident happen?

            If so, their perspective could be crucial. Approach any bystanders who might have witnessed the event and ask for their contact information.

            If they’re willing, have them write down what they saw. Remember, your goal is to collect unbiased accounts that support your version of events.

            Reporting the Accident

            After ensuring safety and gathering evidence, you need to officially report the incident.

            File a Police Report

            The police officer responding to the scene will file the police report. Filing a police report provides an official account of the accident, which can be invaluable if there are disputes about what happened.

            In Missouri, you’re legally required to report any accident involving significant injury, death or property damage. This report becomes a key document in establishing the facts and assigning fault.

            Notify Your Own Insurance Company

            Even if the accident wasn’t your fault, it’s crucial to report it to your own insurance company. This step is often mandated by your policy and helps to initiate the claims process.

            Keep in mind that the other party may also report the accident to their insurer, so it’s best to be proactive and ensure your version of events is on record.

            Seeking Medical Attention

            The adrenaline surge when an accident happened can hide pain, which underscores the need for medical attention. Certain injuries, such as whiplash or internal harm, may take hours or even days to show symptoms.

            If you suspect that something might be amiss, a visit to the emergency room or your physician can help uncover these hidden injuries.

            Get a Medical Examination

            A medical professional can evaluate your car accident injuries, possibly using diagnostic tools like X-rays or MRIs to uncover any hidden damage. These medical records become a critical piece of evidence in your car accident claim, linking your injuries directly to the accident.

            Keep Medical Records

            As you receive treatment, keep a detailed log of your medical visits, expenses and any related medical bills. These records are essential for documenting the extent of your injuries and their impact on your life, which is crucial when seeking compensation through your insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit.

            Navigating the Insurance Claim Process

            Interacting with insurance companies can be as intimidating as the accident. From the first report to the closing settlement, it’s vital to handle this process with accuracy and patience.

            Your aim is to secure fair treatment of your car insurance claim and obtain the rightful compensation.

            Contacting the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company

            Once you’ve gathered your evidence, it’s time to contact the other driver’s insurance company.

            Provide them with the necessary details of the accident, including the date, time and location, as well as the police report number. Be sure to document every interaction, as these details can be important if the claim becomes disputed.

            Submitting Evidence and Documentation

            When submitting evidence to the insurance company, include all the photos and videos you took at the scene, along with any witness statements. This documentation will support your version of events and help establish the extent of your damages.

            Dealing with Insurance Adjusters

            Interacting with insurance adjusters requires a careful balance. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

            • Be truthful and consistent in your statements 
            • Avoid providing recorded statements without legal advice 
            • Stick to the facts and avoid any admissions that could be used against you 

            Remember, the insurance adjuster’s job is to minimize the company’s payout, so it’s essential to protect your interests by being cautious in your interactions.

            Legal Assistance and Representation

            There are times when professional legal assistance is not just helpful — it’s necessary.

            Let’s talk about when to consider hiring a car accident lawyer and how they can aid your case.

            When to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer

            If you’re facing a disputed claim, or the insurance company’s settlement offer doesn’t adequately cover your damages, it’s time to consult a car accident lawyer.

            Legal representation becomes crucial when you need to negotiate a fair settlement or if you’re considering taking your case to court.

            How a Lawyer Can Help

            A car accident lawyer can help in various ways, from communicating with insurance companies and sifting through evidence to representing you in court. They understand the intricacies of car accident claims and can ensure that you’re compensated fairly for your injuries and losses.

            Get Legal Help For Your Car Accident Claim

            Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be incredibly stressful, and it is made even more frustrating when the crash wasn’t your fault.

            The other driver and insurance adjusters will do what they can to deny or minimize the compensation they provide to you for car repairs, medical payments and lost time away from work. If this sounds familiar to you, a skilled St. Louis car accident lawyer can help.

            Contact the attorneys at Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse today to discuss your case – 314-241-1919.

            Free Case Evaluation

              Practice Areas

              CASE STUDIES & TESTIMONIALS

              $1.8 Billion: Yaz Birth Control MDL

              $1.8 Billion: As National Lead Counsel for the MDL, NGK Law negotiated, coordinated, and administered the national litigation and settlement of the Yaz birth control litigation. This litigation involved women that sustained injuries, including blood clots, pulmonary embolisms, and deep vein thrombosis, as a result of the birth control Yaz.

              $745,000,000.00: Wrongful Death

              Jury verdict: Jury verdict in St. Louis, Missouri against the distributor of Whip-It’s nitrous oxide after a 20 year old passed out after using them and crashed into a building, killing a 25 year old woman.

              $650,000,000.00: Pradaxa MDL

              $650,000,000.00: As National Liaison Counsel for the MDL, NGK Law negotiated, coordinated, and administered the national settlement of the Pradaxa blood thinner litigation. Clients sustained injuries, including internal bleeding, as a result of the dangerous medication.

              $23,071,000.00: Product Liability

              A 9 month old boy suffered a severe traumatic brain injury due to a defective component on a boat.

              Gladys R.
              Kindness, thoughtfulness and patience
                  

              I really appreciated Dave’s kindness and thoughtfulness and especially his patience with me throughout my lawsuit.
              Lou P.
              Helped me through the process
                  

              Initially, I was reluctant to bring a lawsuit. But Dave answered all of my questions and helped me through the process. I really appreciate all he did to get me what I deserved.