Missouri ranks 12th in the United States for deadliest car accidents, according to a 2018 report cited by Patch. Each year, approximately 1,000 people die in car crashes across Missouri, while about 4,700 others get injured, as reported by the National Highway Transportation Safety Association in 2016.
Unfortunately, auto insurance companies in Missouri treat the claims process as their way of making money at the expense of the insured motorists. Insurers routinely delay claims, use dishonest tactics to deny valid claims, and point to non-existent policies and rules to devalue claims.
This causes many motorists to wonder, “How to claim car insurance after a crash in Kansas City?” Our Kansas City car accident lawyer at Mayer & Rosenberg, P.C., hears this question all too often.
What Do You Need to Know About the Claims Process in Kansas City?
The first step after getting injured in a car accident in Kansas City is to seek medical attention. Only after you have taken care of your medical needs, you can focus on pursuing the monetary compensation for your injury and other losses and damages.
- Establishing fault. Since Missouri follows the pure comparative negligence rule, proving fault will be a major element of the claims process. The more you were at fault for the crash, the less you will receive in the reimbursement for the losses and damages.
- Insurance companies cannot be trusted. Although an insurance adjuster may sound friendly and trustworthy, keep in mind that insurance companies make money by paying less and denying claims.
- Your claim is worth more than you think. Typically, insurance companies undervalue claims in an attempt to minimize the amount of money that will be reimbursed to the injured motorist. Seek help from a car accident attorney in Kansas City to estimate the value of your claim.
How to File a Claim After a Car Accident in Kansas City?
Insurance companies have hundreds of rules and policies to make the process of filing a claim anything but straightforward. As a result, policyholders who have been in car crashes often end up making mistakes, which causes a claim denial. Read the guide on what to do after a car crash for more information.
After a car accident, you need to report the accident to your insurance company immediately but only after you have consulted with a Kansas City car accident attorney, who would help you determine fault.
“Why do I need to speak to a lawyer first?” some of you might wonder. Under Missouri state law governing insurance issues, you have to file a claim with your insurer if you were at fault. If the other party was at fault, you have to report the crash to that driver’s insurance company.
If a motorist has been a victim of a hit-and-run accident or the crash involved an uninsured motorist, vandalism, or auto theft, the driver must notify the police. When reporting a car crash to your insurer, stick to the facts, do not admit fault, and follow the insurer’s instructions.
Do You Have to Report a Car Crash to the Missouri Department of Revenue?
Many motorists in Missouri are confused about when they should report their accident to the Missouri Department of Revenue. A motorist must file a report with the DOR if:
- One of the motorists involved does not have insurance coverage;
- The accident caused bodily injury or death; and/or
- The accident resulted in damage to the property of any party that exceeds $500.
How Does the Settlement Process Work in Kansas City?
If you were hurt in a car crash, one of the three options should be chosen to obtain compensation depending on whose fault caused the crash:
- File a claim with your insurance company;
- File a third-party claim with the at-fault motorist’s insurer; or
- File a lawsuit against the other party with the help of a Kansas City car accident lawyer.
In the vast majority of cases, car crashes in Missouri are resolved through settlement and never go to trial. After filing a claim with an insurer, you will have to wait for it to investigate your case. After the investigation, the insurer may either offer you a settlement or deny your claim.
Talk to an attorney before accepting the insurer’s settlement offer, as insurers are known for their tactics to undervalue claims and deny valid claims. Seek legal help by contacting Mayer & Rosenberg, P.C. Call our offices at 816-941-8949 for a free evaluation.