Car accidents can happen when we least expect them, even during our daily commute to or from work. If you've been injured in such an accident in Missouri, it's essential to understand that workers' compensation may not apply. Instead, the experienced car accident lawyers at Beck & Beck can assist you in filing a personal injury claim to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Beck & Beck is a trusted name in Missouri auto accident law, and we're the only firm in the state that focuses solely on Missouri auto accident cases.
How Missouri Workers' Compensation Benefits Apply to Car Accident Claims
In Missouri, workers' compensation covers accidents that occur while you are performing your job duties. It does not cover commute-related injuries. Sometimes called the "coming and going" rule, this means that when you are injured on your way to or from work, the accident generally falls outside the scope of workers' compensation. Instead, you may pursue a legal claim against the at-fault party through regular tort law.
Even though a normal commute doesn't qualify for workers' compensation benefits, you may be able to file a claim if you are commuting in a company car, traveling as part of your major job duty, driving between multiple job sites during your shift, or on a business trip. In these cases, you might have both a personal injury claim and a Missouri workers' compensation claim.
Immediate Steps to Take After a Missouri Car Accident
After a car accident, your safety and well-being should be your top priority. Here are the essential steps to take immediately after the incident:
- Check for injuries. Examine yourself and others involved in the accident for any injuries. If anyone requires medical attention, call for emergency assistance right away.
- Call the police. No matter how minor the accident might seem, it's crucial to report it to the police. They will create an official report detailing the incident, which can be valuable for insurance purposes and legal actions.
- Exchange information. Exchange contact, insurance details, and driver's license information with all parties involved in the accident. Additionally, gather contact information from any witnesses present at the scene.
- Document the accident scene. Take photos of the accident scene, as well as any vehicle damage or visible injuries. This evidence may become vital in supporting your claim later on.
- Notify your employer. If you anticipate being late for work or unable to attend the following day due to injuries or the accident's aftermath, call your employer to inform them of the situation.
How a Missouri Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
After you've attended to your immediate medical needs and notified all appropriate parties, you'll want to meet with a personal injury attorney. Here's how the team at Beck & Beck can help with your claim:
- Investigation and evidence gathering. We will thoroughly investigate the accident scene, review police reports, interview witnesses, and gather crucial evidence to support your claim. This evidence may include photos, videos, medical records, and other documentation.
- Determining liability. Our skilled attorneys will analyze the evidence and establish liability, ensuring you pursue the right party for damages.
- Dealing with the insurance company. We will handle all communication with the insurance company on your behalf, protecting you from potential manipulation or intimidation and dealing with any claim denials that may occur.
- Negotiating a settlement. We will work to reach a fair settlement with the at-fault party's insurance company, considering all your damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage.
- Avoiding costly mistakes. Without legal guidance, you may inadvertently make mistakes that harm your case. Our Missouri personal injury attorneys will ensure you meet all legal deadlines related to the statute of limitations, avoid making damaging statements, and handle the paperwork correctly.
- Litigation and trial representation. We are prepared to take your case to court if a fair settlement can't be reached. We will represent you during the trial and fight for your rights and interests in front of a judge and jury.