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Automobile Accidents | Peterson Law | Kansas City MO





The Law Offices of Jamiel J. Peterson, P.C. is dedicated to representing individuals throughout the states of Alabama and Missouri who have suffered catastrophic injuries due to the negligence of another. Our office understands that injured people and their family members incur significant expenses due to medical cost, loss of wages, property damage, and other cost associated with recovery. The best way to ensure that you receive the full value of your claim is by working with our office. We implore a combination of negotiation strategies and trial advocacy skills to achieve the best possible outcome for your case. Our office accepts injury cases on a contingency basis so you do not pay us legal fees unless we win your case. Allow us to handle the details of your case while you focus on your healing. We make your recovery our priority.  If you or a loved one have been injured in an automobile accident due to the negligence or misconduct of another, there is no question that you will need a dedicated accident attorney on your side. At the Law Offices of Jamiel J. Peterson, P.C., we make it a priority to fight on your behalf and ensure that you receive the compensation due. Our offices handle accidents involving various motor vehicles such as Automobile Accidents and Trucking Accidents


In 2018, law enforcement reported 6.7 million motor vehicle crashes within the United States.  Automobile accidents are unfortunate occurrences that cause bodily injury and pain, property damage and sometimes result in fatality. Often times, these accidents are caused by another driver. It is inevitable that you or someone you know will be involved in an automobile accident. After an automobile accident, your life can take an instant turn. You can immediately find yourself buried with the expenses and burden of medical bills, lost earnings, and pain and suffering. Having an experienced and dedicated accident attorney by your side is critical.


Insurance companies have professional and trained personnel whose jobs are to ensure that the insurance company pays you as little as possible for your recovery. However, our office is dedicated to ensuring the proper evidence is gathered after your accident in order to maximize your recovery. Several people elect not to hire an attorney after an automobile accident and find themselves being taken advantage of by insurance companies. Do not cause yourself more pain, expense, and loss than necessary by failing to hire an attorney after your automobile accident. We will evaluate your claim and explain the process to you in detail. We will work hard to ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your claim.


Steps to take after an automobile accident

Immediately call 911 to ensure that paramedics come to the scene of the accident to provide care for those injured.  It is also important that you seek medical attention after the automobile accident and tell a doctor about any injury or pain you may be experiencing.  Understand that when you get into an automobile accident your body goes into "flight" mode.  This means that your body produces adrenaline and override any pain.  If there are no visible injuries, you may not feel pain immediately; however, often the pain from a automobile accident will occur some days afterwards.  If that is the case, schedule a follow up appointment with the doctor to document any pain and obtain the proper treatment plan in order to help prove your claim.  If you are unsure, contact a Kansas City automobile accident attorney to walk through the appropriate steps. 

Should I call my insurance company after an automobile accident?

Generally, most insurance companies contractually require that you notify them if you get into an automobile accident.  You should at least reveal basic information regarding the accident.  Additionally, do not agree to a written or recorded until you have spoken with your lawyer.  Lastly, DO NOT admit fault.  Call a Kansas City automobile accident attorney to ensure that you do not do or say the wrong thing. 

After my automobile accident, when should I contact a lawyer?

Contact a lawyer as soon as possible.  The earlier you contact an attorney, the better.  An automobile accident attorney can guide you through the necessary precautions and steps that should be taken early on.  Most automobile accident cases are handled on a contingency basis so there will be cost to you for hiring a lawyer immediately after your automobile accident.  

Is it okay to talk about my automobile accident case with others?

Do not talk or share information about your case.  Today social media serves as a primary means of communication for most of the world.  Be careful not to discuss your automobile accident on social media or with any of your family or friends.  Insurance companies are always looking for reasons to undermine your injuries and your personal injury claim. 

What to do if an insurance company contacts me after an automobile accident?

Do not agree to settle with the insurance company.  Immediately after your accident, the insurance company will likely contact you about the accident and try to get you to settle.  Be very careful during these conversations as the insurance company will attempt to get you to make a statement and offer you a low ball settlement.  Again, be careful!  If the insurance company contacts you within hours or days after your accident and you have not completed all of your visits or medical treatment, how can they offer you full compensation for your pain and injury?  This is why it is important to contact an automobile accident lawyer to help you navigate the process and help with negotiating with insurance companies.  Ultimately, your automobile accident lawyer will help settle your case for an amount that will cover your medical cost and pain and suffering for more than what the insurance company initially offered you.  


Important questions to ask before you hire an automobile accident attorney

What practice area does the attorney primarily work in?

This is a rather practical question that is overlooked by many people looking to hire an automobile accident attorney.  You always want to make sure that your attorney has handled your type of case and that they have the appropriate training and resources to see your case through until the end.  Do not hesitate to ask the attorney how many automobile accident cases they have handled or how many they are currently working.  Additionally, ensure that your attorney has trial experience.  Automobile accident cases must be prepared from the beginning as if they will be going to trial.  This ensures diligence and proper strategy every step of the way on your case.

Is your office able to handle my automobile accident case?

It is very important to ensure that the office and attorney working your case has the time to give your case the attention it deserves.  Great lawyers know their limits.  Ensure that your attorney has the resources, assistance, time and energy to dedicate to your case.

Will other attorneys work on my case?

You often see TV ads from well known personal injury attorneys that lead you to believe that person will be representing you personally.  Much of the work on an automobile accident case if often handled by non-attorney staff workers or case managers.  At hearing, you may likely see junior attorneys within a law firm going before the court.  Although these attorneys are qualified, do not assume that the big name you see will be beside you at a court hearing.  If this is of significance to you, be sure to communicate this during your consultation.  At our office, you meet the automobile accident attorney that will be handling your case from day one.  If you are unable to come to our office for a strategy session, we will come to you. 

Will my automobile accident case go to trial?

This is a common question for various reasons.  Many people have fear of courtrooms and court proceedings while others understand that it could take several months before a trial takes place.  Generally, an experienced automobile accident attorney will have a general time frame of when your case may go to trial.  This is usually based on the local courts and that particular legal system. 

What are the attorney fees on my automobile accident case?

Generally, automobile accident attorneys work on a contingency basis.  This mean that you will not pay for the attorney's services upfront, but if the attorney recovers any monies from your settlement or obtains a jury verdict on your behalf, the attorney fees will be paid from the settlement or verdict amount.  The amount that the attorney will recover will usually be in the form of a percentage which will usually be disclosed within an engagement contract or fee agreement with the attorney.  Always be sure to read the engagement or fee agreement carefully and ask for clarification to ensure that you understand the terms.

How do I assist in my automobile accident case?

Your lawyer will handle the formal aspects of your case such as dealing with insurance adjusters, court preparation, court proceedings, experts and the like; however, your lawyer will need your help with proving certain aspects of your case.  For example, your lawyer will need you to regularly attend therapy and doctor appointments for treatment.  Most importantly, having an open line of communication with you is of the upmost importance to move the case along.  


What Happens After I Get Involved in an Accident?

A car accident is a nightmare that every driver never wants to encounter. When by bad luck you get involved in a car accident, sometimes you may not know what to do. That is why our Kansas City automobile accident attorneys are here to respond to your questions. We are also available to help you claim compensation in the event of an automobile accident.

What Do I Do When I Sustain Physical Injuries From An Accident?

A motor vehicle accident will probably leave you suffering and in pain. The injury and damage surrounding the accident will determine how much compensation you are entitled to. You may have to push claims for settlement on no-fault medical benefits, lost wages, property damage, and any medical costs you anticipate to incur in the future.  A Kansas City automobile accident attorney will help you file your claims.

Our office may utilize an investigator's services to get as much information as possible about the accident. They may have to get the account of witnesses too. We will communicate with all the insurance companies involved on your behalf.  As a premiere Kansas City car accident lawyer, our aim at is to maximize any available compensation you deserve.

It may take some time to ascertain the full extent of the injuries you sustain from an accident. If you do not engage a lawyer's services, the insurance company may rush you to agree to a settlement. The fact remains, insurance companies have so many claims coming their way and may want to cut costs incurred on compensations. A lawyer will make sure that you receive all the compensation you deserve.

Will I Be Compensated if I am Partially at Fault?

When you are partly at fault, you are not entitled to all the compensation that would have come your way had you been entirely blameless. In the state of Missouri, the pure comparative negligence doctrine applies. It means that they compare the number of damages you have suffered against the percentage of your negligence in the accident.

They reduce the total amount of damages you incurred by the percentage of your negligence. Even if you were more negligent than the other driver, you still get some compensation. However, it is essential to note that the negligent driver's insurance company may claim that you were at fault even if you were not at fault. It is a tactic the insurance company uses to reduce the costs they incur in compensating victims.

However, if you employ a Kansas City car accident lawyer's services, we will ensure that you receive all the compensation you deserve. Our office will work to ensure that systems are in place to protect your legal rights. It is therefore advisable that you contact a lawyer immediately after the accident.

What Documents Do I Need To File a Personal Injury Claim? 

Our office will require facts about the accident so that we can successfully file a claim. Because the insurance adjuster you are addressing the claim to did not witness the accident, he/she needs all the documents that can be available so that they can evaluate your claim. Usually, when filing the claim, you have either completed or near completion of the treatment process.

Our office will request all the medical records so that we can determine how much you should demand on your automobile accident claim. Other documents we will need include a police report, photographs, witness statements, insurance policy, among others.  Your Kansas City car accident attorney will examine and verify the documents, write a demand package with details surrounding the accident, and send it to the insurance company. If they cannot settle, we will have to file a lawsuit.

What Do I Do When My Car Is Totaled?

A car is totaled if the cost of repairing it after an accident is more than the car's actual market value. On many occasions, one may complain that the insurance company totaled his/ her car, although it does not look that bad. It is essential to understand that total loss does not rely on how bad the damage was after the accident. It is purely economics. They will look at the cost involved in the repair vs. the car's actual value at the time of the accident.

In Missouri, the law does not compel the insurance company to spend more money on repairs than the car's market value. The insurance company will only pay you the car's actual market value and declare the car totaled. You can choose to keep the vehicle or leave it with the insurance company. The insurance company usually sells it as scrap at an auction.

However, if you choose to keep the car, the insurance company will deduct the salvage value from the money they pay you as compensation. Salvage value is the insurance company's price if they retain the car and sell it at an auction. Most of the time, you will use more money to repair the vehicle than what the insurance company gives you. It is therefore advisable that you let the insurance company keep the car.

Always remember that the insurance company is looking out for their interests in the whole process. You need to take care of your own. That is why you should seek the services of a Kansas City car accident attorney. We will help you negotiate with the insurance company for a fair value.  Also, the attorney will help you in filling the Sales Tax Credit Affidavit.

The Sales Tax Credit Affidavit is a form you present to the licensing bureau when you are licensing the replacement vehicle. It will exempt you from paying the sales tax on the amount you received from the insurance company to total your car. In case you already paid the sales tax, you have to fill the Motor Vehicle Refund Request Application.

To save yourself from all that hassle, you should contact an automobile accident attorney from the beginning. The attorney will ensure that the insurance company takes care of all your legal rights and grants you the compensation you deserve.

Should I Accept a Check From A Faulty Driver or their Insurance Company?

No! The driver who is at fault or the driver's lawyer may offer you a check and ask you not to report the case. Although it may look tempting, it may be a way the driver uses to avoid the cost of your full compensation. The amount they give you may not be enough for all the damage, pain and suffering, and the medical bill you will incur. There is also no guarantee that the check is not bound to bounce.

Once you accept the check and find out later that they paid you less than you deserve, you cannot ask for more compensation. Furthermore, you do not have any police report showing you were in an accident. Employing a Kansas City automobile accident attorney will help you negotiate for higher settlements from the faulty driver's insurance company.

Our automobile accident attorneys know how to place value on the claim. We not only look at your present expenses but add estimated future costs. We will look at any emotional or psychological damage you or your family members will go through in case of disfigurement, paralysis, or any other physical harm you will suffer. Insurance will only quantify economic damage, yet that is not the only damage you suffer.

Will I be Able to Recover My Lost Wages After An Automobile Accident?

If you have suffered a loss in wages due to an automobile accident, you can recover them through a claim.  Generally, we calculate your lost wages by tracking the approximate amount of earnings you have lost due to the accident.  In certain situations, you may be out of work in the future or indefinitely which will entitle you to future earnings.  As part of the settlement for your claims, the wrong driver's insurance company should pay you all the documented wage loss you suffer.

What if I Got Injured in My Car But on Company Business?

Your company's worker compensation carrier should pay for all the medical expenses and the wage losses you incur. You will not claim compensation from your auto insurance. Your primary coverage, in this case, will be the company's workers' compensation. Because claiming double compensation is illegal, you will discuss with your attorney whether you should pursue the worker's compensation plan or the faulty driver's insurance company should compensate you. Our Kansa City car accident lawyer will analyze both scenarios and tell you which one will be most beneficial for you.

The first thing you should do after you get involved in an accident is to inform the police about the accident. You will get a police report that will be useful in your claims. We also advise that you contact a Kansas City automobile accident attorney immediately. If you negotiate with insurers on your, they will work hard to influence you into accepting less than the actual cost. An attorney will make sure that the compensation you receive matches all the damage and loss you incurred.


Let us help you recover and fight for the compensation you deserve. 

Call us now, (816) 319-0508.


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