Steps To Take After Being Involved In An Auto Accident In Kansas City, MO
Posted in Lawsuit on May 16, 2016
The aftermath of a car accident, even a minor fender bender, can be unsettling. Knowing what to do ahead of time can ease anxiety in the event of a collision. Before you ever get into an auto accident, find a Kansas City car accident lawyer that you like and trust so that you have him or her to call if you are unfortunately ever involved in an accident and need legal counsel. Make sure you take these steps if you’re ever involved in a car accident in Kansas City.
File an Accident Report
For small collisions, you won’t need to file an accident report. However, if one of the drivers is without liability insurance, there was more than $500 worth of damage, or if there was a fatality, someone will need to file a report with the DMV. You can download an accident report form from Missouri’s DMV website.
Take Things Step by Step
According to laws governing traffic accidents in Missouri, there is a step-by-step process for handling collisions. First, if no one seems to be hurt, move the cars involved off the road or highway, especially if it’s a busy area. One small accident can lead to a much larger one if the damaged vehicles continue to block a main thoroughfare.
If it’s clear that the accident seriously injured or even possibly resulted in a wrongful death, try not to move the injured person. Call an ambulance right away. Use your car’s hazard lights as an indicator that traffic is no longer moving. Don’t leave the scene of the accident – it’s not legal, and depending on the situation, you could be a felony charge.
At this point, do another check on yourself and passengers for injuries. According to the Missouri Department of Transportation – drivers should “steer it and clear it,” meaning get out of the way of traffic if it is safe to do so. Call the police. While you wait, turn on lights, and use flashers or light flares to signal to other drivers you are stopped and not a moving part of traffic.
If you and the other driver haven’t already, find a safe place to discuss the situation. Exchange information with the other party. This should include:
- Name, address, and driver’s license number
- Insurance policy and name of company
- Vehicle identification number and plate numbers
Avoid discussing your well-being at this point. You may be fine, but you also may have an injury that has not become symptomatic yet. Telling the other party that you are fine could be held against you if you pursue a personal injury case. Additionally, do not accept any fault – that’s the job of the insurance company. In fact, you are unlikely to be a reliable witness after being involved in such an event.
Inform the Police
In Missouri, the law requires people involved in a collision to give “immediate notice” to the police. This is mandatory if someone was hurt and if the collision caused at least $500 worth of damage – as cars go, that isn’t much money. If you are unsure about how much damage occurred, it can’t hurt to report the incident. If you’re in Kansas City, call the police’s non-emergency number, (816) 234-5000. However, they might not be able to send an officer to the scene. If that is the case, write a report of the incident and give it to the DOT within the next five days. Send it to:
Traffic Investigation Section
9701 Marion Park Drive
Kansas City, MO 64137
To drop it off in person, take it to the office at the South Patrol Station in South Kansas City.
If you expect an officer, don’t leave until he or she has given the okay. It’s a good idea to see a doctor and explain what happened in the accident so you can get a proper check-up. Then call your insurance company as soon as possible.
Two of the most common causes of auto accidents in the state of Missouri and all across the U.S. are drunk driving collisions and distracted driving crashes. Auto accidents can range from being minor accidents to very serious accidents. Auto accidents no matter how serious, can result in a wide range of different types of injuries. Some of the more common types of injuries caused by auto accidents, include but are not limited to: Brain injuries, broken bones, burns, spinal cord injuries, road rash, scrapes, bruises, and more.
Fowler Pickert Eisenmenger Norfleet is an experienced Kansas City personal injury law firm with a successful track record of handling all different types of auto accident cases and claims throughout the state of Missouri. If you or someone you love have suffered an injury as a result of being involved in an auto accident, contact our office for a free legal consultation and case evaluation.