Jump to Navigation

What to Do If You Are in a Motor Vehicle Accident

In 2000, there were a total of 17,663 crashes caused by drivers with these aggressive driving behaviors. If you have been a victim of aggressive driving, click here to tell us about your case.

Central Missouri Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney

Distracted drivers talking on cell phones, fatigued truck drivers crossing over lanes, negligent drivers running red lights—all potentially dangerous and fatal situations for other drivers on the road. At the law offices of Steelman, Gaunt & Horsefield in Rolla and Missouri, we represent injury victims and the families of wrongful death victims due to driver negligence in auto, car, or truck accidents.

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you may have a claim against the other driver and their insurance company. Contact the experienced lawyers at our firm to discuss your claim in a free case evaluation today.

Thank you for contacting Steelman, Gaunt & Horsefield, Attorneys at Law. Your message has been sent.

Call us now

or use the form below.

What to Do If You Are in a Motor Vehicle Accident

When you are in an accident, you have immediate, important decisions to make. Think about these decisions as carefully as possible, and consult an attorney as soon afterwards as you are able. For help with your questions and concerns following an accident, consult with a personal injury attorney from Steelman, Gaunt & Horsefield, Attorneys at Law in Rolla, MO.

Immediately after the accident

The first thing you need to do when you have been involved in an accident is stop your vehicle. Try to get out of traffic if you can by pulling over to the side of the road; this may not always be possible, but it is helpful for fellow motorists and for first responders. Most states make leaving the scene of an accident a crime, do never simply drive away without stopping.

Check to see whether you or your passengers have been injured. See if the occupants of the other vehicle(s) are okay, too. If anyone is injured, call an ambulance; it is usually best not to move an injured person yourself unless it is absolutely necessary. You can prevent additional crashes and injuries by making your vehicle visible. You should set out flares, turn on your hazard lights or raise the hood of your vehicle.

States have different rules about when people who have been in accidents need to call the police. To be on the safe side, you may want to call any time you are in an accident. The police can then decide whether they need to come to the scene.

Meanwhile, exchange information with the other driver. Write down the driver's name, address, telephone number, license plate number, driver's license number and full auto insurance information. Provide this information to other drivers, too.

If there were any witnesses, try to get their identifying information. In addition, make note of the circumstances of the crash and anything unusual that you noticed. Record the weather conditions, the speed limit on the road, your speed at the time of the crash, your estimate of the other driver's speed and other such elements. This will be important if the case ends up in litigation or there is an insurance dispute.

Do not admit fault, even if you think you may have caused the accident. Do not apologize to other people involved; be cordial and polite, but brief. The determination of fault, if any, will be made later. For now, focus on safety and proper accident procedures. Do not sign any waivers offered by the other driver or the insurance company without consulting an attorney first.

When the police arrive

You should fully cooperate with any police officers and other first responders who are at the scene of the accident. Provide them with whatever information they request, including information on injuries and witnesses, but avoid making editorial comments or admitting responsibility for what happened. Legal liability is complex, and you may not have the facts you need to determine who was responsible for the accident.

Make sure to get the business cards or names and badge numbers of the police officers who investigate. Ask for the incident number, too, so that you can get a copy of the accident report (and so that you can give this information to your insurance company). Do not leave the scene of the accident until the police officers tell you that it is okay to do so.

Soon after the accident

Even if you are in minor pain, it is best to be examined by a physician. Injuries may not truly show themselves until later, and early treatment can prevent significant pain or other damage. It is also possible to have suffered serious head trauma or brain injury with few outward signs. In addition, an insurance company could argue that your failure to seek medical treatment aggravated your injury, or even that your injury did not arise from the accident at all.

Contact a personal injury attorney

Try to consult an attorney as early on in the process as possible, and do not sign any documents or checks from a insurance company before you have spoken with legal counsel. In the meantime, keep track of all the costs related to the accident, such as renting a car, lost wages, medical bills and other expenses. When you meet with a lawyer, bring all of your automobile insurance information and any documentation you have gathered with you. An experienced personal injury attorney from Steelman, Gaunt & Horsefield, Attorneys at Law in Rolla, MO, can help you sort out all the losses related to your accident.

Copyright © 2016 FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters business

DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

Back to Main

Community involvement

  • Purchased 2013 Grand Champion Steer at the Crawford County Fair.
  • Mid-Missouri Stealers Baseball
  • Mid-Ozark CASA Program
  • National MS Society

recognition

  • 2013 Bar Registration of Preeminent Lawyers
  • 2012 Top 100 Trial Lawyers, David L. Steelman
  • 2012 Missouri & Kansas SuperLawyers, David L. Steelman
  • 2012 Top Attorneys in Missouri, David L. Steelman
  • Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers Magazine Top Attorney

Legal Issue? Contact Us.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close