ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS
an auto accident can change your life in an instant. From serious injuries and medical bills, to a totaled vehicle and time away from work, the consequences of a car crash can leave you confused and unsure of your next steps.
How We Can Help
After an accident, we know you’re wondering how long your claim is going to take and how much your settlement is worth. The sooner you contact us after a car accident in Missouri or Southern Illinois, the better. That gives us more time to begin preparing your case by:
- Collecting Evidence
We’ll collect evidence from the crash scene, as well as police reports and witness statements, to paint an accurate picture of what caused your auto accident.
- Completing Paperwork
Filing a car accident claim requires completing large amounts of paperwork concerning your injuries, condition of your vehicle, accident circumstances, and more. Our legal team will make sure all paperwork is accurate, complete, and submitted on time, so you have one less thing to worry about.
- Dealing With the Insurance Company
The insurance company may be reluctant to pay you damages you’re owed for your car accident. Our legal team will deal with the insurance company and make them pay for your injuries and damages.
We’ll also be there to answer all of your questions along the way and represent you in court if your case goes to trial. When you get Cofman Townsley, you get a law firm that honors their commitment to you.
Types of Auto Accident Injuries
Car accidents often involve high speeds and high levels of force. This combination can lead to drivers and passengers suffering serious injuries—even in cars with advanced air bags and seatbelts. Car accident injuries can range from cuts and bruises to more severe injuries that cause disability and even paralysis.
Some of the most common injuries in car accidents are:
- Cuts and Lacerations
Car accidents often result in shattered windshields and windows. Broken glass may strike the occupants of vehicles, leading to deep cuts and severe bleeding.
- Broken Bones
Occupants’ legs, arms, hands, and feet can contact the insides of vehicles during car accidents. This force can fracture or break bones throughout the body.
- Spinal Cord Injuries
Even when secured by seatbelts, car accident victims can experience rapid movement of the torso or neck during collisions. This movement can damage the neck and spine, leading to paralysis.
These injuries can lead to expensive medical bills and loss of independence—as well as lost wages and permanent disability.
What to Do After an Auto Accident
The days after your car accident can be a whirlwind. Between doctor visits, calls from the insurance adjuster, and missed time from work, you have little time to do much else—including filing a claim for compensation. But there are a few steps you can take during this time to maximize your chances of getting the money you’re owed.
Your Next Steps After the Accident
After your car accident, you should:
- See a doctor.
Get medical attention as soon as possible after the accident. You could have internal injuries that take time to show up, and your medical report can serve as valuable evidence for your case.
- Record the details of the accident.
Write down as much as you can remember about the accident, including how fast you were going, which lane you were in, and the weather conditions that day. The more your car accident attorney knows about the accident, the more accurate your claim will be.
- Don’t talk about the accident.
It’s important that you don’t discuss the details of the accident with your friends, coworkers, or on social media. The insurance company can use your statements against you.
- Call a lawyer.
The insurance company may try to take advantage of you after the accident by offering you a lowball settlement. Getting a lawyer from Cofman Townsley can help you get maximum compensation.
If the insurance company refuses to make a fair settlement offer, we won’t hesitate to take them to court. We will work harder than the other side before and after the trial.
Protecting Your Rights
An insurance adjuster may contact you soon after your accident. It’s important that you don’t speak with the insurance company or sign any settlement offers. If you do, you could:
- Decrease your settlement amount.
Signing a settlement offer means you’re not eligible to receive further compensation for the accident. Many settlement offers from insurance companies aren’t enough to cover the full cost of the accident, including medical bills and lost wages.
- Forfeit your rights to all compensation.
If you speak with an insurance adjuster, he or she may twist your words to make it seem like you’re at fault for causing the accident. Don’t forfeit your rights to getting the money you’re owed.
- Be required to pay money to the other driver.
In some cases, the other driver’s insurance company may actually pursue damages from your insurance. Even if the the other driver caused the accident, any statements you make could sound like an admission of guilt and may be used against you.
Our auto accident attorneys can speak with the insurance company on your behalf and make sure the record of the accident and your injuries is accurate and fair.
When to File a Claim
After an auto accident, seeing your doctor and fixing your car can disrupt your normal routine, and speaking with an attorney about your claim may seem like a low priority. But evidence needed to prove your case can disappear quickly, and legal deadlines limit the amount of time you have to file a claim. You need legal help now.
At Cofman Townsley, we understand what you’re going through after your accident. From the moment you contact our St. Louis car accident lawyers, we’ll work hard to build a strong claim on your behalf. Begin your claim today—dial (314) 499-1190 or complete a free online form to get in touch with our 24/7 legal staff.
Statute of Limitations in Missouri and Illinois
The statute of limitations—or legal deadline—for filing an auto accident lawsuit in Missouri is generally five years for injury claims and three years for wrongful death claims. In Illinois, the deadline is two years for injury claims and one year for wrongful death claims. After this deadline, the court will refuse to hear your case, and you will be barred from seeking compensation for damages caused by your accident.
Exceptions to the statute of limitations apply to some cases, and an experienced Missouri and Illinois car accident lawyer at Cofman Townsley can provide you with the information you need to pursue the full value of your claim.
Missouri and Illinois Uninsured Motorist Claims
Missouri and Illinois require mandatory uninsured motorist (UM) coverage on all auto insurance policies. UM coverage allows car accident victims to seek compensation through their own insurance policy if involved in an accident with an uninsured driver. The statute of limitations to file a UM claim in Missouri is ten years from the date of the accident. In Illinois, the statute of limitations may differ depending on the terms of your insurance policy, but is never less than two years.
If you were a passenger involved in an accident with an uninsured driver or a pedestrian struck by an uninsured motorist, you may have rights to compensation. At Cofman Townsley, we know the law in Missouri and Illinois, and our St. Louis car accident lawyers are here to help you understand your legal options.
Drunk Driving Victims
At Cofman Townsley, we have no tolerance for people who drink alcohol and get behind the wheel. Drunk drivers have lowered reaction times, poor judgment, and clouded vision. These impairments can combine to cause potentially deadly crashes on the road.
Driving Impairments Caused by Alcohol
People who have been drinking alcohol should never drive, as they may experience several conditions that make driving dangerous, such as:
- Increased Reaction Times
Alcohol increases the time it takes for the brain to process information. This makes it more difficult for intoxicated drivers to slow down or speed up with the flow of traffic.
- Blurred Vision
Drivers who are intoxicated don’t see as clearly as sober drivers. Their blurred vision can make them more likely to miss red lights, stop signs, and other vehicles on the road.
- Poor Judgment
Judgment and decision-making skills are impaired by alcohol. Intoxicated drivers may make poor decisions, like trying to pass on narrow roads or running red lights at intersections.
When impaired by alcohol, drivers are more likely to make mistakes that cause serious accidents that may hurt themselves and innocent victims on the road. At Cofman Townsley, we will protect your rights against drunk drivers, and you can count on us to work harder than the other person’s legal team.
Auto Accident FAQ
- What should I do if I’m involved in a traffic accident?
There are a few steps you can take after your car accident to help protect your health and rights to compensation:
- See a doctor to rule out internal injuries and get a medical report.
- Write down what happened while it’s still fresh in your memory.
- Stay silent, and avoid talking about the accident with friends or insurance adjusters.
- Call an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer from Cofman Townsley at (314) 499-1190.
- When should I settle my case?
It’s best to consult with your attorney before you decide to settle your case. The insurance company’s settlement offer may not be enough to cover your medical bills and lost wages. We can negotiate on your behalf until you get a fair settlement offer.
- Should I give a statement to the at-fault driver’s insurance company?
No. In fact, it’s best if you don’t say anything to the other driver’s insurance company. Insurance companies are in business to make money—and sometimes that means twisting the words of innocent victims like you to make you ineligible for compensation. Let your attorney handle all correspondence with the insurance companies.
- Who pays for my medical bills if I’ve been injured in an accident?
If your accident was caused by another driver’s negligence, his or her insurance provider should be held responsible for your medical bills and lost wages.
The legal team at Cofman Townsley has helped many car accident victims like you get the money they’re owed, and we’ll do our best to help you, too. Just dial (314) 499-1190 or fill out a free initial consultation form—you’ll speak with an attorney who can begin building your case right away.
- Why do I need a police report?
A police report is vital evidence for an auto accident claim, as it will be used in your case to establish the facts of the accident. To obtain a copy of the police report, you should call or visit the police department after the car accident.
- How soon after the accident should I get a lawyer?
You should get a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. The sooner you contact the auto accident lawyers at Cofman Townsley, the more potential evidence we can collect. That means a stronger claim and a higher chance of compensation for you. Don’t wait to get the help you need after your car accident—contact us right away.
Get Quality Legal Representation
After your car accident, you deserve a law firm that understands what you’re going through. At Cofman Townsley, we have more than 40 years of experience helping injured victims and their families in St. Louis and across Southern Illinois and Missouri get real results that make a difference in their lives.
Our St. Louis auto accident lawyers know that your life may feel like it’s broken into pieces after the accident. It’s our goal to make you feel whole again. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us—pick up the phone and dial (314) 499-1190 or complete our free form.