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Car Accident FAQs

Car Accidents FAQs

Should I see a doctor and, if so, how do I pay my medical bills?

Do not let financial worry stop you from getting proper medical treatment. A common mistake made by individuals injured in car accidents is avoiding medical care or only seeking a minimal number of treatments. They tolerate the pain and assume it will pass with time. Sometimes financial worries – such as not having health insurance or fearing lost wages from missed work – are the primary reasons for avoiding medical treatments. We have a network of medical professionals who can treat you and who will get paid out of a settlement of your case. Our network of doctors may be able to treat you in the evenings or on weekends so you can miss as little work as possible. If missed work is making bills pile up, we have a network of cash advance loan specialists that can help you through hard financial times.

Medical Payments Coverage (Med Pay) also may be available to cover your medical bills. Auto insurance companies allow Med Pay coverage regardless of fault. Med Pay coverage does not affect the other driver’s liability toward you, and you do not have to reimburse the Med Pay coverage payments. If you have medical insurance, the bills are paid through your medical policy.

Failure to get adequate medical treatment can have a devastating effect not only on your health, but the value of your legal case as well. Medical evidence of your injury through treatment of the symptoms is critical to a successful car accident claim. Injuries not diagnosed or fully treated may mean future pain and money left on the table. Even minor injuries suffered in a car accident can result in permanent scar tissue in the muscles that will cause recurring symptoms for years to come if not treated properly.

Who pays for the damage to my car?

The at-fault driver is responsible for the damage. You should report the car accident to your insurance company even if it was not your fault, however. It is often easier to get your car fixed by working with your own insurance company. Your carrier will bill the other driver’s insurance for the property damages. This avoids the delay of the other insurance company claiming it will not pay your car repair costs until it completes its investigation, which sometimes can take many weeks.

If the at-fault driver does not have insurance, your insurance company will pursue a claim against the other driver. When it recovers the money your insurance company will reimburse you for your deductible.

If the other driver has no insurance and you do not have collision coverage to pay for the damage to your car, then you will likely have to initially pay for the repairs. We can help you recover property damages from the at-fault driver.  If we are handling your injury case, we never charge a fee for helping you recover your property damage claim. For example, if your car repair expenses are $10,000 and we are responsible for obtaining the entire $10,000, you owe us nothing for that service and the entire amount goes to the repair of your vehicle or to you.

How do I get my lost wages?

Your entitled by law to obtain compensation from the at-fault driver for your  past and future lost wages resulting from the car accident. Proper evidence is needed to make a strong lost wage claim. Lost  wages are calculated based on how much work you missed as a result of your injuries. Self-employed individuals are also entitled to lost wages, but the claim is a little more complicated than an hourly or salaried worker. Future lost wages represents the inability to work in the future or decreased capacity to work. The amount of damages is established through a medical diagnosis, and sometimes through economists and vocational experts as well.

Even if you have medical leave, vacation, or sick pay through your employer, that covers your lost days, you are still legally entitled to the lost wages for those days.  The at fault driver caused you to use your sick or vacation days to care for your injury, thus depriving you of the ability to use them when you would have wanted to use those days off.

What is pain and suffering?

“Pain and suffering” are damages for the harms and losses you endure, such as the mental, physical, and emotional pain caused by the car accident. Harms and losses are often the result of: permanent physical disability; permanent pain; recurring pain; loss of sleep; nightmares; shame of not being able to support yourself anymore; emotional pain from an inability to support loved ones or play with your kids; not being able to participate in the activities you once engaged in; or the deterioration of your physical and mental well being.

Harms and losses damages are difficult to prove to a jury but are the most important part of you case.  At Sansone & Lauber we don’t just work hard so your medical bills and lost wages get taken care of, we work hard to get you compensated for the real injuries suffered, loss of your time and overall enjoyment of life based on your injury.  Large verdicts obtained on behalf of clients based primarily on harms and losses damages are a benchmark of a skilled personal injury lawyer.

What if the at-fault driver has no insurance or has just a small amount of coverage?

Uninsured Motorists (UM) coverage: This type of insurance provides coverage when an at-fault driver has no insurance. It also provides coverage when an accident involves an unidentified “phantom” vehicle that forces a driver off the road, or a hit-and-run driver who flees the scene without providing any identification. Under Missouri and Illinois law, your basic auto insurance coverage must include a minimum amount of uninsured motorist “UM” coverage. You may have paid a premium to obtain a higher amount of UM coverage.

Under-Insured Motorists (UIM) coverage: This insurance provides coverage when the at-fault driver does not have enough insurance to compensate you for your injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Missouri and Illinois law do not mandate UIM coverage, which means you have to purchase it as part of your car insurance policy. Here’s how it works: If you are involved in a car or truck accident and the at-fault driver has the minimum liability coverage under Missouri law ($25,000), you can  recover from the at-fault driver that amount of insurance, then your “UIM” Coverage will cover any amount of  damages you suffer over and above $25,000 and up to the limit of your UIM coverage. This can be very difficult in most situations. However, UIM insurance on your policy can cover some or all of your remaining damages depending on the amount of coverage you purchased.

Sansone & Lauber

7777 Bonhomme Ave #2000
St Louis, MO 63105‎
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Sansone & Lauber

7777 Bonhomme Ave #2000
St Louis, MO 63105‎
Get Directions
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