Accident & Injury FAQs
Goldson Hoekel, LLC is dedicated to helping injured clients in all types of personal injury cases, including those involving car accidents, construction site accidents, burn and explosion accidents, defective drug injuries, and products liability. We also assist with related insurance and workers’ compensation issues. As part of our commitment to client support, we have provided the following answers to some of our clients’ frequently asked questions. For personalized service from one of our experienced attorneys, contact our offices today.
What should I do if I have been injured in a car accident?
If you have been injured a car accident, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. Some injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, may not present symptoms until days, weeks, or even months after an accident has occurred. In addition, seemingly minor injuries can result in complications if not treated. Therefore, it is important to consult with a medical professional who can fully diagnose and treat your injuries.
If you are able to, it is also important to gather as much information about the accident as possible, including:
- Photographs of the accident scene or a drawing if you do not have a camera with you
- Witness names, addresses, and phone numbers
- Insurance information from other drivers
While at the scene and after, do not discuss the accident with other drivers, passengers, injured parties, or witnesses. It may be unclear whether or not you are partly at fault, and you do not want to inadvertently imply that you might be. While you may have to describe the accident to a police officer, do not sign any papers at the scene of the accident, except an agreement to appear in court. You may also need to contact the at-fault party’s insurance company to obtain compensation for your injuries and damage to your car, or, if the party was an uninsured driver, you may need to contact your own insurance company. Before doing so, you should speak to an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you evaluate whether you or the other party is at fault.
How long do I have to file my personal injury or wrongful death claim?
Each state has time limits, called statutes of limitation, on how long a person has to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim. In Missouri, you may have as little as two years or as many as five years from the date of the injury or reasonable discovery of the injury to file your lawsuit. If you have lost a loved one and are filing a wrongful death claim, you may have up to three years. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may have a shorter or longer period of time in which to file a claim. However, if you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness, it is important to seek the advice of an attorney immediately to avoid losing potential evidence or witness testimony, and for assistance dealing with insurance companies and other parties.
My family member was killed in an accident; can I file a lawsuit against the negligent party?
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligent, reckless, or wrongful acts of another person, you may be able to file a wrongful death suit. However, Missouri law limits the parties who can sue for wrongful death to the following family members of the deceased:
- Brothers & Sisters
- Nieces & Nephews
If none of the above relatives are able to bring a claim, Missouri law allows a competent "plaintiff ad litem" to sue for damages. If you are entitled to share in wrongful death proceedings, you may request the court to appoint such a representative on your behalf.