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Missouri Sunset

What Evidence Is Needed in a Missouri Car Accident Case?

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Posted on April 24, 2024

There is a small handful of no-fault insurance states in the U.S. where car accident victims only file claims against their own insurance, but in most states, it matters who causes an accident. Like most states, Missouri has a fault-based insurance system that requires car accident victims to prove the other driver’s liability to make a successful claim for compensation for damages like medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. Proving liability requires documenting compelling evidence that the other driver made an error, was careless, or drove recklessly, causing the accident. These are acts of negligence stemming from the at-fault driver’s failure to take reasonable measures to prevent causing injury to others on the roadway.

evidence to collect accident

Preserving Critical Evidence at the Accident Scene

After a terrifying crash, you may have such serious injuries that you aren’t able to move safely. In this case, you may be able to do little other than wait for help. However, if you can safely use your phone without causing further injury—or ask an uninjured person to do so for you—the following steps can document important evidence before the police disrupt the scene and move the vehicles to restore traffic flow:

  • First, call 911 to report the accident and request police and emergency services to the scene
  • Then, take photos of the damaged vehicles and any damage to surrounding structures
  • Take photos of the entire accident scene including anything relevant, such as the position of vehicles in an intersection, debris in the road, skid marks, and traffic signs
  • Take photos of your visible injuries to prove they occurred in the accident
  • Record a brief account of what you remember about the accident while it’s fresh in your mind since trauma may fade the memory later
  • Add the contact information of the other driver
  • Add the contact information of any eyewitnesses to the accident (eyewitnesses often provide the most compelling evidence in cases where no traffic camera caught the accident, but often they disappear without leaving contact information)
  • Go directly to the hospital from the scene, preferably in the ambulance

At the hospital, have a thorough medical exam as well as treatment for obvious injuries to ensure you have documentation of every injury, even those with delayed symptom presentation. Ask the doctor to make a detailed report of your injuries, the medical provider’s recommendations for treatment, and your prognosis for recovery. All of the above becomes important evidence to maximize your chances of fully recovering your damages.

Evidence in Car Accident Cases After the Accident

Besides your medical report, police report, and evidence preserved from the accident scene, you’ll need proof of your expenses, including estimates on the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle. Save copies of all medical bills, invoices, and receipts for related expenses, such as travel expenses to see a specialist. Gather evidence of your typical income, such as tax forms or recent pay stubs. These become important evidence of the financial damages caused by your car accident.

Your personal injury attorney may also use medical expert testimony as evidence showing the likely impacts of your injury on your ability to work and accomplish daily routines. Medical experts also testify about the level of pain you’ve experienced and are expected to experience before you meet your maximum medical improvement.

When you have plentiful evidence of the cause of the accident, your injuries, and your damages, the insurance company will likely offer an ample settlement so you can avoid court.