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In a Car Crash? | 3 Considerations For Filing a Claim

Many people who have been in a car crash struggle with whether to make a claim for money compensation. Understandably so. They may be worried that they will be seen as making a frivolous claim or being a drain on the system.

As a personal injury lawyer handling car crash cases in Kansas City for over ten years, I am here to tell you not to worry about those things. Instead, here’s my take on the 3 things to consider when deciding whether you should make a claim for money compensation.

1. Were you hurt?

First and foremost, you should ask yourself, were you hurt? Stated more precisely, did you suffer any harm because of a crash? Some crashes at first appear innocent enough and you may seem fine afterwards. But, injuries can creep up several days after a crash. Furthermore, you can suffer harm from a crash without injury. If you missed work or lost property from a crash, you have a right to money compensation for those losses. This can happen even if you don’t get hurt.

2. How great was your harm?

Making a claim costs time and sometimes even money, even if you don’t hire a lawyer. You have to fill out paperwork, give a recorded statement, and travel to a doctor’s office for treatment when you’re hurt. If your losses were minimal, it may simply not be worth it to take the time to make a claim. But don’t sell yourself short. Make sure you take into account all of your harms and losses, not just your physical injuries or out-of-pocket expenses. Take an honest stock of your losses and decide if its worth your time to make a claim.

3. Can you prove fault?

As the one making the claim for money compensation, you bear the burden of proving your case by a preponderance of the evidence. This means you have to show the other driver was more likely at fault than not. You don’t have to prove beyond all reasonable doubt, just a preponderance. This is pretty clear in most crash cases, but not always. There may have been some other cause for a crash other than the driver. For example, you may be to blame for a crash if you weren’t paying attention or driving defensively. Also, the other driver may deny negligence, in which case you’ll need to have evidence of his or her fault, such as a witness, police report, or video footage. You should ask yourself if you can prove negligence before making a claim.

If you’ve been in a crash and are contemplating making a claim, please don’t hesitate to contact our firm. We’ve handled hundreds of crash cases throughout the Kansas City area and would be happy to answer your questions.