Car Accident Lawyer St. Louis
A St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You
A car accident can change your life in a matter of seconds. You can sustain serious injuries that require surgery or other extensive medical care.
You are undergoing medical treatment and looking at a long road to recovery. The medical bills start adding up, and your regular bills keep coming in, but you can’t go back to work because of your injury, so you’re losing income.
You deserve compensation for your injuries, but getting it won’t be easy.
Our car accident lawyers know how to deal with insurance companies to ensure you receive the compensation you are owed. Put our aggressive representation to good use and pay your bills while maximizing the value of your claim.
Types of Car Accident Claims You Need A Lawyer
When a driver breaks the rules of the road and injures or kills another person, they should be held responsible.
If you are injured in a car accident, your case likely has complex legal, insurance and damage issues that require a seasoned car accident attorney to resolve.
Some types of car accident claims that need an experienced injury lawyer are:
- Drunk driving
- Fatigued driving
- Distracted driving
- Texting and driving
- 18-Wheeler Crash
- Bad weather
- Car defect accidents (product liability claims)
- Fender bender injuries
- Road construction
- Underinsured driver
- Uninsured motorist
- Uber and Lyft Rideshare
- Roadway debris accidents
- Negligent roadway design
How Much Does a ST. Louis Car Accident Lawyer Cost?
Personal injury lawyers work on the contingency of victory or settlement.
A contingency fee isn’t charged unless the lawyer wins a settlement or a jury award.
Your accident lawyer receives a percentage of the amount recovered that has been agreed to by you in advance, regardless of whether you pay anything after you get the money.
Hiring an attorney increases your likelihood of case success, and the contingency fee structure allows you to lower the cost and risks associated with obtaining an attorney.
Contact an experienced car accident lawyer today for a free consultation.
How Much is My St. Louis Car Accident Worth
There is no specific guideline for the value of a car accident. Each accident is different and so are the damages that result from them.
Specific calculations can be used to help you understand the approximate value of a case.
Calculating settlement ranges includes knowledge of economic damages such as medical bills and lost wages.
The goal of your lawyer is to get the insurance company to pay you more money by putting up the best evidence in favor of your case. The aim is for the defendant to compensate you more since it would be less expensive and time-consuming for him to go to trial if they were found liable.
What Damages or Compensation Can I Recover in a Car Accident Claim?
If you’ve been in a vehicle accident in Missouri, you may be entitled to a range of financial compensation.
- Property damage: You may be entitled to monetary compensation for the damages you incurred to your car.
- Medical Bills: Medical bills may be significant if you sustained a severe injury like broken bones or paralysis.
- Loss of consortium: If you lost a loved one in a wrongful death case, you might be able to sue for the loss of emotional and physical intimacy due to a serious car accident.
- Lost wages: If you have an accident that prevents you from working for a short time or permanently, you may be able to sue for money you would have earned if the accident hadn’t happened. Economic damage is another name for lost earnings.
- Pain and suffering: Punitive damages are a type of money awarded to individuals in exceptional circumstances. This money is intended to compensate you for the emotional and psychological trauma you went through during your recovery from the accident caused by the negligent party.
Your potential recovery is determined by various criteria, which can be difficult to evaluate on your own.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
According to Missouri law, the surviving spouse or children are the first ones in the line who are eligible to file a wrongful death claim.
The parents, if any, are listed next. Following them are remaining siblings if the deceased had no grandkids. If none of those people can be found, a plaintiff ad litem will be selected by the court and hired by someone seeking distribution of judgment proceeds from the case.
If the only surviving member of the individual is less than 18 years old, the court may assign a legal guardian to act in the minor’s best interests.
Through a wrongful death claim, families can recover compensation for:
- Loss of Companionship
- Medical Bills
- Funeral Costs
- Loss of Income
- Loss of Future Income
- Punitive Damages
- Pain and Suffering
- Mental Anguish
- General Damages
- Loss of Inheritance
Citations: Missouri Wrongful Death Statutes 537.080, 537.090
Contact a car accident lawyer in St. Louis for a free case evaluation.
How Long Do You Have to File a Car Accident Claim in St. Louis?
The statute of limitations in Missouri for vehicle accidents is five years following the date of the incident, so you have five years to file a claim.
The wrongful Death Statute of limitations is only three years.
So families only have three years from the date of death to file a wrongful death tort due to a car accident.
How Can a Lawyer Help with My Car Accident Case?
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, hiring a lawyer is usually a good idea.
While you are not required to have an attorney, an experienced car accident lawyer can investigate your accident and look for evidence to prove negligence.
A car accident lawyer will know how to build a strong case and can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to get you maximum compensation.
How Does A Lawyer Prove Negligence or The Other Drivers Fault
Once you have received medical treatment, you need to hire an experienced car accident attorney to start the claims process.
To win a personal injury claim, the claimant must show that the defendant was negligent and his or her carelessness directly caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
There are four elements to negligence in personal injury cases:
- Duty. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed a duty of care in the given situation. This aspect is relatively simple to establish and usually requires showing the defendant was present for the accident. Drivers have a duty of care to follow traffic rules and drive their cars safely, so this part is straightforward.
- Breach. The plaintiff must show how the defendant breached his or her duty of care. This could be speeding, texting while driving, driving drunk, running a red light, or any other factors.
- Damage. A plaintiff must show that he or she has suffered a quantifiable loss before bringing a lawsuit. These can include economic losses such as medical expenses, property damage, and non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
- Causation. To win a case against someone, the plaintiff must show that the defendant was responsible for their damages in some way. This can be done by proving that the damages would not have happened if it wasn’t for the defendant’s negligence or that it is more likely than not that the defendant’s negligence is responsible for the damages.
WILL I HAVE TO GO TO COURT?
In most cases, a courtroom isn’t necessary. This is since they are frequently resolved through a settlement in which the parties involved negotiate until they reach an agreement that works for both.
During this process, personal injury attorneys may be highly beneficial since they will be well-equipped to deal with negotiations, seek a fair settlement amount, and obtain the payment.
If you decide to take legal action, a personal injury lawyer with the knowledge and resources to go to court, conduct expert witness interviews, and prepare your case for trial if necessary is highly recommended.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
The following factors play leading roles in collisions on U.S. roads.
One of the top causes of car accidents can be blamed on distracted driving. Despite popular opinion, the brain cannot focus on more than one task at a time.
Drunk driving is responsible for an average of 29 deaths per day in America.
Speeding & Reckless Driving
One of the top causes of speeding-related accidents is running late to work. Other causes can include trying to keep up with traffic or unintentionally driving over the speed limit. Switching lanes too quickly, blatantly disregarding the safety and/or property of others, and purposely failing to abide by cautionary measures are only some characteristics of reckless driving.
Running Red Lights or Stop Signs
About 40% of car accidents occur at intersections, with the cause being running a red light or a stop sign.
Aggressive driving means doing anything while driving that could put other drivers or property in danger. This includes speeding.
Tiredness or Fatigue
Sleepiness, drowsiness, or feeling very tired can make it hard to drive well. You might not be able to see things as well, and you might not react as quickly.
Common Causes of Car Accidents Unrelated to Human Error
Other elements have the potential to influence outcomes. The safest, most defensive drivers are not immune to automobile wrecks; they are affected by other factors. Other circumstances can have a significant impact on the outcome.
Rain, snow, or ice can cause cars to skid off the road or into other things or other vehicles. Weather conditions such as fog, water levels, and wind speed may also be factored in traffic accidents.
Poorly maintained roads with potholes or standing water can all lead to dangerous collisions.
Cars have a lot of parts, and sometimes they don’t work how they’re supposed to. This can cause the car to malfunction leading to an accident.
CAR ACCIDENT STATISTICS
The Missouri State Highway Patrol reported 131,390 total car accidents in 2020.
MSHP’s 2020 car accident data for Missouri reported that 47,894 people were injured in car accidents.
Poor weather played a role in nearly 21,000 Missouri car accidents, with rain being involved in 14,776 while snow, sleet, and hail were involved in another 4,194.
Citations: State Highway Patrol Data, NHTSA Fatality 2020 Data, NHTSA Injury 2020 Data
What To Do After an Automobile Accident
- Immediately After a Collision: If possible, move your car to a safe, well-lit location nearby, such as a public area where others may see you and the other driver.
- Secure Passengers: It’s too easy to become sidetracked and make mistakes that may result in more significant harm when dealing with family and pets. If it’s a fender bender or a minor collision, don’t leave young children, animals, disabled persons, or non-ambulatory elders in a hot, locked car after the incident.
- Small Children In Car Seats: Don’t remove your child’s car seats after the accident if they are old enough to be in them. They may have injuries you can’t see, so let a first responder take them out of their car seats to check for harm.
- Call 911 – Ambulance or Police: Once you and your car are in a safe place, check to see if you or anyone in your car is injured. If someone is injured, even if it is minor, call fire and rescue or an ambulance. You want to get medical help for yourself or others immediately, especially if the injured are children, elders or incapacitated people.
- Avoid Driver Confrontation: Determine if you can communicate with the other motorist safely and, if possible, without police assistance. While waiting for the cops, it’s OK to have small talk, but don’t make admissions or blurt out “I’m sorry,” even when you believe you’re responsible. Avoid blaming the accident on another motorist at the scene or taking responsibility for another driver or witnesses on the scene.
- Get the Right Information: Exchange insurance and contact information only
- Name and contact information
- Insurance company and policy number
- Driver’s license and license plate number
- Type, color and model of vehicle
- Location of accident
Common Car Accident Injuries
The severity of injuries suffered by drivers and passengers depends on multiple factors, including:
- Was the injured person wearing a seat belt?
- Did the person’s car get hit from the rear, side, or front?
- Was the person facing straight ahead in the seat or turned in a specific direction?
- Was it a low-speed collision or a high-speed crash?
- Did the car have airbags?
Most injuries caused by car accidents fall into two broad categories: impact injuries and penetrating injuries.
- Impact injuries are typically caused when a person’s body hits some part of the car’s interior.
- Penetrating injuries are cuts and scrapes caused by shattering glass or objects flying inside the car.
Here are the most common car accident injuries
- Cuts and bruises
- Sprains and strains
- Broken bones/fractures
- Back Injury
- Broken Femur
- Burn Injury
- Catastrophic Injury
- Eye Injuries
- Herniated Disc
- Lung Injury
- Neck Injury
- Shoulder Injury
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Soft Tissue Injuries and Car Accidents
A soft tissue injury is a problem with the body’s connective tissue (muscles, ligaments, and tendons). This is the most frequent sort of accident-induced damage. Soft tissue injuries have a variety of forms.
- Whiplash. Whiplash occurs when a driver’s vehicle strikes another object, such as a car or tree, and the body jerks suddenly. A “whiplash” type injury to the neck and upper back is a form of soft tissue injury. A whiplash injury occurs when muscles and ligaments are stretched due to sudden head and neck movements during a collision. This can cause internal organs to rapidly shift or cause damage to soft tissues. Whiplash, if severe enough, can even result in a concussion and cause someone to lose consciousness.
The same forces can cause soft tissue injuries in other body areas, such as the back. Car accidents often cause mid-back and low-back muscle sprains and sometimes more severe back injuries because of the impact force against the spine.
- Disc Injury. Disc injury is another common type of injury that victims of car accidents encounter, albeit more severe. Similar to the whiplash reaction, a driver can experience an impact so significant that it results in a shift to one or more vertebrae in his spine worse, it can rupture vertebrae and cause significant pain. Common disc injuries are bulging and herniated discs.
Contact Our St. Louis Car Accident Attorneys Today
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