The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety reports that between 2020 and 2021, 152 individuals lost their lives from injuries sustained in 15,491 traffic incidents in St. Louis. This is unsurprising, seeing as Missouri is currently ranked 12th on the list of states with the most dangerous roads in the country.
These car accidents are typically caused by careless driving and negligence behind the wheel. No one should have to suffer serious injuries and spend a lot of money to nurse themselves back to health just because someone refused to do the right thing.
If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in an auto crash, Morelli Law Firm’s car accident lawyers in St. Louis can help you pursue compensation and recover damages.
How to Prove Liability in a St. Louis Car Accident Case
If you have been in a traffic crash in St. Louis, it’s important to identify who is at fault. Because Missouri is a comparative fault state, the court and insurance companies will weigh both parties’ liabilities before awarding compensation.
To prove that the at-fault party is liable, you need to show that, through recklessness, negligence, or inattention, the other party caused the car accident that you were involved in. This means that your attorney will have to investigate your claims to determine the facts of the case.
Understanding Comparative Negligence
If a motorist or another party is found wholly culpable, they’ll be responsible for covering significant compensation and damages for the victim. However, if the defendant was found liable to some degree, this will affect their final payout.
For example, if the court awards you a $50,000 compensation, but determines that you were responsible for the accident by 15%, you will only get paid $35,000 (or 15% less than the $50,000). Therefore, the insurance companies are inclined to try and find fault, as this means that they would have to pay you a lot less than you would have ordinarily received.
All drivers within the state of Missouri are required to have insurance coverage—a minimum of $10,000. This way, if any driver is in an accident, their insurance provider can pay for the damages. The at-fault motorist is often responsible for medical expenses, loss of income, and property damage among other damages.
What if the At-Fault Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
If the at-fault party doesn’t have any insurance coverage, the state will suspend their driving license for a year. And before they can have the license reinstated, they have to pay for the losses acquired by the other party in the accident, as well as, a $20 reinstatement fee.
Missouri also enforces penalties for not carrying motor liability insurance. This is usually in the form of points on your driving history. If a driver is convicted, they will have four points added to their record. If they are convicted again within a space of 18 months and receive another four points, their driving license can be rescinded.
Our St. Louis car accident lawyers understand the tactics that insurance companies use to claw back as much money as they can from you. So, we can easily counter their methods, fight your cause, and get you the outcome that you deserve.
St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer Near Me 877-751-9800
Claiming Compensation and Recovering Damages in a St. Louis Car Accident Case
When you file a personal injury claim because of a car accident in St. Louis, you’re entitled to claim the following damages:
These are damages that can be quantified in dollars and cents and often have a definite value. They include:
- Past, present, and future medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Reduced income earning capacity
- Medical equipment for supporting the injured
- Cost of modifying the house or transport vehicle
- Home services (i.e., nurse, maid, nanny)
- Out-of-pocket expenses (i.e., transportation costs, auto rental)
These are highly subjective damages that you can’t really put a dollar amount to. And because they are relative to the person claiming the damages, two people with similar claims can receive completely different sums. For instance, if person A and person B both file for pain and suffering, person A may receive $50,000, while person B gets just $5,000.
Sometimes, economic damages do not show the degree of suffering that the plaintiff may be going through. For example, a car accident can lead to a miscarriage. While a few hospital trips can quickly sort out the issue, the period of emotional angst and grief can last a long time after the physical wounds might have healed.
Non-economic damages include:
- Disfigurement, scarring, and amputation
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional anxiety
- Temporary and permanent disability
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Reduced or impaired quality of life
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Embarrassment and indignity
Calculating and totaling these values takes time, effort, experience, and skills. For instance, determining the right figures for a pain and suffering claim is challenging. Even if you wanted to claim these damages yourself, you may not have any idea how to do it.
This is why you need Morelli Law’s brilliant car accident attorneys to handle this for you. You can trust us to add all the necessary damages to your claim so that you can get the maximum compensation amount possible.
How Long After a Car Accident Can You Sue in St. Louis, MO?
According to the statute of limitations under RSMo § 516.120, you have five years from the date of the accident or discovery of the injury to file a personal injury lawsuit or a compensation claim. And if a loved one died from the injuries sustained in the crash, the family has just three years to bring a wrongful death action against the defendant.
Don’t be fooled by the five-year time limit and think you have time. Even though five years seems like a long time, it’s better to commence legal action as soon as possible. This way, you can still recall the circumstances that led to the wreck while it’s still fresh in your mind.
In addition, you’ll be able to gather the necessary evidence, speak to witnesses, and build a solid case. Also, the insurance company and the courts will take your case more seriously if you start your claim sooner than later.
There are also some extenuating circumstances where the deadline may be shortened or lengthened. The best way to know how much time you have to file a claim is to speak with a St. Louis car accident attorney to review the elements of your case.
Contact Experienced St. Louis Car Accident Attorneys
Depending on the severity of your situation, personal injuries resulting from an auto wreck in St. Louis can be financially devastating and life-altering. If you were hurt or lost a loved one in a crash, an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer can help you to recover the money you’ve spent and the losses you’ve suffered.
While we understand that money does not remedy all problems, it’ll go a long way in helping you get back a modicum of normalcy and stability in your life. Let us help you today. Contact Morelli Law Firm to request a free case evaluation.