A Quick Guide to Car Accident Laws in St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri, is home to many car accidents. This can be attributed to the city’s density and high volume of drivers. St. Louis ranks among the top cities with the most car accidents annually.
If you’ve been in an accident recently or are the victim of someone else’s negligence, you may wonder what your legal options are and how they could help you.
This guide will cover everything you need about St. Louis’ laws regarding personal injury lawsuits. This will help you make informed decisions about your case moving forward.
What to Do If You Are Injured in a Car Accident in St. Louis?
Roughly 4.7 million passenger cars were involved in road accidents in the United States in 2020. This makes up about 52 percent of the total. This means that it is likely that at some point during your life, someone else could be driving dangerously and cause a severe accident. They may even harm you or your loved ones due to their negligence behind the wheel.
As such, it is essential to be alert when an accident occurs. Alertness, such as taking photographs of the scene and seeking medical help. As with any accident, you must take specific steps to protect your rights. You get compensation for any losses sustained due to being involved in an automobile crash.
For that, you must immediately call the police. The police will record the accident’s time, date, and location. They will also gather witness statements from anyone who saw what happened. Their actions are essential to establish liability. Police will also prepare a police report, a copy you must have to claim for the insurance.
Finally, you must hire a car accident lawyer who is an expert in accident claims. Your lawyer will help you to assess your case and determine if you have a strong claim against the driver who caused the accident. They can advise whether it is worth pursuing legal action if they do not.
Legal Representatives in St. Louis
If you’re injured in a car accident and plan to pursue legal action, you should contact a lawyer in St. Louis. A good lawyer will help you understand your rights and uphold them throughout the legal process.
When choosing a lawyer, look for someone with an established track record of winning against insurance companies and large corporations on behalf of clients like yourself. The best way to find out about the success rate of a particular law firm is by asking around.
Ask friends or family members if they have any recommendations for lawyers who have done well for them in the past. You can also check online reviews from other clients who have hired these lawyers before. Check the reviews on reputable sites such as Yelp and Google, assuring they are genuine and not fake.
Once you’ve narrowed your search based on reputation alone, it’s time to get more specific. Ask potential candidates whether they offer free consultations. You can meet them face-to-face and discuss the details before deciding whom to hire.
We suggest hiring a St. Louis car accident lawyer. St. Louis car accident laws are complex and can be challenging to understand. Thus hiring a lawyer from the home state could be beneficial. They will be familiar with the city and state’s laws.
- They will help you navigate the legal system and get the compensation you deserve.
- They know all the rules for filing claims against drivers living in their home state. And if anything is confusing about those rules, they’ll know how to handle them properly.
- The insurance companies will know what kind of case they’re looking at when dealing with someone from their neighborhood.
- Your attorney will be familiar with local judges and court procedures which could make things easier regarding the trial.
- Your chances of getting a fair settlement are likely better if your lawyer knows the judge, their reputation, and how they handle cases like yours.
Statue of Limitations in St. Louis
When you are injured in an accident, it’s essential to understand the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the period you can file a lawsuit for your injuries. In St. Louis, the statute of limitations differs from case to case.
It may be as short as 90 days or as long as 10 years. For car accidents in St. Louis, five years is the standard time frame for filing suit against another driver if their negligence caused your injury.
Comparative Negligence in St. Louis
This concept may be new to you, but it’s essential to understand. Here’s the deal – comparative negligence allows a person partially responsible for an accident to recover damages from another party more at fault. This means you can still have a successful case even if you were partly at fault for the accident as long as your share of the blame is at most 50%.
Comparative negligence differs from contributory negligence. This bars a plaintiff from recovering any damages. Unless they can prove that their actions contributed significantly to causing the incident. In other words, there must be proof that they were not negligent. In Missouri, Illinois, and many other states across America, comparative negligence is held in cases involving auto accidents.
Let’s understand this with an illustration. Say you’re driving down North Grand Boulevard Street. Suddenly a car comes out of nowhere, hits yours, and causes an accident. Comparative negligence would apply to your case if you were partially at fault for this collision.
You may be at fault for speeding or running a red light. In this situation, your damages award could be reduced by 50%. But it wouldn’t mean that you could still receive compensation.
Note: The interpretation of comparative negligence varies depending on the situation and type. The main premise is that two people might be at fault. The person with the bigger proportion must compensate, while the one with the lesser proportion must bear the cost for which he is responsible.
No-Fault Involvement Criteria in St. Louis
No-fault auto insurance exists in all states except New Hampshire and Virginia. Each state has its own set of laws regulating how it works. In Missouri, drivers can be compensated for injuries regardless of who is at fault.
That means your health insurance will cover your medical bills if you’re involved in an accident where someone else caused the crash. In some cases, however, you may still want to pursue a claim against the other driver’s insurance company.
Knowing what to expect in a car accident can be helpful. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that you’ll get fair compensation for your injuries or property damage. But by being patient and thorough in your approach toward negotiating with the other driver and their insurance company, you’ll put yourself in a much better position to get what’s rightfully yours.
In addition to following these tips, we recommend consulting with a personal injury attorney specializing in car accident litigation before deciding how to proceed with your claim. A lawyer can help guide you through everything from how much compensation is reasonable and why through negotiations with the other driver’s insurance company and even take care of depositions if necessary.
You now have a quick overview of the car accident laws in St. Louis and what you can do if you are in an accident. We hope that this brief guide has helped you navigate your way through these complex laws. Thank you for reading!