A skilled car accident lawyer in Missouri can help you recover compensation from liable parties. Many factors impact the outcome of your claim, including comparative fault rules and statutes of limitations.
A lawyer can ensure that you receive full and fair compensation for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and other costs. But it’s important to act fast – evidence can disappear and legal deadlines can expire.
Missouri follows an at-fault insurance system, which means that whoever causes a car accident is responsible for paying the damages. This also means that victims can recover up to the other driver’s policy limits.
It is important to work with an experienced lawyer after a car accident, because they can help you collect the evidence necessary for a successful claim. This includes gathering evidence of the other driver’s negligence. In addition, they can provide you with guidance on how much your injuries are worth, including both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include things like medical bills and lost wages. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and mental anguish. In some cases, you may be able to receive punitive damages. These are intended to punish the defendant and deter others from engaging in similar reckless behaviors.
Pure Comparative Fault
In nearly every car crash, there is at least one party who was negligent. And while it’s sometimes easy to determine how much fault belongs to each party, other times, it isn’t. This is why it’s important to work with a St. Louis car accident lawyer who can look at all of the accident details and determine how much negligence should be attributed to each party. When this is done, the claimant can be awarded compensation for both economic and non-economic damages.
With pure comparative fault laws, a plaintiff can receive compensation for their injuries even if they are partially to blame. However, any amount that they are awarded will be reduced by their percentage of the total fault that is assigned to them. For example, if a jury awards an accident victim $1 million in their personal injury case and they are 99 percent at fault for the accident, they would only receive $100,000 in damages.
Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is a set period of time in which you must bring a claim. It is in place to prevent fraudulent claims and also ensure that the evidence in a case hasn’t degraded over time.
If you file your lawsuit after the deadline, a court will probably not hear it. This is why it’s so important to seek legal assistance as soon as possible.
Missouri law provides a five-year window in which to file an accident or injury lawsuit. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule that could allow you more time.
For example, some injuries may take time to show up and be diagnosed by a doctor. Additionally, some injuries are permanent and life-altering.
Statute of Frauds
Car accident victims in Missouri must prove a defendant is liable for their losses to receive compensation. Most start by filing a claim with the defendant’s insurance company, as insurers pay nearly all settlements and awards. To do so, they must be able to show their policyholder was negligent or otherwise at fault.
This often involves demonstrating both the economic and non-economic damages a victim has suffered. The former covers tangible expenses like medical bills and property damage, while the latter refers to intangible harms and impacts on a victim’s quality of life.
Car accident lawyers must gather and preserve a wealth of evidence for their clients. This can include police reports, medical records, photos and videos, statements from witnesses, and more. They may also draft “evidence preservation letters” to local businesses with security cameras and auto repair shops to ensure essential evidence is not lost or destroyed. Moreover, they can help victims challenge healthcare and disability insurance denials.