Car accidents are an unfortunate fact of life in the 21st Century. No matter how diligently you follow the rules of the road, there is always the risk of being involved in an accident caused by another driver. As Missouri is a comparative fault state, recovering compensation for your losses depends on proving who was at fault for the accident and to what degree.
If you have been hurt in a St. Louis traffic crash caused by another driver, first get prompt medical attention for your injuries. Next, focus on recovering compensation. Our experienced personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Patrick S. O’Brien can investigate your accident, assess the full extent of your damages, and build a strong case to show who was at fault for the collision.
Comparative Fault in Missouri Car Accidents
Under state law, a comparative fault system is used to award money damages based on percentages of fault assigned to the drivers involved in an accident. When damages have been established, each driver recovers a percentage of their damages equal to the percentage of fault assigned to the other driver. This is true even if a driver is determined to be more than 50% at fault for the crash.
By way of example, let’s say that John is involved in a car accident with Steve. Steve is determined to be 90% at fault for the accident, while John is assigned 10% of the fault. If John’s damages are determined to be $100,000, John will be able to recover $90,000 from Steve – 90% of John’s damages. If Steve’s damages amount to $50,000, Steve will be able to recover $5,000 from John – 10% of Steve’s damages.
How an Attorney Can Help You Prove Fault after a St. Louis Car Accident
Proving fault for a car accident in St. Louis is not a simple matter. Fault determines the final value of your settlement. The more you are found to have contributed to the accident, the less the insurance company will pay for your injuries and losses. Insurance companies profit by paying less and, therefore, prefer to assign more fault to you.
Fault percentages are determined during the claims process or by a judge or jury if the case goes to trial. Our St. Louis car accident lawyers know what to do after a traffic crash to establish and preserve the value of your claim. This will include collecting facts and documentation, such as:
- Police reports
- Other driver’s insurance information
- Witness interviews
- Pictures of the accident scene
- Medical records
Our knowledgeable attorneys can assist you with filing an insurance claim for your injuries, property damage, and other losses. We can fully and accurately assess your damages, including past and future medical expenses, lost wages or earnings because of time away from work during your recovery, and damage caused to your vehicle in the accident. We can negotiate skillfully with the insurance company on your behalf to establish fault and help secure full and fair compensation for your losses. Contact us for a case evaluation today.