Car Accident Lawsuits Explained for the Residents of St. Louis

Car accidents are a common occurrence in St. Louis, and unfortunately, they can leave victims with a lot to deal with. Damages can include everything from physical injuries and emotional trauma to lost wages and car repairs. 

If you’ve been in a vehicle accident and feel the other motorist was at fault, you might want to consider filing a lawsuit. In this article, we will explain the basics of car accident lawsuits in Missouri, specifically focusing on St. Louis residents.

Finding the Right Car Accident Attorney in St. Louis

Selecting the best car accident lawyer in St. Louis is essential to increasing your chances of winning your claim. Look for a St. Louis attorney who specializes in representing people involved in car accidents. This ensures that they are knowledgeable about the local regulations and norms that are relevant to the situation at hand.

TorHoerman Law advises looking up the lawyer’s prior accomplishments. Find a lawyer who has already won in cases similar to yours. While many legal practices post their case results on their websites, the Missouri Bar Association does not give particular success rates.

Reviews and ratings left by clients on review sites such as Google reviews can provide important information about the communication style, responsiveness, and general customer satisfaction of the lawyer. 

Many lawyers take cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win. This might be an excellent option because there won’t be any up-front legal bills. FindLaw notes that the contingency fee for such lawyers is usually 33% to 40% of the total settlement amount awarded to their client.

Determining Fault in a Car Accident

According to Bloomberg Law, your compensation in Missouri—a pure comparative fault state—is lowered in proportion to your degree of fault.

For instance, in a vehicle accident when the plaintiff bears 70% of the blame, they are still entitled to the remaining 30% of the damages. To win your case, you must show that the other driver was at least partially to blame for the crash.

Types of Damages Recoverable in a Lawsuit

A car accident lawsuit can assist you in recovering compensation for a variety of damages, both financial and non-financial. A KMOV report from April 2024 states a St. Louis family filed a lawsuit after a car accident left their child injured.

The report mentions that a firefighter crew had to be called because the child was pinned between two vehicles. They cut parts of the car and only then could the boy be freed. The lawsuit seeks compensation for medical expenses and pain and suffering. Here, the medical expenses are financial damages whereas pain and suffering are non-financial damages.

The Importance of Evidence in Your Case

The success of your car accident lawsuit hinges on the evidence you can present to prove your case. Photographs taken at the scene of the accident, witness statements, police reports, and medical records are examples of this type of evidence.

Dashcam footage is one of the most crucial pieces of evidence in road accidents these days. One such case happened in September 2023 in St. Louis County where dashcam footage emerged as key evidence. KSDK notes that the footage was examined in the deaths of three teens who crashed their car into a vacant home.

Statute of Limitations for Filing a Lawsuit

In Missouri, there is a deadline for filing a lawsuit following a car crash. According to Forbes, you typically have five years in Missouri from the date of the accident to initiate a claim. This time period varies according to each state’s own local laws.

You might not be able to pursue compensation at all if you miss this deadline. As soon as you can after your injuries, get legal advice to make sure you satisfy all deadlines.

FAQs

After a vehicle accident, how can a lawyer help?

A lawyer can assist you in navigating the court system, obtaining proof, settling disputes with insurance providers, and fighting for the money you are entitled to.

What is the statute of limitations in Missouri for a car crash claim?

In Missouri, you typically have five years from the accident date to submit a claim. It’s recommended that you consult with a lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that you meet all deadlines.

Is the state of Missouri a pure comparative fault state?

Indeed, the state of Missouri is a pure comparative fault state. This implies that the amount of compensation you are eligible to get will be directly impacted by your proportion of fault in the accident.

To summarize, vehicle accidents may be life-changing occurrences, and the legal procedure might appear difficult. Understanding the fundamentals of automobile accident litigation in St. Louis will help you defend your rights and earn fair compensation.

Note that it is essential that you consult with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer as soon as possible. They can help you navigate the complexity of the law and improve your chances of a successful case result.

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