Although car accidents happen, every driver has a right to expect the other drivers around them to act with prudence and care on the road. When drivers neglect this duty, it can cause harm.
If you have suffered injuries or your loved one died because of a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence, you may have the legal right to pursue compensation for your losses. The Missouri car accident lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may be able to help you receive the financial award that you deserve.
Our team can help you with investigating the accident, gathering evidence of who was at fault for it, negotiating with insurance providers on your behalf, filing a civil lawsuit with you, and negotiating a fair settlement for your suffering. Call (800) 223-5115 today to set up a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you after a car accident.
Missouri’s Car Accident Fault System
The state of Missouri follows an at-fault system when determining who should pay for the damages caused by a car accident. All Missouri drivers are legally required to carry automobile insurance, and the driver who causes the accident is financially responsible for its costs.
Then, you can make a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to recover the cost of your medical bills and property damage incurred in the car accident. However, the insurance company may only pay up to an amount covered by the policy, which might not cover all your injuries and losses, or they may resist paying in an effort to protect their own financial interests. If you have trouble recovering the payment you believe an insurance company owes you, a lawyer can help you negotiate with them or even file a lawsuit against the insurer, if necessary.
Another option is to file a claim with your own insurance company. If the other driver is uninsured, the uninsured motorist portion of your own insurance coverage should help with the costs of the accident. This amount will again be limited by your specific policy.
Finally, in order to recover your entitled compensation for a car accident that was not your fault, you could also file a personal injury lawsuit or a wrongful death lawsuit.
When determining who should pay for the costs of an accident, both insurance claims adjusters and civil courts in Missouri will use the pure comparative fault rule. Outlined in Missouri Revised Statutes § 537.765, pure comparative fault means that each person involved in the accident receives a percentage of the blame for the accident and is responsible for paying that portion of the damages.
While the other driver could be 100% at fault for the accident and responsible for all costs, in some situations, both drivers bear some of the fault. For example, if the other driver ran through a red light just after it turned red and hit your car in the intersection, you could be partially at fault for not checking whether anyone was coming before you entered the intersection. If you are 10% at fault for the accident, you would receive 90% of the recovery award for the accident.
Types of Evidence for Proving Fault
Whether you wish to pursue compensation for a car accident through an insurance claim or through a civil lawsuit, you will need to show evidence of the other driver’s fault for the accident. The kinds of evidence you might need include:
- Police reports on the accident
- Eyewitness statements
- Video footage of the accident or drivers’ actions
- Photos of the scene of the accident
- An analysis of the damage the cars suffered
- Other evidence at the scene, such as tire tracks and skid marks
A Missouri car accident lawyer could help you find this evidence and prove your right to compensation. Contact the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to learn more about how we can help you with your case and to schedule a free consultation.
The financial awards you may be able to receive after a car accident in Missouri through a personal injury lawsuit can include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost future earning capacity
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs
- Other property damage costs
- Cost of a rental vehicle
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
If you pursue compensation for a wrongful death, you may also be able to receive financial recovery for funeral expenses and the losses of companionship, comfort, support, consortium, training, counsel, guidance, and instruction.
State Time Limit for Car Accident Lawsuits
Civil lawsuits are subject to a statute of limitations, which is a law that puts a time limit on your right to pursue legal action for certain events. Missouri Revised Statutes § 516.120 says that the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is five years. If you wish to sue because your family member died in a car accident, Missouri Revised Statutes § 537.100 places the time limit at three years for wrongful death lawsuits.
You may lose your right to recover your losses and injuries after these time limits have passed. There can be exceptions, so you could always check with a Missouri car accident lawyer to find out if your case is still within the time limit for recovering compensation.
Get Help from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm
Being in a car accident is can be a traumatic incident, and when someone else causes your injury, you may need time to rest and recover emotionally as well as physically. You can take this time to heal by letting Pintas & Mullins take on your case.
Our Missouri car accident lawyer and the rest of our team will work tirelessly to pursue the justice you deserve. Set up a free consultation today by calling (800) 223-5115. At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we work on contingency, so you will never owe us anything unless we can recover compensation for you.