According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, there were over 1,000 deaths caused by car accidents in 2021. There is an alarming number of car accidents occurring on Missouri’s roads and many of them involve severe injuries or death. Most of these accidents are caused by the actions of one person or entity who is then held responsible for the entirety of the damages. But what happens when someone else is partially to blame for causing the accident?
A percentage of fault is given to all parties involved in the accident under Missouri’s pure comparative negligence rule. That percentage determines how much compensation you are entitled to receive. You will be awarded reduced compensatory damages according to your amount of blame for the accident. For example, if the court determines that you are 25% responsible for causing the accident and you have been awarded $100,000 in compensation, you will only receive $75,000 of that amount due to your partial fault.
If you are in the unfortunate position of having caused a car accident, it is imperative that you contact a car accident attorney to find out what your legal rights are and to know what you should do to protect yourself.
There are some steps that you should take if you believe you were responsible for causing a car accident. You should follow these steps to ensure that the rights you are legally entitled to are protected.
You still have rights if you were the one who caused the car accident. Some of these rights are as follows:
Even though you caused the car accident, you still have legal rights. It is even possible that you are entitled to receive compensation for your damages. The other driver may also be at fault and owe you compensation. The comparative negligence rule in Missouri holds each driver accountable for their part in the accident. For example, if both drivers were speeding or if one failed to yield while the other failed to signal their intent, they are both at fault for causing the accident. Each driver will be held liable for their percentage of fault.
The severity of the accident is what determines what options you have and what your legal rights are if you are the one responsible for causing the accident. Minor accidents with no injuries or property damage will likely only result in a traffic ticket. A more serious collision involving property damage and injuries would also result in property damage lawsuits and personal injury claims against you as well. If the accident was severe enough to have caused a fatality or multiple fatalities, you may also be looking at criminal charges.
If there was property damage, the owner of the damaged property may file a lawsuit against you to recover their expenses to repair or replace their property. The burden of proof will be on them, which means that they must prove that you were responsible for the accident and that the accident is what caused their property to become damaged.
If your accident involved injuries, the injured person may file a personal injury lawsuit in an attempt to receive compensation for their damages. Such damages may include the following:
The injured party must provide evidence that you were responsible for causing the accident and that the accident is what caused their injuries.
Causing a car accident is a harsh reality to face. The shock, regret, and guilt may stay with you for a long time. You may be facing multiple lawsuits for property damage and personal injuries. You do not have to go through this difficult time alone. By contacting a car accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident, you will learn about your options and your legal rights.
Your lawyer will also help you by investigating what happened during the accident. Looking into the circumstances surrounding the accident will give a clearer view of what actually happened and who really caused it.
Negotiations with the insurance companies are best left to someone with experience and legal knowledge. Sometimes insurance companies will try to take advantage of your lack of legal expertise, but an experienced attorney will be able to handle them effectively.
You may be in a position where you have the right to file your own claims for personal injury and property damage. Your car accident lawyer will help you by determining if this is the case and they will file these lawsuits on your behalf.
Your car accident attorney will also represent you in court, if your cases are not settled out of court. Having an experienced attorney by your side through the entire process will protect your rights and keep you from getting overwhelmed.
If you or your family member has been involved in a motor vehicle accident, Goldblatt + Singer can help to determine and prove who is liable. Our experienced team is dedicated and reliable. Legal representation through our firm gives you peace of mind knowing that we are working for the best possible settlement on your behalf. Your most important priority is your recovery, so let us handle the rest. Contact the car accident attorneys at Goldblatt + Singer at (314) 231-4100 to schedule a free consultation. We will review the details of your accident and discuss how we can support you through the legal process.
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