Experienced Attorneys, Aggressive Representation

Can I Still Recover Damages if I Was Partially Responsible for the Accident?

An overhead view of a lawyer's hands as he fills out an insurance claim form for his client.

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.

What Happens If You’re at Fault in an Accident?

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.

What Should I Do if I Believe I Am at Fault in a Car Accident?

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.

  • Stay at the scene of the accident. Missouri law dictates that every driver involved in a motor vehicle collision must exchange personal information including their names, addresses, insurance information, and phone numbers.
  • Attempt to move your vehicle to the shoulder of the road if you can. According to Forbes, it is the law in Missouri to move your vehicle out of traffic lanes after an accident as long as there are no serious injuries or your car is too disabled to do so safely. If moving your vehicle is not an option, switch on your hazard lights or position flares to alert other drivers.
  • Check everyone for injuries. Call emergency services at 911 immediately if anyone appears to be injured. Do not forget to include yourself in your check for injuries as your adrenaline may be masking your pain.
  • Cooperate with the police and medical professionals when they arrive. Give them your information and be honest about the details of the events surrounding the collision. However, you should not embellish beyond the facts. Do not add your thoughts or admit any fault. You also should not apologize for the accident. Be very careful with what you say because everything you say may be used against you in a property damage or personal injury claim. It is important to refrain from saying anything that may be perceived as an admission of guilt, even if you feel guilty for what happened. There may be circumstances that you are unaware of and admitting fault at this stage may diminish your ability to receive compensation that you are actually entitled to.
  • Contact your insurance company. You should inform your insurance company of the accident and file a claim with them. It is best that they learn of the details of the accident from you right away before the other driver gets involved. If you are contacted by the insurance company of the other driver, be very careful about what you say. Do not make any statements or sign any documents without consulting a lawyer first.
  • Contact a personal injury lawyer to make sure you know your legal rights. An attorney will help protect you from aggressive insurance companies that may attempt to take advantage of you and your situation.

What Are My Legal Rights if I Have Caused a Car Accident?

You still have rights if you were the one who caused the car accident. Some of these rights are as follows:

  • You have the right to hire a car accident lawyer to protect your interests and represent you on your behalf
  • You have the right to not answer any questions from the other driver’s insurance company

Why Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer If I Caused a Car Accident?

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.

What Am I Liable For if I Am at Fault in a Car Accident?

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:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Lost Earnings
  • Decreased Future Earning Potential
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss of Consortium
  • Rehabilitation Services

The injured party must provide evidence that you were responsible for causing the accident and that the accident is what caused their injuries.

If You Were Responsible for Causing a Car Crash, Get Help From a Knowledgeable Car Accident Attorney

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.

Contact Goldblatt + Singer for a Free Consultation

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.


Free Consulation
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Recent Articles