Missouri Car Accident Laws, Lawsuits and Lawyers
Missouri is probably best known for its two larger cities – Saint Louis and Kansas City. Saint Louis is home to the former World Series champions, the St. Louis Cardinals, and Kansas City is the home of the more recent champions, the Royals. Both cities boast a wide variety of food options, with Kansas City being famous for its particular style of preparing barbeque ribs and other meats. All told, the state is home to over 6 million people: Although there are other cities like the capital Jefferson City and the college town Columbia, many people choose to live in either Kansas City or Saint Louis.
What this means is that Missourians or those just passing through who must travel through one of the state’s more populated areas will be at risk of being involved in a car accident. Few of these accidents will truly be “accidents” – many of them will be car crashes caused by the careless or reckless actions of one or more individuals. When this occurs, injured drivers or passengers may be able to obtain compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Missouri Statistics Concerning Car Crashes
Statistics concerning crashes in Missouri can be found through the Missouri Department of Public Safety’s website. Extensive records are available that help those interested in learning about the problem of car crashes in Missouri better understand who is most at risk for being involved in a crash. The data shows that in 2014, 766 people were killed in traffic crashes and another 48,000 were injured. For a Midwestern state like Missouri, these numbers are significant.
What is also significant is information about why these crashes occur. Few of these crashes are unavoidable or unforeseeable events. Instead, many are the foreseeable result of a driver or other person acting negligently or carelessly. Careless behavior can include texting while driving, disobeying basic traffic safety rules, speeding or traveling too fast for the road and weather conditions, and/or driving drunk or under the influence of drugs. Car accidents that occur because of this or other similar behavior are senseless and needless tragedies, made all the more so because of the fact that they could have been avoided.
Missouri is a “Fault Based” Insurance State
If you live in Missouri and want to drive, the law requires that you first obtain an auto insurance policy with sufficiently-high policy limits so that there is a source of compensation available in the event that you cause injury or death to another person through your careless driving. In a fault-based insurance system like Missouri, the injury victim will file a claim with your insurance company asking your insurance company to compensate him or her for the injuries you allegedly caused. If the insurance company believes you did in fact cause the victim’s injuries, they will pay the claim, up to your policy’s limits. If the insurance company believes it is not clear who is at fault, it may choose to contest the claim.
If the insurance company does not pay the victim’s claim, or if the victim believes he or she may need more money in order to adequate care for him- or herself and his or her needs, a lawsuit may be filed against you and/or your insurance company. Even if it comes out during this lawsuit that the victim contributed to causing the crash, the victim may still be able to recover compensation. This is due to the state’s adoption of the “pure comparative fault” doctrine – under this doctrine, an injury victim may still recover compensation of some amount even if he or she is 99 percent responsible for the accident. (Any compensation award the victim would receive would reflect the amount of fault the victim is determined to have in causing the crash.)
File Your Missouri Car Crash Lawsuit Quickly
Missouri gives injury victims up to five years within which to file a claim for compensation. This is a generous amount, especially considering that in other states car accident victims may only have two years to file a lawsuit. While this time does allow the injury victim to sufficiently investigate his or her case and identify the parties who are responsible for causing his or her injuries, the time should not be squandered. There is little recourse available to an injury victim whose case is dismissed because he or she did not file his or her case in a timely manner.
How a Car Crash Attorney Can Help
Learn what you need to do after a car crash by contacting Stern Law, PLLC. Our firm will help you take the actions you need to take in order to maximize your opportunity of recovering full and fair compensation. Contact our firm today by calling (844) 808-7529 and discuss your car accident case details and questions with us.