Car Accident Attorneys Assisting You Throughout Festus
Many of us perceive our cars to be an extension of ourselves; they are essential to our day-to-day activities, and we tend to minimize the risk of an accident or issue. Sadly, however, car accidents are very much a part of life, and research suggests that fatalities are on the rise. Finding yourself involved in a car accident can be traumatic and frightening, and you may be left with injuries which can change your entire life.
What Can I Claim For?
In the event that you are involved in a car accident, you may be able to claim for damages if it can be proven that the other party was negligent.
Negligence is defined in Missouri law as being an individual acting, or failing to act, in a way which violates their duty of care. A classic example is a motorist who runs a red light due to distraction, and hits another car. In this case, the former would be found to be negligent and be required to pay damages.
Missouri is a ‘comparative negligence’ state, and this means that the plaintiff will be required to accept a reduction in damages if they are proven to have been at fault. As an example, if an individual is found to be 10% responsible for their car accident, then any damages they are awarded will be reduced by 10%. Missouri does not, however, recognize contributory negligence, meaning that the plaintiff can still recover damages if they are found to be slightly responsible.
Which Damages Can Be Claimed?
There are a number of damages which can be claimed if the other party is found to be liable. These can be used to cover a wide range of costs and expenses, and these include:
- Medical bills, including hospital stays and visits, ambulances, emergency room costs, medication, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, or doctors visits
- Any permanent injuries or disabilities
- Adaptations and alterations to your vehicle and home if required
- Pain and suffering incurred as a result of the accident
- Emotional distress, e.g. from witnessing a traumatic event
- Loss of income while you are recovering. You can also claim if you are unable to return to work as a result of your injuries, have a reduced earning capacity, or are forced to take on a less profitable role
- Any repairs to your vehicle if it can be fixed, or any vehicle replacement costs in the event that your car cannot be fixed
- Costs of a rental vehicle while your car is being fixed
- Punitive damages
- Wrongful death damages if applicable
Unlike some other states, Missouri does not impose a limit on the amount of damages which can be awarded; this is at the discretion of the judge, and there is no upper limit.
Is There A Time Limit On My Case?
Like many cases, individuals who are affected by a car accident will have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit. The Missouri statute of limitations states that an injured party will have five years from the date of the accident to pursue legal action. Any cases which are filed after this date are very unlikely to be successful, and the defendant is likely to file a motion to have them dismissed.
Do I Need Legal Assistance To Tackle A Car Accident Claim?
One of the major disadvantages of car and auto accidents is the involvement of insurance companies. They tend to be reluctant to pay out unless absolutely forced to do so, and can throw a number of obstacles in your path.
These companies often have huge legal teams at their disposal, and so employing an experienced, skilled personal injury attorney offers you a chance to level the playing field. They can be your ally and focus on ensuring that you get the best possible outcome for your case.
What Are Your Next Steps?
Here at Grafe & Batchelor P.C., we have defended and assisted individuals across the state of Missouri to fight for justice. We have a wealth of experience in dealing with car accidents, and we can work with you to prove liability and secure the compensation you need to move forward in safety and security. Reach out to us at (636) 933-9151.