Every day, Missouri residents use vehicles to commute and transport goods. While automobiles can be extremely helpful, they are also a common source of personal injuries. Car wrecks can cause people to suffer devastating harm and even result in fatalities.

If a negligent driver crashed into you or a loved one and caused you harm, you may wish to call a St. Louis car accident lawyer to discuss your case. Our team of hardworking injury attorneys could help you file a claim for financial compensation from the at-fault driver.

Common Types of Vehicle Wrecks

A serious automobile accident can occur when one motorist is inattentive while behind the wheel. All motorists have a duty to avoid dangerous activities when driving, such as texting, eating, drinking, driving while intoxicated, or violating traffic laws. Some common traffic violations that lead to collisions include:

  • Failing to yield — usually occurring at intersections when someone is trying to make a left turn and does not yield to cars approaching from the opposite direction
  • Speeding — drivers exceeding posted speed limits or driving too fast in inclement weather
  • Running red lights — often involves drivers trying to beat a changing traffic light, resulting in T-bone collisions
  • Tailgating — failure to leave enough distance between moving cars resulting in rear-end accidents

The facts surrounding a car accident are essential because an injured party must prove that the other driver’s behavior was negligent. A local attorney could review a claimants car crash case and discuss how to proceed based on their unique circumstances.

Proving Negligence in a Car Crash Case

Lawyers in St. Louis must prove four elements of negligence for someone to be found liable in a auto accident case. All motorists on Missouri roads are expected to drive in the manner a reasonable or prudent driver would behave in similar situations. Motorists who drive carelessly or recklessly are breaching their duty to others. These drivers can be held legally negligent if they are involved in an accident that is the proximate cause of harm or property damage.

Proximate cause means a plaintiff’s injuries must be reasonably foreseeable due to the negligent driver’s actions. For example, a person’s broken bones are likely the direct result of being hit by a speeding driver running a red light. A skilled injury attorney could determine if the elements of duty, breach, causation, and damages are present in an individual’s case.

What If the Plaintiff is Partly at Fault for the Accident?

When a plaintiff is partly at fault for a car collision, states apply either the doctrine of contributory negligence or comparative negligence. Missouri applies contributory negligence laws to injury cases, in which the parties’ negligence is assigned a percentage. Plaintiffs’ financial awards are reduced by the percentage they are found to be at fault. For example, a $500,000 award will be reduced to $450,000 if the defendant is found to be 90 percent responsible for the accident and the plaintiff ten percent.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations requires a plaintiff to file a timely claim with the courts. The Missouri Code, Section 516.120, grants residents five years from the day of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. Failure to meet this legal deadline could result in the case being permanently dismissed.

Speak with a St. Louis Car Accident Attorney Today

After a car crash, you face physical, emotional, and financial burdens. Fortunately, state law allows you to seek financial compensation from the party responsible for your harm. By working with a local car accident lawyer, you could rest assured knowing your best interests are being represented during an insurance claim or a court battle. Call for your initial consultation today.