Table of Contents
If you have been physically or psychologically hurt due to another’s negligence or irresponsibility, our personal injury lawyers at NST Law may be able to help you claim compensation for your losses and expenses. Our personal injury firm is dedicated to advising, defending, and protecting injury victims in Missouri.
Our firm handles an extensive scope of personal injury cases, so your specific injury and resulting losses will be understood by our knowledgeable lawyers who have extensive experience in personal injury claims. We will work diligently to ensure you receive maximum compensation to cover your physical injuries and the corresponding medical bills, wage losses, and emotional distress.
It is advantageous to seek legal advice who can help determine fault, give advice on legal and ethical concerns, deal with your insurance companies, and complete important paperwork on time. NST Law focuses on providing full service to all our clients throughout Missouri, including the communities of Branson, Cape Girardeau, Caruthersville, Farmington, Jefferson City, Kansas City, Kennett, Poplar Bluff, Saint Louis, Springfield, and many others. Find out specific information about our services by reading more below. You can take the first step in finding legal representation by contacting our law offices in Cape Girardeau or St. Louis today.
What is personal injury law?
Types of personal injury cases we handle at NST Law
A common type of personal injury case is a car accident or motor vehicle accident. This occurs when one or more cars are involved in a collision, hit structures or other property, or hit a pedestrian directly or indirectly. In Missouri, the rising number of motor vehicle accidents is a concern for many individuals. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, there were 131,390 crashes in 2020, and 33,269 resulted in personal injuries. Likewise, the Missouri Department of Transportation reported that there was a 12% increase in auto accidents from the previous year.
Truck accidents can be harmful to property, people, and drivers. The Missouri State Highway Patrol cited that there were 13,910 truck crashes in 2020, and 2,704 resulted in personal injuries. Truck accidents can be catastrophic. Personal injury lawyers can go after all responsible parties to get the compensation victims deserve.
Motorcycle accidents are dangerous collisions involving one or more motorcycles and other motor vehicles, structures and other property, or pedestrians. They can often result in serious injuries. As reported by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, there were 126,083 motorcycle accidents in 2020. The alarming rate of injuries (45,894) and fatalities (855) indicates a demand for firms that can pressure liable parties and achieve the best results for personal injury clients.
Occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities that occur as a result of workplace negligence or employer recklessness are common. The Department of Labor & Industrial Relations recorded that there were 53,600 occupational injuries and illnesses and 105 fatal work injuries in 2020. Furthermore, it is frequently the case that the employer or property owner refuses to take accountability for the injury. It is very important to seek formal legal advice in a situation that resembles this.
Wrongful death is the death of an individual that results from any act or transaction of negligence or irresponsibility from the liable party. Wrongful death cases are typically complicated and time-consuming. Hiring a qualified lawyer from NST Law can make the process easier and less taxing upon the surviving individual or family members.
Our law firm also expertly investigates personal injury claims resulting from construction site accidents, defective products, dog bites and other animal-inflicted injuries, insurance and other bad-faith agreements, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect and abuse, and pedestrian accidents. We also cover instances of severe injuries such as burns, neck or spinal cord injury, and traumatic brain injury. If you suspect that you or a family member may be the victim of negligence of another party, contact our personal injury attorneys to discuss your potential case in a free consultation.
Who gets sued in a personal injury case?
Do personal injury cases mostly end in settlements or at trial?
Personal injury cases have the potential to be settled out of court or in trial. A settlement occurs when both parties (the plaintiff and the defendant) agree on a certain amount of payment; further, as per the Revisor of Missouri, there are several requirements that must be fulfilled during this process.
However, most personal injury cases do end in settlements. In fact, the Bureau of Justice stated that 96% of personal injury claims in the United States were settled outside of trial in 2005. Although there are various reasons for this statistic, the most prominent reasons are the length and expense of a court process. However, if the issues and compensation payment cannot be resolved in settlement, the case will proceed to court and your trial attorney will argue a strong case for you.
Proving liability in a Missouri personal injury case
- The defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff: Typically, the defendant has a legal duty to a plaintiff if there was a standard of care required of the defendant (ordinary care, highest degree of care, or ordinary skill), if there was a contract, or if Missouri law stated as such.
- The defendant breached their duty: The defendant did not uphold their legal duty by neglecting to act, acting in a way that did not fulfill their duty fully, or acting in a way that went against their duty.
- The breach caused injury to the plaintiff: The breach of duty was either the proximate cause or the cause in fact of the plaintiff’s injuries. The defendant is the proximate cause of injury if their actions or inactions set in motion events that directly led to the injury. On the other hand, a cause in fact is the direct consequence of an action or inaction.
What if I'm partially to blame for the accident causing my injuries?
If you and the other party both share responsibility for the injuries, a principle of comparative negligence will apply. According to the Revisor of Missouri, the negligence of each part will be weighed based upon their individual contribution to the injuries. Consequently, in the civil litigation that ensues, each will be assigned an amount of accountability, and the amount they will have to pay in claims or damages will correspond directly with that ratio of fault.
Types of available damages in a Missouri personal injury case
How much compensation can I receive for my injuries?
It is important to note that since every case involves different parties, circumstances, and situations, standard ranges or rates for financial compensation do not exist in personal injury cases. That said, there are specific caps on certain types of cases in Missouri. A damage cap is a regulation limiting how much a plaintiff can demand and receive in personal injury compensation. According to the Missouri Department of Insurance, the damage cap on non-catastrophic medical malpractice claims for non-economic damages was $400,000 in 2015, and they add 1.7% on per year for inflation adjustment—so, in 2022, the damage cap is $450,098. Furthermore, the Missouri Department of Insurance also reports a damage cap of $480,085 in 2022 for non-economic damages against a government entity.
Currently, there are no financial caps on other economic or non-economic damages. Moreover, as reported by The Missouri Times in 2014, a cap for punitive damages was disregarded by the Missouri Supreme Court.
Missouri's tort victims' compensation fund
You may be concerned that the party at fault may not have the ability to pay for compensation, deterring you from pursuing a case. As specified by the Department of Labor and the Revisor of Missouri, there is a special Tort Victims’ Compensation Fund that exists to help compensate injured parties. This fund is advantageous when the defendant has no insurance, filed for bankruptcy, or cannot pay for any other legal and verified reason. In these situations, the plaintiff will still be able to receive financial compensation for their injuries.
Missouri statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits
It is important to keep in mind that time is of the essence when filing a personal injury lawsuit. In keeping with the Revisor of Missouri, the standard amount of time for filing a general personal injury case is 5 years. However, this will vary according to the type of case. For instance, medical malpractice cases need to be filed within 2 years, and wrongful death cases have a statute of limitations of 3 years.
If you believe you have been injured as a result of negligence or carelessness, it is a good idea to get in touch with our NST Law office as soon as possible to discuss the details of your situation. We can proceed in a timely and efficient manner to fight for your best interests and ensure you receive any compensation you may deserve.
Who can bring an action for wrongful death?
In most personal injury cases, it is the victim who files grievances in order to receive compensation for their injuries or losses. However, in wrongful death cases, someone else has to file the claim on their behalf. Each state issues different rules for who is allowed to bring a wrongful death case. In Missouri, as per the Revisor of Missouri, the first people who can bring this case forward are the immediate family members (spouse, children, parents, and others). If there are no immediate family members, then siblings can assume the responsibility.
How can the Missouri personal injury attorneys at NST Law help me if I'm injured?
At NST Law, our legal team and support staff understand that accidents, injuries, and wrongful deaths can be extremely difficult for individuals and their families. We believe that individuals deserve fair compensation for injuries suffered as a result of another’s irresponsible or negligent behavior. Depending on your personal case, you may be awarded damages to cover any losses you have suffered. Our firm has over 32 years of experience helping accident victims recover over $1.5 billion in verdicts and settlements. We have a proven track record of going the extra mile for our clients. Our lawyers can fight to advise and protect your legal rights and help you receive the compensation you deserve. Your information will be protected by our attorney-client privilege. Contact NST Law today for a free initial consultation over the phone or in one of our offices in Cape Girardeau or the St. Louis area.