St. Louis Car Accident Lawyers
When a car accident occurs, your life can be altered in a flash. Whether you have lost a loved one or suffered an injury, the mental, physical, and financial repercussions can be overwhelming. From being saddled with medical expenses to suffering from chronic pain, the effects may extend far beyond the date of the accident.
At NST Law, we have spent more than 30 years representing car accident victims and their families. We have seen damage due to another party’s carelessness firsthand and fight diligently to get the compensation our clients deserve. Although each case is unique, we approach them all with expertise, empathy, and compassion.
If you or a loved one have suffered as the result of a car accident, reach out to a St. Louis car accident lawyer today to get legal advice.
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St. Louis Car Accident Statistics
In 2021, the number of fatalities from car accidents in Missouri reached its highest level in 15 years. With more than 1,000 annual deaths reported for the first time in a decade, the need for a St. Louis car accident lawyer is also on the rise.
Although each case comes with its own set of circumstances, the data concerning accidents in St. Louis and across the state provide some insight into the most common causes of car crashes in St. Louis:
- Between the years 2016 and 2018, there were 2,788 car accident fatalities—approximately 1,185 of the individuals involved were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident
- Around 400 crashes between 2016 and 2018 involved one or more commercial vehicles
- In 2017, there were 57 fatal car accidents in the city of St. Louis and 284 severe injuries
- In 2014, more than 200 people were killed and 3,480 were injured as a result of accidents caused by drinking and driving
- Weather conditions such as rain, sleet, snow, and hail account for more than 35,000 car accidents each year in Missouri
- Approximately 1,000 car accidents in Missouri each year are linked to drivers exceeding the speed limit
Unfortunately, many of the car accidents in St. Louis are avoidable. If you or a loved one received an injury due to the careless acts of another driver—whether drinking and driving, speeding, or distracted driving—you deserve compensation for your losses.
What are the most common injuries associated with car accidents in St. Louis?
Motor vehicle accidents can cause different types of injuries. An injury victim should seek attention from medical experts immediately in the days following the accident. Some of the most common types of accident injuries include:
- Whiplash. Whiplash occurs when a driver’s vehicle strikes another object, such as a car or tree, and the body jerks suddenly. This can cause internal organs to rapidly shift or cause damage to soft tissues. Whiplash, if severe enough, can even result in a concussion and cause someone to lose consciousness.
- External Bleeding. Another common type of injury in car accidents is external bleeding caused by impact with a stationary or moving object. For instance, if an inattentive driver collides with a semi-truck and his windshield collapses in, the glass may cut the driver as a result.
- Disc Injury. Disc injury is another common type of injury that victims of car accidents encounter, albeit more severe. Similar to the whiplash reaction, a driver can experience an impact so great that it results in a shift to one or more vertebrae in his spine – worse, it can rupture a vertebrae and cause significant pain. Common disc injuries are bulging and herniated discs.
- PTSD. While many car accident injuries are physical, many car accident victims suffer from mental and emotional trauma following an auto accident. One such example is post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. PTSD is marked by a recurring mental impact on the victim, often due to repeated traumatic flashbacks of the stressful event. PTSD from a car accident can cause a sufferer to have a hard time concentrating, engaging in social settings, and maintaining healthy sleep and eating patterns.
You don’t have to go through the recovery process alone. Our experienced car accident attorneys at NST Law can guide you from the first step to the last step of the recovery and legal process. Whether it’s filing a medical malpractice claim from poor medical care you received, filing a wrongful death claim for a loved one, helping you compile your physical therapy and medical expenses, or developing a strong case against a negligent driver, our legal team can help you receive the full compensation that you deserve from others.
What should I do after a car accident in St. Louis?
Car accidents are always unexpected and frightening. Many car accident survivors report that the crash itself was a blur, but knowing the proper steps to take can be helpful.
1. Seek Medical Attention
The first and most important step after a car accident in St. Louis is to secure medical help for anyone who may need it, if you are able. The fastest method is to call 911.
Keep in mind that not all injuries will be apparent in the first few moments after an accident. In some cases, it can take several days for symptoms to emerge. Likewise, it’s important to be evaluated for injuries that may not be visible, such as internal bleeding.
Having a thorough medical assessment will put your mind at ease and can also serve as evidence if you need a St. Louis car accident lawyer in the future. If you don’t feel you need to visit an emergency room, a local urgent care facility is sufficient. It’s also a good idea to follow up with your primary care physician (PCP).
2. Call the Police
If you don’t need immediate medical attention and the accident appears to be minor, contact your nearest St. Louis police station. The police station will send an officer to assist with filing a report and ensure that the road is safe and clear for others.
All car accidents that result in at least $500 of damage or have an injury must be reported by law in the State of Missouri within 30 days. Despite this, it’s best to do so immediately, even if you’re unsure of the total cost of the damages.
3. Exchange Insurance and Contact Information
When both parties are present and not severely injured, be sure to exchange insurance and contact information. You’ll need this information to file an insurance claim and other necessary reports. Also take note of any other parties who are present at the time of the accident and write down license plate numbers if you’re able.
4. Do Not Admit Fault
Because car accidents happen quickly and unexpectedly, it can be difficult to know exactly what happened in the moments leading up to the collision. When speaking to the other party or the police, be sure not to take blame for the accident.
While you may know that the other party is responsible, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and apologize or agree with others. If you can, make notes of everything you remember before the crash and take photos of the accident scene, including any skid marks, road hazards, injuries, and damage to both cars.
5. Do Not Leave the Scene
All too frequently, people who are involved in minor accidents or fender benders feel that there’s no need to involve the police or call for help. Some may even keep driving without checking on others involved. This is illegal in the State of Missouri and can result in a felony charge. If you’re involved in an accident, you must pull over and address the situation.
In the event that the other party fails to remain at the scene, contact the police immediately.
6. Seek Legal Representation
If you have suffered an injury after a car accident, it’s important to seek legal representation as soon as possible. Doing so ensures that all evidence is preserved and that you remain within the statute of limitations as dictated by Missouri state law.
When choosing a St. Louis car accident lawyer, be sure that the law firm is experienced in handling these types of cases. That way, you’ll be more likely to receive maximum compensation to cover the costs of lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.
What types of compensation can I receive after being injured in a St. Louis car accident?
If you’ve been in a vehicle or truck accident in the state of Missouri, you may be entitled to a range of financial compensation.
- Property damage compensation – You may be entitled to money compensation for the damages you incurred to your car, such as a broken windshield, denting of a car door, or any other damage or losses of personal property during the accident.
- Medical Bills – Medical bills may be significant if you sustained a serious injury like broken bones or paralysis.
- Loss of consortium – If you lost a loved one in a wrongful death case, you may be able to sue for the loss of emotional and physical intimacy as a result of a serious car accident. These are considered non-economic damages because they are not damages to your car or person but to a change in emotional health and quality of life.
- Lost wages – If your car accident results in an inability to work for a short period of time or indefinitely due to a permanent disability, you may sue for wages you would otherwise have earned. Lost wages are a kind of economic damage.
- Pain and suffering – Also known as punitive damages, these are found in cases involving egregious conduct such as drunk driving. This compensation is for the personal and psychological trauma you experienced during the difficult time of your recovery from the accident caused by the negligent party. Due to the challenges of obtaining this type of compensation, it is highly suggested you obtain legal representation to fight for your legal rights.
The potential compensation for your individual case depends on a number of factors, which can be hard to assess on your own. The good news is that you can contact our attorneys in the St. Louis area for a free case review.
Can I seek compensation if I’m partially at fault?
A St. Louis car accident lawyer can evaluate your case to determine if you’re likely to gain compensation based on your accident circumstances. In Missouri, those who are deemed partially at fault are eligible for compensation.
However, the amount awarded will be reduced by the same amount that you’re partially at fault for the accident. For example, if it’s determined that you’re 50% at fault for the accident, any monetary compensation will then be reduced by 50% or your share of blame.
To navigate this successfully, you’ll need to work with a car accident lawyer to prove negligence or fault on behalf of the other party involved.
The State of Missouri abides by the rules of comparative fault for car accidents, including related wrongful death claims. As with regular personal injury claims, a dependent, spouse, or parent of the deceased is entitled to compensation even if their loved one was partially at fault for the accident.
How can I prove that another driver's negligence caused my injuries or killed my loved one?
Proving the recklessness or negligence of another driver can be complicated. Was a speed limit violated? Did you get into a crash with an uninsured driver behind the wheel? Were there multiple family members in the other car? Perhaps there was some other factor involved that makes for a unique case. To discern these complicated rules and laws, our car accident attorneys can assist you every step of the way.
We can gather all necessary evidence on your behalf, such as getting a police report from a law enforcement officer who documented the accident scene, interviewing other injured car accident victims or witnesses, and compiling all the medical costs and medical bills you incurred. Further, we will negotiate with the opposing counsel’s auto insurer and present your car crash claims efficiently and effectively. Ultimately, hiring counsel for your legal action can increase your chances of recovery following your car wreck.
Our experienced car accident lawyers are knowledgeable about Missouri’s unique negligence laws. St. Louis adheres to a comparative negligence statute (Sect. 537.765), which allows a party involved in a car crash to recover in proportion to his or her fault in the case. In other words, if you are found 10% at fault, you can recover 90% of the damages awarded in a case. However, proving that you were minimally or not at fault is challenging because you must show specific evidence to demonstrate that you were not responsible, and are thus entitled to fair compensation.
What if I was injured after a car accident and did not get the other driver's information?
If you are worried that your case may be compromised because you didn’t get the other driver’s information, don’t worry. Hiring a lawyer is beneficial for a host of reasons, including filling in the gaps you may have missed. An experienced law firm can assist clients by contacting the local police and getting in touch with the officer responsible for recording your accident into a police report. The law firm can use the police report to obtain the missing information and also use the facts and witness records on the report to support your case.
What if the other driver does not have insurance?
Missouri requires insurance minimums by anyone with a driver’s license or learner’s permit. Specifically, each driver has a legal obligation to have $25,000 of insurance per person for bodily injury, $50,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $10,000 per accident for property damage. Missouri also imposes minimums for uninsured motorists coverage with the exception of property damage.
If the other driver lacks insurance, collection in your case may become complicated. While you will still be able to file an uninsured motorist claim with your own insurance company, you should always consult with an experienced attorney before speaking with your insurance company. Your own insurance company will often attempt to offer you the lowest settlement amount possible. An experienced lawyer will help you understand the value of your claim and what a fair settlement amount is. Once you file the claim with your own insurance company, you may still be able to recover costs from the other driver through wage garnishment or a lien imposition.
How do Missouri's insurance laws affect my claim?
Unlike many other state laws that restrict a party’s ability to recover if they reach a certain amount of fault for the car accident, Missouri allows one to collect regardless of their contribution to the accident. Covered under Missouri Statute 537.765, this law, known as comparative fault, allows someone who is even 90% at fault to recover compensation. In that instance, he or she would recover 10% of the amount awarded.
Because Missouri has minimum insurance requirements, the likelihood of any individual car accident victim being unable to recover from their accident is low. However, it is still possible, and thus, obtaining uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is highly recommended. Being able to first recover from your own insurance is the first priority in insurance claims. At this point, you can then pursue the other party in litigation for the amounts not covered by your insurance.
Will I have to go to court after a car accident in St. Louis?
Most cases don’t see the inside of a courtroom. This is because they are often resolved through a settlement in which the parties involved negotiate until they reach an agreement that works for them both. Personal injury lawyers can be incredibly helpful during this process because they will be highly equipped to deal with negotiations, argue for a fair settlement amount, and secure the payment. However, you should still seek to hire a law firm with the resources to go to court, consult with expert witnesses, and prepare your case for trial, if necessary.
What will a St. Louis Car Accident attorney do for me?
Being involved in a car accident is emotionally and physically jarring – the first thing on your mind should be recovery, not working out complicated details in the aftermath.
A Saint Louis Car accident attorney can do a lot for you and your case. He or she has legal experience dealing and negotiating with insurance companies. Are you prepared to go through the endless back and forth with insurance companies focused on their bottom dollar? A seasoned car accident attorney is very prepared to do so! Also, a Missouri accident attorney can take care of the “detective” work. Gathering police and medical records, photos and videos of the accident scene, and speaking with other witnesses can be complex and time consuming, and no part of the information gathering process should be left out. An experienced attorney will make sure that you have everything you need to support your claim.
Next, an attorney will prepare the necessary legal documentation to initiate a settlement and, if necessary, a lawsuit. If litigation is necessary, it will include preparing and filing a lawsuit and requesting interrogatories to be answered by the other party.
How much will a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer cost?
If you are worried about being able to pay for a St. Louis car accident attorney, you don’t have to be! Our experienced personal injury team at NST Law works on something known as a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee requires no payment from clients unless the lawyer successfully gets a settlement or a jury award. After you receive payment, your Saint Louis lawyer receives a percentage of the amount recovered that is predetermined and agreed to by the client in advance.
Not only does hiring an attorney increase your likelihood of case success, but the contingency fee structure allows you to lower the cost and risks associated with obtaining an attorney. Do not hesitate to call our experienced lawyers today for a free consultation.
What is the deadline for filing a car accident claim in St. Louis?
When a driver gets into a motor vehicle accident in St. Louis, Missouri, he or she must abide by the state law referred to as the statute of limitations when filing a lawsuit. The statute of limitations is a law that states a driver must file a lawsuit within a set period of time or otherwise forfeit his or her right to pursue the claim. In most states, this time limit period spans only two years. However, the Missouri statute of limitations is five years. (Miss. Revised Stat. 516.120.) While this extended period may seem appealing, it makes it easier for car accident victims to put their claims on the back burner.
Amongst other reasons, this is why hiring a competent St. Louis car accident lawyer is key to the success of your case. Our lawyers will help you file your claim on time after gathering all of the necessary evidence, discussing and evaluating options with you, and preparing your case in a way to increase your chances of a fair settlement.
Contact Our Car Accident Lawyers in St. Louis
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in or around St. Louis, you want to make sure that you are treated fairly and reasonably compensated for what you have been through. At Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz, we have recovered over $1.5 billion for our clients over the last 30 years, and we want to use our skills, knowledge, and resources to help you as well. Contact us today for a free consultation with a car accident attorney in the St. Louis area. You can reach us toll-free by calling 800-529-4004, or you can contact us using the online form on our website. Let us show you why NST is the way to go.