St. Louis Car Accident Lawyers
Car accidents in St. Louis, Missouri, occur at alarming rates. In fact, St. Louis comes in second place in the likelihood and number of car crashes of all US cities. In 2016, nearly 1,000 people were killed in car crashes in Missouri, and St. Louis accounted for 62 of those car accident fatalities alone. With this frequency of traffic accidents each year, having an experienced car accident attorney in your case arsenal is a good idea, especially when serious injuries, such as broken bones or brain injuries, are involved.
At Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz, our car accident attorneys handle all aspects of a personal injury case. This includes but is not limited to giving you legal advice, interviewing all relevant parties to understand every fact (e.g., you, other drivers or passengers, witnesses, and officers), compiling applicable documents and other personal information (e.g., medical treatment records from hospital visits, police reports, and any prior records of poor driving of the fault party or driver), and presenting your specific case to get the best results.
The Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in St. Louis, Missouri
Car accidents occur at high rates in St. Louis and the greater St. Louis area. The most common causes of car accidents here often involve other drivers who are at fault. This could be a distracted driver, a drunk driver, a fatigued driver, or a driver that is speeding.
Distracted driving can occur due to multiple reasons, including driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, texting, taking a phone call, or focusing on changing the radio rather than on the road and signs, such as a stop sign.
Speeding, especially when combined with other distractions, is very dangerous because exceeding the speed limit can cause higher-impact crashes, which increases the potential of major injuries for the individuals involved
In addition to being one of America’s most populated cities, St. Louis is also a popular tourist spot. This means higher traffic congestion, longer times behind the wheel, and increased tiredness of drivers. If the at-fault party was driving for a rideshare company such as Uber or Lyft, you can file a claim against their insurance carrier.
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 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.
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 should I do after an accident in St. Louis?
Take care to follow the steps below in the moments immediately following a car accident in St. Louis.
- Check on all drivers and passengers. Make sure you, the other driver, and any involved passengers or pedestrians are okay, and attend to any injured people. If someone needs medical attention for minor or severe injuries, call 911 for an ambulance. Be careful not to move someone who cannot move a limb or is suffering from head, neck, or spine pain, as you don’t want to worsen their condition.
- Contact Missouri law enforcement. The Missouri State Highway Patrol or local law enforcement will capture the accident details into a police report, which will form your case for an injury claim later on.
- Exchange insurance and contact information with the other involved party. Your attorney can use this information to negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company to increase the recovery amount of your claim.
- Document the scene. Take pictures and videos if possible. Make a diagram of the cars and who was traveling in what direction just prior to the accident.
- Speak with a qualified car accident attorney. Your lawyer will assist you through further steps, and they will take on responsibilities that may be too complicated for you to handle. This includes maximizing compensation via negotiations or settlement efforts with insurance adjusters, thoroughly presenting your case, and collecting any amounts agreed to. It is important to never accept an insurance settlement amount without the counsel of an attorney. This could severely lower your chances of recovery.
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, in Missouri, the 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.