St. Louis Fatal Car Accident Lawyer
Unfortunately, fatal car accidents are not uncommon in this country. St. Louis, in particular, is home to many fatal car accidents. If you lost a family member after a deadly car accident in St. Louis, you might be able to seek legal action and receive financial compensation for your loss. We here at NST Law have experienced St. Louis car accident lawyers that provide compassionate legal services to fight for our client’s rights. Contact us today to learn about how we can help you.
How common are fatal car accidents in St. Louis?
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, there were 989 deaths in 2020 as a result of traffic accidents. That is a 12% increase from 2019.
Where do fatal car accidents happen in St. Louis
Wellston, a St. Louis suburb on the northwest side, has one of the deadliest stretches of road in the St. Louis area. Page Avenue between Sutter and R.M. Moore avenues had the most fatal crashes per mile in the St. Louis area between 2015 and 2016. Last month a man was charged with the hit and run killing of a pedestrian that occurred in October of last year at the 26300 block of Falling Leaf Drive. Less than a few weeks ago, a 16-year-old girl died from a head-on crash in Jefferson County on Highway B, north of Reynolds Creek Road. She was pronounced dead after being taken to a St. Louis-area hospital.
Common Causes of Fatal Car Accidents
Some common causes of fatal car accidents are drunk driving, fatigued driving, distracted driving, speeding, and not wearing seatbelts. In Missouri, in 2019, 309 drunk drivers died as a result of a drunk driving crash. There were also 343 people who died in car crashes in Missouri in 2019 who were not wearing their seatbelts.
How can I pursue the driver that killed my loved one in a fatal auto accident in St. Louis, Missouri?
According to Missouri law, wrongful death is defined as one that results “from any act, conduct, occurrence, transaction, or circumstance which, if death had not ensued, would have entitled such person to recover damages in respect thereof.” If the person had lived and would have been eligible to file a personal injury claim, then the deceased’s survivors are then eligible to take action after the person’s passing. A wrongful death claim may be filed by the deceased person’s surviving spouse, parents, or children. If the children are deceased, then the children’s descendants may file. If none of these family members are alive, then a sibling or their descendants may file a claim.
The important thing is to consult with experienced car accident attorneys to understand how legal representation can help you file a wrongful death lawsuit and guide you every step of the way.
What type of compensation can I pursue if my family member was involved in a fatal car accident?
The amount of compensation you may be entitled to receive will depend on the facts of your case. The financial recovery will depend on whether or not your family member suffered serious injuries before dying, the amount of medical expenses or medical care he or she received, and many other factors. However, the types of compensation possible to receive are economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.
Economic damages includes the costs of all of the medical attention your family member received, any funeral expenses, and any other financial losses as a result of the motor vehicle accident.
Non-economic damages include the determining the value of the psychological trauma (or the pain and suffering) you experienced after the loss of your loved one in a fatal car accident claim. The legal process for determining non-economic damages can be complex. Experienced St. Louis car accident attorneys can provide you with the legal advice you need to receive the compensation you deserve. Our legal team here at NST Law has extensive experience helping the family members of car accident victims determine the value of their claims. It is always a good idea to take us up on a free consultation so that you can learn from people who have your best interests in mind on how to proceed.
Economic damages are things that can have an objective price attached to them. These would include lost income, medical bills, funeral costs, and property damage.
Non-economic damages are more subjective and include things like pain and suffering, trauma, emotional turmoil, depression, and the mental anguish that accompanies losing a loved one.
Punitive damages are meant to punish the party who was responsible for the loss of life. Making someone hurt financially is another means of punishment that may deter them from acting recklessly in the future.
What if I can't find the other driver after a fatal car accident?
Unfortunately, there are cases where someone causes a loss of life in a traffic accident and then flees the scene. In a hit and run accident, if a death has occurred, the at-fault driver who flees may be convicted of a class D felony which is punishable by up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. The statute of limitations to file a wrongful death claim is three years.
What if the other driver did not have insurance in a fatal car accident?
There are pieces of evidence that would be useful in proving the other driver caused the fatal car accident. These things include pictures of the accident scene, pictures of the damage to the vehicles, and pictures of the surrounding area. Also helpful are witness statements, statements from medical experts, the police report, and medical records. You should also have proof of lost wages and proof of loss of future income. We here at NST Law have years of experience and can help you gather everything you need to pursue a claim.
Who else can potentially be liable for a fatal car accident?
Others besides the driver of the other vehicle may potentially be held liable in a wrongful death claim. The Missouri government could even be potentially held liable for poor city planning/street planning. Also, suppose the driver of the other vehicle was drunk. In that case, there are what’s called “dram shop laws” that could hold bars responsible for over-serving someone who later causes damages as a result of being intoxicated.
Will I have to go to court after a fatal accident to receive compensation?
If a settlement is able to be reached early enough, it is possible to avoid going to court. If not, the dispute will have to head to court, where a judge will hear the case and hopefully compel the other side to pay fair compensation. It is essential not to accept any insurance offer before first consulting with us here at NST Law to determine whether it is a fair offer. We are a personal injury law firm that handles complex cases to help individuals receive the full compensation they deserve after an accident or in a wrongful death suit.
How will Missouri's insurance laws affect my claim?
Missouri is a comparative fault state. That means that your degree of responsibility in causing the accident (if any) will reduce the total damages awarded by that same degree. If you were to receive a $50,000 settlement, but you were 10% at fault, then you would receive $45,000 instead.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit after a fatal car wreck in Missouri?
The statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit after a fatal car wreck in Missouri is three years from the date of the death that occurred due to the car wreck. It is not three years from the wreck but rather from the time of death. If there was no death, then the statute of limitations is five years from the date of the accident.
Why should I hire the lawyers at NST Law?
You should hire us here at NST Law because we are experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorneys who have spent several years fighting the insurance companies and other liable parties to hold them accountable whenever a loved one is seriously injured or killed in an accident. We will fight to make sure you get all that you deserve. Make the important decision to contact us for a free case evaluation and receive the information you need to move forward.
Our St. Louis Location
St. Louis Office
701 Market St Suite 285
St. Louis, MO 63101