A car accident can be a life-changing event, causing catastrophic injuries that can have long-lasting physical, emotional, and financial effects. Even a relatively minor collision can result in broken bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, or even paralysis. These types of injuries tend to require extensive medical treatment, including surgeries, rehabilitation, and ongoing care. The cost of these treatments along with lost wages due to missed work can add up quickly and put a significant strain on an individual or family's finances. For these reasons – and because accountability matters – it is important to seek legal representation if you have been involved in a car accident caused by someone else's negligence in order to receive compensation that can help alleviate some of the burden associated with recovery.
At SWMW Law, your story matters to us, and we are ready to fight on your behalf when you have suffered catastrophic injuries in a vehicular accident. With over $7 million recovered to date, we have a proven track record of effectively navigating the legal system to get our clients the just compensation they deserve. Our St. Louis car accident lawyers are ready to guide you through the process of filing a personal injury claim and seeking damages from the negligent driver, and our goal is to achieve an optimal outcome as quickly as possible. Because we understand that people matter more than anything else, you will have the full backing of our firm, including the personal involvement of one of our partners from beginning to end.
What Causes Car Accidents?
Some car accidents happen because of factors outside of either driver’s control, but many collisions are the result of negligence. A driver owes a legal responsibility to everyone else on the road, and when they fail to live up to that responsibility, they act negligently and trigger liability for any accidents they cause. Our St. Louis car accident attorneys are extremely familiar with the laws that apply to these cases and understand what it takes to prove fault.
Many car accidents in Missouri are caused by the following types of negligent driving:
- Intoxicated driving. It is against the law for anyone to operate a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. An intoxicated driver will likely be arrested at the scene and later charged with a crime, but you also have the right to pursue civil legal action against them.
- Fatigued driving. No one should get behind the wheel if they are too tired to keep their eyes open and remain alert. Unfortunately, drivers who work long hours often attempt to travel home even if are physically not up to the task, leading to preventable collisions.
- Distracted driving. Using a handheld device like a mobile phone takes a driver’s attention away from the road ahead of them, increasing the likelihood of a crash. While drivers aged 21 and younger as well as commercial drivers are explicitly prohibited from texting while driving in Missouri, any sort of distracted driving can constitute negligence if it directly causes an accident.
- Excessively speeding. Drivers should always obey the posted speed limit and reduce their speeds as traffic or weather conditions demand. If your accident was caused by another driver’s reckless speeding, you may have a case.
- Failing to obey other traffic laws. All drivers must follow passing rules, obey stop signs and stop lights, and signal when turning or changing lanes. A driver usually becomes liable for an accident if the collision is the result of their breaking one or more traffic rules.
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To protect your right to recover compensation, you must file your personal injury claim before the statute of limitations expires. Think of the statute of limitations as a time limit: Waiting too long will prevent you from ever proceeding with your case. In Missouri, you have five years from the date of the accident to start the legal process. In cases where a crash results in fatal injuries, immediate relatives typically have three years from the date of the victim’s passing to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
In a car accident lawsuit, you can usually recover economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are those that can be quantified in monetary terms, while non-economic damages are more subjective in nature and can be more difficult to quantify. Additionally, punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant but will only be awarded if they deliberately caused the accident or acted with complete disregard for your safety.
Our St. Louis car accident lawyers will work to secure maximum compensation for all losses, including:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost income and earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
At SWMW Law, we want to get you as much as possible, as fast as possible. Many car accident claims are settled out of court, and we will diligently review any settlement offer. If we believe the offer is fair and fully covers your damages, we may recommend settling, as doing so can save you the time and expense of going to court. Our team will also be direct when we believe proceeding with a trial is in your best interest.
In some cases, a car accident may be caused by the negligent actions of two or more drivers. In these instances, you may be wondering whether you can still recover damages, especially if you know you are partially to blame for the collision. Fortunately, Missouri follows “pure comparative negligence” rules, meaning you can obtain some compensation no matter your level of fault. Your total awarded damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault, which is decided by the jury in your case. For example, if you were awarded $200,000 in damages but were found to be 20% at fault, you would ultimately receive $160,000. Our attorneys can explain how these rules may apply to your claim and impact what you recover.
If you are not sure whether you have a viable car accident claim, we invite you to call (855) 744-1922 or contact us online. A member of our team can assess your situation and walk you through your legal options.
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Whether you have questions or you’re ready to get started, our legal team is ready to help. Complete our form below or call us at (855) 744-1922.