Last Updated on February 5, 2024 by Dominic
Car accidents are the sad reality of the modern world, especially for those in Missouri’s St. Louis. Being a major logistics hub, the city’s roads are marked by gigantic 18-wheelers for most of the day.
As much as this means that St. Louis’ road infrastructure is robust, facilitating easy movement of people and goods, it also makes the roads dangerous. In a recent ranking by WalletHub, this city was ranked number one for negative reasons.
St. Louis was found to be the least safe city in the United States due to high crime rates, road accidents, and natural disasters. The aftermath of car accidents often involves severe physical injuries, emotional trauma, and a tough legal battle.
This article will talk about the main elements of St. Louis car accident litigation.
Negligence and Liability
One of the key basics of a car accident in St. Louis is the concept of negligence. It is crucial to prove negligence in the case of car accidents. This means the plaintiff must provide evidence in court that the other party failed to maintain reasonable care, thereby causing harm.
For instance – the other driver may have entered an intersection even after the traffic signal turned red. Another scenario would be distracted driving involving eating or scrolling through the phone. To prove negligence, the plaintiff must demonstrate beyond a shadow of doubt that –
- The defendant was required by law to be reasonably careful.
- The defendant breached this duty through their negligent actions.
- The defendant’s conduct was directly responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries.
- The plaintiff suffered measurable losses in terms of physical injuries, emotional trauma, lost wages, finances, etc.
It’s worth mentioning here that different states identify negligence with different rules. As for St. Louis, the state of Missouri’s comparative negligence rule applies. This means the plaintiff will be eligible for compensation even if they are up to 99% responsible for the damages.
The next stage of the legal battle following a car accident in St. Louis involves gathering evidence. A St. Louis car accident lawyer can help in such matters to ensure the plaintiff can withstand the clever tricks of insurance companies.
Reliable attorneys often start by gathering the crash report. This allows them to establish the cause of the crash, whether multiple liable parties are involved, and key points that may help strengthen the case.
Then, they will ask for eyewitness testimonies, especially if the crash was bad enough to halt traffic. This is often done in the form of a written testimony but may also include photos and videos. Moreover, if a drunk driver was involved in the crash, attorneys will also obtain toxicology reports from police authorities.
Seeking Legal Compensation
According to TorHoerman Law, victims often have plenty of questions following a road accident, including –
- Will they be compensated for their losses?
- Is it worth pursuing an insurance claim?
- Will the legal process be too complex and challenging to navigate?
An experienced attorney will not only answer these questions based on the case’s unique circumstances, but they will also streamline the process. They will fight in court to ensure the insurance company’s tactics of shifting blame, delaying claim processing, denying liability, etc., do not work.
The plaintiff must choose an attorney with sufficient resources and experience under their belt. Only a well-equipped legal team will be able to present a strong argument on their behalf.
Calculating Damages and Pursuing Justice
As the attorneys in St. Louis fight for legal compensation, they will calculate the total worth of the damages suffered by the plaintiff. In most cases, there are two kinds of damages –
- Economic damages that include lost wages, medical expenses, and other financial losses resulting directly from the accident
- Non-economic damages that include emotional pain, distress, and loss of enjoyment in life, among others.
Once an estimate is calculated, attorneys will make negotiations with the defendant’s insurance provider. The aim is to always reach a fair settlement at this stage. If the case is not settled, it will proceed to a trial for final jury verdicts.
In the final analysis, car accidents can be quite distressing. This is especially true of St. Louis, which is deemed to have the worst traffic in Missouri. Besides enduring severe injuries, victims must walk on the grounds of a tough legal landscape. However, the process becomes smooth with the help of experienced legal representatives.