A car accident can turn your life upside down in an instant, causing serious injuries and long-lasting financial challenges. Recovering from a car accident can prove difficult and frustrating, especially if you were not responsible for the crash. If you have been the victim of an auto accident that was caused by someone else, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation. That compensation could cover your medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and more.
St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer
With more than 50 years of combined legal experience, the St. Louis car accident lawyers of Sumner Law Group, LLC, have earned a reputation for recovering millions of dollars in compensation for injured crash victims. We help our clients demand justice after any type of car crash, taking cases to trial when a fair settlement is not offered. Our attorneys are fully committed to our client’s recovery ─ physically, emotionally, and financially.
Contact our firm today for a free case review with a trusted St. Louis car accident lawyer. You do not pay us anything to start work on your case. In fact, we do not charge a fee unless we recover money for you.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Sadly, some of the common catastrophic injuries we see from car accidents include:
These types of personal injury cases require experienced legal teams to protect accident victims. Sumner Law Group, LLC, has successfully recovered maximum compensation in a multitude of catastrophic personal injury cases. Our firm has won multi-million-dollar settlements and verdicts for our deserving clients.
Common Causes of St. Louis Car Accidents
Common reasons for car accidents in St. Louis include:
- Tailgating (following too closely)
- Unsafe lane changes, such as failing to signal or check mirrors and blind spots
- Unsafe turns, such as failing to signal or yield to oncoming traffic or pedestrians
- Running stop signs and red lights
- Bad weather
- Reckless driving, including weaving in and out of heavy traffic
- Distracted driving, including texting while driving or using the car radio or navigation system
- Drowsy or fatigued driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Weather-related accidents
- Inexperienced drivers
- Failing to properly maintain vehicles, which can lead to critical failures on the road
Of course, car accidents can also be caused by non-driver-related factors. Those factors include defective cars or car parts and poor road conditions, including potholes or debris in the roadway.
How Our St. Louis Car Accident Attorney Can Help You
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident, you may have a long road of physical recovery ahead of you. You likely do not have the time, energy, or resources to pursue a claim for compensation against the insurance companies and the parties at fault for your crash. Let a car crash lawyer in St. Louis help you during this stressful process by:
- Recovering all available evidence from your accident
- Documenting the full extent of your losses, including future anticipated losses
- Collaborating with accident reconstruction professionals, medical experts, vocational specialists, and financial experts to help build a persuasive case on your behalf
- Filing claims with the insurance companies and aggressively pursuing a full settlement that pays you the fair compensation you deserve
- Preparing your case to go to court, so that insurers know we will not back down
- Taking your case to trial, if necessary, to fight for what’s fair
With Sumner Law Group, LLC, you can always expect to have direct communication with the attorney handling your case. Our attorneys can arrange to meet with you anywhere, at any time convenient for you. We understand the financial burdens that an accident can place on you and your family. That is why you will never owe us any fees unless we win compensation for you in settlement or at trial.
Demanding Full Compensation in a Car Accident Claim
When you have been hurt in a serious car accident, you may incur significant damages. If someone else caused your crash, you deserve compensation from those at fault for the collision. Damages you can be compensated for include:
- Medical expenses, including ER and hospital stays, doctors’ appointments, surgeries or other medical procedures, prescription pain medication, or medical or mobility equipment
- Rehab costs, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, or mental health therapy
- Personal and home care costs, such as home health services or home maintenance services that your injuries or disabilities prevent you from performing yourself
- Lost wages or income, or lost earning capacity, if you miss time from work or are disabled from returning to full-time work due to your injuries
- Lost enjoyment or quality of life, which can be caused by physical disfigurements or disabilities arising from your injuries
- Pain and suffering, or the emotional distress and physical anguish you experience due to your injuries
What If You Were Partially at Fault for the Crash?
Even if you think you may have been partially responsible for your car crash, you can still file a claim for compensation for your injuries and damages. In Missouri, personal injury cases such as car accident claims follow what is known as the comparative negligence rule. This rule states that an injured plaintiff is not barred from recovering compensation simply because the plaintiff bears a portion of the fault for the accident and injuries. However, an injured plaintiff who bears some of the fault will have the total recovery reduced in proportion to the share of his or her fault.
For example, if you are found to have incurred $100,000 in damages from a car accident and were found to be 30 percent at fault in the accident, your recovery would be reduced by $30,000 to reflect your share of fault.
Unlike many other states that use comparative negligence, Missouri allows you to recover compensation as long as you were not 100 percent at fault for the accident. In the above example, even if you were found to have been 90 percent responsible for your accident, you could still recover $10,000 in damages from the other party.
What You Need to Know About Dealing with Insurance Companies
Soon after your car accident, you may be contacted by adjusters from the insurance company of the other motorist. You may also be contacted by adjusters from your own insurer. The adjusters may seem as though they want to quickly process your claim and get you money for your medical bills and other expenses. However, remember that the insurance companies – even your own insurer – are not looking out for your interests.
Insurance companies are businesses. Just like other businesses, they are seeking to maximize their profits. Insurance companies do this by paying out as little money as possible on insurance claims. As a result, insurance companies often focus on getting you to accept as little money as possible for your car accident claim.
Insurance companies may try various tactics to get you to accept less money than you deserve. For example, the insurer may try to get you to quickly accept a check before you have a chance to understand the full extent of your injuries. The insurer may be trying to settle before you talk to an attorney about any future damages from your accident. Once you accept a settlement check from the insurance company, you cannot ask for more money in the future, even if you incur additional expenses.
The insurance company may ask you to provide an official statement about the accident in order to process your insurance claim. However, the insurance company may use anything you say against you by citing it as proof that you were partially or entirely responsible for the accident.
Never give a statement, sign paperwork, or accept compensation from the insurance company without first speaking with a car accident attorney. An attorney can help you understand your options and the compensation you may be entitled to receive.
What to Do If You Have Been Hurt in a Car Accident
Take these steps to protect your legal rights if you are involved in a car accident:
- Treat your injuries immediately. Get checked out by your primary care doctor, an emergency room, or urgent care clinic so that your injuries are diagnosed. This can help you prove those injuries were caused by the crash and not by some other event. In the weeks and months that follow your accident, continue to see your doctor and follow treatment orders. Doing so will help you demonstrate the seriousness of your injuries.
- Save all evidence. Save all documentation related to your accident and injuries. Important details include the other driver’s contact and insurance information, medical records and bills, receipts, photos of the car accident, witness contact information, the police accident report, and any paperwork from insurance companies.
- Keep a pain journal. Tracking your pain in a daily journal will help you to demonstrate the effect that the injury has had on your life. The journal will help your attorney build a case for the pain and suffering you’ve endured.
- Avoid posting on social media. The insurance companies will be looking for reasons to deny or minimize your injury claim. A social media post that is seemingly unrelated to your accident (for instance, a photo of you walking your dog) may be used against you.
- Schedule a consultation with a car accident lawyer in St. Louis. A knowledgeable car accident attorney can help you understand your legal options following your crash. An attorney can also explain the next steps you need to take to pursue the compensation you need to heal.
Time Limit for Filing a Car Accident
Lawsuit in Missouri
In Missouri, the statute of limitations typically requires you to file your car accident injury lawsuit within five years of the date of your crash. Minor children who are injured in a car accident have five years from their 21st birthday to bring a lawsuit. If you are involved in a car accident with a local or state government employee and wish to pursue your car accident lawsuit against the government, you have a much shorter time limit to bring your claim.
If you fail to meet these deadlines, your case will almost certainly be dismissed. That means you will lose your right to pursue compensation in court for your injuries and damages.
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer in St. Louis Now
If you have been injured in a car accident in St. Louis, get a free consultation with an experienced car accident attorney from Sumner Law Group, LLC. Contact us today to discuss the details of your car accident case. You will learn how having our firm on your side can help you pursue the maximum compensation you deserve.
When it comes to car accident injury FAQs, this is perhaps the most common question. However, every car accident case is unique, influenced by various factors such as the nature of injuries, the degree of fault, the number of liable parties, the amount of available insurance coverage, and other factors. Some of the more common potential categories of compensation include:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
- In-home assistance
- Loss of earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Lost enjoyment of life
- Property damage
- Punitive damages
The specific value of any case depends on its unique details. Our lawyers are ready to review your situation and give you a better idea of the types of damages you might be entitled to recover.
Determining fault for a car accident involves analyzing each driver’s actions leading up to the incident. In some cases, fault may be straightforward, such as when a driver violates a traffic law. Other situations may be more complex, involving factors like distractions, speeding, or failing to yield. Our experienced personal injury attorneys can thoroughly investigate the accident to collect evidence that establishes fault.
In scenarios where the at-fault driver lacks insurance, you may be able to make a claim using your auto policy’s uninsured motorist (UM) coverage if your policy includes it. UM coverage protects you when an uninsured or hit-and-run motorist injures you. It is critical to have qualified legal representation when pursuing a UM claim because the insurance company will still aim to minimize what it pays out.
A hit-and-run accident is a serious offense. If the at-fault driver leaves the scene, you should still report the accident to the police and your insurance company. They can conduct an investigation and, if they find the driver, hold them responsible. Your UM coverage may help cover your losses if the driver remains unidentified or lacks coverage to pay your claim.
Yes. Calling the police after an accident ensures an official report of the incident, which is vital for your insurance claim and any potential lawsuit. It serves as a critical source of evidence detailing the facts of the accident and sometimes includes the responding officer’s assessment of fault.
Due to Missouri’s pure comparative negligence law, you can still recover compensation even if you’re partly at fault. Your compensation may be reduced by your percentage of fault, but it doesn’t prevent you from seeking damages.
If your loved one lost their life in a car accident due to another party’s negligence, you might be able to file a wrongful death claim. This legal action seeks compensation for losses such as funeral and burial expenses, lost future earnings, loss of companionship, and more. Each case is unique, and our experienced attorneys can guide you through the process.