If you have been in a car accident, you are probably now learning how many things need to be taken care of afterward. If it’s more than a minor incident and you’ve injured and are also dealing with some property damage, then the level of stress and frustration increases exponentially.
The laws can be quite tricky and difficult to understand, which is one of the primary reasons to always work with an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer. However, knowing a thing or two about how things work in your state might help you stay sane while the compensation process unfolds.
Determining Liability in an At-Fault State
Liability laws differ from state to state. There’s only a handful of states that are no-fault, including Florida, Kentucky or Kansas. The majority of states are at-fault, which means that the consequences of an accident should be the responsibility of the person who caused the accident.
Missouri, for example, is an at-fault state, which is quite a traditional system of establishing who pays for losses caused by an accident. In a car accident claim, the evidence is brought to support the claim and demonstrate which driver or person involved in the accident should be held accountable.
While the minimum required insurance coverage is limited, the fact that each motorist must carry a liability coverage insurance policy is important in the case of an accident. The victim of a car accident can file a claim with their own insurance company, or with the insurance company of the other driver.
Filing a Claim Against the At-Fault Driver
The types of damage that you can file a lawsuit for are:
- Non-economic: pain and suffering, lowered quality of life
- Economic: property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, etc.
We strongly recommend speaking with an experienced St. Louis personal injury lawyer who has the experience and expertise to propose and sustain a settlement or claim that would cover all your expenses and would counter the insurance company’s attempts to pay less than what they should.
Since the amount of money you will receive depends on the other driver’s insurance coverage, you might have the unpleasant surprise of exceeding his insurance limits if your injuries are severe. This is why we highly recommend that you purchase an uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage beforehand.
Speak With a Car Accident Lawyer in St. Louis, MO
Insurance companies are businesses that rely on profit, so they will generally try to pay you as little as possible. In most cases, they will try to demonstrate that you were at fault too. In an at-fault state, depending on the comparative system they rely on, you might get less if you are found to influence the accident as well, or even lose everything if you have any involvement in the cause of the accident. An experienced attorney understands the tricks the insurance company will try to use and can help protect your right to full compensation.
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