Missouri Car Accident Lawyer
Zero fatalities. That’s the statistic everyone wants to see on Missouri car accident reports.
But we’re not there yet. Not by far. Recent data shows an uptick in traffic crash injuries and deaths on Missouri roads following years of declining numbers. It’s an alarming trend, made worse when you think about the people behind those statistics. Far too many innocent motorists find themselves in serious physical, financial and emotional distress after an auto crash caused by another’s recklessness. If you’ve been injured, an experienced car accident lawyer could be a valuable advocate during your recovery.
The Bruning Law Firm’s Car Accident Attorneys Will Fight for You
The skilled attorneys at The Bruning Law Firm in St. Louis have dedicated their careers to helping people rebuild their lives following serious car accidents throughout Missouri. With over 35 years of combined experience, our lawyers can spot unfair settlement offers quickly and advise you of your legal options to fight back. We know how uncooperative insurance companies can be, and we won’t back down until our clients get the justice they deserve.
But don’t just take our word for it. Read our client testimonials to learn what we’ve done for other injured people. Then call us or use our contact form to set up a free consultation about your best legal options.
Driver Error and Other Causes of Deadly Missouri Car Crashes
Car accidents happen in a flash. But it can take months or even longer to resolve all of the problems that they cause. At a minimum, crashes typically result in some form of property damage. But in the worst car accidents, victims are left with injuries that last a lifetime. Some crashes even result in death.
Thankfully, Missouri officials are taking the problem seriously. The state unveiled a strategic plan to reduce the number of traffic fatalities by 7 percent every year until it reaches its zero deaths goal. But that’s little comfort to car accident survivors who have already been harmed.
And MoDOT faces a huge hurdle. It’s estimated that 94 percent of all motor vehicle accidents are preventable, and most are caused by driver error.
In Missouri, human factors that have contributed to the recent rise in car accidents include:
- Alcohol use
- Following too closely
- Distracted driving
- Teenage drivers
- Older drivers
Although driver error is most common, car crashes have other explanations as well. Examples include:
- Vehicle defects
- Weather conditions
- Road obstructions
- Poorly constructed roadways
- Failure to mark construction zones properly
- Animal crossings
Obviously, some accidents are unavoidable. A deer isn’t trained to stop when it sees a car in its path. If that is the only cause of your car crash, it’s unlikely that you would have a legal claim. However, if a driver swerved to avoid a deer and plowed into you, you might have a valid case for compensation. That’s why it’s important to consult with a car accident lawyer. Not all accidents are as straightforward as they seem.
Proving Negligence is Key in Missouri Car Accident Claims
All personal injury lawsuits hinge on proving negligence. Simply put, it means that your attorneys must convince the court that another party is at fault for your injuries. There are four elements that must be met to prove negligence:
- Duty: The defendant had a duty to act in a way that would not put you at risk of injury. (For example, a driver has a duty to drive in a way that is safe for everyone.)
- Breach: The duty was breached. (The driver had too much to drink and hit your car while you were at a stop sign.)
- Causation: That breach harmed you. (The accident caused by the driver’s intoxication was what caused your injuries.)
- Damages: You suffered actual injuries and losses. (Examples include physical injuries or financial losses from missed wages.)
Once negligence is established, Missouri law looks at whether the injured party (plaintiff) played any role in the car accident that caused the injuries. This is a legal doctrine called pure comparative negligence.
Under pure comparative negligence, the amount of compensation that the plaintiff can receive in an injury claim is reduced by their own percentage of fault. Consider the drunk driver from the above example. He or she would most likely be 100 percent at fault for your injuries. However, if you ran the stop sign and were hit by the drunk driver, it’s possible that you would be held partly responsible for the wreck.
Here’s what would happen: The court would weigh the evidence and figure out who was more at fault. Let’s say the drunk driver was assigned 90 percent fault and you were found to be 10 percent responsible for the car accident. If you were awarded $20,000 in damages, you would only receive $18,000 because your 10 percent of fault was subtracted from the total award.
How Much Money Is My Car Accident Case Worth?
Attorneys hear that question all the time. As frustrating at it may be, the truthful answer is “it depends.” Even cases that appear identical may have slightly different facts. A good car accident lawyer will never give you a guarantee, but he or she may be able to provide a general estimate of what you might be able to receive. But many factors can affect the value of a case, and your attorney should help you manage your expectations to avoid confusion or conflict.
What Types of Damages Can I Collect?
In Missouri, you may be eligible for economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages cover financial hardships that you have incurred as a result of the car accident, such as medical bills, lost income, lost earning capacity, property damage and funeral costs (in the case of wrongful death).
Non-economic damages may be awarded for pain and suffering, grief, humiliation or other emotional problems that result from the accident.
Injured? Contact Our Knowledgeable St. Louis Attorneys Today
For information on how we can help you, call us or fill out our contact form to arrange a no-cost consultation.
Our Practice Areas
With more than 35 years of experience successfully representing St. Louis residents in personal injury cases, our attorneys have handled a variety of claims, including:
- Car Accidents
- Tractor-Trailer Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Bicycle or Pedestrian Accidents
- School Bus Accidents
- Construction Accidents
- Swimming Pool Accidents
- Dog Bites
- Product Liability