A personal injury attorney is a type of lawyer who offers legal services to any individual who is said to have been negligently injured by another person or entity. Since there are many personal injuries like wrongful death, car accidents, birth injuries, workplace injuries, and others, a car accident attorney simply refers to a lawyer that is currently handling cases to do with car accidents.
Do not be misled by the 2 terms, for they simply are almost the same. Personal injury attorneys handle car accident injuries. I have not seen a lawyer who handles only car accidents because the legal process used to handle any personal injury cases applies to injuries due to car crashes too.
According to the US Department of Transportation, in Missouri, there are more than 2,122,881 private and commercial vehicles, and more than 54,950 publicly owned automobiles. And according to my independent research, in the year 2020, there were more than 970 fatal car accidents recorded.
I do not know where you are reading this article from, but what I am very sure of is that, no person deserves to be negligently injured by another person or entity. Just like here in Missouri, the person who is unlawfully injured deserves compensation from the at-fault party.
It is not surprising to hear people are injured unlawfully but get zero compensation. Others are blamed by their insurance companies for getting injured! This is ridiculous, right? This is the reason why you should seek the services of any Missouri car accident attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Later, I share phone contacts for a few of the best personal injury lawyers in Missouri soon after this section. Please go through the contents of this article to read sections that may be of your interest. Here we go, guys!
How much should a personal injury lawyer charge?
People who have been negligently injured should receive damages from the at-fault party. If you just got injured due to a slip and fall accident due to the proprietor’s negligence, or if you just had injuries due to a dog bite, workplace incidents, etc, you need to speak to one of the Missouri personal injuries and see if your case deserves monetary compensation. Get their phone contacts below this section.
Of course, there are fees and other costs involved in hiring car accident attorneys. Lawyers charge for their services by either hourly charges, retainer fees, and contingency fee-based charges. The good thing is that all Missouri personal injury lawyers go with a contingency fee arrangement.
What are contingency fee arrangements? In this system, the plaintiff (client) pays no lawyer fees from his pockets. The lawyer receives a portion of the settlement awarded either by the at-fault person’s insurance company or the verdict from the trial if the case went all the way to courts of law.
Missouri personal injury lawyers typically receive a 30-40% portion of your final settlement. If you the client receive zero amounts in damages, your lawyer receives no pay. This is a win-win situation because your attorney will work hard to win you a settlement from which he/she receives payment.
Since personal injuries differ from each other and settle for different amounts of money, the cost of hiring an attorney differs from case to case. Jurors and insurance claim adjusters settle personal injury cases differently.
According to Forbes, at least half of personal injuries settle for $24,000 with a median settlement payout of $31,000. Personal injuries due to medical malpractices have the highest average settlement of $679,000.
List of Missouri personal injury law firms and their contact numbers.
Your case could be worth millions of Dollars. If you suffered personal injuries due to the reckless behavior of another person or entity, do not hesitate to reach out to the following personal injury law firms.
1. Nicholas Perot Smith Koehler and wall. Contact them at (573) 515 3678
2. Carson & Coil personal injury lawyers. Contact them at (573) 636 2177
3. LAW OFFICES OF BRYAN MUSGRAVE. Contact them at 877-858-2485
Why Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
This is a common question on this site. I almost answer this question daily from our new visitors. Deciding if you should hire a car accident lawyer or any other personal injury attorney is tricky but there are a few guiding decisions. Below are reasons why you should hire a personal injury lawyer.
1. Is liability clear or not? Is the person being accused of the injuries 100% responsible or not? Maybe you the complainant contributed to the accident by a less degree for instance 10%. Navigating such cases on your own is tricky because insurance companies want to use this slightest shared liability to trash your claim.
2. You sustained major injuries and other severe property loss. In such cases, the victim is most likely entitled to a list of damages like medical bills, pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of potential to earn, lost current and future income, mental anguish, lost consortium, property damages, and so on. Only lawyers can tell what you deserve!
3. You want to file a lawsuit. Yes, you can decide to do it on your own but I don’t think you stand any advantage. You agree with me that many of us are so ‘green’ about the law. You do not know anything about personal injury laws, you know nothing about how to prove the other person’s liability or negligence, and you know nothing about court proceedings.
4. Unfriendly car insurance company. Ask every person who went through settlement negotiations with the insurance company and the answer is definitely, “it’s not easy”. Insurance companies do not care about their clients at all. They will look for any slightest chance to deny you a settlement, and ways they could pay less. Only car accident attorneys know better how to squeeze those companies.
5. You do not know how long you will recover from injuries. Some injuries take months and years to recover from. Insurance companies usually take advantage of your health conditions and quickly offer you a disappointing settlement because they know you are bloke and desperate for money. Do not fall for their tactics and receive such lowball offers but seek the guidance of a personal injury lawyer.
6. You were wrongfully accused of an accident you did not cause. Yes, many people out there fall victim to circumstances they are not at fault for. If the other party hired a defense lawyer, you may have no chance of going against such an experienced legal officer. Some of us do not know how to prove beyond doubt that the defendant or plaintiff is partially responsible for the accident.
What Compensation is Available For a St. Louis Personal Injury Claim?
If you sustained injuries due to the carelessness or recklessness of another party, you could be entitled to damages. Below are 4 major damages or compensation that are available for an st. Louis’s personal injury claim.
1. Economic damages. These damages compensate you for directly covering your expenses. You can assign a dollar value to such losses and prove them in court by providing evidence of receipts. Such losses include medical expenses, lost current and future income, lost wages and so many others.
2. General damages (Non-economic damages). There is no way you can assign a monetary value to general personal injury damages, and most insurance companies do not include these in the final settlement offers. Things like pain and suffering, emotional distress, lost enjoyment of life, impairment, and disabilities, all belong to non-economic damages and deserve compensation.
3. Punitive damages. These damages are not paid to the claimant (plaintiff) as damages though he/she receives money. These damages aim at punishing the defendant for all the violations listed. In Missouri, it should be proved beyond doubt that the defendant’s intentional or stupid acts caused the accident. For instance, running stop signs or a DUI/DWI.
4. Property damages. If your car got damaged, or any building or properties were damaged during the crash, the owner deserves compensation.
HOW Much Does It Cost To Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer In St. Louis?
The cost of hiring a personal injury in st. Louis is $0 till the lawyer wins the case. This is called the contingency-based system I already explained earlier. Once the plaintiff is awarded a settlement, the lawyer receives on average 33% of the final claim payout.
Missouri car accident laws
Every driver in Missouri is required to carry car insurance coverage before he/she is allowed to drive on the road. The car insurance coverage requirement in Missouri is both liability car insurance coverage and underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage.
If you are living here in Missouri, it is mandated you carry a minimum liability insurance coverage of the:
- $25,000 for injured one person or
- $50,000 for all injuries in the accident.
- You also need to buy $25,000 coverage to guard against property damages.
- Additionally, It is required by law in Missouri that all drivers carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. You will need to buy a minimum coverage of $25,000/$50,000 bodily injuries coverage.
If your case goes to trial, Missouri follows pure comparative fault laws. This means that your final settlement will be reduced by the percentage of fault you shared. For instance, if your case goes to trial and the jury or judge awards you $60,000 as your personal damages, but at the same time the jury found you 10% responsible for the accident, you will only get $50,000 instead of $60,000.
In Missouri, the driver who is 99% at fault for the accident is also allowed to collect damages. You will only be barred from getting compensation only if you are 100% responsible for the car accident.
Statute of limitations in Missouri for personal injury
Unlike other states in the USA, Missouri has the longest period of the statute of limitations. According to Missouri personal injury laws, the party involved in a car accident is required to bring legal proceedings against the at-fault party within 5 years.
According to my own experience, you should not wait till close to 5 years to file a lawsuit. This is because delaying makes your pieces of evidence less important and probably going to court when you have few traces of injuries might not look compelling to the jurors.
According to car accident laws in Missouri, the driver is also required to report the accident if:
- There were personal injuries incurred.
- There are more than $500 in property damages.
- There are vehicles damaged.
- If any party to the accident intends to file a claim through an insurance company or needs to file personal injury lawsuits later.
How are pain and suffering calculated in Missouri?
There are no criteria used to calculate pain and suffering damages in Missouri. But the simple method used varies from one case of personal injuries to another.
The simplest means of calculating pain and suffering in Missouri is simply multiplying your medical expenses with a number that ranges from 1.5 to 5. This number represents how severe the accident or injuries you sustained were.
For example, if the jury awarded you $40,000 as your medical bills. Your pain and suffering damages lie somewhere between $60,000 and $200,000. The number that is multiplied by your medical bills depends on the severity of the car accident. The multiplier could be 1.5 for minor accidents and a 4 or 5 for life-threatening or fatal car accidents.
Missouri personal injury laws
Missouri personal injury laws are no different from other states though there are a few different clauses. In Missouri, the person or entity that carelessly damages another person is held liable for the damages suffered. You will compensate the person you recklessly caused injuries to. The defendant needs to file lawsuits within a deadline of fewer than 5 years.
How to file a complaint against an attorney in Missouri?
Not all lawyers are good and professional. This is why each state has a body that monitors the professional conduct of lawyers that are licensed in that state.
For example, according to this injury and accident law firm, your lawyer should not do the following:
- Overbilling clients
- Lawyers should have passion for defending clients
- Lawyers should be empathetic. They should not only be money oriented.
- Un ethical behaviors
- Your lawyer should show respect to you the client.
If you think your lawyer is acting contrary, you are free to file c complaint against your attorney in Missouri. You will need to write details of your complaint and email them to the Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel, at 3327 American Avenue, Jefferson City, MO 65109.
what does no-fault state mean?
Car insurance laws vary from state to state. Some states follow a fault-based system while others do not. For instance, New York is a no-fault state. In this state, each driver is required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage that compensates each driver irrespective of being at fault or not.
In no-fault states, each driver files a claim through their own insurance company for medical expenses irrespective of being responsible for the car accident or not. You will have a right to go after the at-fault party only if your medical expenses exceed your PIP policy limits or if you suffered property damages.
Is Florida a no-fault state
Florida is a no-fault state. It is required by law in Florida that each driver purchases personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Following a car accident, each driver’s party to the accident gets compensated by his own insurance company.
Is Missouri a no-fault state for car accidents
Missouri is an at-fault accident system state. The driver that is responsible for the car accident pays the innocent driver. To guard against this at-fault system, each driver is required to carry both liabilities (third party) car insurance coverage, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
In Missouri, the driver who has no or little insurance coverage will be forced to pay from his own pocket. At worst your salary or property could be garnished.
Car accident without insurance not at fault Missouri?
I already told you the minimum insurance coverage required in Missouri is liability coverage of $25,000/$50,000/$25,000. You also need to buy uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage of $25,000/$50,000.
If you have a car accident without insurance in which you are not at fault in Missouri, then you will not receive non-economic or general damages as part of your settlement.
Having no car insurance coverage in Missouri will also earn you penalties and fines. You may receive 4 points on your driving license and pay a fine of more than $300. You could also face jail time of 15 days and there is a likelihood of suspending your license.
What happens if you have no insurance but the other driver was at fault?
If you have no insurance but the other driver is at fault for the accident, you should receive compensation. The other driver will be held liable for the losses he caused you. Depending on the state or country you come from, you could also face fines and penalties just like I explained in the above paragraph.
I encourage you to do independent research and find out about car accident laws, and all car insurance guidelines in your area of jurisdiction. Most likely yours could be different from Missouri’s. In some states, car accident laws are tougher compared to others.
Fatal car accidents in Missouri today
According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, more than 1,007 people were killed in fatal accidents in the year 2021. This data showed an increase of 2% from the 2020 car accident reports. Doing simple math here shows that, at least 2.7 deaths occur due to fatal accidents every day in Missouri.
How do I find an accident report in Missouri?
In Missouri, calling state and local enforcement officers should provide you with the required accident reports. For instance, calling the Police department should provide all data on a car accident listed in a person’s name. It should also reveal the day or hours the car crash took place.
To obtain an official accident report in Missouri, please call the local Highway Patrol troop headquarters. You could also reach out to the Patrol’s Traffic Division at (573) 526-6113
Are police reports public record in Missouri?
In Missouri, car accident reports and arrest reports are all publicly available for free access. You can look up car accident police reports by visiting the online public records center, mail your request to Missouri State Highway Patrol, or visit in person the custodian of the Records office.
In summary. A Missouri personal injury lawyer navigates your case, gathers the required evidence, and spearheads settlement negotiations. In case you are negligently injured, a car accident lawyer like Nicholas Perot Smith Koehler and wall. Contact them at (573) 515 3678
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