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Accident Laws

Pedestrian and car accidents are unfortunately common in St. Louis, Missouri, and statistics show that certain areas are particularly dangerous. In fact, 80 percent of pedestrian fatalities in St. Louis occur in specific outlined areas, and 55 percent of fatal car crashes also occur in these areas. 

This means that as a driver in St. Louis, it’s especially important to be aware of your surroundings and drive carefully in these high-risk areas.

Tragically, in 2021, there were 22 pedestrian fatalities and 84 fatalities from car crashes in St. Louis. This represents a significant loss of life and underscores the importance of safe driving practices for both drivers and pedestrians.

What If You are Unfortunate?

If you or anyone you know is involved in a car accident in the St. Louis area, it is crucial to contact a lawyer promptly. A St. Louis auto accident lawyer can assist you in obtaining the compensation you deserve. 

If you are unsure whether you are eligible for compensation, you can use the online chatbots of some law firms, such as TorHoerman Law, to receive an instant online case evaluation. 

These chatbots can assess the merits of your case and provide you with concrete information, allowing you to make informed decisions about how to proceed. Acting quickly and seeking the guidance of a skilled attorney can help you recover the damages you are entitled to after a car accident.

This article is a primer on Missouri’s auto accident laws, designed to help St. Louis drivers navigate the legal landscape of car accidents.

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Types of Liability in Missouri Car Accidents

When it comes to car accidents in Missouri, there are two types of liability that apply: fault-based and no-fault. Fault-based liability means that the party responsible for causing the accident is held accountable for any damages incurred. 

No-fault liability, on the other hand, means that each driver’s insurance company is responsible for paying for damages and injuries, regardless of who is at fault.

Missouri operates under a fault-based system. In other words, if you’re involved in a car accident in St. Louis, you need to prove that the other driver was at fault to recover compensation for any damages or injuries.

Missouri’s Comparative Fault System

In Missouri, a comparative fault system is used to determine liability for accidents involving multiple drivers. This means that if more than one driver is at fault, the degree of each driver’s liability is determined based on their level of fault. For instance, if you were found to be 20% at fault for an accident, you would be responsible for 20% of the damages.

Statute of Limitations

Missouri enforces a time limit within which you must file a lawsuit following a car accident. This is referred to as the statute of limitations. 

The statute of limitations for car accident claims in Missouri is five years, beginning from the date of the accident. If you do not file a lawsuit within this time frame, you may lose your right to recover compensation for any damages or injuries.

Minimum Insurance Requirements

Missouri law requires all drivers to carry minimum insurance coverage to protect themselves and other drivers in the event of an accident. The minimum insurance requirements in Missouri are:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
  • $10,000 for damage to property per accident
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It’s important to note that these minimum requirements may not be enough to cover all damages and injuries sustained in a serious accident. Drivers may want to consider purchasing additional insurance coverage to protect themselves from financial loss in the event of an accident.

What to Do After a Car Accident in St. Louis

If you’re involved in a car accident in St. Louis, there are a few steps you should take to protect yourself and your legal rights:

  1. Check for injuries and call for medical assistance if necessary.
  2. Call the police to report the accident and obtain a police report.
  3. Share your contact and insurance details with the other driver(s) who were involved in the incident.
  4. Gather evidence, such as photos and witness statements, to support your claim.
  5. Notify the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible.

It’s important to remember that anything you say to the other driver(s) or their insurance company may be used against you in court. It’s best to remain neutral and avoid admitting fault or making any statements that could be interpreted as an admission of guilt.

After you have received medical treatment and have reported the accident to your insurance company, you may want to consider speaking with an experienced car accident attorney as discussed earlier. An attorney will help you navigate the legal process, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court if necessary.

In summary, if you’re involved in a car accident in St. Louis, it’s important to take immediate steps to protect your legal rights and ensure that you receive proper medical care. 

This includes following the Missouri statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit, carrying adequate insurance coverage, and taking steps to gather evidence and protect yourself from liability. By taking these steps, you can help ensure that you receive fair compensation for any damages or injuries sustained in the accident.