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Car accidents are the most common cause of serious injuries and accident-related fatalities in Missouri and throughout the United States. A car accident is a terrifying and traumatic experience with adverse effects on health, emotional well-being, and financial status. For most Chesterfield residents, it doesn’t take long to fall behind on bills when medical expenses pile up at the same time that a serious injury prevents a full-time return to work. Some Chesterfield car accident victims become disabled from an accident and can’t return to work in their previous capacity at all.
When another driver’s negligence or reckless driving causes a car accident, the injury victims shouldn’t be left holding the bag for damages. The Chesterfield car accident lawyers at the law firm of Miller & Hine are ready to put a powerful voice behind you throughout the process of your car accident claim in Chesterfield and the surrounding area to maximize the amount of compensation you recover for damages.
Proving Liability in Chesterfield Car Accident Claims
Civil law places the burden of proof of liability on the injury victim making a claim for damages. Proving liability with a preponderance of the evidence requires demonstrating the following:
- That the at-fault party owed a duty of care to others on the road to take reasonable measures to prevent injury
- That they breached this duty through an act of negligence, recklessness, or intentional wrongdoing (like road rage or intoxicated driving)
- That the breach of their duty of care directly caused injury
- The injury victim sustained significant damages from the injury
Once your attorney documents the evidence in your car accident claim they will send a strong demand package to the insurance company of the party at fault to make a compelling claim for your damages. Only in a small percentage of cases does the insurance company fail to live up to their contract and deny a valid claim or offer only a lowball settlement amount. In this case, the claim may proceed to a lawsuit.
Missouri’s Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents
Missouri has one of the country’s most generous time limits for filing car accident lawsuits with a 5-year statute of limitations. If negotiations with an insurance company fail to result in an ample settlement for damages, your attorney from Miller & Hine is more than willing to file a lawsuit on your behalf within the state’s statute of limitations. While lawsuits take longer than settlements, often the amount a jury awards in damages is higher than a typical settlement amount.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Chesterfield Car Accident Case?
Car accidents end up costing far more than an amount for property damage to a vehicle when a driver and/or passengers suffer injuries. Common compensation in car accident claim include amounts for damages such as:
- Property damage to the vehicle and personal property
- Medical expenses and future medical costs for ongoing care
- Lost wages and future income loss
- Diminished earning capacity due to disabling injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Any other non-economic damages that might apply in your case such as compensation for disfigurement, scarring, loss of limb, or PTSD
Injuries in serious car accidents can have lasting impacts. Injuries associated with car accidents often include back and neck injuries, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, burns, and spinal cord injuries.
No one should go it alone when making such an important claim for damages when serious injuries impact their quality of life. An attorney from the car accident law firm of Miller & Hine is ready to stand in your corner and be a voice for justice.
What if I’m Found Partly at Fault for the Accident?
Remember, even if your actions contributed to the accident, Missouri’s comparative negligence insurance laws allow you to recover a portion of your damages minus your percentage of fault. In other words, if you’re found to be 25% at fault for the accident and your damages equal $100,000, you’ll recover $75,000.
Types of injury-Causing Car Accidents in Missouri
Missouri’s rate of fatal car accidents is higher than the national average and one of the top ten in the country. Sadly, the total number of accidents climbed steadily three years in a row since the pandemic in 2020. The most common causes of car accidents in Chesterfield and throughout Missouri include speeding, aggressive driving, distracted driving, and driving under the influence of alcohol. While anyone can experience a fender bender, certain types of car accidents cause the most serious injuries including:
- Rear-end collisions
- Head-on collisions
- Side-impact collisions or T-bone accidents
- Multi-car accidents or chain reaction accidents
- Roadway departure accidents
- Sideswipe accidents
- Accidents between passenger cars and large commercial trucks
All drivers owe a duty of care toward others on the road. If they engage in unsafe driving or make a serious mistake behind the wheel, they are responsible for the damages to others. In less common cases, the party at fault for an accident could be the manufacturer of a defective auto part or a city road maintenance agency. An experienced Chesterfield personal injury attorney from the law firm of Miller & Hine in Chesterfield can diligently investigate your accident to determine the at-fault party and then document evidence of liability.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Chesterfield
The aftermath of a serious car accident is chaotic and painful. As the dust settles after an accident you may be able to do little other than wait for help, but if you can safely use your phone or hand it to an uninjured person to use for you, it can be an important tool for protecting yourself physically and financially. Use your phone to do the following:
- First, call 911 to report the accident and request emergency services
- Take photos of the damaged cars and the accident scene, including anything relevant, like a traffic signal or skid marks
- Snap photos of any visible injuries
- Record a brief statement about what you remember, because trauma can quickly fade away the details of the accident
- Add the contact information of other drivers and any eyewitnesses
Once you arrive at the hospital, be sure to tell the doctor about every symptom, even if it seems minor. Ask for a detailed medical report with the doctor’s recommended treatment and your prognosis for recovery. Then, save your medical bills and any related expenses, obtain a copy of the accident report, and call the attorneys at Miller & Hine for a free consultation.
Why Choose Us for Your Car Accident Attorneys in Chesterfield?
At Miller & Hine, not only do our car accident attorneys have great compassion for accident victims after decades of witnessing the adverse effects of devastating accidents on entire families, but we also have a strong drive to protect our clients from unfair insurance practices and ensure they gain the best possible settlements or jury awards. Your Chesterfield accident lawyer will diligently handle all paperwork, keep open lines of communication, and deliver personalized attention to your unique case to maximize your claim.
You deserve to focus on healing from your injuries. Let our law firm handle the financial aspects of your car accident case. Contact our Chesterfield office today for a free case consultation so we can guide you on the path toward recovery.