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Car accidents are terrifying. There’s the crunch of metal, flying glass, and painful injuries. Not only that, but the trauma doesn’t always end there. If you’ve experienced a serious injury in a car accident, you’re going to find medical bills piling up from expensive surgeries, procedures, treatments, therapies, and follow-ups. Often this is at the same time that you’re not able to return to work due to your injuries. In the worst case, your injury might have left you disabled and unable to return to work in your former capacity or at all.
Even mild injuries can quickly become costly and cause you to lose income, but no matter the severity of your injury, if someone else was at fault for the accident due to negligence, reckless driving, or intoxication, you shouldn’t be left holding the bag for damages. According to Missouri’s comparative negligence car insurance laws, the person at fault for the accident must provide compensation for the damages. An experienced Eureka car accident attorney from Miller & Hine can help you recover full compensation for your economic and non-economic damages. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Understanding Damages in a Eureka Car Accident Case
Damages from car accidents can be extensive. Typically, an accident victim suffers property damage to their vehicle as well as costly injuries. There are two categories of damages in a car accident case:
- Economic damages include property damage, medical expenses, future medical expenses, lost income, future lost income, and in some cases, diminished earning capacity due to a disability
- Non-economic damages include pain and suffering and a range of other intangible damages that apply in some cases, like PTSD, disfigurement, traumatic amputation, loss of consortium (a full physical and supportive relationship), and loss of pleasure in life
Economic damages are relatively easy to calculate, but intangible, non-economic damages are often the most devastating. While financial compensation can’t erase pain and suffering, it can open doors to the best medical care and relieve financial burdens while you recover. An attorney from Miller & Hine in Eureka can carefully calculate your damages to maximize your recovery after a Eureka car accident.
If a loved one was killed in a car accident, family members can seek compensation through a Missouri wrongful death claim.
Can I Still Claim Damages if I Was Partly at Fault in a Missouri Car Accident?
Missouri has a comparative fault insurance system. In this type of system, it matters who caused a car accident and how much each driver involved in the accident contributed to the crash. Even if you were partly at fault for the accident, you can still recover a portion of your damages minus your percentage of fault. For instance, if you’re found to have been 20% at fault in a collision because you were speeding but the other party was 80% at fault because they ran a red light, you’ll still be able to claim damages. If your damages amount to $100,000 you’ll receive $80,000.
Some insurance companies in Missouri may attempt to use this comparative fault system against you by trying to assign you a larger percentage of fault than you deserve in order to lower the amount they must pay out on your claim. You need an experienced Eureka car accident attorney to recognize and counteract these and other insurance company tactics with the evidence.
Proving Liability for a Eureka Car Accident Claim
Your Eureka car accident attorney from Miller & Hine will investigate your car accident to identify the liable party. In most accidents, a negligent driver bears liability for disregarding traffic laws, texting and driving, speeding, or recklessly driving while intoxicated. In some cases, other parties could be at fault, such as a road maintenance agency that didn’t repair a traffic light or the manufacturer of a defective car part. Proving liability requires demonstrating the following:
- That the party at fault owed a duty of reasonable care to prevent injuries to others
- That they breached this duty by acting negligently or recklessly
- That their breach of duty caused your injuries
- That you’ve suffered significant damages due to your injuries
Once your Eureka car accident attorney uses evidence such as traffic camera footage, the police report, and testimony from accident reconstruction experts to prove liability, they’ll send a demand package to the appropriate insurance company seeking compensation for your damages.
Will I Have to Go to Court for a Car Accident Claim in Eureka?
Over 90% of personal injury claims settle out of court by negotiating a settlement with the insurance company so you don’t have to set foot in a courtroom. Having a capable, experienced Missouri car accident attorney on your side can streamline this process. Only in the event that an insurance company offers an inadequate settlement or denies your valid claim completely does the case proceed to a lawsuit in court. Your Eureka accident attorney from Miller & Hine is more than willing to defend your rights and best interests in court if required. Court cases take longer than a settlement, but your compensation may be higher from a jury award than from a settlement.
What to Do After a Eureka Car Accident
The aftermath of a Eureka car accident is chaotic and frightening. If your injuries are severe, you may not be able to do anything but wait for help to arrive. If you’re able to move safely and use your phone—or hand it to an uninjured person to use for you—the following steps can help protect your physical and financial future:
- First, call 911 to report the accident and request an ambulance
- Offer reasonable aid and comfort to any other injury victims to the extent you’re able
- Take photos of the damaged vehicles, the accident scene—including anything relevant to the crash—and any visible injuries
- Add the contact information of other involved drivers
- Add the contact information of eyewitnesses
- Record a statement of what you remember about the accident while it’s fresh in your mind
At the hospital, be sure to tell the doctor about every symptom and get a copy of a detailed doctor’s report of your injuries. Keep all medical bills, and a copy of the police report, and call a Eureka car accident lawyer from Miller & Hine before speaking to insurance company representatives.
Why Choose Us for Your Eureka, Missouri Car Accident Lawyers?
The Eureka personal injury lawyers at Miller & Hine have a combined 5 decades of experience navigating injury law in Missouri, including Eureka car accident claims. We’ll put our experience, strong reputation, and legal resources behind you through every step of the process to obtain the best possible outcome for your case.
Don’t try to go it alone through the insurance claims process or civil court system. Reach out to Miller & Hine today for a free consultation on your case. We only take a fee if you get a check for compensation so there are no upfront costs or surprise fees.
You deserve the best representation from a compassionate legal team. At Miller & Hine, your compensation becomes our highest priority.