St. Louis Car Accident Attorney
Whether you’re commuting, shopping, or simply taking a spin, car accidents can make your day take a turn for the worst. Car crashes are life-threatening and often leave their victims with miserable injuries that last for years. When you’re stuck with difficult damages and serious injuries that put a financial burden on you and your family, it is time to talk to a reputable St. Louis car accident attorney that can investigate your auto accident claim and find out who can be held liable for your injuries if you weren’t at fault.
Find out how much in damages you can claim and the next steps for your car accident claim. You can get fair representation with our help. Contact an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer at Hipskind & McAninch, LLC today for a free consultation with a St Louis personal injury lawyer.
How Can Your St. Louis Car Accident Attorney Help You?
Our St. Louis car accident lawyers are some of the top legal negotiators in the state. Our legal team can help ensure the insurance company compensates you fairly for your damages and guide you through the civil claims process to maximize your restitution.
We are uniquely equipped to handle some of the most complex car accident and personal injury cases, as proven by our many accolades and recognitions. We are proud to have been named in the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 list, are active members of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, and have been named among the Best St. Louis Personal Injury Attorneys by Expertise.com
While you devote your time and energy to healing from your catastrophic injuries, an experienced car accident lawyer will work diligently behind the scenes to:
- Gather evidence to prove liability, including witness statements, medical records, security camera footage, and copies of police reports and crash data
- Draft evidence preservation letters to access evidence that may be more difficult to obtain
- Write personal injury demand letters so insurance companies and liable parties understand the value of your claim and recognize how seriously you are taking your case
- Negotiate with insurance companies when they attempt to make insultingly low offers or utilize unscrupulous tactics to reduce claimant’s settlements
- Pursue a car accident claim in St. Louis civil courts
- Protect you from being taken advantage of by the defense, creditors, and money-hungry insurance adjusters
St. Louis Car Accident Statistics
Car accidents are common in St. Louis, Missouri. In fact, according to data from the Missouri Department of Transportation, there are around 175 fatalities from car accidents in St. Louis annually. Missouri has even been ranked among the top 15 states with the most dangerous roads in the US.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol reported nearly 1,000 people across the state suffered fatal car accident injuries, a 12% increase from 2019. St. Louis had almost 15,000 traffic accidents, and in 2021, fatal vehicle crashes were up by another 3%.
Where Most St. Louis Car Accidents Happen
Certain roads in St. Louis are far more dangerous than others. Some of the factors that can make an intersection, highway, or other route particularly hazardous include:
- Low visibility conditions
- A high speed limit
- Traffic congestion
According to the National Traffic Safety Administration, some of the roads that are especially dangerous include:
- Highway 30 at High Ridge Boulevard and Lakenny Lane
- Highway 110 near De Soto
- Highway 141 at Carman Road and Burgundy Lane
- I – 270 in North County
- Interstate 44 from Lewis Road to Yarnell Road in Fenton
- Interstate 55 from Bayless Avenue to Meramec Bottom Road
- Interstate 70 through Salisbury Street and Union Boulevard
- Natural Bridge Avenue between Faraar Street and Hamilton Avenue
- N. Lindenbergh Blvd. between Robbins Mill Road and W. Washington St.
- Page Avenue in Wellston
These are just a few of the most dangerous roads across St. Louis. If your collision occurred at another intersection or highway, do not hesitate to contact our car accident attorneys to discuss your legal options for financial relief.
What to Do After a St. Louis Car Accident
After being involved in a catastrophic car accident, there are specific steps you can take to bring the liable party to justice and maximize the compensation you recover:
- Get to safety
- Check yourself for injuries
- Contact emergency responders and law enforcement
- Exchange contact and insurance information with the other involved party
- Gather evidence to prove negligence, including photos of your injuries and the accident scene, and the names and contact information of witnesses to the accident
- Hire our St. Louis car accident lawyers to find out how you can fight for the compensation you deserve
- File a claim with the insurance company
- Prepare to bring your car accident case to trial
How Much Is Your St. Louis Car Accident Settlement Worth?
Your car accident attorney in St. Louis will carefully review how your life has been impacted by your collision and resulting injuries. You may be surprised to learn you have the right to compensation for a wide array of damages.
Certain types of economic damages can be recovered through an insurance claim. For example, bodily injury liability coverage will cover the costs of your medical care, while property damage liability coverage will cover your vehicle repair costs. However, if the liable party only purchased the minimum coverage under the law, their insurance coverage may be lacking.
Fortunately, the remainder of your economic damages can be recouped through your civil claim. Additionally, other types of economic damages that could be recovered include:
- Rental car coverage
- The difference between what you owe and the value of the vehicle
- Mental health counseling costs
- Occupational or physical therapy fees
- Future medical bills
- Costs of increases to your health or auto insurance
- Damage to your credit score
- Loss of household services
Economic damages are not the only way your attorney will calculate the value of your car accident claim. They will also consider the impact any non-economic damages have had on your life. These are not mandatory but must be quantified due to their extensive and substantial effects on victims’ lives.
Examples of potentially recoverable non-economic damages in a St. Louis car accident claim include:
- Psychological trauma
- Skin scars and disfiguring injuries
- Loss of companionship and support
- Loss of a close spousal relationship
- Loss of protection and advice
- Diminished quality of life
- Physical suffering and chronic pain
Furthermore, punitive damages may be applicable if the defendant’s conduct was malicious, intentional, or grossly negligent. These are not losses you are entitled to recover but are awarded when the Missouri courts find it necessary to punish the liable party beyond the damages they are obligated to reimburse you for.
After going over these losses at length, you will have a better understanding of the actual value of your damages, where to obtain compensation for these losses and protect yourself from being taken advantage of during this challenging time in your life.
Common Types of Damages You Might Experience in a St. Louis Car Accident
St. Louis car accident lawyers will help you estimate and recover compensation for your damages to make sure you get fair compensation. These include:
This includes the cost to repair or replace your vehicle or any other damaged property in the accident.
This includes the cost of any medical treatment you received as a result of the accident, such as hospital bills, doctor’s visits, medication, and rehabilitation.
If you were unable to work as a result of the accident, you may be able to claim the income you lost during your recovery.
Pain and Suffering
This includes physical and emotional pain and suffering that you experienced as a result of the accident, such as physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional distress.
If a loved one was killed in the accident, you may be able to claim damages for wrongful death, which can include funeral expenses, lost income, and loss of companionship.
What Influences Your Car Accident Case Personal Injury Settlement?
If you have been injured in a car accident in Missouri, you should consult with an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer to discuss your legal options and the potential value of auto accident claims. A St. Louis car accident attorney handle can help you understand your rights and work to ensure that you receive the full and fair compensation you deserve for your car accident injuries.
The severity of your injuries will have a significant impact on your settlement amount. More severe injuries will typically result in higher compensation since they may require more extensive medical treatment and may have a greater impact on your quality of life. For example, a spinal cord injury that results in paralysis will likely result in a higher settlement than a broken bone.
The number of medical expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident will also impact your settlement amount. This can include expenses for emergency medical treatment, hospitalization, surgery, rehabilitation, and ongoing medical care. The higher your medical expenses, the higher your settlement amount may be.
If you have had to miss work as a result of your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for lost income. This can include wages you have already lost as well as future earnings you may miss out on as a result of your injuries.
If your car was damaged in the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for repairs or replacement. The amount of compensation you receive for property damage will depend on the cost of the repairs or replacement.
Missouri follows a comparative fault system, which means that if you are found to be partially at fault for the accident, your settlement amount may be reduced. For example, if you were speeding at the time of the accident, you may be found to be partially at fault and your settlement amount may be reduced.
Common Types of St. Louis Car Accident Claims
Car accidents can happen in different ways. It will be up to your attorney to carefully evaluate the accident using the evidence to determine what caused the collision and who is ultimately liable. Examples of some of the most common types and causes of car accidents seen in St. Louis include:
- Accidents at intersections
- Bicycle accidents
- Chain reaction crashes
- Defective auto parts accidents
- Distracted driving accidents
- Drunk driving accidents
- Fatal car accidents
- Fatigued driving accidents
- Fender benders
- Highway accidents
- Hit-and-run accidents
- Inclement weather collisions
- Lost load accidents
- Lyft accidents
- Mass casualty accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Negligent road design crashes
- Speeding crashes
- Uber accidents
- Underinsured driver accidents
- Uninsured driver accidents
- Rear-end collisions
- Parking lot accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Rental car accidents
- Rideshare accidents
- Road construction accidents
- Road debris accidents
- Sideswipe accidents
- T-bone accident
- Teen driver accidents
- Texting and driving accidents
- Tire blowouts
- Whiplash accidents
This is not an extensive list of the types of car accidents you could be involved in. If you were involved in a taxi crash, injured while on a bus, or harmed in any number of other types of motor vehicle accidents, our legal team could help you fight for total financial recovery.
Reasons Car Accidents Happen
A St. Louis car accident lawyer has seen many types of car accidents and can find neglect across a variety of cases. You may experience:
Here are some of the most common types of accidents seen on the roads:
When a driver diverts their attention from driving, they become a danger to themselves and others. Examples of distracted driving include using a cellphone which causes texting and driving accidents. Other distractions include eating, grooming, or reaching for objects while driving.
Driving above the posted speed limit or driving too fast for current road or weather conditions can make it difficult to stop or avoid obstacles. This causes speeding accidents.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs impairs judgment, vision, and reaction time, significantly increasing the risk of serious car accidents in St. Louis.
Driving while drowsy or tired can affect a driver’s ability to react quickly, make sound decisions, and maintain control of their vehicle.
Poor maintenance of a vehicle, such as worn tires, malfunctioning brakes, or broken lights, can lead to accidents due to mechanical failure.
Ignoring Traffic Signs and Signals
Failure to obey traffic signs, signals, and road markings can lead to accidents, such as failing to yield the right-of-way, turning illegally, or driving in the wrong direction.
Following too closely to the vehicle in front can result in rear-end collisions, especially in heavy traffic or sudden stops.
Poor Weather Conditions
Drivers who fail to adjust their driving behavior to accommodate changing weather conditions, such as driving too fast in rain, snow, or fog, increase the risk of accidents.
Liability for St. Louis Car Accidents
Our St. Louis car accident lawyers will analyze the type of car accident and the cause of your injuries to determine who is responsible for your damages. It might surprise you to learn multiple parties could share fault for your injuries, depending on the circumstances of your personal injury case.
For example, in a drunk driving car accident lawsuit, some of the parties who could share culpability include:
- Social hosts
- Dram shops
- Drunk drivers
However, if auto defects were the cause of your injuries, several parties could be sued for your damages, including:
- Safety inspectors
- Maintenance workers
Furthermore, if dangerous road conditions caused your damages, the government agencies and municipalities responsible for maintaining the roads could be ordered to compensate you for your losses. These parties could include:
- The city of St. Louis
- The Missouri Department of Transportation
- Government safety inspectors
- Government-contracted road construction workers
- Government-contracted contractors, subcontractors, and independent contractors
These are only a few examples of parties who may have insurance or civil claims brought against them based on the type and cause of your car accident. You can find out more about who is at fault in your case when we review the evidence and the findings of our investigation.
What Happens If More Than One Person Caused My Car Accident?
Car accidents can become more complex when there are multiple parties involved. In some cases, the other drivers aren’t responsible, but rather it was a construction company or the local state. When there is more than one party, the following may occur:
Multiple Insurance Claims
Each driver’s insurance company will typically investigate the accident to determine fault and determine whether to pay for damages and injuries. In some cases, if who is to blame is disputed, each driver’s insurance company may file a lawsuit against the other driver’s insurance company to determine fault and compensation.
Criminal Charges if Applicable
When one or more drivers were engaging in criminal behavior at the time of the accident, such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they may face criminal charges in addition to civil liability for the accident.
Missouri Car Accident Insurance Laws
Filing a claim with the insurance company is one of the most popular ways to access compensation for your damages after a collision. Missouri follows fault-based insurance laws. This means you will generally file a claim with the liable party’s insurer.
Auto insurance is designed to protect you if you are accused of causing an accident. As such, state law mandates you carry a minimum of:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury protection
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury protection
- $10,000 per accident for property damage coverage
There is no requirement that says you must carry under or uninsured motorist coverage, comprehensive, collision, or any other type of optional coverage. However, adding these to your personal insurance policy could help protect you in the event of an accident.
Filing a claim with the liable party’s insurance company may not be the only way to recover your damages in full. For example, if the defendant only carries $50,000 in bodily injury coverage, but your medical bills maxed out at over $100,000, the insurance company would only pay a maximum of $50,000. This would leave you with an excess of $50,000 in medical bills.
Dealing with the insurance company is not easy. They often employ an array of unscrupulous tactics to further their financial gains. You must remember the insurance company is not on your side. Some of the top ways insurance companies and adjusters take advantage of a car accident victim in St. Louis include:
- Delaying the processing of your claim
- Making insultingly low settlement offers
- Making quick settlement offers to tempt you to settle for less than you deserve
- Misrepresenting the policy terms
- Accusing you of exaggerating the extent of your injuries or damages
- Utilizing pre-existing conditions to reduce your settlement
Since insurance adjusters will do anything possible to reduce their financial obligations, it is crucial never to give them a statement or accept an offer without reviewing it with your car accident attorney. The last thing you need during this challenging time is to be taken advantage of.
When you have our firm advocating for you, you do not have to deal with the insurance company. We will take over the negotiation process so the insurance companies adjusters can see how seriously you are taking your claim.
Is Missouri a No Fault State for Car Accidents?
Missouri is not a “no-fault” state for car accidents. Instead, Missouri is an “at-fault” or “tort” state. This means that in the event of a car accident, the driver who is determined to be at fault for causing the accident is typically responsible for paying for the damages and injuries resulting from the accident.
Under Missouri law, drivers are required to carry liability insurance to cover the cost of any damages or injuries they may cause in an accident. The liability insurance typically includes coverage for bodily injury and property damage liability. If a driver is found to be at fault for an accident, their insurance company may be responsible for paying for the damages and injuries resulting from the accident.
Missouri law also allows individuals to sue the at-fault driver for damages beyond what their insurance policy covers, such as pain and suffering, lost wages, and other expenses. This is different from a no-fault state, where drivers typically turn to their own insurance coverage to pay for damages and injuries, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
How Long After a Car Accident Can You Sue in Missouri?
In Missouri, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident is five years from the date of the accident. This means that you have up to five years to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries and damages. It’s generally advisable to begin the process of seeking compensation as soon as possible after a car accident.
This allows you to gather evidence and build a strong case, and may also help you negotiate a settlement with the insurance company more quickly. Waiting too long to pursue legal action can also make it more difficult to collect evidence and witness testimony, which can weaken your case.
While you have up to five years to file a lawsuit after a car accident in Missouri, it’s generally advisable to begin the process as soon as possible after the accident. Reasons that your statute of limitations may be extended include:
You may not be aware of the injury or harm they have suffered until years after it occurred. In such cases, the statute of limitations may be extended to allow the injured party to file a lawsuit or bring criminal charges.
If the other party has concealed their wrongdoing, the statute of limitations may be extended to allow the plaintiff to bring a lawsuit. This is often the case in cases of financial fraud, where the defendant has hidden their wrongdoing and the plaintiff was not aware of it until much later.
The Victim is a Minor or Incompetent
In some circumstances, the statute of limitations may be extended for minors or individuals who are incapacitated due to mental or physical disabilities. This is because they may not have been able to bring a lawsuit within the normal time limit.
In cases where harm is ongoing, such as in cases of environmental pollution or exposure to toxic substances, the statute of limitations may be extended to allow for a lawsuit to be filed at a later time. This may not apply to car accidents, however.
In cases where a criminal investigation is ongoing, the statute of limitations may be extended to allow for the prosecution of the defendant.
St. Louis Car Accident FAQ
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding accident lawyers in St. Louis car accidents:
How Much Are Lawyer Fees For a Car Accident Case?
Your car accident lawyer at our firm will work with you on contingency. You do not have to pay anything for our legal services unless or until we win your case.
How Much is a Negligence Settlement in Missouri for a Car Accident?
The value of your car accident claim will vary widely on a case-by-case basis. You can expect your attorney to carefully review both your economic and non-economic damages in depth to ensure you are compensated for every loss.
How is Fault Determined in a Car Accident in Missouri?
Fault is determined by carefully evaluating the type of car accident you were involved in and the cause of the collision. Although multiple parties may share the blame, complicating your case, it also increases your chances of recovering your damages in full.
What is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident in Missouri?
The settlement amount for a car accident is entirely dependent on the type of damages that you suffered. Currently, the average is between $3,000 to $15,000. It’s difficult to provide an exact average settlement amount for a car accident in Missouri since every case is unique and settlement amounts can vary widely based on the specific circumstances of the accident and the injuries sustained.
However, there are a few factors that can impact the settlement amount in a car accident case, including the severity of the injuries, the number of medical expenses incurred, and the amount of lost income due to the Missouri car accident claims. In general, settlement amounts for car accident cases in Missouri can range from a few thousand dollars to several hundred thousand dollars or more, depending on the specific factors involved. In some car accident cases involving serious injuries or life-altering injuries, such as spinal injuries, and traumatic brain injuries, settlement amounts can be much higher.
How Do I Look Up an Accident in Missouri?
You can look up your car accident and obtain a copy of your official crash report by contacting the St. Louis Highway Patrol troop headquarters or the Missouri Traffic Division.
How Do I Report a Car Accident in St. Louis?
You can file your St. Louis car accident report with the Missouri Department of Revenue. You may be required to do so if the damage is greater than $500, anyone suffers critical injuries, or there is a death.
Get Help From Our St. Louis Car Accident Attorneys Today
As soon as you’ve been in a terrible car wreck, it is time for you to speak to a dedicated St. Louis car accident lawyer. They can guide you on your next steps and make sure you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
Our St. Louis car accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you pay us only after we win. Call Hipskind & McAninch, LLC now for a free consultation, or complete our quick contact form to schedule your case review with one of our best car accident lawyers, call today.