Type of Car Accidents in St. Louis
St. Louis has some of the most heavily traveled roads in the country, transporting nearly 3,000,000 motorists and passengers across highways, intersections, and other congested roadways. It is not uncommon for St. Louis residents to suffer debilitating and critical injuries due to collisions. At Hipskind & McAninch, LLC, our experienced car accident attorneys understand the impact these crashes can have on our community.
For this reason, we are passionate about helping car accident victims recover the compensation they are entitled to when someone else is responsible for causing their resulting damages and injuries. Our trusted personal injury lawyers in St. Louis will carefully evaluate the type of car accident you were involved in so we can identify all liable parties. Contact our team for a free consultation to learn more about what your case could be worth and who could be sued for your damages based on the type of car accident that caused your injuries.
Types of Car Accident Cases We Handle in St. Louis
Our car accident lawyers have handled a wide variety of collisions. Your attorney should have extensive experience handling nearly every type of motor vehicle crash so they can recover maximum compensation for your damages. With that in mind, here are some of the most common types of car accidents seen in St. Louis:
- Head-on collisions – These occur when vehicles traveling in opposite directions crash. They cause some of the most severe injuries, including spinal cord damage, traumatic brain injuries, and severe internal injuries. It may not always be clear who is liable for a head-on collision.
- Rear-end collisions – These occur when one vehicle is stopped and another slams into the car’s rear. Although these are often assumed to be minor accidents, whiplash, facial injuries, back injuries, and chronic pain can be debilitating and costly. Generally, the driver that hits the back of the car is usually responsible for causing the collision.
- T-bone accident – These wrecks are most frequently seen at busy intersections when one driver is traveling in their lane and slams into the side of another driver’s vehicle, usually failing to stop at a red traffic light or stop sign. Your car accident lawyer will need to review the right-of-way laws and the traffic conditions at the time of the accident to determine which party is at fault.
- Rollover accidents – These crashes most commonly happen when a vehicle is cornering at a high rate of speed and suddenly rolls. These types of accidents have been known to cause severe spinal cord injuries, including paralysis, broken and fractured bones, and catastrophic injuries caused by ejection.
- Side-impact collisions – These types of accidents happen when one vehicle swipes the side of another. These often are caused by a failure to check for blind spots before changing lanes.
- Multi-car pile-ups – When multiple vehicles crash in a chain reaction of collisions, victims can suffer critical injuries. These types of accidents are often traumatic due to the chaos at the accident scene.
- Parking lot accidents – Also considered a type of premises liability claim, parking lot accidents often cause soft tissue and neck injuries, often caused by a failure to look before backing out or due to a “dooring” accident.
- Hit-and-run accidents – When a driver hits you and flees the scene, you may have concerns about recovering the compensation you deserve. Your car accident lawyer will work with police to identify the liable party so you can receive the compensation you are entitled to for fractured or broken bones, internal injuries, and other damages.
- Single-vehicle accidents – Just because you are the only car involved in a collision does not mean you are responsible for your injuries or damages. If defective auto parts, poor lighting, or debris in the roadway contributed to your accident, your attorney will investigate to determine who should be held accountable for your losses.
- Failure to yield accidents – When one driver is making a turn, and the other does not yield to the right of way, the one failing to yield has the potential to cause severe collisions with oncoming traffic. Some of the top reasons for failing to yield include inadequate surveillance, misjudging the gap in traffic, aggressive driving, distracted driving, and misjudging the speed of oncoming traffic.
- Pedestrian or bicycle accidents – Pedestrians may be hit by motorists while in or near crosswalks, while bicyclists may be struck by drivers who are distracted, tired, or aggressive. Establishing the cause of these accidents is crucial if you hope to get the most out of your claim.
These are just a few of the different ways a St. Louis car accident could occur, but there are plenty of other types of car accidents. If you are interested in exploring your legal options further, do not hesitate to contact our car accident attorneys for a free consultation.
St. Louis Car Accident Statistics
Car accidents are alarmingly common in St. Louis. In fact, as of 2022, the city has nearly 175 fatal car accidents annually and up to almost 15,000 traffic accident injuries. What’s worse, the number of fatal pedestrian accidents has increased by as much as 228% over a three-year period.
According to the St. Louis City and County Crash Report, there were more than 2,200 accidents caused by distracted driving through cell phone use. Across the state, more than 1000 people lost their lives in fatal car accidents in 2021, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT). MoDOT data shows that speeding is one of the most common causes of accidents and is responsible for as much as 40% of all fatal car accidents in the state. It should also be noted that as much as 2/3 of the fatalities involved a failure to wear a seatbelt.
Leading Causes of St. Louis Car Accidents
Our St. Louis car accident attorneys must evaluate the type of car accident you were involved in to identify liable parties. Once we know how the accident occurred, we can determine the cause of the accident, which will lead us to the culpable party.
Some of the most prevalent causes of car accidents in St. Louis include:
Aggressive drivers are some of the most inconsiderate motorists on the roadways. Their unsafe driving practices intentionally disregard the safety of others. Some examples of aggressive driving include:
- Blocking other cars
- Cutting off other cars
- Driving slowly to irritate other drivers
- Forcing vehicles off the road
- Improper use of high beams
- Refusing to use a turn signal
- Running red lights
- Weaving in and out of traffic
Defective Auto Parts
When motor vehicle parts are poorly built, inadequately installed, malfunctioning, or otherwise defective, they can cause some of the most deadly types of car accidents. Fortunately, nearly any party involved in the design, manufacture, distribution, or supply of these parts could be held accountable for your injuries.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driver negligence is responsible for as much as 94% of all motor vehicle wrecks. Distracted driving can include:
- Cognitive distractions like daydreaming
- Manual distractions like talking on the phone or eating
- Visual distractions like staring at brightly lit billboards
Distracted driving slows drivers’ reaction time and reduces their ability to make sound decisions.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
All drivers should understand how significantly their minds can be altered while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Intoxication reduces motorist’s:
- Reaction time
- Tracking abilities
When drivers fall asleep at the wheel or are too tired to be driving safely, their sense of perception and reaction time is significantly reduced. Additionally, other senses will likely be impaired, which increases the likelihood of catastrophic collisions.
In fact, according to the CDC, drivers who have been awake for as much as 18 hours can have the same type of physical impairments that someone with a blood alcohol concentration level of .05% would have.
Hazardous Road Conditions
Some examples of conditions that may be considered hazardous on St. Louis roads include:
- Debris in the roadways
- Malfunctioning crosswalks
- Defective traffic lights
- Lack of street signs
- Missing street signs
- Missing street lamps
- Broken street lamps
- Unsecured road construction zones
Your car accident lawyer will need to determine which parties are responsible for road safety and maintenance at the location where your accident occurred to determine who should be held accountable for your losses.
When motorists operate their vehicles over the speed limit, they are more likely to lose control of their cars. Impacts will also often occur with substantially greater force at high rates of speed. This can increase the likelihood of catastrophic or life-threatening injuries. According to the DPS, in 2021, speeding was the cause of more than 1,500 car accidents.
Missouri Car Accident Laws
There are multiple Missouri car accident laws that could influence the outcome of your St. Louis injury claim. Here are some of the essential rules and regulations you should be aware of as you go after the compensation you deserve:
The statute of limitations for Missouri car accident claims
Time is limited to pursue damages after a car accident. According to Missouri Code Section 516.120, you have a maximum of five years from the accident date to get your lawsuit filed in civil court. However, if the injury victim is mentally incapacitated or under the age of 21, the statute of limitations will not start counting down until the injury victim is no longer mentally incapacitated or reaches the age of 21. This makes it possible for all victims to pursue justice.
However, if you are the surviving family member of someone who passed away in a fatal car accident, the statute of limitations is slightly different. You will have a maximum of three years from the date of the decedent’s death to file your claim before the statute of limitations expires. If you are not sure how much longer you have to file your claim, do not hesitate to address your concerns with our St. Louis car accident lawyers.
How auto insurance works in St. Louis
Under Missouri auto insurance laws, all drivers are required to purchase auto insurance for their registered vehicles. The minimum amount of coverage includes the following:
- $25,000 per person in bodily injury liability coverage
- $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage
- $10,000 per accident in property damage liability coverage
You may also benefit from purchasing other types of optional coverage in case you are accused of causing a collision, such as:
- Gap insurance
- Uninsured motorist coverage
- Underinsured motorist coverage
- Rental car coverage
You are required to report your St. Louis car accident
Although not every car accident needs to be reported, generally, if there is property damage in excess of $500, severe injury, or death, you must report the accident to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department or other local PD. Our St. Louis personal injury lawyers at Hipskind & McAninch, LLC can access copies of these reports as evidence to prove liability and negligence in your case.
Missouri is a pure comparative fault state
Do not be surprised if the liable party attempts to blame you for the injuries you sustained. Since Missouri follows pure comparative negligence laws, sharing fault will reduce the amount of compensation you recover. However, it will not prevent you from accessing reimbursement for your damages.
The amount you can expect to be deducted from your settlement will correlate with your percentage of blame. For instance, if you were found to be 35% responsible for your car accident injuries due to a failure to wear your seatbelt, you could expect your settlement to be reduced by 35%.
It is crucial to have an experienced car accident lawyer on your side who will protect you from wrongful shared fault allegations and ensure liability is evaluated correctly.
How Missouri Car Accident Insurance Claims Work
Missouri follows fault-based insurance laws. This means you are not required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and will file a claim with the liable party’s insurance provider as opposed to your own.
However, if you purchased no-fault protection, you may consider filing a claim with your auto insurer. Before you decide to file a claim with your insurance company, make sure to discuss your options with your attorney first. Often, insurance companies will increase the amount of your premiums when your policy renews, which may result in additional costs and losses.
What Kinds of Damages Are Available to Car Accident Victims?
Car accident victims in Missouri have the right to total compensation for their damages. Every loss should be recovered as part of your insurance and civil claims. However, certain damages will be covered by the insurance company. Any damages you cannot recoup through an insurance claim should be recovered through your civil lawsuit.
Car accident victims often suffer substantial economic losses. These describe all out-of-pocket and monetary costs. Some examples include:
- Loss of income
- Loss of employer-provided health insurance
- Loss of bonuses and salary increases
- Diminished future potential earnings
- Loss of sick time, paid time off, and other employee benefits
- Costs of vehicle repairs or replacement
- Your vehicle’s diminished value
- Auto insurance premium increases
- Costs of a rental car or rideshare service fees
- Damage to your credit score or report
- The cost of childcare
- Costs of hiring professionals for household maintenance
- Ambulance and hospital bills
- Co-pays and transportation costs
- Medical device expenses and home accommodation fees
- Ongoing medical treatment
Car accident victims are entitled to compensation for more than out-of-pocket and financial losses. The way your life has been impacted by the collision you experienced should also be considered. Some examples of non-economic damages include:
- Physical pain
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional trauma and distress
- Indignity and shame
- Shock and fear
- Loss of consortium
- Damage to your personal and professional reputation
Exemplary damages, also called punitive damages, may be available. However, punitive damages are not awarded in every car accident case. They are not considered compensatory damages or losses you are entitled to recover. Instead, they are awarded by Missouri civil court systems to punish the defendant and send a message to future wrongdoers.
Here’s How Our St. Louis Car Accident Attorneys Can Help
Our dedicated St. Louis car accident attorneys at Hipskind & McAninch, LLC have the legal experience and resources to handle virtually any type of car accident claim. Here are some of the ways our firm can help you bring the liable party to justice:
- Extensive experience – We have considerable experience handling a wide array of car accident cases. This makes it possible for us to craft a fully custom strategy based on the type of accident you were involved in.
- Professional recognition – Our powerhouse car accident attorneys, John Hipskind and Brady McAninch, have collectively recovered more than $10 million for our clients. We have unwavering determination and have been recognized professionally with multiple awards and accolades, including being selected for inclusion as SuperLawyers, recognized in the “Top 40 Under 40” by the National Trial Lawyers Association, and being honored as one of the “10 Best Personal Injury Attorneys“.
- Earning your trust – We have earned more than 300 5-star reviews on Google for our dedication and transparency with our clients. We are proud of the positive feedback we receive and work tirelessly to go beyond our client’s expectations.
- St. Louis Roots – Having spent most of their lives in the metropolitan area of St. Louis, our car accident attorneys genuinely care about our community. In fact, attorney Brady McAninch is a founding member of the Flyover Comedy Festival, and Attorney John Hipskind serves on the City Council.
When your injuries have substantially impacted your life, you should not need to worry about anything other than recovery. When you choose our firm to handle your car accident claim, you can spend more time with your family, regain as much functionality as possible, and focus on your health while we work diligently to build a compelling case against the liable party.
You may be feeling intimidated or overwhelmed at the thought of pursuing your car accident insurance or civil claims. However, when you have our team working for you, we handle everything, including:
- Listening to your story during your free consultation
- Conducting an in-depth investigation and gathering compelling evidence that helps us determine how the accident occurred and who is liable
- Handling all the legal paperwork, including medical bills, insurance forms, and other essential legal documents
- Negotiating with the insurance company to protect you from being taken advantage of
- Pursuing litigation when insurance is insufficient or the liable party does not have insurance coverage
- Offering post-trial support, including making sure you receive your insurance settlement or trial verdict payout
St. Louis Car Accident Frequently Asked Questions
We understand that during these times, you may have many unanswered questions. With that in mind, we have addressed some of the most commonly asked questions that car accident victims in St. Louis have had. If you have additional unanswered questions we did not cover on this page, make sure to contact us for a free consultation today.
Is a specific type of car accident most common?
Generally, rear-end collisions are the most common type of car accident. However, any type of accident involving speeding or distracted driving is also common.
What types of damages can car accident victims recover?
Under the law, you have the right to be made whole. You should be reimbursed for not only your monetary and out-of-pocket costs but every way your life has been affected by the injuries you sustained and the accident you were involved in.
In St. Louis, how long do you have to file a car accident report?
You must report all car accidents to the Missouri Department of Revenue anytime property damage exceeds $500, someone suffers an injury, or there is a fatality. Reports must be filed within 30 days of the accident. You should also prepare to file your insurance claim within 30 days. Otherwise, the insurer may attempt to deny you the compensation or benefits you deserve.
What is the most common cause of car accidents in St. Louis?
Generally, failure to yield the right of way and speeding are some of the top causes of collisions in St. Louis. However, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, drowsy driving, and distracted driving are also common reasons.
Do I still have a case if the other driver doesn’t have insurance?
Yes, you will still have grounds for legal action if the driver that hit you does not have auto insurance. However, if you purchased uninsured motorist coverage, you could file a claim with your insurer. Otherwise, plan on filing a civil lawsuit against the driver that hit you so you can recover your damages.
Should I call the police after my St. Louis car accident?
It is almost always in your best interest to contact the police after a collision. When law enforcement officials arrive at the accident scene, they can gather evidence that could later be used to support your case. When they file their crash or accident report, it may contain compelling information that helps your attorney identify the liable party and prove their negligence.
How can a car accident attorney help me maximize my compensation?
Your car accident attorney will understand the intricacies of Missouri’s car accident laws. We have the resources to conduct a thorough investigation to build a powerful case against the liable party and prove the value of your claim. You can also rely on your lawyer to handle the insurance company when they attempt to use unscrupulous tactics to reduce your payout.
How much will it cost to hire a St. Louis car accident lawyer?
When you choose to work with our dedicated car accident attorneys at Hipskind & McAninch, LLC, you need not worry about costs. We work for you on contingency, so you do not have to put money down to hire a lawyer. We will cover all of the expenses that arise as we pursue your case as well. This might include:
- Deposition costs
- Court filing fees
- Report fees
- Costs of hiring experts
- Costs of running forensic analysis
The insurance company made me a settlement offer, should I accept it?
Unless you have reviewed this offer with your car accident attorney, it may not be in your best interest to accept it. It is common for insurance companies to make low settlement offers because they know you need access to money as soon as possible. They believe they can save money by offering you less than you deserve. However, with an experienced personal injury lawyer working for you, you can fight for maximum restitution.
Get Help From a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer Today
When your car accident injuries have turned your world upside down, the at-fault party should pay. However, you may need the legal support of a knowledgeable and dedicated St. Louis car accident lawyer at Hipskind & McAninch, LLC, to get the most out of your claim.
With our team on your side, we can evaluate the type of car accident you were involved in to identify all parties who contributed to your injuries and hold them accountable. Are you ready to take back control of your life? Contact our team for a 100% free consultation today and learn more about liability for your damages.