Stephen Schultz | March 24, 2023 | Car Accidents
No one wants to be in a car accident, but unfortunately, they happen often. Whether you are the victim of a crash or were responsible for one, you should always consult with an experienced car accident lawyer.
This is the best way to ensure your rights are protected if you were at fault and ensure that you receive proper compensation for any damages incurred if another party was partially responsible. In the meantime, continue reading for insight into what could happen if you are at fault for a car accident.
What To Do After a Car Accident You Believe Is Your Fault
Car accidents can be overwhelming, especially when you think you’re at fault. It’s important to stay calm and remember the steps you should take in order to protect yourself legally.
If anyone involved in the accident is injured, or if there is significant property damage, call 911 immediately. The police can help ensure that medical attention is provided as quickly as possible and document the scene for an investigation into who was at fault for the crash.
When speaking with law enforcement and providing a statement regarding how the accident happened, remain courteous and give only basic details.
Do Not Discuss Details of the Accident
Avoid discussing details of the crash or apologizing for anything; doing so could be interpreted as admitting fault, which could have legal implications later on. Additionally, refrain from questioning other drivers involved in the crash or responding to any questions they ask you.
Collect Contact Information From All Involved Parties and Witnesses
Once authorities arrive on the scene and medical care has been administered (if necessary), collect contact information from all involved parties and witnesses. This includes insurance information from all drivers present at the scene of the accident.
Look for Video Footage & Take Photos
When possible, look for cameras that may have footage of the crash; this can be helpful if you need to prove that you weren’t entirely at fault for the accident.
Use a smartphone or camera to take photos of all vehicles involved in the accident and the scene of the accident.
Seek Medical Care for Any Injuries
Even if you aren’t feeling any pain right away after an accident, it’s still important to seek medical care as soon as possible following a crash. Many times, people don’t realize they are injured until days after an incident has occurred.
Who Is Liable for Car Accident Losses?
Missouri is an “at-fault” state for car insurance, meaning the driver who caused the car accident (or their insurance company) is liable for any losses suffered by other parties involved. They are responsible for covering medical bills, vehicle repairs, lost wages, and more.
If You’re Only Partially at Fault
If you’re only partially at fault, you may actually be able to recover compensation from the other party if their negligence contributed to the accident as well. This is because of a legal principle known as pure comparative negligence, which Missouri has adopted.
Pure comparative negligence is designed to allow accident victims to recover compensation even if they share some of the blame. The idea behind it is that each person involved in an accident should pay only for their percentage of fault.
Insurance companies will assign each party a percentage of fault based on what they believe happened leading up to the incident to determine how much compensation a party can receive after an accident. The plaintiff’s compensation will then be reduced by their percentage of fault.
For example, you are awarded $100,000 and deemed 20% at fault for the accident. Your damages would be reduced by your percentage of fault, and you would be able to collect the rest of the damages – $80,000 – from the defendant if their negligence also caused the accident.
Contact a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer To Help Determine Your Legal Rights and Options
If you were involved in an accident and believe it was your fault, hiring a lawyer could make the difference between a successful and unsuccessful outcome. Most car accident attorneys in St. Louis offer free consultations to review the facts of your case, so it won’t harm your pocket to reach out.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, please contact Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today:
Ladue, MO Law Office
9807 S 40 Dr, St. Louis, MO 63124
Columbia, MO Law Office
28 N 8th St # 502, Columbia, MO 65201
Creve Coeur, MO Law Office
999 Executive Pkwy Dr #205, Creve Coeur, MO 63141