Multi-Vehicle Phelps County Car Wreck Kills One, Injures Three

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Few details were available after a pickup truck which drifted across the center line triggered a chain reaction crash.

A 55-year-old man driving a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado clipped another vehicle after it crossed the center line. The pickup then smashed into an oncoming 2016 Kia Sorento. The pickup passenger was killed, and the three divers involved were seriously injured.

The wreck occurred on HIghway 63 near Rolla.

Car Crash Injuries

Every year, vehicle collisions kill or seriously injure millions of Americans. Between 1913 and 2018, the injury rate decreased 97 percent. But that steady decrease has now stopped. Today’s vehicles have advanced safety systems. But even the most sophisticated system can only absorb so much force. Additionally, these safety improvements might give some drivers a false sense of security and encourage them to take more chances behind the wheel.

Vehicle speed is one of the leading factors in fatal car accidents in Missouri. At low speeds, many of these incidents are only “fender benders.” But at a higher speed, the exact same impact could cause serious injuries, such as:

  • Head Injuries: Frequently, the sudden, violent motion of a car crash causes a head injury. That motion causes the brain to slam repeatedly against the insides of the skull.
  • Exsanguination: Excessive blood loss, mostly due to internal injuries, is often the official cause of death in these situations. Internal bleeding is very difficult to spot and even more difficult to stop. As a result, many victims are on the edge of hypovolemic shock by the time they reach the hospital.
  • Broken Bones: Car crashes usually crush bones as opposed to simply breaking them. So, doctors normally use metal pins and screws to set them. Afterwards, these victims need extensive physical therapy to regain lost functions. 

Compensation in a vehicle collision claim usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Special Issues in Passenger Injury Claims

Passengers are susceptible to the same serious injuries as drivers. However, passenger injury claims usually have some additional emotional and legal issues that St. Louis injury lawyers must deal with.

Emotionally, passenger victims usually have relationships with driver tortfeasors (negligent drivers). Frequently, that relationship is very close. In most cases, a damages claim strains this relationship. 

But a negligence claim does not “blame” anyone for the accident. Instead, these claims simply hold people responsible for the mistakes they make. If we all observed this rule, Missouri would probably be an even better place to live. Furthermore, the insurance company is financially responsible for both the defense and the payment of compensation. Usually, the insurance company drops the tortfeasor, but that probably would have happened anyway, claim or no claim.

Legally, passenger injuries often involve the assumption of the risk defense. This legal doctrine, which normally applies in falls and other premises liability claims, applies if the victim:

  • Voluntarily assumed
  • A known risk.

Most people voluntarily get into cars. But in most cases, the risk of a collision is only a theoretical risk, and not a known risk. That’s usually true even if the tortfeasor was intoxicated or otherwise impaired. Driver impairments increase the risk of a collision, but they do not transform a theoretical risk into a known one.

Car accident victims could be entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in St. Louis, contact Schultz & Myers, Personal Injury Lawyers. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money.

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