Common Car Accident Scenarios - Causes & Determining Fault

There’s no singular cause of a car accident. Every case is different and requires an independent investigation into what happened. 

Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers has been representing car accident victims in St. Louis, MO for over a decade. During that time, our St. Louis car accident lawyers have seen many common car accident scenarios and recovered millions for injured clients. Contact us today at (314) 444-4444 to talk to one of our experienced St. Louis car accident lawyers.

How To Determine Fault After A Car Accident In St. Louis

How To Determine Fault After A Car Accident In St. Louis

St. Louis, Missouri, applies pure comparative fault law in car accident cases. That means that the plaintiff can recover compensation even if they contributed to the accident. The only limitation is that the amount that they recover is reduced by their percentage of responsibility. 

Car insurance companies will try to take advantage of this law. After a car accident, they will investigate to find out who is responsible. This investigation may include:

  • Talking to witnesses, including both drivers 
  • Reviewing photographs of the scene and the cars
  • Reading police reports and medical records

You must never admit fault to an insurance adjuster. They will attempt to use this against you and argue that you are responsible for causing the accident (even if only partially). 

The best way to protect yourself from getting blamed is to hire a St. Louis car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney can talk with the insurance agency so you don’t risk saying something harmful.

Scenario 1: Head-On Crashes

Head-on crashes are among the most dangerous types of car accidents. A head-on crash happens when two cars collide from the front. If the cars are traveling at a high rate of speed, this can cause airbag injuries, seatbelt injuries and often death.

Head-on crashes usually require investigation to conclude who is responsible. Often this type of accident happens because one driver was negligent. Perhaps they weren’t paying attention to oncoming traffic or were swerving outside of their lane. It can also happen when one driver is distracted. 

In certain instances, head-on crashes can happen because of a reason outside of the driver’s control. A common cause is inclement weather, like snow or ice on the roads. This can make one driver lose control and enter oncoming traffic. Similarly, if an animal or obstruction is on the road, a driver may avoid it and cause a head-on collision as a result.

Scenario 2: DUI Accidents

The drunk or drugged driver is almost always at fault in a DUI accident. These cases are pretty easy to prove as long as the drunk driver was arrested. When they are arrested for a DUI, their blood alcohol content is tested and recorded. This is evidence that they are impaired.

However, in many cases, our clients suspect that the other driver was drunk but there is no official proof. This is common in hit-and-runs or crashes where the police aren’t called. We can still prove fault, but it is harder. Often it comes down to the plaintiff’s testimony about the other driver.

Scenario 3: Speeding

Speeding is a huge cause and contributor to car accidents in St. Louis, MO. Unfortunately, it’s hard to prove that someone was speeding after a crash. Usually, you need to hire an accident reconstructionist who can look at the evidence and find out the speed of the cars. This evidence may include skid marks, damage to the car, and video camera footage. 

Just because someone is speeding, doesn’t automatically mean that they will be entirely at fault. For example, imagine that you are speeding 5 mph above the limit and then get hit by a drunk driver who was erratically swerving. 

While your speed might have contributed to causing a slightly worse accident, you aren’t entirely at fault. Both you and the other driver are responsible, though your share is almost certainly less than the drunk driver. 

Scenario 4: Rear End Crashes

Rear-end crashes tend to be straightforward. More often than not, the driver in the back is responsible. However, these cases can become more complex, especially if there is a multi-car pile-up. In that scenario, it might be a driver several cars back who is responsible for causing the accident. 

Furthermore, sometimes the driver in the front is responsible. For example, if the driver is following too close and slams on their brakes, or has a broken tail light, then it might not be the driver in the back who is at fault.

Contact A St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer To Determine Fault

The best way to find out who is responsible, and to prove it, is to hire a St. Louis car accident lawyer. Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers can help you investigate the case and use their expertise to find out what happened. It’s better to get a second set of eyes on your case than to assume the insurance company will do what is right. 
Plus, we work for a contingency fee. That means you won’t pay us unless you recover money. It’s the best way to get the compensation you deserve and protect yourself from unfair blame after a crash. Call us to set up a free consultation today.

We handle all types of car accident claims, including:

Additional St. Louis Car Accident Resources

Learn more about car accident FAQs: