Toddler Succumbs to Car Wreck Injuries

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A 2-year-old was taken off life support shortly after she was critically injured in a car wreck which occurred in a dangerous area.

That wreck occurred on Lewis and Clark Boulevard near the Halls Ferry Circle intersection. According to investigators, the girl’s father hit a curb and flipped his car. He was seriously injured in the wreck, and the toddler’s mother was killed. “She was excited,” the toddler’s grandmother said of her daughter. “She was getting ready to move to a better place and start new beginnings with her baby.”

The Missouri State Highway Patrol said that, since 2015, fifty-six people have been injured in vehicle collisions in this area, and two have died.

Defective Road Design

Poor sight lines, narrow lanes, hairpin curves, and other poor design aspects contribute to a number of serious collisions in Missouri. Poor roadway design is especially common in certain areas of the state. 

Missouri has a rather broad sovereign immunity law which, in most cases, makes it impossible for injury victims to sue the government. But Section 537.600 of the Missouri Revised Statutes includes two big exceptions:

  • Individual negligence related to motor vehicle operation, and
  • A roadway or other hazard created by “a negligent or wrongful act or omission of an employee of the public entity” responsible for its construction.

The statute requires a victim to file a notice of claim prior to legal action. This notice gives the county, state, or other public entity a chance to settle the claim. Furthermore, also according to the statute, the second exception (defective road design) only applies to roads built before September 1977.

Some road hazards do not involve sovereign immunity at all. Potholes and other maintenance issues are ministerial functions. Public entities are usually responsible for such negligence in court.

In summary, a failure to place a stoplight at a dangerous intersection could be actionable. Failure to maintain a stoplight at an intersection is almost always actionable.

Your Claim for Damages

As mentioned, most governmental entities have a chance to settle claims quietly before a St. Louis personal injury attorney files legal paperwork. Generally, private insurance companies have the same opportunity. 

Most attorneys send demand letters before they file legal action. These letters usually demand full compensation for lost wages, property damage, medical bills, and other economic losses. Furthermore, the letter demands fair compensation for noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium (companionship), emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment in life.

To determine fair compensation for economic losses, most attorneys multiply the economic losses by two, three, or four, depending on the facts of the case and a few other variables. This sum serves as a starting point for settlement negotiations.

If informal negotiations break down, most judges refer personal injury claims to mediation. This alternative dispute resolution forum is usually successful, if both parties negotiate in good faith.

Negligent drivers are usually, but not always, responsible for vehicle collisions. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in St. Louis, contact Schultz & Myers, Personal Injury Lawyers. You have a limited amount of time to act. 

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