Chesterfield Car Accident Attorney

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Car accidents are one of the most common causes of accidental injuries and deaths in Missouri each year. It’s vital for every driver to know how they can limit their risk of car accidents. If you are in a crash, you need to know the value of working with a Chesterfield car accident attorney. Legal counsel you can trust supports you through the process of physical recovery and obtaining compensation after your injury accident.

Legal Representation for Car Accident Claims in Chesterfield, MO

A Chesterfield car accident attorney can be an important asset after another driver has injured you. Your recovery may begin with an insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s policy. It is rare for insurance carriers to immediately extend fair settlement offers for accident claims. Anytime you are making a claim and dealing with an insurance company, many unpredictable variables arise and may complicate your compensation recovery efforts. The Cagle Law Firm has the experience and resources you want on your side to recover fair compensation after an injury.

We take a client-focused approach to every case we accept, identifying our client’s most pressing legal concerns and helping them feel more confident about their options for legal recourse. When you choose our firm to represent you in a car accident case, you can trust us to guide you through the insurance claim filing process and to build a compelling civil suit against an insurance company if they refuse to fully cover your damages.

Ultimately, while you have the right to try to recover from your accident on your own, this is inadvisable for several reasons. One, your primary focus has to be on your medical recovery, thus keeping an insurance adjuster updated is both time consuming and damaging to your claim. Insurance carriers are happy to take advantage of your lack of legal representation to pressure you or devalue your claim. Hiring an attorney significantly improves your chances of success with your claim and the likelihood that you will maximize your compensation. The Cagle Law Firm approaches every client’s injury claim we accept in Chesterfield with the goal of helping our clients recover the maximum compensation possible.

Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Chesterfield

While some states enforce a no-fault system for resolving car accidents, Missouri upholds the fault rule for resolving all vehicle accident claims. This phrasing is often really confusing for those injured in a car crash. Simply, if you are in a two-car crash where the other driver hits you, the burden of proof is on you. You must prove the crash was the other driver’s fault. As well, Missouri also follows a rule called “pure comparative negligence” which means that a crash victim can sue any time another motorist is even partly at fault for the crash. This means that proving fault for your recent accident is essential for your recovery. Through an investigation, your attorney identifies the driver and potentially any insurance policies that might apply to your injury case. Also, your attorney has to prove how the negligent driver caused or contributed to the cause of your injury. A few of the most commonly reported causes of accidents in Chesterfield include:

  • It is illegal to drive over the posted speed limit, but it is relatively common for drivers throughout the state to speed. Speeding tickets usually come to mind as a consequence of speeding, but the consequences can be far worse than a citation. Speeding reduces the time a driver has to react to a sudden change in road conditions. Accidents are more likely to occur when drivers speed, and accidents that occur at high speeds are more likely to result in catastrophic injuries or death.
  • Distracted driving. Distracted driving is a term commonly referring to “texting and driving” or operating a smart phone device or iPad while operating a motor vehicle. Inattentive driving is any behavior that diverts a driver’s hands and attention away from their vehicle and the roadway. When attention and focus divert from the driving task at hand, the potential for a serious crash increase. Driving decisions such as texting while driving and other distractions are the most common causes of accidents across the state every day.
  • Moving violations. Illegal turns, improper lane changes, driving through red lights or stop signs, and failure to yield the right-of-way are a few examples of moving violations that can easily cause devastating accidents. Crash reports, witness testimony and traffic camera footage are often crucial for establishing fault for accidents.
  • Intoxicated driving. Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is illegal, but DUI consistently ranks among the leading causes of accidents in the state and across the United States each year. Penalties for DUI conviction typically include driver’s license suspension, fines, and jail time. Penalties may increase significantly when a driver causes an accident while intoxicated, especially if they cause great bodily harm or death.
  • Mechanical failures. Drivers are required to address any known performance issues or mechanical problems with their vehicles as soon as they become aware of them. It’s possible for a driver to face liability for an accident if they fail to do so, but it is also possible for a manufacturer to face liability if their defective vehicle or vehicle part is responsible for an accident. Failure to maintain your vehicle properly is very different than a defective vehicle part.

If you were seriously hurt in your accident and do not recall the exact cause, you need to speak with an experienced Chesterfield car accident attorney. An attorney can review evidence and conduct an investigation as to the possible causes of your crash that results in physical injury.

How to Prove Fault for Your Recent Car Accident

Proving fault is essential to your recovery following an accident. There are various forms of evidence to support your case. An expert car accident attorney is familiar with evidence gathering, Some of the evidence you may require to establish liability for your accident could include:

  • Digital evidence, such as vehicle computer data from the vehicles involved in the accident.
  • Cell phone records, which may be used to prove a driver was engaged with their phone when an accident occurred.
  • Traffic camera footage. Your attorney can secure recordings from any traffic cameras installed around the area where your accident happened if available and requested within a short period
  • Eyewitness statements. You can secure statements from the other people involved in your accident as well as bystanders who may have seen the accident happen. It is important to have your attorney secure witness statements on your behalf as it would present a conflict of interest for you to reach out to witnesses personally.
  • Police reports. Make sure you call law enforcement immediately if you are involved in a crash. Incident reports are often the foundation of building evidence
  • Expert witness testimony. Your attorney may consult various professionals for the unique insights they can provide into specific details of your case. Expert witness testimony can be useful for proving fault and/or supporting a claim for compensation.

The average person would likely struggle to obtain these forms of evidence on their own while trying to recover from physical injuries. Expert car accident attorneys know how to secure the foundational evidence of their client’s claim. Time is a factor in that it is far more difficult to collect evidence weeks and months after the crash. You can also rely on your Chesterfield car accident attorney to discuss evidence collection and develop a plan with you.

What Happens if I’m Partially Liable for My Car Accident in Chesterfield?

While some accidents happen solely due to the fault of individual drivers, it is also possible for multiple drivers to share liability for an accident. Missouri upholds a pure comparative fault rule, which means that when multiple parties share liability for damages, each party has a fault percentage assigned to reflect their respective levels of liability. If you are in a crash involving multiple parties, you need an attorney. You can rest assured the other parties will hire counsel thus you do not want to be legally disadvantaged.

It is possible for a plaintiff to bear partial fault if they contributed to causing an accident, but this doesn’t prevent them from recovering their damages. Under the pure comparative fault system, the plaintiff’s fault percentage is taken from their case award as a penalty. It is almost certain for an insurance company to allege comparative fault against a claimant in their effort to reduce financial liability for the victim’s damages. Your attorney will know how to address such assertions.

Filing an Auto Insurance Claim for Your Car Accident

Every driver in the state of Missouri is required to have auto insurance that includes coverage for property damage liability and bodily injury liability. At a minimum, a driver’s policy must include at least $25,000 for bodily injury to a single person, and this must extend to at least $50,000 to cover bodily injuries to multiple persons injured in a single accident. The policy must also include at least $25,000 for property damage the policyholder caused.

Dealing with insurance companies can be challenging. Most insurance companies look for ways to deny claims or justify the lowest possible settlement offers. Some adjusters may go as far as to engage in bad faith tactics to take advantage of claimants in desperate need of compensation for their damages. Adjusters are not qualified to give medical advice, so be hesitant when they make medical suggestions. Typically, the adjuster begins the process of denial or devalue from the day they learn of the crash. When you have legal counsel, adjusters are less likely to attempt these tactics simply because they do not work with our attorneys.

Your Chesterfield car accident attorney fights on your behalf for fair compensation. Once an insurance company makes an offer, your attorney can verify that it is fair and reasonable under the terms of the at-fault driver’s policy.

When to File a Personal Injury Case in Chesterfield

When an insurance company refuses to fully compensate you for your damages with a fair offer of settlement, your attorney may need to file a lawsuit. Your Chesterfield car accident attorney works with you developing a legal plan from the beginning based on your injuries and determine when to take actions such as sending a Demand, engaging in mediation or litigation.

Success with a personal injury claim will require proof that a defendant’s negligence or illegal misconduct directly caused the damages you have cited in your claim. You must not only prove who caused your accident but also how they caused it. Your attorney will gather evidence supporting the damages you claim. Again, your attorney will discuss the legal strategy with you as your medical treatment progresses.

There are several steps prior to a lawsuit. When your attorney engages in settlement negotiations, the parties involved in the case have the opportunity to resolve the matter more quickly, but only if they are willing to negotiate mutually acceptable terms for resolving the case. Whether or not a case is settled, mediated or tried really all depends on the facts of your crash, the severity of your injuries and insurance coverage. When settlement cannot be reached, our attorneys file a lawsuit. Most civil lawsuits involving damages for motor vehicle crashes are brought before a jury. However, in some scenarios, it may be a judge. A judge or jury are the ultimate decision makers of fact, liability and damages. The burden of proof for the plaintiff in a civil case is a “preponderance of the evidence.”

Claimable Damages in Your Personal Injury Case

The average person may be aware of the immediate economic losses they suffered from their recent car accident but may have difficulty calculating and proving future damages or economic factors. The purpose of a personal injury suit is for the plaintiff to be made as whole as possible again after suffering harm from the defendant’s actions. This means they can claim compensation for the full extent of the damages the defendant caused, both immediate and future.

Under the state’s personal injury statutes, the plaintiff in a personal injury case may seek full repayment of all the economic losses a defendant inflicted. These are likely to include:

  • Medical expenses. Car accidents can easily cause devastating injuries, some of which may require extensive ongoing medical care. The defendant can be liable for the full costs of all the medical treatment you need to recover as fully as possible from the accident they caused.
  • Lost income. If you cannot work and earn income due to injuries caused by the negligence of the defendant’s, they can be responsible for the wages you are unable to earn during this time. Additionally, you have the right to seek compensation for the future income you are not able to earn if you are permanently disabled from your injuries.

Beyond these economic damages, a plaintiff may also seek compensation for the non-economic damages resulting from their accident. Non-economic damages include physical pain, emotional distress, psychological trauma, loss of consortium, and diminished quality of life resulting from severe injury. You may find it hard to assign monetary values to intangible losses like these, but your attorney can provide valuable guidance on this aspect of case and legal plan.

The state does not enforce a cap on pain and suffering compensation in vehicle accident claims, nor is there a specific formula that must be used to calculate pain and suffering. Generally, the more serious the plaintiff’s injuries, the more they are likely to obtain in pain and suffering compensation. Your attorney can help you determine a suitable amount based on the severity of the harm you suffered.

When a plaintiff is expected to make a full recovery from their injuries, their attorney is likely to calculate appropriate pain and suffering compensation based on their projected recovery time. Some attorneys may use a per diem calculation that involves a set amount per day multiplied by the number of days it takes the client to reach maximum medical improvement from their injuries.

When a plaintiff has suffered catastrophic injuries resulting in permanent disability and/or disfigurement, their attorney is more likely to use a multiplier formula to calculate pain and suffering for the client. This entails adding up the total of the client’s economic losses and then multiplying this amount by a factor that represents the severity of their condition.

If a defendant caused your accident through an especially egregious act such as DUI, punitive damages and/or restitution could also enhance your overall recovery. A plaintiff may make recommendations regarding punitive damages, but a jury typically determines how much they will receive based on the financial status of the defendant and the severity of their actions.

What to Expect from Your Chesterfield Car Accident Attorney

An experienced Chesterfield car accident attorney can provide ongoing support through each phase of your case, from initially investigating the crash, assessing the extent of your damages to helping navigate the entire legal process. . Every case is unique, and the team at The Cagle Law Firm develops individualized case strategies for every client we represent.

Our goal is to recover the maximum amount of compensation possible for your damages. We know the tactics insurance adjusters often use to avoid paying maximum settlements to injured claimants and how to respond to these issues. When it comes to litigating your personal injury case, you can rely on us to represent you fiercely in the courtroom.

You will only pay The Cagle Law Firm a fee and when we win your case under our contingency fee policy

The sooner you connect with an attorney, the more time they will have to gather crucial evidence for your case. It’s vital to connect with trustworthy legal counsel as soon as possible for the greatest chance of successfully recovering your damages. Contact The Cagle Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation with a Chesterfield car accident attorney and learn how our team can help you recover.

Contact Us Today

The Cagle Law Firm serves accident and injury clients throughout St. Louis and the greater St. Louis metropolitan area, including the eastern Missouri and southern Illinois communities. If you or a loved one needs legal assistance with your personal injury case, call The Cagle Law Firm at (314) 276-1681 or use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

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