Among the questions we hear most often from people involved in car accidents are questions about legal liability for medical bills and other expenses. Every car accident has its own specific set of facts and contributing factors. Assessing liability in a car accident is complex. That’s why it’s important to have a knowledgeable St. Louis car accident lawyer review your claim and advise you whether you are entitled to seek compensation based on another motorist’s liability.
The dedicated Missouri and Illinois personal injury lawyers at The Cagle Law Firm, based in St. Louis, stand ready to provide exemplary legal representation to car accident victims throughout the St. Louis metro area. Let us explain your rights under Missouri and Illinois’ comparative fault laws. We are well versed in handling all types of motor vehicle accidents and negotiating aggressively with insurance companies to obtain the full compensation our clients deserve. We believe our years of experience handling car crashes give our clients an advantage.
About Comparative Fault and Liability in St. Louis Car Accidents
Under Missouri and Illinois law, all owners of motor vehicles must have liability insurance coverage. If you have been injured in a car accident, the at-fault driver’s liability insurance should pay for your car repairs and damages. Unfortunately insurance companies make profits by minimizing the amount of money they pay in claims. The at-fault driver’s insurance company may try to minimize your claim and offer you a settlement that is less than you deserve unless you have an experienced attorney representing you.
In many crashes, multiple drivers share responsibility for the accident. Missouri is among the states that apply the legal principle of pure comparative fault when determining liability for a car accident. The premise is that fault is allocated based on a comparison of how much each driver’s conduct contributed to the accident. Even if you were partly responsible for a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. But your damages will be reduced by the degree to which you are at fault. If a jury determines that you are 60 percent at fault in an accident, the damages you are eligible to receive are reduced by 60 percent.
Illinois applies modified comparative negligence to determine whether someone who is partially at fault for a car accident can collect damages from another at-fault driver. Under modified comparative fault, you must be less than 50 percent to blame for the accident in order to recover any compensation from the other driver. Your damages will be reduced by the percentage of blame you shared.
The St. Louis car accident attorneys at The Cagle Law Firm work with traffic reconstruction experts to determine all the contributing causes of crashes and analyze the degree of fault for each motorist involved. That identifies all parties with liability in an accident can produce compelling evidence that you should receive compensation for your injuries. It’s also important to remember that civil liability for a car accident is a separate matter from any traffic citations issued for the wreck. In other words, just because you were ticketed for an infraction doesn’t mean that you were at-fault or most at-fault in the accident. Before you make any statement to an insurance company, talk to an experienced car accident liability lawyer at The Cagle Law Firm at (314) 276-1681.