If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a motor vehicle collision, the St. Louis car accident lawyers at Goza & Honnold, LLC can help. Our attorneys have decades of experience representing car accident victims throughout Missouri, and we will apply our skills and knowledge to recover the compensation you deserve.
Why Our Car Accident Lawyers in St. Louis
- Our attorneys are respected by their peers and have received some of the most prestigious trial and litigation awards.
- Over our decades of practice, we have represented thousands of clients and recovered millions of dollars through negotiations and trials.
- We believe in open and consistent communication throughout your case. We will always answer your questions and take the time to learn your side of the story.
At Goza & Honnold, LLC, our car accident attorneys can help you fully understand your injuries and how they will affect your life moving forward, handle all communication with the insurance companies, and help you secure fair and just financial compensation. Call us today for a free and confidential case evaluation.
Is Missouri a Fault or No-Fault Insurance State?
In the United States, states either follow a fault or no-fault system when it comes to car accidents. Under fault-based systems, drivers responsible for car accidents must pay for the damages their victims suffer. In no-fault states, drivers are responsible for paying for their own damages with personal injury protection insurance.
Missouri is an at-fault insurance state. If you are in an accident someone else is responsible for, you can collect compensation by filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against him or her. All drivers must carry the following minimum amounts of car insurance to uphold their financial responsibilities in case of an accident.
- $10,000 in property damage coverage per accident.
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death liability per person per accident.
- $50,000 for total bodily injury or death liability per accident.
Drivers must also carry $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person and $50,000 in total injury liability per accident in uninsured motorist coverage. This type of insurance pays for damages in case you are in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance.
It is important to note that Kansas, which shares a border with many parts of Missouri, is a no-fault state. If you are in an accident with a Kansas driver, the applicable insurance system will depend on where the collision took place. If the accident is in Missouri, the fault-based insurance system will apply. If you are in an accident in Kansas, you will need to adhere to the no-fault rules.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents are unfortunately common on Missouri roads. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, 55,112 people suffered injuries and 881 people died in Missouri collisions during 2019. These accidents can occur for several reasons, including poor weather conditions and defective roads. In other cases, driver negligence is to blame.
During a car accident, your body can develop serious injuries that require immediate medical attention. These injuries may take weeks or even months to recover from, and they may have permanent effects that can impact your quality of life. Some of the most common car accident injuries include the following:
- Whiplash: This common injury occurs when your body moves rapidly in an unnatural direction, straining your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other soft tissues during the collision. As a result, you can suffer from pain in your neck and back for months after the accident.
- Head injuries: Any damage to the head during a car accident can lead to permanent, life-threatening injuries. Traumatic brain damage can lead to long-term problems with brain function, requiring lifelong care.
- Broken bones: Wrist fractures, broken legs and arms, and other types of bone damage are common during a car accident. Ribs are particularly susceptible to damage; in many cases, the airbag deploys with such force that it crushes the ribs.
- Internal bleeding: In some cases, car accident injuries are not apparent until a few hours after the crash. During a collision, your organs can suffer serious damage and you may develop internal bleeding, which can be fatal without prompt treatment.
- Paralysis: The spinal cord is responsible for sending messages between our brain and the rest of our body. If the spinal cord suffers any damage in the accident, you may lose movement and sensation from the injury site down.
Comparative Negligence After a St. Louis Car Accident
Car accident claims are not always straightforward. In some cases, liability may be unclear or multiple parties may share fault. If an insurance company or civil court believes you are partially responsible for the collision, your award could be at risk.
Insurance companies have a responsibility to protect their policyholders’ best interests and their companies’ bottom lines. If you are filing a third-party claim, the company will scrutinize each action you take after the accident. If it believes you share liability for the accident, the company will likely dismiss your claim.
If you are filing a personal injury lawsuit and the court believes you are partially responsible for the collision, Missouri’s comparative negligence rules will apply. Missouri follows a pure comparative negligence system, which means that the court will reduce your award by the portion of liability you share. Unlike some other states, you can collect compensation even if you are mostly responsible for the accident.
For example, say you are in an accident with a driver who made an illegal left turn. The court discovers that you were texting and driving at the time of the accident. The at-fault driver’s defense attorney argues that if you had been paying attention to the road, you could have avoided the accident. The court takes note of this behavior and assigns you 20% of the liability. If you asked for a $50,000 award, you will only receive $40,000 of it.
To protect yourself against accusations of comparative fault, you need an attorney on your side. The St. Louis car accident lawyers at Goza & Honnold, LLC will work to protect your award and provide clear evidence establishing the other driver’s negligence.
Contact the Experienced St. Louis Car Accident Lawyers at Goza & Honnold, LLC
If you are the victim of a St. Louis car accident, you are not alone. Thousands of people suffer injuries due to the negligence of other drivers every single year—and you can hold the at-fault driver responsible for your damages. The car accident attorneys at Goza & Honnold, LLC can help you fight for the compensation you need to recover.
Contact us today to schedule your free case consultation. During your appointment, a car accident lawyer will review your case and explain your legal options.