ADDITIONAL legal services
Crafting Compassionate Legal Solutions and Ensuring Steadfast Advocacy.

What Are Your Legal Options in Missouri When Hit by an Out-of-State Driver?

Latest News

Navigating the Laws Can Be Overwhelming

The aftermath of a car accident can be daunting in and of itself, with medical bills likely piling up and simultaneously missing work can be enough to cause emotional and financial distress.

Understanding the laws of your state regarding car accidents is invaluable in allowing you to navigate the process and begin to put the pieces back together following an accident.

As some of our more populated areas in Missouri are near the border, it’s not uncommon for Missouri residents to get into car accidents with out-of-state drivers. Does this mean that you can’t pursue them legally for compensation? No. You have options, and this article will help you understand them.

Missouri Law Must Be Followed For Accidents Occurring Within State Lines

Regardless of where the drivers are from, if a car accident occurs in Missouri, those are the laws that will apply. For example, if an out-of-state driver is part of an accident, the rules that apply to that accident will be Missouri, not the state they reside in.

Missouri follows an “at-fault” system when it comes to car accidents. You may have heard states referred to as “no-fault” or “at-fault,” referring to how liability after a car accident is handled. Being an at-fault state means that victims of car accidents can typically pursue the other party for damages that they have incurred, as long as it’s evident that the other driver is at fault for the accident occurring.

What happens when more than one party contributes to the car accident? Read on to learn more.

Comparative Negligence and Car Accidents

When a car accident occurs, courts will require establishing a percentage of fault for all parties involved. Once this percentage is determined, the total compensation awarded will be reduced proportionately by the percentage of fault each party was assigned.

For example, if you were involved in an accident and it was found that you were 60% at fault due to distracted driving or another reason, you would only typically be able to recover 40% of the total damages awarded, as you were found to be 60% responsible for the damages occurring in the first place.

Whether the other driver is from out of state or from Missouri, they would have to abide by these rules, as the accident occurred in Missouri.

It’s important to note that several liable parties can be involved in an accident. If there are multiple cars involved, or if the other driver was working while they collided with your vehicle, there may be a third party that you could pursue for damages. For example, if the other driver was working for a trucking company, they may be liable, and you may also wish to seek damages through the company they work for.

What Types of Damages May I Pursue Following a Car Accident?

There are two main categories of damages that you could pursue following an accident in Missouri. The first category is compensatory damages, and the second is non-economic damages.

Compensatory damages include tangible things such as medical bills, the costs to repair your vehicle or other personal property, and compensation for lost wages while you were tending to your injuries or healing.

The second category is non-economic damages, which are typically intangible and, therefore, more challenging to compute. Non-economic damages can include things like depression or anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, pain and suffering, and more.

Another aspect to consider as non-economic damages is the loss of enjoyment of life or daily activities you once loved and can no longer do because of the injuries sustained.

What are Punitive Damages and What Can They Mean for Me?

Punitive damages won’t apply to every case but are reserved for those that are particularly negligent or intentional harm was caused. In many cases, those who are driving while impaired and cause an accident may fall into the category of punitive damages.

Punitive damages are meant to punish the accused and also help to deter others from committing the same dangerous acts in the future.

Punitive damages are not like other damages, which typically have a cap or a maximum amount, so if one of the other parties liable for your accident acted particularly negligently or intentionally harmfully, you may choose to work with your experienced personal injury attorney to seek punitive damages.

How is Fault Determined Following a Car Accident?

Determining fault, as you can see above, is incredibly important as it can directly relate to what you are responsible for in damages or what you can expect to recover.

Fault can be determined through a host of different angles, such as reviewing pictures or videos from the scene of the accident. Evidence of vehicle damage can create a story for your attorney to use to prove what amount of liability you may have had that led to the accident.

Accident recreation is another tactic that can be used to help determine the events leading up to the accident.

Police reports, medical reports, eyewitness statements, pictures, and videos are all common ways to help your attorney put together the correct percentage of fault for all parties and aggressively protect you through this process.

Your Fearless Ally

We understand that no two car accidents are the same. There are a lot of factors at play, and determining the events that led up to the accident is crucial to your outcome.

Contact our office today at (314) 347-3567 to schedule your free consultation and learn more about your options. We are a small office, which allows us more one-on-one time with our clients to pursue the results they deserve.

Related Articles