Personal Injury Lawyers in Chesterfield, MO, Helping Injured Clients Fight Back and Get Compensated for Their Damages
If you have been blindsided by an accident that caused you to be injured and unable to work, there may be a lot going through your mind right now. The good news is that you may be able to receive compensation for your damages if your accident was someone else’s fault. Learn how personal injury cases work in Missouri and see why getting the help of a personal injury law firm is the best way to maximize your chances of a positive outcome.
What Is Considered a Personal Injury Claim in Missouri?
A personal injury claim occurs when an individual is injured and sustains damages due to another party’s negligent or reckless actions. There are many different categories of personal injury claims, ranging from slip-and-fall accidents to car accidents, dog bites, and even deficient security.
For example, suppose you are a customer shopping at your local grocery store. One of the freezers is malfunctioning and is causing a wet spot on the floor. Management knew about the problem but did not take steps to repair it or warn others about the problem. You walk past the problematic freezer and step on the wet spot, losing your balance, slipping, and falling. Your accident resulted in a broken ankle, which left you unable to work for a week and resulted in several medical bills. In this case, the party who owns and manages the grocery store is responsible for providing compensation for your damages.
What Should I Do to Get Compensation After a Pedestrian Accident?
An encounter between a motor vehicle and a pedestrian usually results in serious injuries for the pedestrian. It is not unusual for a pedestrian to suffer injuries due to the initial impact against the vehicle and secondary injuries resulting from being thrown on the ground or against an obstacle.
In a pedestrian accident, determining what happened in the moments leading to the accident is crucial to pinpoint liability. For example, if the pedestrian was hit by a vehicle while crossing the street, it is important to determine if the pedestrian was using a marked crosswalk at the appropriate time or was making an illegal crossing. In that case, the pedestrian may be partially at fault for the accident. Likewise, if the driver of the vehicle was speeding and not observing traffic laws when the accident occurred, then the driver may also share a portion of the liability for the accident. If the driver is determined to be mostly at fault, then the injured pedestrian may file an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier in order to seek compensation. If you were hurt in a pedestrian accident, consult with an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer to discuss your case and see how you may receive compensation for your injuries.
What Happens if I Am Partially at Fault for a Car Accident?
Missouri follows the pure comparative negligence rule to determine how much compensation should be paid to each party involved in a personal injury claim. The rule also applies to car accidents. Unlike other states, Missouri’s pure comparative negligence allows a victim to seek compensation for a car accident even if they are 99% at fault for it. That means that even if you are mostly at fault for causing your own accident, you may still pursue compensation as long as you are not 100% at fault.
However, the percentage of fault assigned to you matters because it affects how much compensation you are eligible to receive. So, for example, suppose your car accident happened after you crossed a red light and hit another vehicle. You were engaging in distracted driving and did not see that the light was red, but the other driver was speeding well above the speed limit and crossed a yellow light. In this case, you may be deemed to be 70% at fault for your accident. You may still seek compensation from the other driver, but any amount you receive may be reduced by 70%. If you believe you may be partially at fault for your car accident, getting legal representation can be instrumental in minimizing your percentage of liability.
How Do Dog Bite Cases Work in Missouri?
In Missouri, dog owners are subject to the state’s strict liability laws in case their dog bites someone. That means they are fully responsible for controlling their dogs and any damage the animals may do to people and property.
If you are attacked and injured by a dog, you are not required to prove that the owner knew about their dog’s aggressive propensities; you only have to demonstrate that you were injured by the dog without having provoked the attack and that the attack happened while you were on public property or lawfully present on private property. If you can prove these essential elements, the dog owner may be held liable for your damages and may also be required to pay a fine. If someone owns what is considered a dangerous dog (a dog with a previous bite history) and the dog bites or attacks someone for a second time, the dog owner may face criminal consequences, and the dog may be taken away and euthanized.
Missouri laws are very favorable to dog bite victims, which means a negligent dog owner may end up facing both civil and criminal consequences. It is worth mentioning that a dog owner may allege that the victim was trespassing or that the victim was provoking the dog. These are common defense arguments to try and reduce their liability for the dog attack. However, if you were a victim and can prove that you were not trespassing and that you did not harass or provoke the animal, then you may still be able to collect a personal injury settlement for your injuries, pain, and suffering. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you protect your legal rights.
How Do I Know If I Have a Case?
All personal injury cases have one thing in common. A personal injury lawsuit is a civil case based on negligence – one person (the plaintiff) has sustained physical and emotional injuries as well as financial losses due to the other party acting with negligence. The liable party breached their duty of care to the plaintiff by acting in a negligent or reckless manner, resulting in an accident that could have been avoided.
By working with a personal injury attorney, you will be able to build a strong case to prove that someone else’s negligence caused your accident and that you deserve to be compensated for your losses. Helping clients build a strong case is exactly what the personal injury attorneys at the Mid-America Law Practice, LLC, in Chesterfield, MO, have been doing for years. If you have been injured, call (314) 347-3567 to see how we can help you recover compensation.