What type of Claim You can Pursue After a Car Accident in Missouri
When you are involved in a car crash in Missouri, you could have any one of a number of possible claims to file depending on certain aspects of your accident. You will want to contact a St. Louis personal injury lawyer for help determining the right kind of claim to file so you are able to recover as much financial compensation as possible.
Missouri Statute § 516.120 gives people five years to file personal injury or property damage claims following a car accident, but a victim may have to file a Form 1140 Motor Vehicle Accident Report with the Missouri Department of Revenue Driver License Bureau within 12 months when another driver did not have car insurance. Missouri Statute § 303.040 further stipulates that drivers must report their accidents within 30 days of crashes.
Kinds of Car Accident Claims in Missouri
Following a car accident, you will often have three types of claims you can file:
- First-party claim you file with your own automobile insurance company — Many people file claims under their own policies when they have collision coverage because their own insurance companies can pursue subrogation claims against the at-fault party’s insurance company for reimbursement of the benefits they pay you.
- Third-party claim you file with the at-fault driver’s automobile insurance company — When you file a third-party claim with another party’s insurance company, you will be seeking compensation for all of your damages. If the other driver’s insurance policy is subject to low limits, you may have to seek additional compensation from your own insurance company or you may file a lawsuit against the negligent driver.
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent driver — When insurance companies are not willing to properly compensate victims for their losses, then many people file lawsuits against at-fault drivers to recover damages. A civil lawsuit can lead to a trial before a jury in court, although many insurance companies representing the other drivers will often try to negotiate settlements.
While the negligent driver is often the most appropriate party to take legal action against, there can be exceptions to this general rule. Some of the most common kinds of exceptions could include any of the following parties being liable for a car accident:
- Vehicle Manufacturers — It may be possible that the other driver was not responsible at all for a crash and it is instead the manufacturer of an automobile who bears liability because of a faulty or defective car part. These types of actions are usually product liability lawsuits, and insurance companies for manufacturers again attempt to negotiate settlements.
- Businesses — If another driver who causes an accident was operating as an employee at the time of a crash, then it may be possible that the company they were working for becomes liable for the accident. Insurance companies for employers will often argue that employees were not driving as part of their paid duties, so you will want to have an accident attorney St. Louis working on your behalf.
- Alcohol Providers — Missouri dram shop laws dictate that vendors who sell liquor on their premises can become liable when they serve alcohol to minors under 21 years of age or visibly intoxicated patrons who then cause automobile accidents. The law only applies to bars, taverns, and restaurants, as convenience stores or other shops that sell packaged alcohol cannot be held liable.
- Government Agencies — When a car accident is the result of some kind of unsafe road condition, then a government agency responsible for maintaining the safety of the road could be liable for not correcting the hazardous condition or warning people about the danger.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with a St. Louis Personal Injury Lawyer
Did you sustain serious injuries or was your loved one killed in a car accident in the greater St. Louis area? You should not wait to get in touch with Bruntrager & Billings, P.C. so we can take the appropriate steps to help you secure financial compensation for your injuries and losses.
Our firm regularly handles all kinds of car crash claims, so we know how to fight and help people win their claims. You can call (314) 646-0066 or contact us online to set up a free consultation that will allow us to better examine the details of your case and also answer whatever legal questions you might have about your case.