If you have suffered injuries from a pothole accident, you may be able to file a personal injury claim.
For auto accidents, the state of Missouri adheres to at-fault laws. That means that anyone who is found at fault is liable to pay for any damages or injuries that result from a vehicular accident. But there are times when you can be at fault and not negligent. Although the theory of fault is that whoever is negligent and causes the accident is liable to pay, there are times when you can be found liable without negligence.
“Negligence” is a legal concept that means that someone either did something that directly led to an accident happening, or that they failed to do something, and that failure led directly to the accident happening.
Is Hitting a Pothole an At-Fault Accident?
If you hit a pothole and lose control and hit another car, then technically, out of the two drivers, you would be considered at fault. Since you lost control and hit another car, it is your responsibility to pay for the accident. It is your insurance carrier who will pay for both the damages and injuries to the other driver and your injuries (not your damage unless you have collision insurance). If you have collision coverage on your policy, then your insurance company is responsible for paying for the damages and injuries of both drivers.
However, since the pothole was what caused you to lose control, it might be possible for you to hold the government agency or company responsible for maintaining the road liable for the accident. Although your insurance company will pay for the other driver’s injuries and damages, it might be possible for you to hold another party responsible for the accident by initiating a personal injury lawsuit against the people who failed to properly maintain the roadways.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
If you have your injuries paid for through your insurance, then why would you want to initiate a lawsuit against the people who didn’t properly maintain the street? One reason is that if your insurance company pays for the accident and you are found at fault, your insurance premium is going to go up significantly depending on the severity of the injuries. If you can hold someone else liable to pay for the damages and injuries, then your insurance will be repaid and you won’t see a price increase.
Another reason is that if you didn’t have collision insurance, the damages done to your car are going to be your responsibility – which means that you will be out the money for repairing your car. If you sue a third party for poor road maintenance, then you might be rewarded enough money to cover your own costs.
Car Accident Lawyer St Louis
If you have been in an accident in St. Louis and are technically at fault, but you feel as if you aren’t really liable, then it is a good idea to consult a St. Louis car accident attorney to help you win your case and recoup what you lost.