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How is Fault Determined After a St. Louis Auto Accident?

If you have been involved in a car accident, the insurance companies determine fault based on the state laws and details of the accident. However, insurance companies, even your own, are not on your side.

Missouri is a no-fault car accident claim state. This means that the driver responsible for the accident is the one that must pay for the damages. Multiple parties can be at fault, and the degree of liability determines how the claims are settled.

However, the question remains, how is fault determined when an auto accident occurs? At The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C., our attorneys will help you understand your legal options and the best strategies for full and fair compensation from an auto accident or truck accident claim.

A No-Fault Car Accident – What Does that Mean?

As stated, Missouri is a no-fault car accident state. But what does that mean? Simply put, no-fault means that regardless of who caused the accident, everyone is required to file a claim with their own insurance company. This is why drivers in no-fault states are required to have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage as part of their insurance policy. PIP coverage helps pay for your medical expenses after an accident, no matter who caused it.

How Insurance Companies Determine Fault

The insurance companies will look at how the state laws define negligence. This will affect how fault is determined and how claims are paid out. In some instances, an auto accident may be more than one party’s fault. Therefore, the insurer may assign a percentage of the blame to each party involved, based on the details of the accident. The extent to which you are found negligent will affect how you recoup your claim settlement.

Negligence Is the Primary Determining Factor

In the eyes of insurers, the person at fault for any accident is the person who was “negligent” – in other words, the person whose carelessness, distraction, or other such negligence caused the accident. This is true of multi-car pile-ups, too, although determining negligence is more difficult. However, let’s go over a simple example.

Let’s say a driver in front of you loses control of their car on an icy road. You brake to avoid hitting them, and then another car hits you from behind. Who is at fault?

Generally, an insurer would find the driver who lost control of their car to be at fault. While the car behind you ran into you because you braked, you had to brake in response to the other driver.

Contact a St. Louis Car Accident Attorney

Many car accident victims are under the mistaken impression that once they file their auto accident claim, the adjuster assigned to their case has their best interests at heart. However, this is typically far from the truth. So it is essential to remember that insurance companies, even yours, are not on your side. Their goal is to pay out as little as possible.

We have 25 years of experience exclusively helping car accident victims. We fight to win you the compensation you deserve. The consultation is free, and you don’t pay unless we get you money!


Free Consultation with a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer

Don’t talk to an insurance claims adjuster before speaking with The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. We can help you avoid making statements that may affect the outcome of your case. The consultation is free; you don’t pay unless we get you money!

Free Consultation (314) 361-4242

Updated: August 30, 2021