If you’ve been in a car accident in St. Louis, you may be wondering if you are entitled to any damages from the other driver – even if you were partially at fault.
In many states, contributing to the accident in any way would prevent you from collecting any damages. However, in Missouri, you may be able to recover part of your damages. Read on below for an explanation of Missouri’s Comparative Fault in car accidents.
What is Comparative Fault?
A handful of states still follow the principle of contributory negligence with car accidents. If a judge or jury finds you were even 1% at fault for an accident, you would not be allowed to recover any damages. Even if the other driver was 99% at fault, you could still be stuck with significant damages and no ability to recover them.
Fortunately, Missouri is a comparative fault state. You can recover the percentage of your damages that the other driver is found responsible for. Here’s what that means.
How Comparative Fault Breaksdown
Comparative fault assigns a percentage basis of responsibility to each driver. Each driver is allowed to recover a percentage of their damages, equal to the percentage of fault assigned to the other driver. Sound confusing? Here’s a simple example:
If you have $10,000 worth of damages and the other driver was 75% responsible for the crash, you may recover $7,500 of damages.
This system accounts for the fact that sometimes, multiple parties contribute to an accident. It’s not always black and white.
What Does This Mean for You?
If you have been injured in an accident or suffered damages to your car, you may be able to recover a portion of the damages – even if you were partially to blame. Damages could include medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning potential, and more. However, the other party in an accident can also recover a percentage of damages from you.
How Is Comparative Fault Assigned?
If a case goes to trial, the comparative fault percentages are determined by a judge or jury or insurance claims. To assign a percentage of fault to each driver, the jury might examine police reports, insurance records, photos of the accident, each driver’s respective testimony, and other relevant information.
Having a St. Louis car accident lawyer in your corner can make arguing with your insurance company significantly easier. Our team focuses exclusively on handling injury claims arising out of car accidents in St. Louis, Missouri. We have over 20 years of experience and thousands of successful cases. Give us a call 24/7 for a free case evaluation.