Have You Been Injured? We're Ready to Fight for You.

Can I Get Compensation for a Car Accident I Partially Caused?

Published on Oct 1, 2018 at 5:54 pm in Car Accidents.

The Law Office of Mike Campbell has joined forces with Thomas Law Offices as of September 1st, 2020. Click here for details.

You’ve just been in a car accident and your thoughts are going a mile a minute. You know you need to seek medical attention and talk to the other driver right away. You realize you’re experiencing some pain and think you might have injuries. You’re worried about medical bills and other financial burdens. Now you’re worried even more because you’ve just realized you may have partially caused the accident. What now?

Our Columbia, MO auto accident attorney is prepared to answer your questions. Keep reading to learn about Missouri’s car accident laws and how determining fault and receiving compensations works.

Contributory Negligence and Comparative Fault Laws

Contributory negligence and comparative fault laws are established at the state level. There are four systems for determining fault and allocating damages in the event of an auto accident or personal injury case.

Pure Contributory Negligence 

Under contributory negligence, an injured party is not able to recover any form of compensation if they are deemed at fault at any percentage. This is the strictest system of the four, under which four states operate.

Pure Comparative Fault

Comparative fault is the system under which Missouri operates. The at-fault party is able to recover some damages; however, this is reduced by the degree of fault. A person may be able to seek compensation even if they were 99 percent at fault for the accident, under this system. 12 states operate under this system.

Modified Comparative Fault

33 states operate under a modified comparative fault system. There are two versions of this system. Under this system, each party is responsible for the damages in proportion to their individual percentages of fault unless the percentage is equal to 50 or 51 percent – depending on the state. If one party’s fault percentage exceeds that, they are not able to recover any damages.

Slight/Gross Negligence Comparative Fault

This system is criticized for being too vague and is only used in South Dakota. A party is only eligible to receive damages if their negligence is considered “slight,” while the other party’s is considered “gross.”

Understanding Pure Comparative Fault in Missouri

As mentioned above, Missouri operated under the pure comparative fault system in the event a car accident is the fault of multiple parties. This is in accordance with Gustafson v. Benda, 661 S.W.2d 11.

Essentially, you’ll be eligible for compensation equal to the percentage of the accident that was not your fault. If you’re deemed responsible for 20 percent of the accident, you’ll receive 80 percent of the damages. Because Missouri is an “at-fault” state, the negligent driver is responsible for paying the other party’s damages.

Dealing with Insurance Companies

If you’re partially liable for a car accident, your insurance company will likely pay for your medical expenses. Depending on your policy, you may be eligible for additional compensation.

Based on the pure comparative fault system, you are entitled to collect damages, including pain and suffering, from the other party’s insurance company.

Filing a Car Accident Claim in Missouri

In Missouri, you must file an auto accident report if it’s been less than a year since the accident, the other party was uninsured, and the accident resulted in injury or death or more than $500 in property damage.

Under Missouri’s “at-fault” system, you have three options if you’ve been injured in a car accident:

  1. File a claim with your insurance company
  2. File a claim with the other party’s insurance company
  3. File a lawsuit against the other party

Even if you know you partially caused a car accident, it’s important to remember that doesn’t mean you’re not entitled to compensation. You may be awarded compensation for medical bills, car repair expenses, the loss of wages, or pain and suffering. Seeking legal representation may be the only way to receive that award, as comparative fault cases can get tricky. Reach out to us today for a free consultation.

 

Meet Your Team

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

Free Case Evaluation

At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out-of-pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Legal & Firm News

Car Accident Soreness: What to Expect in the Weeks After a Crash

The moments following a car accident are filled with adrenaline, so much so that even if you’re injured, you may not experience pain. But as your body adjusts and your brain’s chemicals return to their normal state, the pain is likely to start. So even if you seek medical attention and have your injuries treated, […]

Read More

Multi-Vehicle Accidents: Who Pays for Chain Reaction Crashes?

You’re driving down the road on your way to work in heavy traffic. Everything seems standard for your morning commute until you’re sideswiped by a passing vehicle and subsequently rear-ended by the car behind you when you brake. Emergency responders arrive at the scene, and you’re treated for your injuries and told to follow up […]

Read More

5 Questions to Ask During a Free Case Consultation

If you’ve been injured in an accident and are looking to pursue compensation from the at-fault party, you may not know where to turn. Fortunately, personal injury lawyers can help accident victims file a strong claim that proves a monetary award is owed.

Read More