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How Is Fault Determined After a Car Crash?

Published on Feb 23, 2018 at 1:47 pm in Car Accidents.

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After a car crash, you start the claim process so you can get compensation for the accident. You’ll have to speak with the other party involved in the accident and your insurance company. One of the main factors with compensation is finding who was responsible for the accident. In some cases, the responsible party may own up to their mistake and admit fault outright. Others who were clearly in the wrong could insist that the accident wasn’t their fault. There may be a few circumstances where one person wasn’t completely at fault and the accident happened because of both parties’ actions.

The car accident fault laws vary from state to state. It’s important to know yours so you’re informed about how your car accident claim will work. If you’ve been in a car accident, Thomas Law Offices can help. A Missouri car accident lawyer will listen to your case and do everything possible to get you a favorable settlement.

Understanding Missouri’s Car Accident Laws

Missouri’s car accident laws aren’t the same as every other state. Mainly, you need to know these following points about the car accident laws in this state.

  • At-Fault State. Missouri is an at-fault state. A driver can use their own insurance or the other party’s insurance when they file a car accident claim for compensation.
  • Comparative Fault System. In Missouri’s comparative fault system, you can receive compensation as long as you weren’t singularly at fault for the accident. You’ll receive more money if you’re less at fault.
  • Uninsured Motorists. According to Missouri law, uninsured motorists “forfeit recovery of noneconomic loss under specified circumstances.”

Determining Fault for a Car Accident

Car accident claims can’t proceed until you know who is at fault. After a car wreck, there are certain steps you can take to help show that you weren’t responsible for the accident.

  • Don’t Admit Fault. When speaking to the other party, the police, or the insurance company, it’s important to not admit fault or apologize for the accident. While it may feel natural to say you’re sorry even if you’re not at fault, that statement can later be used against you as an admission of fault.
  • Evidence About the Accident. The evidence you get after the accident happens can help show that you weren’t at fault. Taking photographs of the damages to your car and the accident site will help back up your claim. You should get multiple angles to make sure you don’t miss anything. If you have injuries, you can keep a record of what injuries you have because of the accident and how they’re affecting your life. Eyewitnesses provide third party, unbiased accounts and can help back up your claim. If anyone witnessed the accident and is willing to make a statement, you should get their name and contact information.
  • Medical Records. Get copies of your visits to doctors, hospitals, or rehabilitation centers and their evaluations of your health. Also provide information if you’ve had to take medication to deal with your injuries.

Car accidents happen suddenly and can be confusing to many people. When you’re prepared to deal with the aftermath and have an idea of what to do, you have a better chance of getting compensation for your claim.

 

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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.

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