Car Accident Lawyer in Missouri
Car Accident Lawyer in St. Louis, Missouri. When you or a loved one are injured in a car accident, Burger Law is here to protect your rights and demand a full recovery. Speak to an experienced car accident lawyer for free now at or online.
Hurt in a Car Accident? Contact a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer
When you have been injured in a Missouri car accident, you should not be left to worry about things like whether or not you can afford the medical care and treatment you need for your injuries or the time you need away from work to heal.
Your health and financial recovery should not hinge upon a lengthy and aggravating fight with the insurance company regarding the car accident. Unfortunately, insurance companies are out to protect their bottom dollar, not your health. Do not leave your life and well-being in their hands.
Your health, future well-being and financial stability are at stake and the insurance company is unlikely to willingly offer you an adequate settlement for your losses. You need help, and our Missouri personal injury legal team is here to help. Gary Burger and the St. Louis car accident lawyers of Burger Law hold insurance companies and negligent individuals accountable for their actions. We fight for your rights and demand a full recovery in your Missouri car accident case. Our attorneys get great settlement and trial results and have successfully recovered $200 million for our clients and will fight relentlessly to help you obtain nothing less than a complete recovery. Contact us now.
More Information About St. Louis Car Accident Cases
Scroll down to keep reading or select a car crash topic of interest below to learn more. If you or someone close to you has been injured in a car accident in Missouri, you should consult an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Burger Law's attorneys offer case consultations at no cost to you. Call to speak to a lawyer about your case today.
Table of Contents
How Long Do I Have To File a Claim for My Car Accident in Missouri?
After you or a family member are involved in a car accident, the countdown begins. The sooner you begin taking action toward making your claim, the better. You only have a certain amount of time to make a claim, and that time limit is determined by your state's statute of limitations. In personal injury claims, the statute of limitations in Missouri is five years. The five-year countdown typically begins the date of the accident. However, there are certain exceptions.
Missouri Revised Statute §516.140 states that there is a five-year limitation on any actions for any "injury to the person or rights of another, not arising on contract," and not otherwise mentioned in the states' statutes.
Meaning, that in order to file a lawsuit for injuries sustained in a car accident, slip and fall, product liability claim, or any other case or any other type of negligence, you have five years from the date the negligence occurred to file an initial complaint in court. If you miss this deadline and try to file anyway, the defendant can file a "motion to dismiss," which will be granted in most cases.
While the statute of limitations applies to court filings, filing a claim with an insurance company quickly after your injury is still vital. If the deadline is approaching or has already past, your ability to negotiate for more money will be greatly diminished, as the other side will not have the threat of an expensive and lengthy trial hanging over their heads.
Exceptions to the Five-Year Statute of Limitations in Missouri Personal Injury Claims
There are four other important exceptions to the Missouri statute of limitations:
- Missouri Revised Statute §516.170 — If you were under the age of 21 or were "mentally incapacitated" at the time the negligence occurred, you have five years from the date of your 21st birthday or the date the disability was removed.
- Missouri Revised Statute §516.200 — If the person you are making a claim against leaves the state of Missouri after the negligence occurred, their time out of state does not count against the five years.
- Missouri Revised Statute §537.100 — Wrongful death claims can be brought within three years of your loved one's death.
- Claims Against the State Government — Any claim against a government entity in Missouri must be filed within 90 days of the accident with the Missouri Office of Administration's Risk Management Division.
If you are afraid that the statute of limitations for your claim may have passed, you should still talk to an attorney to see if any of the exceptions apply to you.
Why Should I Pursue Compensation After My Car Accident?
Nobody who is injured in a car accident is glad to go through months of waiting, negotiating and battling in court just to receive fair compensation for their damages. In fact, you may even be hesitant to initiate a claim at all or even think about pursuing a monetary settlement after being in a car accident in St. Louis.
It is natural to feel uneasy or unsure about the prospect, but the truth is that Missouri civil tort law was written to protect you and others like you who have been harmed and suffered loss because of someone else's negligence. You did not deserve to be harmed in a car accident, and it should not fall on you to cover the financial expenses and losses that follow. It would be unfair for you to foot the bill when you have already suffered and have not done anything wrong.
On the other hand, when your injuries and other damages are severe, collecting a settlement may seem unfair. After all, there is no amount of money in the world that can take away the suffering and anguish you have had to endure. Though it will not undo the trauma or reverse the crash from happening, receiving compensation in your Missouri car accident case can make a major difference in your life following the crash. Receiving a settlement can:
- Help you get and pay for the medical treatment and care you need to recover fully, including long-term and ongoing therapies to help you manage your condition
- In your daily life, help you make ends meet or allow you to stay on budget as planned, replacing income lost in your time away from work
- Make you whole again, the compensation acting as a best-available substitute for your well-being
- Make room for you to recover mentally and physically by reducing practical and financial stress
- Provide a sense of closure and acknowledge your experience
- Renew your sense of justice and the law
- In a wrongful death case where your family member was killed in a car accident in Missouri, ease the financial burden of losing a source of financial support
However, in order to receive a settlement or court judgment for a sum that does your pain and loss justice and makes you adequately whole again, you will most likely need a skilled St. Louis car accident lawyer fighting for you every step of the way. The insurance company has a team dedicated to minimizing their financial responsibility and they often fight hard to avoid paying a fair settlement for your St. Louis car accident.
You should have the same dedicated and tactical support in demanding the compensation you are allowed under Missouri law. You need an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer to protect your rights and maximize your recovery. Burger Law's St. Louis personal injury law firm has been winning claims for car accident victims for more than 20 years and will demand full payment from the at-fault party's insurance company. Our work is not over until they pay. Call to get a free consultation with one of our winning Missouri car accident attorneys.
Should I File a Car Accident Claim if My Friend or Family Member Was At Fault?
When dealing with the already difficult legal process of obtaining a recovery after a car accident, things can be made even more uncomfortable when the party responsible for your injuries is someone you know. Still, the pros far outweigh the cons and when you have injuries and other damages, in most cases filing a claim against your at-fault friend or loved one is the best option.
Filing an injury claim is NOT the same as filing a lawsuit or suing your friend or family member. By making a claim, you are requesting fair compensation for the damages you have suffered from their insurance company. We all pay for insurance for this very reason. We pay premiums every year so that, in the event of an accident, the insurance company is there to cover emergency expenses. When you are hurt in a car wreck because someone else made a mistake, regardless of your relationship to that person, you should not be on the hook for your medical bills and other damages.
Understanding Missouri Car Accident Insurance Rules
Missouri state law requires vehicle owners to have car insurance so that, in the event of an accident, those who are injured have the means to collect a recovery for the expenses and losses incurred as a result of the auto accident. Missouri falls under the category of an "at-fault" state as opposed to a "no-fault" state, which means that state law requires drivers to carry liability coverage and, when you get in an accident, it is the at-fault party's responsibility to pay for your damages. Some states, by contrast, require everyone to instead carry personal injury protection insurance. In these states, you would use your own insurance policy to cover your damages, regardless of who is responsible for the collision.
When you select an insurance policy, your policy will have specific policy limits. Policy limits refer to the maximum amount of money your insurance company will pay out for an auto accident. To make sure that the at-fault driver has an insurance policy that will adequately cover your St. Louis car accident damages, Missouri law requires drivers to carry liability insurance with policy limits of at least:
- $25,000 minimum coverage for bodily injury per person
- $50,000 minimum coverage for bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 (Missouri)/$20,000 (Illinois) minimum coverage for property damage
Assuming your friend or family member is following the rules, they will have enough coverage to compensate you for your injuries. If your damages exceed their policy limits, an auto crash lawyer like those at Burger Law can help you file an underinsured motorist claim with your own insurance company.
Whatever the circumstances, talk to a car accident lawyer first. Each case is different, and our experienced and savvy St. Louis, Missouri car accident lawyers know how to maximize your financial recovery by pursuing all available forms of compensation and using the law to your benefit. Get in touch with a St. Louis car accident lawyer online or call now.
How Much Can I Recover for my Missouri Car Accident Case?
The dollar amount of your settlement depends on the value of your damages and a whole host of other factors. For example, the settlement you receive from the insurance company may be limited by the policy limit, which is the maximum amount an insurance company will pay per accident and per person. The amount you receive will also be affected by comparative fault. If you shared partial blame for the accident, your recovery will be lessened by the percent for which you were at fault for the car accident.
One of the most important factors in your Missouri car accident recovery is whether or not you hire a lawyer. An experienced and diligent St. Louis car accident lawyer will help you maximize your recovery and get the compensation you truly deserve. To find out what you can expect from your Missouri car accident case, check out our free online personal injury calculator.
Average Car Accident Settlement Amounts in St. Louis, Missouri
Auto accidents are expensive. According to the Insurance Information Institute, deaths, injuries and property damage in motor vehicle accidents cost $474 billion in 2020. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, auto accidents cost society an estimated $7,300 per second in loss of productivity.
It is difficult and unwise to think about Missouri car accident settlements in terms of the average settlement figure. This is largely because each car accident is unique and there are multiple, complex factors that play into the value of your damages and the outcome of your claim.
You should not base your expectations for your Missouri car accident settlement in terms of the result of any other car accident case results. In addition, calculating an accurate average settlement figure is nearly impossible. A significant number of cases are settled confidentially, where all involved parties enter into a binding agreement not to disclose the terms of the settlement. This may be a condition of the settlement itself. However, many car accidents settle for somewhere between $15,000 and $20,000. More serious injuries requiring extensive medical care often reach $50,000 to $100,000, while injuries resulting in permanent disability or, in the worst cases, wrongful death, can result in damages of around $200,000 to millions of dollars. Because there is no Missouri law that puts a cap on damages in car accidents and other personal injury claims, these settlements are not limited by law, but rather by the coverage available and other important factors.
How Are Car Accident Settlements Calculated in St. Louis and Missouri?
Car accident settlements are generally a combination of the economic and noneconomic loss you have sustained because of the accident. Economic damages are the sum total of all the money you have lost or spent because of your injuries: for example, emergency room bills, surgery or physical therapy, assistive devices such as crutches or wheelchairs, the income you lost out on from not being able to work, and property damage to your car. This includes your future medical bills, so if your injuries require a knee replacement, you should also be compensated for how much it will cost to have that replaced in 15 to 20 years.
Noneconomic damages are harder to define, but they seek to compensate you for the intangible ways your injuries have affected you. This is commonly referred to as "pain and suffering." Noneconomic damages compensate you for anything from physical pain in the weeks, months or years after your accident, to whether you sustained any disfigurement, to mental anguish and to loss of your ability to enjoy life. It's typically calculated by multiplying your economic damages by a number between 1.5 and 5, depending on the severity of your injuries.
For example, if your economic damages were $5,000 and you agree on a multiplier of three, your total damages would be $15,000. However, say you love playing the piano, and now have limited use of your right hand because of nerve damage from the accident. That has a profound effect on how you can enjoy your life and live the life you want to live. In that case, if your economic damages were $200,000, you would receive up to $1 million in damages based on a multiplier of five.
Factors That Determine Your Car Accident Settlement in St. Louis
As the purpose of a car accident settlement is to fairly compensate you for your injuries, the severity of those injuries is the driving factor in how much your settlement might be. Other factors include how your injuries have impacted your life, the insurance policy in question, if you bear any responsibility for your accident and the abilities of your St. Louis car accident lawyer:
- The severity of your injuries — As more severe injuries lead to higher medical expenses and more time lost from work, they lead to higher settlements, especially when factoring in the pain and suffering multiplier.
- How your injuries have impacted your life — The greater the effect on your mental, emotional and physical well-being, the higher the noneconomic damages will be.
- The insurance policy — both Missouri and Illinois have minimum insurance requirements for bodily injury, and while a skilled car accident lawyer may be able to get you more, there are times when you will be limited by the negligent driver's and/or your insurance policy limits.
- If you are partially to blame — You can still receive a financial recovery if you were partially to blame, however, the amount will be less. For example, if you are awarded $100,000 in damages but it is found that you are 30% to blame for your accident, you would receive $70,000. While in Missouri you can still receive compensation if you were 99% at fault, Illinois does not allow recoveries for people who are over 50% to blame.
- Your car accident lawyer — Insurance companies use a lot of tricks to try and devalue claims, and you need a skilled and aggressive attorney to combat those claims and make sure you get the money you deserve. Your car accident lawyer will also need to investigate your accident, prove liability on the part of the other driver and have a network of St. Louis medical and economic experts to precisely value your claim. If the insurance company won't offer a fair settlement in negotiation, you'll need an experienced trial lawyer that will stand by your side and argue your case in front of a jury.
Contact Burger Law's St. Louis Car Accident Lawyers
At Burger Law, we've been standing up for the injured and vulnerable for nearly 30 years and know how to get results for our clients. We know how to fight back against bullies like resistant insurance companies and get our St. Louis and Missouri clients the financial settlement they are owed.
You deserve to be made whole after a Missouri car accident harms you and disrupts your way of life. Our team of experienced car accident lawyers will stop at nothing to bring you justice. Best of all, there is no upfront cost to you. We finance your case and get to work right away. You only pay when we win your case and secure maximum compensation. There is nothing to lose except the chance to recover fully. Contact us now.