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How Much Can Someone Sue for a Car Accident?

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St Louis Car Accident Specialists

Learn how much someone can sue for a car accident from Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien in Saint Louis. Book an appointment now.

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Compensation for Car Accidents

Car accidents are sudden, unfortunate, and unexpected occurrences in our daily lives. Whether you were involved in a minor or severe collision, it can result in physical and emotional trauma, property damage, lost wages, and mounting medical expenses.

Missouri does not have a cap on personal injury damages. However, recovering compensation for your losses and injuries after a car accident can be complex. Understanding the typical car accident settlement available, sources of recovery, and your chances of recovery can help you decide to pursue legal action.

Ultimately, the amount you can sue for, or recover in an out-of-court settlement, will depend on the circumstances of the car crash. The attorneys at Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien, P.C. are here to assist you through the legal process.

What Damages Are Recoverable in Car Accident Lawsuits?

A car accident lawsuit is a type of personal injury claim specifically seeking compensation for economic and non-economic damages caused by the accident. Determining damages is crucial for a successful lawsuit or to receive a fair settlement that adequately compensates you.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are quantifiable financial losses resulting from the car crash. An accident victim can generally sue for the exact amount spent on these damages, including:

  • Medical expenses: These are the costs of immediate and future medical treatments like doctor’s fees, surgeries, rehabilitation, and medication.
  • Property damages: The cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle.
  • Lost wages: Compensation for the time you may have to take off of work due to injuries sustained in the accident.
  • Rehabilitation costs: Costs like physical therapy, counseling, and other necessary treatments.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are non-tangible damages. This is compensation for suffering caused by emotional distress, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. These can be more complex to quantify.

Examples of non-economic damages are:

  • Pain and suffering. This is the emotional and physical pain endured as a result of the accident.
  • Loss of consortium. Severe injuries and fatalities may impact one’s relationships and cause loss of companionship. Both the victim and their loved ones can make claims for damages.
  • Emotional distress. A car accident can leave lasting psychological effects that impact a person’s daily life.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are awarded when an at-fault party’s conduct was extremely negligent or intentional. These damages are meant to punish the responsible driver and deter others from similar behavior.

Compensation for Car Accidents

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What Factors Affect the Amount of Compensation?

Various factors can influence the amount you receive in a car accident settlement. These factors include the severity of your injuries, available documentation, the driver’s insurance company and insurance coverage limits, and adequacy of legal representation.

Bodily Injury

The severity of your injuries helps to determine compensation. The more severe your injuries are, the higher the potential recovery. If you were severely injured, you may be burdened with higher medical bills and an extensive recovery period.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition, this may complicate the assessment of damages, and compensation will be adjusted to account for any pre-existing conditions.

Property damage

Understanding the extent of property damage is crucial when determining compensation. This is usually the value of the vehicle and the cost to repair or replace it.

Evidence

The strength of your case will depend on the evidence and documentation you can provide. Some critical evidence includes:

  • Medical records: Detailed medical records clearly outlining your injuries, treatment plans, and long-term prognosis.

  • Police reports: A police report establishing the events of the accident to help determine the fault.

  • Witness statements: Eyewitness accounts can provide valuable corroboration of the accident events.

Sufficient documentation is crucial for building a solid case. Auto insurance companies and legal teams use this information to assess the strength of your case, negotiate a fair settlement amount, and pursue appropriate legal actions.

Determining Fault

Missouri is an at-fault state, so determining which party is at fault in an auto accident is critical. It can also significantly impact the amount of compensation you are entitled to receive and your final settlement amount. If you share some responsibility for the accident, your compensation will be reduced by your degree of fault.

Insurance Coverage

The type of insurance coverage held by the parties can affect the compensation you will receive. The minimum coverage amounts in Missouri are $25,000 per person for bodily injury, $50,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $25,000 per accident for property.

Many car accident claims far exceed these minimums. If the at-fault driver has limited insurance coverage, you may also need to seek recovery from your own uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.

Legal Representation

Hiring a personal injury lawyer can influence the amount of your settlement or final judgment. Personal injury attorneys use their knowledge and experience in car accident cases to negotiate for the best possible settlement. They can gather evidence and present a strong case on your behalf, leading to higher compensation.

The personal injury team at Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien, P.C., treats victims with the dignity they deserve, seeking adequate compensation for their injuries.

What Factors Affect the Amount of Compensation

Confused about car accidents in St Louis? We are here to answer your questions.

How Do You Pursue a Car Accident Case?

The legal process in a car accident case varies based on the jurisdiction and circumstances of the accident. It is important to take the appropriate steps to gather information in order to pursue a claim.

Following an accident, you should:

  1. Assess the situation at the scene: Call emergency services and exchange contact and insurance information with the other parties involved. If you are able, you should also document the scene by taking photos or videos.
  2. Seek medical attention: Regardless of the severity of your injury, seek prompt medical attention.
  3. Report the accident: Report car accidents to the police and obtain a copy of the police report.
  4. Notify insurance companies: Notify your insurance company about the accident.
  5. Legal consultation: Consult with an experienced car accident lawyer to assess your case and guide you through the legal process.
  6. Settlement negotiations: Oftentimes, insurance companies will offer a settlement. Automobile accident lawyers can negotiate with the insurance company to ensure a fair settlement.
  7. Filing a lawsuit: If necessary, your attorney can assist you in filing personal injury claims against the person responsible and any insurance companies involved.
  8. Mediation or arbitration: Parties may engage in alternative dispute resolution to reach a settlement before going to trial.
  9. Trial: If mediation or settlement negotiations fail, the case may proceed to trial. The parties will present their case, and a judge or jury will determine the outcome.
  10. Appeals: If there was a legal error during the trial, either party can appeal the trial court’s decision.

How Can Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien Help?

At Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien, P.C., we have years of experience handling car accident cases. Our car accident attorneys understand the intricacies of personal injury law and are committed to helping car accident victims receive the compensation they deserve.

Our attorneys offer a compassionate and honest approach to helping you with an accident claim. We are here to assist you with your car accident claim from start to finish by:

  • Filing your claim with insurance or in a civil suit.

  • Gathering all necessary documentation and evidence.

  • Negotiating with insurance companies and opposing counsel.

  • Litigating your claim in the event your car accident case goes to court.

  • Emotional support.

 

Consult a Car Accident Attorney at Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien Today

How much can someone sue for a car accident? Ultimately, it depends on the circumstances of your accident, including the severity of your injuries and the types of damages available. It is vital not only to understand the damages available to you, but your ability to recover those damages based on available insurance and the financial situation of the negligent party.

At Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien, we can help you navigate the complexities of your accident claim. From filing the initial claim to achieving a final settlement, our legal team will be by your side.

Do not hesitate to reach out to us for a consultation. Your well-being is our top priority, and we aim to ensure you receive fair compensation.

Contact us today, and let us help you on the path to recovery. 

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