Under Missouri law, negligence exists when one person owes a duty of care to another, breaches that duty, and causes harm as a result. With respect to driving, the duty owed to others is to operate your vehicle in a safe manner. If another driver breached their duty to operate their vehicle safely and you were injured as a result, you may have a personal injury claim based on that driver’s negligence.
How is Negligence Determined?
In Missouri, drivers must use the highest standard of care when operating a motor vehicle, and in Kansas, drivers must use ordinary care when operating a motor vehicle.
Missouri is a pure comparative negligence jurisdiction. This means that each person will be liable for the amount of damage that is proportionate to their percentage of responsibility for the car accident. For instance, if the victim of a car crash did not come to a complete stop at a stop sign, and this factor is found to have contributed 10% to the accident, the driver’s damage award will be reduced by 10%. This applies to multi-vehicle collisions, as well, with the total amount of damages allocated based on the percentage of fault attributed to each involved party.
What do I Have to Show in a Personal Injury Claim?
In order to prevail on a personal injury claim, you will have to show that the defendant had a duty to act with care; that the defendant breached this duty; that this breach proximately caused harm to you; that the defendant suffered damage as a result of this harm.
While this may seem straight-forward, the crux of a negligence claim is often establishing that the other driver’s conduct was the proximate cause of your injury—in other words, that your damage would not have occurred, but for the negligent conduct of the defendant. This is generally easier to establish in the context of car accidents than it can be in other areas of law, for instance, if the other driver was intoxicated or driving recklessly and caused the accident, it is fairly easy to establish that their negligent conduct was the but-for cause of the collision and any injuries resulting from it. It is also important to note that you will be expected to present evidence of all damage you suffered in the form of medical bills, documents reflecting financial impact, insurance claims, etc.
The comparative fault analysis still applies to personal injury claims. In Missouri, personal injury claims must be brought within five years of the accident, so if you have been injured and are weighing your options, reach out to speak with an experienced Missouri Personal Injury lawyer for a free consultation.
Talk to an Experienced Missouri Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been harmed by someone else’s negligence, it can be a frustrating and stressful experience with life-altering effects. Bringing a lawsuit can be one way to seek justice and make yourself financially whole. An experienced personal injury attorney can evaluate your unique circumstances and determine whether a lawsuit is the best option for you. If you have been injured due to another person’s negligence, call Aaron House at 816-875-4260 for a free consultation today.