That surge of fear and dread when you see what’s about to happen. The bone-chilling crunch of metal on metal. Car accidents are horrible and sometimes traumatizing events that no one wants to deal with.
If it does happen, though, you need to know the next steps. Who pays for your damages? Is Missouri a no fault state?
Let’s start with the basics.
What’s the Difference Between No Fault and At Fault States for Car Accidents?
No fault and at fault are two arrangements that each state chooses between when it comes to handling vehicle accidents.
In a “no fault” state, it doesn’t matter which party caused the accident when it comes to paying for damages. Each party pays for their own damages and injuries (or, in most cases, each person’s insurance pays for their damages).
In an “at fault” state, on the other hand, the driver who caused the accident pays for both parties’ damages.
Is Missouri a No Fault State?
No fault states are getting less and less common, and Missouri is not among them. Missouri is an at fault state.
Suing for Car Accident Injuries in Missouri: What You Need to Know
You might understand the essentials of what “at fault” means, but how does it affect you after an accident? There are several ways it comes into play.
While you can rarely sue to recover your damages in no fault states, at fault states have far fewer restrictions. This is great news for Missourians because you won’t be struck in an accident and left with the bill.
The difficult part about an at fault state like Missouri is determining how much blame each party has. This is called comparative fault.
Many accidents aren’t 100% the fault of one driver. Sometimes both drivers make choices that contribute to the problem.
For example, let’s say you’re at an intersection with a two-way stop, and you have the stop sign. You pull out in front of a car and get into an accident. However, the other car was speeding, and if they’d been driving the speed limit, the accident wouldn’t have happened.
In this case, you may have 70% of the blame, so you pay for 70% of all losses.
The most challenging part is getting enough evidence to find out all the factors in the accident. Police reports, photos, video surveillance, and witness statements are critical. A personal injury firm like Johnson, Vorhees & Martucci can take you through the steps.
Paying for Damages
Once you have determined how much financial responsibility lays on each person’s shoulders, where does the money come from?
In Missouri, it starts with the insurance company. They will pay any damages up to the policy limits.
If the damages exceed what the at-fault driver’s policy includes, the driver is responsible for the remainder.
Handling Your Missouri Car Accident
You may no longer be asking, “Is Missouri a no fault state,” but that’s the tip of the iceberg. Car accidents can get complicated in Missouri, and trusting a specialized personal injury attorney is the #1 way to get the best outcome.
Looking for more legal tips for your case? Check out more articles on our legal blog.