What Car Accident Compensation Am I Entitled To?
Personal injury blog
Car accidents are never fun. The car accident compensation process is often a complicated one. Besides, the last thing you want to do after a car accident is to fight a legal battle, especially if injuries are involved.
You may get the urge to rush through the car accident compensation process just to be done with it. This idea may sound like the most painless route, but you may end up forfeiting compensation of which you didn’t know you were entitled.
Thankfully, many attorneys offer a free consultation for these exact situations. Taking the proper steps and engaging in the right procedures will ensure you receive every bit of the compensation you deserve.
However, several factors affect the car accident compensation you end up receiving.
How Is car accident compensation determined in Missouri?
Missouri is a state that uses pure comparative fault system to determine the amount of compensation each drive might receive. Therefore, the insurance claims process determines a percentage-based fault for each person involved in an accident.
A judge or jury may have to determine fault at trial if the insurance companies can not settle the claim. Determining fault in a comparative fault state is complicated.
Unless a driver explicitly admits 100% fault for an accident, expect the process to take some time. Collect as much evidence and facts as you can. Make sure you have proper representation.
The less fault determined to be yours, the more you can claim in damages for compensation. However, even if you are 99% at fault for an accident, you can still claim 1% of your determined damages.
What exactly am I entitled to claim?
Because Missouri is an at-fault state, the driver responsible for the accident is required to pay for things like repairs, medical expenses, lost wages, and more.
The following are all of the possible financially-related damages you may receive for car accident compensation.
- Damages to your vehicle
- Damage to any property in your vehicle
- Direct damage to other property (such as your home) during an accident
- Medical expenses (as a result of the accident, current or future)
- Loss of capacity to provide household services (spouses or parents who can no longer do chores or care for children, etc.)
- Cost of a rental vehicle
- Loss of income/wages
- Any loss of future income/wage-earning abilities
- Lost profits (any other forms of income, such as a home business, suffering as a result of the accident)
While these things are all directly calculable costs, non-financially-related damages are not so easy to determine. The following are possible conceptual damages you might be able to claim.
- Suffering from physical pains (the experience of pain, not direct medical damage)
- Suffering from mental pain/anguish
- Emotional distress
- Developed mental disorders (depression, paranoia, PTSD, etc.)
- Loss of companionship (spousal or otherwise) as a result of the accident.
- Damage to status or public image/character due to the accident
What issues might arise when seeking compensation?
First and foremost, you have to remember that insurance companies want to save as much money on their end as possible. Whether you’re dealing with your insurance company or the other driver’s, always keep that in mind.
Legal representation can help you get the most out of your claim. Even with legal representation, issues can arise that make the situation more complicated.
In some cases, you may have to seek partial compensation from a third-party who is determined to be at fault. Employers of at-fault drivers, car manufacturers, other drivers, and more could complicate this process. Lawsuits may be necessary to get what you deserve.
Another problem may be un-or-underinsured claims. In Missouri, all drivers are required to have at least $25,000 of liability insurance and $50,000 in per-incident insurance. However, this may not always be enough to cover your car accident compensation.
Even worse, the driver may not have any insurance despite Missouri’s requirements. In either of these cases, you must seek financial compensation directly from the driver in court. Otherwise, your only other option is to file a claim with your insurance company.
Who should I contact to seek compensation?
If you are the victim of a car accident in Missouri and want to receive the compensation you’re entitled to, contact Ortwerth Law today!
We are powerful St. Louis car wreck attorneys who handle a wide range of automobile collision cases. We are known as one of St. Louis’ top car accident law firms and have recovered millions for our clients.
Make the smart decision and contact Ortwerth Law to receive your free consultation!