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  • Understanding Missouri’s Comparative Fault Laws in Car Accident Cases

    Understanding Missouri’s Comparative Fault Laws in Car Accident Cases

    December 9, 2021 | Car Accidents, Compensation, Personal Injury

    Car Accidents and Negligence Laws

    In the United States, each state is able to set its own rules regarding laws and regulations.

    Car accidents are one of the most common personal injury cases and how you are awarded compensation and the rules regarding negligence and the damages an individual is able to recover – or at least try to recover – you are at the mercy of the state’s laws.

    While other personal injury matters can also be subject to these negligence laws, we will focus on how they function in the aftermath of a car accident in this article.

    Every state enforces one of the following four negligence laws:

    Comparative Negligence in Missouri

    Missouri is a comparative fault state.

    In Missouri, if you have been injured because of another person’s negligent or intentional behavior, you may be able to recover damages from the other person.

    In order to recover compensation for your injuries under the doctrine of negligence, you must prove that someone else was at fault in causing your injury and that this person was responsible for your injury.

    If you are successful in doing this, then the court will assign a percentage of responsibility for your injuries to each party.

    How is Comparative Negligence Calculated?

    Comparative fault is used to calculate the amount of damages that a plaintiff is entitled to after an injury.

    It is important to note that comparative fault does not determine whether or not you are liable for your injuries; rather, it determines how much you will be compensated for those injuries.

    The doctrine of negligence is based on the idea that people should take care of their own safety and welfare.

    If someone else’s negligent or intentional behavior causes you injury, then there may be grounds for a lawsuit against the other person.

    A court will use a percentage system called “comparative fault,” which divides a plaintiff’s total loss by the total fault.

    An Example of how Comparative Negligence is Determined

    In instances where there are multiple defendants who are all found to be liable for an injury, they would each be assigned a percentage of responsibility for an injury and these percentages would be totaled together.

    A simple way of understanding how Comparative Negligence is which this example:

    Person A runs a red light and collides with Person B.

    Person B has $10,000 in damages.

    The court determines Person A is 100% responsible for the accident, therefor Person A must pay Person B $10,000.

    An alternative scenario might be

    Person A runs a red light and collides with Person B.

    Person B has $10,000 in damages.

    The court determines that while Person A did run a red light, Person B had sufficient enough time to try and avoid colliding with Person A.

    Because of this Person A is ruled to be 80% responsible and is Person B 20% responsible, therefor Person A must pay $8,000 to Person B.

    Victims of Accidents in Missouri

    If you are involved in an accident in Missouri, contact a personal injury law firm to learn more about your legal rights and options.

    Many people do not understand the laws that protect them when they’re injured by another person’s negligence. If you’ve been injured, you should know what you’re entitled to.

    The doctrine of “comparative fault” is used in Missouri courts to allocate damages among parties who have been found negligent and caused the injury.

    If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident, we highly recommend you speak with a St. Louis car accident attorney to review your case.