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St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer Advice


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7/21/2015
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St. Louis I-70 Car Accident Lawyer Legal Advice

 

I-70 is an interstate highway that runs through St. Louis. It has a high potential for traffic accidents because it gets extremely congested certain times of the day, and because of its current state of relative disrepair. If you have been injured in a traffic accident on I-70 in the St. Louis area, you need to speak with an experienced St. Louis personal injury lawyer before you file a personal injury lawsuit or enter into settlement negotiations.

 

Common Highway Accidents

 

Some of the most common type of highway accidents are:
 

  • Merging accidents
     

  • Collisions with 18-wheeler trucks
     

  • Collisions with vehicle parked in the emergency lane
     

  • Rear-end collisions by trucks (because of long stopping distances)

 

Settlements and Lawsuits

 

St. Louis courts apply Missouri law to personal injury cases. Although most car accident claims are settled with insurance companies either before a trial or before a judgment is issued, settlement negotiations take place “in the shadow of the law”, meaning that a defendant is unlikely to settle for any amount greater than the amount he thinks a jury will assess at trial. In many cases you will need to file a lawsuit in order to give the defendant an incentive to negotiate in the first place. In Missouri, you have five years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. If you fail to file within five years (or five years after you turn 18, whichever is later), you lose your claim.

 

Compensation

 

Two kinds of compensation are available under Missouri personal injury law: compensatory damages and punitive damages. Compensatory damages compensate you for tangible and intangible losses including medical bills, lost work time, pain and suffering, and loss of ability to enjoy daily activities (exercise or sexual function, for example). When you calculate damages, be sure to include all anticipated future expenses -- future medical bills and future lost earnings, for example -- because you won’t be able to come back to court for more money later. You will need extensive documentation to substantiate a claim for compensatory damages. Punitive damages, by contrast, are awarded in addition to compensatory damages, and are awarded only when the defendant’s conduct was shocking – intentionally causing an accident, for example.

 

Car Rental

 

If you car was totaled, you may have to rent a car for a while. St. Louis car rental rates range from $10 per day to several hundred dollars per day depending on your age, driving record and the type of car you drive. You can claim car rental expenses in your accident compensation claim to the extent that they were necessitated by your accident. They must be reasonable, however, to be accepted in court or at the settlement table.

 

Fighting Back


It is never a good idea to negotiate a personal injury settlement on your own, any more than it would be a good idea to remove your own appendix. Insurance company lawyers are smooth negotiators who will deny liability or even try to paint the accident as your fault. To fight them you need an experienced, savvy St. Louis auto accident lawyer who is not afraid to stand up to insurance company bullies or boldly advocate your case before skeptical Missouri courts. Call Alvin Wolff at 314-241-2500 for a free consultation.

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