Every year, thousands of car accidents occur on Missouri roads, and of those, there is an alarming number of fatalities. In fact, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation, over 1,000 deaths resulted from car accidents in 2021. For every one of those accidents, there is typically one individual who is held responsible. If you find yourself in the position of being at fault in a car accident, it is important to know what steps to take in order to protect your legal rights.
What to Do if You Believe You’re at Fault in a Car Accident
If you believe you were at fault for a car accident, there are some specific steps you should take to ensure your legal rights are protected. First, stop your vehicle and remain at the scene. Missouri law requires all drivers involved in an accident to exchange personal information, including their name, address, phone number, and insurance information. You should also move your car to the side of the road if possible. If you cannot move your car, turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers.
Next, check for any injuries. If anyone appears to be harmed, call 911 immediately. Once the police and medical help arrive, it is important to cooperate with them. Give them your insurance information and be truthful about what happened. However, do not apologize for the accident or admit any fault. Anything you say can be used against you in a personal injury or property damage claim, so you don’t want to say anything that could be construed as an admission of guilt. Admitting fault might also result in you not receiving any compensation that you may be entitled to.
After the accident, it is important to contact your insurance company. You will need to file a claim and let them know what happened. If you are contacted by the other driver’s insurance company, do not give a statement or sign anything without first consulting with a lawyer. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options and protect you from insurance companies that may try to take advantage of you.
What Are Your Legal Rights if You Have Caused a Car Accident?
If you are at fault in a car crash, you still have certain legal rights. You have the right to refuse to answer questions from the other driver’s insurance company. You also have the right to hire a personal injury attorney to represent you and protect your interests. You may be wondering why you would need a personal injury attorney if you were at fault in the accident. After all, aren’t you the one who caused the accident? The answer is yes, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have legal rights or that you can’t be compensated for your damages. In fact, even if you were at fault in the accident, you may still be entitled to compensation from the other driver if they were found to also be at fault. Missouri is a comparative negligence state, which means that each driver can be held partially responsible for an accident. For example, if one driver was speeding and the other ran a red light, both drivers would likely be found at fault. In a comparative negligence state, the amount of damages each driver is liable for is determined by their percentage of fault.
What Are You Liable for if You Are at Fault in a Car Accident?
If you are at fault in a car accident, the severity of the accident will determine what legal rights you have and what options are available to you. If the accident was minor and there were no injuries or property damage, you may only be facing a traffic ticket. However, if the accident was more serious and there were injuries or property damage, you may be facing personal injury and/or property damage lawsuits. If the accident was very severe or resulted in a death, you may also be facing criminal charges.
In a personal injury lawsuit, the injured person (the plaintiff) will attempt to recover damages from the person who is at fault (the defendant). These damages can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. The plaintiff will need to prove that the defendant was at fault for the accident and that their injuries were a result of the accident.
In a property damage lawsuit, the owner of the damaged property (the plaintiff) will attempt to recover the cost of repairs from the person who is at fault (the defendant). The plaintiff will need to prove that the defendant was at fault for the accident and that their property was damaged as a result of the accident.
If You Are at Fault in a Car Crash, Get Help From an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
The sobering reality of being at fault for a car collision is that you may be sued for personal injuries or property damage. If you’re facing such a situation, it is important to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. In addition to helping you understand your legal rights and options, an experienced car accident attorney can help you by:
- Investigating the accident to determine what actually happened and who was at fault
- Negotiating with insurance companies on your behalf
- Filing personal injury and/or property damage lawsuits on your behalf
- Representing you in court, if necessary
Contact the Law Offices of Chris Miller if You Believe You’re at Fault in a Car Crash
If you have been in a car accident and you are not sure if you are at fault or what you should do, contact the personal injury lawyers at The Law Offices of Chris Miller. We have helped many people who have been at fault in car accidents and can help you understand your rights and navigate the legal process. Contact us today for a free consultation. We will answer your questions, and help you understand your legal rights and options.