In 2015, there were 870 people killed in car accidents in the state of Missouri, an estimated 7.5% increase from Missouri’s 2014 crash report. The leading causes of car accidents in Missouri are speeding and alcohol-involved driving. Both of these negligent driving behaviors come with hefty fees and consequences under Missouri law. Traffic laws in Missouri can be difficult to navigate, but having a personal injury attorney in your corner who knows Missouri’s traffic laws will be powerful in recovering the most compensation for your car accident.
An experienced, local personal injury lawyer has more than likely handled a case that is similar to yours. They’ll be able to negotiate with the insurance company for the highest settlement, give you peace of mind that your case is in competent hands, and make sure that your car accident receives the compensation that you may be entitled to.
Leading Causes of Missouri Car Accidents
There are various reasons that can explain why Missouri car accident statistics are on the rise. An increase in the number of distracted drivers, however, could be the main cause to blame. The number of drivers that use their cellphones while driving has increased over the years. Despite a drop in the number of young drivers using cell phones while behind the wheel, nearly 5.8% in 2014 and 4.6% in 2015, 14% of all Missouri car accidents involve the use of a cellphone while driving. Most drivers won’t admit to using a cellphone while driving, but the facts show that drivers are using cellphones more and more. This is a serious concern in Missouri because distracted driving can be dangerous, cause severe injuries, and prove to be fatal in some cases. Some of the more common causes of distracted driving in Missouri include:
- Eating or drinking while driving is one of the top causes of distracted driving. Peeling a banana or opening a wrapper while driving, for example, is dangerous because it takes a driver’s focus away from the road and increases the chance that they’ll get in an accident.
- Talking to other people in the car while behind the wheel is a common cause of distracted driving. If there are young children in the car wanting the driver’s attention, the passenger is trying to show the driver something on their phone, or the driver is in an argument with someone in the car, this pulls the driver’s mental and visual focus away from the road where they should be paying attention.
- Nothing is more frightening than being in the car with someone that is putting makeup on while driving or grooming. Shaving, combing your hair, and putting on makeup is a top cause of distracted driving.
- While it can be tempting to take a quick snap of the funny license plate of the car in front of you, save that for when you are in the passenger seat of your vehicle is in the park. Taking a picture while driving pulls both your mental and physical focus away from the road and places it on your phone.
- If your GPS stops working out of nowhere or you realize that you typed in the wrong address, pull over slowly to the side of the road to fix this rather than taking your focus away from the road where it belongs.
Speeding is a primary cause of car accidents in Missouri. With more than 22,000 speeding accidents in Missouri in 2014, this negligent driving behavior shouldn’t be taken lightly. While you may be running late for work, or the time of a birthday party may have slipped your mind, it’s important to follow Missouri speed limits and stay alert while driving. It is especially important to follow the speed limit and slow down in bad weather as this is a leading cause of car accidents.
Similarly, alcohol impairs a driver’s cognitive ability to think rationally and to stay alert while behind the wheel. There were an estimated 5,976 accidents in Missouri that were caused by drunk driving in Missouri which resulted in serious damage such as property damage, injuries to those involved, pain and suffering, and sometimes, the loss of someone’s life. Accidents happen though and are sometimes unpredictable, so if you are in a car accident it’s important to take action and calls an attorney who is specialized in Missouri personal injury to take care of your case.
How Can a Missouri Personal Injury Attorney Help with My Car Accident Case?
Adrenaline is at a high after a car accident, but it’s crucial to the life of your car accident case to:
- Stay calm
- Document the scene, including any road marks, damage done to vehicles, injuries, etc.
- Swap contact information with drivers that are involved, including insurance information and license plate numbers.
- Seek immediate medical attention for any injuries
- Get the names and contact information for any witnesses
- Call a Missouri personal injury attorney
- File a claim with your insurance company
It is important to follow these steps so that your Missouri car accident claim will have a chance of winning. A personal injury attorney knows Missouri laws, the legal system, how to push against big insurance companies to your advantage, and enact a plan to get any damages that your case might be entitled to. While not everyone will be eligible to receive compensation for their case, consulting with a lawyer will give you the answers that you need. An attorney will tell you their thoughts on the potential outcome of your case, where its strengths and weaknesses lay, and how much they think your case has a chance of winning for a settlement. If you are looking for a personal injury attorney in St. Louis, Missouri consider contacting the Dixon Injury Firm to discuss your Missouri car accident with experienced Missouri car accident attorneys.