Car Accident Injury Attorney in STL
If you were injured in a car crash in the St. Louis area, reach out to an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. After the accident, you could be dealing with serious injuries, doctor’s appointments, and mounting medical bills. If you are unable to work while you recover, you could find yourself facing significant financial hardships. An attorney can help you file a claim against the at-fault motorist’s insurance provider and seek fair financial compensation for your damages.
At The Dixon Injury Firm, we proudly represent clients in St. Louis, the Metro East area, throughout Missouri. Our team of St. Louis car accident lawyers has the experience, resources, and skill to effectively navigate the legal system on your behalf. The liable insurance company may try to dispute or deny your claim by alleging that you were the one to blame for the accident. But our firm knows how to fight back—with experience in insurance defense, our attorneys know the tactics insurers employ, and we know how to aggressively defend your rights.
Your time to file a car accident claim is limited—don’t wait! Call The Dixon Injury Firm at (314) 208-2808 today to schedule a free initial consultation. Our St. Louis car accident lawyers are standing by, ready to help.
We provide counsel for cases involving:
- Car accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Boating accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Golf cart accidents
- Truck accidents
- Metrolink accidents
- Public transport accidents
- Bus accidents
- Snowmobile accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
Car Accident Statistics
The United States has the highest car accident fatality rate among high-income countries. In fact, it reports over twice the accident rate of comparable nations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that drunk driving, speeding, distraction, and improper seat belt use contribute to many of the 32,000 deaths and two million annual car accident injuries. Missouri reports that alcohol impairment contributes to at least one in 4 fatal car accidents in the state and that speeding resulting in rollovers, roadway departures, and intersection crashes (T-bone collisions) were the primary catastrophic events.
Consider these staggering car accident statistics:
- According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 52 percent of all personal injury claims involve motor vehicle accidents.
- Car accidents are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries among young and middle-aged adults.
- According to ASIRT, over 37,000 people die in car-related accidents each year.
- Nearly 10 percent of traffic-related fatalities are because of distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
- Nearly 20 percent of auto accidents stem from winter weather conditions; of the 130,000 annual accidents, there are approximately 1,800 fatalities.
- The majority of traffic-related accidents involve speeding, driving under the influence, bad weather, and other road hazards.
- The most common types of car crash injuries include burns, spine and back damage, soft tissue injuries, and broken bones.
- Car accidents cost more than $225 billion a year in medical treatments, lost wages, and lost productivity.
The dedicated St. Louis car accident lawyers at The Dixon Injury Firm frequently handle urban motor vehicle accidents, including crashes involving Ubers, buses, and commercial trucks. If you’re one of the two million Americans injured in car accidents each year, contact us today for a free crash consultation.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
The vast majority of car accidents are preventable, meaning that had the at-fault party taken the proper measures to drive safely and not put others at risk, they would not have caused the accident. Most preventable car accidents involved drunk or distracted drivers, and most catastrophic injuries and deaths involved speeding drunk or distracted drivers. Speed limits exist for a reason, as studies indicate that serious injury and death risks increase by 6 percent for every extra mile per hour of travel.
In addition to speeding, examples of negligence in car accidents include:
- Drunk driving
- Reckless endangerment (going 20 miles over the posted speed limit)
- Distracted driving
- Texting and driving
- Dangerous road construction/design
- Traffic law violations
- Fatigued driving
- Defective vehicles/auto parts
- Poor weather conditions
- Eating and drinking while driving
- Following to closely
- Brake failures
Common Injuries from Car Accidents
Car accident injuries range from minor to severe to fatal. The seriousness of the resulting injuries often depends on a number of factors, including how fast the vehicles were moving at the time of the impact, as well as their sizes and other additional factors.
Common car accident-related injuries include:
- Cuts and bruises
- Sprains and strains
- Broken bones/fractures
- Back Injury
- Broken Femur
- Burn Injury
- Catastrophic Injury
- Eye Injuries
- Herniated Disc
- Lung Injury
- Neck Injury
- Shoulder Injury
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Traumatic Brain Injury
Many car accident injuries are incredibly serious, involving long recovery periods, ongoing medical treatment, in-home care, and severe emotional trauma. Fortunately, in Missouri, there is help available for you if you have been injured in a car accident that was not your fault. It is your legal right to file an injury claim against the person who caused the car accident. An experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer can help you win full compensation that you deserve to cover your damages.
A car accident injury claim seeks compensation for such things as damage to your vehicle, your medical costs until you fully recover, any loss of earnings you may have to endure, pain and suffering, punitive damages, and other accident-related damages. In Missouri, there is no cap on the amount of money that can be collected in a personal injury lawsuit.
Recoverable Injuries & Damages After a Vehicle-Related Accident In St. Louis
In any one of these accidents, there are a couple of ways to figure out fair compensation. The damages you can claim after a car accident depend on who was involved, if there were any fatalities, where/how the accident occurred, and other situations.
Our St. Louis accident attorneys will consider general and special damages to figure out what victims are owed in regard to reimbursement. These include:
- Comparative fault: Certain states (like Missouri) use Comparative fault, where a plaintiff may only be partially at fault. This means the defendant would pay a percentage based on comparative fault.
- Liability: Who is liable? If you’re hit by a big rig, who pays? You need to look into who owns the truck, their insurers, and other factors.
- Pain and suffering: When you calculate your damages, pain and suffering can be one of the more difficult factors to adjust for. To start with, pain and suffering accounts for post-accident recovery and stress. This can include general damages such as chronic pain, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other lasting mental and physical injuries. Loss of consortium or enjoyment are other damages to consider.
- Medical expenses: If you’re injured, it is absolutely critical to document any and all of your medical expenses. This includes medication, any surgeries you may need, rehab, and other factors and long-term health effects.
- Lost wages: Being in a car or truck accident may mean taking time off of work. When you add in expenses like rehab and medical bills, a couple of lost paychecks can add up. Our St. Louis car accident attorneys will account for lost wages in addition to any loss of career advancement or earning potential. Read more about calculating lost income here.
- Property damage: Was your car totaled? Were other vehicles involved? Property damage may extend to repair costs are replacements based on fair market value. “Property” also includes damaged phones, jewelry, watches, and other personal property.
- Out-of-pocket expenses: Everything from carpooling expenses, fees for a nanny, transportation to and from a hospital, and even gas money can be added to special damages.
To justify any claim to damages like emotional distress, lost wages, and pain and suffering, it’s absolutely critical to document everything. You need to request medical records and police reports, keep track of expenses, gather photos and witness testimonies, and even document your recovery process and emotional well-being. A member of our team can help you gather all of these documents to support your claim. You’ll need all the information you can get to convince claims adjusters and courts that you suffered monetary damages because of an accident.
Understanding and Calculating Pain and Suffering Damages
Non-pecuniary (pain and suffering) damages represent the real but often incalculable losses associated with St. Louis and eastern Illinois car crash injuries.
These awards account for the claimant’s:
- Physical pain
- Discomfort and fatigue
- Emotional suffering
- Lost enjoyment of previous hobbies
- Lost enjoyment of life
- Daily frustrations
- Disfigurement (burn or amputation claims)
Spouses and dependents might also demand non-economic damages if catastrophic injuries or deaths result in the loss of a loved one’s companionship, consortium, guidance, inheritance, or economic support.
Insurance companies calculate non-economic damages in one of two ways: (1) multiplying the claimant’s overall economic damages by a seriousness factor generally between 1.5 and five or (2) assigning a daily pain and suffering value to the claimant’s injuries. Most cases involve the first method of calculation.
In some cases, claimants’ economic damages do not reflect the true suffering associated with their injuries. This often occurs when car crashes cause miscarriages, which may involve minor medical expenses but months of intense grief or significant loss of lifestyle. Lost lifestyle claims involve seemingly minor injuries, such as broken wrists, that substantially limit the claimant’s ability to play music, paint, or otherwise engage in their amateur activities. In such cases, car accident attorneys may demand insurers place a reasonable daily value on the claimant’s suffering. Experienced car accident lawyers will calculate the value of your damages under both methods and demand the highest overall pain and suffering award.
How Much Is My Car Accident Claim Worth?
Because every case is unique, it is impossible to determine exactly how much a given claim might be worth without first going over the specifics of your situation. That said, statistics show, generally, how much a car accident claim could cost. Please keep in mind that these averages are by no means guarantees, nor do they mean that you cannot recover more in your particular car accident claim.
Insurers typically pay half of all car accident fees, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The amount of compensation you can receive depends on the case. Car crash claims take things like lost wages, medical bills, future rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, and punitive damages into consideration. The average award for an injury claim is somewhere in the tens of thousands of dollars, though each case is different.
The National Highway Traffic Administration reports that Missouri has had nearly 1,000 traffic fatalities every year for the past decade. Nearly a quarter of these were related to alcohol, while a third involved speeding. Many fatal crashes combine these factors, as alcohol increases risk-taking behaviors and reduces inhibitions. For this reason, drunk driving accidents are more deadly than drowsy driving crashes, even though the symptoms of drowsy driving mirror those of intoxication.
As a leading car accident law firm in St. Louis, The Dixon Injury Firm brings a high level of care and sensitivity to every case. We understand how difficult car accident injuries can be for victims and their families, which is why we strive to provide each client with the compassion and personalized service they deserve.
How Long After an Accident Do You Have to File a Claim?
Most states have a statute of limitations on car accident claims, which limits the time victims have to file a lawsuit for damages. In Missouri, the statute of limitations on car accident cases is five years from the date of the accident (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 516.120), meaning you only have five years to file St. Louis car accident litigation. However, families only have three years from the date of death to file wrongful death litigation arising from car accident injuries.
Across the river, Illinois has its own statute of limitations of two years from the accident. This means that someone in a Metro East crash will have a much shorter deadline to file a claim than following a crash in St. Louis County or City.
Filing insurance claims does not stop the countdown, even if insurance adjusters promise to settle claims fairly. Many adjusters delay reviewing last-minute accident claims to rundown the statutory clock. It’s essential to contact St. Louis car crash attorneys as soon as possible following an accident. Even if you’re still treating for your catastrophic crash injuries, which increases your economic damages, lawyers can file litigation and ask the court for additional time to establish damages.
Even if the statutory clock expires, certain factors pause and extend the personal injury statute of limitations in St. Louis. Families of claimants suffering from debilitating brain injuries resulting in comas or vegetative states might have additional time to obtain legal guardianship and file car accident litigation. Likewise, courts might extend the deadline in hit-and-run accidents if it takes years to locate the correct defendant. Injured minors (under the age of 18) also have additional time to file accident claims after they turn 18. However, the sooner you contact us after the crash, the sooner we can begin gathering evidence and building a case on your behalf.
Types of Car Accident Claims We Handle
The Dixon Injury Firm has recovered more than $50 million in damages for our clients, many of whom are victims of car accidents. Our team has experience in all types of car accident claims and can assist you with your case regardless of its complexity. We’re familiar with most major auto accident insurers in Missouri, including their unique underhanded tactics and policy provisions.
Some types of car accident cases we commonly handle include:
- Hit-and-run accidents
- Drunk driving accidents
- Fatigued driving collisions
- Speeding crashes
- Rear-end collisions
- Distracted driving accidents
- Wrongful death claims
- Pedestrian accidents
- Whiplash injuries
- Sideswipe collisions
- Parking lot accidents
- Texting and driving crashes
- Bad weather accidents
- Car defect accidents (product liability claims)
- Rental car crashes
- Fender bender injuries
- Teen car crashes
- Road construction accidents
- Tire blowout accidents
- Underinsured driver accidents
- Uninsured motorist claims
- Rideshare crashes (Uber and Lyft)
- Mass casualty events (chain-reaction crashes)
- Roadway debris accidents
- Negligent roadway design crashes
Our attorneys might help drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists injured in single or multiple vehicle collisions. We also assist St. Louis claimants injured by city busses and work vehicles. These claims differ from general car accident litigation because they require certain administrative prerequisites immediately following the crash. Regardless of the crash’s nature, speak with our dedicated attorneys immediately following St. Louis car accidents to discuss your potential compensation rights.
How Can an Attorney Help with My Car Accident Case?
If you have suffered injuries in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, it can be difficult to determine what steps you need to take following the crash. Hiring an attorney immediately after an accident offers support for dealing with your case, points you in the right direction, and ensures that you have not overlooked any crucial elements that will help you get closer to a win.
A few things you can ask your car accident attorney to help with are:
- Gathering evidence: The more evidence you have at your disposal, the better. But where do you find it? Your attorney will know how to obtain copies of the police reports, medical records, photos and videos from the accident, statements from witnesses, and more. They might even quickly draft evidence preservation letters to local businesses with security cameras and auto repair stores to protect essential evidence. Clients may grant their car accident lawyers power of attorney (POA) to obtain needed medical records without necessitating client intervention. This helps clients focus on their physical recoveries while lawyers focus on their legal claims.
- Writing a demand letter: Over 90 percent of viable car crash injury claims settle with liable auto insurers after adjusters receive detailed settlement letters. A demand letter should be detailed, compelling, and complete with an account of the damages you are claiming from the accident. You should also include clear evidence that supports why you deserve to recover those damages from the negligent party. This often includes critical medical records, witness statements, photographs, and police reports. Car accident attorneys who focus on drafting respectful and detailed settlement proposals often receive quicker and higher insurance settlements for their clients.
- Bringing a claim or lawsuit: A successful claim requires a persuasive demand letter and substantial evidence from the accident. It also requires you to file the case with the right court and to know how to respond to legal challenges. Car accident attorneys may bring insurance claims against negligent drivers and even help claimants challenge healthcare and disability insurance denials. If insurers refuse to settle or negotiate, St. Louis car crash lawyers will file negligence lawsuits against liable parties.
- Negotiating with the other party’s insurer: Once a claim is submitted, the insurance company will either accept or deny it. If it’s accepted, an attorney can negotiate with the other party’s insurer and demand compensation for your injuries and financial damages caused by the negligent driver. If it is not, then they can help you by preparing for litigation and offering in-court representation.
- Protecting Clients from Creditors, Adjusters, and Defense Lawyers: Once you hire legal representation after a car accident, insurance adjusters, negligent drivers, and defense counsel cannot contact you following the crash. All communications must go through your attorney, and you have the right to counsel while providing testimony. Additionally, collections agencies cannot generally contact or harass claimants for accident-related bills. These additional protections give families peace of mind during the rehabilitation process.
Your car accident attorney’s job is also to offer support during this difficult time and alleviate the stress of dealing with your car accident case. A good attorney will offer assistance in any way that they can, promptly answer any questions or concerns that you might have, and do everything in their power to produce the best results for your case. All the while, you should be able to sit back and take care of other important things in your life, like your health, family, and career.
When Should I Hire A St. Louis Car Accident Attorney?
Not every auto accident requires the input and guidance of a professional St. Louis car accident attorney, but many do. Fender-benders and property-damage only claims generally resolve without necessitating dedicated legal counsel. But how can you know if you should be speaking with a lawyer after a crash?
You probably need a car accident attorney if the
- Resulted in pain that does not go away within a day or two after the crash.
- Resulted in serious consequences, such as broken bones or wrongful death.
- Happened due to negligent behavior like texting or drunk driving.
- Was a hit-and-run, and you need to collect evidence quickly.
- Involved an uninsured motorist or multiple drivers.
- Involved a commercial motor vehicle, such as a truck or bus.
- Involved potential public liability, such as construction debris, malfunctioning stoplights, or poorly designed roadways.
- Involved on-the-job drivers, such as salespersons or delivery drivers.
- Occurred within the scope of your employment.
- Occurred while you were a passenger.
- Involved an Uber, Lyft, taxi, or limo.
- Injuries you suffered require ongoing care, and you cannot go back to work.
You should also consider hiring a car accident attorney if you don’t want to or can’t deal with the insurance company representing the opposing party or parties. Your lawyer will have legal knowledge and experience to gauge the value of your claim and evaluate if the insurance adjusters abided by the laws and regulations in your insurance policy.
A good attorney will also ensure that you get a fair settlement offer or take your case to trial if the insurance company is trying to save money at your expense by offering you less than your case is worth. Local car accident attorneys frequently work with St. Louis insurers and even the same adjusters and defense firms. They often know the difference between adjusters and companies, including their willingness to settle accident claims and for how much. It’s often beneficial to hire St. Louis personal injury attorneys for motor vehicle collisions occurring within the city, St. Louis County, and throughout the Metro East.
How Can You Get a Larger Settlement?
One of the biggest mistakes car accident victims make is settling without knowing the full extent of their injuries. It is tempting to take whatever offer the insurance companies give you. You might have bills piling up, have been missing work, and are paying for alternative transportation, so anything will sound good. But do not be too hasty.
If you rush things, you will get a smaller settlement than you need. Accepting settlements means waiving all future litigation rights impacting the policyholder. These ironclad waivers generally prevent claimants from recovering future damages if injuries worsen or secondary conditions develop.
To get a larger settlement, the first step is often to hire legal representation because:
- You’re probably not in the best position to negotiate/haggle with insurers. If you’ve suffered any major injuries, your focus should be to get well and manage finances as best as you can.
- From a practical standpoint, an insurer offering what may seem like a fair settlement will hesitate when a lawyer becomes involved. They can no longer “buy you out” based on policy caps and frequently reconsider with a higher counteroffer.
- Sending a prompt and effective demand letter is equally important. An attorney can help you formulate your case and back it up with facts, figures, and other information that justifies your claim.
It’s free to discuss your accident with our St. Louis car crash lawyers, who might provide needed guidance about your claims.
Your St. Louis Car Accident Lawyers at The Dixon Injury Firm
One of the most important jobs for an accident attorney is to prove fault and negligence.
There are 4 basic elements of negligence that need to be proved. These include:
- The “Duty of Care” refers to anyone’s responsibility moral contract between them and others. Citizens are legally and morally expected to act in certain ways. For example, a landlord would have a responsibility to make sure railings on staircases are secure.
- A “Breach” is when that person knows the duty of care and fails to act. A good example of this is when someone ignores a yield sign and drives through an intersection.
- “Causation” is determining who is actually responsible for breaching duty of care. An accident happens because someone failed to act responsibly. Consider a car salesman that doesn’t salt an icy walkway and someone slips and falls. The proprietor is responsible because it’s reasonable they would have steps to avoid that accident.
- The final step in proving if you have a case or claim is deciding “Damages.” You probably don’t have a claim if you stub your toe. There need to be financial repercussions. Compensation for personal injuries varies on a number of factors. Once you prove the defendant is negligent, they will look at the expenses caused by the breach of duty of care.
The St. Louis personal injury lawyers at The Dixon Injury Firm help clients and their families with the entire legal process. This includes gathering evidence, submitting claims, and countering settlement offers.
The Dixon Injury Firm
9666 Olive Blvd #202,
St. Louis, MO 63132