No-Fault for Car Accident

Our Missouri Car Accident Lawyer Explains the No-Fault Accident Statute

When it comes to car accidents, states mandate either "no-fault" or "at-fault" insurance policies, dictating the process of seeking compensation for injuries. In Missouri, the at-fault system prevails. This means motorists must maintain a minimum liability coverage. This coverage steps in to cover medical expenses and damages if another driver's negligence causes an accident. Remember, liability coverage activates solely when the other driver is deemed at fault. If you've been injured in an accident where the fault lies with another party, our Kansas City car accident attorneys are ready to assist you.

How At-Fault Accident Policies Impact Car Accident Claims

In at-fault states like Missouri, the driver determined to be responsible for causing the car accident is typically liable for compensating the other party for their losses.

For example, if Driver A rear-ends Driver B at a stop sign, and it's determined that Driver A was at fault for following too closely, Driver A's insurance company would be responsible for covering the damages incurred by Driver B, such as medical expenses, vehicle repairs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

At-fault accident policies allow those injured in a car accident to pursue legal action against the at-fault driver if necessary. This can be particularly important if the at-fault driver's insurance coverage cannot fully compensate for the damages incurred.

Car accident victims in at-fault states have the opportunity to seek compensation for non-economic damages including pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. These types of damages can significantly impact the overall compensation received in a car accident claim.

Navigating the complexities of at-fault accident policies and pursuing fair compensation can be challenging, especially when dealing with insurance companies and legal proceedings. Seeking guidance from a knowledgeable Kansas City car accident lawyer is often essential for ensuring your rights are protected and you receive the compensation you deserve under Missouri's at-fault system.

Protecting Your Rights After an Accident

Your health and well-being should be the top priority after an accident. Even if you don't feel seriously injured, it is crucial to seek prompt medical attention. Certain injuries may not be immediately apparent but could worsen if left untreated. Be sure to document your injuries, as a paper trail will be necessary for filing a claim. In addition, we recommend taking the following steps to protect your rights:

  • Contact law enforcement to report the accident and ensure an official report is filed. This report can provide valuable documentation of the accident's details, which can be crucial for determining fault and liability.
  • Collect as much evidence as possible at the scene of the accident. Take photos of the vehicles involved, the accident scene, and any visible injuries. Obtain contact information from witnesses, if possible, and make note of any relevant details, such as weather conditions or road hazards.
  • It is important to remember that insurance adjusters work for the insurance company, not for you. Use caution when speaking with them, and avoid providing recorded statements or signing any documents without first consulting your attorney.
  • Seeking legal guidance from a Kansas City car accident lawyer can be invaluable in protecting your rights and navigating the claims process. A knowledgeable attorney can advise you on your legal options, handle communication with insurance companies on your behalf, and work to maximize your compensation.

When Fault is Unclear

When fault is unclear in a car crash, navigating the claims process can become significantly more complex. In many cases, determining fault is not always straightforward, especially if there are conflicting accounts of what happened or if multiple factors contributed to the accident. 

In situations where fault is not easy to determine, a thorough investigation is essential. This could involve gathering evidence from the accident scene, analyzing police reports, interviewing witnesses, and even utilizing accident reconstruction experts to piece together what happened. The goal is to understand the events leading up to the accident.

Missouri follows a comparative negligence system meaning each party involved in the accident may be assigned a percentage of fault. In such cases, the compensation awarded to each party may be reduced based on their degree of fault. For example, if one driver is found to be 70% at fault and the other driver is 30% at fault, their compensation may be adjusted accordingly.

Recovering Damages

In a Missouri car accident case, the damages you can recover typically fall into two main categories: economic and non-economic.  Here's an overview of the damages you can recover:


These are tangible, quantifiable losses that result from the accident and can be calculated with relative certainty. Economic damages may include:

  • Medical expenses. This encompasses the costs of medical treatment, including hospital stays, surgeries, doctor visits, medication, rehabilitation, and therapy.
  • Property damage. Compensation could cover the costs needed to repair or replace your vehicle and any other property damaged in the accident.
  • Lost wages. If you cannot work due to injuries resulting from the accident, you could be entitled to compensation for lost wages and loss of future earnings.
  • Other financial losses. This category may include expenses such as transportation costs for medical appointments, modifications to your home, or household services if you cannot perform them due to your injuries.

Non-Economic Damages

These subjective losses are more challenging to quantify but are equally important in compensating the injured party for their pain and suffering. Non-economic damages may include:

  • Pain and suffering. This encompasses physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish resulting from the accident and injuries sustained.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life. If your injuries have diminished your ability to participate in activities or hobbies that you once enjoyed, you may be entitled to compensation for the loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Loss of consortium. In cases where the injuries affect the relationship you have with your spouse or family members, you could receive compensation for the loss of companionship, support, and services.

How a Missouri Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

After a car crash, it’s essential to work with a skilled Missouri car accident lawyer who can assess your damages accurately, gather evidence to support your claim and advocate on your behalf during negotiations or in court.  

Hiring an experienced car accident attorney in Missouri can help balance the odds when dealing with insurance companies, safeguarding your rights during the claims process. With the advice and representation of our legal team, you're free to concentrate on healing while we strive to obtain the compensation you're entitled to.

Michael Foster
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Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney