Those traveling in motor vehicles in Missouri generally expect to reach their destinations without any major incidents. People can go years without ever experiencing a collision, particularly if they rarely drive or are quite proactive about road safety. Unfortunately, even the best drivers with the safest vehicles could end up negatively impacted by a crash caused by someone else. Unsafe and irresponsible motorists may cause collisions that put people in the hospital or leave them without reliable transportation.
Those involved in major collisions often have questions about compensation. What losses can people typically recover after a Missouri car crash, and who can they hold accountable?
Insurance can help cover certain losses
Generally speaking, most Missouri motorists must carry proper liability insurance to legally drive. That policy helps cover the costs of other parties after a crash occurs. Car insurance coverage can pay for vehicle repair and replacement expenses. If a car requires repair, of the owner might also be able to request compensation for its future diminished resale value. Insurance can also help cover expenses related to injuries.
Car insurance can also pay for medical care and lost wages associated with the injuries generated in a wreck. Unfortunately, car insurance claims are subject to strict policy limits. The people involved in the crash may have expenses that go beyond what insurance may pay.
Lawsuits are also sometimes possible
When someone suffers catastrophic injuries in a wreck or when a crash leads to someone dying, the available liability coverage may not be enough to cover all of the expenses generated by the collision. In a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, those affected by Missouri car crashes can request financial reimbursement for losses ranging from someone’s future earning potential to the financial value of the services they provide around the home, such as yard maintenance or child care.
Oftentimes, those filing a crash-related lawsuit take legal action against the driver who caused the crash. However, there are sometimes third parties that could be liable for a crash. If the person who caused the wreck was an employee who was on the clock, their employer may have vicarious liability for the incident.
If the crash occurred because of defective vehicle components, a manufacturer or other business may have liability for a crash. There might even be third parties with partial liability for a wreck if the driver was drunk and recently drank at a licensed bar or restaurant.
The parties coping with the negative consequences of a car crash often need to look at the situation carefully to establish who might be liable and to calculate the total financial impact of the collision. When insurance isn’t enough to cover the economic losses triggered by a Missouri car wreck, then it may be necessary to take the matter to court.