Accidents that result in devastating injuries may have serious and long-term consequences for a victim. If you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident that was caused by someone else, you should discuss your situation with a Columbia personal injury lawyer who can explain your options and develop a legal strategy for you. With over 30 years of experience, Dan Pingelton will work diligently to protect your rights if you are seeking a car accident attorney or representation in any other personal injury claim. He also assists victims of defective products, professional malpractice, and workplace accidents, as well as families who are bringing a wrongful death claim after the tragic loss of a loved one.Pursuing a Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Claim in Missouri
If you have been hurt in an accident that was caused by someone else’s carelessness, you may be able to recover compensation for your harm through a negligence claim. The main elements of a negligence claim are duty, breach, causation, and damages. Duty and breach involve showing that the defendant acted carelessly in doing something that a reasonable person would not do in the same situation. Causation requires that the defendant’s carelessness led to the accident in which you were hurt. Damages are quantifiable losses that you sustained.
In some situations, a defendant may argue that the plaintiff also failed to take the appropriate precautions. Missouri follows the doctrine of pure comparative negligence, which means that a plaintiff’s total award will be proportionate to the defendant’s degree of fault, no matter how large or small that percentage is. For example, a drunk driver may run a stop sign and strike a victim’s car, while the victim may have been speeding moderately. If 20 percent of the fault is attributed to the victim, and they incurred $150,000 in damages, they may still be able to recover $120,000 from the defendant.
Compensation that may be recovered in these claims includes economic damages and non-economic damages, as well as punitive damages in some limited situations. Economic damages include out-of-pocket costs that resulted from the accident, such as medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, property damage, and lost income. Non-economic damages refer to intangible injuries, such as pain and suffering and emotional distress. Punitive damages are awarded in extreme cases in which the defendant’s conduct was so egregious that additional damages are appropriate to punish them and deter similar behavior.
In Missouri, injured individuals and families have a limited time in which to file personal injury and wrongful death claims. This time period is known as the statute of limitations. Failing to file within the applicable statute of limitations could mean that you are no longer allowed to assert your rights. Thus, it is important to act quickly after your accident and work with a personal injury attorney who is knowledgeable about procedural rules as well as the substantive elements of your claim.Protect Your Rights by Consulting a Personal Injury Lawyer in Columbia or Surrounding Areas
Being involved in an accident may have serious physical, emotional, and financial consequences for a victim and their entire family. Columbia personal injury attorney Dan Pingelton and the staff at the Pingelton Law Firm have fought tenaciously for accident victims as they pursue the compensation that they deserve for their harm. We are familiar with all types of personal injury cases and are ready to put our knowledge to use on your behalf. Dan Pingelton also represents accident victims in Jefferson City, Boonville, Fulton, and Moberly, as well as Missouri residents who need a family law or criminal defense attorney. For a free consultation about your case, call us at 573-449-5091 or contact us online.