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How Degree of Fault Affects Your Right to Compensation after an Accident or Injury

In Missouri, comparative negligence laws exist to ensure that the negligent parties pay the cost of injuries only to the extent that they are responsible for causing the resultant harm.  However, comparative fault laws also motivate insurance claim adjusters to increase your degree of fault, and thus reduce the dollar value of the settlement award you receive as compensation for your injuries.  To prevent insurance adjusters from taking advantage of the situation, you need a personal injury attorney in St. Louis, Missouri on your side, explaining your rights and exercising your options.

For example, suppose you were injured in a car accident while not wearing your seat belt.  With a seat belt on, it is likely that you would have sustained less harm. Therefore, an adjuster assesses that you were 60 percent to blame for the resulting injuries.  If the accident resulted in $200,000 in monetary damages, you would only receive 40 percent ― or $80,000 ― in this example. Each percentage point can thus cost you $2,000 in the award of damages. A St. Louis personal injury lawyer can help you determine how comparative fault law may apply to your case.

After an accident, you should consider the following questions:

  • To what degree do you believe that you are responsible for the events leading up to an accident that later resulted in personal injuries?
  • Does your estimate coincide with the degree of fault an insurance claim adjuster has attributed to you for these events?
  • How does this estimate affect the dollar amount of the damages you may receive as compensation for injuries?
  • How do Missouri’s comparative negligence laws apply to your case?

If you have been injured in an accident, contact a personal injury attorney at the Guirl Law Firm, LLC to schedule a free initial consultation.

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