Columbia Car Accidents
Columbia is Missouri's fourth-most populous urban area. Although it was an agricultural region for many years, it is home to multiple educational institutions, including the University of Missouri. European explorers started to arrive there in 1678, and two of Daniel Boone's sons created a salt lick nearby, which resulted in the area being called "Booneslick" before it was fully settled. Unlike other parts of the area, Columbia was relatively unaffected by the Civil War. The city continues to grow today, and its bustling activity unfortunately leads to incidents of carelessness like car accidents. Motor vehicle collisions can alter the lives of Columbia residents, but experienced attorney Matt Uhrig can try to reduce some of the stress by advocating for your right to compensation.Holding Negligent Drivers Accountable
Most costs arising from Missouri car accidents must be paid by the liability insurance of the driver who caused the harm. However, there are many cases when more than one person contributed to the crash. In Missouri, courts follow the pure comparative negligence rule. This means that an injured person can recover damages from the defendant only to the extent of that defendant's fault. The recovery award will be reduced in proportion to the victim’s degree of responsibility.
For example, if an automobile driver is speeding and collides with another car that failed to stop at an intersection, resulting in an injury, the speeding motorist may be sued for damages. However, that person may assert that the individual who failed to yield was also negligent. In that case, the jury will be asked to determine the damages and also apportion liability between the two parties. If the jury awards $200,000 and assigns 60% of the fault to the speeding driver, the person who failed to stop at the intersection will be able to recover up to $120,000. He or she will be responsible for $80,000 of the damages.
What if multiple parties are at fault? It is always prudent to sue everyone who may be responsible for a car accident. The jury will apportion liability among all parties who are found to be at fault. If a defendant is found to bear less than 51% of the responsibility, he or she will only be held responsible for the percentage of fault that the jury attaches to him or her. On the other hand, if a defendant is found 51% or more responsible, the defendant will be found jointly and severally liable for the judgment rendered against the other defendants. This means that a defendant who is 51% or more at fault can be held accountable for paying the entire judgment, even though he or she is not 100% responsible for the harm.Discuss Your Car Accident Claim with a Columbia Lawyer
If you have been hurt in a car accident near Columbia, you can benefit from consulting an attorney with a strong understanding of trial strategy. The at-fault driver's insurance carrier is likely to look for ways to hold you partially or fully responsible for the accident. They do not owe you any duty of loyalty or fairness. Before you speak to the other party's insurer, you should retain your own Boone County attorney to investigate the case and retain experts on your behalf if necessary. Contact the Law Office of Matt Uhrig at (573) 657-2050 or via our online form.