Columbia Distracted Driving Accidents
With a population of about 115,000, Columbia is the fourth-most populated urban area in Boone County, Missouri. Built on forested hills near the Missouri River where the Ozark Mountains start to turn into savannah, it is a college town and home to the University of Missouri. An ancient group that explorers called the Mound Builders once inhabited Columbia. They were so named because they built different earthen mounds for religious, ceremonial, residential, and burial purposes. A few decades after explorers first observed the mounds and their constructions, the area was found depopulated, and the Mound Builders had vanished for unknown reasons. If you are hurt in a motor vehicle collision near Columbia, experienced attorney Matt Uhrig can represent you through negotiations and take your case to trial if needed.Seek Damages from a Negligent Driver
Distracted driving, in which someone is paying attention to a cell phone or something other than the road, may result in an accident. If the defendant's actions violate a statutory rule of the road or safety regulation, this may constitute negligence per se. In that case, proving an ordinary negligence claim is not required. The victim will only have to show that the defendant violated the applicable rule and that this conduct was the proximate cause of his or her injuries and damages.
On the other hand, sometimes an accident arises due to negligence by both parties. For example, one party may be distracted and run a stop sign, while the other driver may be speeding without a seatbelt. A jury will determine damages and apportion fault between the individuals. When a defendant is able to establish through expert testimony that a failure to wear a seatbelt was a contributing factor in the victim’s injuries, the jury can reduce damages in proportion to that failure, but not by more than 1%.
When a distracted motorist causes an accident while he or she is on the job, his or her employer can be held responsible. For example, if a pizza delivery driver is focused on changing CDs in the car rather than paying attention to the road, the restaurant that employs him can be added as a defendant to the lawsuit under a theory of vicarious liability. Most companies have insurance policies with a higher degree of coverage than an individual Missouri motorist does, so suing a defendant's employer can result in a greater likelihood of recovering the full scope of your damages.Consult a Capable Columbia Attorney After an Auto Accident
If you are hurt in a serious auto accident in Columbia or the surrounding area, it may be necessary for your lawyer to retain a reconstruction specialist. The expert will look at skid marks, debris, property damage, and witness testimony to determine the cause of the crash. A defendant's insurer and attorney may try to get you to admit you were partially or fully responsible for an accident. It is important to avoid talking to an insurer or other representative of the at-fault driver until you retain your own experienced counsel. Contact the Law Office of Matt Uhrig at (573) 657-2050 or via our online form.