Wherever they occur, head-on collisions can lead to serious injuries or death. In 2012, for example, about 600 Missouri residents were killed or hurt in these crashes, according to the state Department of Transportation. The Law Office of Matt Uhrig is comprised of car accident lawyers who have significant trial experience litigating cases for injured residents of Columbia and surrounding communities. If you were hurt in a head-on collision, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm.Take Legal Action to Hold Negligent Drivers Accountable
People injured — or the family of a person killed — in a car crash can file a negligence or wrongful death action against the person or entity responsible. A negligence lawsuit consists of four essential parts: a duty of care owed to the victim, the defendant’s breach of that duty through some careless conduct, a causal link between the defendant’s breach and the accident, and quantifiable damages that the victim incurred.
“Duty” is a legal term that refers to the standard of care the defendant must use with regard to his or her behavior. All drivers owe a duty of reasonable care, which means that they must avoid unreasonable behavior that endangers the people around them.
A defendant breaches when he or she fails to abide by the required standard of care. A driver might breach the duty, for example, by driving distracted or crossing the double yellow line. In most cases, any violation of traffic rules or needlessly risky action, such as failing to reduce speed in bad weather, is likely to be considered a breach.
Causation consists of two sub-elements: causation in fact and legal causation. Causation in fact is often called “but for” causation because of the test used to determine its existence. If the victim would have avoided harm but for the defendant’s careless behavior, the defendant is a cause in fact of the victim’s injuries. Legal causation is more nuanced. If the accident was a foreseeable result of the other driver’s breach, he or she probably will be deemed to have been a legal cause of the crash. It is not necessary to show that the defendant is the sole cause of the accident, but he or she at least must have substantially contributed to it.
If the victim can prove duty, breach, and causation, the last step lies in identifying actual damages that resulted from his or her injuries. Prevailing individuals in a negligence lawsuit may be entitled to collect compensation for a wide variety of physical, emotional, and financial types of harm. This includes reimbursement for medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages, as well as damages for physical pain and suffering and emotional distress. In rare cases when a defendant acted with a reckless disregard for the safety of others, the court may also award punitive damages.Enlist a Jefferson City Lawyer to Protect Your Rights After an Auto Crash
Missouri law gives people hurt by a negligent driver the right to seek compensation for their injuries. The auto crash attorneys at the Law Office of Matt Uhrig have significant experience helping victims from Jefferson City and other Missouri cities, such as Columbia, assert their right to damages. If you were injured in a head-on collision, we will work hard to pursue the money you deserve. Call (573) 657-2050 or visit our contact page to schedule a free consultation.