There are always dangers associated with getting behind the wheel, but many of these hazards are heightened when it comes to navigating our highway system. Due to multiple factors, like speed, traffic, and weather conditions, highway collisions are among the most common sources of motor vehicle-related injuries. In many instances, these collisions result in catastrophic harm that has life-changing consequences for a victim and his or her family. At the Law Office of Matt Uhrig, our car accident attorneys have represented numerous Columbia residents who have been hurt in a highway crash due to another motorist’s negligence.Bringing a Negligence Claim against a Driver in Missouri
A car accident often leads to a personal injury claim, which tends to be based on establishing that the defendant was negligent. This cause of action has four separate elements that must be proven in order for compensation to be awarded. The first two elements are called duty and breach. According to Missouri law, each person has a duty to act with the same ordinary care and skill that a reasonably prudent person would use in a similar situation. Regarding the operation of motor vehicles, for example, the duty of care requires each motorist to drive with the same ordinary skill and care that a reasonably prudent driver would use in comparable circumstances.
If the defendant’s actions fall below this standard, the defendant likely has breached the duty of care. Some common examples of careless conduct include texting while driving, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated, or failing to yield at an intersection.
After establishing duty and breach, the plaintiff must prove that his or her damages would not have occurred but for the defendant’s carelessness. This element is known as causation. The accident must have been a reasonably foreseeable result of the breach, rather than the product of some intervening cause that could not have been anticipated.
The last element of a negligence claim requires the plaintiff to provide proof of the damages that he or she has suffered, which typically include medical bills, physical therapy, damage to a vehicle, and pain and suffering. Additionally, if a plaintiff must miss work due to his or her injuries or is forced to change his or her job, there may also be damages awarded for lost wages and the loss of future earning capacity.
Unfortunately, many highway accidents lead to the death of one or more of the victims involved because of the high speeds at which these collisions happen. In these tragic situations, Missouri law allows the surviving relatives of a victim to bring a wrongful death action to pursue compensation for the loss of a loved one.Explore Your Options with a Columbia Attorney after a Car Accident
If you or someone you know has been involved in a highway accident in Columbia or the surrounding area, the injury lawyers at The Law Office of Matt Uhrig can help. We have provided legal guidance to motor vehicle collision victims throughout Missouri, including in Ashland and Jefferson City, and we are prepared to help you aggressively assert your rights. We offer a free consultation, so you have nothing to lose. Call us now at (573) 657-2050 or contact us online to set up an appointment with us today.