Car accidents always seem to happen at the worst possible times. When you live in Kansas City, Missouri, you do not just have to watch out for other drivers on the road. Occasionally, there are times when the wild and unpredictable weather of the state can cause an accident, as well. Since the state is part of Tornado Alley, it is a good idea for all residents to familiarize themselves with the laws of determining fault in car accidents.
You leave your Kansas City job early to get ahead of the tornado heading your way after hearing about it on the local news. After a quick stop at the grocery store for supplies, you are on the way home feeling good because you will arrive home hours before the storm is due to hit. However, when you are a couple of blocks from your house, you see a funnel cloud racing toward you. What do you do? You think fast and take an evasive maneuver to seek shelter from the storm. After the storm passes, you are relieved you are not hurt. Your car, on the other hand, is not so lucky.
Can I Collect Damages in Missouri if I am Partially at Fault?
In Kansas City, if you see a tornado heading your way and make the decision to seek shelter and your car sustains damage, you may be able to recoup some of the costs for repairs to your vehicle. The state of Missouri uses the rules of pure comparative negligence when determining fault in accidents; which means a plaintiff partially responsible for the damages can only receive compensation in proportion to the defendant’s degree of fault.
You will be able to collect damages for your tornado encounter, but you will not be able to collect 100% of your damages since you were at fault for the accident. Normally, you would have to prove the other driver’s degree of fault, but there is no other driver. You cannot receive compensation from the tornado; you will have to carry most of the burden of your repairs. All accident claims in the state of Missouri are subject to the “fault” rule. If you are unsure if you will be able to collect for damages to your car after your encounter with a tornado, you can schedule a no-obligation consultation with an experienced, car accident attorney in Kansas City.
What Types of Damages Can I Collect for My Kansas City Car Accident?
Accidents of any kind can leave you with expensive damages and catastrophic injuries. The costs to make repairs to your vehicle in Kansas City can quickly drain your finances. If you have damages to your car, payments for car accident damages can include:
- Payments for lost income
- Compensation for emotional distress
- Compensation for pain and suffering
- Payments to repair your car or funds to replace your car if it is a total loss
- Funds to pay for a rental car while your car is in the shop
If you are unsure if your damages to your vehicle resulting from the tornado fall into any of these categories, meet with a Missouri car accident attorney for further clarification. A lawyer will also be able to tell you the statute limitations for the state, so you do not miss on any compensation payments. The laws can be confusing; consulting with an attorney will help give you the clarity you need to file your claim for damages with confidence.
Will I be Able to Receive Compensation for My Minor Injuries in Missouri?
It is often difficult to determine who is actually at fault when there is a vehicle accident. If you sustain injuries when another driver hits you, there may be factors such as excessive speed or illegal lane changes that cause accidents. In the event of a tornado, it may be hard to establish fault. An experienced attorney will be able to tell you if you are able to receive compensation from your insurance carrier to cover your medical expenses for your minor injuries. You should never assume your injuries are not eligible for compensation; the best way to find out is to consult an attorney.
In traditional car accident claims, fault is the determining factor when it comes to paying for damages. The state of Missouri assesses fault at these four levels:
- Negligence – careless behavior that causes damage or harm to a person or their property (very common in car accidents).
- Recklessness or wanton conduct – willfully ignoring the safety and well-being of others.
- Intentional misconduct – behavior that purposefully harms someone.
- Strict liability – for accidents that do not involve fault like transporting dangerous or hazardous chemicals.
Take the time to meet with a car accident attorney to discuss any and all questions you have regarding your insurance coverage and what specific limits apply to your individual policy.
How Can A Kansas City Car Accident Attorney Help Me?
After a car accident, you may experience fear and confusion as you try to decide what your next move should be. If you do not understand exactly how your car insurance claim process works, you may miss out on being able to claim the damages for which you are eligible. A car accident attorney will be able to walk you through all the steps you need to take to file a claim and explain to you if you are able to receive compensation for your damages. It is unnecessary to add additional stress to your life when you are already nervous and confused. Consult an attorney to get all your questions answered.
Call an attorney at the office of Krause & Kinsman Law Firm to discuss all the details surrounding your automobile accident. We are here to help you and will work hard to review your case and explain to you if you are eligible to receive compensation. Let us take the worry and confusion out of your auto insurance claim. Contact us today for a consultation.
Robert Kinsman is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Robert Kinsman is passionate about normalizing the life of his clients after they have been seriously injured. Learn more about his experience here.