Almost all auto collisions have at least one negligent party involved. It is incredibly rare for an accident to be unavoidable, such as a loose rock tumbling down from the steep embankment or a deer running out into the road. Even if neither of the parties involved in the collision were driving in a negligent manner and the collision was caused by a set of faulty brakes, the car manufacturer would be held liable. As you can see, in most scenarios, someone is to blame. And, like many other states, Missouri distributes that negligence to one, both, or multiple other parties involved in a collision. Missouri is a pure comparative negligence state, which means that negligence can be thought of as a shared percentage.
Examples of Pure Comparative Negligence
For an example of an auto crash that two parties would most likely be found negligent, imagine a collision that occurs at an intersection where one party went through a red light and the other was speeding excessively through their green light. In this case, the party that went through the red light would most likely receive the highest percentage of negligence, we’ll say 90 percent. That would leave the other party with 10 percent of the blame (10 percent negligent). Because the party that went through the red light was more at fault, the party that was speeding will be able to claim compensation, but only 90 percent of their damages, not 100 percent.
Two Fatalities Following January Collision on Interstate 44
In January, 2016, a fatal collision occurred on Interstate 44 when an eastbound tractor-trailer pulled out of a rest area on ramp, according to KMOV News. A passenger vehicle approached from behind and slammed into the back of the semi truck. Both occupants of the passenger vehicle died. According to the truck driver, and other drivers, the on ramp is dangerous in design. Because of its short length, it is difficult to get up to speed in time to merge onto the freeway. In this scenario, there are three factors that could affect negligence. If the passenger vehicle was speeding, which is not known at the time of this writing, they could be held negligent to some degree. If the truck driver did not yield appropriately to the passenger vehicle, the truck driver could be held liable. If both of these scenarios were at play, liability could be divided between the two parties. Thirdly, if the on ramp was, in fact, found to be designed poorly, that could also affect how negligence is ascribed. Traffic accidents are almost always more complex than they appear on the surface, especially in Missouri with its pure comparative liability laws. In any situation where you or a loved one sustain injury in a car accident that you did not cause, it is important to hire an experienced attorney to guarantee the maximum compensation that you and your family deserve. If you have been injured in an accident, contact an experienced Kansas City car accident attorney today for a free consultation with the Krause & Kinsman Law Firm.
Adam Krause 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. Adam Krause has made a career of taking complicated litigation and presenting it in the most elementary terms for a jury of your peers to understand. Learn more about his experience here.