The Basic Framework for a Car Accident Lawsuit in Missouri

Being involved in a car accident can be a frightening and overwhelming experience. If you have sustained injuries in an accident it is imperative that you seek medical attention immediately. Although surviving a car accident can make you feel lucky to be alive, being faced with excessive hospital bills and debilitating injuries can prevent you from seeing the silver lining. When you are a victim of a car accident, there is no reason to face it alone. A St. Louis car accident attorney can alleviate some of the pressure and help you pursue the proper legal recourse.

Contact an Experienced St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer

Once you have been medically treated for your injuries, it is in your best interest to consult a lawyer to determine whether you want to file a lawsuit against the defendant (the person being sued). A reputable personal injury law firm will usually offer a free consultation to review the facts of the case and to engage in an exploratory investigation to determine who is at fault and what theory of liability to pursue. Additionally, many lawyers work on a contingency fee basis meaning you will not owe any legal fees unless you win the case. Thus, it is typically in your best interest to hire a lawyer who will fight to represent your legal rights.

File a Personal Injury Petition

A Petition is the first official document of the case, which broadly spells out some of the facts of the case and alleges the defendant’s role in the accident. It is important that upon filing a Petition that no procedural rules are violated and that the Petition is not frivolous. For example, according to the Missouri Rules of Civil Procedure, once the Petition is filed a copy must be:

·      Personally delivered to the defendant;

·      Delivered to the defendant’s home and left with a family member who is 15 or older; or

·      Delivered to an authorized agent.

This ensures that the defendant is aware of the pending lawsuit and will be present at the upcoming court date. After receiving a copy of the Petition, the defendant will usually be provided with a lawyer who is hired by the defendant’s car insurance company.

The Discovery Process

Prior to heading to trial, each party in the lawsuit will share evidence through the process of discovery. The goal of the discovery process is to participate in a mutual exchange of facts, witnesses and documents to help both parties resolve the dispute. The length of the discovery process varies from case to case and depends on various factors. However, it’s during the discovery process that most parties decide to settle their case rather than go to trial.

Settling the Case

Both parties of the lawsuit may settle the case at any point during the litigation process. A “settlement” is when the parties agree on certain terms to resolve the dispute prior to trial. Depending on the facts of the case, going to trial is not always the best option for a victim.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in St. Louis or in any other area of Missouri, contact an experienced car accident lawyer right away. An attorney can help you understand the litigation process and make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.

~Joseph D. Klenofsky  |  St. Louis Personal Injury Attorney
The Klenofsky Law Firm, LLC
1717 Park Avenue

St. Louis, MO 63104

Tel. 314-932-5790

Fax. 314-932-5792