EXPERIENCED ST. LOUIS PASSENGER INJURY ATTORNEYS
There are times with automobile accidents where the injuries of passengers may be temporarily overlooked by the insurance carriers and parties involved in the wreck because the initial focus may be with the drivers and determining fault. While an investigation to determine fault is important, the rights of passengers also need to be protected and investigated as soon as possible after the crash. A passenger’s claims may be against more than one driver depending upon the facts of the car accident. St. Louis personal injury attorney Robert A. Strauss has the experience to know that passenger injuries should be taken seriously and passenger claims should be investigated as early as possible. For a free consultation contact attorney Robert A. Strauss toll free at (800) 991-8688.
ASSESSING FAULT IN THE ACCIDENT
A car or truck accident may have multiple causes. Often times, it is the other driver’s conduct alone that causes the crash and resulting injuries to the passengers. In this situation, an innocent person is sitting as a passenger in the front or back of a car or truck that is slammed into by another vehicle driven by a negligent or reckless driver. Other times, however, a vehicle passenger’s own driver may be solely or partially at fault in causing an auto accident. The driver’s fault may be based on the driver’s negligent conduct in operating their motor vehicle including driving too fast for conditions; failing to keep a careful lookout; failing to stop or swerve the vehicle to avoid a wreck; failing to yield to other vehicles; or, drinking and driving.
Although suffering an injury in an automobile accident is never a good thing, passengers can be in a better legal position than drivers under Missouri law when it comes to fault allocation. In the aftermath of a car accident, when determining the cause of the accident, the parties and insurance carriers involved may try to attribute a portion or percentage of fault to multiple drivers. For example, one driver may be deemed 60% at fault while a second driver may be deemed 40% at fault in causing the collision. The drivers’ injury claims may be reduced by the allocation of fault attributed to their actions. However, passengers rarely have to contend with comparative fault issues. Simply put, passengers normally have done nothing wrong to contribute to the accident. Therefore, a passenger’s claims will usually not be subject to comparative fault allegations and their recovery for damages will not be reduced accordingly.
WHEN BOTH PASSENGER AND DRIVER ARE INJURED
Another question that arises at times when a passenger is injured in a Missouri automobile accident is whether one Missouri attorney can represent both an injured driver and his or her injured passenger. A Missouri lawyer, under certain circumstances, may be able to represent both the passenger and driver as long as the driver is not at fault in causing the accident and certain other conditions are met. When both the driver and his or her passengers are injured in a car wreck with a second vehicle there is a potential “conflict of interest” with one Missouri lawyer representing both the injured driver and his or her injured passengers. However, if the injured driver was in no way responsible for causing the accident, one Missouri attorney may be able to represent this driver and any injured passengers as long as proper disclosures and consents are obtained in accordance with attorney ethical rules. However, if it becomes necessary to file a lawsuit on behalf of any party, then the Missouri attorney may be required to withdraw from representing all parties in the accident.
When passengers in automobile accidents are injured, they may have different legal rights and different needs than drivers to the accident. If you or a loved one have been injured while traveling as a passenger in a motor vehicle in Missouri, you will want legal representation that is competent to handle these types of issues. For almost twenty-five years, St. Louis accident attorney Robert A. Strauss has been handling passenger injury claims.
NO FEE IF NO RECOVERY
If you or your loved one have been injured as a passenger in an accident, contact attorney Robert A Strauss for a free consultation. Your claim will be handled on a No Fee if No Recovery basis. If you would like to discuss your claim with Mr. Strauss, please email or call toll free at (800) 991-8688.
He handles cases in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, Jefferson County, St. Francois County, Franklin County, Washington County, Lincoln County, Madison County, St. Charles County and many other counties and cities within the State of Missouri.