After a Car Accident

The scene of an automobile accident is chaotic, especially if injuries or even fatalities are involved. Once out of that chaos and the immediate needs of emergency responders — when you are at home or in the hospital — what do you need to do after a car accident?

If you have been seriously injured in a car accident, the first step to think about is contacting a personal injury attorney who will help you understand the process of pursuing a personal injury claim and can give you a free, no-obligation review of your legal options.

Proving Fault in a Car Accident: What is Negligence?

Most car accident lawsuits are based on negligence, which simply means that the responsible party (i.e., the driver at fault) acted in a way that disregarded his or her duty to drive safely on the road, ultimately resulting in injury to another driver or passenger (you).

What is negligence?

car accident negligence drive safely

Negligence can take many forms, examples include:

  • Failure to obey traffic laws, such as running red lights, failing to yield or speeding
  • Failure to maintain the vehicle or keep it in proper working condition
  • Distracted driving, such as using the cell phone, emailing and texting or doing other tasks
  • Reckless driving, including sudden stops, swerving, and keeping the car under control

When that negligence results in injuries, we help you hold those responsible for their actions.

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What is the Most Common Type of Car Accident?

Front impact and rear impact are the most common types of car collisions. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 29% of all accidents are rear-end collisions and approximately 10.2% of all motor vehicle accidents are caused by head-on collisions (Insurance Information Institute – III).

Establishing Negligence in a Car Accident

Proving that a driver was at fault usually means establishing that he or she was negligent, which simply means we look at whether the other driver failed to follow his or her duty of care.

“Duty of care” is a legal term that refers to the responsibility one person has to avoid causing harm to another. Every driver has a basic legal duty to operate a motor vehicle in a safe manner. For instance, if the other driver isn’t safely operating his or her vehicle or paying attention to traffic laws and causes an accident, he or she may be found negligent.

Proof that may help determine liability could include:

  • Footage from intersection cameras
  • Photographs of the scene, vehicles, injuries
  • Police reports
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Expert testimonies
  • Medical records that explain your injuries

Comparative Negligence

The courts assign fault in car accident cases. In the state of Missouri, liability in car accidents is determined using a comparative negligence doctrine, meaning the courts will determine the percentage of fault and may assign fault to either or both drivers. The state of Missouri allows accident victims to pursue compensation even if they were up to 99% at fault in the accident.

Holding Negligent Drivers Accountable

We take the burden off your shoulders and let you focus on what matters most. We know what documentation is needed, what experts to consult and how to handle insurance companies. We are experienced car accident attorneys.

That might mean we need to bring in accident reconstruction experts, engineers or investigators who can help prove who was at fault. It also means we will look at all legal angles in addition to the other driver’s negligence, including:

  • Highway construction defects, inadequate highway signage, or other physical conditions that may cause accidents.
  • Safety issues, such as defective tires or other parts on your vehicle.

We will advise you on a legal course of action to take and help you obtain compensation for things such as:

  • Immediate medical bills
  • Future medical bills, which may include costs for rehabilitation and long-term care
  • Lost wages and/or a reduced earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering

Questions? Our knowledgeable staff is available at (877) 284-6600.

Receive a free Evaluation from Experienced Car Accident Attorneys

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Our experienced car accident attorneys offer:

  • Over 80 years of combined experience
  • Trusted legal advisor committed to your needs
  • Super Lawyers for over 10 years
  • The AV Preeminence Rating for Ethical Standards & Legal Ability
  • Compassionate advocacy for you and your family

If you have been seriously injured or lost a family member in a car accident in the Kansas City area, contact the Nash & Franciskato Law Firm for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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Editor’s Note: This page was reviewed for content and accuracy on August 15, 2022 and again on March 21, 2024. It was republished on March 21, 2024.


How do you know if you have whiplash?

Whiplash is usually associated with car accidents; the sudden force stretches and tears the muscles and tendons in your neck.

Whiplash causes pain, tenderness, stiffness and loss of movement in the neck. It may also cause headaches, muscle spasms and pain in the arms or shoulders.

If you didn’t get evaluated immediately after a car accident, you should get examined by your doctor.

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