Do you have to call the police after a car accident in Missouri?

Yes, if there are injuries, damage greater than $500 or if the driver is uninsured. In other words, unless it’s a straightforward fender-bender with no other complications, you need to call the police.

If you or someone you love was involved in a collision and you need legal help, don’t hesitate to reach out to an experienced St. Louis personal injury attorney. Contact the experienced team at Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse today at 314-241-1919 for a free consultation.

When to Call the Police After an Accident

While you are required to call the police in many cases, it’s not just major car crashes that merit a call to the local police.

Even if you’re involved in a minor car accident, having an officer at the accident scene can prevent potential headaches down the road. The officers’ assessment and the subsequent accident report help establish the facts, protecting you from possible false claims of vehicle damage or bodily injury by the other driver.

Serious Injuries and Medical Care

In crashes with serious injuries, the first thing you should do is call emergency services.

Dialing 911 ensures that medical care arrives promptly and that the accident scene is secured. The responding officer’s report will include details on the injuries, providing an official record that links them to the accident – a critical element if insurance claims or legal actions are pursued.

Even when the police can’t reach the scene, possibly due to more severe incidents, your prompt request for medical help remains a recorded response to the injuries incurred.

This can prove invaluable in the following circumstances: when it’s time to prove the severity and cause of the injuries during the insurance claim process.

Significant Property Damage

As we mentioned above, when the property damage from a vehicle accident exceeds $500, you are required to file a police report. But beyond legal obligation, involving the police provides a clear narrative of events which is instrumental in determining fault and the extent of damages when dealing with insurance companies.

In the absence of a police report outlining the accident, insurers might dispute claims, putting you at risk. That’s why creating police reports for such incidents isn’t just about ticking a box, it’s about safeguarding your interests down the line.

What Happens If You Don’t Report an Accident?

Failing to promptly report a traffic accident in Missouri can result in fines and potentially more severe penalties depending on the circumstances.

  • License Suspension – The Missouri Department of Revenue may suspend your driver’s license if you fail to report an accident. This suspension can occur if the accident involved significant property damage, injury, or death and was not reported within the required timeframe.
  • Insurance Issues – Not reporting an accident can complicate insurance claims. Insurance companies typically require accident reports to process claims. Without a report, you might face delays or denials of coverage, leading to out-of-pocket expenses for damages or injuries.
  • Legal Liability – If you don’t report an accident and it is later discovered, you could be held liable for damages and injuries. This can result in lawsuits, increased insurance premiums and potential financial burdens from court judgments.
  • Criminal Charges – In cases involving serious injuries or fatalities, failing to report the accident could result in criminal charges, including hit-and-run allegations. These charges can carry severe penalties, including imprisonment.

Minor Car Accidents: Should You Call the Police?

A minor scrape or bump might not seem worthy of police attention, but even the smallest incidents can spiral into major disputes.

It’s a common misconception that minor car accidents don’t require a police report, yet experts, including insurance companies and car accident lawyers, recommend erring on the side of caution and calling the police. The report acts as an impartial record of the incident and a defensive wall against potential future claims.

It’s understandable to question the need for police involvement in what seems like a straightforward exchange of insurance information. However, the absence of an official report opens the door to potential challenges, from disputes about the accident’s details to false injury claims. By getting the police on record, you’re not just documenting the incident; you’re protecting your interests in any forthcoming negotiations or legal battles.

Exchanging Information

In the immediate aftermath of a minor car accident, the exchange of information is a priority. You’ll need the other driver’s name, contact details, and insurance information – all the essentials for both parties to move forward with their respective claims with the other driver’s insurance company. Even if the police are not present, this step cannot be skipped; it’s the foundation upon which any future claims or disputes will be built.

But what if the other driver is uncooperative, or worse, flees the scene? In such cases, any information you can gather becomes even more crucial.

License plate numbers, vehicle descriptions, and even the direction in which the other car was headed can help law enforcement track down the other party and ensure that justice is served.

Documenting the Scene

Snapshots of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, positioning, and any relevant road signs or signals, can corroborate your account of the incident. These images are silent witnesses, speaking volumes when you need to report the accident to both police and your insurance company.

Consulting a Car Accident Lawyer

With a lawyer by your side, handling police reports and navigating insurance claims is a lot easier. Your attorney will be your trusted advocate throughout the process, doing the heavy lifting on your auto accident case while you focus on recovering from your injuries.

In addition, an experienced car accident lawyer, familiar with the legal system, can assist in maximizing your compensation.

From collecting evidence to negotiating with insurance companies, a lawyer can be the difference between an adequate settlement and one that truly covers all your damages and suffering.

Free Case Consultation

If you’re dealing with the aftermath of a car accident, a free case consultation with Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse could be the first step toward achieving the justice and compensation you deserve. 

Don’t hesitate to reach out at 314-241-1919 to review your case.

Free Case Evaluation

    Practice Areas

    CASE STUDIES & TESTIMONIALS

    $1.8 Billion: Yaz Birth Control MDL

    $1.8 Billion: As National Lead Counsel for the MDL, NGK Law negotiated, coordinated, and administered the national litigation and settlement of the Yaz birth control litigation. This litigation involved women that sustained injuries, including blood clots, pulmonary embolisms, and deep vein thrombosis, as a result of the birth control Yaz.

    $745,000,000.00: Wrongful Death

    Jury verdict: Jury verdict in St. Louis, Missouri against the distributor of Whip-It’s nitrous oxide after a 20 year old passed out after using them and crashed into a building, killing a 25 year old woman.

    $650,000,000.00: Pradaxa MDL

    $650,000,000.00: As National Liaison Counsel for the MDL, NGK Law negotiated, coordinated, and administered the national settlement of the Pradaxa blood thinner litigation. Clients sustained injuries, including internal bleeding, as a result of the dangerous medication.

    $23,071,000.00: Product Liability

    A 9 month old boy suffered a severe traumatic brain injury due to a defective component on a boat.

    Gladys R.
    Kindness, thoughtfulness and patience
        

    I really appreciated Dave’s kindness and thoughtfulness and especially his patience with me throughout my lawsuit.
    Lou P.
    Helped me through the process
        

    Initially, I was reluctant to bring a lawsuit. But Dave answered all of my questions and helped me through the process. I really appreciate all he did to get me what I deserved.
    Matthew G.
    I only recommend NGK anytime
        

    Very responsive and they help you in any way they can. Micheal Kruz has handled many cases for me and he is very professional and will fight for you every time. I only recommend NGK anytime.
    Dianne C.
    Very professional and friendly!
        

    This group is great! Very professional and friendly! It was a pleasant experience dealing with these folks! Give them a call! If they can’t be of help, they know someone who can! 😊
    Larry S.
    Far exceeded my most optimistic expectations
        

    Efficient, effective, have to say they far exceeded my most optimistic expectations. You are doing yourself a disservice if you do not use there services!
    John P.
    Excellent law firm
        

    NGK is an excellent mass tort and personal injury law firm. Highly recommend.
    David F.
    Proficient
        

    Proficient and stands up to Big Insurance.

    Car accidents are not something that happens every day. In fact, the average driver in the United States is involved in a collision only once in every 17.9 years.

    When crashes do happen, it can be hard to know what to do next.

    If you were not at fault for the crash, what should you do to protect your rights and make sure you receive any necessary compensation?

    We’ll break down some tips below. If you need help recovering compensation or have a question on a specific car crash case, don’t hesitate to contact the St. Louis personal injury attorneys at Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse. We are here for you – 314-241-1919.

    What to Do Immediately After a Car Accident

    You’ve just experienced the shock of a collision, and your heart is racing. Now what? The steps you take in the immediate aftermath of a car accident are pivotal in protecting your legal rights and setting the stage for any claims you may need to file.

    Ensure Safety and Check for Injuries

    Once you’ve taken a deep breath, assess yourself and your passengers for any signs of injury. If you’re able, move your vehicle out of oncoming traffic to avoid further hazards.

    Remember, some injuries are not immediately apparent, so even if you feel fine, remain vigilant for any delayed symptoms.

    Call Emergency Services

    Your next step is clear and non-negotiable: call law enforcement. Use 911 if there’s an emergency or call a non-emergency number of there’s not (SLMPD’s number is 314-231-1212).

    Whether injuries are visible or the damage seems minor, having a law enforcement presence there can be very helpful for collecting evidence for your claim. Police officers will document the incident and file a police report.

    They might also direct traffic to prevent additional accidents, while emergency medical personnel can assess and treat any injuries on the scene.

    Avoid Admitting Fault

    You might have heard that you shouldn’t admit fault around the other driver, and it is true.

    As you interact with the other driver, be mindful of your words. A simple “I’m sorry” can be misinterpreted as an admission of guilt, jeopardizing your car accident claim.

    It’s essential to exchange information calmly and factually without discussing fault. If the other driver, who might be the at-fault driver, presses you, politely refer them to your insurance company.

    This moment is about information, not interpretation.

    Gathering Information at the Accident Scene

    The evidence you collect at the scene of the accident can be a linchpin for your car accident claim. Once things calm down, start collecting evidence that will shed light on the incident and support your potential compensation claim. This includes taking photos and noting witness details.

    Exchange Information with the Other Driver

    Exchange names, addresses, phone numbers and insurance information with the other driver. Note their vehicle’s make, model, and license plate number. If there are passengers, get their details too.

    This exchange should be straightforward and factual — no need for discussion about the accident’s specifics or who might be to blame.

    Take Photos and Videos

    Your smartphone is your ally here. Take clear photos and videos of the vehicles, their positions, the damage, and any landmarks that help establish the scene. Document the road conditions, traffic signs, and any skid marks or debris.

    These visuals are invaluable for insurance claims and, if necessary, legal proceedings.

    Identify Witnesses

    Did anyone else see the accident happen?

    If so, their perspective could be crucial. Approach any bystanders who might have witnessed the event and ask for their contact information.

    If they’re willing, have them write down what they saw. Remember, your goal is to collect unbiased accounts that support your version of events.

    Reporting the Accident

    After ensuring safety and gathering evidence, you need to officially report the incident.

    File a Police Report

    The police officer responding to the scene will file the police report. Filing a police report provides an official account of the accident, which can be invaluable if there are disputes about what happened.

    In Missouri, you’re legally required to report any accident involving significant injury, death or property damage. This report becomes a key document in establishing the facts and assigning fault.

    Notify Your Own Insurance Company

    Even if the accident wasn’t your fault, it’s crucial to report it to your own insurance company. This step is often mandated by your policy and helps to initiate the claims process.

    Keep in mind that the other party may also report the accident to their insurer, so it’s best to be proactive and ensure your version of events is on record.

    Seeking Medical Attention

    The adrenaline surge when an accident happened can hide pain, which underscores the need for medical attention. Certain injuries, such as whiplash or internal harm, may take hours or even days to show symptoms.

    If you suspect that something might be amiss, a visit to the emergency room or your physician can help uncover these hidden injuries.

    Get a Medical Examination

    A medical professional can evaluate your car accident injuries, possibly using diagnostic tools like X-rays or MRIs to uncover any hidden damage. These medical records become a critical piece of evidence in your car accident claim, linking your injuries directly to the accident.

    Keep Medical Records

    As you receive treatment, keep a detailed log of your medical visits, expenses and any related medical bills. These records are essential for documenting the extent of your injuries and their impact on your life, which is crucial when seeking compensation through your insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit.

    Navigating the Insurance Claim Process

    Interacting with insurance companies can be as intimidating as the accident. From the first report to the closing settlement, it’s vital to handle this process with accuracy and patience.

    Your aim is to secure fair treatment of your car insurance claim and obtain the rightful compensation.

    Contacting the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company

    Once you’ve gathered your evidence, it’s time to contact the other driver’s insurance company.

    Provide them with the necessary details of the accident, including the date, time and location, as well as the police report number. Be sure to document every interaction, as these details can be important if the claim becomes disputed.

    Submitting Evidence and Documentation

    When submitting evidence to the insurance company, include all the photos and videos you took at the scene, along with any witness statements. This documentation will support your version of events and help establish the extent of your damages.

    Dealing with Insurance Adjusters

    Interacting with insurance adjusters requires a careful balance. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

    • Be truthful and consistent in your statements 
    • Avoid providing recorded statements without legal advice 
    • Stick to the facts and avoid any admissions that could be used against you 

    Remember, the insurance adjuster’s job is to minimize the company’s payout, so it’s essential to protect your interests by being cautious in your interactions.

    Legal Assistance and Representation

    There are times when professional legal assistance is not just helpful — it’s necessary.

    Let’s talk about when to consider hiring a car accident lawyer and how they can aid your case.

    When to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer

    If you’re facing a disputed claim, or the insurance company’s settlement offer doesn’t adequately cover your damages, it’s time to consult a car accident lawyer.

    Legal representation becomes crucial when you need to negotiate a fair settlement or if you’re considering taking your case to court.

    How a Lawyer Can Help

    A car accident lawyer can help in various ways, from communicating with insurance companies and sifting through evidence to representing you in court. They understand the intricacies of car accident claims and can ensure that you’re compensated fairly for your injuries and losses.

    Get Legal Help For Your Car Accident Claim

    Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be incredibly stressful, and it is made even more frustrating when the crash wasn’t your fault.

    The other driver and insurance adjusters will do what they can to deny or minimize the compensation they provide to you for car repairs, medical payments and lost time away from work. If this sounds familiar to you, a skilled St. Louis car accident lawyer can help.

    Contact the attorneys at Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse today to discuss your case – 314-241-1919.

    Free Case Evaluation

      Practice Areas

      CASE STUDIES & TESTIMONIALS

      $1.8 Billion: Yaz Birth Control MDL

      $1.8 Billion: As National Lead Counsel for the MDL, NGK Law negotiated, coordinated, and administered the national litigation and settlement of the Yaz birth control litigation. This litigation involved women that sustained injuries, including blood clots, pulmonary embolisms, and deep vein thrombosis, as a result of the birth control Yaz.

      $745,000,000.00: Wrongful Death

      Jury verdict: Jury verdict in St. Louis, Missouri against the distributor of Whip-It’s nitrous oxide after a 20 year old passed out after using them and crashed into a building, killing a 25 year old woman.

      $650,000,000.00: Pradaxa MDL

      $650,000,000.00: As National Liaison Counsel for the MDL, NGK Law negotiated, coordinated, and administered the national settlement of the Pradaxa blood thinner litigation. Clients sustained injuries, including internal bleeding, as a result of the dangerous medication.

      $23,071,000.00: Product Liability

      A 9 month old boy suffered a severe traumatic brain injury due to a defective component on a boat.

      Gladys R.
      Kindness, thoughtfulness and patience
          

      I really appreciated Dave’s kindness and thoughtfulness and especially his patience with me throughout my lawsuit.
      Lou P.
      Helped me through the process
          

      Initially, I was reluctant to bring a lawsuit. But Dave answered all of my questions and helped me through the process. I really appreciate all he did to get me what I deserved.
      Matthew G.
      I only recommend NGK anytime
          

      Very responsive and they help you in any way they can. Micheal Kruz has handled many cases for me and he is very professional and will fight for you every time. I only recommend NGK anytime.
      Dianne C.
      Very professional and friendly!
          

      This group is great! Very professional and friendly! It was a pleasant experience dealing with these folks! Give them a call! If they can’t be of help, they know someone who can! 😊
      Larry S.
      Far exceeded my most optimistic expectations
          

      Efficient, effective, have to say they far exceeded my most optimistic expectations. You are doing yourself a disservice if you do not use there services!
      John P.
      Excellent law firm
          

      NGK is an excellent mass tort and personal injury law firm. Highly recommend.
      David F.
      Proficient
          

      Proficient and stands up to Big Insurance.

      ST. LOUIS, MO — The law firm of Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse has taken a significant stand for justice by representing a plaintiff in a lawsuit against former North County Police Cooperative officer Marcellus Blackwell.

      Filed in St. Louis County, this lawsuit addresses serious allegations against Blackwell, who is accused of sexually assaulting multiple men while in custody, including our client.

      The client, who remains unnamed for confidentiality, alleges that in November 2022, Blackwell detained him without cause while he was working at a construction site, fondled him while handcuffed, and later assaulted him in a secluded location. These allegations form part of a broader federal indictment charging Blackwell with 19 counts of deprivation of rights under color of law and 17 counts of altering records in a federal investigation.

      Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse is committed to ensuring that justice is served. By taking on this case, the firm demonstrates its dedication to upholding the rights and dignity of those who have been wronged. The lawsuit also implicates the police chief and several municipalities, accusing them of negligence in hiring practices, training and oversight, which purportedly allowed such abuses to occur unchecked.

      This legal action sends a clear message: Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse stands firmly against abuse and corruption within law enforcement. The firm advocates tirelessly for its clients, pushing for accountability at all levels of the policing system to foster a safer community for all citizens.

      As the case progresses, Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse will continue to work diligently on behalf of the plaintiff, seeking reparation and striving to prevent future misconduct through systemic reform.

      About Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse: Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse is a respected personal injury law firm based in St. Louis, Missouri, renowned for its commitment to justice and integrity. With a proven track record of success taking on powerful entities, our firm specializes in defending the rights of individuals.

      For more information on the case: Follow KDSK 5 On Your Side’s coverage.

      Free Case Evaluation

        Practice Areas

        CASE STUDIES & TESTIMONIALS

        $1.8 Billion: Yaz Birth Control MDL

        $1.8 Billion: As National Lead Counsel for the MDL, NGK Law negotiated, coordinated, and administered the national litigation and settlement of the Yaz birth control litigation. This litigation involved women that sustained injuries, including blood clots, pulmonary embolisms, and deep vein thrombosis, as a result of the birth control Yaz.

        $745,000,000.00: Wrongful Death

        Jury verdict: Jury verdict in St. Louis, Missouri against the distributor of Whip-It’s nitrous oxide after a 20 year old passed out after using them and crashed into a building, killing a 25 year old woman.

        $650,000,000.00: Pradaxa MDL

        $650,000,000.00: As National Liaison Counsel for the MDL, NGK Law negotiated, coordinated, and administered the national settlement of the Pradaxa blood thinner litigation. Clients sustained injuries, including internal bleeding, as a result of the dangerous medication.

        $23,071,000.00: Product Liability

        A 9 month old boy suffered a severe traumatic brain injury due to a defective component on a boat.

        Gladys R.
        Kindness, thoughtfulness and patience
            

        I really appreciated Dave’s kindness and thoughtfulness and especially his patience with me throughout my lawsuit.
        Lou P.
        Helped me through the process
            

        Initially, I was reluctant to bring a lawsuit. But Dave answered all of my questions and helped me through the process. I really appreciate all he did to get me what I deserved.
        Matthew G.
        I only recommend NGK anytime
            

        Very responsive and they help you in any way they can. Micheal Kruz has handled many cases for me and he is very professional and will fight for you every time. I only recommend NGK anytime.
        Dianne C.
        Very professional and friendly!
            

        This group is great! Very professional and friendly! It was a pleasant experience dealing with these folks! Give them a call! If they can’t be of help, they know someone who can! 😊
        Larry S.
        Far exceeded my most optimistic expectations
            

        Efficient, effective, have to say they far exceeded my most optimistic expectations. You are doing yourself a disservice if you do not use there services!
        John P.
        Excellent law firm
            

        NGK is an excellent mass tort and personal injury law firm. Highly recommend.
        David F.
        Proficient
            

        Proficient and stands up to Big Insurance.

        It can be stressful enough to get into a car accident, but what happens when one of the drivers was behind the wheel of a rental car?

        This can raise a lot of questions. Who is liable for the damages? What steps should you take immediately after the accident? And how can you navigate the insurance claims process?

        We’ll take you through the must-dos and should-dos if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, including how to understand your coverage options and avoid common pitfalls that could complicate your experience.

        Got a question about a specific situation? The St. Louis car crash attorneys at Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse are here for you. Give us a call at 341-241-1919 to schedule a free case review with our team.

        What to Do Immediately After A Rental Car Accident

        Your first priority after a car accident should be to ensure everyone involved is safe or, if injured, receiving necessary medical attention. Next, you should turn your attention to securing the accident scene to prevent further accidents.

        Checking for Injuries and Securing the Scene

        After a rental car crash, it’s crucial to take stock of the situation. Check yourself and all other parties involved for any injuries that need immediate attention.

        Remember, it’s also possible that some injuries may not be immediately apparent due to the shock of the accident. Pay close attention to how they are feeling in the following hours and days, and don’t hesitate to visit a doctor if you feel like something might be wrong.

        Following the initial health check, the next step is to secure the accident scene. This helps prevent further accidents, protects everyone present and keeps traffic flowing. If possible, move the cars involved in the crash out of the roadway.

        Contact Authorities and Create a Police Report

        Your local police department will file an official accident report, which is instrumental in documenting the incident. This report serves as an objective record of the accident, including key details like the time, location and parties involved.

        The police report is not just a bureaucratic formality. It contains valuable evidence, such as eyewitness statements, photographs and video surveillance. This can support negligence claims following a rental car accident. The report can be a deciding factor in determining fault, so make sure to contact the authorities promptly after the accident.

        Next, Inform Your Rental Car Agency

        Once you’ve ensured everyone’s safety and contacted the authorities, the next step is informing the rental car agency about the accident. This is a crucial step as it allows the agency to offer guidance on their specific procedures following an accident, which could include arranging for a replacement vehicle or handling insurance claims.

        Look for their emergency numbers, which can often be found in the glove box or rental agreement. Remember to also complete their incident report as this will provide them with all the necessary details about the accident.

        Understanding Your Rental Agreement and Insurance Coverage

        With the most urgent details out of the way, let’s take a look at how things shake out between the rental car company and your insurance.

        Your personal auto insurance policy might cover you when driving a rental car, but depending on your specific coverage, you might not be covered in all situations or levels of damage. Rental car agencies offer various types of insurance, such as collision damage waivers, liability insurance and personal accident insurance, which can cover different aspects of an accident — from injuries and damages to personal belongings.

        It Starts With Your Personal Auto Insurance

        Personal car insurance policies that include collision and comprehensive coverage typically extend to rental vehicles when used for personal use. This means that your own insurance could cover damages to the rental car or medical bills after an accident.

        However, it’s important to verify the specifics of your personal auto insurance before your rent a car. If your policy doesn’t offer adequate coverage for rental cars, then you should consider purchasing additional insurance from the rental agency.

        Understanding Rental Car Insurance

        If your personal car insurance policy doesn’t cover rental situations, it might be a good idea to purchase coverage through your rental agency (though, keep in mind, this can come at a premium.)

        One of the most popular options is the collision damage waiver (CDW), also known as a loss damage waiver (LDW). By purchasing this waiver, renters can cover repair or replacement costs if the rental car suffers damage or is destroyed in an accident, theft, or vandalism.

        However, a CDW or LDW represents just one layer of potential protection. Renters can also consider additional insurance options to ensure comprehensive coverage:

        • Liability Coverage – This insurance protects you if you are held legally responsible for injuring someone or damaging another vehicle or property while driving the rental car. It does not cover damage to the rental vehicle itself.
        • Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) – PAI covers medical costs for the driver and passengers of the rental car in the event of an accident. This can include compensation for death and dismemberment as well as coverage for ambulance fees and medical expenses.
        • Personal Effects Coverage (PEC) – PEC provides protection for the personal belongings carried inside the rental vehicle. If items are stolen from the car or damaged while in the car, this coverage can reimburse you for the loss up to a certain limit.

        Each of these insurance types offers a different level of protection, and their costs can vary depending on the rental company and the location of the rental. It’s essential for renters to thoroughly understand what each coverage option includes and excludes, assess their own risk, and decide what insurance they need to ensure a worry-free rental experience.

        Credit Card and Third-Party Policies

        Beyond your personal auto insurance and the rental agency’s coverage, there are supplementary insurance options available. Credit card rental car insurance, for instance, can serve as primary or secondary coverage. To activate this coverage, you must charge the full rental amount to the card, ensure the rental is in your name and decline the rental company’s collision damage waiver.

        Third-party companies also offer standalone rental car insurance policies. These provide an alternative to credit card insurance and may be a preferable option for some renters. However, it’s important to note that credit card rental car coverage often excludes certain types of vehicles, long-term rentals, and rentals in foreign countries.

        What Are the Financial Implications of Damaging a Rental Vehicle?

        When you rent a car, any damages can bring significant financial implications. Understanding who pays for what and the potential additional charges can help you prepare and possibly avoid hefty fees.

        Who Pays for What?

        In Missouri, the responsibility for damages to a rental car typically depends on the rental agreement and the insurance policies in place. Here’s a breakdown:

        • Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)/Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) – If you opted for the CDW or LDW when you rented the car, you might not be responsible for damage costs, depending on the terms of the waiver. These waivers often exclude coverage for damages resulting from reckless driving or driving under the influence.
        • Your Auto Insurance – Your personal auto insurance policy may cover rental cars. This is often the case with comprehensive and collision coverage, but you should verify this with your insurance provider. Be aware that any claims may affect your personal insurance premiums.
        • Credit Card Insurance – Many credit cards offer rental car insurance as a benefit. This typically covers damage to or theft of the rental car, but you must decline the rental company’s CDW/LDW and pay for the rental with your card.
        • Rental Company – If you decline all additional coverage, you could be fully responsible for any repair or replacement costs if the vehicle is damaged or stolen.

        Additional Charges You Might Encounter

        Besides the costs of repairing or replacing a rental vehicle, there are additional charges that you might face:

        • Loss of Use – Rental companies in Missouri can charge you for the revenue they lose while a damaged car is being repaired. This charge is based on the daily rental rate and the number of days the car is out of service.
        • Diminished Value – This fee compensates the rental company for the reduction in the vehicle’s resale value due to the damages it sustained. Calculating diminished value can be complex and often requires an assessment by a professional.
        • Administrative Fees – These are fees the rental company can charge to cover the administrative costs associated with processing the accident claim.
        • Towing and Storage – If the rental vehicle needs to be towed and stored following an accident, you might be responsible for these charges as well.

        Legal Considerations and Seeking Compensation

        Missouri is an “at-fault” state. This means that the driver who caused the accident is responsible for paying for the other driver’s car repairs and medical bills.

        Missouri uses a system of comparative fault, which means that fault can be assigned to both drivers, depending on their actions leading up to the crash. For example, if one driver was determined to be 70% at fault for an accident that produced $10,000 in damages, they will only be responsible for $7,000 of it.

        As we see, things can get complicated quickly when dealing with rental agencies and insurance companies. This is when it can be very beneficial to speak with a skilled personal injury attorney.

        When to Consult with an Attorney

        There’s often no need to work with an attorney in the case of “fender benders” and straightforward collisions that don’t result in injuries. However, as we mentioned above, there are some scenarios where seeking legal advice is a great idea:

        • Complex Fault Issues – If the assignment of fault is complicated or disputed, an attorney can help navigate the complexities of comparative fault laws in Missouri.
        • Severe Injuries – If you or a passenger sustains serious injuries, a lawyer can help ensure that you receive full compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
        • Non-Cooperative Insurance Companies – Sometimes, insurance providers may deny a claim or offer a settlement that does not adequately cover your losses. An attorney can negotiate on your behalf to secure a fair resolution.
        • Multiple Parties Involved – Accidents involving multiple vehicles or parties can significantly complicate liability and insurance claims. Legal expertise is crucial in untangling these cases.

        A skilled attorney can provide crucial guidance and representation, ensuring that your rights are protected while navigating the legal and procedural hurdles.

        Steps for Dealing with Other Drivers and Insurance Companies

        Dealing with other drivers and insurance companies after a rental car accident can feel intimidating, but it’s possible if you follow a few key steps.

        Exchange of Information and Avoiding Admission of Fault

        After a rental car accident, it’s important to:

        1. Exchange personal details like name, address, phone number and insurance information with other involved parties.
        2. When exchanging information, it’s crucial to avoid making statements that imply your responsibility for the incident.
        3. Any admission of guilt can jeopardize your chances of receiving compensation.

        Recording all interactions with the insurance company in writing can provide evidence for future reference. Additionally, make sure to record all details of the collision, such as the year, make, model, and color of involved cars, the exact location, and the events related to how the accident happened.

        Navigating Insurance Claims with the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company

        Navigating insurance claims with the at-fault driver’s insurance company can be a complex process. Involving a car accident lawyer can pressure the insurance company to expedite the process and ensure you are not taken advantage of.

        If costs are incurred with the rental company before the case is settled, you should seek reimbursement from the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company. This can help you avoid unnecessary out-of-pocket expenses during this stressful time.

        Preparing for Future Rental Car Trips

        While nobody plans to have a rental car accident, being prepared can help you navigate the situation more effectively. Before renting a car, be sure to make a list of important phone numbers, including your insurance company’s claims number, the rental agency’s claims number and your credit card company’s customer service number. This will help you be prepared in case of any issues during the rental. This way, you’ll have all the contact information you need in one place.

        Also, before driving a rental car in unfamiliar areas, especially during times of low visibility, ensure the vehicle is well-maintained and familiarize yourself with its features. Planning your route with reliable navigation, sticking to major roads with adequate lighting, and communicating your travel plans with a trusted individual can contribute to a safer rental car driving experience.

        Selecting the Right Insurance Before You Rent

        Choosing the right insurance before you rent a car can save you a lot of trouble down the line. Confirm with your personal auto insurance provider if your policy extends coverage to rental cars before using a rental vehicle. If it doesn’t, or if additional coverage is recommended, be sure to purchase a Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) at checkout.

        Remember, extra insurance may not be needed if you have primary car insurance that covers rental vehicles. However, if you’re unsure, it’s always advisable to err on the side of caution and secure the necessary coverage.

        Get Experienced and Aggressive Legal Help

        Don’t navigate the complexities of rental car agencies, insurance claims and legal proceedings alone. Niemeyer, Grebel & Kruse are here to help.

        Our experienced attorneys specialize in personal injury and car crash claims, and we will fight to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation – 314-241-1919.

        Free Case Evaluation

          Practice Areas

          CASE STUDIES & TESTIMONIALS

          $1.8 Billion: Yaz Birth Control MDL

          $1.8 Billion: As National Lead Counsel for the MDL, NGK Law negotiated, coordinated, and administered the national litigation and settlement of the Yaz birth control litigation. This litigation involved women that sustained injuries, including blood clots, pulmonary embolisms, and deep vein thrombosis, as a result of the birth control Yaz.

          $745,000,000.00: Wrongful Death

          Jury verdict: Jury verdict in St. Louis, Missouri against the distributor of Whip-It’s nitrous oxide after a 20 year old passed out after using them and crashed into a building, killing a 25 year old woman.

          $650,000,000.00: Pradaxa MDL

          $650,000,000.00: As National Liaison Counsel for the MDL, NGK Law negotiated, coordinated, and administered the national settlement of the Pradaxa blood thinner litigation. Clients sustained injuries, including internal bleeding, as a result of the dangerous medication.

          $23,071,000.00: Product Liability

          A 9 month old boy suffered a severe traumatic brain injury due to a defective component on a boat.

          Gladys R.
          Kindness, thoughtfulness and patience
              

          I really appreciated Dave’s kindness and thoughtfulness and especially his patience with me throughout my lawsuit.
          Lou P.
          Helped me through the process
              

          Initially, I was reluctant to bring a lawsuit. But Dave answered all of my questions and helped me through the process. I really appreciate all he did to get me what I deserved.
          Matthew G.
          I only recommend NGK anytime
              

          Very responsive and they help you in any way they can. Micheal Kruz has handled many cases for me and he is very professional and will fight for you every time. I only recommend NGK anytime.
          Dianne C.
          Very professional and friendly!
              

          This group is great! Very professional and friendly! It was a pleasant experience dealing with these folks! Give them a call! If they can’t be of help, they know someone who can! 😊
          Larry S.
          Far exceeded my most optimistic expectations
              

          Efficient, effective, have to say they far exceeded my most optimistic expectations. You are doing yourself a disservice if you do not use there services!
          John P.
          Excellent law firm
              

          NGK is an excellent mass tort and personal injury law firm. Highly recommend.
          David F.
          Proficient
              

          Proficient and stands up to Big Insurance.

          If you’ve had the misfortune of being in an accident with your leased vehicle, it’s crucial to understand the repercussions and your next steps.

          Wondering what happens if you crash a leased car? We’ll guide you through steps you should take and things you should know — from immediate actions to insurance claims, financial responsibilities and leasing company procedures — to ensure you’re well-informed and prepared to handle the situation with confidence.

          Got a situation you need immediate help with? Contact the St. Louis personal injury lawyers at Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse today to discuss your case. Call 314-241-1919 to schedule a free initial consultation.

          What To Do Immediately After a Crash In a Leased Vehicle

          A car accident is a stressful event. It can be difficult at the moment to know what to do next. No matter where your crash took place or who was involved, it’s a great idea to follow this quick list:

          1. Make sure everyone is safe
          2. Reach out to emergency services, if needed
          3. Document as much as possible
          4. Exchange insurance details with the other party, if possible

          Ensure Safety and Contact Emergency Services

          The immediate aftermath of an accident can be chaotic. Amid the confusion, your priority should be to assess injuries among all parties involved. If anyone is hurt, don’t hesitate to call for medical assistance. It could save lives.

          After confirming everyone’s safety, next you should secure the accident scene. This can involve moving the cars out of the roadway. This prevents additional accidents and preserves evidence for the police and insurance companies.

          Document the Accident and Exchange Insurance Details

          Even though you might still be in shock, it’s very important to meticulously document the accident. Use your phone to take photos of the accident scene, the vehicles involved and any visible injuries. If there are witnesses, gather their contact information. Contact your local police department, so they can produce a police report that documents the crash. These details could prove invaluable when you file your insurance claim.

          Next, exchange contact and insurance details with the other driver. This will facilitate communication and make the insurance claims process smoother.

          Navigating Insurance Procedures After a Leased Car Accident

          Now that we’ve made it through the crash scene, it’s time to navigate the insurance procedures.

          Reporting the Incident to Your Car Insurance Company

          Initiate the process by reporting the accident to your auto insurance company. This will help initiate the claims process and ensure proper documentation of the incident. This is a critical step, and it’s usually required in your policy.

          Even if the other driver is at fault, you’ll be in regular contact with your own insurance company to arrange for a rental car, as well as compensation for repairs and medical bills. Your insurance will also keep you apprised of negotiations with the other driver’s insurance company as your claim is processed.

          Communicating with Your Leasing Company

          While dealing with your insurance company following an accident is paramount, keep in mind to also inform your leasing company. They have a vested interest in the car, and most lease contracts mandate that you report any accidents to them immediately.

          Reviewing Your Lease Agreement Obligations

          Signing your lease agreement came with certain agreed obligations. These can often include:

          • Having comprehensive and collision insurance coverage on the leased vehicle
          • Notifying the leasing company about any accidents
          • Detailing the extent of the damage
          • Informing the leasing company about your plans to contact insurance and ensuring the leasing company money is properly managed in case of any claims

          It’s also worth noting that while normal wear and tear on the vehicle is tolerated, significant damage must be repaired or it may lead to additional fees at the end of the lease.

          Coordinating Repairs and Leasing Company Expectations

          If your leased car is repairable after an accident, it’s your responsibility to get it fixed according to your lease agreement.

          This often means using repair shops recommended by the leasing company to prevent additional charges. Beware that leasing companies may impose charges for repairs they deem substandard, which could include additional fees if they are not satisfied with the initial repairs after an accident.

          Financial Considerations and Responsibilities

          Beyond insurance payouts, you might be responsible for remaining lease payments and fees, and if you plan to enter into a new lease, you may face additional rolled-over charges from the damaged vehicle.

          Assessing Potential Costs Beyond Insurance Payouts

          Despite having comprehensive collision coverage, certain costs might not be covered when the insurance company pays.

          For example, if the accident was your fault, you’ll be responsible for paying the insurance deductible and any repair costs that exceed your policy’s coverage limits.

          If your leased car is totaled, the insurance payout might not cover the remaining balance of your lease, leaving you financially responsible for the difference.

          Handling Remaining Payments and Fees

          Although insurance can absorb a major part of the cost associated with a car accident, it sometimes doesn’t cover everything.

          It’s important to note that you may still have to cover any remaining lease payments and associated fees. Without gap insurance, you could face early termination fees on top of the remaining balance if your leased vehicle is totaled.

          When To Talk to a Lawyer

          Crashing a leased car adds an extra layer of complexity to the usual post-accident procedures. If you find yourself in this situation, a lawyer can help you navigate the legal and financial complications.

          This is particularly true in the case of:

          • Dispute Over Fault – If there’s a disagreement about who is responsible for the accident, a lawyer can help investigate your case and ensure that the fault is assigned fairly, according to the evidence.
          • Severe Damages and Injuries – Significant injuries or major damages to the vehicle can lead to complicated insurance claims and potential lawsuits. A lawyer can help manage these claims, dealing with insurance adjusters and opposing attorneys to safeguard your interests.
          • Insurance Issues – If the insurance company disputes your claim, denies coverage or offers a settlement that doesn’t adequately cover your losses, a lawyer can intervene to negotiate more favorable terms.
          • Lease Contract Complexities – A lawyer can review the terms of your lease agreement to clarify your obligations and rights under the contract, particularly if there are penalties for vehicle damage.
          • Litigation – If the accident leads to litigation, it’s obviously essential to have a lawyer.

          In any of these situations, a lawyer can provide the guidance and advocacy needed to protect your rights and navigate the complexities of your lease agreement and the law. If you’re unsure about whether you need legal advice, it’s wise to err on the side of caution and consult a professional who can assess your specific circumstances.

          Preparing for Lease End After an Accident

          An accident can add complications as your lease term approaches its end. Understanding your options and making an informed decision will help you navigate this challenging scenario.

          Evaluating End-of-Lease Options

          When your lease ends, you have a few options to consider. You can choose to buy out the car or enter a new lease agreement. However, buying out a leased vehicle post-accident could result in a higher monthly payment, and the absence of a warranty for future repairs could pose additional challenges.

          Maintaining Your Driving Record and Future Leasing Opportunities

          Accidents can significantly impact your driving record and future leasing prospects. However, with careful planning and strategic decisions, you can mitigate these effects.

          Impact on Driving Record and Insurance Rates

          Car accidents can tarnish your driving record, subsequently impacting your insurance premiums. Serious accidents can even stay on your record permanently, leading to long-term insurance rate hikes. However, there are strategies to mitigate these increases, such as:

          • Shopping around for quotes
          • Reducing coverage
          • Increasing deductibles
          • Bundling policies

          Tips for Future Leasing Decisions

          Planning for future leasing decisions post-accident involves factoring in potential insurance coverage costs and considering accident forgiveness programs. These programs can prevent rate hikes following the first at-fault accident, providing protection for your future leasing opportunities.

          Need Legal Help? Call Today

          Navigating the aftermath of an accident involving a leased car can be complex, with various factors to consider, from immediate actions post-collision to potential legal aspects.

          As we’ve discussed in this guide, understanding your lease agreement, insurance coverages and financial responsibilities is key to handling it successfully.

          If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident with a leased car, remember that you’re not alone in this. If you need further assistance, don’t hesitate to contact Niemeyer, Grebel and Kruse at 314-241-1919.

          Free Case Evaluation

            Practice Areas

            CASE STUDIES & TESTIMONIALS

            $1.8 Billion: Yaz Birth Control MDL

            $1.8 Billion: As National Lead Counsel for the MDL, NGK Law negotiated, coordinated, and administered the national litigation and settlement of the Yaz birth control litigation. This litigation involved women that sustained injuries, including blood clots, pulmonary embolisms, and deep vein thrombosis, as a result of the birth control Yaz.

            $745,000,000.00: Wrongful Death

            Jury verdict: Jury verdict in St. Louis, Missouri against the distributor of Whip-It’s nitrous oxide after a 20 year old passed out after using them and crashed into a building, killing a 25 year old woman.

            $650,000,000.00: Pradaxa MDL

            $650,000,000.00: As National Liaison Counsel for the MDL, NGK Law negotiated, coordinated, and administered the national settlement of the Pradaxa blood thinner litigation. Clients sustained injuries, including internal bleeding, as a result of the dangerous medication.

            $23,071,000.00: Product Liability

            A 9 month old boy suffered a severe traumatic brain injury due to a defective component on a boat.

            Gladys R.
            Kindness, thoughtfulness and patience
                

            I really appreciated Dave’s kindness and thoughtfulness and especially his patience with me throughout my lawsuit.
            Lou P.
            Helped me through the process
                

            Initially, I was reluctant to bring a lawsuit. But Dave answered all of my questions and helped me through the process. I really appreciate all he did to get me what I deserved.
            Matthew G.
            I only recommend NGK anytime
                

            Very responsive and they help you in any way they can. Micheal Kruz has handled many cases for me and he is very professional and will fight for you every time. I only recommend NGK anytime.
            Dianne C.
            Very professional and friendly!
                

            This group is great! Very professional and friendly! It was a pleasant experience dealing with these folks! Give them a call! If they can’t be of help, they know someone who can! 😊
            Larry S.
            Far exceeded my most optimistic expectations
                

            Efficient, effective, have to say they far exceeded my most optimistic expectations. You are doing yourself a disservice if you do not use there services!
            John P.
            Excellent law firm
                

            NGK is an excellent mass tort and personal injury law firm. Highly recommend.
            David F.
            Proficient
                

            Proficient and stands up to Big Insurance.

            Winning a wrongful death suit in Missouri depends on your legal team’s ability to meet specific legal criteria.

            You have to prove that a person’s death was due to another party’s negligence or intentional harm. This means establishing “a duty of care” owed by the defendant to the deceased, a breach of this duty, and a direct link between the breach and the death.

            The strength of the evidence, the clarity of legal arguments and the specific circumstances of the case greatly influence the outcome.

            Because every case is unique, it’s not possible to broadly say what the probabilities are of winning a wrongful death suit. Outcomes can vary significantly based on the facts and the quality of legal representation.

            Understanding Wrongful Death Under Missouri Law

            Missouri law defines wrongful death under Section 537.080 of the Missouri Statutes.

            It occurs when a person’s death results from any “wrongful act, neglect, or default” of another entity or individual. Common grounds for wrongful death claims include medical malpractice, automobile accidents, workplace accidents and criminal acts like manslaughter.

            The essence of a wrongful death claim in Missouri is establishing that the death could have been avoided if not for the negligent or intentional actions of the defendant.

            Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

            Missouri law specifies a hierarchy of individuals eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This hierarchy begins with the immediate family members, such as the spouse, children, or grandchildren of the deceased. If no such relatives exist, the deceased’s parents, siblings, or representatives of the deceased’s estate can file the claim. This structured approach ensures that those most affected by the loss have the primary right to seek legal redress.

            Statute of Limitations

            In Missouri, wrongful death claims are subject to a statute of limitations. This means the lawsuit must be filed within three years from the date of the individual’s death. Failing to file within this period typically results in the loss of the right to sue. This time frame is crucial for gathering evidence and building a robust case.

            Damages and Compensation

            Damages in a wrongful death case in Missouri can be extensive, covering economic and non-economic losses. Economic damages include medical expenses incurred before death, funeral and burial costs, lost wages and benefits, and the value of services and support the deceased would have provided.

            Non-economic damages encompass the more intangible losses, such as pain and suffering experienced by the deceased before death, loss of companionship, guidance, and consortium for the family members.

            Caps on Damages

            Missouri does not impose a cap on most wrongful death damages. However, there are exceptions, such as caps on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases.

            This lack of a general cap allows juries and courts to award damages that truly reflect the impact of the loss on the family, although it also means awards can vary significantly from case to case.

            Assessing the Strength of Your Wrongful Death Claim

            Increasing the likelihood of winning a wrongful death suit entails the establishment of the following elements:

            1. Duty of care
            2. Breach of that duty
            3. Cause of death
            4. Consequential damages

            Evaluating Duty of Care and Breach

            In a wrongful death context, duty of care requires that the defendant had a legal obligation to act in a manner that would not harm others. A breach of duty of care, or the defendant’s negligence, can be demonstrated when the defendant’s behavior deviates from what a reasonably prudent person would do in the same situation.

            Proving liability in a wrongful death lawsuit is based on establishing that the defendant owed a duty of care to the victim, the duty was breached, and this breach was the cause of death.

            A simple example of a breach of duty of care would be a car accident caused by a driver running a red light. In this scenario, the driver has a legal duty of care to follow traffic laws and drive safely to avoid harming others. By running the red light, the driver breaches this duty. If the driver struck a pedestrian crossing the street, killing them, then we can see how the driver’s breach of their duty of care caused the wrongful death.

            The burden of proof required in wrongful death claims in Missouri is ‘by a preponderance of the evidence’, suggesting that the defendant’s liability must be more likely than not.

            Proving Causation and Damages

            In Missouri wrongful death lawsuits, it is essential to establish that the death would not have occurred without the defendant’s breach of duty directly leading to the victim’s death.

            Medical records, autopsy reports and death certificates are indispensable in illustrating the cause of death and connecting it to the defendant’s negligence. Additionally, your attorney can collect witness testimony that can offer insights into the circumstances of the incident.

            Quantifying damages involves accurate calculation of economic damages such as expected lifetime earnings, medical expenses, funeral costs, and lost benefits, while also considering non-economic damages like loss of companionship and emotional distress.

            To substantiate economic and non-economic damages, plaintiffs can use documentation such as bills and invoices and may rely on calculation methods and expert testimonies to support their claims.

            Compensation Aspects in Wrongful Death Cases

            As we mentioned above, wrongful death cases can include three main types of damages:

            1. Economic damages – These account for the financial losses due to the victim’s death.
            2. Non-economic damages – These encompass losses that are not easily quantifiable, such as emotional and psychological impacts suffered by surviving family members.
            3. Punitive damages – These are rare, but they can be awarded to punish the defendant for their wrongful actions and to deter others from engaging in similar behavior.

            Quantifying non-economic damages can be challenging due to their subjective nature and unique impact on each case. Settlement amounts in wrongful death cases can vary significantly without a concrete average, but tend to range from $500,000 to around $1 million. In Missouri, economic and non-economic damages are recoverable in wrongful death lawsuits.

            Punitive damages are not awarded in every wrongful death case; they are specifically directed at punishing the responsible party for egregious conduct and to deter future similar behavior.

            Calculating Economic and Non-Economic Damages

            Economic damages in a Missouri wrongful death case may encompass funeral and burial expenses, medical bills from the deceased’s final injury or illness, and the loss of future income and benefits. To calculate these economic damages, Missouri courts assess the state’s average weekly wage to estimate the value of services and support the deceased would have provided, assigning a standard value to caregiving services if the deceased was not employed full-time.

            Non-economic damages in wrongful death suits account for the survivors’ loss of:

            • Companionship
            • Guidance
            • Emotional support
            • The pain and suffering of the deceased prior to death

            Strategies for Enhancing Your Wrongful Death Suit Chances

            A wrongful death lawsuit is a marathon, not a sprint. It requires patience, perseverance, and a deep understanding of the law. But with the right strategies, you can enhance your chances of winning and secure justice for your loved one.

            Timely Action and Adherence to Deadlines

            Missouri’s wrongful death statutes specify a three-year statute of limitations from the date of the deceased person’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Understanding this timeframe is critical to avoid losing the right to seek compensation and to ensure all evidence is gathered effectively.

            Failure to file within the statute of limitations results in lost leverage against insurance companies and the potential for the case to be dismissed without any options for legal recourse. For claims that involve seeking punitive damages in Missouri, a motion must be submitted to the court with supporting evidence no later than 120 days before the final pretrial conference or trial.

            Gathering Compelling Evidence and Witness Testimony

            Evidence from the scene of the incident, including photographs, videos and physical items, is critical for reconstructing the events leading to the death and demonstrating negligence or wrongdoing. Gathering documentation regarding the defendant’s safety records, employment history, and prior incidents establishes patterns of negligence or misconduct in Missouri wrongful death lawsuits.

            A comprehensive investigation for a wrongful death claim involves collecting evidence from medical records, police reports, and consulting witnesses for additional details and evidence corroboration. Proper documentation such as medical bills, funeral expenses, and proof of lost income is essential to support a claim for economic damages in a wrongful death case to ensure fair compensation.

            Effective Negotiation and Settlement Tactics

            Highlighting the strengths of the case before proposing a settlement can significantly influence the acceptance of the offer, especially when the proposal is straightforward and easy to understand. Implementing psychological tactics in negotiations, such as utilizing the rule of reciprocity, creating a sense of scarcity, and fostering ‘unity’ through shared experiences, can make the opposition more amenable to a settlement.

            After depositions reveal the case’s strengths, framing discussions around the potential risks and costs associated with going to trial can encourage the defense to settle. Some strategies to consider include:

            • Building a positive atmosphere by preloading requests with complimentary remarks and establishing a rapport
            • Highlighting the potential risks and costs of going to trial
            • Presenting settlement offers in a clear and persuasive manner

            By implementing these strategies, you can increase the likelihood of reaching a settlement in your case.

            Preparing for the Possibility of Trial

            Preparation for a wrongful death trial entails a thorough understanding of the discovery phase, the strategic use of expert witnesses and the jury selection process.

            Jury selection plays a pivotal role in the outcome of a wrongful death trial by shaping the decision-making and damage award tendencies of the jury. Active participation in the jury selection process increases the likelihood of securing a compassionate and impartial jury, thereby enhancing the chances for a successful outcome in court.

            The Discovery Process and Its Significance

            The discovery phase is critical to the trial process in wrongful death lawsuits, enabling the parties to collect necessary evidence to build their cases. It is crucial to actively participate in the discovery phase for your wrongful death claim. Close collaboration with your attorney can help in gathering essential evidence.

            Depositions, where witness testimony is taken under oath outside of court, are a key element in the discovery process of wrongful death lawsuits. The discovery process also includes written interrogatories and requests for the production of documents, in addition to depositions. Deposition outcomes can significantly sway the direction of a wrongful death case, potentially steering it towards settlement or further discovery.

            If the wrongful death case persists post-depositions without settlement, it indicates additional discovery measures will be taken, setting the stage for trial. The discovery phase can often take a considerable amount of time, ranging from several months to years in some cases. It is a critical stage in the process of investigation or research.

            Leveraging Expert Witnesses to Corroborate Claims

            Expert witnesses are integral to wrongful death cases as they offer:

            • Credible testimony based on adherence to professional conduct, ethical standards, and their unbiased opinions formed from facts and specialized knowledge
            • The ability to convey complex concepts and technical information to jurors in understandable terms
            • Crucial support for establishing the defendant’s liability and the nuances of the cause of death.

            Different wrongful death scenarios necessitate different types of expert analysis, ranging from medical expertise in malpractice cases to engineering input for product liability, each corroborating specific claim aspects. The strategic selection of expert witnesses by a wrongful death attorney can significantly influence the case outcome, leveraging the attorney’s network to find the right expertise for substantiating the claim.

            The Importance of Expert Legal Representation

            An experienced attorney, also known as a wrongful death lawyer, can greatly boost the chances of a favorable outcome in a wrongful death case by adeptly handling legal complexities and presenting a strong case. Expert wrongful death attorneys manage the entirety of the legal process, including:

            • Filing within the statute of limitations
            • Gathering evidence and conducting investigations
            • Negotiating with insurance companies
            • Representing the family in court

            This allows families to focus on grieving rather than legalities.

            Mark Niemeyer, David Grebel, and Michael Kruse, top-rated personal injury lawyers in St. Louis, bring decades of collective expertise to wrongful death lawsuits. The team’s professional approach, combined with their expertise and compassion, contributes significantly to their ability to handle complex wrongful death cases effectively.

            Remember, every journey begins with a single step. And that first step in your quest for justice is to reach out to experienced wrongful death attorneys. Call NGK Law at 314-241-1919 to start the journey towards justice for your loved one.

            Free Case Evaluation

              Practice Areas

              CASE STUDIES & TESTIMONIALS

              $1.8 Billion: Yaz Birth Control MDL

              $1.8 Billion: As National Lead Counsel for the MDL, NGK Law negotiated, coordinated, and administered the national litigation and settlement of the Yaz birth control litigation. This litigation involved women that sustained injuries, including blood clots, pulmonary embolisms, and deep vein thrombosis, as a result of the birth control Yaz.

              $745,000,000.00: Wrongful Death

              Jury verdict: Jury verdict in St. Louis, Missouri against the distributor of Whip-It’s nitrous oxide after a 20 year old passed out after using them and crashed into a building, killing a 25 year old woman.

              $650,000,000.00: Pradaxa MDL

              $650,000,000.00: As National Liaison Counsel for the MDL, NGK Law negotiated, coordinated, and administered the national settlement of the Pradaxa blood thinner litigation. Clients sustained injuries, including internal bleeding, as a result of the dangerous medication.

              $23,071,000.00: Product Liability

              A 9 month old boy suffered a severe traumatic brain injury due to a defective component on a boat.

              Gladys R.
              Kindness, thoughtfulness and patience
                  

              I really appreciated Dave’s kindness and thoughtfulness and especially his patience with me throughout my lawsuit.
              Lou P.
              Helped me through the process
                  

              Initially, I was reluctant to bring a lawsuit. But Dave answered all of my questions and helped me through the process. I really appreciate all he did to get me what I deserved.