Missouri Personal Injury Law: How is Negligence Determined?

The term “negligence” is frequently used in Missouri personal injury law. It is a legal theory that evaluates and determines liability when an accident occurs and someone is injured. In this article, we will discuss how negligence is determined and how Missouri awards damages in a negligence claim.

In general, the elements of a negligence case are as follows:

  • An individual or entity owed a duty to commit or refrain from committing an act.
  • This duty was breached.
  • Someone else was injured as a result.
  • The defendant’s act (or failure to act) directly or indirectly caused the injury.
  • The defendant should have known that their action or inaction could have resulted in injury.
  • The injured party suffered actual damages, such as medical bills and lost wages.

Examples of negligent conduct include:

  • A driver who runs a red light and hits a pedestrian or another driver. They owed a duty to everyone else to follow traffic safety rules and breached that duty.
  • A business owner or manager who does not clean up or warn customers about a spill as soon as it is noticed, causing someone to slip and fall. They owed a duty to invitees to keep the premises safe for shoppers and failed to do so.

Determining Negligence in Missouri Personal Injury Cases

Determining fault is the first step in building a personal injury case. If you were shopping in your favorite clothing store and slipped in someone else’s spilled drink, you and your attorney must prove the following to show that negligence contributed to your injuries:

  • That the store manager knew or could have known about the hazardous condition and
  • They could have prevented the accident by cleaning up the spill promptly, warning of it, or barricading the area,

If your legal counsel can prove that the manager or whoever had care and control of the premises was (or should have been) aware of the spill because it had been there for some time and did nothing to clean it up or alert customers to the hazard, they can be held liable for your injuries.

Comparative Negligence

Missouri recognizes the idea of comparative negligence, in which a plaintiff found to be partially responsible for their injuries may only receive compensation proportionate to their degree of fault. In a comparative negligence situation, each party is assigned a percentage of fault and liability. If you were determined to be 25% at fault for the accident and total damages come to $25,000, you would only be awarded $18,750 – which is the remaining 75% of the total damages.

If someone else’s negligent actions or omissions have caused you to be injured, contact Ryan R. Cox & Associates. As established and experienced Missouri personal injury attorneys, we have handled a wide range of accident cases across the state and will use our resources to help you seek the financial recovery you are entitled to. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, call 636-946-6886 today.

The following two tabs change content below.

Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC

Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC is a litigation law firm that represents individuals and families in serious personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout Missouri. We help people who have been injured in all types of accidents—including car or truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, and much more. Whether your injury is something that can cause long-term issues like a brain injury or spinal cord injury, or it is something you’ll likely make a full recovery from, we are here to help.

Latest posts by Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC (see all)