Personal Injury

St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, there were 157,038 car crashes in Missouri in 2019. Although road safety and car safety continue to advance, those crashes still resulted in 55,112 injuries and 881 deaths. There is a wide range of causes for accidents, and sometimes the reason is simply unclear or unknown. At Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry, our experienced team of car accident lawyers has resolved a wide range of these accidents. We know what to look for to get to the bottom of your accident and put it behind you. Here are some of the most prevalent causes of car accidents in the past year:

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is one of the top reasons why individuals are involved in accidents. Cell-phones and texting while driving come to mind, but many other distractions have caused car accidents. Missouri State Highway Patrol found a variety of distractions which resulted in car crashes: passenger distractions, stereo/audio/video equipment, navigation devices, hand-held communication devices, hands-free communication devices, texting/emailing on communication devices, web browsing on communication devices, eating/drinking, reading, tobacco use, grooming, computer equipment/electronic games, adjusting vehicle controls, and external distractions.


Although speeding alone does not cause a car crash, adding any other contributing circumstance could increase an accident's likelihood and severity. Speeding gives the driver and other drivers on the road even less time to react. It also makes the force of impact even more consequential – what would typically be a fender-bender could turn into a fatal accident if a driver is speeding. Last year, the Missouri State Highway Patrol found that speeding was involved in 34.43% of all deadly crashes.


Although unquestionably illegal and dangerous, countless individuals still end up in accidents from driving impaired. Accidents involving drugs and/or alcohol may be rare, but they have proven extremely lethal. Last year, Missouri State Highway Patrol found that accidents involving drugs or alcohol accounted for only 4.31% of the total car crashes, yet 26.73% of the fatalities. Drugs and alcohol can severely impair drivers' eyesight and reaction time, causing accidents that could have otherwise been avoided or mitigated.

Weather / Unsafe Road Conditions

Ideal driving weather usually does not include any of the following: rain, snow, sleet, hail, freezing temperatures, fog, mist, severe wind, or clouds. Last year, inclement weather contributed to 40.96% of vehicle crashes in Missouri. Whether it is your first time pulling up to a red light in winter weather or your first time hydroplaning in a while: changes in the weather can take even the most experienced drivers by surprise. Although it would not be reasonable to only drive in clear weather, it is important to be a little more cautious on the roads if it is not windows-down weather.

Even if the weather has cleared up, unsafe road conditions could remain: wet, snow, ice, frost, slush, mud, dirt, standing water, moving water, sand, gravel. Missouri State Highway Patrol found that these road conditions accounted for 31.66% of total accidents last year.

Young & Old Drivers

Too young, and a driver can experience car accidents due to the lack of experience that comes with being new to driving. Too old, and the driver can experience accidents due to the many ailments that come with old age. Last year, the Missouri State Highway Patrol found that young drivers were involved in 18.42% of the total crashes while older drivers were involved in 33.5% of the total crashes. Though these statistics do not prove that young or old age is the direct cause of an accident, many statistics have shown there to be a correlation throughout the years.

Road-Rage / Aggressive Driving

Though one's description of "aggressive driving" would vary, many individuals have experienced road rage one way or another when driving. Anger causes high adrenaline levels, which in turn makes an individual a little more fearless (thus less cautious) on the road. Driving fearlessly is not wise, especially with your own life and other drivers' lives at stake. Last year, Missouri State Highway Patrol found aggressive driving was involved in a whopping 55.87% of car crashes. Remaining calm and cautious on the road ensures the safety of yourself and the vehicles around you. 


Missouri State Highway Patrol mentioned some other contributing factors are animals (i.e., deer), fatigue/falling asleep while driving, road incline/curvature, and vehicle defects. No matter what caused or contributed to your accident, our experienced car accident attorneys at Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry will be sure to help you resolve it. Call us today for a free consultation, and we can let you know the best legal options available to you.

What Are Missouri Car Accident Fault Laws?

Duty of Care

Missouri Law requires that every driver uses the highest degree of care when operating a vehicle – meaning that a driver should not do anything that may endanger someone else, even if it otherwise appears to be legal. In other words, you must behave as a very careful person would in similar circumstances. For example: being mindful of road conditions, weather conditions, pedestrians, other motor vehicles, motorcycles, bikes, and maintaining control of your own vehicle. Failure to behave carefully could be considered negligence, an indicator of fault in a car accident. However, determining legal responsibility can be extremely complex - even if your opinion of who caused the accident seems obvious. Our experienced car accident legal team at Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry can help you navigate all of these confusing areas associated with your car accident, including determining legal fault. 

Comparative Negligence

Missouri is a "pure comparative fault" car accident state, meaning that generally, whoever caused the accident pays for any harm that resulted (injuries, property damage, etc.). Ideally, the at-fault driver's insurance company absorbs this cost, but the driver would generally be responsible for those costs if the driver does not have insurance. What happens if more than one driver is at fault? In Missouri, we use a "comparative negligence" system to establish each involved party's fault. As previously mentioned, negligence is generally some form of careless or reckless behavior. Unlike some states with an all-or-nothing approach to negligence, in Missouri, we can divide up the fault in the form of percentages. For example:

If a truck driver did not look when he was turning and hit a speeding car, both individuals might be at fault for the accident. Each of their insurance companies will conduct an investigation to determine who was responsible for the accident – and how responsible. Whoever the insurance companies decide is more responsible for the crash will be more responsible for the crash costs. Let's say the insurance companies determined the truck driver was 60% at fault, and the car driver 40% at fault. Each driver can still receive settlement money from the other driver's insurance. However, the truck driver will only be able to collect 40% of his total costs from the car driver's insurance company, while the car driver can collect 60% of her total costs from the truck driver's insurance. Although the exact percentages can sometimes get a little obscure - especially when involving more than two parties - this system is in place so the payouts can justly reflect each unique situation.

Determining Liability

As previously described, there is no one-size-fits-all determination for fault in a car accident. However, there are some common indicators of negligent behavior:

  • Speeding;
  • Texting;
  • Not using turn signals;
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol; or
  • Disobeying traffic signs.

If you have been involved in an accident and are unsure who is at fault, do not hesitate to contact us. At Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry, we will give you the answers you need and let you know of any legal possibilities available to you. Accidents are incredibly unsettling, but your legal resolution does not have to be; our experienced team of car accident attorneys is here to help.

What if My Car Accident Involved an Uninsured Driver?

Missouri Law requires all motor vehicle drivers and owners to maintain motor vehicle liability insurance. Unfortunately, not everyone obeys this law: thousands of vehicle crashes happen every year involving uninsured drivers. According to the Insurance Research Council (IRC), about 14% of Missouri drivers have no auto insurance. If an uninsured driver has hit you, you may feel it is impossible to hold them accountable for your losses. Although recovering compensation from an uninsured driver can be a much more complicated process, it is not impossible.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Missouri law affords many avenues for compensation outside of the other party's insurance. At Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry, we can exhaust all of our efforts to get you the compensation and justice you deserve. One way we could get you compensated is through uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage. UIM coverage is through your own insurance policy: protecting you if you are involved in an accident with someone who does not have insurance and is at fault. Missouri law requires you to have UIM coverage to cover $25,000 for bodily injury per person and $50,000 for bodily injury per accident. In other words, if you get in an accident with an uninsured driver, your own insurance should cover you – up to a certain amount. 

Personal Assets

Suppose your costs exceed the covered amount, you do not have UIM coverage, or UIM coverage otherwise does not compensate you for your loss. In that case, it is also an option to sue the uninsured driver in hopes of acquiring compensation through their personal assets. Sometimes your insurance policy's uninsured motorist coverage is not enough, but that does not mean you are to blame. Although it is often more tedious to acquire compensation directly from another driver, it is still possible. Our legal team's extensive experience with car accidents, uninsured drivers, and insurance companies will ensure you get the results you deserve. If you are not sure how to proceed with your case because of an uninsured driver, give us a call. We will explore all of your options because, at Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry, we firmly believe that you should not be held responsible for another party's irresponsibility.

What Are My Options if I Was Involved in a Hit-and-Run Car Accident?

Hit-and-run car accidents occur when at least one individual involved in the accident fled the scene without providing sufficient personal information, properly reporting the crash, or aiding those involved. According to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, there is a hit-and-run car accident somewhere in the U.S. every 43 seconds.  Hit-and-runs can include moving vehicles, parked vehicles, property, or even pedestrians. The law essentially expects us to identify ourselves when we cause damage instead of attempting to flee the scene (and flee our own accountability).

It can often seem inconvenient, but you should always stick around to exchange information and speak with the police to ensure you are not accused of fleeing the scene. Even if your accident doesn't result in any injuries and doesn't appear to be very serious, there can be some serious legal consequences. Leaving the scene of an accident leaves you chargeable with a misdemeanor, or even a felony, depending on your case's severity.

Missouri Laws for Hit-and-Run Offenders

Missouri Revised Statutes § 577.060, a section appropriately labeled "leaving the scene of an accident," are the laws which govern hit-and-run accidents in Missouri. The default penalty for a hit-and-run is a Class A misdemeanor. However, it gets bumped up to a Class E felony if (1) it caused a physical injury; (2) damages exceed $1,000; or (3) if the driver is a repeat hit-and-run offender. If the hit-and-run accident resulted in a death, the driver who hit and ran is likely looking at a Class D felony.

Generally, to avoid being convicted of a hit-and-run offense, you need to make sure you stop after an accident to provide either law enforcement officers or the involved parties with the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your address
  • The license number/registration for your vehicle
  • Your driver's license number

Suppose you were involved in an accident and fled the scene before providing your information. In that case, it is in your best interest to call the local police station and provide this information as soon as possible. If the parties involved in the accident filed a police report, Missouri law has provisions that afford law enforcement officers the authority to extensively investigate these accidents and find the offender. However, if you do not feel comfortable calling the police station due to your circumstances, please contact our offices at Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry, and we can walk you through the best way to proceed.

When it comes to determining fault in a car accident, the hit-and-run individual is never looked upon favorably. However, even if the accident was partially your fault, you still might be able to receive compensation under Missouri pure comparative fault laws. Fleeing the scene and avoiding resolution could prevent you from receiving any compensation available to you. Every circumstance is unique, and although hit-and-run excuses are rarely accepted, it is possible you could benefit from resolving your accident instead of attempting to avoid it.

Tracking Down Compensation from a Hit-and-Run Offender

Being on the other side of a hit-and-run accident can be very frustrating. Sometimes victims of hit-and-run accidents do not know where to begin or if they even have a realistic chance at compensation. With the help of law enforcement officers and an experienced hit-and-run attorney, you have many options. Hit-and-run offenders can be charged with the criminal offenses listed above. Beyond that, you may also be entitled to recover damages for any injuries or property damage you suffered as a result of their actions, including harm related to a delay in medical treatment. 

If the offender has insurance, you can likely recover compensation from their insurer by filing a claim. However, it is essential you have a professional hit-and-run attorney on your side to ensure the insurance company does not take advantage of you. Insurance companies may not have your best interest in mind; they are in the business of lowering their own costs, so it is vital to have an attorney that is assertive in negotiations. 

If the offender does not have insurance or law enforcement officers are unable to track down the offender, you still have options. You can file a claim through your insurer if you have uninsured motorist coverage. This route may entitle you to compensation for any medical expenses or damages to your vehicle.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one has been involved in a hit-and-run accident and are not sure what to do next, contact an experienced hit-and-run attorney at Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry as soon as possible. We will review your case and let you know where to start and what options are available. Hit-and-run accidents can be an incredibly frustrating and drawn-out process, we understand the problems you are facing, and we are committed to getting you back on track.

What Should I Do After a Car Accident?

Though it is impossible to prepare for an accident ahead of time, knowing how to handle an accident after it occurs can significantly benefit the resolution of your case. These simple steps ensure you are not at risk legally or medically. Even for the most minor of accidents, it is crucial to make sure your rights are protected. Be polite and courteous to everyone involved in the accident but remember that many things can change when the paperwork gets started. 

If you have been involved in a car accident and are unsure what to do next, you can start by calling our experienced car accident attorneys at Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry. We have countless years of experience recovering financial compensation and helping get car accidents resolved. Even if this is not your first accident, the shock a person experiences from an accident can make it challenging to decide what to do next. To make everything easier, we have outlined the following general actions to follow in the event of a car accident.

1. Do Not Fight or Flight

As previously discussed, shock from the collision may induce the "fight or flight" response - you must try your best to do neither. You should not "fight." Accidents result in a flood of emotions, and you may want to immediately talk to the other party to blame or apologize for what occurred. However, you should try to say as little as possible (beyond exchanging contact information) – remembering that anything you say could be used against you. You also should not "flight." It is imperative that you stay at the scene of the accident so you can complete the rest of the steps listed below. Staying at the scene also allows you to explain the events that occurred in your own words and reduces your risk of being accused of hitting and running.

2. Contact First Responders

Check to see if anyone is injured; if someone is injured (including yourself), call 911 immediately. When the police arrive, you should ask them to make an official report of the accident. Some law enforcement agencies do not take a report unless someone is injured, so make sure you tell the officer of any injuries, no matter how minor. Also, make sure you get the traffic accident information card with an accident report number so that our firm can get a copy of the police report. A police report is often a very credible piece of evidence. Accidents are usually one person's word against the other, so the police report can act as a neutral account of what happened.

3. Exchange Information

Make sure to get the driver's information (name, address, phone number, license plate number, insurance information, driver's license). Additionally, you should gather this information from anyone who witnessed the accident, including passengers. Though often overlooked, witness information is worthwhile because it provides an unbiased account of what happened. Our attorneys or investigators will contact the witnesses later in your case, but it could be impossible for them to do so if you do not gather the witnesses' contact information before leaving the scene.

4. Document Accident

If possible, immediately write down everything you remember about the accident (e.g., what happened, time, location, weather, road conditions, etc.). If you have a cell phone or camera, take pictures of the accident scene, including any injuries or damaged cars, motorcycles, or other property. Gathering all of this evidence at the scene may be the only time to do so, and it is not always easy to remember what exactly happened if you wait to recount the accident; the sooner, the better.

5. Seek Medical Attention for Injuries

Even if your injuries appear to be minor, make sure you are checked out as soon as possible after the accident. Often, car accident injuries occur suddenly and may not appear until days or weeks after the accident occurred, especially for neck and back injuries. Your health care provider will make a complete medical record of your injuries, which will be critical in proving them. You should never wait to seek medical attention, both for your own health and so that the seriousness of your injuries is not minimized in the eyes of the jury or insurance adjustor.

6. Call a Lawyer

No matter how simple and straightforward your case may seem, we strongly suggest you do not handle it alone. Calling an experienced car accident attorney ensures the best possible outcome for your situation. Car accidents are often more complex than they may seem on the surface, and knowing the laws which govern them is extremely important. You should contact an attorney to talk about your accident as soon as possible so you can have them by your side before contacting anyone else involved or even your own insurance. Our team of car accident attorneys at Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry can look out for you and ensure that you are not taken advantage of by anyone throughout the process.

Answers to Common Questions Asked After a Car Accident

A car accident can be an entirely life-altering experience. Unfortunately, it does not stop once the accident is over: the aftermath of an accident can be one of most challenging aspects of it. You probably have a lot of questions and are not quite sure who to turn to. Especially if this is your first accident, it all can seem very overwhelming. Luckily, it is not our first accident. Our law firm has been dealing with countless motor vehicle collisions for many years. We know the steps that need to be taken to get your life back on track after a car accident. Car accident victims often face tremendous physical and emotional challenges; our compassionate team of professionals will fight to lessen their burden and support you throughout your journey. The legal process can be a confusing one. At Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry, we hope to clear up the confusion and answer any questions you might have about your motorcycle accident.

Some of the most common questions our firm receives about motorcycle accidents are listed below. However, if you have specific questions regarding your case, we encourage you to reach out to a member of our legal team to discuss your unique case and the legal options you might have.

I've Been In an Accident: What Do I Do?

If you are involved in a car crash (and not severely injured yourself), it is critical to remain calm and take control of the situation. The first thing you should do is to make sure everyone involved in the accident is okay. If someone is at all injured, you should call 911 immediately. You should also ask the police to make an official report of the accident so you can have an official record of what transpired. Collect the name, addresses, phone numbers, driver's license numbers, and insurance info from all parties or witnesses of the collision. Document all that you can about the accident and the individuals involved. Try to take pictures of any injuries, damages to property, road conditions, traffic signs/signals at the scene of the accident. Write down all you remember about the accident while it is still fresh in your memory. Car accident cases can sometimes take longer than you expect, so gathering as much information as you can immediately after the accident can be extremely helpful to your case and your attorney in the long run.

I've Left the Scene of the Accident: Who Do I Talk to First?

After collecting your thoughts after a car accident, one of the most important things you can do is contact a personal injury attorney experienced in car accident claims. Your first thought may be to talk to your insurance company to report the accident; however, you should speak to an attorney before contacting your insurance carrier. If you contact your insurance carrier without any legal representation or advice, you could put yourself at risk. Car accident claims can be confusing; your lawyer can explain how the process works and protect you from saying anything that might hurt your claim. Your lawyer is extremely valuable in this process because they can evaluate your case's unique facts and determine all of the legal options available to you so you may collect the compensation you deserve.

I've Been Offered a Settlement: Do I Accept It?

As previously discussed, you should never accept a settlement or sign any papers from an insurance company without first speaking to a qualified car accident lawyer.  Insurance companies may seem like they are on your side, but remember that they are a business. Like other companies, insurance companies' primary goal is maximizing their profits. This means that the insurance company could be "low balling" your settlement offer to see if you will accept it because you may be confused. If a skilled car accident attorney represents you, this will never happen. At Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry, we will protect your rights and always seek the maximum amount of compensation that you deserve. We will always be on your side to ensure you are not taken advantage of by the insurance companies.

I Am Not Sure Who Is at Fault: What Normally Causes Car Crashes?

The cause of each accident is unique to its situation, but many car accidents happen as a result of:

  • Speeding
  • Distracted Driving
  • Alcohol/Drug-Impaired Driving
  • Poor Visibility 
  • Motorcycle Lane Splitting
  • Hazardous Road Conditions

If you or a loved one has been affected by a car accident, you know that straight answers are hard to come by because each collision is so different. Our team at Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry can review your unique situation, let you know what legal options are available to you, and help you get the financial compensation you deserve.

What if a Road Hazard Caused My Car Accident?

If you have been involved in a car accident, you should never be too quick to blame yourself. Even if another driver did not directly cause your accident on the road, the root of your accident could be blamed on the road conditions involved. In other words, a government entity could be held liable for the road maintenance that could have caused your accident. 

Hazardous roads are all too familiar in some areas of Missouri. Road repair is an inconvenient and expensive task; sometimes, there is just not enough time or funding to keep every road safe. For this reason, drivers must remain vigilant at all times to avoid these accidents. 

Some of the most common road hazards we see that lead to car accidents are:

  • Poor Road Maintenance (e.g., gravel, uneven pavement, cracks, potholes)
  • Road Debris (e.g., branches, rocks, tire fragments, fallen objects, garbage)
  • Poor Weather Conditions (e.g., strong winds, ice, rain, snow, hail)
  • Slick Surfaces (e.g., leaves, oil spills, train tracks, standing water)

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash, no matter what you believe to be the cause, we encourage you to contact our legal team to discuss your case. Even if you had a solo car accident, you could still have options for recovery. Our experienced legal team at Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry knows what to look for in a car accident case and will use this knowledge to get you the compensation and justice you deserve.