Missouri Automobile Injuries; Rear End Collision Doctrine

Information provided on this page is for educational use only. Accessing this page does not give rise to an attorney-client relationship, and the information provided should not be regarded as legal advice. Laws of the State of Missouri are subject to change, and there is no warranty, express or implied, that the information included on this page is still accurate at the time of access. Please consult a licensed Attorney to discuss the specifics of any legal matter. Attorneys at Cline, Braddock & Basinger can be reached at (573) 443-6244

State of the Law

Missouri law provides special protections to persons injured by a rear end collision. Often a person injured by a rear end collision did not see the colliding vehicle until it had already struck his or her own vehicle’s rear end. Under general negligence law this could create difficulty in proving that the driver of the colliding vehicle was in-fact negligent or otherwise at fault.

Missouri, along with many other states, has adopted the “rear-end collision doctrine” to address such situations. Under this doctrine the injured driver of the lead vehicle is not required to prove a specific negligent act of the rear colliding driver.

In order to present a submissible case the injured front driver must show:

  1. That he or she had a right to be on the portion of the roadway
  2. That he or she was struck from behind by another vehicle
  3. That he or she was not otherwise operating in a negligent manner

Upon presenting a submissible case a presumption is created that the defendant was negligent, and the burden is shifted to the defendant to present evidence that the he or she was not negligent. This differs from a standard negligence case in which the plaintiff must prove a specific negligent act of the defendant. Under the rear-end collision doctrine, the tables are turned, and it is up to the defendant to affirmatively prove that he or she was not negligent.

Recoverable Damages

Rear end collisions lead to thousands of injuries every year. The sudden acceleration and deceleration of the driver and/or passenger exerts forces on their bodies which can, and often do, lead to soft tissue sprains or strains, broken bones, concussions or head injuries, and lacerations. It is very common that the driver or passenger will not even realize that they are injured until the shock has warn off the day following collision.

Injuries received from an automobile collision often result in numerous losses to the injured party. Some of the most common damages are:

  1. Costs of medical treatment (even if paid by insurance)
  2. Rehabilitation costs (physical therapy, chiropractor, etc)
  3. Lost wages
  4. Future disability
  5. Car repairs/value
  6. Pain and Suffering

Your Legal Rights

Remember: You have a right to the assistance of an attorney to assist you with your injury claim. Attorneys at Cline, Braddock & Basinger offer free consultations to review your claim in person at our offices. Our attorneys also work on a contingent basis, meaning that you do not pay any legal fees until we win! Contact our offices to schedule a free appointment!

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