Personal Injury Attorney Missouri Who Can Fight for Your Compensation
Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney Missouri if you need help with getting the highest possible amount out of your personal injury claim. Contact us!
Kimberly J. Benjamin, Founder & Managing Attorney
Published: June 11. 2021.
Fault in Missouri
The general rule in personal injury law is the party who is responsible for causing the injury is responsible for paying expenses related to them. Sometimes, the defendants in personal injury cases will use the state’s comparative fault laws to reduce the amount they are ordered to pay to the victims. What are the comparative fault laws? How can these laws affect your case? Here’s what you should know:
Comparative Fault Laws in Missouri
The state of Missouri has established a pure comparative fault system. This system is used to determine how fault should be divided between the parties and how much compensation should be awarded to the plaintiff.
For example, let’s say a woman is injured in a car accident and files a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver. It is determined that she has suffered $100,000 in damages as a result of her personal injuries. If the jury believes that the other driver was 100% at fault for the accident, she will be awarded $100,000 in damages. But, a review of the evidence could convince the jury that she is actually 20% at fault for the accident. In this case, the total amount of compensation awarded to her will be reduced by 20%, so she will receive $80,000.
This is how a pure comparative fault system works. Basically, if there are multiple at-fault parties, each party must share the legal obligation of compensating the victim. If the plaintiff is one of the at-fault parties, she can still recover compensation for her injury even though she was partly to blame. However, the award will be reduced to account for the role she played in the accident.
How Comparative Fault Laws Affect Personal Injury Cases
The defendant in your personal injury case could attempt to place some of the blame on you in order to reduce the amount of compensation he is ordered to pay in the personal injury case. It’s important to work with a personal injury lawyer who can disprove this argument so you can recover the full amount of compensation for your injury.
Another way the defendant could reduce his liability is by placing the blame on third parties. For instance, the defendant could argue that a third driver was partially responsible for the accident. If the defendant shares liability with the driver, he will also share the responsibility of compensating the personal injury victim with the driver.
Have you been injured? If so, contact The Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center as soon as possible. Let our experienced personal injury attorney Missouri fight to ensure you are fully compensated for your injury. Call our law office at 816-281-0941 or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a free consultation today.
Adjuster for Car Accident
Shortly after an accident, an insurance adjuster from the at-fault party’s insurance company will contact you. This insurance adjuster will be your main point of contact with the insurance company, so it’s important to understand their role in your car accident claim. Here’s an overview of what an insurance adjuster does:
Investigate the Personal Injury Claim
An insurance adjuster’s first task is investigating the personal injury claim. The goal of their investigation is to determine liability for the accident and verify the victim’s injuries. To meet this goal, the insurance adjuster may interview witnesses, obtain a copy of the police reports, analyze the victim’s medical records, work with expert witnesses, and examine evidence from the scene of the accident. The insurance adjuster will only move forward with the personal injury claim if it is clear that their policyholder is liable. Otherwise, the insurance companies are not responsible for compensating the victim.
Calculate the Value of the Claim
Next, the insurance adjuster will begin the process of calculating the value of the personal injury claim. Insurance adjusters typically start by adding up all of the victim’s compensation for medical and lost wages. The victim should be able to provide proof of these expenses and losses, which makes it easy for the adjuster to add them up.
Many victims ask for compensation for future expenses or lost wages as well. In these cases, insurance adjusters will need to work with medical professionals to verify that the injuries will continue to affect the victim’s life in the future.
The insurance adjuster will also need to calculate how much the victim should be awarded for their pain and suffering. There are no set rules that adjusters must follow when calculating a victim’s pain and suffering, but they usually use a formula that takes the severity of the victim’s injuries into account.
Negotiate With the Victim
The insurance adjuster will start negotiating with the victim after calculating the value of the personal injury claim. No matter how nice the adjuster seems, it is important to remember that they are looking out for their company’s best interests, not yours.
It is every insurance adjuster’s goal to settle a claim for as little as possible in order to save their company money. To reach this goal, insurance adjusters often make low offers or put pressure on victims to accept unfair offers. They can also use sneaky tactics to delay settlement talks or lower the value of your personal injury claim. For these reasons, it is strongly recommended that car or motorcycle accidents victims allow an experienced personal injury lawyer to handle the negotiations.
Have you been injured? Don’t let the insurance adjuster convince you to settle for less than you deserve. Let the personal injury lawyers at The Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center negotiate with the insurance companies to secure a sizable settlement.
Types of Cases Our Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You With
There are different types of personal injury claims our lawyers can help you with. Motor vehicle accidents are one of these claims. Although car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, and even pedestrian accidents might be frequent in the State of Missouri, even minor traffic accidents can be complex.
In addition, injury victims of these accidents can suffer serious injuries, including head injuries, neck injuries, or severe brain injury. These injuries may heal for years or even result in death. If someone else’s negligence caused death to another person, the victim is considered to have had a wrongful death. Wrongful death claims can provide compensation to surviving family members for funeral arrangements or loss of companionship and support.
Suppose a doctor or a medical professional failed to uphold specific standards when treating someone, and their negligence resulted in an injury. In that case, injured victims can hold them responsible by filing medical malpractice personal injury claims.
Slip and fall accidents that occurred because owners or managers of certain properties failed to keep their grounds well-maintained and safe may also result in personal injury claims. If an individual sustained an injury because of this type of accident, he or she might be eligible to obtain significant compensation.
Personal injury claims may also arise because of defective products or defective drugs. Manufacturers and retailers have the responsibility to keep their products safe for consumers. If that is not the case, and defective products or drugs have caused someone harm, there may be potential for a class-action lawsuit.
Over the years, personal injury attorneys at The Missouri Accident and Injury Law Center have handled many personal injury cases and helped countless personal injury clients recover the money they need and deserve. Our legal team is dedicated to providing experienced legal representation, guidance and legal advice to injury victims and their loved ones.
Cass County Accident Resulting in a Personal Injury Case
While it is not something we want to think about, odds are you will experience some types of vehicular accidents in your life. It is very important to be prepared before it occurs. For example, you can always wear your seat belt, avoid distractions, don’t drink and drive, and don’t drive fast, especially in bad weather conditions. If you follow these rules, even if you do experience a car accident, your chances of escaping a serious injury will be much higher.
You also need to carry your insurance card with you at all times. Keep a pen and notepad in the glove compartment so you can write down important information if a car or a truck accident occurs. You will need to record the other driver’s name, address, phone number, license plate number, and insurance information. Keep your health insurance card in your car and medical information, including current medications and allergy information in your vehicle.
If there is a possibility that you may have been at fault for the accident, for example, if you were driving while intoxicated, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage Missouri
When you are involved in an accident caused by another driver and suffer injuries, the standard procedure is to look to that driver’s insurance policy to compensate you for your losses. However, in some cases, that driver has no insurance coverage as required by law, or the amount available under his or her insurance policy is insufficient to cover all of your expenses.
In other cases, you may be a victim of a hit-and-run accident caused by an unknown driver. In this case, you cannot rely on the other driver’s insurance policy to cover your losses. These are the main reasons Missouri law requires all drivers to carry a minimum level of uninsured motorist coverage, which is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
When an accident in which you suffer severe or catastrophic injuries occurs, you may be off work indefinitely and perhaps permanently. You may require long periods of rehabilitation, surgeries, and ongoing medical care that can easily cause you to incur hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills. In this situation, your own uninsured motorist coverage may help. Still, it certainly won’t help you with all of the medical bills, lost income, and other expenses that you have suffered as a result of the accident.
Furthermore, Missouri law does not require that you carry any underinsured motorist insurance as part of your responsibilities as the operator of a motor vehicle. However, when another driver causes an accident that leads to your injuries, but he or she carries only a minimal level of liability insurance, then your out-of-pocket costs arising from your accident are likely to quickly exhaust any compensation available under the responsible party’s insurance policy. If you have a sufficient amount of uninsured motorist insurance in place, however, you can look to your own insurance policy for an additional source of coverage.
A personal injury lawyer at The Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center can help you understand these legal difficulties.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage Missouri
Many drivers in the State of Missouri choose not to comply with the legal requirement that requires them to obtain minimum auto insurance. That means you could be involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver.
Car accident victims usually file claims with the at-fault party’s insurance company in order to recover compensation for their injuries and property damage. But what if the other driver did not have insurance?
In Missouri, drivers are required to have uninsured motorist coverage, which applies in claims involving an uninsured driver. This coverage protects you in the event you or your passengers are injured in an accident caused by an uninsured driver’s negligence. After a car accident with an uninsured driver, you will need to take advantage of this coverage and file a claim with your insurance company.
It’s your insurance company that is handling the claim, but that does not mean they are looking out for your best interests. The insurer will look for every opportunity to reduce or deny your claim, so they don’t have to write you a check for your personal injuries. Don’t let this happen – let our Missouri personal injury attorneys handle the claims process on your behalf.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help with Missouri Dog Bite Law
According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 4.5 million dog bites occur every year. Some of these dog bites are minor, but about 334,000 of them are serious enough to require emergency medical treatment. Dog bites are painful-not to mention expensive to treat. For these reasons, it’s important for victims to understand who is legally liable for their injury.
“Strict Liability” Dog Bite Law in Missouri
Each state has its own dog bite laws. Missouri is a strict liability state, which means the dog’s owner is typically liable in dog bite cases. This is true regardless of whether or not the dog had a history of aggressive behavior. Because of the strict liability law, dog owners are held liable even when they did not have any reason to believe their dog was aggressive enough to bite someone.
When Are Owners Not Liable For Dog Bites?
Of course, there are several exceptions to the strict liability law. If the victim was trespassing on private property when the dog bit him, the owner is not liable. The owner is only liable if the victim was on public property or lawfully on private property at the time of the incident.
Owners are also not liable for dog bite injuries if the victim provoked the dog prior to the attack. Taking a toy or treat out of a dog’s mouth, invading a dog’s personal space, or exhibiting aggressive behavior can provoke the dog to attack. If a victim engages in this behavior and is bitten as a result, the owner is not liable for the victim’s injuries.
What Dog Bite Victims Must Prove
In most personal injury cases, the plaintiff is responsible for proving that the defendant’s negligence caused him harm. But, the rules are slightly different in dog bite cases because of the strict liability law. Victims do not need to prove that the owner was negligent. There’s no need to show evidence that the owner knew the dog was dangerous or that the dog had a history of biting visitors. Instead, the victim simply needs to prove that they were not trespassing on private property or provoking the dog at the time of the attack.
If you have sustained dog bite injuries, meet the personal injury attorneys at The Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center at once. Our award-winning personal injury attorneys go above and beyond to maximize compensation for each and every client.
Missouri Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
Most states have statutes of limitations, or time frames within which you must file certain types of lawsuits. Failure to file a personal injury lawsuit with the court within those timeframes will result in you losing an opportunity to pursue it. As a result, statutes of limitation are an essential element to consider when you may have a personal injury claim against another party.
In the state of Missouri, the statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit is five years, which begins running from the date of the accident that caused the injuries. This means that if you don’t file your personal injury claim within five years of the date of the accident that led to your injuries, then you lose your chance to recover compensation for injuries or hold negligent parties accountable for their actions in causing the accident.
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations in Missouri
There are some exceptions to this general statute of limitations. One exception is referred to as the Discovery Rule. In some situations, you might be harmed due to another’s negligence, but you might not become aware of the injury on the date on which it happened. If you later discover an injury that you couldn’t discover when it happened, then the five-year statute of limitations does not begin to run until you discover the injury or reasonably should have discovered the injury.
One other exception may occur if the party or parties whom you believe to be responsible for the accident leave the state. In some situations, the statute of limitations may be tolled, or temporarily stop, while the parties are absent from the state.
The standard statute of limitations does not apply to victims who are under the age of 21 or incapacitated, either. These victims have five years to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, the five-year clock does not start until the victim has either turned 18 or been declared legally competent.
There’s also an exception for medical malpractice cases. If you have been injured by a negligent healthcare provider, you must file a personal injury lawsuit within two years of the alleged malpractice. The two-year clock may begin either on the date the malpractice was committed or the date the victim discovered his injuries. For example, let’s say a patient is misdiagnosed on July 1st but is unaware of the misdiagnosis until September 1st. In this example, he will have two years from September 1st to file a lawsuit against the negligent healthcare provider.
If the medical malpractice victim is under the age of 18, he will have until his 20th birthday to file a personal injury lawsuit. This means someone who is 15 years old at the time the malpractice was committed would technically have five years to file a lawsuit.
If the at-fault party is a government entity, the victim may not have five years to take legal action. Personal injury claims that involve government agencies or employees follow different rules. For example, you must file a personal injury claim against an St Louis, Missouri city or city employees within 90 days of the date of the injury. Personal injury claims against the state government are filed with a separate state agency, or the Office of Administration’s Risk Management Division.
At The Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center, we know how devastating the aftermath of an accident in which you or a loved one has suffered injuries can be. Our personal injury lawyer can look at the facts of your case, apply the law, and build the strongest personal injury claim possible on your behalf.
Missouri Personal Injury
People who are crushed in car crashes, slip and falls, and other accidents caused by another person’s negligence are entitled to compensation for their injuries. There are several types of compensation, also known as damages, that victims can recover in a personal injury case. Here’s a look at the different types of personal injury damages:
Economic damages are awarded to victims to cover injury-related expenses, such as medical bills, or actual losses, such as lost wages. Victims should receive compensation for both their current and future expenses and losses. For example, if a victim can prove that they will need additional treatment in the future, he should be awarded economic damages to cover these expected expenses. Likewise, if a victim proves that he or she will need to take more time off of work in the future as a result of their injuries, they should be awarded compensation for his future lost wages.
The second type of compensation is known as non-economic damages. These damages are often referred to as pain and suffering damages because they are awarded to victims who have experienced mental or physical pain and suffering as a result of their injuries. For instance, if a victim is experiencing depression due to their injuries, she is entitled to compensation for this emotional distress.
It’s fairly easy to calculate the value of medical expenses and lost wages, but it’s much harder to quantify pain and suffering. For this reason, it’s important to let an experienced personal injury attorney calculate the value of your claim.
Some personal injury victims will also receive punitive damages. These damages are only awarded in cases where the defendant acted with indifference or a complete disregard for the safety of others. They are not awarded to compensate the personal injury victims for specific expenses or losses, but rather to punish the defendant for his grossly negligent behavior and deter others from engaging in similar behaviors.
Unfortunately, the victim will not get to keep all of the punitive damages that are awarded to them. In Missouri, half of the punitive damages awarded to the victim must be paid to the state.
Have you been injured? If so, contact the personal injury attorneys The Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center right away. Compensation is never guaranteed in a personal injury case-especially if you are not represented by an experienced personal injury lawyer. Our team will do their best to ensure you are fully compensated for your injuries.
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