You’ve just been injured in a car accident and you have mounting bills, lost wages and a lot of worries. That’s why I’m here. There are many reasons for hiring an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer. The first reason is that you want to receive the full value of your claim. Nobody wants to be taken advantage of by an insurance company bully. Insurance companies are in the business to make money, not to make your life easier. I can make sure that you get a fair settlement.
Besides receiving the full value of compensation, there is a lot that goes into properly evaluating a claim. An evaluation of a claim requires that there is complete documentation of all of your damages. Often times it is difficult to obtain full and complete copies of all of the necessary documentation. If you failed to submit some bills or part of your lost wages, then you will not receive fair compensation for your claim. I will make sure that your claim is thoroughly evaluated.
In addition, when you’re not represented, insurance companies will try to convince you that you really aren’t entitled to any money for” pain-and-suffering.” They may want to pay you your medical bills and give you a token settlement in regard to your injuries. Having someone who is experienced as a Missouri car accident lawyer can be reassuring. It saves you the time and effort of having to compile all of your documentation and attempt to analyze your own injuries.
Moreover, an experienced Missouri car accident attorney will be familiar with jury histories throughout the state. It is important to realize that your claim would potentially be brought in a particular county. Depending on which county your case is in, you must allow for variances in terms of the types of juries that could potentially be chosen. If you are in a conservative “venue” then you may have to adjust your expectations. If you’re in a generous venue, then you may be able to get additional compensation based on the history of juries in a particular area.
There are also numerous technical legal arguments that can be made on both sides. For example, how much do you have in medical bills? Are the bills the full amount that the healthcare provider billed, or is it the amount that it costs in order to satisfy the bill? It is not uncommon to see a bill from a hospital for $10,000 and then see a health insurance payment form indicating that the amount was “paid in full” for $3500. Both the full amount of the bills and the amount that was paid to satisfy the bills are relevant to what you might expect to receive in a potential. It is important to hire an experienced Missouri personal injury attorney who knows the law.
Besides the many headaches involved in trying to put together and evaluate your own case, there is still the matter of “stress”. Insurance company adjusters are trained to intimidate people like you. They are experienced in handling claims and they have been taught how to negotiate. Insurance adjusters know that, if you didn’t hire an attorney, you probably have no interest whatsoever in taking your claim to court. They count on this when they are negotiating with you. They know that they can create stress and anxiety by talking about all the hassles that are involved in going any farther with your claim. It is their hope that you will just "take what they have to offer.” by hiring an experienced St. Louis car accident attorney, you will let the insurance company know that you will not be pushed around!
Hiring an experienced St. Louis personal injury attorney can help you cut through this mess. You get the advantage of having someone in your corner who will tell you what to expect. You will have the peace of mind of knowing that an experienced St. Louis personal injury lawyer will be able to negotiate on your behalf as a St. Louis, Missouri car accident lawyer, I have helped thousands of clients in my firm over the years. My firm was established in 1984 in order to help regular people or challenged in difficult times.
Every year thousands of people are killed or injured in car accidents. Not every car accident victim, however, has a personal injury claim. In order to have an injury claim, there must be a violation of a duty that is owed to the injured person. In car accident cases, each driver has a duty to use” the highest degree of care” in operating his or her vehicle. A driver who breaches his duty by operating a vehicle in a careless manner is said to be”
In Missouri, there are a number of laws that acknowledge certain types of negligence. Some examples are violating a signal light or stop sign, driving at an excessive speed, changing lanes when it is unsafe to do so, driving at an excessive speed, failing to keep a careful lookout, allowing your car to come into contact with the rear of another car, failing to signal a turn, failing to yield, following too closely, passing on the right, stopping or slowing without adequate warning, driving on the wrong side of the road, making an improper turn, driving while intoxicated and stopping in the lane which is reserved for moving traffic. Our system imposes a duty on drivers to follow these driving
In cases where one driver is entirely at fault, we say that these are cases of “clear liability”. These are cases in which one driver follows all of the rules of the road and has been injured by someone else’s carelessness. In other cases, you may have a fault on the part of both drivers. We refer to these cases as cases of “comparative fault.” Our jury system is set up for juries to decide how much fault should be attributed to each driver. For example, if the driver is injured by someone goes through a red light, but the other driver is operating his vehicle without headlights at night and is intoxicated then there would be a fault on the part of both drivers. It would be up to a jury in this situation to decide how much of a percentage of fault
The plaintiff is, is the person who is bringing the lawsuit. Where there is comparative fault, the plaintiff’s award of damages will be reduced by his percentage of fault. If, for example, his car is totaled and the value of the car is $10,000, then his verdict will be reduced to $5000 if he is assessed 50% at fault by a jury. The same would be true for his personal injury case. Any damages for medical bills would be reduced by 50% and his award for pain and suffering would also be reduced by 50%.
A jury can also find that neither party is at fault. For example, if there is an oil spill on the highway and a driver loses control, it may be determined that he had no ability whatsoever to prevent an accident. In that case, a jury may decide that no one has any degree of fault. This can also be true in situations involving bad weather such as ice storms. Another example would be where a driver is struck by another vehicle and loses control and strikes a third vehicle. The law does not hold a party responsible when he doesn’t violate any duty of care. In order to be negligent, there must be an ability to avoid an accident. For example, a driver who swerves and strikes another car while trying to avoid a pedestrian may not be found to be at fault since greater harm would have occurred if he hadn’t swerved. A driver’s actions are judged by whether he was reasonably prudent and careful. Injuries assessment of all must add up to either 100% or must be 0%. A jury cannot assess fault to someone who is not a party in the case. If, for example, a deer runs out in front of the car and causes the driver to swerve and lose control, the deer cannot be assessed a percentage of fault.
In personal injury cases, there is a requirement of “causation”. Causation means that you must prove that there is a connection between someone’s negligent actions and the damages that someone sustains. For example, if a driver is negligently struck from the rear by another driver, it may be very easy to prove that there is a direct connection with his damaged rear bumper. On the other hand, if the transmission goes out several weeks later, it may be hard to tell whether or not this was caused by the accident, or whether it is just a coincidence. Similarly, if a driver’s head is bleeding after an accident and eventually there is a permanent scar, it is easy to prove that there is a medical connection. On the other hand, if a driver has a heart attack one week after striking his chest in an accident and also has severe heart problems, it may be difficult to establish a connection if there is a subsequent heart attack.
The burden of proving the connection falls upon the plaintiff who is the person bringing the claim. The plaintiff does not have to prove that a connection is an absolute 100% certainty. Instead, civil law requires that causation is established by” reasonable certainty” or by a ”preponderance of the evidence.” This is often thought of as being a requirement that cases must be proven 51%, or by what is “more likely are not”. It is the imaginary scales of justice which are balanced then tip slightly to one side.
There also has to be a legal basis for causation involving the “consequences.” For example, let’s say that a driver is carpooling with a student who is a passenger in his car. If the passenger carelessly forgets his homework and the driver turns around and is eventually injured when he is struck by a falling rock, he cannot sue his passenger and argue that” but for” the passenger forgetting his homework, he would have been out of the path of the rock. This is because the law has a requirement that one’s careless actions have to “foreseeably result in an injury. In other words, it must be reasonably predictable that someone’s carelessness could result in injury. In short, there must be foreseeability when it comes to the consequences of one’s actions.
In a personal injury case, the plaintiff is compensated by payment of monetary damages. There are a number of different kinds of damages which can be paid.
Property damages can be paid where an individual has sustained damages to their car or other personal belongings. Sometimes, in an accident, there will be damaged goods such as a car stereo, glasses, or perhaps even clothing. The value of a property damage loss is based upon it’s ” market value.” When a car is totaled, for example, the value of damages would be the market value of the car before the accident occurred. This would be the price that a buyer and seller would reasonably reach if they had bargained before the accident. This can be subject to an argument from the parties since the condition of the car, the mileage and the other factors such as new tires and the replacement of parts can affect what a car is worth. In other cases, a car can be repaired and the value of the property damage would be the amount of money that it costs to restore the car to its pre-accident condition. A party cannot be compelled by law to pay more to repair a car than what it would cost to replace it. In other words, if it would cost $3000 to fix a car that would have sold for $2000 before the accident, the law will cap defendants damages at $2000.
There are also various types of damages for” personal injuries.” The first type of damage would be for medical expenses incurred. A party is entitled to be reimbursed for medical expenses which are directly related to an accident. This would include any testing, physical examination, physical therapy, or any treatment which is provided in order to help cure or alleviate an accident victim’s complaints.
The second type of damage is a claim for lost wages. Often times someone will be out of work for an extended period after they are injured in an automobile accident. The opposing party owes a duty to fully compensate the plaintiff for any lost wages that are incurred as a direct result of an accident.
The third type of damage in a personal injury claim would be for” pain and suffering”. This would be compensation for the amount of pain and suffering which occurs following an accident. In many cases, injuries have permanent consequences. Thus, a plaintiff can also be compensated for future pain and suffering which is reasonably likely to occur. There is no magic formula for how to compensate a plaintiff for pain and suffering. It is up to a jury to make a judgment as to what is fair compensation for an individual’s past, present and future, and suffering. The amount of damages for pain and suffering may be great where, for example, a younger individual sustains an accident and has injuries that will drastically affect him for the rest of his life. Severe debilitating injuries are often referred to by lawyers as” catastrophic injuries.”
The fourth type of damage is called a” loss of consortium damage”. This can be awarded to a spouse whose life is changed because of a catastrophic injury that has occurred to their husband or wife. This can include the loss of companionship, the loss of a sexual relationship and the loss of enjoyment and in a marriage. These claims are generally not worth pursuing unless a case involves severe injuries
The fifth type of damage to personal injury case would be for mental anguish. This involves the situation in which there are emotional damages. This would also be restricted to very serious claims involving extreme emotional distress. For example, the loss of an arm or a leg may be associated with psychological trauma. Severe injuries can oftentimes be accompanied by depression, anxiety, and other symptoms. Thus the law allows for monetary compensation for mental injuries in certain cases.
Finally, there are damages that can be awarded in order to punish a wrongdoer. These are called "punitive damages.” This occurs where there has been bad conduct on the part of the negligent party. For example, if an individual is operating a vehicle while he is intoxicated, a jury can award damages over and above” compensatory damages” in order to punish his actions. Punitive damage awards can also be made in cases involving intentional misconduct conduct. Corporations are sometimes “hit” with punitive damage awards where their actions show a callous disregard for public interest. For example, if a company is aware of the dangers defective product and sells the product anyway, they can be punished for their actions over and above “just compensatory damages.”