Automobile Injury Attorney St. Louis
St. Louis and Southern Illinois Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Free Consultation | St. Louis Automobile Injury Attorney
Automobile injury attorney in St. Louis. Injuries in auto accidents happen suddenly, and the emotional, physical and financial hardships they create are quick to materialize as well. If a negligent driver in St. Louis injured you, you need an automobile injury attorney who will defend your rights and get you the financial recovery you need to be made whole again. At Halvorsen Klote, we stand by injury victims when the whole world seems stacked against them and they need help the most. Insurance adjusters can seem heartless, but with the help of a skilled attorney, they will not be able to keep you from the full compensation you are lawfully entitled to. We serve the entire St. Louis area and Southern Illinois. You don't pay unless we win. Call a Halvorsen Klote automobile injury attorney in St. Louis today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a free consultation.
We've gotten great results for our St. Louis clients in a variety of auto accident claims, including:
St. Louis Automobile Injury Attorney: Frequently Asked Questions
Most people who call our office have never had to make an injury claim before, and understandably have a lot of questions as to the process and what to expect. Below are some of the questions we get most frequently:
How Do I Know if I Have a Case?
In order to have a case, you have to have sustained an injury that led to some form of financial loss, such as emergency room bills or time spent off work recovering, and there has to be another party who is at least partially at fault for the accident. If you suffered some bumps and bruises, but you never sought medical treatment, it would be difficult for you to make a personal injury claim. If the accident was largely your fault, you may not have a case either.
The good news is you don't have to make that decision alone. Halvorsen Klote's St. Louis automobile injury attorneys offer free case reviews for people who were injured and aren't sure of the validity of their claim.
Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer for an Automobile Injury?
There are some cases where you probably don't need a lawyer. If the other party accepts liability and your medical bills are minimal — say, an emergency room visit or an appointment with your doctor — send detailed records to the insurance company, and ask for a little more on top for inconvenience. In those types of situations, it's unlikely an automobile injury attorney will be able to get you significantly more money.
But, if your injuries are more severe, require ongoing medical treatment and cause you to lose time off work, the insurance company is going to do whatever they can to pay you as little as possible. If the insurance company isn't coming close to giving you a fair offer, or is saying your injuries were pre-existing or weren't caused by the accident, then you absolutely need a lawyer. Insurance adjusters know how to devalue claims; personal injury lawyers know how to fight back against them and get maximum compensation.
Other complications, such as if the other side denies liability, or if you were in a multi-vehicle accident, almost always require the assistance of an automobile injury attorney.
What Compensation Can I Recover For My St. Louis Automobile Injuries?
The damages you recover after a car accident are meant to compensate you for the economic, physical and emotional toll your injuries cause. With a skilled St. Louis automobile injury attorney, you'll be compensated for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages from time spent recovering
- Lost earning capacity if you can no longer work
- Out-of-pocket expenses, such as hiring household services for chores you can't do while you're injured
- Noneconomic damages like pain and suffering, or loss of consortium if your injuries prevent you from helping and giving affection to your spouse
How much money you get in your car accident settlement depends largely on the severity of your injuries and how they have affected your life.
How Much Will I Get for Noneconomic Damages?
The more that an injury has disrupted your life, the more you'll be given in compensation. There are two commonly accepted ways to calculate noneconomic damages:
- The Multiplier Method — With this method, your economic damages will be multiplied by a number, typically between 1.5 and 5, depending on how severe your injuries were. The more disruptive the injury, the higher the number.
- The Per Diem Method — "Per Diem" means "per day" in Latin. With this method, your St. Louis automobile injury attorney assigns a dollar amount to a single day of suffering, and multiplies that by the number of days you suffered. So, with the above example, say your lawyer assigned $200 a day to your injuries:
Say you suffered a whiplash injury, leading to $15,000 in medical expenses and lost wages, and which caused you to have neck pain for four months, and inconvenienced you because you had to wear a neck brace for a week. Your noneconomic damages might be assigned a multiplier of three. So:
$15,000 in economic damages × 3 for a pain and suffering multiplier = $45,000 in total compensation
$200 × 121 days (four months) = $24,200 in noneconomic damages (on top of your economic damages)
Your attorney will know the best way to calculate your noneconomic damages for your specific case.
Will I Still Get Compensation if My Medical Insurance is Covering My Medical Bills?
Yes. All of your medical expenses will be included in your settlement or judgment, even if your insurance paid for it. However, your medical insurance company will place a medical lien on your claim. That allows them to collect the money that paid for your injuries from your compensation.
The law allows a variety of avenues to reduce medical liens. A skilled St. Louis automobile injury attorney will be able to work with your insurance company and healthcare providers to reduce those liens and put as much money as possible in your pocket.
What If My Damages Exceed the Policy Limits?
- $25,000 minimum coverage for bodily injury per person
- $50,000 minimum coverage for bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 (Missouri)/$20,000 (Illinois) minimum coverage for property damage
While the at-fault driver may have more coverage, there is still a chance with more severe injuries that your damages will exceed the policy limits. If that happens, we have a couple options. First, your St. Louis automobile injury attorney can file an underinsured motorist claim with your own insurance company, asking them to make up the difference. Secondly, in their investigation your attorney might uncover other liable parties who you can also make a claim against.
Who Else Could Be Liable for My Auto Accident Injuries?
In most cases, liability is squarely on the driver that caused the crash. However, there are other people and entities that may have contributed to your accident:
- An auto manufacturer may have negligently designed, manufactured, or tested a vehicle component, leading to a product liability claim
- In a truck crash, the trucking company may have failed to maintain and repair a truck, or may have forced their driver to drive more hours than allowed
- A mechanic may have negligently worked on the car, causing a defect that contributed to the crash
- A bar or restaurant if they served alcohol to a drunk driver that caused your crash
- A local, state or federal authority responsible for designing and maintaining the safety of roads
- A construction company if the accident was caused by an unsafe construction site
What if I'm Being Blamed For My Accident?
An insurance adjuster may try to blame you for your accident in order to avoid paying you. Having strong and detailed evidence, as well as an experienced automobile injury attorney, will demonstrate that you aren't liable.
If it's true that you were partially responsible for your injuries, you can still make a recovery. Both Missouri Revised Statute §537.765 and 735 ILCS 5/2-1116 allow for what's called "comparative fault." Meaning, if you were 30 percent at fault for the accident, you can recover 70 percent of your damages from the other party. In Illinois, you cannot make any recovery if you were more than 50 percent at fault.
What if I Was Injured as a Passenger?
If you were injured as a passenger, you would still file a claim against the at-fault driver, even if that person is a friend or family member in St. Louis. While their insurance premiums might go up a little, that doesn't compare to the medical bills and lost wages you've suffered as a result. An automobile injury attorney can help make the process less personal.
Will I Have to Go to Court?
You'll likely have to take a deposition and may have to attend a mediation, but your automobile injury attorney will prep you for those and handle most of the work.
How Long Will My Claim Take?
That depends on your case and, usually, how complex it is. A personal injury claim can take anywhere from a month to several years before it's resolved. Many insurance adjusters immediately agree to a settlement demand letter once they know that there's an attorney on the case. Other times, they'll wait until the eve of trial to finally agree to what is fair, or the liability and insurance coverage elements are so complex that they require substantial investigation and time put in.
Most cases are settled from anywhere between a few months to a year. While we'd obviously like to resolve your claim as quickly as possible, it's always in your best interest to wait to agree to a settlement until it's the full, fair compensation you're entitled to. Once you agree to a settlement, you can never go back and ask for more money later.
What if I Can't Afford an Automobile Injury Attorney?
Halvorsen Klote's St. Louis automobile injury attorney work on a contingency fee basis. That means we take a percentage of your final compensation as our attorneys' fees, and there are no upfront costs. If we don't win, you don't owe us anything, so there's no financial risk involved in hiring our services.
We don't believe that money should be an obstacle for people who need quality legal representation to make a full financial recovery.
Speak to an Automobile Injury Attorney in St. Louis Today
We founded our practice on the idea that everyone deserves the same standard of legal advocacy that large insurance companies have. An injury is shocking and can leave you with a profound sense of uncertainty. But you don't have to go through the claims process alone. We stand up to insurance companies every day and know how to get our clients the full financial recovery they deserve. We pride ourselves on our client communication, and do everything we can to make the claims process easy and seamless for you and your St. Louis family. Speak to an automobile injury attorney in St. Louis today at 866-382-4167 or contact us online.