Automobile Injury Attorney Bonne Terre, MO
Bonne Terre, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Free Consultation | Bonne Terre, MO Automobile Injury Attorney
Automobile injury attorney in Bonne Terre, MO. Injuries in auto crashes happen suddenly, and the mental, physical and economic burdens they carry are quick to materialize as well. If a negligent driver in Bonne Terre, MO injured you, you need an automobile injury attorney who will fight to get you justice. At Halvorsen Klote, we have dedicated our practice to fighting for those injured by the negligence of another when the whole world seems stacked against them. Insurance adjusters may try to cheat, but with a skilled attorney by your side, you will get the justice and financial recovery you deserve. We serve the injured in Bonne Terre, MO, the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois. You don't pay until you get the compensation you deserve. Call a Halvorsen Klote automobile injury attorney in Bonne Terre, MO today at 866-382-4167 or contact us through our website for a complimentary case review.
We have experience with many different automobile injury claims, including:
Bonne Terre, MO Automobile Injury Attorney: Frequently Asked Questions
For most of our clients, this is their first experience with the injury claims process. They understandably have a lot of questions as to the process and how to proceed going about getting compensation for their injuries. Below are some of the questions we get most frequently:
How Do I Know if I Have a Case?
In order to have a realistic chance of being compensated, your injury needs to create some amount of financial loss, for instance an appointment with your general practitioner or lost wages, and accident had to be caused or contributed to by another party. If you suffered some bumps and bruises, but you never sought medical treatment, it's unrealistic to expect an insurance company to compensate you. If the accident was largely your fault, your own insurance company can pay for your damages, but your premiums will go up.
Never assume that you don't have a case without speaking to an attorney first. Halvorsen Klote's Bonne Terre, MO automobile injury attorneys are more than happy to discuss the validity of your claim for free.
Do I Need to Get a Lawyer for an Automobile Injury?
Usually, yes, but not all the time. If the other party accepts liability and your medical expenses aren't very high — for instance, one appointment with your doctor — include detailed records in your settlement letter, and see if you can get a little more on top for the nuisance. With milder injuries where fault is not in dispute, it's unlikely an automobile injury attorney will be able to get you significantly more money.
However, if your injuries are more severe, require ongoing medical treatment and result in lost wages, the insurance company is going to do whatever they can to pay you as little as possible. If the insurance company refuses to give you a fair offer, or is saying your injuries weren't caused by the accident, then you absolutely need a lawyer. Insurance adjusters have a lot of experience minimizing payouts; personal injury lawyers know how to get maximum compensation.
There are things besides significant injuries that require an attorney, such as if there is a dispute over liability, or if your injuries occurred in a multi-vehicle accident, also make an automobile injury attorney required.
How Much Are My Automobile Injury Worth in Bonne Terre, MO?
The damages you are eligible for after a car accident are intended to compensate you for the economic, physical and emotional consequences of your injuries. With a skilled Bonne Terre, MO automobile injury attorney, you'll get a financial recovery for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages from time spent off work
- Lost earning capacity if you can no longer work
- Miscellaneous expenses, such as hiring transportation to and from medical appointments
- Noneconomic damages like pain and suffering, or loss of consortium if your spousal relationship is negatively impacted by your injuries
How much money you get for your automobile injuries depends largely on the severity of your injuries.
How Are Noneconomic Damages Calculated?
The dollar amount a plaintiff receives for noneconomic damages is determined through one of two methods:
- The Multiplier Method — With this method, we multiply the total of your medical bills, lost wages and out-of-pocket expenses by a number 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" translates from Latin to "per day." With this method, your Bonne Terre, MO 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 $200 a day is a fair approximation of your pain and suffering:
Say the negligent driver caused a whiplash injury, leading to $15,000 in economic damages, and which led to neck pain for four months, and inconvenienced you because you had to wear a neck brace for a few days. The pain and suffering might be given a multiplier of three. So:
$15,000 in medical bills and lost wages × 3 for the noneconomic damages multiplier = a $45,000 financial recovery
$200 × 121 days (four months) = $24,200 in pain and suffering damages (on top of your economic damages)
Your attorney will use the method that applies best to your specific case.
Will I Still Get Compensation if My Medical Insurance Pays For My Medical Expenses?
Yes. All of your medical expenses will be included in your settlement or judgment, even if they were partially or fully covered by insurance. However, your medical insurance company will place a medical lien on your claim. That allows them to be compensated by the liable party's insurance, just as you are being compensated.
There are various legal remedies to reduce medical liens. An experience Bonne Terre, MO automobile injury attorney will be able to work with your insurance company and healthcare providers to reduce those liens and make sure as little is taken out of your compensation as possible.
What If My Damages Exceed the Policy Limits?
Missouri and Illinois have very similar laws regarding minimum auto coverage:
- $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 negligent driver may have a policy with higher limits, there is still a chance with more significant injuries that your damages will exceed the policy limits. If that happens, we have a couple options. First, your Bonne Terre, MO automobile injury attorney can file an underinsured motorist claim with your own insurance company, that can provide compensation for the rest of your damages. Secondly, your attorney can find out if there are other liable parties.
What Other Parties Could Be Held Accountable for My Auto Accident Injuries in Bonne Terre, MO?
In most cases, liability is solely on the driver that caused the crash. However, there are other people and entities that may have contributed to your accident:
- An car company may have negligently designed, manufactured, or tested a car component, leading to a product liability claim
- If you were injured in a truck crash, there are a variety of regulations the trucking company may have violated
- A mechanic may have improperly repaired an automobile, causing a defect that contributed to the crash
- A bar or restaurant if someone got drunk at their venue, drove afterwards and caused your injuries
- A local, state or federal authority responsible for keeping roads safe
- A construction company if a construction site was not properly secured
What if I'm Being Blamed For My Accident?
An insurance adjuster may try to convince you that you were the at-fault driver in order to avoid paying you. Having sound evidence, in addition to having an automobile injury attorney experienced in fighting back against that tactic, will demonstrate that you aren't liable.
If, as in some cases, you really were partially to blame for the accident, 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, each party pays for the percentage of fault they bear for the accident. In Illinois, your right to compensation is barred if it is determined that you were more than 50 percent at fault.
What if I Was Injured as a Passenger?
If you were injured in a car that somebody else was driving, you would still file a claim against the at-fault driver, even if it's someone you know. While your friend's or family member's insurance premiums might go up a little, which is likely substantially less than your medical bills and lost wages. An automobile injury attorney will communicate with other side so you don't have to feel awkward.
Will My Claim Go to Trial?
You probably will not have to go attend hearings or a trial for your automobile injuries. The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that 96 percent of tort claims are settled before trial.
Depositions and mediations are common formal procedures in personal injury claims, 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 three or four years before it reaches its conclusion. Many insurance adjusters start cooperating immediately once they know that there's an attorney on the case. Other times, a fair settlement is only offered right before trial begins, or the liability and insurance coverage elements are so complex that they require considerable investigation and expert testimony.
Most cases are settled from anywhere between a few months to a year. While we'd obviously like to resolve your claim without waiting a long period, it's always the best idea to wait to agree to a settlement until it's the full, fair compensation you're owed. This is your only chance to receive compensation.
What if I Can't Afford an Automobile Injury Attorney?
Halvorsen Klote's Bonne Terre, MO automobile injury attorney work on a contingency fee basis. That means we take a percentage of your final compensation as our attorneys' fees, and you don't owe us anything upfront. If we don't secure any compensation for you, you don't pay, so there's no financial risk involved in hiring our services.
We see no reason that money should be an obstacle for people who just want to be fairly compensated for their injuries.
If you have any other questions about automobile injury claims, have a look at our other FAQs, have a look at our legal resources page or call us at 866-382-4167.
Other injury claims we take on in Bonne Terre, MO include:
- What to Do After a Car Accident
- Premises Liability Attorneys
- Motorcycle Accidents Attorney
- Lawyer for Bicycle Accident
- Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
- Injury Claim Lawyer
- Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers
- Auto Crash Attorney
- Truck Crash Lawyers
Speak to an Automobile Injury Attorney in Bonne Terre, MO Today
We do what we do because we believe that an injury victim should have access to the same high quality legal representation as the insurance companies that are trying to keep them from the financial recovery they are owed. Injuries are always unexpected and can leave you with a profound sense of uncertainty. But we will be by your side every step of the way. We fight back against insurance companies every day and know how to get our Bonne Terre, MO clients the best possible results. We pride ourselves on our client communication, and handle the entire legal process so you and your Bonne Terre, MO family can focus on healing. Call a Halvorsen Klote automobile injury attorney in Bonne Terre, MO now at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a complimentary case evaluation.
Attorney at Law
Joel Halvorsen and his partner Greg Klote founded the Halvorsen Klote law firm on the principle that injured people and their families should have access to the same quality legal representation as large insurance companies.
Attorney at Law
Greg Klote is a partner and founder of Halvorsen Klote.
Greg has successfully fought for people who were injured through no fault of their own. He became a lawyer to help make a difference in the lives of those who have been wronged and treated unfairly.