Automobile Injury Attorney Cape Girardeau, MO
Cape Girardeau, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Free Consultation | Cape Girardeau, MO Automobile Injury Attorney
Automobile injury attorney in Cape Girardeau, MO. Injuries in auto accidents happen in an instant, and the emotional, physical and financial burdens they carry are quick to materialize as well. If a negligent driver in Cape Girardeau, MO injured you, you require an automobile injury attorney who will defend your rights. At Halvorsen Klote, we have dedicated our practice to fighting for those injured by the negligence of another when the whole world seems to have turned against them. Insurance adjusters can seem heartless, but with an experienced attorney by your side, you will get the justice and financial recovery you are lawfully entitled to. We serve the vulnerable in Cape Girardeau, MO, the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois. You owe us no fees until we win your case. Call a Halvorsen Klote automobile injury attorney in Cape Girardeau, MO now at 866-382-4167 or reach out to us online for a complimentary consultation.
We've gotten great results for our Cape Girardeau, MO clients in numerous types of auto accident claims, including:
Cape Girardeau, MO Automobile Injury Attorney: Frequently Asked Questions
For most of our clients, this is the first time they've had to be a part of the injury claims process. They understandably have a lot of questions as to the process and what to expect. Below is a list of FAQs to help you better understand the process:
How Do I Know if I Have a Valid Claim?
In order to have a realistic chance of winning, your injury needs to create some form of economic damages, for instance emergency room bills or time spent off work recovering, and accident had to be caused or contributed to by somebody else. If you suffered some bumps and bruises, but your injuries didn't lead to financial loss, you're unlikely to have a successful claim. If you were the negligence party, your own insurance company can pay for your damages, but your premiums will go up.
The good news is you don't have to make that decision alone. Halvorsen Klote's Cape Girardeau, MO automobile injury attorneys are more than happy to discuss the validity of your claim for free.
Is it Worth it to Hire a Lawyer for an Automobile Injury?
Usually, yes, but not all the time. If there's no dispute about who the at-fault driver was and your medical expenses aren't very high — for instance, one emergency room visit — send copies of your records and bills to the insurance adjuster, and ask for a little more on top for inconvenience. With milder injuries where fault is not in dispute, an automobile injury attorney won't be able to add much value to your claim.
However, if your injuries are more severe, result in several physical therapy or chiropractic appointments and cause you to lose time off work, the insurance company is not going to willingly pay for all those damages. If the insurance company refuses to compensate you fairly, or is saying your injuries were pre-existing, then you absolutely need a lawyer. Insurance adjusters have a lot of experience minimizing payouts; personal injury lawyers know how to get maximum compensation.
Other complications, such as if there is a dispute over liability, or if you were in a multi-vehicle accident, almost always require the assistance of an automobile injury attorney.
How Much Are My Automobile Injury Worth in Cape Girardeau, MO?
The damages you are eligible for after an automobile injury are intended to provide you with an equitable financial recovery for all the ways an injury affected your life. With a talented Cape Girardeau, MO automobile injury attorney, you can be reimbursed for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages from time spent off work
- Lost earning potential if your injuries prevent you from making a living as you're used to
- Other related expenses, such as hiring transportation to and from medical appointments
- 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 how your injuries have affected your life.
How Much Will I Get for Pain and Suffering?
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, using higher numbers for more debilitating injuries.
- The Per Diem Method — "Per Diem" means "per day" in Latin. Using this approach, your Cape Girardeau, MO automobile injury attorney determines how much money a day of suffering is worth, and multiplies that by the number of days you suffered. So, if we stick with the same example, say your lawyer assigned $200 a day to your injuries:
Say you suffered a moderate neck injury, leading to $15,000 in economic damages, and which caused you to have physical discomfort for four months, and inconvenienced you because you had to wear a neck brace for a week. 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 noneconomic damages (on top of your medical bills and lost wages)
Your attorney will know the best way to calculate your pain and suffering damages for your specific case.
Will I Still Get Reimbursement 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 your insurance paid for it. However, insurance companies and healthcare providers have a right place a medical lien on your compensation. 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. A skilled Cape Girardeau, 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 financial recovery as possible.
What If the Insurance Coverage is Limited?
Missouri and Illinois have nearly the same minimum auto insurance requirements:
- $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 more coverage, there is still no guarantee that there's enough to compensate you for all of your damages. If that happens, we have a couple options. First, your Cape Girardeau, MO automobile injury attorney can make an underinsured motorist claim under your own policy, asking them to make up the difference. Secondly, your attorney can find out if there are other liable parties.
Who Else Could Be Liable for My Auto Accident Injuries in Cape Girardeau, MO?
In most cases, liability is solely on the driver responsible for the accident. However, depending on the specifics of your case, other parties may be liable:
- An auto manufacturer may have negligently designed, manufactured, or tested a vehicle component, and you can make a product liability claim
- In a truck crash, the trucking company may have failed to repair a truck, or may have required their driver to drive more hours than regulations allow
- A mechanic may have negligently worked on the car, causing a defect that had a hand in the wreck
- A bar or restaurant if they served alcohol to a drunk driver that caused your crash
- A government entity 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?
Shifting blame is a common tactic insurance adjusters use to devalue your claim. Having detailed evidence, as well as an automobile injury attorney used to fighting back against that tactic, will help prove you're not to blame.
In some car accidents, both drivers really are each partially at fault. Both Missouri Revised Statute §537.765 and 735 ILCS 5/2-1116 followed the legal doctrine of "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 to blame.
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 it's someone you know. While your friend's or family member's insurance premiums might go up a little, which is likely much 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 I Have to Go to Court?
It's very unlikely that you'll be required to go to court for your automobile injuries. The Bureau of Justice Statistics issued a study in 2005 that found that more than nine out of 10 tort claims are settled before trial.
You'll likely have to take a deposition and may have to attend a mediation, but your automobile injury attorney will make sure you're adequately prepared and will do most of the work themselves.
How Long Will I Have to Wait Until I'm Compensated?
That depends on a lot of things, such as the severity of your injuries, how clear negligence is and even the insurance company or adjuster we're negotiating with. A personal injury claim can last anywhere from six to eight weeks to three or four years before it's resolved. Many insurance adjusters immediately agree to a settlement demand letter once they know that you hired a lawyer. 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 considerable investigation and time put in.
Most cases reach a conclusion within three to nine months. While while we understand that you'd like to receive your financial recovery soon, it's always the best idea to hold out for the best possible financial recovery you're entitled to. This is your only chance to receive compensation.
What if I Can't Afford an Automobile Injury Attorney?
Halvorsen Klote's Cape Girardeau, 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 we only get paid at the conclusion of your claim. 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 a barrier for people who just want to be fairly compensated for their injuries.
To learn more about car accident claims, check out our other FAQs, go to our legal resources page or request a free consultation.
Other cases we handle in Cape Girardeau, 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
Consult With an Automobile Injury Attorney in Cape Girardeau, MO Today
We do what we do because we believe that an injury victim should have access to 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 we will be by your side every step of the way. We negotiate with insurance companies every day and know how to get our Cape Girardeau, MO clients the best possible results. We always have open lines of communication with our clients, and do everything we can to make the claims process easy and seamless for you and your Cape Girardeau, MO family. Speak to a Halvorsen Klote automobile injury attorney in Cape Girardeau, MO now at 866-382-4167 or contact us online for a complimentary case review.
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.