Automobile Injury Attorney Columbia, MO
Columbia, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Free Consultation | Columbia, MO Automobile Injury Attorney
Automobile injury attorney in Columbia, MO. Injuries in auto accidents happen suddenly, and the mental, physical and financial hardships they create happen suddenly as well. If you were injured in a Columbia, MO auto accident, you need an automobile injury attorney who will fight to bring you justice and a fair financial recovery. At Halvorsen Klote, we fight for those injured by the negligence of another when the whole world seems to have turned against them. Insurance adjusters may try to cheat, but with a knowledgeable attorney by your side, you will get the justice and financial recovery you are rightfully entitled to. We provide outstanding legal advocacy to the injured in Columbia, MO, the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois. You don't pay until you get the compensation you deserve. Speak to a Halvorsen Klote automobile injury attorney in Columbia, MO now at 866-382-4167 or reach out to us through our website for a complimentary case review.
We've gotten great results for our Columbia, MO clients in a variety of auto accident claims, including:
Columbia, MO Automobile Injury Attorney: Frequently Asked Questions
Most injury victims have never had to make an injury claim before, and understandably have doubts and uncertainties as to what the experience will be like. Some of the most commonly asked questions we get are:
How Do I Know if I Have a Case?
For a claim to be valid, you have to have suffered an injury that led to some amount of economic damages, for instance urgent care bills or time spent off work recovering, and accident had to be caused or contributed to by somebody else. If you your back hurt for a few days after the accident, but you never sought medical treatment, it's unrealistic to expect an insurance company to compensate you. If you were responsible for your injuries, you may not have a case either.
Never assume that you don't have a case without speaking to an attorney first. Halvorsen Klote's Columbia, MO automobile injury attorneys offer free case reviews for people who were injured and aren't sure of the validity of their claim.
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 you didn't need much medical treatment — say, one emergency room visit — include detailed records in your letter to the insurance adjuster, and ask for a little more on top for the hassle. In those types of situations, it's unlikely an automobile injury attorney will be able to get you significantly more money.
However, if your injuries are more severe, result in months of physical therapy or chiropractic appointments and cause you to lose time off work, the insurance company is not going to willingly pay for all the ways the injury has affected your life. If the insurance company isn't coming close to giving you a fair offer, or is trying to convince you that your injuries were pre-existing, then a lawyer is likely the only way you'll get what you deserve. Insurance adjusters know how to devalue claims; 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 necessary.
What Compensation Can I Recover For My Columbia, MO Automobile Injuries?
The damages you recover after an automobile injury are meant to reimburse you for the financial, physical and emotional consequences of your injuries. With a skilled Columbia, MO automobile injury attorney, you can be reimbursed for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages from time spent recovering
- Lost earning potential 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 in your car accident settlement depends largely on the severity of your injuries.
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, 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 Columbia, MO automobile injury attorney determines how much money a day of suffering is worth, and multiplies that by the number of days your injuries affected you. 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 economic damages, and which led to physical discomfort for four months, and further disrupted you because it forced you to wear a neck brace for a week. Your noneconomic damages might be assigned 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 economic damages)
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 Covers 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, your medical insurance company will place a medical lien on your compensation. That allows them to collect the money that paid for your injuries from your compensation.
There are various legal remedies to reduce medical liens. An experience Columbia, MO automobile injury attorney will know best how to reduce those liens and put as much money as possible in your pocket.
What If the Insurance Coverage is Limited?
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 more coverage, there is still no guarantee that there's enough to cover all of your damages. If that happens, we have a couple options. First, your Columbia, MO automobile injury attorney can make an underinsured motorist claim with your own insurance company, 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 Columbia, MO?
In most cases, liability is solely on the driver that caused the crash. However, depending on the specifics of your case, other parties may be liable:
- An car company may may have produced a faulty car component, and you can make 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 negligently worked on the car, causing a defect that contributed to the wreck
- A bar or restaurant if they served alcohol to a drunk driver that caused your crash
- A government body responsible for designing and maintaining the safety of roads
- A construction company if a construction site was not properly cordoned off
What if The Insurance Company is Saying the Accident is My Fault?
An insurance adjuster may try to blame you for your accident in order to devalue your claim. Having detailed evidence, as well as an experienced automobile injury attorney fighting back against insurance companies, will demonstrate that you aren't liable.
In some car accidents, both drivers really are each partially at fault. 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 you were more than 50 percent liable.
What if I Was Injured as a Passenger?
If you were injured in a car that somebody else was driving, you still seek compensation from the liable driver's insurance company, even if it was the person driving your car. While their insurance premiums might go up a little, which is likely substantially less than your medical bills and lost wages. An automobile injury attorney can help make the process less personal.
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 only four percent of tort claims go to trial.
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 do most of the work themselves.
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 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 there's an attorney on the case. Other times, a fair settlement is only offered right before trial begins, or there are complexities to the case that require substantial investigation and time put in.
Most cases reach a conclusion from anywhere between a few months to a year. While while we understand that you'd like to receive your money as quickly as possible, it's always the best idea to hold out for the maximum compensation you deserve. You only have chance to receive compensation.
Is It Expensive to Hire an Automobile Injury Attorney?
Halvorsen Klote's Columbia, MO automobile injury attorney are paid through a contingency fee. That means we we get a portion of your final payout, 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 see no reason that money should be an obstacle for people who need quality legal representation to make a full financial recovery.
To learn more about the claims process, check out our other FAQs, go to our legal resources page or call us at 866-382-4167.
Other cases we handle in Columbia, MO include:
- Bike Wreck Lawyer
- 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
Speak to an Automobile Injury Attorney in Columbia, MO Today
We founded our practice on the idea that everyone deserves the same high quality legal representation that large insurance companies have. 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 stand up to insurance companies every day and know how to get our Columbia, MO clients the best possible results. We pride ourselves on our client communication, and handle the entire legal process so you and your Columbia, MO family can focus on healing. Speak to a Halvorsen Klote automobile injury attorney in Columbia, MO today at 866-382-4167 or contact us through our website for a complimentary consultation.
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.