Automobile Injury Attorney Des Peres, MO
Des Peres, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Free Consultation | Des Peres, MO Automobile Injury Attorney
Automobile injury attorney in Des Peres, MO. Injuries in auto crashes happen in a flash, and the emotional, physical and financial hardships they carry are quick to materialize as well. If you were injured in a Des Peres, MO auto accident, you need an automobile injury attorney who will defend your rights. At Halvorsen Klote, we stand by injury victims when they need it the most. Insurance adjusters can seem heartless, but with a skilled attorney by your side, you will get the justice and financial recovery you are owed. We serve the vulnerable in Des Peres, MO, the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois. You don't pay until we win your case. Call a Halvorsen Klote automobile injury attorney in Des Peres, MO today at 866-382-4167 or reach out to us through our website for a free case review.
We have experience with many different automobile injury claims, including:
Des Peres, MO Automobile Injury Attorney: Frequently Asked Questions
Most people who call our office have never had to make an injury claim before, and understandably have doubts and uncertainties as to what the experience will be like. Below are some of the questions we get most frequently:
Do I Even Have Auto Accident Claim?
In order to have a realistic chance of being compensated, you have to have sustained an injury that led to some amount of economic damages, 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, 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.
Never assume that you don't have a case without speaking to an attorney first. Halvorsen Klote's Des Peres, MO automobile injury attorneys are more than happy to discuss your case for free.
Do I Need to Get a Lawyer for an Automobile Injury?
There are some injuries where you probably don't need a lawyer. If the other party accepts liability and your medical bills are minimal — say, one emergency room visit — include copies of your records and bills in your letter to the insurance adjuster, and see if you can get some extra money for inconvenience. 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 several physical therapy or chiropractic appointments 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 is not willing to pay the full extent of your damages, 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 are entitled to. Insurance adjusters have a lot of experience minimizing payouts; personal injury lawyers know how to have just as much experience holding them accountable.
There are things besides significant injuries that require an attorney, such as if the negligent driver refuses to admit fault, 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 Des Peres, MO Automobile Injuries?
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 Des Peres, 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 spousal relationship is affected by your injuries
How much money you get in your car accident settlement depends largely on how your injuries have affected your life.
How Are Pain and Suffering Calculated?
The dollar amount a plaintiff receives for noneconomic damages is determined through one of two methods:
- The Multiplier Method — With this approach, 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" means "per day" in Latin. With this approach, your Des Peres, MO automobile injury attorney assigns a dollar amount to a single day of suffering, and multiplies that by the number of days your injuries affected you. So, using the same whiplash injury example, say $200 a day is a fair approximation of how your injuries affected you:
For example, 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 further disrupted you because it forced you to wear a neck brace for a short period. Your noneconomic damages might be assigned a multiplier of three. So:
$15,000 in economic damages × 3 for the noneconomic damages multiplier = $45,000 in final compensation
$200 × 121 days (four months) = $24,200 in noneconomic damages (on top of your medical bills and lost wages)
Your attorney will use the method that applies best to 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, insurance companies and healthcare providers have a right 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 knowledgeable Des Peres, MO automobile injury attorney will know best how 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
The other driver could have those, or other policy limits, but there is still a chance with more significant injuries that your damages will exceed the policy limits. That doesn't mean we can't get more compensation than the limits. First, your Des Peres, 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 Des Peres, MO?
In most cases, liability is solely on the driver that caused the accident. However, there are other people and entities that may have contributed to your accident:
- An auto company may may have produced a faulty vehicle component, leading to a product liability claim
- If you were injured in a truck accident, the trucking company may have failed to maintain a truck, or may have forced their driver to drive more hours than allowed
- A mechanic may have negligently worked on the car, which contributed to the wreck
- A bar or restaurant if someone got drunk at their venue, drove afterwards and caused a crash
- A local, state or federal 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 The Insurance Company is Saying the Accident is My Fault?
Shifting blame is a common tactic insurance companies use to devalue your claim. Providing detailed evidence, in addition to having 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 Law and Illinois Law followed the legal doctrine of "comparative fault." Meaning, each party pays for the percentage of fault they bear for the accident. In Illinois, you cannot make any recovery if it is determined that you were more than 50 percent liable.
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 was the person driving your car. While they may have to pay a moderate amount more for insurance, that doesn't compare to the medical bills and lost wages you've incurred because of their negligence. An automobile injury attorney will communicate with other side so you don't have to feel awkward.
Will My Claim Go to Trial?
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 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 handle most of the work.
How Long Will My Claim Take?
Each injury is different, and the more complicated a case, usually the longer it takes. A personal injury claim can take anywhere from a month to three or four years before it results in fair compensation. Many insurance adjusters start cooperating immediately once they've learned that the plaintiff hired a lawyer. In other cases, a fair settlement is only offered right before trial begins, or the liability and insurance coverage elements are so complex that they require substantial investigation and time put in.
Most cases reach a conclusion 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 best possible financial recovery 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 Des Peres, MO automobile injury attorney work on a contingency fee basis. 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 secure any compensation for you, you don't pay, so there's no reason to see money as a barrier to hiring one of our lawyers.
We don't believe that money should be a barrier for people who just want to be fairly compensated for their injuries.
Other cases we handle in Des Peres, MO include:
- Fatal Car Accident Lawyer
- Auto Accident Attorney
- 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
Consult With an Automobile Injury Attorney in Des Peres, 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. Injuries are always unexpected and can leave you with a profound sense of uncertainty. But you don't have to go through the claims process alone. We fight back against insurance companies every day and know how to get our Des Peres, MO 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 Des Peres, MO family. Speak to a Halvorsen Klote automobile injury attorney in Des Peres, MO now at 866-382-4167 or reach out to us through our website for a free case review.