Automobile Injury Attorney Kirkwood, MO
Kirkwood, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Free Consultation | Kirkwood, MO Automobile Injury Attorney
Automobile injury attorney in Kirkwood, MO. The effects of an auto accident injury are immediate and severe. If a negligent driver in Kirkwood, MO injured you, you need an automobile injury attorney who will defend your rights. At Halvorsen Klote, we fight for injury victims when they need help the most. Insurance adjusters can seem heartless, but with the help of an experienced attorney, they will not be able to keep you from the maximum financial recovery you are owed. We provide the highest quality of legal representation to the vulnerable in Kirkwood, MO, the Greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois. You owe us no fees until we win your case. Speak to a Halvorsen Klote automobile injury attorney in Kirkwood, MO now at 866-382-4167 or reach out to us through our website for a free consultation.
We've gotten great financial recoveries for our Kirkwood, MO clients in numerous types of auto accident claims, including:
Kirkwood, 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 doubts and uncertainties as to what the experience will be like. Below are some of the questions we get most frequently:
How Do I Know if I Have a Valid Claim?
For a claim to be valid, you have to have sustained an injury that led to some form of economic damages, for instance an appointment with your general practitioner or lost wages, 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 your injuries didn't lead to financial loss, you're unlikely to have a valid claim. If you were responsible for your injuries, you may not have a case either.
Never assume that you can't make a successful claim without speaking to an attorney first. Halvorsen Klote's Kirkwood, 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 to blame for the accident and you didn't need much medical treatment — for instance, one urgent care appointment — include copies of your records and bills in your letter to the insurance adjuster, and ask for some extra money for the nuisance. In those types of situations, an automobile injury attorney probably isn't necessary.
But, with more significant injuries that 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 refuses to give you a fair offer, or is trying to convince you that 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 have just as much experience holding them accountable.
Other complications, such as if the negligent driver refuses to admit fault, or if you were in a multi-vehicle accident, also make an automobile injury attorney necessary.
How Much Are My Automobile Injury Worth in Kirkwood, MO?
The damages you recover after an automobile injury are intended to compensate you for the economic, physical and emotional toll your injuries cause. With a skilled Kirkwood, MO automobile injury attorney, you'll get a financial recovery for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages from time spent off work
- Lost earning potential if your injuries result in permanent disability
- Out-of-pocket expenses, such as hiring a nanny or take care to look after your kids
- 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 compensation you receive for your automobile injuries depends largely on how your injuries have affected your life.
How Are Noneconomic Damages Calculated?
The dollar amount a plaintiff receives for pain and suffering 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" means "per day" in Latin. With this method, your Kirkwood, 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, using the same whiplash injury example, say $200 a day is a fair approximation of how your injuries affected you:
For example, the negligent driver caused 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. The pain and suffering might be given a multiplier of three. So:
$15,000 in medical bills and lost wages × 3 for a pain and suffering multiplier = $45,000 in final compensation
$200 × 121 days (four months) = $24,200 in noneconomic damages (in addition to your economic damages)
Your attorney will know the best way to determine your pain and suffering damages for your specific case.
Will I Still Get Reimbursement if My Medical Insurance Pays For My Medical Bills?
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 compensation. That allows them to be repaid by the liable party's insurance, just as you are being compensated.
The law allows a variety of avenues to reduce medical liens. A knowledgeable Kirkwood, MO 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 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
The other driver could have those, or other policy limits, but there is still no guarantee that there's enough to cover all of your damages. If that happens, we have a couple options. First, you can use your own policy's underinsured motorist coverage. Secondly, in their investigation your attorney might might determine that there are other liable parties who you can also make a claim against.
Who Else Could Be Liable for My Auto Accident Injuries in Kirkwood, MO?
In most cases, the other driver is the only personal responsible for your injuries. However, depending on the specifics of your case, other parties may be liable:
- An auto manufacturer may may have produced a defective vehicle component, and you can make a product liability claim
- If you were injured in a truck accident, 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 entity 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 blame you for your accident in order to avoid paying you. Providing strong evidence, in addition to having an experienced automobile injury attorney fighting back against that tactic, will help prove you're not to blame.
If, as in some cases, you really were partially at fault for the accident, you can still make a recovery. Both Missouri Law and 735 ILCS 5/2-1116 allow for what's called "comparative negligence." 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, your right to compensation is barred if you were more than half liable.
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 they may have to pay a moderate amount more for insurance, which is likely much less than your economic damages. An automobile injury attorney can help make the process less personal.
Will My Claim Go to Trial?
It's very unlikely that you'll be required to go attend hearings or a trial for your automobile injuries. The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that less than five 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 I Have to Wait Until I'm Compensated?
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 several years before it's resolved. Many insurance adjusters immediately agree to a settlement demand letter once they've received notice that the plaintiff hired a lawyer. In other cases, a fair settlement is only offered right before trial begins, or there are complexities to the case that require considerable investigation and time put in.
Most cases are settled within three to nine months. While we'd obviously like to resolve your claim without waiting a long period, it's always the best idea to hold out for the best possible compensation you're entitled to. Once you agree to a settlement, your right to get additional compensation is barred.
What if I Can't Afford an Automobile Injury Attorney?
Halvorsen Klote's Kirkwood, MO automobile injury attorney receive our fees 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 pay, so there's no reason to see money as a barrier to hiring one of our lawyers.
We see no reason that money should be a barrier for people who just want to be fairly compensated for their injuries.
If you have any other questions about the claims process, have a look at the frequently asked questions area of our website, go to our legal resources page or call us at 866-382-4167.
Other injury claims we handle in Kirkwood, 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 Kirkwood, MO Today
We founded our practice on the idea that an injury victim deserves 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 negotiate with insurance companies every day and know how to get our Kirkwood, MO clients the best possible results. We pride ourselves on our client communication, and handle the entire legal process so you and your Kirkwood, MO family can focus on healing. Call a Halvorsen Klote automobile injury attorney in Kirkwood, MO today at 866-382-4167 or reach out to us online for a free 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.