Automobile Injury Attorney O'Fallon, MO
O'Fallon, MO Personal Injury Lawyers
Call 866-382-4167 for a Free Consultation | O'Fallon, MO Automobile Injury Attorney
Automobile injury attorney in O'Fallon, MO. The consequences of an auto accident injury are immediate and severe. If you were injured in a O'Fallon, MO auto accident, you require an automobile injury attorney who will defend your rights. At Halvorsen Klote, we stand by injury victims when the whole world seems stacked against them. Insurance adjusters may try to devalue your claim, but with a knowledgeable attorney by your side, you will get the justice and financial recovery you are rightfully entitled to. We serve the vulnerable in O'Fallon, 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 O'Fallon, MO today at 866-382-4167 or contact us through our website for a complimentary consultation.
We've gotten full compensation for our O'Fallon, MO clients in numerous types of auto accident claims, including:
O'Fallon, MO Automobile Injury Attorney: Frequently Asked Questions
For most of our clients, this is their first foray into the injury claims process. They understandably have doubts and uncertainties as to what to expect. Below are some of the questions we get most frequently:
Do I Even Have Auto Accident Case?
In order to have a realistic chance of winning, you have to have suffered an injury that led to some form of economic damages, such as an appointment with your GP or lost wages, and there has to be another party who is at least partially at fault for the accident. 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 the accident was largely your fault, you cannot file a claim against someone else's insurance.
Fortunately, you don't have to rely on guesswork to understand if you have a case. Halvorsen Klote's O'Fallon, MO automobile injury attorneys offer free case evaluations for people who were injured and aren't sure if they're eligible for compensation.
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 bills are minimal — for instance, one emergency room visit — include detailed records in your settlement letter, and ask for a little more on top for inconvenience. In those types of situations, it's unlikely an automobile injury attorney will be able to get you significantly more money.
But, with more significant injuries that 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 isn't coming close to giving you a fair offer, or is trying to convince you that 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 the negligent driver refuses to admit fault, or if you were in a multi-vehicle accident, also make an automobile injury attorney required.
How Much Are My Automobile Injury Worth in O'Fallon, MO?
The damages you are eligible for after a car accident are meant to compensate you for the financial, physical and emotional consequences of your injuries. With a talented O'Fallon, MO automobile injury attorney, you can be reimbursed for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages from time spent recovering
- Lost earning capacity if you can no longer work
- 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 the severity of your injuries.
How Are Noneconomic Damages Calculated?
There are two commonly accepted ways to calculate pain and suffering damages:
- 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." Using this method, your O'Fallon, 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 your lawyer assigned $200 a day to your injuries:
Say the negligent driver caused a moderate neck injury, leading to $15,000 in medical expenses and lost wages, and which led to physical discomfort for four months, and inconvenienced you because you had to wear a neck brace for a short period. Your noneconomic damages might be assigned a multiplier of three. So:
$15,000 in medical bills and lost wages × 3 for a pain and suffering multiplier = $45,000 in total compensation
$200 × 121 days (four months) = $24,200 in pain and suffering damages (in addition to your medical bills and lost wages)
Your attorney will know the best way to calculate your noneconomic damages for your unique case.
Will I Still Get Reimbursement if My Medical Insurance Pays For My Medical Expenses?
Yes. The settlement or judgment is based on all of your medical expenses, regardless of whether it was paid for by insurance or out of pocket. However, your medical insurance company will place a medical lien on your claim. 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. An experience O'Fallon, 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 at-fault driver may have more coverage, 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 O'Fallon, MO automobile injury attorney can file an underinsured motorist claim under your own policy, that can provide compensation for the rest of your damages. Secondly, in their investigation your attorney might might determine that there are other liable parties who you can also make a claim against.
What Other Parties Could Be Held Accountable for My Auto Accident Injuries in O'Fallon, MO?
In most cases, liability is solely on the driver responsible for the crash. However, there are other people and entities that may have contributed to your accident:
- An car company may may have produced a defective car 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 crash
- A licensed alcohol vendor 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 The Insurance Company is Saying the Accident is My Fault?
Shifting blame is a common trick insurance adjusters use to devalue your claim. Providing sound evidence, as well as an automobile injury attorney experienced in fighting back against insurance companies, will help prove you're not to blame.
If, as in some cases, you really were partially responsible for the accident, you are not completely barred from compensation. 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 you were more than half at fault.
What if I Was Injured as a Passenger?
If you were injured as a passenger, you still seek compensation from the negligent driver's insurance company, 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 sustained because of their negligence. An automobile injury attorney will communicate with other side so you don't have to feel awkward.
Will I Have to Go to Court?
You probably will not be required to go attend hearings or a trial for a car accident claim. The Bureau of Justice Statistics issued a study in 2005 that found that less than five percent of tort claims go to 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 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 take anywhere from a month to three or four years before it reaches its conclusion. Many insurance adjusters start cooperating immediately once they've received notice 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 time put in.
Most cases reach a conclusion within three to nine months. While we'd obviously like to resolve your claim soon, it's always in your best interest to hold out for the maximum compensation you deserve. Once you agree to a settlement, you can never go back and ask for more money later.
Is It Expensive to Hire an Automobile Injury Attorney?
Halvorsen Klote's O'Fallon, 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 win, you don't owe us anything, so there's no reason to see money as an obstacle in 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.
To learn more about the claims process, have a look at our other FAQs, go to our legal resources page or call us at 866-382-4167.
Other cases we take on in O'Fallon, 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
Consult With an Automobile Injury Attorney in O'Fallon, MO Today
We do what we do because we believe that everyone deserves the same standard of legal advocacy that large insurance companies have. Injuries are always unexpected and create fear and confusion. 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 O'Fallon, MO clients the best possible results. We pride ourselves on our client communication, and do everything we can to make the claims process easy and seamless for you and your O'Fallon, MO family. Speak to a Halvorsen Klote automobile injury attorney in O'Fallon, MO today at 866-382-4167 or reach out to us through our website for a free 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.