If you’ve been involved in any type of personal injury accident, your actions in the hours and days after the incident can have a serious impact on your case. This is particularly true if your injury was caused by the negligence of another party. In most personal injury cases, the victim is entitled to damages for their medical bills, aftercare, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
However, the reality is that the insurance companies responsible for paying personal injury claims are often reluctant to pay for a full and fair settlement. Therefore, before filing your injury claim, contact a St. Louis personal injury lawyer with extensive experience with your type of accidental injury.
For years, St. Louis personal injury lawyers John Hipskind and Brady McAninch of Hipskind & McAninch, LLC have been providing legal advice and winning cases for plaintiffs who have suffered a serious injury in all types of accidents. Whether you are the victim of a motor vehicle accident, a slip and fall, medical malpractice, etc., these St. Louis personal injury attorneys can help. Call today for a free consultation.
When You Need a St. Louis Personal Injury Lawyer
You don’t necessarily need to have a serious injury to require the legal advice of an experienced personal injury attorney. However, if you believe that you will be making an injury claim, it’s to your benefit to speak to a personal injury lawyer before you file. Insurance adjusters would prefer to settle with you directly. They are counting on you being unfamiliar with the nuances of Missouri accident injury law. They will make you an offer for your medical bills, property damage, and maybe a little extra for your inconvenience.
This may seem like a lot of money, particularly when you are facing time off from work and mounting medical costs. If you accept this settlement, however, the adjuster will require you to sign a liability waiver, which will prevent you from seeking further damages from your accident. If the money runs out, you’re on your own.
Personal injury lawyers, like the ones you’ll find at McAninch of Hipskind & McAninch, LLC, work on a contingency basis, so there are no out-of-pocket costs. They are paid when your case settles or is successfully litigated in court. All consultations are free, so it’s to your benefit to talk with a personal injury attorney before you accept a settlement.
Types of Personal Injury Lawsuits in St Louis
McAninch of Hipskind & McAninch, LLC is a full-service personal injury law firm. If you don’t see your particular type of claim listed, contact our St. Louis personal injury lawyers for a free case evaluation.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
There may be no greater source of injury than motor vehicle accidents. These, of course, include car accidents, commercial truck accidents (buses, tractor-trailer vehicles, etc.), motorcycle collisions, bicycle accidents, and vehicle vs. pedestrian accidents. Most of these settlements are paid by the responsible party’s vehicle insurance.
Truck accidents are a specific area of personal injury law. Because the laws affecting commercial vehicles are different from cars, and the masses of trucks are much greater, this is a specialized area of the law. Regardless of the types of vehicles involved in your accident, Hipskind & McAninch, LLC can help.
Premises Liability Accidents
This area of the law covers any type of accidental injury occurring on the property. Premises liability injury claims include slips, falls, electric shocks, falling-object injuries, dog bites, negligent security, and many other types of incidents.
Workers’ Compensation Claims
Missouri law requires most employers with five or more employees to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Proving employer negligence is not usually a requirement to file an injury claim under workers’ comp. There are, however, other requirements before you can seek additional damages after a workplace accidental injury. You must, for instance, report your accidental injury to your employer. They will provide you with medical treatment from a provider.
If your employer is denying you benefits or your benefits are insufficient to cover your injury claim, contact Hipskind & McAninch, LLC today.
When a patient seeks medical advice or treatment from a health professional or facility, they expect to receive the best care available. Medical malpractice is an area of personal injury law that holds irresponsible or negligent healthcare providers accountable. Medical malpractice claims include injuries caused by surgery, medical implements left inside the body, anesthesia accidents, birth defects, and much more.
When the victim of an accident passes, they often leave behind loved ones who are emotionally and financially devastated by the incident. In addition to the economic damages that a survivor withstanding is entitled to, they may also be entitled to loss of companionship. This is a type of compensation for the emotional trauma and disruption in life that accompanies a wrongful death.
Again, this is an overview of a few areas we cover. If you don’t see your type of incident or injury listed, call Hipskind & McAninch, LLC for a free consultation.
Types of Damages in Personal Injury Cases
Most accidental injury claims are divided between economic and non-economic damages. The following is an overview of the two types of damages.
These are damages paid to cover any expense incurred in an accident. For instance, this would include all medical expenses: hospital bills, ambulance costs, medication, scans, x-rays, tests, bloodwork, surgery, and follow-up appointments with doctors. Anything that you will eventually have to pay for is covered under economic damages. In addition, lost wages fall into this category. If you miss a month of pay because you were unable to work, you should be reimbursed via economic damages.
Even if you receive every dollar you lost as a result of an accident, you would probably still have preferred to avoid it altogether. That’s because injuries often result in physical pain, emotional trauma, and a lot of inconveniences. Pain and suffering damages seek to reimburse you for the intangible costs of an injury.
Punitive damages are paid to the plaintiff when the court determines that the defendant should be penalized for the accident. Punitive damages are rare in Missouri. In most cases, the plaintiff’s attorney must demonstrate that the defendant acted maliciously or with wanton recklessness.
Missouri Accident Statistics
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), accidents were the fourth leading cause of death in Missouri in 2017. According to the NHTSA, approximately 850 deaths occur on the Missouri roadways every year. The number of serious injuries from auto accidents is approximately five times that number, with a five-year average of 4,505 per year.
Missouri is really no more dangerous than any other state, but these statistics serve as a reminder of how dangerous all aspects of life can be. If you’ve been injured due to the negligence of another, you’re going to require legal representation from a top-tier St. Louis personal injury lawyer. Call Hipskind & McAninch to discuss your claim for free.
Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury Claims
As personal injury lawyers in St. Louis, MO, Hipskind & McAninch receives a number of questions from our clients. These are some of the most frequently asked questions. You should not consider anything on a website as legal advice. For actual legal advice about your claim, contact Hipskind & McAninch, LLC for a free case consultation.
What does “contingency basis” mean?
Like many other states, injury attorneys in Missouri work on a contingency basis, which means that their fees are contingent on winning your case. For most accident victims, the possibility of paying an attorney retainer is just not realistic. They’re already faced with being out of work and having to pay medical expenses. Understanding this, these lawyers will work for free until you get a settlement or court award. If you don’t win, they receive no compensation for their services.
How much are contingency fees in Missouri?
Under Missouri law, there are no legal limits for contingency fees. That means that, in theory, an attorney can charge any percentage for their services. The law does require attorneys to provide a written contingency fee schedule, which the plaintiff has to sign. Make sure you review any contingency fee schedule before committing to a law firm.
How long do I have to file a claim?
The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit in Missouri is five years from the date of the accident. That does not, however, mean that you should delay filing. While five years is a long time — particularly when compared to the statutes of limitation for other states — there are other things to consider.
Witnesses become unavailable or less reliable as time elapses. It’s often difficult to obtain certain forms of evidence after a period of time. If your case goes to court, the process will be lengthy, so it’s better to get an early start to receive your claim.
There are two notable exceptions to the five-year statute of limitations. For wrongful death claims, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of death, regardless of when the accident occurred. For medical malpractice cases, the statute of limitations is typically two years from the date of the injury.
Why shouldn’t I just accept a settlement from the insurance company?
If you are in a minor accident without injuries, the settlement offered by the insurance company is probably going to be for an amount that’s pretty close to your damages. That is the amount of your property damage minus your deductible. With an injury accident, that’s not necessarily the case. To begin with, you’re probably not going to be able to forecast your medical costs accurately. They could be much higher than what you believe they’ll be at the time of the incident. In addition, most initial insurance settlements don’t include pain and suffering damages. Talking to an attorney doesn’t involve any risk and is cost-free. You owe it to yourself to get a professional opinion before accepting any claim.
What if I am partially at fault?
Missouri is a pure comparative negligence state. What this means is that your damages may be reduced proportionately to your negligence. For instance, if you were involved in a car collision that was 80% the fault of the other party, but you were 20% at fault, you could receive 80% of your damages. When it comes to car crashes, your insurance may cover your injuries and damage even if you were at fault, so don’t hesitate to make a claim.
What should I do if I’m involved in an accident?
There are several steps you should take if involved in any accident to protect yourself and to assist you with a claim:
Get to a place of safety
Do not stay in a dangerous place if you can avoid it. Your safety is paramount.
Call emergency dispatch and tell them about your emergency. The dispatcher will want to know your geographic location, the types of injuries, a description of vehicles (if any), and your personal information. Don’t hang up until they tell you they have everything that they need.
Take photos or a video
Use your phone to document the scene. You should include geographic markers, injuries, property damage, the positions of surveillance cameras, debris on the ground, and anything else you think would be of value to your attorney.
Accept medical attention
If you believe you’ve been injured, allow the EMTs to check you out. Follow their advice if they believe you should go to the emergency room.
Get a case number or report number
If the police were summoned to your scene, make sure to ask for a case number.
Contact an attorney
Before discussing your claim with an adjuster, call Hipskind & McAninch, LLC for a free consultation and immediate representation.
What can a personal injury lawyer do?
Personal injury lawyers can not only provide you with free advice, but they can represent you during all stages of the injury claim process. They are your representative. They will review the details of the events leading to your injury. This includes subpoenaing medical records, reviewing police reports, deposing witnesses, and calculating your damages.
Only when they have a full understanding of your case will they approach the insurance company or the responsible party with a settlement figure. They will then enter negotiations with the insurer. If they are unable to reach a settlement, they can litigate your case through the courts.
What if my injuries were the result of intentional action?
If your injuries resulted from criminal negligence or an intentional act, you can still pursue the responsible party for damages. The civil case and the criminal case will be tried separately.
How long will it take to settle my case?
The amount of time that it takes to settle a case varies depending on a number of factors. As a rule, the more severe the injuries are, the longer the case will take to settle. That’s because more serious cases involve higher dollar amounts. Consequently, the insurance companies are more difficult in negotiations.
If I filed a claim, is it too late to talk to an attorney?
No. Ideally, your attorney will want to speak to you before you file a claim, but it’s still worthwhile to speak to a lawyer, even after you’ve filed.
What should I look for in an attorney?
Your attorney should be barred in the jurisdiction where you will be filing your claim. In addition, they should have experience in this area of the law and a proven track record of success. Most importantly, your attorney should be accessible to you once you commit to their firm.
St. Louis Accidental Injury Attorneys for the Plaintiff
For years, Hipskind & McAninch, LLC have represented injury victims in the St. Louis area. Whether you were injured in a car accident, slipped and fell while shopping at a store, or were the victim of medical malpractice, our seasoned legal team can review your case and provide you with sound legal advice. Call today to schedule a free consultation.