FAQs about Missouri Personal Injury Cases

Who are you asking about your most pressing legal questions? Your friends and family? Your insurance company? The nursing home where your loved one was abused or neglected?

Check out these questions and answers.  If you want more information or we didn’t address your specific question, give us a call at (314) 593-2438

You may not need a lawyer! Of course, whether or not you decide to hire a lawyer is a decision only you can make, but to be perfectly honest, some Missouri car accident cases can be settled without the assistance of an attorney. If you decide to begin the process of negotiating a settlement with the opposing insurance company, you should keep several things in mind.

  • The only kind of motor vehicle case you would want to handle on your own are those cases where you have sustained no physical injuries or your injuries are very minor. Even with minor injuries though, you should wait a few weeks to make sure that they resolve completely. Make sure that you have consulted with a physician to insure that your injuries have completely healed before negotiating a settlement.
  • If the medical bills that you have incurred as a result of the car accident are $2,000 or less, you may actually be better off financially by negotiating a settlement with the opposing insurance company by yourself because you will not have to factor in the attorney’s contingent fee.
  • BEWARE: Once you agree to settle your legal case, you have given up your right to pursue a lawsuit to obtain compensation for your injuries.
  • You can always decide to consult with an attorney before you agree to a settlement offer made by the opposing insurance company. If you have already settled your case and “signed on the dotted line” you will likely be bound to that decision and there may be very little an attorney can do for you at that point.
  • Opposing insurance companies usually wants to resolve property damage claims at the same time personal injury cases are discussed. For property damage claims, your ability to negotiate is fairly limited. Do your research and know the value of your car before accepting a settlement offer. Websites such as www.kbb.com are good resources.

If you have sustained moderate to serious injuries or your medical bills exceed $3,000 I recommend that you at least talk with an attorney about your claim. Studies have shown that having an attorney represent you can substantially increase the monetary settlement amount. Consider this before entering negotiations with the opposing insurance company.

David Terry is a St. Louis personal injury lawyer with over twenty years of representing those injured by the negligence of others. The Terry Law Firm handles car accidents throughout the State of Missouri.

It can only be your decision as to whether or not you accept a settlement offer made by the insurance adjuster. Our office can evaluate the offer, compare it to the facts of your case, and provide you with an experienced opinion on whether the offer would fairly compensate you for your injuries. However, you need to remember that once you accept the offer, then your case is over.

The decision on whether or not you need to see a doctor after an accident is yours alone. If you believe your injuries were not serious enough to see a doctor in an accident where it was determined that you were at fault, then you probably should not let the fact that the other driver was at fault affect your decision to seek medical treatment. Make the determination to see a physician on the seriousness of your injuries, not who is deemed to be at fault in the accident.

If you decide to seek medical attention, choose a physician who is best suited to treat your injuries. Questions about what treatment to receive and how often you should see the physician can only be answered by your treating physician.

Your healthcare provider will recommend a plan of treatment. It is important that you follow that plan to the letter. The doctor’s plan of treatment for you is designed to maximize your healing process. If you do not follow the plan, you may not make a maximum recovery. Attend all scheduled appointments and take all prescribed medication. If you miss appointments or fail to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions, the insurance company may blame you for failing to improve.

Some people believe that their claim will be more valuable if they purposely increase their medical bills. That is not true. In fact, if the insurance company for the at fault driver suspects you are deliberately increasing your medical bills, they may defend your case more vigorously.

If you didn’t take photographs of the accident scene at the time of the accident, you can still do so. Accident scene photographs can still be valuable even if the cars have been removed from the scene – as long as the scene has not changed. An example of this would be: an accident at a three way stop where a car ran the stop sign. Photographs taken of the accident scene after the cars were removed would benefit a jury because they could see how the scene looked at the time of the accident.

It is best to get your accident scene photographs as soon as possible after the accident and with the same weather conditions. If your accident took place in a snow storm, then photographs on a sunny day are not going to be valuable.

Remember – do not make any alterations to the photographs if you take them with a digital camera.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident anywhere in Missouri or Illinois, the first thing you should do is get medical attention. Some injuries that seem minor at first can cause significant problems if not detected and treated. If your injuries are serious enough that they will require several months of healing, you should contact an attorney to provide you with advice on whether and when to file a lawsuit. If your injuries are rather minor, you may not need a lawyer to successfully settle your case.

Here are six things to do before you file a lawsuit if you’ve been injured in a car accident:

  • Get medical treatment.
  • If your medical treatment requires follow up appointments, DO NOT MISS ANY FOLLOW UP APPOINTMENTS.
  • Regularly photograph your injuries using a good digital camera.
  • Obey your doctor’s orders – if you are supposed to take certain medications, then take the medications. If you are supposed to go to physical therapy, then go to physical therapy and DO NOT MISS ANY FOLLOW UP APPOINTMENTS.
  • If you have to miss work as a result of your injuries, be sure and specifically identify in a letter to your employer why you are unable to work. Remember to keep a copy of that letter.
  • Be careful what you say about your injuries on social media sites, such as Facebook or MySpace. Remember, anything you say can and will be used against you.

The Terry Law Firm helps those who have been seriously injured in car, truck, or motorcycle accidents throughout the States of Missouri and Illinois. If you have any questions about your accident, please do not hesitate to contact us.

While the other driver may have been ticketed for the accident, there is no guarantee that the driver called his or her insurance company to report the accident. To protect yourself and your rights, you should contact the other driver’s insurance company to confirm that the accident has been reported. Once an accident has been reported, the insurance company is obligated to investigate the accident to determine who was at fault. If fault cannot easily be determined, the insurance company adjuster may contact police and other accident witnesses to discuss the accident. The insurance company will refuse to authorize any necessary repairs to your car until after a their investigation has been completed and their insured has been found to be at fault. So, it is in your best interest to have the insurance company’s investigation into the accident begin immediately.

Even if your accident is minor, it is important to make sure the police are notified. Police officers will take statements from witnesses, as well as the individuals involved in the accident. Police officers will assess the accident scene, examine the damage to the vehicles involved, and, using witness statements, will make a determination as to who was at fault. It is important to cooperate with the police if they need your testimony against the other driver in court proceedings.

When the cost to repair a damaged vehicle exceeds the value of the vehicle, the vehicle is considered “totaled”. The insurance company is not required to repair the car and intends upon paying you the value of your car prior to the accident.

If you have collision coverage on your car, your insurance company will pay for the repairs to your car. This will eliminate any delay or inconvenience in having your car repaired promptly. If your insurance company pays for your car repairs, you will be responsible for your deductible. If the other driver was responsible for your accident, your insurance company will work to get the other insurance company to reimburse you for your deductible, but it will take some time.

If you do not carry collision coverage on your auto insurance policy and the at-fault driver’s insurance company refuses to authorize repairs, you should contact an attorney experienced in handling auto accident cases.

Insurance companies will determine the value of your car using either a vehicle appraiser or using Kelley Blue Book. If the insurance company is using Kelley Blue Book, information about your car will be input into the website, which will return a vehicle value. Kelley Blue Book uses several categories to determine a vehicle’s value. Be sure to know what options your car has to make sure you are receiving a fair appraisal.

Here’s a good lawyer answer: It depends! In a small car accident case, you may benefit more settling the case by yourself. A small car accident case is one where the injuries are not permanent and treatment lasts for a short time, say a period of just a few weeks. Medical bills incurred in a small car accident case usually are three to five thousand dollars or less.

For a larger car accident case, you would likely benefit by retaining an attorney or, at the very least, consulting an attorney. Most accident victims are not experienced in negotiating with insurance adjusters and do not know the tactics insurance companies use to reduce the value of your claim. Moreover, if you cannot reach a settlement with the insurance company, without an attorney you will not be prepared to file a lawsuit to protect your rights. An experienced attorney will know when and how to exert pressure on the insurance company. If a settlement cannot be reached, then the attorney can file a lawsuit on your behalf.

It depends. All states have a statute of limitations by which the case must be on file. If you fail to have your lawsuit on file before the statute of limitations expires, you will be forever barred from filing a case. In Missouri, the statute of limitations for personal injuries arising out of a car accident is five years; in Illinois, the statute of limitations for personal injuries arising from a car accident is two years.

Compensatory damages are designed to compensate the injured party for damages incurred as the result of an accident. Compensatory damages include monetary payments for pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills, and, in some instances, legal fees.

You should always carry uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage (both often referred to as UM coverage) for this very reason. In the event the person that hits you has no insurance you will still have somewhere to turn for compensation. If this is the case, you may have to file a claim against your own insurance policy under your uninsured or underinsured motorist provision. This places you squarely in an adversarial relationship with your own insurance company which allows your insurance company to use all of the defenses available to them just as if you were filing a claim against the company for the person that hit you. There are no “home company” favorites either. If you put your insurance company in an adversarial position, the will fight you just like any other insurance company and will not be looking out for your interests. In fact, they will seek to pay out as little as possible, just like any other insurance company. Because more and more people are driving without insurance, we always recommend that people carry as much UM coverage as they can afford.

Without exception, I am asked this question very early in the conversations I have with new clients. The answer depends upon where you are in the course of the case. If you are injured and have not been able to return to work, there is no way yet to know what your lost wages are going to be. If you are still seeking medical attention, then you would need to wait until all of your medical bills have been accumulated to know what your total medical expenses are going to be. Both lost wages and medical bills are areas of “economic damages” that attorneys put into evidence if the case goes to trial. If you are injured, the amount of compensation available for “non-economic damages” (also often referred to as “pain and suffering”) also depends upon the type of injury and the length of recovery. For example, someone who has to have a leg amputated is likely to have larger “non-economic” damages than a person who suffers a soft tissue injury. Where the accident happened can also be a factor in the “value” of a car accident case. The best way to answer this question is to retain an attorney early on, complete your medical treatment and collect all of your bills then talk to your attorney about what your car accident case is worth.

In Missouri, the statute of limitations for personal injuries arising out of a car accident is five years; in Illinois, the statute of limitations for personal injuries arising from a car accident is two years.

What the driver did was probably a crime. If you haven’t done so, contact your local police department and provide them with all of the information you have on the driver and the vehicle involved. Also, you should get an estimate to repair the damages on your car and report that to your own insurance company. Be sure to tell them the circumstances of how your car was damaged and keep them updated on the police department’s investigation.

You may think that your insurance adjuster is a “safe” person for you to talk to about your accident. In some cases this may be true, but keep in mind that if there is any chance that your case may involve uninsured motorist coverage or underinsured motorist coverage, your own insurance company may become an adversarial opponent in your case. To be safe, here are some guidelines to help you when talking with an insurance adjuster…even if it is your own adjuster:

  • Don’t agree to have the conversation recorded.
  • Discuss only the basic facts of the accident (where, when and how).
  • Don’t agree to discuss your work history, salary, etc…
  • When discussing your injuries, it is best to stick with generalities (although ALWAYS be truthful). Tell the adjuster that you are still undergoing treatment and that you will provide a more detailed description of your injuries from your physician after you have reached your maximum medical improvement.
  • There is no need to discuss witnesses at the early stages of the case.
  • DO NOT AGREE TO SIGN ANYTHING without first talking to a lawyer.

If the claims adjuster continues to ask you questions that you don’t feel comfortable with or tells you that you are obligated to answer these questions, politely tell them that you don’t feel comfortable answering the questions without the assistance of your attorney. Talk with your lawyer and the two of you can work together toward providing the information the claims adjuster needs, but not necessarily what they want.

After an motor vehicle accident, you should:

  • Attend all medical appointments and follow your physician’s advice to the letter
  • Make sure you obtained photographs of the damage to your automobile and any injuries you sustained
  • Obtain a copy of the police report
  • Give a recorded statement to your insurance company but DO NOT give a statement to the at-fault party’s insurance company without consulting an attorney
  • Attempt to settle and release your property damage claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company
  • Cooperate with the police and appear at any court hearing if subpoenaed

The insurer for the person who hit you should immediately help you with this. If they do not, then contact your car insurance company and get them involved. You will have to pay your deductible, but your insurance company will help you recover any deductible you had to pay from the at-fault party.

You should submit your medical bills to your own health insurance insurer. You should also contact your auto insurance company and ask if you have medical payments coverage. If you do, submit the bills to your car insurance company as well. Generally, the insurance company for the person who hit you will not pay these bills until the end of the claim. By sending your medical bills to your own health insurance as well as your auto insurance carrier, you can prevent your medical bills from going to collection for non-payment.

An attorney can help you navigate the entire process.

As you know, every car accident case is different. When considering settlement of a car accident case, an attorney usually considers a multitude of factors, some of which include:

  • The length of time it took for you to heal from your injuries;
  • The cost incurred to repair your vehicle;
  • Medical bills incurred for treatment of your injuries;
  • Past and future pain and suffering; and
  • Past and future pain and anguish

We recommend that you do not provide the other insurance company with a statement until you have consulted with an attorney. Because information provided to the other insurance company through a statement can be used against you later, consulting with an attorney will help you better understand how some claims adjusters try to trick you into damaging your case. Remember, always answer any questions asked about your accident honestly.

Chances are during your life you will be involved in a car accident. If you are, you should know what to do to protect your rights and not make mistakes that will affect your liability.

  1. Seek medical attention if necessary (even if you think you may not be injured);
  2. Get the name, contact information and insurance information of the individual who hit you;
  3. Get the names and contact information of as many witnesses as you can;
  4. Take pictures of the accident scene, including your vehicle, the other vehicle(s), the entire scene, skid marks (if any); the location of the cars in relation to any traffic signals or stop signs, etc.
  5. Take pictures of all injuries you suffered and continue to take pictures to document the healing process.
  6. Contact your insurance company and let them know that you have been in an accident and provide as much information as possible about the individual who hit you.
  7. Contact an attorney for legal advice.

We recommend that you do not provide the other insurance company with a statement until you have consulted with an attorney. Because information provided to the other insurance company through a statement can be used against you later, consulting with an attorney will help you better understand how some claims adjusters try to trick you into damaging your case. Remember, always answer any questions asked about your accident honestly.

If you are able to take photographs, then you should do so. Most of us do not travel with cameras in our cars, but most mobile telephones now have the capability to take pictures. Even though mobile phone pictures are not as clear as some cameras, it is better to have those pictures than none at all.

Regardless of the camera, here are some suggestions for taking photographs of an accident scene:

  • Take photographs of the accident scene from every angle. If possible, take the photographs before the cars are moved.
  • Take close up photographs of the damage to the vehicles involved in the accident.
  • Take wide shot photographs of the accident scene and make sure that you include stop signs, traffic signals, and street signs.
  • Remember to set your camera to imprint the date and time on the photographs.
  • If you use a digital camera, DO NOT make any alterations to the photographs. If you alter the photographs, you may damage your legal case.

So the your biggest fear has come true.  Your loved one has been injured because of negligence at the nursing home you trusted to provide quality care or has suffered abuse at the hands of an employee or other resident.   What do you do?

The absolute first thing you should do is make sure that your loved one receives the medical treatment they need.  Do this right away!  Everything else can wait.

Once you have secured medical treatment for your family member, there are several other things you should do.

  • Take photographs of any injuries she may have suffered;
  • Take photographs of the scene of the accident or injury (this could be the hallway or dining room in a fall, her bed if bed sores, the hoyer lift if she was dropped during a transfer, etc.  Where ever the injury happened, get pictures;
  • Write down the names of any witnesses to the accident or injury, along with their address and telephone number
  • DO NOT give any statements
  • DO NOT sign any papers
  • DO contact an attorney for advice

The short answer is yes, but the law makes it difficult. Nursing home companies can only discharge residents for the following reasons and only after giving proper notice:

  • If a resident fails to make payments as agreed or their financial sources are no longer able or willing to pay;
  • If a resident poses a danger to other residents;
  • If a resident requires special medical treatment or attention that the facility is not capable of providing; and
  • If the resident’s condition has improved and the facility is no longer needed.

Keep in mind that if you are a nursing home resident and have been discharged, you have the right to appeal any discharge.

Having adequate staffing at the facility can help prevent nursing home falls. When staff members are available to help residents with activities of daily living, such as getting in and out of bed, that can help prevent falls. It is important that facility staff members timely respond to call lights to avoid a potential fall. Alarms that alert staff when a patient who needs assistance attempts to leave a bed or get out of a chair unassisted are available to use. Residents who are not steady on their feet can be provided extra padding for their hips to prevent a break in the event of a fall. Nursing home staff can lower beds, add bed rails to beds, and add side alarms to beds to help prevent a resident from getting up alone and possibly falling.

Sadly, the problem is widespread. According to the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee, the results of a 2001 survey revealed that 30% of U.S. nursing home facilities, which is approximately 5,283 facilities, were cited for nearly 9,000 incidents of abuse between January 1999 and January 2001.

There is no shortage in how vulnerable nursing home residents suffer from abuse and neglect. However, some of the most common are:

  • Physical Abuse: Cuts, abrasions, burns, bruises, welts, wounds, unexplained or hidden injuries, and unnecessary physical or mental restraints
  • Mental Abuse: Depression, fear agitation, withdrawal, hesitancy, sudden behavior changes, strange behavior patterns, disorientation, confusion, isolation, unwillingness to communicate, or rude, humiliating or derogatory comments made by staff members
  • Financial Abuse (or Exploitation): Missing or stolen money or property, radical changes in handling of personal financial affairs, sudden selling of property
  • Neglect: Unsanitary environment, malnutrition, bed sores, dehydration, smells of urine or feces, poor personal hygiene, untreated medical conditions, unkempt appearance, falls, and many more.

Placing a family member in a nursing home is one of the most difficult decisions you will ever have to make. It can be a daunting task too, especially if you don’t know what to look for. Feel free to request our book which will be sent to you for FREE.

You will find lots of information on what you need to look for when considering which nursing home your loved one will soon call home.

If you suspect your loved one is in immediate danger, then call the police. If you believe your loved one is injured and needs immediate medical attention, call an ambulance and get them to a hospital. If you believe your family member is being abused or neglected that is not resulting in an immediate medical need, you should first address this with the Administrator and Director of Nursing. Always be respectful, but be firm that you expect them to make sure your loved one is treated with dignity and receives everything required to meet her specific needs.

If you want to discuss your concerns with an attorney, feel free to call our office at (314) 593-2438. We can provide you with legal advice and can answer any nursing home abuse or neglect question you may have.

There are multiple ways residents are injured in nursing homes, but if you look for the “why”, it usually boils down to one thing….a staff that is either insufficiently trained or insufficient in number; or both.

Often, nursing homes failed to hire enough or enough qualified facility staff members. Using under qualified, insufficiently trained, and/or overworked staff members can result in a lack of supervision of at-risk residents, an inability to complete tasks residents require (such as turning and repositioning, timely medications, two staff members to assist a resident in transferring, eating, etc.) and lack of supervision of employees. The result of these shortcomings is the abuse and neglect of elderly residents.

Sadly many residents are unable to communicate instances of the abuse and neglect they suffer because of their physical or mental limitations.

Bad things can happen at highly rated nursing homes, so while your odds may improve by placing a loved one in a highly rated nursing home, you still need to be wary of what is happening at the facility. If you are looking for the best nursing home available to you, there are some simple steps you can take to better ensure the safety of your loved one.

When searching for a nursing home, always check the federal Medicare website (www.Medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare) which has a star rating system for nursing homes. The rating system is not perfect and some nursing home companies have tried to manipulate their ratings, but this will give you some good information for you to consider.

After your family member becomes a resident at a facility, be sure to regularly ask questions and watch for signs of abuse or neglect. Some questions you can ask at the facility are:

  • Are the facility and current administrator licensed?
  • Does the facility conduct timely background checks on all staff members?
  • Does the facility have nursing home abuse and neglect training?
  • How often is In-Service training offered?
  • Does the facility have a special services unit?
  • What is the staff turnover percentage?
  • What is the resident to staff ratio?

As a family member, you should be on constant alert for signs that your loved one is not being treated properly at a Missouri nursing home. Here are some common warning signs to look for:

  • Bed sores
  • Frozen joints (which are a sign of contractures which are very painful and make it substantially more difficult to prevent or treat bed sores)
  • Unexplained bruising or bruising in a pattern that would suggest physical abuse, restraints, cuts, burns, sprains, fractures, or open wounds
  • Unexplained or sudden weight loss
  • Fleas, lice, ants, or dirt on the resident or in the resident’s room
  • Odors of feces or urine
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Over-medication (some nursing homes will intentionally over-medicate residents to make them easier to care for)
  • Torn clothing or broken personal items
  • Unexplained genital infections/diseases or vaginal/anal bleeding
  • Sudden changes in behavior, such as fear or being withdrawn
  • Staff refusing to allow the resident visitors or unexplained delays in allowing visitors to see the resident
  • Unexplained lost possessions
  • Sudden large, unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts or changes in baking habits
  • Sudden, unexplained changes in Will or other important financial documents

If you loved one is exhibiting any of these signs, you should be very concerned. Take pictures of any signs or symptoms of abuse or neglect and contact an attorney who can help guide you through what to do next.

While a resident at a nursing home, residents are entitled to receive quality, timely medical care. Nursing homes are required by law to meet the needs of their residents. When they fail to do that, residents can seek legal remedies through a lawsuit.

When a nursing home resident files a lawsuit over negligent care or treament then may obtain the following if they are successful in their lawsuit:

  • Compensation for pain and suffering
  • Compensation for a disability
  • Compensation for disfigurement
  • To be made whole through monetary compensation
  • To have their property replaced (I have never heard of any lawyer filing a lawsuit over misplaced property alone. Perhaps a letter from a lawyer on this issue may be successful.)

To help prevent nursing home abuse and neglect, you need to be actively involved in your loved one’s care. Visit your loved one regularly and watch for the following signs of abuse or neglect:

  • Dehydration, unusual weight loss, poor hygiene, bedsores, and unsanitary or unsafe living conditions
  • Unexplained physical injury, such as broken bones, falls, sprains, cuts, or bruising
  • Unexplained emotional or behavioral changes
  • Unexplained, sudden changes in finances

Every nursing home has a legal obligation to provide quality care and a safe environment for its residents. Every nursing home is legally required to “meet the needs of the resident.” However, most nursing homes fall woefully short of meeting the needs of every resident because far too often there are not enough staff members available to meet those needs. And that is when abuse or neglect happens.

So, if you believe your loved ones rights have been violated, file a complaint with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services at 1 (800) 392-0210. The, if you want some legal advice, call our office at (314) 593-2438 and we can discuss your concerns and whether there are any legal remedies for you.

In general, when a semi truck is involved in a crash, the truck driver, the owner of the trailer and the owner of the tractor (usually called the cab) can all be named as defendants in a lawsuit. In some cases the truck crash happens when the load in the trailer shifts. In those cases, the facility that loaded the trailer may be responsible for the injuries suffered in the accident and can be added as a defendant.

Yes, there are different rules applying to accidents involving commercial trucks. Trucks are governed by federal regulations that can be found in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. These regulations apply to commercial tractor trailers involved in interstate commerce and are utilized in many states.

Lawsuits involving tractor trailer trucks vary greatly than those involving cars. One example of this difference is the Driver’s Log. Federal law requires truck drivers to record driving data in a driver’s log. In the event of an accident, the log will be thoroughly examined to ensure that the driver complied with federal hours of service regulations and did not participate in any illegal or negligent conduct.

Some of the most significant dangers of driving near tractor trailer trucks on the highway are:

  • Increased Stopping Distance: These large trucks need much more distance than automobiles require to come to a complete stop due to their significant weight. Give the truck some room!
  • Blind Spots: Tractor trailers have many blind spots located all around the truck that can cause the driver not to see your vehicle. If you are driving in one of these spots, it is possible that a serious accident may occur if the truck driver attempts to enter your lane. Remember, if you can’t see their mirrors, they can’t see you.
  • Wide Right Turns: Tractor trailer trucks need to swing wide to the left in order to complete a right turn. If a car is in the path of the truck when it makes its turn, a serious accident may occur.

Impact speed is not necessarily a good indicator of injury severity. Many serious injuries can happen even when an accident happens at low speeds. Probably the most common type of injury sustained in a rear impact car accident is whiplash. Whiplash occurs when a traumatic event causes the head to be thrust violently in one direction and recoil in another. The most common symptoms of whiplash are neck pain, upper back pain, headaches and pain at the base of the skull. Other symptoms include ringing in the ears, difficulty sleeping, concentration problems and fatigue. Many symptoms begin immediately after an accident but some may take several days to develop. Most people will fully recover from whiplash in a matter of weeks but 15% to 20% of those will experience chronic pain that may last upwards of two years. People who have experienced whiplash in a Missouri car accident should seek medical treatment with a trusted physician as soon as possible.

Other common injuries sustained in read end car accidents are:

  • Herniated discs
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Broken ankles
  • Knee injuries
  • Spinal injuries

One of the most common types of Missouri car accidents are those caused when the driver of one vehicle runs into the back end of the car in front of him. In most cases, Missouri law assigns fault for a rear end collision to the back-most person in the accident. This is called the “rear end doctrine”. An assignment of fault typically means that the at fault individual is liable for the damages and injuries of the person or persons in front of the injury.

The Missouri “rear end doctrine” allows a judge to consider the mechanism of the accident and make a determination as to whether the doctrine applies. If so, the driver’s negligence is presumed and the plaintiff is relieved from having to provide liability.

In some instances though the person in front of the rear end car accident can be at fault for the crash. Law enforcement will make that determination if the evidence leads them to believe that the actions of the person in front are such that the driver in the back could not reasonably avoid the collision. A common example is when a driver entering the highway from an on-ramp cuts in front of a driver who is in the driving lane of the highway.

If an injured person files a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has run, the defendant has the opportunity to file a motion to dismiss with the Court. The Court will then review whether or not the plaintiff did in fact have the case on file before the statute of limitations expired. If the lawsuit was filed after the statute of limitations expired, the Court will dismiss the plaintiff’s case.

Most of my clients are nervous about giving a deposition and that is understandable. We do our best to work with clients to prepare for their deposition and make sure they understand what to expect when it is time for them to give their deposition. If you have a deposition coming up and need some helpful hints, see our report entitled How To Prepare For Your Deposition.

In Missouri, people who sustain injuries in car accidents have five years to file a lawsuit. This includes those injured while riding motorcycles. If you have a family member who was killed in an accident involving a motorcycle, a lawsuit must be on file within three years of the date of person’s death

Whether or not you hire a lawyer is up to you. Frankly, some cases can be settled without the assistance of an attorney. Typically, those cases are smaller cases that have relatively minor injuries that resolve themselves within a few weeks. If your medical bills as a result of the car accident are $3,000 or less, you may very well be able to negotiate with the opposing insurance company by yourself. If you have any questions about when the statute of limitations on your case expires, you definitely should talk with an attorney.

The Terry Law Firm handles car and truck accident cases throughout the States of Missouri and Illinois. We will be happy to talk with you about the facts of your case and the statute of limitations that is applicable in your case. In most car accident cases, our fee is on a 1/3 contingency plus expenses. However, if we feel that you can handle your case without the assistance of an attorney and therefore not incur legal fees, we will provide you with that information.

The Terry Law Firm handles cases throughout the State of Missouri.

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