Personal injury cases involve a physical or psychological injury to a person. In the majority of these cases, individuals have been injured by the negligence of others. The person at fault didn't necessarily intend to injure the victim, but may have acted recklessly. In other cases, a person's injury may have been caused by the intentional wrongdoing (or even gross negligence) of the person at fault.
What Should I When I'm Involved in an Accident?
If you're involved in an accident, remember these three things.
types of personal injury cases
We handle many different types of personal injury cases. These include automobile, trucking, motorcycle and boating accidents, asbestos and mesothelioma, product liability, wrongful death, dog bite cases, intentional injury (e.g., assault and battery), premises liability (e.g., slip and fall cases), or even revenge porn cases.
We take almost every personal injury case on a contingent fee. While it is possible to pay hourly for our services, this is rarely beneficial for the client. A contingent fee removes the risk for the client in the event that there is no insurance coverage, no liability, or some other issue that impairs a recovery. How does it work? With a contingent fee, you agree to pay us a percentage (normally 33%) of any recovery. If we recover $330,000, for example, we earn a fee of $110,000 and you receive $220,000. If we recover nothing, you pay absolutely nothing. Even if we invest hundreds or thousands of hours of time in your case, and thousands of dollars in costs (expert witnesses bills, court reporter or deposition fees, records requests, investigation costs, etc.), the risk is on our end. If we cannot recover for you, you will not be required to reimburse us for any of the costs that we have expended out-of-pocket.
contingent fees other than 33%
Yes. 33% is our standard contingent fee, but there are frequently circumstances that allow us to agree to fee percentages other than 33%. For example, we recently settled a case in Stone County, Missouri, where we agreed to a contingent fee of 18%. The total settlement amount was $200,000, meaning that the client pocketed the sum of $168,000. The client assumed no risk, paid no money up front, and did not even need to appear in court.
A good rule of thumb is that if you have a solid case with potential damages in excess of $100,000, you should make an effort to find an attorney who will agree to reduce his or her fee below 33%. Even though statistics are unavailable to independently verify this assertion, we believe our contingent fees are among the lowest in Missouri. If you have a potential claim, and want to talk to us about contingent fee percentages, please don't hesitate to call us at (314) 724-4400, text us at (314) 974-3266, or send us a direct message here.
value of your case
In a general sense, the measure of your damages is the amount of money required to make you whole again. Or, in the case of a wrongful death, the amount of damages equates to the value of the deceased person's life. While no amount of money can equate to the value of a human life (and some injuries are so painful that no amount of money can adequately compensate the victim), valuation of damages requires an analysis of a number of factors. These include past, present and future medical costs, pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of consortium, loss of affection, loss of enjoyment of life, diminution in the value of property, and sometimes attorney fees and punitive damages.
One of the critically important documents that relates to your automobile accident case is the accident or incident report prepared by responding law enforcement. This contains information showing the date and location of the accident, names and contact information of parties involved, a narrative of what happened, identification of the party who is responsible for the accident, at least according to the opinion of the responding officer, and whether the drivers carried auto liability insurance. Obtaining this report immediately after the accident allows us to adequately investigate, seek to preserve evidence, and quickly make contact with witnesses and insurance companies. The Missouri Highway Patrol makes summaries of their accident reports available to the public. Many of those summaries can be found on this site.
One of the critical issues in any personal injury case is whether the injuries are compensable under an insurance policy. Your lawyer will normally be able to discover whether the defendant carries insurance that may provide coverage for your accident. For general information relating to insurance coverage, please click here.
If you have a question relating to a possible or pending personal injury case, please send an attorney a direct message or call our office at (314) 725-4400. For more information on some of our recent cases, please visit our news page. We also have an FAQ relating to personal injury, class action, and other issues.