Frequently Asked Questions
Answered by Our Personal Injury Lawyers in Missouri
When you have questions about your personal injury claim or accident, get the answers you need from our experienced personal injury attorneys.
Is there ever any type of claim in Missouri when someone is injured or killed by an accidental gunshot or firearm discharge?
There are many different ways in which a gun can cause damage. Many times, the damage is caused by mistake. Sometimes, a child finds an unguarded/unprotected gun and plays with it, unknowingly discharging the gun. In other situations, a person might mistakenly believe that a gun was unloaded, only to have the gun fire. Regardless of the reason a firearm accidentally discharges, it is extremely important to have a qualified legal professional review the particular facts. Many times, a claim for damages exists against the gun owner, home owner/business owner where the shooting occurred, or the shooter themselves. Also, often there is insurance that may provide a means to compensate the victims for their loss. Our law firm has handled many different types of shooting claims. Please give us a call so that we can help you determine if you have a claim.
I’m not sure that I want to file a Missouri wrongful death case. Do I need to know this before I call a wrongful death attorney?
No. If you have lost a spouse, a child, or a parent in an accident, then you do not need to know for sure whether you want to file a wrongful death case when you first call a wrongful death lawyer. One of the most important reasons to contact a Missouri wrongful death attorney is to get the information that you need to make an informed decision about whether a wrongful death case is something that you want to pursue.
To that end, you should schedule an initial consultation to talk to a lawyer about the benefits and costs involved in filing a wrongful death case.
More specifically, you and the lawyer with whom you meet should talk about:
- What happened to your loved one?
- The legal process that may occur if you file a case
- Your potential recovery for things such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost income, pain, and suffering
- What you risk by not filing a case
- The costs of filing a case
- How filing a case could (or could not) affect your future
You are not making a commitment when you first call a lawyer. Instead, you are simply having a conversation, and then together, you and your wrongful death lawyer can decide how to proceed.
I was recently involved in a truck accident on I-44. What are the best steps to take after my truck collision so that I do not make any mistakes to hurt my claim?
First of all, we are very sorry to hear about your trucking crash. Truck accidents can be some of the most catastrophic accidents. I-44 is the busiest corridor for truckers in the nation, making it also one of the most dangerous.
After your trucking crash, you are right to be careful to whom you speak with and what information you gather when trying to put together your claim.
To help you get the compensation you are entitled to, here are a few steps you should take:
- Seek immediate medical attention. The injuries that come as a result of truck accidents tend to be severe simply due to the size and weight difference between a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle. Even if you do not think your injuries warrant medical attention, it is still crucial that you seek treatment immediately following the crash, as many injuries take some time to appear. Getting medical attention quickly can reduce the symptoms later on, and it can help give credit to your insurance claim.
- Cooperate with the police, but do not speak to anyone else except medical personnel. The police will arrive on the scene of your truck accident. They may have a lot of questions, and you should answer these as honestly as possible. If you do not remember a specific answer, be honest and tell them that you cannot remember what happened. When the insurance companies and witnesses try to discuss the details of the crash with you, avoid saying anything about what happened. This could hurt your claim down the road.
- Gather evidence of the crash. Getting information such as names, phone numbers, pictures from the scene, pictures of your injuries, and more can help you when filing your claim. This evidence will be used to find who was at fault and defend yourself from wrongdoing if the trucker's insurance company tries to put some of the blame on you.
- Contact a trucking accident lawyer. After your trucking accident, legal representation will help strengthen your claim and give you the ability to focus on your recovery rather than fighting a stressful battle with insurance companies. Contact a trucking accident attorney to help fix things quickly and get your life back to normal as soon as possible.
Being involved in a trucking accident is a major event. With help from an experienced trucking accident lawyer, you can put an advocate on your side to help you resolve your claim quickly and fairly. Contact us today at (573) 240-8866 to learn more about how we can help you make this ordeal easier.
My airbag failed to deploy in a single-car accident. I was hurt. Can I recover damages?
Maybe; it will depend on the facts of your case. The first thing that you should do after any car accident, regardless of the number of vehicles involved, is to seek medical attention. A doctor can diagnose your injuries and develop a treatment plan to maximize your possible recovery and minimize your physical pain.
In order to determine whether you can recover damages or not, you should talk to an experienced auto defect attorney. Your ability to recover damages if an airbag failed to deploy may depend on a few factors. For example, you will need to establish that the airbag should’ve deployed in an accident such as yours; and you will need to prove that your injuries were caused, or made worse, by the airbag’s failure to deploy. An auto defect lawyer can help you determine whether you have a case.
If you do have a case, then an attorney can help you protect your rights and possible recovery by gathering evidence, negotiating with the insurance company, and taking your case to trial, if appropriate.
I was recently hurt in a Missouri store. The store owner and manager say that they didn’t know about the slippery spot before I fell. They should’ve known about it, though! How can I prove someone else should have known something? How can I recover from my slip and fall accident injury?
You ask important questions. Missouri premises liability law holds property owners or managers responsible for injuries if they knew or should have known about a hazard on their property.
When deciding whether a property owner should have known something, you should consider:
- How long the condition was present. The longer the condition was present, the more reasonable it is to assume that the property owner or manager should have known about it.
- Where the condition was located. Was it in a heavily trafficked area? Did the property owner or manager pass by it during the course of their duties?
- Whether others saw the condition. If others saw the condition, then perhaps the owner should have seen it as well.
- Whether others reported the condition. If others reported the condition to the store, then it is reasonable to assume that those in charge should have known about the danger.
- Whether there was a likelihood that the condition would develop. For example, if it was rainy or snowy, then it is reasonable to expect that the floor near the entrance to the store would quickly have become slippery.
I am about to go to a bike rally in Missouri and want to have the best helmet possible to stay protected on my ride to and from the event. What should I look for when purchasing a bike helmet to keep me protected in case of a motorcycle accident?
Motorcycle helmets are one of the most critical pieces of safety gear you can own as a rider. Since your body is so exposed to trauma while you ride, protecting the most fragile and vital part of your body in case of a collision is crucial to lowering your risk of serious injury or fatality.
Choosing the right helmet is an important decision.
Here are some factors to consider as you shop:
- Look for the DOT certification. If a helmet meets the strict safety standards of the U.S. Department of Transportation, it will have a DOT certification sticker or tag. These are the helmets that provide you the most protection.
- Find a lightweight helmet. If you are riding out of town to a rally—or for any extended period of time—you will want a lightweight helmet. This can still keep you protected without weighing on your neck causing fatigue.
- Choose the perfect fit. The way your helmet fits is important. If a car hits you, having a helmet that is too big can cause the helmet to fly off and it will not be able to do its job. Try on a variety of shapes and sizes to find the perfect fit for your head. Naturally, this also means you should not buy or use second-hand helmets,
Dog bites can cause severe damage. What is the law in Missouri?
Dog bite injuries are an all too common occurrence in Missouri. The most severely injured victims are usually children. Most dog owners would like to think that their dog would never hurt a child, but the harsh reality is that 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs every year. About 800,000 of these victims seek medical care, and half of these victims are children. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that children ages five to nine are the group most often bitten by dogs. The CDC further reports that if the child victim is four years old or less, most of the injuries are to the child’s head and neck.
The most common injuries sustained from dog bites are:
- Puncture wounds
- Cuts and scrapes
- Nerve damage
- Tissue loss
- Hair loss
Prior to 2009, dog bite victims had to prove that the dog’s owner knew or should have known that their dog was dangerous. This was usually proven by showing a propensity or tendency of the dog to be aggressive or has a history of biting people.
Currently, Missouri has a strict liability statute concerning biting dogs and their owners. This means that now it is much easier for victims of dog bites to hold the owners of vicious dogs accountable for the damages and injuries that their dogs cause. This statute also applies to the custodian or possessor of the dog, not just the owner. Essentially, a victim need only prove that they were on public property or lawfully on private property when the attack occurred and that they did not provoke the dog before it bit.
Dog bites can cause catastrophic injuries. Often, Missouri law affords the opportunity for a dog bite victim to collect insurance proceeds from the dog owner’s insurance policy.
How long do I have to file a truck accident case in Missouri?
If you have been injured in a truck accident, then you have a limited time to file a truck accident case. As with other types of personal injury cases, Missouri law requires that you file your case before the expiration of the statute of limitations.
In most cases, the statute of limitations in a truck accident case is five years from the date of injury. In certain cases, this deadline may be extended. For example, if you were hurt while you were a minor, then the statute of limitations may not begin to run until you are a legal adult.
However, it is important that you do not wait until close to the end of the legally allowable time to file a truck accident case in Missouri. Instead, you may benefit from contacting a Missouri truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after your crash. By contacting a lawyer quickly, you can make sure that the evidence in your case is still available, and you can allow your lawyer to get started on your recovery sooner.