Columbia Missouri Personal Injury Attorney
Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyer
Posts Tagged ‘Personal Injury Claims’
Tuesday, February 1st, 2011
We’ve known for some time that the Missouri Second Injury Fund is in danger of running out. Alarm bells have been sounding since the passage of a 2005 cap on the employer surcharge that funds this type of compensation. Though businesses have countered that the issue is one of overpayment, a state auditor’s report in 2007 found that revenues could begin to fall short as early as 2008. The fund has finally begun to reach its limits in 2011. The Attorney General’s office has just circulated a memo stating that available funds have dropped to $1.34 million from a 2006 balance of $30 million.
The Purpose of the Fund
The second injury fund was originally created to benefit both employers and employees. The idea was that employers would be more likely to hire a worker who had already suffered from injury or debilitation if they knew that a further on the job injury would be covered by a second fund—one administered by the state rather than the employer. So the employer would have an employee whose potential worker’s comp claims were covered by an outside source, the employee would have a job and the promise of worker’s comp if necessary, and the state would have more employed residents. Everyone wins.
The State of the Fund
Now, however, the fund is in imminent danger of running dry and the Missouri Attorney General is moving to prevent it from becoming overdrawn. Although a number of different solutions to the problem have been discussed, there has been no governmental consensus on the matter as of yet. Until there is, or until more funds accumulate, the Attorney General has halted second fund offers. That means that no new second fund claims will be honored for the time being. No one is really sure at this point how his decision will ultimately affect current and future cases, but some things will definitely have to change.
Thursday, January 27th, 2011
Always in the case of personal injury lawsuits, a claim is made to state the damages caused by the defendant onto the plaintiff. Though claims can often seem like random monetary values to an outsider, there is a process to the calculating of personal injury claims in Missouri.
What is Your Claim Worth?
Under Missouri law, the person who caused the injury is responsible for the following:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses
- Time lost from work, which includes any time spent visiting the doctor to therapist
- Property damage, such as to a vehicle
- The cost of hiring household help to do the work while you can’t
- Any permanent disability or disfigurement
- Any emotional distress that you may have, which can include depression, anxiety, and interference with family relationships
- Changes in future earnings due to the injury
- Any other costs that are direct results of the injury
In Missouri, there is a $350,000 cap on damages for any personal suffering, either emotional, social, or psychological. There is, however, no cap on economic damages, so lost wages and medical expenses are fully covered.
Speaking with Your Attorney
In most Missouri personal injury cases, you have five years to file a lawsuit. It is important to work with your lawyer during that time so reach an agreement with involved insurance companies or defendants. After five years, the statute of limitations runs out. Also, make sure to ask any and all questions, that is what your lawyer is for, and they always have your best interests in mind.
There are several parties involved in personal injury lawsuits, from the plaintiff to the defendant to the insurance company to the lawyers. Just make sure you know who is responsible for what, and who is on your side.
Sunday, June 27th, 2010
Shepherd’s Co., a Missouri area construction company, has filed a lawsuit against the Missouri Department of Transportation Cole County. The lawsuit, alleging that MoDOT is in breach of contract with the company, is one of several that it has recently filed in a struggle to protect its name and reputation from the Labor Department, which has been investigating Shepherd’s Co.
The Power Of Letters
The trouble seems to have started when the Labor Department contacted several groups planning on doing business with Shepherd’s Co. to inform them of the potential investigation and the alleged charges against the company. As a result, Shepherd’s Co. lost contracts with MoDOT and the Columbia Public Schools system. It was also blacklisted by the University of Missouri so as to render it ineligible for the bidding process on their jobs.
The Labor Department letter states that the investigation grew out of concerns that Shepherd’s Co. was not in compliance with current wage laws. The company insists that it was and that at the time that the letter was sent, the Labor Department had not begun its investigation. As far as Shepherd’s Co. is concerned, this has resulted in a Labor Department witch-hunt, one that has cost them serious business contracts and may continue to do so if not stopped.
As a result, Shepherd’s Co. has gone on the offensive. The lawsuits that it has filed, now including the Labor Department as well as Columbia Public Schools Systems, the University of Missouri, and MoDOT, are an attempt to hold these groups responsible for their business behaviors. In addition, Shepherd’s Co. accuses MoDOT of using public funds illegally when they chose to award their contract to the second lowest bidder, rather than Shepherd’s Co. This will cost the public at least $6,472 more than Shepherd’s Co.’s project would have.
Saturday, June 12th, 2010
Now that we are firmly established in the year 2010, statistical data from the previous year has begun to trickle back in for proper analysis. One association, VerdictSearch, has collected and published verdict information regarding cases closed last year. Its findings, although not adjusted for mitigating factors, suggest that the settlements and jury awards in most types of personal injury cases are on the rise.
VerdictSearch, in association with The National Law Journal, has made the following information available:
- Medical malpractice awards rose from $321 million to $509.2 million
- Motor vehicle awards rose from $407 million to $738.9 million
- Products liability awards rose from $458 million to $1.1 billion
- Defamation awards rose from $240 million to $391 million
In addition, they were able to report that the number of pharmaceutical products liability cases and wage and hour cases increased in 2009. This increase is expected to carry over into the new year.
Sorting The Data
VerdictSearch’s numbers have not been adjusted to reflect any changes in the award amounts caused by post verdict adjustments or appeals. This means that in a case like the recently concluded Klotz case, where the jury’s award initially exceeded the cap imposed by torte law, the average would reflect that initial reward rather than the award that the Klotzes received after adjustment. The reported data was sourced based upon jury verdicts that were directly reported to VerdictSearch, found on court dockets, or reported in ALM publications.
What Does It Mean For You?
In many ways, the rise in average personal injury jury awards is a good thing for anyone who may feel they have a viable case. The next step is to take your case to an experienced attorney and find out whether he or she agrees. Its important to strike while the iron is hot.
Friday, June 4th, 2010
Former Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper Melissa K. Walley’s case against the La Plata Volunteer Fire Department has been decided after nine years in court. The personal injury case was technically resolved in Walley’s favor and she has finally received some closure regarding the matter. After a long fight, her personal injury lawyer was able to get a settlement of $80,000. This money is earmarked for medical bills and other costs associated with her accident.
Walley was initially injured while driving her patrol car to an emergency call. Her lights were flashing and she was attempting to reach the site as quickly as possible. A volunteer fireman with the La Plata Volunteer Fire Department had stopped his vehicle on the road that she was traveling. He was parked in a moving lane. When Walley reached the other side of the hill that he was parked upon her vehicle collided with his, causing her injuries. She sustained several injuries, many of them serious. The key disabling injury was to her lumbar spine.
Trooper Walley’s case stated that Jeffery A. Mock, the volunteer fireman had parked his vehicle in a location where approaching traffic could not see it. She argued that this, in addition to the fact that he had parked in a moving lane, put him at fault for the accident. Furthermore, she stated that he had not given enough warning to other drivers of his intention to stop traffic to prevent an accident of this kind.
Walley asked for $800,000 when she initially filed that case in 2004. Her award comprised a mere ten percent of that amount. She has had multiple surgeries in order to treat her injuries and requires ongoing care. Her medical expenses were given as $117,000 when the case was filed and have doubtless grown since then.
Monday, May 31st, 2010
During a lawsuit, most people don’t really know what they should expect. Because they aren’t party to lawsuits very often, they generally find that they need help navigating the legal waters. Getting a lawyer can be a great way to help you negotiate the legal landscape and get through your lawsuit. It’s also much more likely that you’ll have a satisfactory outcome when you have legal counsel.
Find A Professional
During your lawsuit, your lawyer should act in a professional manner. Underhanded tactics, back stabbing, and name calling should be reserved for other types of activities, not the legal profession. You want your lawyer to do what’s necessary to win, but remaining moral and ethical is important, as well. Make sure you find a professional to handle your case.
Get Someone With Experience
Hiring a brand new lawyer might be fine for some things, and all lawyers have to start somewhere. However, if you have a big or important case and you don’t get a lawyer with a lot of experience, you could end up losing. That’s not something that you want to deal with, of course, so it’s much better to get someone who’s handled your kind of case many times before.
Don’t Forget The Value Of Communication
Your lawyer should talk to you. Don’t go weeks without hearing from the lawyer who’s handling your case, because there might be things taking place that you’ll want to know about. Good lawyers do their job well and they keep their clients in the loop.
When seeking a lawyer and going through a lawsuit, you should take care to ensure that your lawyer is the right one for you. Shop around a bit, and find a lawyer you feel you can trust and get along with. It can help your case proceed with ease.
Saturday, May 29th, 2010
If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, don’t think that there’s nothing you can do about it. You don’t have to just live with it, and you don’t have to try to seek justice on your own. Instead, you can get a good lawyer and have a successful personal injury lawsuit. That way you’ll be able to get the compensation that you deserve.
Finding The Right Lawyer
It can be hard to get the right lawyer because there are so many of them available, but there are a few things you can look for. Find a lawyer with a lot of experience – and not just general experience, but know-how with your particular kind of case. Check into how many cases that lawyer has handled and what kind of success rate he’s had. Also see if your personalities are compatible, because you may be working with him for some time.
Know About Your Injuries
The kind of injuries you sustained can affect the compensation you can get, and it might also affect what lawyer you choose. If there’s a lawyer in your area with a good reputation for handling cases like yours, that might be the lawyer you want to call. That way you’ll learn more about the perceived ‘value’ of your injuries when it comes to legal compensation.
Don’t Give Up
If you’ve been injured and it wasn’t your fault, you deserve to have compensation for that. Don’t let others tell you differently, and don’t let the person or company that wronged you get you to sign a low settlement so you can’t sue. Know your rights, and get a lawyer to help protect those rights.
No matter what type of serious injury you sustained – whether permanent or temporary – another person’s negligence could be very costly to you if you don’t protect your legal rights. That’s why getting a lawyer and collecting compensation is the best thing for your case.
Friday, May 28th, 2010
All personal injury cases are different, which makes estimating compensation for them very difficult. It can seem almost impossible, but getting a lawyer can help you make a determination of how much you might collect. Your lawyer will take several things into account in order to come up with a rough idea of what kind of compensation you can expect.
What Kind Of Injury Do You Have?
If your injury is permanent, you’ll likely be entitled to more compensation than you would get if you only sustained a temporary injury. That’s because permanent injuries ‘cost’ more than temporary ones in that they can permanently affect your ability to work, make a living, and lead a normal personal and professional life.
How Are Injuries Valued?
Some insurance companies that deal with things like death and dismemberment have tables that show them how much they pay out for a particular injury – such as the loss of a limb. Your personal injury case can be valued along similar lines, based on case law of the past and calculations as to how much the injury will allegedly cost you over your lifetime.
How Can A Lawyer Help?
Lawyers know so much more about the law than laymen do, because they work with it every day. If you don’t get a lawyer, the chances of you seeing any success with your case are slim. It’s much better to get a trained professional to help protect your legal rights.
Don’t assume that you don’t have a case. You won’t know until you talk to a lawyer and find out what he can do for you. Then you’ll know where you stand and you’ll be sure as to whether you want to pursue a legal case or not. If your problems are severe or debilitating and were caused by the negligence of someone else, you should certainly be able to get justice and compensation for your injuries.
Thursday, May 27th, 2010
If you have a personal injury case, it’s important that you see a lawyer to help you. It’s also beneficial if you have witnesses, because these people can corroborate what happened to you, thus strengthening your case and making you more credible – as long as they, themselves, are credible witnesses.
What Makes A Credible Witness?
A witness has to have actually seen what happened, and it’s better if he or she isn’t related to you or a good friend. Witnesses who don’t know you at all are the best, because they have no vested interest in whether you win or lose the case. They don’t stand to gain financially or any other way from the outcome.
What About Family And Friends
Family members and friends can still be used as witnesses, provided they actually saw what happened and didn’t just hear about it from you. If they weren’t actually there and saw it happen with their own eyes, they can’t be counted as witnesses. The more actual witnesses, the better, because it helps to back up what you say as being true.
Get A Lawyer To Help You
A lawyer can talk with witnesses and make sure that they’re being truthful with what they’re saying – as much as it’s possible to judge that. Their stories should match closely, and they should remain the same each time they tell them. Working with a lawyer means a better chance of winning your case, as well.
Asking a lawyer to help you and collecting witnesses to your personal injury case are good first steps toward having a successful outcome. By getting a lawyer you’ll have guidance as to how best to proceed and what kind of compensation you’ll be able to get for your case, based on the injury you sustained and the negligence of the other party.
Wednesday, May 26th, 2010
Personal injury cases can sometimes be hard to win because a lot of people try to fake them for profit. Sometimes, these people even win and that gives a bad name to others who have legitimate personal injury claims and the lawyers who represent them. If you honestly have a personal injury claim and you were hurt through someone else’s negligence, get a lawyer to help you navigate through the legal procedure.
What Is A Personal Injury Claim?
Personal injury claims are when an individual is hurt but not killed through no fault of his own. This can come from the negligence of another person, or through a faulty product or a company that knew of unsafe conditions but did nothing about them. All of these issues can be part of a personal injury claim, and there are always exceptions and unique circumstances to be considered, as well.
How A Lawyer Can Assist You
Even though a personal injury claim may seem straightforward, many of them often are not. With that in mind, you need to get a personal injury lawyer who has experience in handling your particular type of case. Getting along with that lawyer is also important, because you may be working with him for some time, depending on the complexity of your case.
Do You Have Witnesses?
If you have witnesses, be sure to let your lawyer know that. He may want to talk to them and find out their version of what took place. The more people you have on your side, the better, because you have people who can corroborate your story.
Don’t be afraid to speak up and get a lawyer for your personal injury case. If you don’t get help, you could lose out on the compensation that would otherwise rightfully be yours. That wouldn’t bring justice to you or anyone else injured by that person or company.