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Unfortunately, personal injury accidents can happen anywhere. For instance, one minute, you can be turning on Clarkson Road and Manchester Road at Ellisville, and the next, a large truck rammed your vehicle because the driver was busy texting and driving. Or you may be grocery shopping at Schnucks Downtown, not realizing that there is a spill in one of the aisles, and you end up falling and breaking your leg.
Although most of these personal injury accidents often result in minor injuries, some can cause more severe harm, leaving victims to endure devastating injuries, debilitating pain, and extensive medical expenses that will forever impact them and their families. However, if you have been involved in one of these horrific accidents, you should not have to go through these tragic repercussions on your own.
You deserve to pursue compensation for the harm you sustained and the losses you endured. Fortunately, when you work with a dedicated St. Louis personal injury attorney, like those at the Bruning Law Firm, they can get you the legal assistance you need and help you fight for the financial recovery and justice you deserve.
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Top Causes of Personal Injury Accidents in St. Louis
Personal injury is a term that often embodies an injury that is caused by an intentional, reckless, or negligent action, or an action that results from strict liability that affects another person’s body or mind. In St. Louis, individuals who suffer a personal injury because of another person’s wrongdoings can file a legal claim against the at-fault party to recover compensation for their injuries and losses.
Some of the more common personal injury claims tend to include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Construction site accidents
- Premises liability accidents
- Catastrophic injuries
- Class action lawsuits
- Nursing home abuse
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Burn injuries
- School bus accidents
- Wrongful death
- Sports injuries
- Dog bites
To break these incidents down even further, personal injury laws in St. Louis tend to cover these situations:
Negligent Everyday Situations
Negligence actions often refer to an individual who harms another person because of their careless actions or actions that lack ordinary care or consideration. This behavior usually consists of actions, but can also consist of omission when the defendant had some duty to act.
There are usually four elements that are required to establish a case of negligence.
- There was an existence of a legal duty that the defendant owed the victim;
- The defendant breached this duty;
- The victim suffered an injury because of this breach; and
- The injury resulted in significant damages and losses.
These situations involve intentional acts, such as the wrongful party punching another person without justification and breaking their nose. As a result, the injury plus the intent will allow the victim to pursue recovery.
In some instances, the law does not look for wrongful behavior but rather presumes responsibility. Strict liability is a theory that imposes legal accountability for injuries even if the party found at fault did not act with fault or negligence. For example, when a dangerous product harms an individual, the manufacturer of this product can be held strictly liable for the consequences, even in the absence of fault or an intent to cause harm.
If an individual is reckless and causes another person harm, this recklessness means that the individual knew or should have known that their conduct would likely cause an injury. This liability is greater than that of negligence, which refers to a failure to exercise reasonable care.
Common Types Of Personal Injuries That Occur Following a St. Louis Personal Injury Accident
A personal injury accident can cause harm to virtually any part of the body. Yet, usually, these accidents result in:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
- Spinal cord damage
- Internal organ damage
- Deep lacerations
- Back injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Although some of these injuries are temporary, others can result in permanent harm. Yet, no matter what type you suffered, these personal injuries can cause victims to endure significant medical expenses, extensive lost wages, and other bills that can set them back financially, especially if they cannot work after their accident.
For these reasons, if you have suffered an injury because of another person’s wrongful actions, you should contact a dedicated St. Louis personal injury accident attorney, like those at Bruning Law Firm, as soon as possible. These lawyers can go over your accident and your injuries and determine whether or not you may have a viable legal claim.
Damages Resulting from a St. Louis Personal Injury Lawsuit
In St. Louis, if you have been harmed in a personal injury accident, you may be entitled to certain types of compensation, including economic and non-economic damages.
Economic Damages: These damages refer to the actual and verifiable losses that result from a personal injury accident, such as
- Medical expenses, including past, present, and future medical costs—such as doctor visits, medical assistive devices, emergency room visits, prescription medications, surgeries, and hospital stays.
- Lost wages.
- Lost earning capacity.
- Personal property losses.
- At-home nursing care.
- At-home replacement services, such as child care services or grocery shopping services.
- Rehabilitative services such as occupational therapy and physical therapy.
- Other out-of-pocket expenses.
Non-economic damages: These damages also involve losses resulting from a personal injury accident. However, these losses are somewhat subjective and often hard to quantify. They may include:
- Pain and suffering.
- Mental anguish.
- Loss of companionship.
- Loss of consortium.
- Loss of enjoyment of life and activities.
- Loss of a limb.
- Loss of reputation.
Punitive damages: In some instances, the victim may also recover punitive damages. However, unlike the other compensatory damages, which compensate the victim for their losses, punitive damages punish the defendant for their egregious and wrongful actions and deter them and others from committing this act again. Yet, these damages are only awarded in exceptional cases. For instance, in St. Louis, for a court to grant these punitive damages, the victim’s lawyer needs to show by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant intentionally harmed the victim without just cause or acted with a deliberate disregard for the safety of others.
The Statute of Limitations and Personal Injury Claims in St. Louis
The statute of limitations is a law that dictates the maximum amount of time an individual has to file a claim following an alleged offense. If they do not file this claim within that allotted time, they can be barred from pursuing compensation for their losses.
In Missouri, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury claim is five years from the date of the accident. However, there may be exceptions to this rule that can shorten or lengthen the amount of time you have to file your case. For these reasons, it is best not to wait to pursue legal action. Waiting too long can not only complicate the investigation, lengthen the discovery period, delay your settlement, but also risk you running out of time to file your case.
Fortunately, when you work with personal injury lawyers like those at Bruning Law Firm, these attorneys can figure out exactly how much time you have to file your case and help ensure your legal motions and documents are prepared correctly and are filed before time runs out.
Actions to Take Following a Personal Injury Accident in St. Louis
Even though the scene following a personal injury accident is often overwhelming and nerve-wracking, you should realize that the actions you take after your accident are not only important in ensuring your health and safety, but also in ensuring that your legal rights remain protected. That is why if you are involved in a St. Louis personal injury accident, you should:
Contact 911 Immediately
Following a St. Louis accident, you want to make sure you contact 911 as soon as possible. This is the fastest way to notify officials of the incident and get the accident on record.
Once the police arrive, they can investigate the incident and document their findings in their police report. If you decide to pursue an injury claim, this police report can provide you with valuable evidence regarding who was at fault and what happened.
Collect Evidence From the Scene
If you can, take as many pictures and videos of the accident scene as possible. This should include photos of your visible injuries, the location of the accident, any hazardous conditions, and any other details that can help show what happened, such as skid marks on the road, the weather at the time of the incident, and the lighting conditions.
Get Witness Details
If there were individuals at the scene who saw what happened, make sure you get their name and contact information. Witness statements can often provide you with helpful insight regarding what happened while also backing up your claim. However, if these individuals do not want to offer you their details, do not try to force them. Once you retain a personal injury lawyer, these attorneys can work to obtain this information and testimony for you.
Be Careful What You Say
As you talk to individuals at the accident scene, watch what you say. This means that you do not want to apologize for anything that happened, make any definitive statements, or take the blame for any part of the accident. These types of accounts can come back later and hurt your ability to receive the money you need. Instead, you just want to obtain specific details from the other individuals involved in the accident. For instance, if you were involved in a car crash, you want to exchange information with all those involved in the crash, including names, contact details, driver’s license numbers, and insurance information.
Contact a St. Louis Personal Injury Accident Lawyer as Soon as Possible
Additionally, you should contact a St. Louis personal injury lawyer as soon as possible following your accident. These attorneys understand the emotional toll your injuries have caused you and are well-equipped to offer you the guidance you need. Plus, they can guide you through the whole legal process and any other aspects of the situation you may not understand. Contact the Bruning Law Firm today.
Following a St. Louis personal injury accident, you deserve answers and clarification regarding the legal remedies you have after such a horrific event. For these reasons, we have prepared these frequently asked questions regarding personal injury accidents that many of our personal injury accident clients have. We hope that with this information, you have a better understanding of the legal actions you may pursue to secure the maximum financial recovery you are entitled to. For more specific information about your legal options, contact us today.
Do I Still Need to See a Doctor If My Injuries Appear to Be Minor Following a Personal Injury Accident in St. Louis?
Even if you believe your injuries are minor following a personal injury accident, you should still see a doctor as soon as possible. Often, serious injuries such as severe head and brain trauma can take days to even weeks to manifest. Yet, the longer you wait to get treatment, the more fatal the injuries can become. That is why it is important to get checked out quickly following your accident by a medical professional so that they can verify that you do not have any of these hidden injuries.
In addition, getting treatment may be beneficial to your claim. The insurance company may be looking for any reason to deny your case. By not getting evaluated by a doctor after your accident, the insurer can argue that your injuries are not that serious or were from a subsequent event. Fortunately, when a doctor examines you, they can write down all about your personal injury incident in their medical report, providing you with a direct link between your injuries and the accident.
If the Insurance Company Offers Me a Settlement Amount Following My St. Louis Personal Injury Accident, Should I Accept It?
If the insurance company offers you money following your accident, it may seem like a no-brainer to accept the settlement. However, this may not always be in your best interest. Following a personal injury accident, the consequences can be horrifying, leaving you with skyrocketing medical bills, a need for ongoing care, and the inability to work for an extended time.
That is why before you agree to any settlement offer, you need to verify what this amount covers. This is because insurance companies hardly ever take your current expenses, future care, and medical bills into account. Instead, they may try to offer you a settlement check shortly after your accident to try to pay you the least amount of money they can and have this situation go away as quickly as possible. Worse yet, if you accept this money, you can’t go back for more later on, even if expenses arise resulting from the original injury.
For these reasons, before you accept any offer, you should speak to a St. Louis personal injury attorney, such as those at the Bruning Law Firm. These lawyers can help you determine if the settlement offer covers all your current and future expenses and possible ongoing care. If it does not, the attorney can negotiate with the insurance company and go after a settlement offer that is fair to you.
How Long Will My St. Louis Personal Injury Lawsuit Take to Resolve?
Unfortunately, no set period dictates how long a case will take to resolve when it comes to personal injury lawsuits.
In truth, too many factors can influence a personal injury lawsuit timeline, including:
- The type of injuries you suffered and the severity of these injuries.
- Your present and future medical treatments.
- Whether the insurance company is willing to participate in negotiations.
- Whether there are problematic legal issues with your case.
- Whether the case involves a substantial amount of money.
- Whether you have reached a point of maximum medical improvement.
Because of these factors, a personal injury case can take anywhere from a few months to a few years to resolve, especially if the case ends up heading to trial. However, when you work with a St. Louis personal injury lawyer, they can provide you the legal help you require through this whole legal process, ensuring they fight for the compensation that is fair to you. Plus, if the case needs to head to trial, they can also prepare you for every step of the way.
If the Insurance Company Is Trying to Contact Me Following My St. Louis Personal Injury Accident, Should I Talk to Them?
It is important to understand that the insurance company is not your friend. They may not want to help you get the money you need following an accident. Instead, they are a business, and like other businesses, they want to make a profit. How can they do this? By paying you less. That is why insurance adjusters may try any tactic they can to get you to admit fault for your personal injury accident so that they can justify reducing the amount of your claim or denying it altogether.
For these reasons, if the insurance company adjuster is calling, you should be careful when discussing your case with them. In truth, it would be best if you only provide them with basic details about the incident and indicate that all future communications will be through your lawyer. Once you retain a knowledgeable personal injury accident lawyer, like those at Bruning Law Firm, these attorneys can handle all these discussions and negotiations with the insurance company for you and help ensure you do not say anything that can affect your claim.
During My Car Accident Investigation, the Police Did Not Listen To What I Had to Say. Will This Affect My Chance of Winning My Claim?
Following a St. Louis car accident, the scene can get somewhat chaotic, and it is always possible that the police officers may not get the full story of what happened. As a result, a police report may not always cover all the facts, or it may inaccurately record what occurred. Fortunately, when you retain a personal injury lawyer following your accident, these attorneys can work with investigators, accident reconstructionists, and other professionals to supplement not only the police report but their own investigation. This way, they can make sure to provide you with a strong voice in court and get the evidence needed to show what happened and who was at fault for your injuries.
Can I Recover Damages if I Was Hurt in a Slip and Fall Accident While I Was Trespassing on a Neighbor’s Property in St. Louis?
A trespasser is an individual who goes onto another person’s property without permission from the landowner or the property manager. In St. Louis, the general rule is that if an individual is trespassing and sustains an injury on another person’s property, the property owner is not legally responsible for their harm. This is because, although landowners and property managers have specific legal duties to maintain a safe property condition for their invited guests, they do not have an obligation to remove dangerous conditions to keep trespassers free from harm.
Yet, some exceptions to this rule may allow a trespasser to collect compensation for their harm. For instance, if the trespasser is a child and there is a reason for the child to access the property, the property owner may be liable for the child’s injuries and damages that occur on their property.
However, since trespasser claims can get rather complicated, you should discuss your case with a St. Louis personal injury attorney and have them determine whether you may have a viable claim.
How Much Money Will I Recover From My St. Louis Personal Injury Accident Lawsuit?
No lawyer can tell you exactly how much money you will get from a personal injury accident lawsuit since there are just too many elements that can change the value of the claim, such as:
- The type of injury you endured and the severity of this injury.
- Whether the injury is permanent.
- The ability to work following the accident and work in the same position.
- The extent of your pain and suffering.
- The medical treatments you will need now and in the future.
- The credibility of the witnesses and evidence presented.
- The defendant’s culpability.
- Whether you need additional services after the accident, such as in-home nursing care.
- Whether you had to miss out on important life events.
- Your ability to perform routine, daily tasks by yourself.
Although compensation following your personal injury lawsuit is not guaranteed, at the Bruning Law Firm, our legal team fights hard to go after every last dollar our clients’ injuries have cost them.
How Much Will It Cost To Hire a Lawyer Following My St. Louis Personal Injury Accident?
Typically, following a personal injury accident, most personal injury lawyers in St. Louis will work on a contingency fee basis when dealing with these types of claims. This means that you would not have to pay attorney fees upfront. Rather, the attorney collects their fees if they secure compensation for you through a jury verdict or a settlement award. If we cannot get you compensation, you would not have to pay us.
However, it is best to discuss these costs one-on-one with a personal injury accident lawyer, such as those at the Bruning Law Firm. These attorneys can go over their fee structure with you, explain how it works, and help you understand what costs you may be responsible for.
Why Do I Need to Contact the Bruning Law Firm, Following My St. Louis Personal Injury Accident?
If you have been harmed in a personal injury accident, you are already dealing with enough. Between your injuries, pain, and all the doctor visits, the last thing on your mind is trying to figure out how to bring a successful personal injury claim. Fortunately, when you reach out to a St. Louis personal injury attorney, like those at the Bruning Law Firm, you will not have to go through this challenging legal ordeal on your own.
Once retained, these lawyers can:
- Evaluate Your Claim: They can go over your case in detail, provide you with the legal advice you require, and determine if you have a viable claim.
- Answer Your Questions: They can answer any questions and concerns you have and provide you with the legal options you can pursue.
- Investigate Your Accident: They can thoroughly investigate your accident, secure the relevant evidence needed to show fault and damages, and obtain the necessary reports that can help you go after all those liable for your injuries.
- Obtain Experts: Personal injury accident cases often require experts to help prove fault. That is why these lawyers can obtain these experts, including accident reconstructionists, doctors, economists, and engineers, to help substantiate your claim.
- Handle the Negotiations: These lawyers can handle all the discussions and negotiations with the defense lawyers and the insurance company—ensuring your case is treated with respect and that they go after a settlement offer that is fair to you.
- Ensure Proper Filing: These lawyers can ensure that your legal motions and documents are correctly prepared and filed before time expires.
- Proceed to Trial: If the other side is unwilling to negotiate, these lawyers are prepared to take your case to trial and fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.
We Can Help You After a Personal Injury in St. Louis and Beyond
If a personal injury in the St. Louis area disrupted your life or the life of a loved one, do not wait any longer to seek the legal help you need. Contact the Bruning Law Firm today for a free case evaluation and let our legal team show you how we can fight for you and your rights and go after the damages and justice you deserve. We serve clients in the city proper as well as the Metro East (we know Illinois’s personal injury laws as well as Missouri’s), and the suburbs west of the Mississippi. Reach out to us at any time, day or night, at (314) 735-8100 or through our contact page.
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