When you’re recovering from a car accident, let us handle the legal matters.
Cape Girardeau Car Accident Lawyer
If you’re injured in a Missouri car accident, get help from a Cape Girardeau car accident lawyer you can trust. Representing yourself in a car accident case could greatly reduce your settlement or end your claim entirely. Put your case in the hands of a capable car accident attorney who can help you get the compensation you deserve while you focus on recovery and your family.
Birk Law Firm will aggressively negotiate on your behalf to reach a favorable settlement. If the insurance company isn’t reasonable, we will take your case to trial and a judge or jury will decide the case.
If you have questions or need help from a Cape Girardeau car accident attorney, call us at 573-332-8585.
Car Accident Attorneys Prove Their Cases by Establishing Negligence
Negligence is a legal theory, not a law or statute, that car accident lawyers in Missouri use to prove a party’s fault for an accident and get compensation for those harmed by it. The person filing the lawsuit (you, the plaintiff) has the burden of proving their claims. There can be any number of defendants (the parties sued) as long as there is evidence that they played a role in causing the accident. You would need to show:
- The defendant had a legal obligation or duty to you to do something, or avoid doing something, given the circumstances. By getting a driver’s license and using public roads, drivers agree to drive safely, protecting others on the roadway.
- The defendant failed this obligation. Perhaps the driver didn’t drive in a reasonably safe way and violated the law or the rules of the road. The defendant was drowsy and not in complete control of the vehicle when it crashed. A driver broke the law when he drove under the influence of illegal drugs, was speeding, lost control, and collided with your car.
- This breach of duty injured you. You must show the connection between the bad decision (such as driving while drowsy or under the influence of drugs) and how it caused the accident, resulting in your injuries.
- Defendant’s actions (or inactions) were the legal cause of the injury. You need to show the legal connection between the defendant (who should have known their actions were illegal, unsafe, and could cause injuries), the accident, and your injuries.
- You suffered damages (harm measured in dollars). This can be pain, suffering, medical bills, damage to your vehicle, income, and benefits you lost by missing work.
- Under Missouri law, the defendant must pay you for your damages.
Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help Me if I’m Partially at Fault for the Accident?
You can be partially at fault and still be awarded compensation.
No one drives perfectly all the time. You may have made mistakes before the accident, but that should only reduce what you can collect, not end your case. In Missouri, as part of the insurance claim or trial, it’s decided who was at fault and by how much. If you contributed to the car accident, your recovery will be reduced by your share of fault.
Here is an example: If the other driver was speeding, but you were distracted at the time of the crash, and it is determined that you were 25% at fault, your damages (let’s say $100,000) would be cut by 25% (leaving you with $75,000).
How Can a Cape Girardeau Car Accident Lawyer Prove My Car Accident Case?
Cases are built on evidence. If you retain Birk Law Firm, our team and outside experts will investigate your accident to develop the facts that can lead to a successful insurance claim or lawsuit.
The evidence may show the other driver was a contributing cause, but it could be that other drivers contributed to the crash, too. There may also be issues with the design or maintenance of the roadway, making the government agency responsible for its defendants. The more defendants there are, the greater the chance you’ll be fully compensated for your injuries.
Evidence can come from the police investigation and facts developed by our car accident attorney at the Birk Law Firm. We may photograph the area, get any surveillance camera video of the accident, talk to witnesses, and look into the past of the other driver. Our car accident lawyer may hire an expert accident reconstruction engineer to review the evidence and give an opinion on the cause and who’s to blame for the collision. That expert will produce a report that can be part of your insurance claim, and they may testify at trial.
The investigation includes gathering your medical records and having them reviewed by a medical expert. We will organize the facts establishing the injury you suffered, how it affects you, and your expected future medical bills.
What Role Does Insurance Play in a Car Accident Case?
Drivers are required to carry insurance, which covers the harm done if the driver is negligent. There are exclusions to policies (for example, they won’t cover intentional acts) and limits on how much the coverage will pay you. But if we can show that the insured was negligent when causing your injuries, the insurance company should pay you for what you’ve gone through.
Insurance also pays for the policyholder’s defense. Attorneys handling the case are either employed or retained by the company.
Generally, after an investigation, our car accident lawyer submits a demand to the insurance company and the parties negotiate a settlement. If we can’t reach an agreement, we can file a lawsuit and start litigating the case. If no settlement is made during this process, the case will go to trial. It will be up to a jury to decide whether the defendant was at fault and, if so, how much you should be compensated for your damages.
How Do Car Accident Lawyers in Missouri Decide How Much a Case is Worth?
The value of your car accident case depends on many variables, including:
- The severity and expected duration of your injuries: The more serious your injuries, the more they impact you, the longer they’ll affect you, the more your case is worth. Severe injuries can cause you to lose your job, may leave you permanently disabled, cause chronic severe pain, emotional suffering, and months or years of ongoing medical treatment and rehabilitation care.
- The quality of the evidence of your injuries: The insurance company will get copies of your medical records, send them to their medical experts, and may question your treating physicians during the litigation process. If the insurance company can say the doctors got your diagnosis wrong and you’re not as badly injured as you claim, they will put less money on your case.
- How clearly the evidence shows the defendant was at fault: The more you’re at fault, the lower your case’s value. The greater the defendant’s fault, the more the insurance company needs to pay. The more clearly the facts show that the defendant was mostly to blame, the more your case is worth. If it’s not clear who was at fault, the insurance carrier may be unwilling to make you an offer you would want to accept. If the defendant drove recklessly, obviously endangering you and others, a jury may award you more money. The insurance company should increase what it offers in this situation.
- Insurance coverage issues: Policies have exclusions and coverage limits. If the driver did something that’s not covered (like breaking the law and colliding with your car while leading the police on a chase), you might be offered little or nothing. If your case is very strong, but the defendant didn’t buy much coverage, the carrier may offer you the policy limit. This is the most they’re obligated to pay, whether it fairly covers your losses or not.
Why Should I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer for My Case?
Handling your case without an attorney may mean your settlement is much lower.
Your case may be worth tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. You could make mistakes while negotiating a settlement that wind up costing you a substantial amount of money. You might say or do something that could result in an insurer’s denying your claim or offering you little or nothing.
There are many reasons to hire car accident lawyers in Cape Girardeau:
- You probably rarely negotiate: Unlike in some countries, Americans rarely negotiate or haggle over prices. You may have negotiated when you bought your last car, but were you good at it? Did you feel comfortable? Your lack of experience will be exposed when you talk to an insurance adjuster or attorney who negotiates settlements all the time.
- You don’t know what your case is worth: Do you know what your damages are? Do you have a strong case or a weak one? If you don’t know the basics, negotiating would be like boxing while blindfolded. Your requested amount could be far less than what your case is worth. If so, the company will be happy to accept. Your valuation also may be so high that they won’t bother responding.
- Without an attorney you won’t be taken seriously: If you don’t reach a settlement, will you take your case to trial, too? Insurance companies will string you along until you give up and agree or try to find a car accident attorney.
Get the Help You Need from a Car Accident Lawyer You Can Trust
Birk Law Firm understands how much an automobile accident can affect your life, from your ability to work, to paying medical bills and getting your car back on the road. We will gather critical evidence to establish liability and put together a strong case for you. Call our Cape Girardeau car accident lawyer at 573-332-8585 to schedule your free consultation today.
ALL YOUR LEGAL NEEDS
Why Choose Birk Law?
Birk Law Firm is a small firm by choice that is big on client services. Attorney Kelvin Birk and his team are responsive to their clients’ needs. When we sign on as your law firm, you can count on us for strong legal counsel, from negotiations to settlement to trial.
Our clients benefit from the intertwining of Kelvin Birk’s legal and CPA background and experience. We provide well-rounded advice to solve both legal and financial issues and to come up with creative solutions. We use modern technology to deliver legal services in a more efficient and client-focused manner than was previously possible.
We provide personalized and compassionate service. We believe that each client’s matter is the most important matter in the world to them, and we strive to treat it that way.