WHEN YOU’RE RECOVERING FROM A CAR ACCIDENT, LET US HANDLE THE LEGAL MATTERS.
Cape Girardeau Car Accident Lawyer
Car accidents happen frequently in Missouri and can result in major property damage, devastating injuries, and even death. Medical bills mount up at a time you may be unable to work, and financial losses can easily exceed the limits of a car insurance policy, but an experienced car accident lawyer may be able to get you full compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. While no amount of money can make up for the trauma, pain, and suffering you are going through, a monetary award can at least help take the burdens off you so you can focus on recovery and your family.
Missouri laws are complicated, and insurance companies will attempt to deny claims or get you to settle for less than your case is worth. Representing yourself in a car accident case could be a mistake that will greatly reduce your settlement or end your claim entirely. If you or a loved one was injured or someone has died in a car crash, get help from a capable Cape Girardeau car accident lawyer you can trust.
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 present it to a judge or jury.
We offer a free consultation to discuss the circumstances of your case and determine the best way to move forward. Call our Cape Girardeau car accident attorney today at 573-332-8585 to get started.
Our Cape Girardeau Car Accident Attorney Works for You
Why Choose Us?
There are many attorneys in Missouri, and it’s important for you to find one you have confidence in, feel comfortable with, and who has the qualifications to get the results you need. Here are some reasons why we think Birk Law is your best choice:
- We are highly qualified. Attorney Kelvin Birk is a Certified Public Accountant as well as a lawyer, with more than 30 years of experience in accounting and tax and business consulting, and more than 20 years of experience in numerous legal matters. This combined expertise allows the Birk Law Firm to provide a level of service above that of other firms. Whatever your legal situation, your attorney at Birk Law Firm can counsel you as to the tax implications. We have experience in providing myriad legal services to residents of southeast Missouri and other areas.
- We provide personal service. Birk Law is a small firm by choice that is big on client services and 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. 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.
- We are local. Kelvin Birk has lived in Missouri most of his life and raised a family here, so he understands the needs of the local population.
- We have a long history of helping Missouri families, and you can read their testimonials.
- We deal and negotiate with insurance companies, so you won’t have to, and we make every effort to win a fair settlement out of court.
- We offer free consultations to discuss the circumstances of your case and show you how we can help.
- We work on a contingency basis, so you pay no fees unless and until we win and you get your money.
How Our Car Accident Attorney Helps You
Every person who works at Birk Law — lawyers and support staff — is fully committed to helping our clients. When you have our team on your side, we will:
- Meet with you to discuss how the accident happened, who you think the at-fault parties may be, and determine what type of settlement we should go after.
- Investigate the accident thoroughly, gathering evidence such as photos and videos from the scene and from police, ambulance and medical reports.
- Interview witnesses and first responders.
- Thoroughly assess all your damages, including current and future medical bills, all forms of lost income, damaged property, and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
- Consult with experts in accident reconstruction and experts who can testify as to your costs, damages, and the expected effects on your life.
- Demand damages from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
- Negotiate aggressively – and in good faith – for maximum compensation.
- If negotiation breaks down, we will build your case and take it to court to win full and fair compensation.
When you hire Birk Law, we will be there for you throughout the entire legal process, keeping you informed and handling all aspects of your case. Let us take care of all legal hurdles, so you no longer have to. Call us today at 573-332-8585.
Our Car Accident Attorney Fights for Fair Compensation
What Compensation Can I Get?
In a successful case, our attorneys can win a settlement award that covers both your economic and non-economic damages. In car accident and other personal injury claims, the term “damages” refers to the amount of compensation the injured person (the plaintiff) is entitled to receive from the negligent parties (the defendants in the case). Missouri considers two categories of damages — compensatory and exemplary.
Compensatory Damages – These are awarded to compensate you for economic and non-economic losses from the accident.
Economic Damages – are for calculable monetary costs resulting from the accident, including:
- Medical, hospital, and rehabilitation costs, current and future
- Lost wages and future earning potential
- Property damage, such as repairing or replacing your vehicle
- Funeral expenses, in case of a death.
Non-Economic Damages – are compensation for losses that do not have a specific monetary value, but negatively impact your life, including:
- Pain and suffering,
- Disability or disfigurement
- Loss of consortium and quality of life
Exemplary Damages – Also called “punitive damages,” these are awarded in rare cases to punish the defendant for actions that show conscious disregard or complete indifference for the well-being and safety of others. A judge must decide whether punitive damages may be awarded, and 50% of the award will go to the State of Missouri.
How Do Car Accident Lawyers in Missouri Decide How Much a Case is Worth?
There is a wide range of damage awards possible in a car accident case, from thousands to millions of dollars. Missouri does not impose a cap or limit on the amount of damages that can be recovered. The value of your individual 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 and emotional suffering, and mean 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 and 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 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.
At Birk Law, we know what a fair settlement should be and will do everything possible to fight for maximum compensation. We will be there for you throughout the entire process, handling all legal issues, so you can concentrate on moving forward with your life. Call us today at 573-332-8585.
Car Accident Attorneys Must Prove Negligence
Under Missouri law, if found negligent, the defendant must pay you for your damages.
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 has the burden of proving their claims. There can be any number of defendants as long as there is evidence that they played a role in causing the accident.
To prove negligence, your attorney 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 in this obligation. Perhaps the driver didn’t drive in a reasonably safe way and violated the law or the rules of the road. Or the defendant was drowsy and not in complete control of the vehicle when it crashed, or 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.
Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help if I’m Partially at Fault for the Accident?
In Missouri, 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. According to Missouri law (Title XXXVI section=537.060), if you are found to have contributed to the car accident, your recovery will be reduced by your share of fault as part of the insurance claim or trial.
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. The more defendants there are, the greater the chance you’ll be fully compensated for your injuries, as they all may have insurance and assets that can go toward a settlement.
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.
Why 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.
Call Our Car Accident Lawyer in Cape Girardeau, MO
Get Help from a Car Accident Lawyer You Can Trust
After a serious car accident, you can be left traumatized and unsure of where to turn, but you can trust Birk Law to help. Birk Law Firm is a small firm by choice that is big on client services. When we sign on as your law firm, you can count on us for strong legal counsel, from negotiations to settlement to trial.
Don’t delay. Missouri has a deadline, a statute of limitations for filing a case in court. According to the law (Title XXXV section 516.120), you have five years after the date of the accident to file a lawsuit for both personal injuries and damage to personal property. In cases where the accident resulted in death of a family member, a case for wrongful death must be filed within three years from the date of the person’s death. If you fail to file your case within these time limits, the courts are likely to refuse to hear it.
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 put together a strong case for you and aggressively fight for justice and a settlement that will relieve your financial problems and make your burdens easier to bear. We provide support and guidance throughout all legal processes.
Call our Cape Girardeau car accident lawyer today at 573-332-8585 for a free initial consultation to discuss your individual situation and see how we can help. There is no charge unless we win a settlement for you.
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.