Legal Question in Personal Injury in Missouri

Accident Injury Claim

What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Missouri

I was in an accident in June 2007 where the girl i was riding with lost control of her car and flipped it onto its back. My foot was crushed under the dashboard--4 bones were broken and all of my soft tissue was ''blasted apart'', as the doctors said. They called it a ''Liz Franc'' injury, which I think meant that my main ligament or tendon was ruptured as well. I spent about 4 months on crutches, and another 2-3 months in physical therapy. I was out of work for 6 months, then tried got a job as a waitress, but had to quit after 2 months because it hurt too bad to be on my feet. I had one surgery about a month after the accident where they put 4 screws in my foot, and then had surgery in March to take them out. After the 2nd surgery, I was out of work for another 2 months. The pain and suffering was tremendous and my foot still has pain..I am also expected to have arthritis when I get older. I am only 19 years old, so this has affected the rest of my life.

My question is--what is the best way to go about filing the claim with the other girl's insurance company? About how much money can I expect and will I get more if I file the claim myself or with a lawyer?

Asked on 10/15/08, 10:00 pm

5 Answers from Attorneys

Brian Franciskato Nash & Franciskato Law Firm

Re: Accident Injury Claim

You should visit with an experienced trial attorney to discuss your possible claims. Others might be at fault for your accident, in addition to the girl you were riding with. Sometimes, when a vehicle flips over it is not entirely the driver's fault. It could also be a result of a defective design of the vehicle or be a result of a dangerous condition of the road. With regard to the girl you were riding with, there are several avenues for you to possibly collect insurance money from various sources. Under Missouri law, she should have, at a minimum, liability insurance of $25,000, but could have additional coverage or additional policies that might provide additional coverage. I do not recommend settling your case without first talking with an attorney. I would be happy to discuss your claims further. You can contact me at [email protected]

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Answered on 10/15/08, 10:34 pm
Michael R. Nack Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law

Re: Accident Injury Claim

As the other responders have probably advised you, there is no doubt that you should consult with and hire an attorney to represent you in this matter. Hopefully, the driver will have sufficient insurance coverage and your attorney will be able to obtain better compensation for your injuries even after the attorney's contingency fee is paid than you could obtain on your own. Please be sure to consult with an attorney or even several attorneys and then hire one that you can trust. We handle personal injury matters on an everyday basis, and we would be happy to offer you a free consultation.

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Answered on 10/20/08, 11:33 pm
James Manning James Manning, PC

Re: Accident Injury Claim

I would recommend that you consult with a personal injury attorney to consider your options. It sounds like you have a claim against the driver and her insurance carrier. You may also have a claim against your own insurance carrier for underinsured motorist benefits. If there were other people in the car or other cars involved, there may be more sources of recovery. An attorney can help you figure out all of your potential sources of recovery and can help you receive compensation from those sources. Personal injury attorneys typically work on a contingency fee basis so it won't cost you anything up front or out of pocket.

Remember that there are time limits on when claims can be filed. Also, it is usually a good idea not to sign anything until you have consulted with an attorney.

I hope this has been helpful. Let me know if you need more help.

- James

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Answered on 10/16/08, 9:40 am
Spencer Farris The S.E. Farris Law Firm

Re: Accident Injury Claim

You are asking the right questions- unfortunately, you haven't given me enough information to answer them!

How much money you can expect: Much depends on the insurance available. The minimum coverage in Missouri is $25,000, and if that is all the defendant has, regardless of your injury, that is all you will recover. (I know there is an insurance company commercial that says the lawyer will go after college money, but bankruptcy laws and other truths mean that that is just television!)Other coverages may be available, but you likely need an attorney to sort that out.

How much more will you get if you have a lawyer versus on your own: That depends on you, your abilities and the insurance company. Lawyers representing injury victims typically work for a percentage of settlement or judgment, and therefore work to maximize the amount of money that you get. My office works on a reduced fee for clear cut cases. We offer the added benefit of reducing medical bill repayment and so forth. Unless you deal with insurance companies regularly, you are better off having a professional (trial attorney) handle your claim for you. You can have all of a small amount, or pay a lawyer a percentage and recover more for yourself.

In a situation with a bad injury like yours, there IS NOT enough money to make it a "fun" situation for you. Hiring a skilled lawyer will help you maximize what you are able to recover, and cover the loss.

Good luck with your claim and your health.

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Answered on 10/16/08, 11:32 am
Jeffrey Carey Carey Law Firm, LLC

Re: Accident Injury Claim

A Liz Franc fracture is serious and can have long lasting repurcussions. Whether you hire an attorney or not you should be very careful to be sure that you know the full extent of your injuries before accepting a settlement. Once you have settled your case you cannot go back against the driver for compensation in the future if the injury causes long-term problems.

I have an graduated scale attorney's fee starting at 28% on automobile accidents. If I am able to settle your case without litigation you will pay much less than other attorneys will charge. You can research my firm under careypersonalinjury .com.

You will find that claims adjustors rarely offer fair value for your injuries without an attorney. You generally will recover more, even after paying attorney's fees, and will have much less stress and hassle. If I can be of assistance please feel free to contact me through the e-mail address listed below.

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Answered on 10/16/08, 3:37 pm

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