Accidents and Injuries in St. Louis, MO
Were you hurt in an accident due to someone else’s carelessness or recklessness in St. Louis? If so, turn to the experienced trial attorneys from OnderLaw, LLC for help right away.
You shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s mistakes. If you were hurt due to the negligence of another party or parties, you could be owed compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
110 E. Lockwood Ave
St. Louis, MO 63119
At OnderLaw, LLC, our St. Louis personal injury lawyers believe in holding people accountable for their actions and helping victims get the justice they so rightfully deserve.
Personal injury is the area of civil law designed to protect you if another party’s action or inaction harms you. The only remedy available under the law is financial compensation. While we at OnderLaw, LLC understand that this will not undo the wrongs you endured, we will fight tirelessly to help you recover the compensation you need to cover all of your expenses.
If you have been injured in a personal injury accident in St. Louis, seeking compensation with an injury claim can be intimidating and confusing. Fortunately, a skilled and knowledgeable St. Louis personal injury lawyer can help. An attorney can conduct an in-depth investigation of your accident, protect your rights, and make sure you don’t say anything that could compromise your claim.
To schedule a free initial consultation with the experienced and compassionate personal injury lawyers at OnderLaw, LLC, call now at (314) 963-9000.
Table Of Contents
- Why Hire Our Firm
- Personal Injury Case Types We Handle
- Common Injuries Suffered from Personal Injury Accidents
- What Is the Cost of a St. Louis Personal Injury Lawyer?
- Steps to Take After Being Injured
- What Does an Personal Injury Investigation Look Like?
- What Are the Damages Available for Injuries?
- Most Common Causes of Personal Injury Accidents
- Civil Statutes of Limitations in Missouri
- Personal Injury Lawsuits in St. Louis
- Personal Injury Claims Process
- Let OnderLaw, LLC Help Fight for Justice
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why Hire Our Firm
If you have been involved in an accident where you were seriously injured, it is never wise to try to handle it by yourself. While you could file the necessary paperwork and represent yourself in court, your chance of recovering the full and fair compensation you deserve is much higher when you have the help of an experienced St. Louis personal injury attorney.
Depending on the facts and circumstances of your personal injury case, your attorney will either need to negotiate with the other party’s insurance company for a fair settlement or seek damages in court if no fair settlement offer is extended.
Severe injuries are often physically and emotionally draining. Allow a skilled attorney to take the burden off your shoulders by handling every aspect of your injury claim. This will enable you to focus on what’s most important: your health and recovery.
A St. Louis personal injury lawyer will be able to level the playing field with the insurance companies by negotiating for the maximum settlement you are entitled to. If your case goes to trial, a skilled trial lawyer will be able to navigate the complex legal procedures as they fight for the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Because filing an injury claim requires advanced legal knowledge and training, you shouldn’t try to pursue a claim without the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer. The St. Louis personal injury lawyers at OnderLaw, LLC have the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to handle all the complex legal matters that come with a personal injury claim.
Personal Injury Case Types We Handle
Some of the most common types of personal injury accidents include:
- Car Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Wrongful Death
- Dog Bites
- Burn Injuries
- Brain Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Slip and Fall
- Rideshare Accidents (Uber/Lyft)
- Premises Liability
- Nursing Home Abuse
- Workers’ Compensation
Common Injuries Suffered from Personal Injury Accidents
The victims we have represented have suffered from numerous different types of personal injuries. Following are some of the most common types of injuries we have seen in injury accidents:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Internal bleeding
- Neck injuries
- Joint dislocation
- Head and brain injuries
- Psychological and emotional trauma
- Permanent disability
- Broken bones
- Loss of limb or amputation
- Repetitive motion injury
- Soft tissue damage
What Is the Cost of a St. Louis Personal Injury Lawyer?
At OnderLaw, LLC, we understand the financial burden you’re already facing. That’s why we work on a contingency-fee-basis. There are no upfront fees or costs to receive quality legal representation. We don’t take our legal fees unless we recover compensation for our clients. If we don’t win your case, you won’t have to pay us.
Steps to Take After Being Injured
When you get hurt due to someone else’s negligence, there are steps you should take to protect your rights and help ensure you can recover the maximum available compensation. It all starts at the accident scene. As long as your injury isn’t too severe, and it’s safe to get up and walk around, you should obtain as much relevant evidence as possible.
Report the accident – If you get hurt from:
- A motor vehicle crash: Call 911 and report the accident to law enforcement.
- Slip and fall: Notify management and fill out an incident report.
- Dog bite: Locate the owner and call animal control.
- Nursing home abuse: Notify the staff and complete an incident report.
- Medical malpractice: Report it to the facility where you had your procedure and determine which provider was responsible.
- Work-related accident: Let your employer know what happened and submit an application to their workers’ compensation insurer.
Speak to witnesses – If anyone saw what happened, talk to them about the details leading up to the incident. Write down their names and phone numbers so you can contact them later if necessary. They could provide a witness statement in an insurance claim or testify in court during a lawsuit.
Take pictures – If you got hurt in a place where there was a hazard, damage, or something else that caused the accident, take photos of it to use as evidence. For example, if you fell on a wet floor in a grocery store, take a picture of the area to prove no one placed adequate warning signs. Crucial evidence could get lost or destroyed, so you should secure it immediately after sustaining injuries.
Request insurance information – In most situations, the at-fault party should have liability insurance that could cover your medical treatment and other associated costs. For instance, if you were injured in a bicycle crash, the driver that hit you probably has auto insurance. Be sure to get those details before leaving the accident scene.
Go to the hospital or see your doctor – Even if your injury is minor, you should seek medical treatment immediately after the incident. Sometimes the initial shock masks the severity of an injury. It often isn’t until days or weeks following the accident that the pain sets in, and you start to realize you’ve been injured. The doctor will perform a thorough evaluation to determine the scope of your injuries. If they refer you to follow up with other medical providers, follow their orders.
Continue treating – Show up for your regularly scheduled doctor appointments until they release you from their care. An insurance company will look at a gap in treatment as evidence that you didn’t really get hurt, or your injury isn’t serious enough to require treatment.
Keep documentation of everything – If the insurance company mails you a letter or your doctor writes you a prescription, save it. Medical evidence is crucial in proving you sustained injuries due to the accident and not from a preexisting condition or previous event.
Hire a lawyer – Contact OnderLaw, LLC to seek legal representation from an experienced St. Louis personal injury lawyer. You’ll likely receive higher compensation if you retain someone’s legal services than if you attempt to handle your case alone.
What Does an Personal Injury Investigation Look Like?
When you hire a lawyer to help you with your legal case, they’ll investigate the cause of your accident and who was at fault for your injuries. We have extensive resources to investigate all types of personal injury cases and locate sufficient evidence to develop a strong case.
Step 1: The first thing we’ll need to do is discuss what happened with you. We’ll ask specific questions to get as much detail as possible so we can reconstruct the accident to determine what led to your injuries.
Step 2: Your St. Louis personal injury lawyer will request a copy of the accident/incident report. If your sustained injuries on public property or at a medical facility, we’ll request it from management or the administrative office. If you got hurt in a car accident, we’ll purchase the traffic crash report.
Step 3: Witnesses are essential to any personal injury case. If we can locate people who saw the accident occur, we’ll take their statements to use as evidence in your claim. If necessary, we can call them to the stand at trial if we have to file a lawsuit.
Step 4: If there’s a security camera nearby, we’ll obtain the footage and review it to see the events leading up to the incident. It’s difficult to dispute security footage. If it clearly shows you suffered injuries due to another person’s actions, we can use it as evidence in your case.
Step 5: Medical records are also crucial evidence in personal injury. It provides documentation indicating when you got hurt and how it happened. It also creates a useful timeline to show the treatment you received and the progression of your recovery.
Step 6: We might go out to the scene of the accident to take pictures. Most situations are difficult because the evidence is usually cleaned up quickly, like when there’s a car crash. However, if there’s a road defect, such as a pothole, we can take photos of it. Other examples are damaged flooring on someone’s commercial property or slippery surfaces at a public swimming pool.
What Are the Damages Available for Injuries?
When you sustain injuries due to another person’s negligence, you’ll likely incur damages. Damages are the total losses associated with an accident. They fall under two main categories: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages refer to expenses resulting from an accident, such as:
- Past and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Cost to repair property damage
- Out of pocket expenses
Non-economic damages are the physical and emotional effects of an injury, such as:
Economic damages are relatively easy to calculate. All you have to do is gather all documentation related to the costs of treatment, lost wages, etc. and add up everything. However, non-economic damages are a bit more complicated. Since monetizing the value of something like emotional distress is challenging, insurance companies and jury members will use some of the following factors to determine fair compensation:
- Type of injury and how serious it is
- The total cost of medical care
- If future treatment is necessary
- Availability of relevant evidence proving fault
- Emotional or mental anguish experienced from the accident
- Duration of required medical treatment
- Total hours missed from work to attend doctor appointments and other circumstances related to the injury
- Whether there was a long or short recovery period
- If the injury led to permanent impairment, disfigurement, or disability
- Eyewitnesses that can confirm how the accident occurred
- Impact of the injury on daily life, such as employment, relationships, and routine tasks
Most Common Causes of Personal Injury Accidents
Some of the most common causes of personal injury accidents include:
Motor Vehicle Accidents (cars, trucks, motorcycles, etc.)
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Driving too fast for weather or road conditions
- Workplace accident
- Car crash
- Medical malpractice
- Defective product
- Pedestrian accident
- Slip/trip and fall
- Tasks involving repetitive motion
- Dangerous working conditions
- Employer negligence
- Hazardous equipment, machinery, tools, objects
- Owner negligence
- Taunting, abusing, or mistreating the dog
- Attempting to stop an attack against someone else
- Dangerous dog
- Infection, such as rabies
- Delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis
- Lack of adequate post-care
- Using unclean medical tools
- Medication errors
- Failure to properly treat the condition
Nursing Home Abuse
- Inexperienced or unqualified nurses
- Poor management and supervision
- Understaffed facility
- Lack of training
- Individual employee issues
- Lack of adequate safety tests
- Poor design
- Lack of or unclear instructions for usage
- Error during production
- Defective or faulty parts
- Lack of testing for adverse side effects
- Failure to provide adequate warning labels
- Defective design
- Mistakes during manufacturing
- Slip and fall
- Poor lighting
- Unsafe flooring
- Inadequate maintenance and repairs
- Lack of signs indicating hazards
Civil Statutes of Limitations in Missouri
There’s a strict deadline known as a statute of limitations for all personal injury cases. You must comply with it if you want to file a lawsuit against someone for the harm you suffered. The clock starts ticking on the date of your injury and ends once the statute passes. If you miss the deadline, you’ll lose your right to sue another person for the damages you incurred.
Following are the statutes of limitations for common types of injury and fatality cases:
- Accidents resulting in bodily injury: 5 years
- Damage to personal property: 5 years
- Medical malpractice: 2 years
- Wrongful death: 3 years
There are two major exceptions that could pause the clock on the statute of limitations and provide additional time to file suit:
- The victim was mentally incapacitated or under the age of 21 at the time of the injury. The clock won’t begin until they turn 21 years old or become mentally competent; or
- The at-fault party temporarily leaves the state before the victim sues. The clock will stop until they return, and their absence won’t count towards the statute.
Personal Injury Lawsuits in St. Louis
If you want to file a lawsuit for a personal injury case, you should enlist the help of a qualified St. Louis personal injury lawyer from OnderLaw, LLC. Lawsuits are complex procedures. You have to comply with strict deadlines, follow a specific process, and write in-depth legal documents. If you’re unfamiliar with how it works, you’ll likely lose your case or end up with much lower compensation than you deserve.
Following are some of the steps a lawsuit would entail:
Prepare complaint – Every lawsuit begins with writing a complaint. It includes:
- The names of all parties involved
- Facts associated with the case, such as when and where the incident occurred and how it happened
- Allegations made against the defendant
- The monetary damages you’re seeking from the defendant
Prepare summons – A summons is basically a notice sent to the defendant informing them that they have to appear in court for this particular matter. The easiest way to serve a defendant is by hiring a process server.
File complaint and summons – All civil lawsuits get filed with the clerk’s office in the county where the incident occurred. We can use the e-filing system to submit the documents electronically. It’s available to all attorneys registered with the bar and eliminates the need to bring documents to the courthouse physically.
Affidavit of Service – Once the defendant receives the complaint and summons, the process server will send us an Affidavit of Service, indicating the date and time they were served. We will then e-file that document with the court to inform them that the defendant has been served.
Answer – The defendant will have to respond to our complaint by e-filing their answer on the court’s website.
Discovery process – Once we receive their answer, we can begin with discovery. During discovery, both parties will file documents requesting answers to questions, copies of all evidence associated with the case, and additional information. The documents included in the discovery process are:
- Request for Production – Asking for a copy of all documents the opposing party obtained, such as medical records
- Interrogatories – Questions the defendant or plaintiff must answer regarding the case
- Request for Admissions – Request that the other party admit or deny to various statements under oath
We’ll also schedule depositions to interview the defendant and ask them questions about the incident. Their defense attorneys might do the same for you.
Mediation – At some point during the lawsuit, we might schedule a mediation to meet with the opposing parties and a mediator to try to settle the case out of court. If we’re able to reach a settlement agreement, we can avoid taking the case to trial.
Trial – If we can’t reach a fair settlement, we’ll begin preparing for court. During trial proceedings, both sides will present their arguments, evidence, and call witnesses to the stand. When the trial concludes, the jury or judge will enter their judgment.
Personal Injury Claims Process
Many cases settle without the need to file a lawsuit. Insurance claims are easier to navigate and typically take less time to resolve than lawsuits.
Step 1: File the claim: Once we determine the at-fault party’s liability insurance carrier, we’ll send them a Notice of Claim letter. In the letter, we’ll include the following information:
- Our contact details
- Your name
- Date, time, and location of the incident
- Request for a copy of the insurance policy, disclosure, and other documents
- Ask that they don’t destroy any relevant evidence to the case
Step 2: Investigation: We’ll investigate the incident and obtain evidence that proves someone else caused the accident and you sustained injuries as a result.
Step 3: Insurance company forms: The insurance adjuster assigned to the claim will send us forms you’ll need to complete and sign. If you receive anything directly, send it to us first. Sometimes insurance companies will try to trick you into signing away your rights to the full settlement amount. They also will request authorizations so they can order a copy of all your medical records. If they’re able to find documentation of a preexisting medical condition or injury, they might be able to use that to deny your claim.
Step 4: Demand letter: When you complete your medical treatment, we’ll write a demand letter. In the letter, we’ll include details, such as:
- Synopsis of how the accident occurred
- Timeline of your medical treatment
- Injuries you sustained
- Total costs incurred
- Settlement amount we’re seeking
We’ll include with the letter copies of your medical records, billing statements, accident scene photos, and other documentation that might increase the value of your case.
Step 5: Negotiations: After the insurance adjuster reviews what we sent, we’ll negotiate for a settlement. If we’re unable to reach a fair settlement amount, we can move forward with filing a lawsuit.
Step 6: Recovery of settlement. If the insurance company agrees to our demand, we’ll ensure we receive a settlement check promptly. Once we receive it, we’ll calculate our legal fees and all costs associated with the case to subtract it from the final amount. We will then issue a final check for your compensation of damages.
Let OnderLaw, LLC Help Fight for Justice
OnderLaw, LLC has deep roots in the St. Louis community. All of our firm’s attorneys were born and raised in the St. Louis area, giving us a “home field” advantage in St. Louis personal injury cases. Although we are deeply involved in the St. Louis community, our firm is equally capable of handling cases out of state.
People throughout the nation seek our experience in personal injury cases and complicated litigation in areas like medical malpractice and product liability claims. We have received an AV rating, the highest rating available in the Martindale-Hubbell directory, a system whereby attorneys evaluate other attorneys’ accomplishments and skills. The AV distinction is given to less than 10% of lawyers in the country.
At OnderLaw, LLC, we want to earn your trust before asking to be your personal injury lawyer. We will listen to your story with compassion and do our best to understand your unfortunate situation fully. If we have the privilege of representing you, we will fight for you as if you were a member of our own family. When you place your trust in our firm, we want you to feel comfortable that you have made the right decision, so the burden of worrying about your case can be lifted from your shoulders.
At OnderLaw, LLC, our mission is the pursuit of justice – no matter how complex the personal injury case may be. We have built a reputation from successfully handling the most challenging cases involving catastrophic personal injury and death, auto accidents, complex medical malpractice cases, product liability, premises liability, and more. Call today at (314) 963-9000 to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our skilled and compassionate attorneys.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
At OnderLaw, LLC, we get many questions from clients in St. Louis and throughout the country regarding their personal injury claims. Below are several of the most frequently asked questions. If you have further questions about your specific case, feel free to contact our knowledgeable St. Louis personal injury attorneys by calling (314) 963-9000 today.
If you are going to file a personal injury claim in Missouri, you must do so within five years, beginning from the date of the injury. There is an exception known as the “discovery rule.” In some cases, the injured person cannot possibly be aware of the injury. The discovery rule allows the clock to begin ticking either when the person became aware of their injury or should have become aware of it.
Every state has what is known as the statute of limitations. This is a certain amount of time to file a personal injury claim. In the state of Missouri, the statute of limitations varies depending on the type of case. It’s important to promptly seek legal counsel because failure to file a claim or lawsuit within the statute of limitations period could forever bar you from filing suit.
Other than the discovery rule, there are additional ways to extend the statute of limitations. For example, if the defendant left the state after injuring the victim, the statute of limitations clock would stop during that time. Therefore, if the defendant leaves the state for one year, the time limit for your case could be extended for that time period.
At OnderLaw, LLC, we handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that we only get paid if we recover financial compensation for you.
Yes, it’s a good idea to keep complete documentation of all your medical expenses as well as a log of your hours of work missed. Even if you just have to go to a store to buy over-the-counter pain pills, you should record all these costs. This will ensure that you are fully compensated for all of your medical expenses.
Missouri follows a pure comparative fault rule that diminishes an accident victim’s total damages proportionately to their degree of shared fault. To clarify, let’s say you incurred $100,000 in damages, but an insurance adjuster determines you were 20% to blame for your injuries. That means the maximum compensation you could recover would be $80,000. Under normal circumstances where the at-fault party was 100% at fault, you could seek the full $100,000.
If your loved one died as the result of someone else’s negligence, you could pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. The statute of limitations for wrongful death cases in Missouri is three years. That means you have three years from the date they died to sue the at-fault party in the civil court system.
There are only a few surviving family members that can file a wrongful death lawsuit:
If there are no surviving family members listed above, a surviving sibling is eligible to sue. If there are no surviving siblings, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate can pursue a case.
The damages available in wrongful death cases include:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Medical expenses associated with the fatal injury or illness
- Pain and suffering the victim experienced before their death
- Loss of consortium, services, guidance, consortium, and support the deceased would have provided to surviving family if they survived
- The total value of wages and benefits the deceased would have earned if they lived an average lifetime
You should seek legal representation immediately after you suffer injuries in an accident. The sooner you hire a lawyer, the sooner we can begin our investigation and start collecting evidence. Over time, evidence gets lost or destroyed, and we want to make sure we obtain it before that happens.