Personal Injury Lawyers in Chesterfield
Decades of Experience Protecting Your Best Interests
At The Roberts Law Firm, P.C., we offer our clients personalized service, clear advice in plain English, and a depth of trial experience that’s hard to find in firms of similar size. To learn more about your rights in a motor vehicle accident, medical malpractice case, or defective pharmaceutical claim, reach out to one of our Chesterfield personal injury lawyers.
Our attorneys are familiar with the demands of investigating and proving liability in complex cases of negligence in such situations as the following:
- Car accidents, including injuries suffered in a St. Louis highway construction and maintenance zone
- Truck accidents, ranging from commercial delivery vehicles to semi tractor-trailer combinations
- Construction accidents at building sites, infrastructure projects, and road construction zones
- Medical malpractice cases such as surgical negligence, medication errors, misdiagnosis of cancer or other illness, or emergency room errors
- Boating accidents involving fishing boats, cabin cruisers, water ski boats, or float trips
- Drunk driving accidents
- Severe and disabling injuries to the brain, spinal cord, or other vital organs and systems
- Wrongful death claims in Missouri
- Product liability claims involving household or consumer goods, medical devices, toxic or explosive chemicals, or pharmaceutical products
Getting Medical Care & Compensation in Missouri
The Roberts Law Firm, P.C. will work closely with your doctor, nurse and other medical experts to identify the medical care that you will need. We will include these costs in your personal injury claim, as well as demand for compensation for financial losses, pain and suffering, and future losses that you will incur because of your injuries.
Accident-Related Medical Bills Under Missouri Law
Recent developments in Missouri law have made it easier to establish the reasonable value of the medical bills that an injury victim has incurred following a vehicle accident. In a recent case, a St. Louis County Circuit Court Judge ruled that it was unconstitutionally vague to not allow the plaintiff to present evidence as to all charges that were incurred for medical services rendered following an accident. The Judge ruled that the full value of the medical bills could be presented into evidence even if the bills had been paid by the injured party’s own health insurance.
In another recent Missouri Court of Appeals case, the Court upheld a $300,000 jury verdict prior to allocation of fault. In the case, the medical providers charged $90,062.52 but the total amount paid for the medical treatment to the medical providers was $28,734.37. Plaintiff’s legal counsel argued that the total amount of the charged medical bills, $90,062.52, was the value of Plaintiff’s medical bills to be presented to the jury at the time of trial.
The court found that Plaintiff rebutted the presumption that the value of the medical bills was limited to the amount necessary to satisfy the financial obligation to the health care provider. In making its determination, the trial court looked at evidence of the medical bills incurred by the injured victim. Based on its reading of these Statutes, the Court of Appeals found that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding the total amount of the medical bills was the fair value of the bills. The court further noted that “Defendant’s argument that the court may only consider the medical bills “incurred” to the extent of the dollar amount paid has no merit.”
Pain & Suffering Calculation Under Missouri Law
Missouri law allows victims who are injured in vehicle accidents to claim money damages for pain and suffering experienced following the accident. This includes:
- Money damages for loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical limitations created by the injury and
- Discomfort that the injury causes after the accident
How is Pain & Suffering Calculated?
The most difficult question in many personal injury cases is determining the appropriate monetary value to place on pain and suffering losses following a vehicle accident. Properly evaluating the amount of these damages requires experienced legal counsel with a thorough understanding of the relevant factors. Evaluation by The Roberts Law Firm P.C. includes a review of medical records and other evidence of the pain and discomfort suffered since the accident. The nature of the accident’s occurrence may also play some role in assessing the pain and suffering losses.
How the Accident has Affected the Injured Victim’s Life
While it is important to present evidence of how much pain was felt after an accident, effective presentation of pain and suffering damages equally tells the story of how an injury victim’s life has changed because of the accident. This evidence may include talking about how an injury victim can no longer engage in a particular activity, hobby or sport that was once enjoyed because of the injuries suffered. There may also be testimony from a spouse or loved one as to how the accident has affected the injured victim and how the injury has affected the quality of overall family life.
The Insurance Company View of Pain & Suffering Damages
Opposing Insurance Company adjusters usually listen to an attorney’s description of how the injuries have affected an injury victim’s life. Insurance adjusters, however, are often far more concerned with the findings presented within the medical evidence in evaluating what proof may exist of pain and suffering.
At least to some extent, insurance adjusters continue to also use the value of the medical bills in assessing pain and suffering damages. Simply put, if the total medical bills following an accident are high, the insurance adjuster is more likely to justify paying a higher amount of pain and suffering damages. As you can imagine, this calculation formula for pain and suffering can be highly inaccurate. In a particular case, an injury victim could require very little medical care but suffer significant pain and suffering.
The Effect of Preexisting Injuries on Pain & Suffering Damages
A final consideration in assessing pain and suffering damages is the extent, if any, of preexisting injuries. If a person previously suffered a back injury, the insurance company will argue that the person already had pain and suffering in his back prior to the vehicle accident. Again, legal counsel and possibly medical experts are needed to establish the nature of the injuries and establish the basis for pain and suffering that was specifically caused by the vehicle accident at issue.
A Comprehensive Legal Effort
With a team of professionals from various disciplines, we will undertake a comprehensive investigation into the cause of the accident. This is not always an easy task. Various factors such as driver negligence, inadequate truck maintenance and overloading or unsecured cargo can contribute to an accident. We will determine what really happened and establish the liability of the responsible parties.
Helping You Rebuild Your Life
The Roberts Law Firm P.C. will work to build a strong and successful case that obtains full and complete compensation for you. Whether the accident involves an 18-wheeler, a commercial vehicle, a car or a pickup truck, our firm will pursue your personal injury claim with determination. We want to help you rebuild your life.
For additional information about your right to compensation in a serious accident case in Missouri, contact an experienced personal injury attorney in Chesterfield and St. Louis at (636) 590-4864.