Archive for September, 2013

Evidence and Personal Injury in Missouri

Friday, September 27th, 2013

The negligent or reckless actions of someone can cause serious injuries to another. As a result, the injured person is forced to seek justice and compensation for damages suffered.  Often times, damages include medical and emotional reparation, as well as financial and/or legal recovery. Such circumstances can be overwhelming to address and deal with for anyone, especially when one considers technicalities that usually exist with any legal claim.  Below is a general overview of the issue of evidence and the role it plays in when significant injuries occur in an accident. To begin with, are two of the most important factors to be aware of with evidence and how it is handled, regardless if you are the plaintiff or defendant in a personal injury claim.

  • Potentially Admissible Evidence. One of the first aspects that must be considered post accident is to thoroughly analyze any evidence the plaintiff may want to use in advance of a case. This is necessary in order to properly prepare and submit a legal claim. Why is this important? Any relevant and compelling evidence that exists will likely be disputed by the defense in an effort to keep it out of the record. Therefore, any and all evidence that may be useful should be examined to establish whether or not it prevails against any legal objections made by the other party. This will assist in preparing the plaintiff with the details of the case and how things will unfold over time.
  • Challenges to the Other Side’s Evidence. Generally, when legal matters surface after someone has been injured, the other side is also entitled to provide evidence of its own to evade financial and legal liability. Next, the plaintiff must decide what the evidence could be and how it might affect their position, and then determine if or how they intend to dispute that evidence. The objective of this analysis is the opposite of analyzing its own evidence. This step is employed to establish whether any grounds exist to refute the admittance of that evidence. The case will generally be more favorable for the person injured if less evidence is admitted by the other side to support their defense.

Generally speaking, evidence is an immensely complex issue regarding any type of case or area of law, but undoubtedly it is what frequently wins or loses cases. Unfortunately, even the most cautious driver in the state of Missouri won’t always be able to anticipate the actions of a fellow motorist. Nonetheless, you may be entitled to monetary compensation if you have been in a recent automobile accident that resulted in serious injuries.

Often times, Missouri residents who find themselves in such circumstances file personal injury claims to recoup costs directly related to the accident, for example, medical expenses, property repairs, and lost wages, to name a few. However, many claimants are not aware that it is also possible to seek damages for the emotional trauma caused by an accident.  All of these damages should be considered when settling a claim against the negligent or reckless party that caused such injuries.

In most cases, insurance companies typically do not settle claims favorably for plaintiffs. They are in business to make a profit at the expense of the victim.  Commonly, insurance companies tend to push for a quick settlement while an injured party is still evaluating the severity of their injuries. Personal injury lawsuits provide a means for to ensure that an injured party is compensated justly. If you or a loved one has experienced injuries due to the actions of another, you should seek the appropriate legal advice and assistance from an experienced personal injury lawyer.

If you have suffered from an accident and are seeking legal advice, contact Hubbard & Kurtz at (816) 472-HOPE (4673), for more information on how to pursue your personal injury claim. Our law firm has extensive experience and knowledge with personal injury law in Kansas. We are eager to provide you with the expertise required to settle your claim successfully!

Missouri Auto Accident Law

Saturday, September 7th, 2013

Automobile accidents can result in severe injuries for those involved. Even the injured that survive the incident itself may incur permanent injuries, some of which include neck and back injuries, head trauma, burns, cuts, and lacerations, and spinal nerve damage, and even paralysis.

Often times, such accidents involving serious injuries are not always apparent and straightforward. Even though liability may seem obvious, usually there are other important factors to include in the discussion and to take into consideration. Liability may extend beyond the person who committed the act that caused the injury. For example, in a scenario where a person is driving while under the influence of alcohol, the person or establishment that served him the alcohol may also be liable for injury and damage. Also, a manufacturer of the vehicle involved may be held liable if there was a defective part that contributed or caused the accident at issue.

Under Missouri law, victims of automobile accidents may be eligible to file claims for various damages, including past and future medical bills and wage loss, damage to body of the vehicle, emotional distress, permanent disfigurement or disability, and/or funeral costs, to name a few. In order to receive damages from a car accident in Missouri, the law requires that you provide the necessary proof that the other driver was negligent in his/her actions. Additionally, the state has implemented the legal principle of comparative fault or comparative negligence, which is used to determine compensation for those involved in automobile accidents. Under comparative fault, if a person in some measure is culpable in an accident, the amount of damages that person is rewarded is reduced by the amount of their fault. For example, if a party in an automobile accident is determined to be 30 percent at fault, the damages awarded to that person are subsequently reduced by 30 percent.

If you are involved in a car accident in Missouri, it is in your best interest to receive the best possible legal advice. When someone else is at fault for causing the accident, and it is due to their negligence or recklessness, you are entitled to compensation for any injuries or damages you may have suffered as a result. An experienced auto accident attorney will handle all of the necessary issues with your case and help to get you the compensation you deserve.  The lawyer you retain will investigate the details of the accident, and will advise you whether or not to speak with the other driver’s insurance company. Often times, this might deter the efforts to receive the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to.

Finding yourself in a situation dealing with an auto accident claim can be stressful and complex. It can easily be a frustrating experience attempting to handle it all yourself, especially while dealing with emotional and physical injuries, not to mention you job and potential lost wages. Thus, retaining a knowledgeable, experienced lawyer with expertise in Missouri auto accident law is important for the outcome of your case. Seeking sound legal advice, and answers to all of your questions regarding the process will give you peace of mind and confidence with your claim.  It is extremely importance you do not wait to pursue a legal claim against the party responsible for the accident and your injuries. The more time that goes by, the more difficult it will be to collect the damages you are entitled to under Missouri law. Don’t waste time contemplating how much or in what ways you may or may not be eligible for compensation. By contacting an experienced auto accident attorney today, you will discover the possibilities how you can be awarded the money you have a right to.

If you are involved in a Missouri car accident and/or seeking legal advice, contact the law firm of Hubbard & Kurtz at (816) 472-HOPE (4673). Our experienced staff of attorneys will assist you with any legal questions or concerns you have that are associated with an auto accident claim.

Overview of Wrongful Death Claims in Missouri

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

In a wrongful death claim, a person may be held liable for the death of another.  Such lawsuits, brought by a surviving dependant or beneficiary, claims that a loved one’s death was caused as a result of a willful or wrongful act, or the negligence of the defendant.  Generally, the purpose of a wrongful death claim is to seek monetary damages as a result of the defendant’s conduct.

Customarily, a wrongful death claim may be brought against the individual(s) responsible, as well as a public agency that may be involved with the death, for example, a city or state, state prison or city jail, a state or private hospital, public company, school, or nursing home.   The filing of a wrongful death lawsuit takes place in civil court. There are also time restrictions in place legally, otherwise known as a statute of limitations, which governs the time limitation a claimant has to file suit. The statute of limitations varies from state to state. Generally speaking, every state has their own guidelines and laws for wrongful death cases.  In some states, a spouse or children may only have standing to bring a wrongful death claim, whereas others allow for grandparents or beneficiaries to a bring claim for damages.
Actions for pain and suffering, personal injury, or expenses incurred prior to the victim’s death may also be included in such claims. The damages awarded from these claims initially pass to the estate, and thereafter to different parties as directed by the decedent’s will.

Wrongful death can occur in a variety of circumstances. Statistically, every year in the United States, over 90,000 deaths occur due to malpractice alone.  Other causes of wrongful death have resulted from slip and fall injuries, vehicular accidents, work related injuries, exposure to toxic materials, and defective product injuries, to name a few.

A wrongful death claim is usually comprised of the following:

  • The death was caused by the conduct of the defendant, either in whole or part;
  • The victim’s death was caused by the defendant’s recklessness or negligent, or strictly liability;
  • There is an eligible surviving candidate who can bring the claim; and
  • Monetary damages have resulted from the victim’s death.

Typically, in a wrongful death suit, an attorney seeks to acquire damages for the victim’s family, which may include:

  • Expenses immediately associated with the victim’s death, for example, medical & funeral;
  • The victim’s loss of anticipated earnings in the future, until retirement or death;
  • Monetary benefits (i.e. pension, medical coverage, etc) that may be lost, which are caused by the victim’s death;
  • Loss of inheritance caused by the victim’s death;
  • Pain and suffering, or mental anguish of the survivor(s);
  • Loss of care, protection, or companionship to the survivor(s);
  • General and/or punitive damages.

Ultimately, from a legal point of view, it must be proven who was responsible for the death of the victim in a wrongful death claim. As a result, such cases can be the most challenging and contentious due to the level of grief and seriousness of the damages involved. Furthermore, before even engaging in the legal process, it is in a claimant’s best interest to hire an experienced attorney to help determine whether you are able to pursue a successful wrongful death claim, which can save you time and money.   An unexpected fatal accident can leave you and your family struggling not only to cope with the loss of the victim, but also to address potentially numerous legal issues.

If you or a loved one is interested in filing a wrongful death suit, or you simply have questions on wrongful death law in the state of Missouri, call (816) 472-4673 to contact our experienced Missouri personal injury attorneys at the law offices of Hubbard & Kurtz today!