Frequently Asked Questions
At Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Law Firm, we take the time to listen to you–to get to know you and your situation. We work diligently to recompense lost wages, medical bills, and other monies lost because of a car accident, dog bite, medical malpractice, or other personal injury.
In addition to the questions list below, We also have a YouTube Channel called Ask Schultz & Myers. There, you can browse videos where Steve or Josh respond to real questions asked by callers. Our lawyers have a successful track record representing the injured in court, no matter what the case entails
Each case is different and most clients have some basic questions that are easily answered. Click on the question below to view the answers to the most frequently asked personal injury questions.
In most states, you can keep your rental car for as long as you are waiting for repairs to be made to your car, or for as long as it takes to get the check for your totaled car.
The important thing is to make sure you keep a record of everything that goes on in your case. That means medical information, car repair information, and police reports.
Keep in mind, the at-fault driver’s insurance company is responsible for paying for a rental car during the time you would reasonably need one. So if your car is in the shop, or totaled, you would reasonably need a car. The insurance company may deny paying for a rental initially, but if they later agree to accept liability or are found to be responsible, they will reimburse you. But you will have to front the money for the rental vehicle initially.
The first thing you should after an injury is make sure everyone involved is safely out of harm's way. Call 911, even if you don't feel your injury is serious, and get medical treatment immediately. The police will take reports from all parties involved and document evidence. The importance of a police report cannot be overstated; having a police report keeps the evidence at the forefront rather than a case hinging upon "he said, she said."
Once you've gotten your initial medical needs met, you should contact our office right away. Protecting your rights is our main focus starting with evidence gathering at the scene that could include taking measurements or photos and getting statements from witnesses. Photos taken at the scene will safeguard information or physical evidence that could be lost over time. Waiting to contact our office may result in evidence becoming lost.
In most cases, the person at fault will have insurance and the company is well versed in dealing with injury claims. Most insurance companies anticipate a lawsuit from the moment they know about an injury claim. Insurance companies often request recorded statements. Never give a statement without one of our lawyers present as you could be mislead and taken advantage of. Adjusters may ask for a medical release which allows the company to access your entire medical history, including health concerns not related to the injury. Don't agree to or sign anything without consulting one of our attorneys.
When you become injured and you believe it's someone else's fault, you may have a case. Not all personal injury cases entail a physical injury, but sometimes are based on other non-physical losses, like mental anguish and emotional suffering, harm to reputation, or invasion of privacy.
Depending on the details of your case, you may be able to file suit against multiple parties, whether they're directly responsible or not. If you're injured in a car wreck, you may sue the person who caused the accident. If that driver didn't own the car, the owner may be liable. When alcohol is involved, some cases can contain a "dram shop" complaint where the injured files suit against the establishment serving the liquor even once the driver was impaired.
Other types of personal injury include drug recall cases, medical malpractice, product liability, railroad accidents, slip and fall, and pedestrian, bus, construction, and trucking accidents. Worker's compensation claims are also considered personal injury cases.
In some personal injury cases, plaintiffs may be partially at fault for their injuries. For example, if you walk across a ten-foot wide puddle at the grocery store intentionally and fall, it's partly the store's fault for not cleaning it up or marking it, but also partly your fault for venturing across the spill. You may be able to file suit even if you're partly at fault depending on your jurisdiction. In these cases, the compensation may be less in relation to your degree of fault.
A statute of limitations is a legal rule limiting the time between an injury and the time a case can be filed. Once the statute of limitations runs out, your claim becomes barred and you lose the right to pursue legal action. Each state has its own statutes of limitations, ranging from one year to six years. We currently serve clients in Missouri, Illinois, and Arkansas.
The statutes of limitations in these states are as follows:
- Missouri –5 years
- Illinois—2 years
- Arkansas—2 years
The statute of limitations limits the time period for filing a suit, usually from the moment you realize you've been injured and the nature of your injury following the discovery of harm rule. For example, if you had a car accident and felt fine afterward, but are diagnosed months later with neck injury related to the accident, your time starts when you noticed the problem. This rule rarely comes into play, but there are instances when it can be beneficial.
If you want to be represented correctly, then yes. Hiring one of our knowledgeable lawyers will help you guard your interests during negotiations with insurance companies and in court. Our skilled lawyers have decades of experience working for the injured providing highly skilled and focused representation.
Our lawyers have won many prestigious awards including Missouri's Winningest Law Firm by Missouri Lawyers Weekly, a legal authority for Missouri attorneys. Having a client-centered work ethic and the most skilled personal injury lawyers in Missouri resulted in this recognition. Some of our achievements have been showcased in national periodicals and the topic of news stories both locally and nationally.
If you're unsure about whether or not you have a case, please consider contacting our office for a free consultation. We will take the time to listen to you and help you decide if pursuing legal action is necessary.
Anytime you are injured or suffer property damage in which you're seeking compensation from an insurance company, whether it's your's or another party's insurance, you're making a claim. You don't need a lawyer to make a claim, but hiring one of our attorneys to assist you is in your better interest. We'll make certain your claim is complete before it's offered to an insurance company. We're not a settlement mill firm, meaning that we accept whatever amount the insurance company offers in an attempt to make loads of money. We fight insurance companies for the proper compensation for your injury.
When negotiations don't result in proper compensation, we'll file suit for you, meaning we'll file the paperwork at the courthouse. In recent years, insurance companies have become more aggressive in defending claims making the need for an attorney more important than ever. Many cases are settled before trial, but some are not. Our lawyers are unafraid to take on big insurance companies in the courtroom to fight for you.
One of main concerns when hiring an attorney is how much money you will spend. At Schultz and Myers, our first interview with you, or consultation, is free. We bear the financial risk with our Risk-Free Fee Guarantee. We will NEVER charge you unless we win your case. Additionally, we take care of all expenses relating to your case which may range from hundreds to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
We don't have complicated billing or bill by hour--we do not get paid unless you do. We will never send you a bill and you won't have to finance your case. You don't have to worry about more bills adding even more stress. We charge a portion of the final recovery ensuring we're working hard to get maximum recovery for you, since we're working for our fees too.
We want to ensure you are treated with dignity, respect, and compassion, so much that we stand behind our service with our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. If you are unhappy with our firm within the first 30 days, we'll hand over your file and you will not be billed for any expenses or attorney fees.
This isn't an easily answered question as each case is different. We investigate all the facts and your doctor's medical evaluation. To determine what amount of compensation we're working toward depends on how severely you're injured, insurance limits, and the defendant. A case's recovery amount is based on five areas including current and future medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and lowered earning potential.
There's no flowchart or spreadsheet for deciding what compensation you deserve. We focus on the evidence, testimony and statements, records, and anything else that pertains to your case. Other factors that can influence your case's worth include your degree of fault, employment history, physical and mental changes resulting from the injury, your lifestyle and your expectancy, and whether you've filed suit previously. We will seek the maximum amount allowed to ensure you're taken care of.
It is a common misconception that hiring a personal injury attorney means you’re going to file suit against someone personally. You may put off even talking to a personal injury lawyer out of loyalty to your friend. Remember, in a car accident case, you are seeking compensation from an insurance company.
Your friend’s insurance will be designed to compensate for not only their damages, but also any injuries they inadvertently cause during an accident.
If it's the insurance premium increase that you're worried about, that's going to go up whether you file a claim, file a suit, or do nothing.
You will have a team working on your case that's dedicated to answering any questions you have quickly. We know that each case is a joint effort between our attorneys and you. Most people don't know the ins and outs of personal injury law or the complexities of the legal system. We want you to understand what's happening during all stages of your case. Your attorney will frequently examine your case and will be here to answer your questions. Additionally, you will have your lawyer's cell phone number, email, and office number. If your attorney misses your call, it will be returned right away. We're always here for you.
More often than not, cases are settled without going to court and some are settled without even filing suit. You will have one of our skilled attorneys working to get the compensation due you. We follow a regimen ensuring maximum recovery for you. You will make the ultimate decision regarding settlements—our attorneys will NEVER accept or decline a settlement for you. We will keep you informed every step of the way.
When insurance companies don't make offers or make inadequate offers, a case goes to court where it's argued in front of a jury. In fact, we have lawyers recognized by The National Trial Lawyer's in its TOP 100 Trial Lawyers. Rest assured that our attorneys have ample experience arguing cases in court and a history record that proves our success.