There are few things that are harder in life than being hurt in an accident. You may be in physical pain, unable to work, and stressed about medical bills and other expenses. If your accident was caused by another person, you may be able to recover money for the losses that you have suffered.
Missouri personal injury lawsuits allow victims of all types of accidents to obtain compensation for their injuries. This may include medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and intangible losses like pain and suffering. An experienced Kansas City personal injury lawyer can help you file a claim and achieve justice.
Based in Kansas City, Wagstaff & Cartmell represents people throughout the region who have been injured in all types of accidents. A local firm with national reach, we have the experience and the skills to get you the compensation that you deserve. If you have suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, we will fight for your right to compensation.
What We Do
Personal injury claims can arise from any number of situations. You may get hurt as you walk down the street, visit a local business, or while driving your car. If you suffered an injury because of something that someone else did — or failed to do — you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Our law firm represents people in personal injury claims in the following practice areas:
- Auto Accidents: In 2014 alone, there were 103,370 motor vehicle accidents in Missouri that caused property damage — and 34,028 crashes that led to serious injury or death. A total of 47,977 people were hurt in these collisions, and 766 people were killed. Although our vehicles have an increasing number of safety features, the number of accidents seems to remain fairly constant. If you have been hurt in a Kansas City car accident or a Kansas City Uber accident, we can help you recover the money that you need to move forward with your life.
- Truck Accidents: Given its location on the border between Kansas and Missouri, Kansas City residents are used to seeing big rigs on the highways and interstates throughout the metro area. While these tractor-trailers provide an invaluable service, when an oversized commercial motor vehicle hits a passenger car, truck, or SUV, the people involved may suffer catastrophic injuries. Our legal team will fight for your right to compensation from big trucking companies and their insurers, including in trailer decoupling/sway accidents.
- Product Liability: Every day, we use hundreds of products, from the food that we eat to the medicine that we take to the electronics that we rely on for work and to keep in touch with friends and family. Unfortunately, we can’t always rely on the government to make sure that dangerous and defective products don’t make it to the marketplace. If you have been injured by this type of product, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses.
- Wrongful Death: If a loved one dies because of another person’s negligence, you may be able to file a lawsuit against them. A wrongful death claim may be filed by the spouse, children, and/or parents of the person who died, or (in limited cases), a sibling or another person. This type of personal injury lawsuit may allow you to recover compensation for medical costs, pain and suffering, funeral expenses, lost income, and more.
- Bike Accidents: There are many great reasons to ride a bike, but it can be dangerous if you are riding on the road with motor vehicles. Too often, cars, trucks, and SUVs don’t keep an eye out for bicyclists. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bike accident, we will work hard to help you get the money that you need to move forward.
- Slip and Falls: In Missouri, property owners have a duty to keep their property safe and reasonably free from known hazards. If they fail to do so, then they may be responsible for any injuries that a person suffers while on their property. We can help you file a premises liability lawsuit, and will advocate for your right to financial compensation.
- Fire and Explosion: In most cases, fires and explosions are tragic accidents, such as someone forgetting to blow out a candle. However, there are situations where someone can be held accountable for the injuries and losses sustained in a fire. For example, if a defective product caused a fire or a contractor improperly installed an appliance, you may be able to file a personal injury claim for your damages.
- Railroad Crossing Accidents: When a train hits a vehicle or a person, the potential for catastrophic or fatal injuries is incredibly high. If the railroad crossing itself had a defective design, or if the train conductor was negligent in some way, victims of these accidents may be able to file a lawsuit against the railroad company. Our firm is highly experienced in handling railroad crossing accident cases, as well as lawsuits for train derailments and other types of crashes.
Each of our personal injury cases begins with a free consultation, where we will explain your rights and options for moving forward with a claim. If you decide to work with our law office, we will start by performing a thorough investigation of your case. Depending on the situation, this may include hiring a private investigator, obtaining witness statements, reviewing evidence, and working with accident reconstruction experts and other types of experts.
After we have gathered the necessary evidence, we will analyze your case in light of Missouri’s personal injury law. Our personal injury attorneys will then put together a demand letter to the insurance company, and attempt to negotiate a settlement. If we can’t achieve a fair deal for you, then we’ll take your case to trial to get you the best possible recovery for your injuries.
Understanding Missouri Personal Injury Claims
Most personal injury cases are based on a theory of negligence. This means that someone failed to use the care that a reasonable person would in a similar situation. Negligence has four elements:
- Duty: the other person (or entity) had a duty of care towards you.
- Breach: they breached — or violated — that duty of care.
- Causation: their breach was the but for, or proximate, cause of your injuries. In other words, but for their actions, you would not have suffered an injury.
- Damages: you suffered losses as a result.
To win a personal injury case, an accident victim must be able to prove each of these four elements.
For example, a man is speeding down the highway after having a few too many beers when he slams into another vehicle that stopped at a red light. The man had a duty to refrain from drinking and driving, to pay attention while driving, and to stay within the speed limit — and he breached each of those duties. The crash would not have happened if he hadn’t violated these duties, and the occupants of the other vehicle suffered injuries as a result, including broken bones, whiplash, and a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
If you can prove that the other party was negligent, then you will be entitled to damages. In Missouri, there are three categories of damages that you may be able to recover: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Economic damages are meant to compensate for injury victims for financial losses. This type of damages is usually easy to prove using evidence such as medical bills or pay stubs. Economic damages may include lost wages, reduced earning capacity, past and future medical care, and property damage.
Non-economic damages are meant to compensate an injured person for intangible losses, like loss of enjoyment of life, scarring, and pain and suffering. It can be harder to put a number on non-economic damages. An experienced personal injury lawyer will use their knowledge of similar cases to come up with a claim for this type of damages.
Finally, punitive damages are meant to punish a wrongdoer and deter others from engaging in similar conduct. They are rarely available in personal injury cases because they are awarded when there is intentional or reckless conduct, and personal injury cases usually involve negligence. In some cases, such as the example above involving a drunk driver, punitive damages may be awarded.
Interested in Learning More? Reach Out Today.
At Wagstaff & Cartmell, we understand the toll that unexpected accidents can take on victims and their loved ones. We utilize our core values of efficiency, creativity, and credibility to obtain the best possible results for our clients. If you have been injured in any type of accident, we are here to help.
Our team of trial lawyers is skilled at taking on big insurance companies and corporations to get our clients the compensation that they deserve. We do the hard work so that you can focus on what matters most: recovery, peace of mind, and justice. If you are in need of legal representation in the Kansas City area, contact us today at 816-701-1100 or email us at any time.