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IA_Chiefs_fan
12-31-2005, 08:24 AM
My In-laws are in a real tough situation and I'm hoping someone can help me get them pointed in the right direction. I've fortunately never had to retain a lawyer for anything so I have no idea what they should do.
Earlier this week my 16 year old sister-in-law and one of her friends were hit by a car while standing in the grass at a local ball park. Apparently two groups of 16-21 year olds were supposed to be meeting up to settle their differences and she went up there too. Two guys came flying up the street, pulled the e-brake, kept the gas mashed, let up on the e-brake and I believe the cop said spun through gravel and mud about 40 feet before hitting the two girls. Witnesses estimated the car was going 35-40 miles per hour. My sister-in-law says she suddenly saw headlights and jumped in the air. She was stuck by the front of the car, rolled over the top of it as it continued to accelerate and ended up on her back in the street with the other girl. I guess she was unable to feel her legs for about 10 minutes. She goes by ambulance to a very small local hospital where she is "treated" for a couple hours, released, passed out on her way out of the hospital, "treated" once again and released 15 minutes later. They say nothing is broken but she is obviously quite sore and her knee is really acting up on her.
The driver of the car sped away from the scene and ended up turning himself in a day or two later because he was tired of hiding from the cops and families. They're charging him with several things including Attempted Vehicular Manslaughter. Now my in-laws probably have an annual household income of about 30K, so they don't really have the means to just go hire a lawyer. They do have government assistance with the medical bills though. I know there are lawyers that will take cases like this for nothing upfront and about a third of the judgement. Is that the way to go, and can anyone recommend one in Missouri? Any help or advice would be much appreciated.

Bwana
12-31-2005, 08:33 AM
There are a few good lawyers that post on here. From what you have said, I would bet there a numerous lawyers that would be willing to take the case for nothing up front and a % of the win. I seems like clear cut case from the information you posted.

Count Alex's Losses
12-31-2005, 08:33 AM
The driver of the car sped away from the scene and ended up turning himself in a day or two later because he was tired of hiding from the cops and families.

What evidence did they have on him?

Bwana
12-31-2005, 08:38 AM
What evidence did they have on him?

I would think the part about the two girls laying in the street as a result of young "Bo Duke" want to be, would be a good start.

IA_Chiefs_fan
12-31-2005, 08:41 AM
What evidence did they have on him?
The car was registered in his wife's name, he had been driving it earlier in the evening, the passenger in the car confirms the whole thing and the driver, who I believe is 21, admits it but claims he lost control because everyone was throwing beer bottles at the car. The officer in charge said by the time he got to the scene there were no bottles, glass or eveidence of any kind to support his claim. There were probably 15 kids up there and eveyone told the exact same story to the cops.
There is a rumor that the driver was in trouble a couple years ago for chasing someone with his car. Allegedly he chased them down the street, through the yard and up to the door which the other person escaped into.

stevieray
12-31-2005, 08:41 AM
What evidence did they have on him?

A guilty conscious.

Count Alex's Losses
12-31-2005, 08:44 AM
The car was registered in his wife's name, he had been driving it earlier in the evening, the passenger in the car confirms the whole thing and the driver, who I believe is 21, admits it but claims he lost control because everyone was throwing beer bottles at the car. The officer in charge said by the time he got to the scene there were no bottles, glass or eveidence of any kind to support his claim. There were probably 15 kids up there and eveyone told the exact same story to the cops.
There is a rumor that the driver was in trouble a couple years ago for chasing someone with his car. Allegedly he chased them down the street, through the yard and up to the door which the other person escaped into.

So basically his name came up on the list of suspects and he cracked under pressure?

IA_Chiefs_fan
12-31-2005, 08:52 AM
One other part of this I'm concerned about is the driver's insurance company. He did have full coverage and I know his insurance company will be contacting my in-laws to try to settle. I fear that they will think it sounds like a lot of money rather than holding out for an amount that would be more fair under the circumstances. Any idea of a range of $ that would be an appropriate settlement in something like this?

Bwana
12-31-2005, 09:10 AM
One other part of this I'm concerned about is the driver's insurance company. He did have full coverage and I know his insurance company will be contacting my in-laws to try to settle. I fear that they will think it sounds like a lot of money rather than holding out for an amount that would be more fair under the circumstances. Any idea of a range of $ that would be an appropriate settlement in something like this?

It depends on how messed up the people are that got hit. It would not be wise to settle right away until the extent of the injuries can be fully assessed. Is cuts and busies, or did the impact cause injuries that will cause pain for the rest of their lives? The one thing you can count on is the fact that the insurance company WILL try to settle before a lawyer gets involved. There is also about a 99.9% chance the insurance company will try to low ball them on the settlement.

trndobrd
12-31-2005, 10:25 AM
Bwana is absolutely correct. The possibility of long term health problems is very real. A $20,000 settlement now might not cover future medical costs, possible disability (will she be able to work all day on her feet 2 years from now?). Given the facts of the situation, and Missouri law , there may be a possibility of punitive damages.

Looking for a lawyer is like shopping for anything else. Shop around. There are several fee arrangements they might see. One might be a percentage of the settlement plus expenses (everthing from photocopying to expert evaluations will come out of their part of the settlement). An arrangement they might want to look for is a percentage fee is the case is settled without filing suit, a higher percentage if the attorneys file suit, and an even higher percentage if the case goes to trial. This way they will not be paying 40% of the settlement for the attorney to make 3 phonecalls.

Some of the PI attorneys around here can probably give some better advice.

IA_Chiefs_fan
12-31-2005, 03:38 PM
bump

DenverChief
12-31-2005, 03:47 PM
Why do they need an attorney? are they planning on filing a civil suit?

Iowanian
12-31-2005, 03:51 PM
Sounds like an Eagleville-your town stunt.

I think I'd find out if she was really HURT and not sore, before I started looking for a million dollars.

She put herself in a dangerous situation knowing there was likely a rumble. Having seen similar things, its also quite possible there WERE bottles being thrown at the guy.

See what she feels like when the swelling goes down, have her check with a quacktropractor if she's having problems and let time sort it out.

Insurance will be calling soon, and they don't have to be in a hurry to settle. I think they have 2 years.

DenverChief
12-31-2005, 03:54 PM
FWIW your state should have a victims compensation fund, when the guy is found guilty they will compensate you a certain amount of money (the exact percentage eludes me) that will help cover medical bills

IA_Chiefs_fan
12-31-2005, 05:13 PM
Sounds like an Eagleville-your town stunt.

I think I'd find out if she was really HURT and not sore, before I started looking for a million dollars.

She put herself in a dangerous situation knowing there was likely a rumble. Having seen similar things, its also quite possible there WERE bottles being thrown at the guy.

See what she feels like when the swelling goes down, have her check with a quacktropractor if she's having problems and let time sort it out.

Insurance will be calling soon, and they don't have to be in a hurry to settle. I think they have 2 years.
I couldn't agree more about her putting herself in a bad situation. There were no bottles being thrown. When I went over and saw her this afternoon she was not feeling well. Her knees are still both extremely swolen and her tailbone hurts pretty bad. How could I confirm that they really have 2 years? If that's true it would be best to take advantage of it to see how she heals up.

sedated
12-31-2005, 05:22 PM
Any lawyer will be able to give you at least a little advise, just make an appointment or two, and have a sit-down with a few.

They'll give you a lot of the basic info, like how long you have to assess the damage to the girl

DenverChief
12-31-2005, 05:31 PM
I couldn't agree more about her putting herself in a bad situation. There were no bottles being thrown. When I went over and saw her this afternoon she was not feeling well. Her knees are still both extremely swolen and her tailbone hurts pretty bad. How could I confirm that they really have 2 years? If that's true it would be best to take advantage of it to see how she heals up.


http://www.expertlaw.com/library/limitations_by_state/Iowa.html


Personal Injury: 2 years.

Iowanian
12-31-2005, 05:58 PM
My family has been sued....1 week prior to 2 years after someone did something stupid and hurt himself on our land.

IA_Chiefs_fan
12-31-2005, 09:08 PM
http://www.expertlaw.com/library/limitations_by_state/Iowa.html


Personal Injury: 2 years.
Thanks DC. Do you know if it's the same in Missouri? That's where they live and the incident happened.