You Have Options

by Cary Graham | March 15th, 2016

Taking the insurance company’s first offer is almost always a bad idea. In our experience, it’s most often not enough to truly compensate you for your injuries and doesn’t take into account the long-term expenses this accident will cause. So why do so many people take that first offer? Because they feel like they don’t have a choice.

Consider the situation from the accident victim’s perspective. They are injured, out of work, and unsure of where the money will come from to pay their current financial obligations, let alone medical expenses. That’s a frightening situation to be in. So when the insurance company calls and says that’d like to offer them a lump sum to settle their case, can you blame the accident victim for feeling like they don’t have an option but to take it? We certainly don’t.

Even though it may not seem like it at the time, you have options. The first step in discovering those options is getting all the information you need before signing anything from the insurance company. That’s why calling a lawyer first is a good idea. At Cofman Townsley, we’ll answer your questions at no charge, with absolutely no obligation. After that conversation, you’ll have a better understanding of your rights and be able to make an informed decision as to next steps. If you’ve been injured and the insurance company wants you to settle right away, take a step back, pick up the phone, and give us a call. It’s worth the time it takes to protect your financial future.

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The Truth About Tort Reform

by Cary Graham | February 16th, 2016

Many people in the political world are pushing for something called tort reform—an effort to change the way our court systems consider and hear personal injury lawsuits. Their hope is to make it harder for individuals to bring lawsuits before a court and to place caps on the amount of money victims can receive for their injuries. Their main argument is that frivolous lawsuits have taken over our legal system, resulting in a gold rush of sorts for those seeking “jackpot justice.”

Their argument is convincing a lot of people out there, and here’s why. The notion that people are getting wealthy by dishonest means touches a deep-rooted nerve in most Americans, and proponents for tort reform try their best to tap that nerve every chance they get.

Here’s the problem with their argument. Our court system already has a number of checks and balances in place to keep baseless lawsuits out of the courtroom. But wait a minute. What about the woman who spilled coffee on her lap and sued McDonald’s for millions of dollars? Wasn’t that a frivolous lawsuit?

Well, if you consider sustaining third-degree burns over 6 percent of your body from near boiling coffee (190 degrees) and undergoing multiple skin graft procedures “frivolous,” you may want to research what third-degree burns look like. This woman was dramatically disfigured and only initially asked McDonald’s for $20,000 to cover medical expenses. When they refused, she was forced to file a lawsuit. However, tort reformists point to this case all the time as an example of frivolous lawsuits running rampant.

The injury victims we help at Cofman Townsley aren’t looking to buy a new house with their settlement check or retire early from a windfall. They just want to be able to pay the next medical bill that comes in without missing a meal. If that sounds like your situation, give us a call. You deserve skilled legal help, and we’re ready to review your case for free.

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Make a Good First Impression in Court

by Cary Graham | February 2nd, 2016

Most car accident injury claims are settled outside of court. This is the preferred outcome for most accident victims, as it means they don’t have go through a lengthy trial to get what they deserve. For a settlement to occur, the insurance company has to play fair. Unfortunately, they don’t always step up to the plate and do what’s right. When that happens, we take them to court.

If your case does go to court, it’s important to know what to expect and what is expected of you. The most crucial thing to remember in preparing for your day in court is that first impressions can a difference. Your case will be evaluated by a jury of your peers. Their job is to scrutinize the facts of the case and make a determination based upon those facts alone. However, as they are only human, what they think about you may impact their decision. For that reason, a good first impression can go a long way in the outcome of your case.

Here are a few ways you can make a good impression in the courtroom:

  • Wear proper and comfortable courtroom attire.
  • Treat the judge, the other attorneys, and all other courtroom personnel with respect.
  • Speak honestly about your accident and how the injuries have impacted you.
  • Be sincere with everyone you speak with.

You’ve been through a lot by the time you get your day in court. Make it count by being prepared. Our St. Louis car accident attorneys will help you with the rest.

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Never Miss a Doctor’s Appointment

by Cary Graham | January 5th, 2016

One of the key components of your personal injury case is the medical treatment you receive. Over the course of your recovery, you’ll more than likely visit the doctor several times and may even have physical therapy sessions multiple times each week. The road to recovery can be long and tiresome, and you may be tempted at times to skip a doctor’s appointment or rehab session. We strongly advise you to never miss a doctor’s appointment. Here are 3 reasons why:

  1. Recovery requires diligence—First and foremost, you need to concentrate on recovering as quickly and completely as possible. That requires diligence on your part. We understand constant trips to the doctor and other treatment can wear on you, but they are necessary to getting you back to 100%.
  2. Consistency is important—In a personal injury case, it’s important to show consistency on your medical record. When we present your medical expenses to the insurance company or a jury (if it goes to trial), we need to be able to point out that you never missed a doctor’s appointment or rehab session. That validates your injury and proves your commitment to getting better.
  3. The insurance company will use it against you—Just as we want to emphasize consistency in treatment, the insurance company is eager to point out any inconsistencies in your medical records. The insurance company can use any gaps in your treatment, such as a few missed appointments, to imply that your injuries are not as serious as you claim. Don’t give them that chance.

At Cofman Townsley, we’re here to help shepherd you through your recovery. If you must miss a doctor’s appointment or therapy session, contact your attorney beforehand. We may be able to help you make the appointment or reschedule in a timely manner.

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Hoverboards Can Present Significant Safety Risks

by Keith | December 15th, 2015

Hoverboards, also called self-balancing skateboards, are flying off of store shelves this holiday season. But is the latest craze in toys and transportation safe? Warnings from one of our nation’s top agencies indicate the answer may be no.

Hoverboards are an electronic two-wheeled device that the user stands on as it moves. While they can be a fun way to get around, hoverboards have also been at the center of several safety complaints.

Fires across the U.S. have been linked to hoverboards that seemed to spontaneously combust. An article from NBC Washington details a fire in a Gaithersburg, Maryland, home that was caused by a hoverboard that overheated while charging. The story also mentioned several other fires traced to the units.

These fires prompted the National Association of State Fire Marshals to issue warnings regarding the use of hoverboards.

While hoverboards may pose a serious fire and burn injury risk to users, it’s not the only hazard associated with the devices.

There are no handles to hold for balance on a hoverboard, and the units can move at a blistering pace. This can be a recipe for a slip and fall injury for even the most experienced riders. Several instances of hoverboard users being hurt as a result of such crashes have been reported to U.S. officials.

To stay safe, experts suggest researching the product you buy to ensure it meets manufacturing and safety standards. Also, limit charging times to the manufacturer’s specifications and never leave the unit to charge alone. Finally, always wear a helmet!

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Halloween Safety Tips

by Keith | October 27th, 2015

Halloween is this weekend, and for a majority of children, that means it’s almost time to go trick-or-treating.

During this time of year, the Missouri car accident attorneys at Cofman Townsley Injury Lawyers would like to remind parents of the increased risk of motor vehicle collisions that Halloween can bring. The National Center for Statistics says an average of more than five children are killed as the result of being struck by a car each Halloween. Even more pedestrians are injured as a result of these crashes.

To help trick-or-treaters avoid accidents this year, KMOV 4 News has released a list of tips to help keep young ghosts and ghouls safe as they walk. The legal staff at Cofman Townsley would like to also offer some suggestions for staying safe:

  • Always Use Crosswalks- When attempting to cross the street, always find and use a crosswalk at an intersection. Children should avoid walking and crossing between vehicles at all costs.
  • Obey Traffic Laws- While at a crosswalk, wait for the signals to change to green before you attempting to cross.
  • Be Alert- Even if you have the right-of-way at an intersection, always look twice in all directions to ensure vehicles are stopping. Make eye contact with the driver as another precaution before crossing.

The legal staff at Cofman Townsley Injury Lawyers believes in working to keep all citizens safe while traveling, and our St. Louis personal injury lawyers hope these tips help you to have a fun and safe Halloween!

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Campaign Offering Free Smoke Detectors Aims to Keep St. Louis Residents Safe

by Keith | October 6th, 2015

It’s getting chillier across Missouri and, for many, that means it’s time to crank up the heat or stoke the fire. During this time of year, it’s important to remember the dangers fires and heating systems can pose.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, roughly 30 percent of all fires break out in a residence and around 13 percent of those fires are caused by a heating malfunction. These infernos result in thousands of citizens suffering Missouri  fire and burn injuries each year.

One of the best ways to prevent injuries from a house fire is to have smoke detectors installed throughout your home. A detector should be installed in the kitchen, and detectors should also be within 10-feet of every bedroom in your home.

If you don’t have smoke detectors installed in your home, there’s an option to receive units for your residence at no cost. KMOV 4 News reports that the St. Louis Fire Department is offering free units to all regional residents who cannot afford to purchase smoke detectors for their homes.

Once you have smoke detectors installed, the St. Louis personal injury lawyers at Cofman Townsley Injury Lawyers encourage you to regularly check the batteries on each unit to ensure proper function. Experts say the batteries on a smoke detector should be changed at least once every six months.

We hope this information helps to keep you and your loved ones safe as cooler weather approaches!

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Federal Government Investigating Power Morcellator Cancer Risk

by Keith | September 22nd, 2015

When power morcellators were introduced onto the American market, doctors and experts touted the device as revolutionary because of its ability to grind body tissue in such a manner that it could be easily removed through a small incision. This allowed a less invasive and faster healing procedure to take place; however, our St. Louis defective product lawyers at Cofman Townsley Injury Lawyers point out these benefits come with risks.

Studies have shown use of the power morcellator during the removal of uterine fibroids in women can result in dormant cancerous cells being released into the body, where they can then spread and metastasize. Data from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration shows that as many as one in every 350 women could be at risk of developing the disease and for many the information came too late.

Those who developed the disease after undergoing a procedure that utilized the device have filed thousands of morcellator cancer lawsuits. Many of the claims have been settled, while others continue to battle for compensation and damages.

These claims combined with the research that has been conducted on the use of the power morcellator has resulted in a government investigation that is looking into the safety of the device. The Wall Street Journal reports the U.S. Government Accountability Office confirmed the activity in early September.

Regardless of the outcome of this investigation, you should be aware of your power morcellator cancer risk and your rights if you’ve undergone a medical procedure using the device or you’re considering undergoing a surgery where the device would be used. Visit our website to find more information on these and other topics.

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Missouri Motorcycle Accident Claims Rider’s Life

by Keith | July 7th, 2015

Motorcycles offer little protection to riders in the event of an accident, and the chances of a motorcyclist being seriously injured or killed in a collision is extremely high. In fact, the Missouri State Highway Patrol reports that there were a total of 2,051 motorcyclists injured and another 73 killed in 2013.

The St. Louis motorcycle accident lawyers at Cofman Townsley Injury Lawyers explain that a motorcyclist was killed in a collision over the weekend. The incident occurred at approximately 1:30 a.m. at the crossing of North Second and Lawrence streets in the city of St. Charles, Missouri.

Reports indicate the 44-year-old victim was riding a motorcycle with a female passenger when a Jeep driven by an allegedly intoxicated motorist failed to come to a halt at a stop sign. The Jeep collided with the motorcycle, killing the bike’s operator and seriously injuring the passenger. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, this was the second fatal accident involving the Jeep’s driver in the past year.

At Cofman Townsley Injury Lawyers, we are aware of the risks motorcyclists face each time they take to the road. That’s why our St. Louis personal injury lawyers would like to send our condolences to the family of the man who was killed. We would also like to wish the passenger  a speedy and full recovery.

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Lawsuit Claims Doctors and Hospitals Knowingly Used a Defective Medical Device

by Keith | June 23rd, 2015

The law requires all medical devices distributed and sold in the United States to undergo rigorous testing to ensure safety. However, products not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can sometimes find their way onto the market. When this happens, those using the defective medical device can be held liable for damages.

A recent lawsuit filed in California alleges dozens of doctors, hospitals, and other medical professionals put the health and safety of thousands of patients at risk by using counterfeit spinal implants during medical procedures.

According to Al Jazeera America, Spinal Solutions, LLC began manufacturing non-FDA approved parts in 2007 using a mix of fake and genuine parts. Surgeons and hospital officials are accused of then accepting kickbacks and other forms of payment—including meals, airfare, and hotel stays— to use the counterfeit parts during spinal procedures. Hospitals are also accused of falsely billing insurance companies for the devices.

While it’s known that the implants were used in a number of states, it remains unclear just how many patients are affected.

Cofman Townsley Injury Lawyers recognizes the impact a counterfeit medical device can have on a patient’s health. That’s why our St. Louis product liability lawyers are here to help if you’ve been harmed by a defective medical device.

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