Southeast Missouri Personal Injury Attorneys





The Actual Scary Truth of Halloween Night

BOLD Marketing - Wednesday, October 26, 2016

According to the most recently available data, Halloween is the most dangerous night for children to walk the streets. In fact, the average pedestrian fatality rate of 2.6 raised to an average of 5.5 on Halloween from 1990 to 2010, and over 50 percent of these fatalities were children aged five to 15.


Furthermore, Halloween is the third-deadliest day for pedestrians overall.


Motorists should practice extra caution when heading out for October festivities. Drive slower than you normally would and keep an eye out when making turns or hugging curbs. Children are more easily distracted on Halloween and even if they look both ways, they may still not actually see you. Spend extra time at crosswalks, making sure you fully stop and allow families to cross the road.


Parents and caregivers should avoid dressing their children in all dark colors and add light-reflective materials to costumes. Children should also be escorted instead of sent off on their own. Halloween can be safe and fun at the same time.


We here at Cook, Barkett, Ponder & Wolz want to see everyone as safe as possible this Halloween. There is nothing more saddening than tragedy on a night consumed with the enthusiasm and creativity of childhood imagination. We care about our community and wish you all a safe and spooky Halloween. 


The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based upon advertisements alone.

I didn’t go to the Hospital After a Collision, and Now I’m Hurt. What can I do?

BOLD Marketing - Thursday, September 29, 2016

If you were in an automobile wreck, you may have sustained long-term injuries and not know how to proceed, especially if you didn’t go to the hospital directly after the collision.


People often leave the scene of a vehicle collision without seeking proper healthcare because the extent of the damage appears limited to the vehicles. Later, soreness, stiffness or headaches may arise.


Spinal and brain injuries may take time to fully develop. As the symptoms of these injuries come full force, they can impair daily activities. This results in lifelong problems and expensive healthcare.


Depending on where the wreck occurred and how much time has passed, the statute of limitations will determine the injured person’s legal options. In Missouri, a person may sue within the statute of limitations for up to five years after the wreck.


If you believe you or a loved one sustained an injury overlooked at the site of a crash, contact a healthcare provider immediately to determine if the crash could have been the cause. The sooner you have a record of your injuries, the better. If the original wreck was at the fault of another negligent driver, you be eligible for compensation.


After determining if an injury could have been the result of a wreck, contact a lawyer to review your options. For a free case consultation, call 1(877) 337-6651.


The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.

What are my Rights if I’m Hurt at Work?

BOLD Marketing - Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Work can hurt. Occasionally, labor-intensive work can have employees limping off the jobsite or attached to a heating pad over the weekend. Sometimes, things can go very wrong, leaving employees seriously injured.


Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation is an insurance purchased by the employer to cover injuries incurred in the workplace. Most employers in Missouri, with few exceptions, are required to insure workers if they have five or more employees.


Reacting to an Injury

As soon as you are injured, notify your employer in writing. Include information such as the date, place, time and other details specific to your injury. Failing to do so within 30 days can be detrimental to a prospective lawsuit.

While circumstances will affect the viability of a personal injury lawsuit, every employee has basic rights related to being injured on the job. In most states, these include:


– the right to file a claim for your injury or illness in workers’ compensation court or the state industrial court

– the right to pursue medical treatment

– the right to return to your job once you’re released by a medical provider

– the right to disability compensation, if you are unable to return to work because of your injury or illness, whether permanently or even temporarily

– the right to appeal if you disagree with a decision by your employer, the employer’s insurance company, or the workers' compensation court

– the right to be represented by a lawyer throughout the process.


Depending on your injury, there are various actions you can take, especially if your employer has knowingly put you in an unsafe situation. For a free consultation regarding your options, call 1 (877) 337-6651.


The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.

Ways to Spot Nursing Home Neglect

BOLD Marketing - Saturday, September 17, 2016

Placing a loved one in someone else’s care is never an easy process, and finding a trusted environment for those we love requires research, budgeting and overcoming emotional obstacles.


All of these things make cases of nursing home neglect even more traumatic for both the seniors affected and their family members. According to the National Council on Aging, as many as 1 in 10 Americans age 60+ have experienced some form of elder abuse, including nursing home neglect.


If you’re suspicious that your loved one may be suffering from neglect, a few signs to watch for include:


  1. – Unusual bruising
  2. – Losing weight quickly or showing signs of malnutrition
  3. – Unprovoked fear
  4. – Lack of social interaction
  5. – Disruption in hobbies or interests
  6. – Abnormally lethargic behavior
  7. – Sores or bleeding spots


If your loved one has experienced neglect or abuse while in a nursing facility, those responsible should be held accountable. Consult with an attorney to learn more about your options. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.

Who’s Responsible if I’m Injured on Another’s Property?

BOLD Marketing - Friday, September 09, 2016

Reasonable warning is the key when it comes to the viability of a lawsuit involving personal injury on someone else’s property. Property owners – both commercial (think stores, public places) and residential (homeowners) have a responsibility to ensure individuals are protected from an unreasonable risk of injury while on their property.


That responsibility includes inspections to identify dangerous conditions and either repairing those conditions, barricading them or warning visitors about them. If a property owner is aware of a dangerous condition or if he or she could have known of about the existence of a dangerous situation through the exercise of ordinary care and the property owner fails to address the danger or adequately alert visitors (provide reasonable warning), then he or she may be liable for injuries suffered because of the dangerous condition.


If you or someone you know has been injured on someone else’s property, follow these steps to begin building your case:



1. Seek medical attention for the injured person immediately.

2. If you are able, take photos of the area as soon as possible or have a family member or friend stay behind to photograph the scene.

3. Write down or record yourself describing the events that led to the injury in as much detail as you can.

4. Take photos of any clothing and accessories the injured person was wearing.

5. Keep copies of health-related paperwork including hospital, emergency room or urgent care documents.

6. Keep a record of witnesses and their contact information.

7. NEVER sign paperwork related to the injury UNTIL after you have had a chance to speak with a lawyer.



The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising. 


5 Tips for Teaching Teens to Drive Safely with Distractions

BOLD Marketing - Tuesday, August 23, 2016

We all know the hazards of distracted driving, but we don’t always let this knowledge stop us from peeking at our phones or playing with the radio dial.


Today’s teens have grown up with technology that many adults didn’t have access to in their first years of driving. This electronic familiarity in young adults leads many of them to believe they’re more than capable of juggling the road while texting, scrolling through a play list or checking social media.


Despite what young drivers may think, just talking on a cellphone behind the wheel puts them at a higher risk for severely impaired reaction time, according to the Pew Research Center.


Instead of only telling teen drivers not to text and drive, talk with your child about why they want to reach for their phone. When they receive a distracting notification, even when not driving, teach them to:


1. Pause before automatically reaching for their device.

2. Actively think about what’s making them respond abruptly to phone cues.

3. Consider how their focus has been interrupted.

4. Practice waiting 10 minutes before checking devices after receiving notifications.

5. Review their efficiency, self-control and concentration after 10 minutes are up.


The best way to engage your teen in safe driving habits is to have them practice being mindful of distractions in other settings. This works better when you lead by example. Avoid using your phone or hands-free devices while driving and when doing other tasks that might require precise attention—such as cooking. Put your own phone on vibrate, silence or power it off completely when driving.


Lead by example, and join your teen in taking the Road Rules pledge at today.


The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.


Talcum Based Baby Powder Linked to Cancer

BOLD Marketing - Tuesday, August 09, 2016

A common household product, from a company that has been a trusted household name for over 100 years, shouldn’t cause cancer. But in thousands of recent cases across the U.S. (including Missouri) – it has.


The Johnson & Johnson company has recently come under pressure for using talcum powder as the main ingredient in Johnson’s Baby Powder. For decades, families have trusted Johnson & Johnson’s product for their babies or other uses. Some women have even used Johnson’s Baby Powder as a staple in their own daily routines.


Studies have now linked the use of talcum powder in the genital area to ovarian cancer, and the risk is even higher among African-American women. The American Cancer Society currently lists talcum body powder as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”


Lack of Warning

The heart of these cases cast blame on Johnson & Johnson because, while they do have a warning against ingesting Johnson’s Baby Powder on the bottle, they do not include a warning against repeated use of their product in and around the genital area. Further, Johnson & Johnson has, in the past, marketed Johnson’s Baby Powder as a product for women to use as a way of staying fresh—a vague description open to interpretation.


What You Can Do

There is evidence that Johnson & Johnson was aware of the cancer risk from talcum powder but failed to warn consumers of the danger. If you or a loved one was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and have used Johnson’s Baby Powder, schedule a free consultation to discuss your options.


The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.


A Cyclist’s Quick Guide: What to do if you’re hit by a motor vehicle

BOLD Marketing - Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Scene: 

 You set out for your regular bike ride, and the weather is perfect. Traffic is denser than usual, but you’re an experienced cyclist and pride yourself in knowing traffic laws. You feel secure when you ride, but are attentive to your surroundings. And then…a neglectful vehicle runs into you. You crash, and are injured. This same scenario plays out in towns and cities across the U.S. each day. In fact, on average, two cyclists are killed every day after being struck by a motor vehicle, and many more are injured.* If you find yourself in similar circumstances, follow these tips for the best possible outcome: 


Analyze the situation:

If you’re well enough, stay at the scene until law enforcement arrive. Take photos of everything including the scene of the incident, or if you’re not able, have a friend or family member do so for you. After discussing the incident with police and acquiring the driver’s contact and insurance information, have a medical professional examine your injuries. While they may seem minor in the adrenaline-packed moments after a crash, some injuries can have a longterm impact on your quality of life. As soon as you can, document your version of the events in detail. Note your location, traffic patterns, other pedestrians, weather and road conditions. 


The best way to prepare for meeting with a lawyer:

Keep a detailed list of all your fees, payments and charges, including the cost of medical attention. Avoid repairing your bike or tossing any of your damaged equipment as these items can be used as evidence to build your case. You can, however, obtain estimates for the cost of repairing your bike and equipment. You should also have a police report outlining the events and potential witnesses’ claims. Keep all of this information as organized as possible with dates and notations.

Bicycle wrecks can be complex, and laws surrounding cyclists vary from state to state. Pursuing legal counsel is important to securing fair compensation for your injuries.


If you have been hurt because of someone else’s negligence, always consult with an attorney to learn more about your options. For questions contact Cook, Barkett, Ponder & Wolz for a free case consultation, 1 (877) 337-6651. 


*2014 data from the U.S Dept. of Transportation

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.


Why You Should Seek a Lawyer After Wrecking a Vehicle

BOLD Marketing - Thursday, June 23, 2016

The days following a significant automotive incident can be full of emotional turmoil, confusion and pain. Dealing with an insurance company over a dispute along with returning to everyday life, can affect relationships and mental well-being. By working with an attorney to get your well-deserved justice, you can focus on returning to life knowing you have a team working hard to get you compensated for your losses.



There are many reasons you shouldn’t negotiate with an insurance company on your own following a terrible automotive wreck, including recovering from mental and physical injuries. If you’re thinking of going ahead on your own, keep these five items in mind.

1. Insurance agencies are for-profit over working to claim responsibility. Their goals are to pay as little as possible or nothing, meaning you suffer more.

2. Insurance documents and paperwork are rampant with legal jargon and technical terms meant to trip up those that would benefit from an insurance payout.

3. Speaking with witnesses and conducting background checks are time-intensive processes that require practice and training to do effectively.

4. Providing proof for an insurance company disputing its policyholder’s liability can be more than overwhelming on its own. Someone suffering from severe injuries could miss key details that might make or break a case.

5. Cases, laws and ordinances vary from county to county. A lawyer can easily comb through these documents and find the elements relevant and beneficial to your case.


Having a team of professionals by your side can make all the difference in recovering from expensive medical bills, loss or injury.


If you have been injured at the fault of someone else, always consult with an attorney to learn more about your options. For questions contact Cook, Barkett, Ponder & Wolz for a free case consultation, 1 (877) 337-6651.


The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.


Cook, Barkett, Ponder & Wolz Welcomes New Attorney Matthew D. Glenn

BOLD Marketing - Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Cape Girardeau, MO -  Cook, Barkett, Ponder & Wolz is proud to announce the addition of new attorney, Matthew D. Glenn, to the Cape Girardeau law firm.


Prior to joining Cook, Barkett, Ponder & Wolz, Mr. Glenn was a trial attorney for Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company where he served as lead counsel on numerous jury trials involving personal injury cases including construction/maintenance defects, auto and commercial truck collisions. Further experience includes business litigation and product liability encompassing drug recalls, pharmaceutical errors and chemical exposure.


“Matthew brings exceptional trial experience in personal injury law. We are excited to have someone with that level of expertise on our team at Cook, Barkett, Ponder & Wolz,” said attorney Phil Barkett Jr.


Glenn received his Juris Doctor degree from Washington University School of Law and his Bachelor of Arts from Presbyterian College.

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The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based upon advertisements alone.

© 2018 Cook Barkett Ponder & Wolz. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited.



The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based upon advertisements alone.

© 2017 Cook Barkett Ponder & Wolz. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited.