Southeast Missouri Personal Injury Attorneys





Automotive Crashes and Pedestrians

Designer Creative - Wednesday, December 07, 2016

In May 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released pedestrian data from 2014.


         - While the trend for total vehicle fatalities lowered by nearly 10,000 from 2005 to 2014, the percentage of pedestrian fatalities out of total vehicle

         fatalities has increased from 11 to 15 percent. In other words, automotive crashes are becoming more fatal for pedestrians.


          - Adults 50 to 59 made up the highest total number of pedestrians killed in 2014, at 942 deaths, and the second largest age group, with 745 deaths,

          was adults 20 to 29.


          - Alcohol involvement — for the driver and/or the pedestrian — was reported in 48 percent of the traffic crashes that resulted in pedestrian fatalities.


Pedestrians should remain cautious when crossing roads, especially outside of intersections and crosswalks. Inebriating substances used by both motorists and pedestrians increase the chance of a catastrophic event.


To help our community remain safe, we rely on each other to practice attentive and careful driving.


To learn more about your rights as a pedestrian, contact Cook, Barkett, Ponder & Wolz for a free consultation: 1 (877) 337-6651.


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


Four things to consider when hiring a personal injury attorney

Designer Creative - Thursday, December 01, 2016

Running an internet search for “personal injury lawyer” churn up result after result, and not knowing how to narrow them down can lead to a hasty and unfortunate decision. Knowing the right questions to ask is critical for making the best decision when hiring a personal injury attorney.



A case evaluation allows you to sit down with an attorney to share details about your situation at no charge or obligation to you. This also allows you a chance to “interview” the attorney about his or her experience and expertise.



It’s important to engage an attorney who is experienced and successful in the field with which you need assistance. The practice of law is complex, and a dedicated personal injury attorney will not only be experienced but will be up-to-date on new developments in personal injury and medical malpractice law with the knowledge and resources needed for a serious personal injury claim. Ask your prospective attorney:

  •      - How long have you been in practice?
    •      - Is your practice focused on personal injury?
      •      - How many personal injury lawsuits have you tried?
  •      - Have you handled cases similar to mine before?




It’s beneficial to understand expectations and have a basic idea of what the legal process entails before proceeding with a personal injury claim. Both of those require ongoing, open communication between a client and his or her attorney. Speak with your attorney about how often you should expect communication and in what form that communication may come to help ensure your case moves forward smoothly.



Lawsuits involving catastrophic injuries take considerable time and resources to develop correctly. Working with a qualified expert witnesss will provide greater credibility to claims and can help explain complex issues. It’s important to ensure your attorney has the available resources and connections with expert witnesses to try your case effectively.


Ready to speak with an attorney? Schedule a free case evaluation:


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

The Actual Scary Truth of Halloween Night

Designer Creative - 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?

Designer Creative - 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?

Designer Creative - 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

Designer Creative - 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?

Designer Creative - 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

Designer Creative - 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

Designer Creative - 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

Designer Creative - 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.


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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.