Southeast Missouri Personal Injury Attorneys





Why You Should Seek a Lawyer After Wrecking a Vehicle

Designer Creative - 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

Designer Creative - 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.

Injuries Sustained by an Uninsured Driver

Designer Creative - Wednesday, May 25, 2016

In the state of Missouri, 14 percent of motorists do no have car insurance. There are a number of steps you can take if you find yourself in a situation where the other driver is uninsured.




Your current insurance coverage policy may include uninsured motorist coverage. If you have suffered injuries from being hit by an uninsured driver, you should make a claim with your insurance company and speak with a qualified personal injury attorney.


If you find that your insurance policy does not cover uninsured motorist, investigate whether or not the negligent driver truly does not have coverage. An insurance company’s intention is to defend the claim and pay nothing or as little as possible. You should not accept a simple oral statement from an insurance company stating the motorist is uninsured; ask them documentation.


If an uninsured driver has injured you, take advantage of a free case evaluation from Cook, Barkett, Ponder & Wolz, call 1 (877) 337-6651.





What to Know About All-Terrain Vehicle Collisions

Designer Creative - Wednesday, May 11, 2016

All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV) are popular vehicles among teens and adults; not only to haul heavy objects, but for recreational purposes as well.


Many states, including Missouri, do not require a driver’s license to be issued in order to operate an ATV. Conversely, these vehicles are the cause of a high number of injuries and fatalities each year.


Drivers who are untrained, inexperienced or intoxicated can easily flip an ATV over, injuring themselves or the passenger(s). Serious injuries that may be sustained include:


  •    - Broken bones
  •    - Back and spinal cord injuries
  •    - Brain trauma
  •    - Skull fractures
  •    - Second and third-degree burns



Determining who is at fault for the ATV incident can be complicated. Many factors are assessed to determine who is at fault for the injury or fatality suffered from an ATV:

  •    - The driver
  •    - The person or organization who owns the land that you were riding on
  •    - Defective or unsafe vehicle



You should consult with an attorney to determine which claim should be brought against the responsible party. If you have questions about injuries sustained in an ATV collision 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.


5 Laws You Need to Know if You’re Injured Abroad

Designer Creative - Thursday, April 28, 2016

Injuries can happen anywhere, at home, at work, and even while traveling. Experiencing an injury can be difficult, especially in another country, and knowing your rights can help improve your compensation.


Automobile Collisions in Another Country

Anytime you rent a car, be sure you are covered by your personal insurance, or purchase rental insurance through the rental agency. Suing another driver for damages depends on the law in the country where the incident occurred.


Receiving Medical Care Abroad

We understand that emergency surgery cannot be avoided whether you are stateside or abroad. Just as personal injury claims differ in other countries, bringing a malpractice suit may vary in other countries as well. Before bringing a claim, speak with an attorney to become more knowledge of the laws in the country where you received medical care and if your case if viable within the country’s legal system.


Suing for a Personal Injury Sustained Abroad

Legal systems vary from country to country, however, in most foreign countries if you sustain an injury statutes and legal protections may be in place for you to be compensated for your injuries.


Injured on a Business Trip Abroad

Worker’s compensation claims solely rely on the injury occurring due to a work-related task. If you experienced an injury while traveling abroad for work purposes, and were performing a work function, you may have a claim for worker’s compensation.



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.


4 Factors That Impact The Value of Your Case

Designer Creative - Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Every personal injury claim is unique, but there are common factors that affect the viability of your case. Knowing what those are can help you improve your chances of fair compensation.



If the negligent party is clearly 100% at fault for your injury, this increases your case value. If your own actions contributed to some degree, you are less likely to receive full compensation. However, just because you may be partially at fault, does NOT mean you aren’t eligible to recover some damages. Missouri recognizes what’s known as the Pure Comparative Fault Rule, allowing a damaged party to recover even if he/she is 99 percent at fault, although the recovery is reduced by the damaged party’s degree of fault.



If your medical costs and treatment are well documented and are proportionate to your injuries, this will likely improve your claim. However, if your treatment was of short duration and had no objective confirmation of injuries, that may have a negative effect. If you’ve been injured and another party is responsible, it’s important to seek appropriate medical treatment, and secure related records of that treatment. A detailed narrative report from your physician is more effective than a standard, fill-in-the-blank medical form.




An objectively verifiable injury (like a broken bone), or a permanent injury (loss of limb) help substantiate a personal injury claim, versus subjective injuries such as whiplash or pain and suffering that may not be verified with diagnostic tests.



If your lost wages are well documented and easily verifiable, this will help support a personal injury claim. On the other hand, loss of income that cannot be confirmed may hamper your case.

If you’ve been injured and someone else is at fault, always consult an attorney to learn about your options. To take advantage of a free case evaluation from Cook, Barkett, Ponder & Wolz, call 1 (877) 337-6651.


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

Stages of a Personal Injury Case

Designer Creative - Thursday, March 24, 2016

Every personal injury case is unique – different contributing factors, different timelines, different impact on the victim’s life. Understanding the stages your case may go through will help you assist your attorney achieve the best possible outcome and also prepare you for the legal process.


Your Initial Case Evaluation

During this stage, you will have the opportunity to meet with a personal injury attorney to determine if he or she should represent your case. It’s important to ask questions during this meeting, as well as bring important documents that help the attorney understand your case, such as medical records and accident reports. Once you’ve agreed to work with an attorney, he or she will investigate claims and review documents you’ve provided while evaluating evidence.


Litigation Begins

Your attorney may next send a demand letter to the individual or company you intend to sue, demanding compensation on your behalf. In the next step, your attorney will file a legal complaint with the county clerk, listing your allegations. Once the complaint has been filed and the defendant has been officially served, the litigation process begins. A defendant will typically file a response to your complaint with the courts, which serves as an answer to your allegations.


The Discovery Process

During this stage, known as discovery, information is exchanged between both parties and their attorneys. This may be a lengthy process, depending on the complexity of the case.



Depositions are part of the discovery process. These meetings between attorneys, plaintiff, defendant and witnesses serve as official statements regarding the case. Depositions do not substitute for testimony during a trial, but allow each side to learn everything possible before taking the case to court.


Summary Judgment

A summary judgment is a court motion made after both sides have collected their respective evidence during discovery. This judgment, which is based on declarations under oath, depositions and admissions of fact, decides which side is most favorable in a lawsuit prior to a trial.


Going to Trial

In many cases, if a summary judgment favors the plaintiff, the parties may reach a settlement agreement. If the case is not settled out of court, it will then go to trial to be heard in front of a judge or be tried by a jury. If the defendant is found guilty, the judge or jury will then decide how much compensation to award.


Appeals Process

If either side believes an error was made in the case, they may seek an appeal. In this process, the appeals court will review in detail everything that was presented at the initial trial to determine an outcome.



Have questions about the process? Contact Cook, Barkett, Ponder & Wolz today.


Top Causes of Big Truck Collisions

Designer Creative - Thursday, March 10, 2016

For the most part, big truck drivers are skilled and patient drivers. Although the size and weight of semi-trucks are related to the dangers, additional components contribute to big truck collisions.



Speeding is the No. 2 cause of semi-truck accidents, involving nearly 23% of commercial truck crashes. In 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that nearly 18% of all large-truck drivers involved in a fatal crash had at least one prior speeding conviction. Typically, commercial trucks weigh about 80,000 pounds, and as their speed increases the force is made even more deadly.


Unfamiliar Roadways

Large trucks travel thousands of miles to meet their destination, and through their travel avoiding an unfamiliar roadway is almost impossible. If a driver is forced to detour, they may be looking into the distance, or off to the side to find an alternate route. It’s a crucial aspect for truck drivers to plan trips accordingly and be prepared.


Blind Spots

The typical tractor trail is 12 – 13 feet long. Although drivers are trained to check blind spots frequently and carefully, inadequate surveillance accounts for 14% of semi-truck wrecks.


Driver Fatigue

In 2003, driver fatigue was one of the top two causes for large truck collisions. That same year, the National Traffic Safety Board issued a rule stating that semi-truck and bus drivers must get eight hours of continuous sleep after 15 hours of duty or 10 hours of driving. Although the law’s implementation has seemed to help, fatigue is still one of the top five causes of semi-truck collisions.


The Importance of Open Communication

Designer Creative - Thursday, February 25, 2016

Nearly everyone is familiar with the legal concept of attorney-client privilege. It protects certain communications between a client and his or her attorney and prevents the attorney from being compelled to testify to those communications in court.


That open communication is critical to the success of any case. But when selecting an attorney to represent you, it's important to realize communication should go both ways. Keeping our clients informed each step of the way, and educating them about the legal process, is among our highest priorities at Cook, Barkett, Ponder & Wolz.


When selecting an attorney, ask how often and in what ways he or she typically communicates with clients. Note whether the attorney seems open to answering your questions, and how well he or she explains what you should expect throughout the process.


A few other tips to help you choose the right attorney for your case:

– Ask if the attorney provides a free consultation. If there is a charge for an initial interview, how much does it cost? How long is the initial interview or consultation?

– Has the attorney handled similar cases? What percentage of his or her cases are similar to yours? When was the last time he/she handled a similar case?

– How long has the attorney been in practice? Where is the attorney licensed to practice?

– What type of information should you bring to a meeting with the attorney?

– What type of caseload does the attorney currently have?


To learn more about working with our team at Cook, Barkett, Ponder & Wolz, contact us today.

Prepare for Winter Driving

Designer Creative - Friday, February 12, 2016

It is important to be prepared when winter weather strikes. With today’s technology there are a number of resources to check road conditions before you travel. What other measures could you take to ensure your safety if the worst did happen? Take special precaution when driving in winter weather by following these safety steps:


Equip Your Vehicle:

  • - First-aide kit
  • - Flashlight, with extra batteries
  • - Blanket or sleeping bag
  • - Bottled water
  • - A bag of sand to use for traction under your wheels
  • - Small shovel
  • - Booster cables
  • - Bright colored cloth


Driving Tips 

  • - Always wear your seatbelt  
  • - Keep your tires properly inflated 
  • - Keep your gas tank at least half full 
  • - Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice) 
  • - Adjust your speed to road conditions 
  • - Give snowplows plenty of room, do not pass them 
  • - Keep your lights on 
  • - Keep mirrors, windows and lights clean 
  • - If you begin to feel uncomfortable, pull off the road and park at the first safe place 
  • - If you become snow bound, do not leave your vehicle 
  • - If the exhaust pipe is clogged, remove the snow, ice or mud. The blockage could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the vehicle 


For more tips visit: 


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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.