Southeast Missouri Personal Injury Attorneys




5 important questions you should ask before hiring a personal injury attorney

Callie Miller - Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Selecting your personal injury attorney should be one of the first decisions that you make after your injury. You have 100% control in this situation. This is a critical decision, so it’s important to feel comfortable and confident in your choice.


Here’s a list of important questions to consider when choosing an attorney:


Question 1.) Is the attorney experienced? If so, how long has the attorney been practicing personal injury law? Has the attorney actually tried any lawsuits?


Question 2.) Does the firm offer a free phone or office consultation?


Question 3.) How often will the attorney communicate with you as the case moves forward?


Question 4.) Are there any client testimonials for you to review before making your decision?


Question 5.) What type of resources does the attorney have? Financial? Organizational? Professional?


At Cook, Barkett, Ponder & Wolz, we’re committed to serving our clients (in the best way possible) with vigorous and competent representation. If you or someone you know is in need of a personal injury attorney, please call us at 1-877-337-6651

5 Steps to Take After a Car Wreck

Callie Miller - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A car wreck can be a traumatic experience for anyone. Even if damages are minor and both parties are uninjured, you may find yourself panicking about what to do next. 

Here’s a list of important steps to take following any crash, no matter how severe:


Step 1.) Stay calm. This is the most important thing you can do in this type of situation. Assess the situation to determine the extent of damage.

Step 2.) Be safe. Make sure that you and any passenger(s) are unharmed. After a car wreck, always protect the scene and avoid causing additional collisions by moving your car to the side of the road if possible. At night, use flares or reflectors to alert oncoming traffic.

Step 3.) Contact emergency responders right away. If there are injuries, request an ambulance.

Step 4.) Each driver must contact his or her insurance company regardless of who is at fault. The sooner the insurance company knows, the sooner they can start resolving the claim.

Step 5.) Never give an oral statement to the other driver’s insurance company without speaking to an attorney first. If you are contacted, politely decline to talk.


We care about our clients. It’s that simple. That’s the reason we get up every day and do what we do. If you are in need of legal assistance please call 573-335-6651.

​8 Reasons CBPW is right for your case

BOLD Marketing - Wednesday, June 03, 2015



1.We have over 101 years of combined legal experience.


2.Partner Michael Ponder has over 25 years’ experience and was awarded the Lon O. Hocker Award from the Missouri Bar.


3.$2.55 Million Settlement in Electrocution Case.


4.We’ve litigated cases from Kansas City to Cape Girardeau, from Phoenix to Philadelphia and Miami to Minneapolis.


5.Partner Kathleen A. Wolz holds 30 years’ experience with very impressive appearances at the state and federal court levels.


6.We’re at home in the Federal Courts, the Courts of Appeals and the State Court systems.


7.$4 Million Verdict in Industrial Explosion.


8.Partner Phillip Barkett has been admitted to the Missouri, Massachusetts and Indiana Bar, practicing for over 42 years.


Since its founding, Cook, Barkett, Ponder and Wolz has represented clients throughout Missouri on a wide variety of cases including personal injury, insurance litigation, long term disability insurance claims, medical neglect, mechanical product defects, business disputes, breach of contract claims and construction and job site injuries.


For more information and practice areas visit

Injury - What are my rights?

BOLD Marketing - Thursday, May 28, 2015

If you are involved in an accident, what are your rights? Most people know they are eligible to hire a lawyer, but what are you really entitled to? Every case is unique, but we have narrowed down the top rights you may receive if someone else injures you:


  • 1.Past Medical Expenses. If you sustain medical expenses as a result of injuries due to someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to demand they pay your medical expenses. However, they are not required to pay those expenses until you settle your claim.
  • 2.Future Medical Expenses. If you suffered a permanent injury as a result of someone else’s negligence and will require medical treatment in the future, you are entitled to demand that the person who injured you pay for that now, rather than in the future.
  • 3.Past Lost Wages. If you missed work and were forced to use sick leave or vacation days or lost income as a result of someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to demand that the person who injured you reimburse you for the wages you lost.
  • 4.Future Lost Wages. If you are unable to return to work as a result of the injuries you suffered, you are entitled to demand that the person who injured you compensate you for the wages you will lose in the future.
  • 5.Incidental Out-Of-Pocket Expenses. If you incur out-of-pocket expenses such as hiring a babysitter, mowing your lawn or cleaning your house as a result of injuries you sustained from an accident, you are entitled to demand reimbursement.

We want to be part of our clients’ reason for moving forward, overcoming adversity and taking back their lives. And we’re here to make sure they get everything they need in order to do that. For more information or for a free case evaluation visit 

The Most Influential Legal Cases of the Last Century

BOLD Marketing - Monday, May 18, 2015

At Cook, Barkett, Ponder & Wolz we provide focus on three main areas: 

wrongful death & personal injury, defective products & medical cases and 

business litigation & class actions. The United States has changed due to a 

number of influential court cases throughout the years. 


This infographic recognizes some of the most influential legal cases of the last century.


legal cases



We care about our clients, and keeping our community safe. That’s the reason we get up every day and do what we do. We don’t sue unless we have to, and we only take cases we believe in. If you are in need of legal assistance please call 573.335.6651 or visit

Defense vs. Prosecuting Attorney Differences

BOLD Marketing - Monday, May 04, 2015

What is the difference between a defense and prosecuting attorney? 

Check out this awesome infographic describing each!






Defense vs. Prosecution



We care about our clients, and keeping our community safe. 

That’s the reason we get up every day and do what we do. 

We don’t sue unless we have to, and we only take cases we believe in. 

If you are needing legal assistance please call 573.335.6651 or visit


BOLD Marketing - Thursday, April 30, 2015

Cape Girardeau, MO – A Stoddard County jury has awarded $20 million to the family of a Steele, Mo. man who was killed in 2012 in a BNSF Railway Co. train collision.

Fifty-three-year-old Scott Spence, a well-known Bootheel area businessman, died after his Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck was struck by a northbound Burlington Northen Santa Fe freight train at an unguarded crossing in Pemiscot County.


The crossing at County Road 470, where the collision occurred, is marked solely by passive railroad crossbuck signs, without active flashing lights, bells or crossing gates to warn of oncoming trains. The county road crosses the tracks at an extreme angle, creating a hazardous intersection further obstructed by vegetative growth and other visual obstacles.


“There were many near misses at this unprotected crossing prior to 2012. It was clear that this crossing did not meet industry standards. BNSF had hundreds of opportunities to correct the danger, but they continued to gamble with lives, and the death of Mr. Spence was the sad result,” said Cape Girardeau attorney J. Michael Ponder, who represents the family of Scott Spence.


“The jury understood that safety cannot be sacrificed for money,” said Ponder. “This lawsuit was about accountability, to ensure additional lives aren’t endangered merely to protect BNSF’s bottom line. We’re happy the jury held BNSF responsible for their actions by awarding this verdict.”

In a joint written statement, the family of Scott Spence said:


“The Spence family is very thankful for the jury’s service. The family brought this case in order to hold BNSF accountable and hopefully prevent any future tragedies at dangerous railroad crossings. We all sincerely hope that BNSF will take this verdict as a signal it must improve its railroad crossings by cutting back vegetation so that trains are clearly visible and by installing lights and gates so they are safe for the public.”



​Recognizing Medical Neglect

BOLD Marketing - Monday, April 20, 2015


What is medical neglect?

When a caregiver fails to provide adequate medical or dental care for their child, especially when needed to treat a serious injury or illness.


Several factors are considered necessary for the diagnosis of medical neglect could include:

  • 1.If a child is harmed or is at risk of harm because of lack of healthcare
  • 2.The caregiver understands the medical advice given
  • 3.The recommended health care offers significant net benefit to the child
  • 4.Access to healthcare is available and not used

Why is it happening?

There are multiple reasons why children do not get the care they need. Some factors include: lack of access to care, family chaos and disorganization, lack of knowledge or skill, lack of trust in healthcare professionals, impairment of caregivers and the belief system of the child’s caregiver.


The medical neglect of a child could cause harm or even death. If you or someone you know has been affected by medical neglect, please call 573.335.6651 to learn more information on how Cook, Barkett, Ponder & Wolz can help.

Pedestrian Traffic Accidents

BOLD Marketing - Monday, April 06, 2015

Although most people think of traffic wrecks as comprising of two – or more - motorized vehicles, we cannot overlook the unfortunate accidents involving a vehicle and a pedestrian.


  • -   In 2012, 4,743 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes and 76,000 pedestrians were injured in the United States.

-   3 out of 4 pedestrian fatalities occurred outside of daylight hours.

-   8 out of 10 pedestrian fatalities occurred outside of intersections.


Over and over, we have seen the catastrophic impact those situations have on the lives of our clients and their families. That impact is what makes us so dedicated to this field of work. If you or someone you know has been affected by a pedestrian accident, please call 573.335.6651 to learn more information on how Cook, Barkett, Ponder & Wolz can help.

​Recent Recalls: Motor Vehicles

BOLD Marketing - Monday, March 23, 2015

Recent Recalls: Motor Vehicles


Manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure their products are safe for users, and to follow engineering standards that build in safety. Still, every day at worksites around America, in homes and on our roads, product failures result in tragedy for those who should be protected because manufacturers take shortcuts to make profits at the expense of safety.

With that being said, we have made a convenient list for you to browse regarding recent Motor Vehicle Recalls*.


  • Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain model year 2014 Ford Escape vehicles manufactured April 15, 2014, to May 8, 2014, and 2015 Lincoln MKC vehicles manufactured April 21, 2014, to May 15, 2014.
  • Kia Motors America (Kia) is recalling certain model year 2014 Kia Forte vehicles manufactured December 5, 2012, to April 17, 2014.
  • Nissan North America, Inc. (Nissan) is recalling certain model year 2014-2015 Nissan Pathfinder and Infiniti QX60 vehicles manufactured August 14, 2014, to November 5, 2014, and 2014-2015 Nissan Rogue vehicles manufactured August 12, 2014, to November 15, 2014.
  • Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC (SET) is recalling certain model year 2013-2015 Toyota Rav4 vehicles manufactured June 1, 2013, to December 29, 2014, and equipped with an accessory trailer light module.
  • Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (Toyota) is recalling certain model year 2014-2015 Toyota Prius V vehicles manufactured November 7, 2013, to January 7, 2015.


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