Southeast Missouri Personal Injury Attorneys





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

Designer Creative - 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?

Designer Creative - 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 

Pedestrian Traffic Accidents

Designer Creative - 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

Designer Creative - 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.


Understanding under-insured motorist coverage

Callie Miller - Thursday, October 16, 2014

Each year, about 2.9 million people are injured in car crashes – resulting in medical care and productivity loss costs of about $99 billion nationally.

 Motor vehicle insurance coverage covers some of that cost in most cases. But what happens when you’re injured by another driver, and the cost of your medical care and losses exceed the other driver’s coverage?

In Missouri, drivers have a minimum requirement of just $25,000 per person in automobile liability insurance coverage. If you are injured in a car wreck, and another driver is at fault, then you are effectively limited in what you are entitled to collect based upon the other driver’s policy. So if the at-fault driver only has  $25,000 liability coverage, and your medical bills exceed that amount, you may be stuck with the balance. In some situations, a lawsuit against the at-fault party may help recoup some expenses, but often if the other driver has insufficient insurance then he/she also has a limited income and assets.

One way to guard against this outcome is underinsured motorist coverage. Unlike uninsured motorist coverage, which is required in Missouri, an underinsured policy is optional. For an additional premium (usually with little expense) you’ll have “gap” coverage that will protect you if you’re ever seriously injured in an auto accident by another person.

So if you have  $100,000 in underinsured coverage, and the other driver has only $25,000 in liability coverage, your policy could allow for an additional $75,000 in coverage for injuries. There are limitations to this type of coverage, however, so it’s very important to review your policy carefully.

If you have been in a car wreck and have questions about your options, please contact the attorneys at Cook, Barkett, Ponder & Wolz.

Teaching teens to drive under the (right) influence

Callie Miller - Friday, August 22, 2014

Nothing kills more 15- to 20-year-olds than traffic accidents. And 80 percent of crashes involve some form of distracted driving – talking on a cell phone, or texting. Eating or paying attention to the back seat instead of the road. 

Many of those crashes could be prevented, which is why our firm launched a community outreach program that focuses on educating teen drivers and their parents.

Teens and their parents can log on to to request a free safe driving kit, and to download and sign the Cruise Control Safe Driving Pledge. Other resources are also available, including downloadable tips on helping teens become better drivers.   

5 Reasons Teens Are Likely to Crash

1.) Driver inexperience

2.) Distracted driving

3.) Speeding

4.) Using illegal substances

5.) Taking unnecessary risks

Those are all areas that parents can influence by setting a good example, talking to their teen, and reinforcing safe driving rules. Getting this message out to the community is a critical cause that we’re proud to support. 

It’s estimated that a Missouri teen is killed or injured in a car accident about every 43 minutes. That’s not a statistic anyone should be OK with, especially since so many of those accidents are preventable. And in many cases, parents are the key to that prevention.

You can follow Cruise Control on Facebook at

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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.