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Newsletter – Winter 2015

Casey & Devoti
FEATURED NEWS

Casey & Devoti to Deliver End Distracted Driving Presentations to Four Area High Schools

As part of our continuing commitment to community service and safety, Casey & Devoti has partnered with the Injury Board’s 60 For Safety program EndDD.org (End Distracted Driving).

EndDD.org

Last fall, we announced that Matt and Matt would be available to do a limited number of ‘End Distracted Driving Student Awareness’ presentations in spring 2015. The response to this important safety initiative was outstanding. In March and April, they will be delivering the presentation to the following area high schools:

  • St. Mary’s High School (300 students) — St. Louis, MO
  • John F. Kennedy High School (315 students) — Ballwin, MO
  • St. John Vianney High School (sophomore class 150 students) — St. Louis, MO
  • Ste. Genevieve High School (750 students) — Ste. Genevieve, MO

These educational, informative and inspiring talks will present the sobering statistics of our current safety crisis, share true stories of the costs of distracted driving, and offer simple steps that drivers can use immediately to help themselves and others around them end distracted driving.

We are currently booking presentations for spring 2016. The presentations are perfect for any size group and can be tailored to fit a specific time frame. A sampling of groups that would benefit from the presentations include, but are not limited to:

  • Entire high school student bodies, selected grades, Driver’s Education classes, high school sports teams, high school activity clubs
  • Church youth groups or other community youth groups
  • Boy Scout troops
  • Business networking groups
  • Professional associations
  • Parent-teacher organizations
  • Church groups

EndDD.org was established to raise awareness and generate action against the epidemic of distracted driving. It was created by the parents of Casey Feldman, Joel Feldman and Dianne Anderson, after the death of their daughter, Casey Feldman in 2009. Casey Feldman was just 21 years old when she was hit and killed by a distracted driver as she crossed a street governed by 4-way stop signs, during daylight hours. The driver was reaching across the console for a drink and took his eyes off the road for a split second. That split second cost Casey her life.

Learn more about EndDD.org and view a preview of the powerful presentations, please visit enddd.org.

Do you know a group that would benefit from this powerful presentation?

Please contact Lara Vitiello at (314) 409-0996 or lmv@caseydevoti.com.

Trending Topics

5 Mistakes to Avoid After a Car Accident in Missouri or Illinois

Mistake #1 – Not Calling the Police

You should always contact law enforcement immediately after a car accident. In most cases, the police will come to the scene and write an accident report. After the police survey the scene, they may come to a conclusion about the cause or causes of the accident, and they will include that information in the report.

Although the police do not determine fault for civil liability purposes, their professional judgment is valuable in determining how the accident occurred. An accurate police report may help settle a case without having to go to trial.

The police should also get names, insurance information and contact information from everyone involved in the crash. If there were witnesses at the scene, the police may talk to them, as well and get their contact information. The witnesses, like the police, can back up your account of what happened. Even if police get the names and contact information of witnesses, you may also want to get that information if you are physically able to do so.

Car Inspection

Mistake #2 – Not Reporting the Accident to your Insurance Company

Sometimes, people involved in a crash will decide to try to settle things themselves without involving insurance companies. For example, the other driver may say that he or she will just write you a check to cover your losses.

This is a bad idea. You don’t know if the other driver will follow through, or if he or she even has the money to cover your losses. Not only that, but what might initially seem to be minor property damage or minor injuries could quickly escalate into major problems that are extremely expensive to resolve.

Failing to report an accident could jeopardize your right to have your insurance company pay your claim or to help you to obtain compensation from the at-fault driver. It is best to know that you have followed the rules and have not given your insurer any ammunition to use to deny your claim or refuse to help you collect car accident damages.

Mistake #3 – Failing to get Checked Out by a Doctor

When you get into a crash, you might believe that you are okay and that you didn’t suffer any injuries. However, some injuries do not show up right away. Whiplash, for example, is very common in an accident and can take 24-48 hours to start causing symptoms. Brain injuries, internal bleeding and internal organ damage may also not have any immediate symptoms, but could be life-threatening if you do not seek medical help.

Getting checked out by a doctor allows you to protect your health because your doctor can determine whether you have suffered any serious injuries that were not immediately obvious. When you are examined by a doctor, you also help to preserve your right to make a claim for damages.

Mistake #4 – Accepting a Settlement too Soon or Accepting an Unfair Settlement

The goal of the insurance company is to try to pay you as little as it possibly can to protect its bottom line. Insurance companies may try to get you to settle right away or may try to pressure you into quickly accepting the money they offer you. This amount is probably too little to fully compensate you. Furthermore, if more serious injuries develop later or if you don’t heal as expected, the money may not be nearly enough to pay for the lasting damage you suffer.

Once you have settled with an insurance company, you are legally bound by the settlement agreement, and there is usually nothing you can do if it turns out that the settlement was too low or that you were hurt worse than you thought. You do not want to give up your rights and walk away with less compensation than you deserve because of insurance company pressure.

Accepting a first offer from an insurance company is usually a mistake. Insurers typically expect some settlement negotiations and may make a low offer to try to get those negotiations started in their favor.

You should not provide a written or recorded statement about the accident to insurance representatives without having an attorney, and you should not sign anything without the advice of a car accident lawyer.

Mistake #5 – Not Getting Help From a Qualified Car Accident Lawyer

There are many legal minefields that must be navigated to obtain fair compensation after a car accident. You’ll need to understand your insurance policy and the laws. You’ll need to be sure you include all possible defendants or responsible parties in making a claim (for example, in a truck accident, the trucking company may be a better defendant than the driver). You’ll need to be careful not to say anything you shouldn’t to an insurer. You’ll need to start gathering the proper types of evidence to build your case. You’ll need to make your claim for damages the right way, within the legal deadlines.

These are just a few of the many, many things that you need to do after a car accident. Most people do not understand how to navigate the world of insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits because it is not something they do on a frequent basis.

When you have a lawyer, you level the playing field, and the insurance company cannot take advantage of your inexperience.

Our Contact Information
Have you been hurt by the negligence of another?Matt, Tom or Matt will be happy to meet with you for a free initial consultation. We are available to meet at our St. Louis County office, ‘by appointment’ in Ste. Genevieve, Mo. or at a location of your choice.

Latest News

Matt Devoti Receives Outstanding CF Advocate Award

Matt Devoti Receives Outstanding CF Advocate Award
Gateway CFF Executive Director, Christie Derbin and Board President, Lonnie Mueller present Matt Devoti with the Gateway CFF 2014 Outstanding Advocate Award.

In January, partner Matt Devoti and the firm were recognized by the Gateway CFF chapter for their continued support and service to the organization. Matt received the 2014 Outstanding CF Advocate Award, which is given each year to an individual who is a leading advocate for the Gateway chapter.

Cycle for Life

Matt has several family members afflicted with cystic fibrosis. Over the years, he has worked tirelessly to support the Gateway CFF in their efforts to raise awareness and funds for Cystic Fibrosis research in the St. Louis area. In 2013, Gateway CFF invited Matt to become a member of its Board of Directors.

The mission of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is to cure cystic fibrosis and to provide all people with the disease the opportunity to lead full, productive lives by funding research and drug development, promoting individualized treatments, and ensuring access to high quality, specialized care.

The Foundation is the world’s leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis. Nearly every CF drug available today was made possible because of Foundation support. There is now an FDA-approved therapy (Kalydeco) that treats not just the symptoms but the underlying genetic defect for some people living with CF.

CF is a complex disease. Patients benefit most from a multi-disciplinary approach to their care. The CF Foundation funds over 110 cystic fibrosis care centers nationwide, which provide diagnostic services, comprehensive treatment and support for patients’ families. The care centers also serve an important role in the CF research program.

The Foundation also provides and funds a range of services and programs that help patients live better lives today. The Foundation’s supported Patient Assistance Resource Center provides a starting point for people living with CF to access a range of services and programs, including help with medications, insurance coverage and reimbursement, legal rights, and mutation analysis.

There are Cystic Fibrosis Foundation chapters in nearly every major city across the country. Individuals can get involved by volunteering their time and talents, participating in one of the many fundraising events or by advocating to local, state and federal elected officials. If you reside in or around the St. Louis area, we invite you to participate in or sponsor one of the 2015 Gateway CFF events:

Great Strides Walks

  • 4/18 — Columbia, MO
  • 4/25 — Cape Girardeau, MO and Springfield, IL
  • 5/2 — St. Charles County
  • 5/2 — Metro East, IL
  • 5/16 — St. Louis, MO

Other Events

  • 2/28 — FestivAle
  • 8/16-17 — Jack Buck Dinner & Golf Classic St. Albans, MO
  • 9/11-13 — Xtreme Hike on Ozark Trail Lesterville, MO
  • 9/18 — Wine Opener St. Louis
  • 10/17 — Cycle For Life O’Fallon, MO
  • 11/7 — Reach for a Star Gala St. Louis

For more information, go to www.cff.org.

In the St. Louis area, go to www.cff.org/chapters/gateway.

About Our Firm

City

For over 30 years, Casey & Devoti has diligently protected the rights of its clients with honesty and integrity. Our lawyers are dedicated to providing individuals and small companies with first-class, professional and aggressive legal representation. Our lawyers have extensive trial experience representing clients in matters such as, automobile, train and truck accidents, medical and legal malpractice, product and premises liability, elder and sexual abuse, workers’ compensation and wrongful death. Casey & Devoti proudly serves the greater St. Louis metropolitan area, southeastern Missouri and southern Illinois.

Learn more about Casey & Devoti and our rich history of aggressively protecting clients’ rights on our website or through our various social media pages:

www.caseydevoti.com
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