Preventing Truck Accidents – St. Louis Auto Accident Attorney

big-rig-accident-lawyer-st-louis

Some reports estimate that for every 100 million miles driven on this country’s roads, there are approximately 2.3 deaths and 60.5 injuries caused by big rigs. These numbers reflect an unfortunate scenario that is all too common in the U.S.

Accidents involving big rigs and other types of trucks often leave those caught in the crossfire with severe consequences. Because of their size and weight, they are harder to manage than other types of vehicles. That’s why the driver must first have the proper training in order to operate it and show a higher level of caution than other drivers.

However, such accidents still happen, and in some cases, it’s up to the passenger car to do everything it can to stay safe. Here are some useful tips on how to protect yourself when driving near a big rig.

Avoid Blind Spots

Big rigs and other large trucks generally have four big blind spots every driver should always avoid. As a general rule, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration advises to keep as much distance between yourself and the big rig as possible, and avoid these four blind spots:

  • Two lanes to the right of the truck;
  • Directly behind or directly in front of the truck;
  • One lane directly to the left of the truck.

If you don’t know whether you are in a trucks blind spot, you could check if you see the driver in the side mirrors. If not, then they most likely don’t see you either.

Pass Carefully

You will hear a lot of people telling you that you should pass a big rig, but seldom will anyone tell you how you should to it. For instance, you should always pass on the left, and signal before to give the driver plenty of time to accommodate your move.

Also, if you’re going down, you should wait until you move to pass. Big rigs tend to pick up speed at this point, and you may have a more difficult time passing. Best to wait in this case.

Pay Attention

Obviously, you should be completely focused when you’re behind the wheel, but it’s best to increase that attention when driving near a big rig. It’s not just the truck driver or you can make a mistake – you’re not the only ones on the road. Other passenger vehicles could also contribute to a potential accident, and being on the lookout may end up saving your life.

Contact a Lawyer

If you’ve been injured in a big rig accident, speak with a St. Louis car accident attorney. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but the road to getting it won’t be easy.

You won’t just deal with the driver, you will most likely be dealing with the trucking company as well, which could potentially complicate the proceedings. Give our experienced attorneys a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 for a FREE consultation.

Advertisements

How Demonstrative Aids Can Help Your St. Louis Auto Accident Case

Demonstrative aids are objects, models, pictures, or other elements needed to clarify or represent the facts of your case.

I’ll believe it when I see it” rings very true in a personal injury claim. Visual proof, or demonstrative aids, as they’re also called, can be essential to your car accident claim. They can paint a better picture of the events that took place than most proofs. However, many attorneys rarely use them.

Here’s why: demonstrative aids aren’t the same thing as evidence, as they are not found at the scene of the accident. They are just objects, models, pictures, or other elements needed to clarify or represent the facts of the case, and let the jury or insurance adjusters get a better notion of what the lawyer is arguing.

st-louis-car-accident-lawyers

They can be:

  • Maps;
  • Graphs;
  • Timelines;
  • Accident video recreation;
  • Lists, etc.

 

Why Would a Lawyer Not Use Them?

It’s possible that a lawyer may think that the hard evidence of the case is enough to win the claim or trial. And in some cases, that is very much true. If there is a video of the events, police statements, witness testimony, and other such strong evidence to back up your claim, then demonstrative aids aren’t necessarily needed to convince the other party of a lawyer’s argument.

However, if your case is very complicated, you may need demonstrative aids that can help convince a jury. Even if there is strong evidence from the scene, the lawyer may have to put it all together during one of their arguments and convince the jury or other parties of the connection between the pieces. Without demonstrative aids, these connections rely solely on how convincing your lawyer’s arguments are, and even then there’s still a good chance the jury may be left with doubts.

With demonstrative aids, a lawyer can visually draw these connections, and make sure the jury sees and understands them, without leaving much room for interpretation.

 

What If My Lawyer Doesn’t Want to Use Them?

Some lawyers may think that the facts of the case and their power of persuasion are enough to convince a jury, but more experienced attorney won’t take that chance.

It’s your job to reach out to an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer to represent your interests. Speak with an attorney who will use all the tools available to win your case.

If you have been involved in a St. Louis Car Accident, give the Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 for a FREE case evaluation.

 

Concussion After St. Louis Auto Accident

concussion-car-wreck-lawyer

A car accident victim’s suffering won’t stop after a car accident occurs. The medical bills, the pain, and the days missed from work can really take a toll on a person’s mental and financial state. When that happens, one of the only solutions people may have is to move forward with an insurance claim to try and get compensation.

 

A concussion is nothing to ignore. Though it may appear a few weeks after the accident, its symptoms are often impairing. If you are in this situation, there is a big question weighing on your shoulder: how much can you get in the settlement for your concussion? Well, it depends.

 

You Have to Prove It

Concussion cases are very difficult to argue. In a regular compensation claim after a car accident, you’ll have to prove the accident was the event that caused the injuries, and therefore the person who caused the accident must pay for your medical bills.

Concussions are often more difficult to link to the accident, because the symptoms often only appear later on, and insurance adjusters can argue it was caused by a later event, and not the accident itself. If you reach out to a St. Louis car accident lawyer, the outcome is more likely to be favorable.

 

What Is the Average Settlement?

The final sum you are entitled to greatly depends on the circumstances of your case, from the degree of your injuries to total medical bills and the wages lost during recovery.

There are two common ways of determining the value of the claim. First, the lawyer can take the total value of your losses and multiply it by a number depending on the extent of your injuries. A common value for this number is three, though your lawyer will take your case and decide what is most reasonable.

The second method is to calculate an average daily loss and multiply that amount by the total number of days you needed treatment or missed work because of your injuries.

In any case, once you calculate what sum to ask for, you will present it to the insurance company that has to give the compensation, and then a negotiation period will most likely begin. The insurance company will try to minimize the sum awarded, while your lawyer will argue against it.

If you chose to sue the other party in civil court, then the judge will be the one deciding how much compensation you should be awarded, taking into consideration all the factors of the case. Here, the compensation is awarded only if the defendant is found guilty.

 

St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer

There is no average compensation sum for concussion claims. The final sum is awarded based on a number of different factors. An experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve. Give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 for a FREE case evaluation.

St. Louis Car Accident Involving a Government Employee

car-accident-government-employee

Auto accidents can be confusing. Sometimes it’s rather obvious who the at-fault party is while other times the accident requires extensive investigation to determine the culprit. Add a governmental entity into the mix, and you’ve just increased the difficulty of the case considerably.

Here’s what you need to know about car crashes involving government employees and how a St. Louis auto accident lawyer can help.

Are Government Employees Immune from Car Accident Claims?

According to the law in Missouri, government entities and employees generally benefit from immunity against personal injury claims. That means that you cannot bring legal actions against them. So, if you’ve been involved in an accident with a government employee, then you can expect the entire process to be long and extremely difficult.

There are a few exceptions from the rule. For example, if the employee was acting outside the scope of their employment, then immunity is not granted and you may still have a chance. Likewise, if the investigation reveals that their actions were intentional or reckless, then you can file a claim against them.

Proving that immunity shouldn’t be available requires an in-depth understanding of the legal system and its subtleties. A good lawyer can help you through the process of filing a claim.

How to File a Claim against a Government Employee?

If you were in an accident with a government employee and decided to file a claim, then you need to do it within the timeframe mentioned in the statute of limitations.

If under normal circumstances you would have three years to start a civil lawsuit, when it comes to government employers, you must file a claim within 180 days from the accident. Keep in mind that you need to do this in writing with the entity involved in the car crash. A St. Louis car accident lawyer can help you navigate this process.

A car accident can be a traumatic event that takes a toll on the victim’s life. And, when the culprit is a government entity that benefits from immunity, then you have a complex case on your hands. An experienced St. Louis car accident attorney can help determine if you are eligible for compensation or not. Give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 for a FREE case evaluation.

St. Louis Car Accident in a Rental Car

car-rental-accident

When you’re on vacation, you really don’t want to think about the possible dangers that may occur. But for some, the time of relaxation is cut short.

With over 1.5 million rental cars in service in the U.S. each year, some of these may end up in car collisions. When they do, the people who rent the vehicles may justifiably wonder how they will get compensated for their injuries.

If you’ve been in such an accident, please reach out to a St. Louis car accident attorney for help. Here’s why you will likely need their assistance.

Rental Car Insurance

When you go to a company to rent a car, you are generally offered additional insurance options. Some states actually require rental companies to add this policy no matter what. However, in Missouri, no such laws exist, and insurance for rental is considered optional.

So, the best way to make sure you’ll get paid to cover your medical costs in the event of a rental car accident is generally to buy this additional coverage. This way, you’ll keep liability off your personal insurance carrier.

Some people refuse to pay extra for this coverage, thinking their auto insurance, which in Missouri is mandatory, will cover any expenses. That is where things get tricky because insurance companies can sometimes refuse the claims. Some insurance carriers specifically mention that their coverage does extend to rental cars, though you’d have to read your policy to see if the company you have offers this coverage. If it doesn’t, then you might be looking at other sources of financing to cover your costs.

Steps to Take

After receiving medical treatment for any injuries and making sure you are well, you should contact the rental company to report the accident. You may find information about which department to call in the event of an accident right in the glove box, or directly contact the company’s customer service.

Next, contact a St. Louis car accident lawyer for help. Every time the topic of insurance is involved, it can mean quite a difficult task of getting a claim approved. Reimbursement for your costs can depend on a variety of factors. Missouri is a comparative fault state, so if you are even partly at-fault for the accident, some of the costs in proportion to your degree of fault will not be reimbursed.

A lawyer can help you through this process and see that you are compensated for your medical bills or property damage costs. They will analyze the specifics of your case and help you determine what you are entitled to. There are a lot of things to consider, and you should take this important step if you don’t want to cover all the expenses on your own.

7751 Carondelet Ave #601
St. Louis, MO
63105
Phone: (314) 361-4242

7 Unique Forms of Distracted Driving

Getting ready for the meeting

What almost everyone knows is that distracted driving is extremely dangerous. That being said, many people do not realize that this category of unsafe behavior covers much more than cell phone usage and other typical activities. In fact, there is a multitude of different forms to watch out for. Here are seven you may have never thought about before.

 

Beauty Routines

Many drivers choose to do their hair and makeup while on the road. This activity takes your eyes away from what’s in front of you and your hands off of the wheel, making it incredibly unsafe. The best way to avoid these actions is making an effort to have enough time to do them before you leave.

 

Oral Care

People also sometimes brush and floss their teeth while driving. Just like beauty routines, this behavior is dangerous, and you can easily avoid it. If you have to, wake up a bit earlier and conduct your oral health routine long before you get in your car.

 

Fighting With Your GPS

GPS is an excellent tool for getting around in St. Louis, and overall, it is likely a positive for vehicle safety. Unfortunately, people often misuse it and make it more hazardous than it should be. A typical way in which they do so is trying to fix GPS errors while driving, rather than pulling over to resolve the situation.

 

Changing Clothes

Whether you’re making a full wardrobe adjustment or just taking off your sweatshirt, changing your clothes will surely take your eyes off of the road. While you might think that you have time to engage in this behavior at a red light, the safer course of action is pulling over when you need to modify your outfit.

 

Getting Lost in Your Music

We love music just like anyone else, but being too enthusiastic about it can lead to issues on the road. Most people will not have these problems, but if you find yourself not looking at the activity in front of you because you’re engrossed in a song, you might want to change your behavior.

 

Severe Emotions

Whether it is sadness or anger, feeling intense emotions while driving can be a hazard to you and the drivers around you. Thinking about a person or situation will not only distract you, but it could also cloud your judgment and make you more likely to engage in dangerous activities.

 

Daydreaming

Lastly, we have daydreaming. Driving can be tedious, and it is especially so in heavy traffic. Still, going deep into your thoughts will lower your reaction time and make you more prone to collisions. Try to give the road your full attention at all times.
If you’re a person who manages to put your phone away when driving, you deserve a pat on the back. Still, there are many more activities that you could be engaging in, 7 of which are on this list. Please avoid them. What might still happen, though, is another driver hitting you while they engage in those behaviors.  If this happens to you, do not hesitate to call an experienced St. Louis car accident attorney as soon as possible. Call 24/7 for a FREE case evaluation :: (314) 361-4242

How Not Using a Car Seat Can Affect Your Car Accident Case

car-seat-car-accident-lawyer

At some point in your life, you might end up getting in a car accident where your child is the victim of an injury. You may not understand the many factors that go into how much compensation you can receive. One of them is not using a car seat, which we detail in the sections below.

 

Pursuing Benefits For Your Child

One of the best parts about personal injury law is that you can pursue benefits on someone else’s behalf. This is a favorable provision because a toddler cannot bring a case against someone else. Instead, you can do it. The process you undergo is quite similar to what you would have to do if you were pursuing benefits for yourself, so hiring a local lawyer is advisable. The best of them will have experience with these types of cases.

 

Liability in Personal Injury Cases

Another crucial concept to understand in the realm of personal injuries is liability. The reason is that you need to assign it before you can make an accurate estimate for how much compensation you want to receive. A simple example is someone running a red light and hitting you. In this case, that person will most likely take 100% of the blame. A more complicated scenario is you colliding with another driver when you were both speeding, as their legal team could argue that you deserve some of the liability.

 

How Your Choice Could Be Used Against You

Liability is an important concept because the other driver’s lawyers could argue that you not using a car seat was a negligent action. That line of thinking is somewhat reasonable, as using an appropriate seat may reduce the injuries that your child sustains. What they will argue is that your choice contributed to the severity of the situation and that they should pay less than you’d like them to. In some cases, a judge might agree with them. Additionally, they can use this argument as a negotiating chip outside of court.

 

The Most Likely Result

Though there is a chance that not using a car seat will lessen your benefits, the legal system often does not penalize that choice. That being said, you should always use a car seat for the safety of your child. Failing to do so could lead to a severe injury, which matters much more than the legal side of car seat usage.
From a safety perspective, you should always use a car seat for driving with appropriately aged children. An additional piece of motivation is the fact that not doing so could affect the personal injury case that you might make on behalf of your child. Whether you use a car seat or not, it will benefit your claim greatly to speak with an experienced St. Louis car accident attorney as soon as possible after an accident. This smart decision will significantly increase your odds of a favorable outcome.

Call 24/7 for a FREE Case Evaluation :: (314) 361-4242