Minor Car Accidents – Should You Report, or Not?

accident attorney st louis missouriMinor car accidents which do not involve any injuries are an everyday occurrence. These generally involve dents, minor scratches, and paint scrapping. These ‘fender benders’ may happen while backing out of your driveway or parking spot, bumping into the rear end of the front car while trying to stop at an intersection after noticing the red signal, or scraping the car parked next to yours when opening your door.. All major accidents are required to be reported to the police and the insurance company as soon as possible, however, a different consideration is required for reporting of minor accidents.

Reporting to the Law Enforcement Agencies

Accidents not involving any injury and only ‘vehicle damage’ are not required to be reported to the law enforcement in many states. In other states, vehicle damage over certain amount ($1000 or $2000) is required to be reported. The most essential activity after a minor accident is taking contact details and insurance details of the other driver and sharing yours. If the other driver is uncooperative, law enforcement personnel can be of real help. They can record the statement of both drivers and witnesses including the details of circumstances leading to the accident, the extent of damage, injuries, if any, visible evidence like skid marks, and any additional details.

Many injuries start showing symptoms few days or weeks after the accident. In such cases, you may have indicated that you were not injured; the other driver may take advantage of this and claim that the accident did not take place. Contacting law enforcement will ensure that the event gets recorded and you always have a witness to testify on your behalf.

During inclement weather, the accidents with no injuries are generally not attended by 911 or the local law enforcement agency as the priority goes to the accidents where someone is injured. In such cases you may be able to get the accident report forms at the nearest gas station or convenience stores which can be filled and later mailed to the law enforcement agency.

Reporting to Your Insurance Company

All automobile insurance policies have a clause wherein you have to report any accident (major or minor) that you are involved in; failing to do so may involve penalties and may cause complications. Many drivers do not report minor accidents as they assume that their insurance rates may increase, and that they can work out things with the other driver without involving the insurance companies.

The only time you may avoid reporting to your insurance company is when in a minor accident no other vehicle is involved. This may include minor damages while reversing out of your garage or parking lot. Since there is no dispute about who will pay for damages, you may decide not to speak with your insurance company about your incident.

If you have any questions concerning your case, you should consult with an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer. Call (314) 361-4242 to schedule a free and private consultation.

 

photo credit: ChuckShultz

Negligence in a St. Louis Auto Accident

st louis car injury attorneyNegligence is legal premise used as the foundation of numerous lawsuits involving automobile accidents. The term ”negligence” will be familiar to you if you were involved in an automobile accident and was subject to or was the complainant of a lawsuit. However, what is a more accurate description of negligence and how can it be established? The following is a briefing on how negligence can be utilized in seeking auto accident compensation.

What is the meaning of negligence?

A person can be considered negligent if he or she is careless or is behaving in a manner that resulted in injury or damage to somebody else. Negligence can result from any action that should not have been done by a person in the first place (for instance, speeding or beating the red light), or by ignoring something that a person should have done in the first place (for instance, ignoring pedestrian lanes or not yielding or keeping the headlights off during night).

Negligence is legal premise normally used in accidents involving automobiles. It is essential for drivers to be careful to prevent injuries to anyone he or she comes across while driving, including other drivers, pedestrians and passengers of other automobiles. Car accident attorneys in St. Louis agree that whenever a driver does not practice reasonable care and causes an accident that results in injuries, he or she is legally responsible for the injury suffered by the injured party.

Essential features of a lawsuit involving negligence

It is essential for the plaintiff or the person suing to provide evidence that the person subject to the lawsuit or the defendant is guilty of negligence. You need to prove the following things if you are the plaintiff:

The defendant is required by the law to judiciously act with care: Drivers are required by the law to exercise care toward other drivers, passengers, as well as pedestrians. This is also known as the “duty of reasonable care.”

The defendant was careless: This is also known as “breaching” or disregarding the duty of reasonable care. In deciding fault, the law will find out if the behavior of a careful and sensible person would be the same in these situations.

The behavior of the defendant resulted to the injuries of the plaintiff: It is important for you to provide evidence that the behavior of the defendant resulted in your injuries.

Injuries and/or losses were suffered by the plaintiff: The injured party of an accident is eligible for compensation due to injuries, loss of the capacity to earn, agony and distress, and damage to personal property (for instance damage to the automobile of the injured party). The plaintiff will not be able to recover anything if there are no injuries that can be confirmed or monetary losses.

St. Louis Injury Lawyer

The injuries and monetary damages should be shown by the plaintiff to claim compensation. It is essential for a plaintiff to maintain a comprehensive and thorough record of all injuries, damage to property, and medical expenses. The legal assistance of a St. Louis car accident attorney will be vital to the success of your lawsuit.

Call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242 to discuss your claim for free.

 

photo credit: Tobyotter via Flickr

Saint Louis Automobile Accidents Involving Pedestrians

Accidents Involving Pedestrians

Individuals who have been involved in an automobile accident that has injured a pedestrian often feel distressed. This is not surprising considering how fatal Saint Louis pedestrian accidents can prove to be. However, if you have been involved in such an accident it is essential to compose yourself and concentrate on the following things:

Safety

Safety is the most important thing. The first thing to do is to ensure that the injured individuals are safe. Do not try to provide medical treatment apart from what you need to do during an emergency situation, like CPR.

Find medical and legal assistance.

The next thing to do is to get in touch with the police, medical professionals, and auto insurance companies of both the driver and pedestrian. Provide accurate information about the circumstances that led up to the accident to the law enforcers. It is also a good idea to get in touch with an experienced Saint Louis car accident lawyer before speaking with an insurance adjuster.

Provide and ask for contact information.

If possible, you should provide your name, contact number, and insurance information to the pedestrian who was injured in the accident. Do not discuss too much about the accident with the pedestrian or their family or friends. You may also face a personal injury lawsuit if you acknowledge responsibility for the accident or tell them you feel you are at fault. Refrain from discussing the accident directly with the pedestrian’s attorney or their auto insurance company.

Consult a Saint Louis Car Accident Attorney

Auto insurance policies are determined by the laws of a the state. These policies also have their own individual restrictions and exceptions to the rule. Aside from this, the insurance policy used will determine recovery. The decision of the judge of a certain state will also play a factor in the recovery.

It is also advisable for pedestrians to consult professionals to handle their case. The Saint Louis car accident lawyers at The Hoffmann Law Firm offer free, private consultations.

saint louis pedestrian accident attorneyPreventing Accidents Involving Pedestrians

Practicing defensive driving is the best way to prevent accidents involving pedestrians. This will entail becoming aware of the way people walk, use a wheelchair or bicycle, roller skate, drive a battery-powered bike, and even have fun on the road. Be more careful while driving whenever you see children or elderly people along the road. Such people may be unaware of automobiles passing on the road. It is always possible that they may wander out of the pedestrian lanes  or be inattentive to traffic signals.

It is essential to keep in mind that the vulnerability of people increases when they are not inside automobiles and are walking along the road. They are also more prone to becoming seriously injured compared to the driver of a vehicle. You may prevent accidents involving pedestrians if you make them aware of your presence, offer them space along with a suitable amount of time to get out of the way.

In spite of all precautions, if you still get involved in an accident involving a pedestrian, or have been injured as a pedestrian, contact a Saint Louis accident attorney to discuss your legal rights.

 

photo credit: volcrano via Flickr