Receiving Compensation for Dangerous Road Conditions in Missouri

Dangerous road conditions contribute to car accidents and serious injuries to those involved.

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Driver errors such as speeding, drunk driving, and distracted driving are a leading cause of car accidents in Missouri. Dangerous road conditions can also be a contributing factor. If you have been injured in such an accident, our St. Louis motor vehicle accident lawyer from The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. may be able to help.

Responsibility of State and Local Authorities

There are a number of different government agencies who are responsible for maintaining Missouri roadways and ensuring that they are safe for drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Among the many responsibilities they have, maintaining the roadways include:

  • Installing correct road signs in the right places.
  • Maintaining adequate lighting for all roads.
  • Maintaining pavement markings.
  • Ensuring traffic signals are in proper working order.

If you are in a car accident that was caused by a hazardous road condition, the governing agency in charge of the roadway could be responsible for compensating you for the damages and injuries incurred. A St. Louis car accident lawyer can help you determine if filing a claim against them is a viable option.

Unsafe Road Conditions

Unsafe road conditions you could receive compensation for include:

  • Potholes and cracks in the roadway.
  • Fallen signs or those that have been obscured by trees.
  • Markings in the road that are not visible from the driver’s seat.
  • The absence of guard rails on curves or overpasses.
  • Poor signage or traffic controls in a construction zone.
  • Construction vehicles and materials that cause a driver to lose sight of the road.

Proving a Claim for Liability

Since you first need to determine which government agency is at fault if one of these conditions caused your accident, you are going to need the assistance of a qualified St. Louis car accident attorney. You may not even be aware of what caused the crash until a thorough investigation unveils the cause. When filing a claim for a car accident against any public entity, you will need to prove five elements in order to be eligible for compensation:

  • That the government agency owned or was in control of the road that was involved in the accident.
  • That the roadway was in a dangerous condition at the time that the accident occurred.
  • The dangerous condition directly caused the accident.
  • The way in which the accident occurred was a scenario that the government agency could have anticipated.
  • The dangerous condition in the roadway was a result of the government agency’s carelessness or that the public entity failed to take action in a reasonable amount of time after receiving notice that the dangerous condition existed.

Because of the complexity involved in this type of lawsuit, you will need legal representation. Contact The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242 to evaluate your case.

Traffic Intersections and Red Light Car Accidents

Traffic intersections are a common site for car accidents, and when a driver decides to run a red light, the probability of an accident drastically increases.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that there are over 2 million accidents occurring annually in the United States which are caused by drivers running a red light. These red light accidents result in over 165,000 people getting injured. These injuries are completely avoidable if we practice safe driving and abide by the traffic rules.

Red Light Car Accidents

Traffic signals are installed to direct traffic in a safe manner. When a driver runs a red light, he or she is putting their own life and the lives of many others on the road in harm’s way. It has been reported that in 50 percent of red light accidents, the drivers and occupants of both the cars involved in a collision get serious injuries.

Recently a poll was conducted by NHTSA which concluded that 97 percent of drivers believe that drivers who run a red light are a safety hazard to themselves and other people using the roads. The poll also found that almost one third of the people who participated knew at least one person who was injured or died in a red light accident. There are various factors which contribute to a driver running a red light. The most common factors are when a driver is aggressive, texting and driving, drunk driving, fatigued, inexperienced, reckless, repeat offenders, road rages, trying to make it through the green light, and failure to notice the traffic light changes.

Cameras Installed at Intersections

The traffic administrations in various states have started enforcing their regulations strictly and have been cracking down on red light offenders. Some states have installed cameras on the intersections which are triggered when a driver runs a red light. The camera takes a photo of the car license plate along with the photo of the offender. A photo traffic ticket will be issued to the offending driver which will contain the details of the offense and the fine to be paid.

Apart from monitoring drivers running a red light, these cameras also monitor speeding drivers and those who stop over crosswalks. These cameras act as deterrents; however, they cannot stop a driver from running a red light.
The injuries sustained by the drivers and occupants of cars involved in a red light accident can vary from minor to severe and may require expensive and long-term medical treatment. Broken bones, cuts and lacerations, sprains and strains, neck and back injuries, head injuries, facial and dental injuries, spinal cord injuries, airbag and seatbelt injuries, and whiplash are some of the common injuries sustained in a red light accident. The trauma of the accident can affect a person psychologically and may result in PTSD.

St. Louis Car Wreck Attorney

If you or a loved one have sustained injuries in a red light accident due to another driver’s fault, contact an experienced St. Louis car wreck attorney to explain your legal rights. Call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242 for a free consultation.

Preparing Your Automobile for a Safe Summer in St. Louis

Each season in St. Louis brings its own set of unique driving challenges and summer is no exception.

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As the temperature begins to rise, there are more drivers and bicyclists on the road. This is the time when staying focused on the road and your surroundings is of the upmost importance in order to avoid an accident. If you or a family member are injured in a car accident, call our St. Louis car accident attorney.

Prepare Your Car For the Summer

Part of spring cleaning should always include a tune-up of your car. Missouri winters are rough on cars and you need to ensure that your tires, fluids, and brakes are all in perfect working order. One of the most important engine parts to inspect is the radiator and cooling system. Cars can overheat in the summer, and you do not want to be on the side of a St. Louis highway waiting for your radiator to cool down.

Do not forget about the windshield wipers in the summer. Late afternoon showers can take a driver by surprise, and without wipers that are in good working condition, will leave you blind on the road. Change out the blades if you notice that your wipers are leaving your windshield with streaks, rather than clearing it of unnecessary water.

Drunk Driving in the Summer

Drunk driving still plagues St. Louis roadways and drunk driving increases in the summer time. To reduce your risk of being struck by a drunk driver, stay off of the roads late Friday and Saturday nights. If you are out and notice a car that is being driven erratically, keep a safe distance and notify authorities immediately.

Distracted Driving

With vacation plans to make, barbecues to plan, and outings to the lake on your mind, it is easy to get distracted when driving during the summer. Remember to keep both eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel, with your full attention on what is happening around you. Texting and driving has become just as dangerous as drunk driving, so avoid the temptation by putting your phone out of sight when you drive. If you do have an important call or text to make, pull over onto the side of the road, take care of your personal business, and then put your focus back on the road.

If you do find yourself the victim of a car accident in St. Louis this summer, call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242 to help you file a claim for compensation.