Lost Wages After a Auto Accident – St. Louis Attorney

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There are times when injuries are so severe in a car accident that a person is unable to perform in the same capacity as they did prior to being hit. If you are unable to return to your former position at work for an extended period of time due to your injuries related to the car accident and the need for medical treatment, and your employer lets you go, you might have recourse for your lost wages. If an employer can’t go the extended time without your services and needs to hire someone to take your place, then it might be possible for you to get compensation.

If you lose your job because of the injuries you sustained from an accident, then you may be able to pursue a claim against the other driver. If you should lose your position at work, you can claim special damages. Special damages typically include things like loss of wages, income, benefits, business opportunities and profits. You will probably be awarded the amount that you would have received if you didn’t have to take time from work. A loss in special case claims is calculated from the date your medical condition is stable, and you can return to gainful employment, to the date of your injury.

See: Reimbursement for Lost Income: Unable to Work Due to Car Accident

It is also possible for you to claim general damages. They are things like future loss of earnings and whatever capacity to earn money you had prior to the accident. To recover for these types of future losses, you have to show that you would have had the potential to make the earnings you are claiming. A more subjective amount, the court will decide how much earning potential you had before you were injured in the accident. They will likely compare how much you will earn after your disability versus your capacity if you weren’t injured.

If you want to sue for your lost job, you will need to provide proof that your medical condition was the result of your not being able to return to work and the subsequent loss of your job. That will entail a physician’s note, a disability slip, and any other medical proof that you have related to your condition and injuries. The letter should generally state specifically that your loss of job was directly related to your injuries.

There is something called a damages cap, however. It is the maximum amount that you can collect on any lawsuit that you initiate. In Missouri, there is a cap related to non-economic damages which is what job loss would typically fall under. So, before you sue, make sure that you weigh what it will cost to go through a potentially long court case versus the maximum you can be awarded due to your non-economic damages if you win.

If you lose your job due to an St. Louis auto accident injury, you might be able to recoup for your loss earnings and wages both during your recovery time, and if you are disabled, into the future. To ensure that you are compensated fairly, it is imperative to have the help of a St. Louis car accident attorney to help you through the complexities of a court case. Call (314) 361-4242 for a free consultation.

5 Things Insurance Companies Don’t Want You to Know – St. Louis Auto Injury Lawyers

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If you have been involved in a St. Louis automobile accident, your first instinct may be to call up the insurance company and get your claim sorted as quickly as possible. You may reason that they have your best interests at heart and you simply do not want the headache of dragging out your claim. However, it is vital that you speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. Simply put, there are things the insurance company DOES NOT want you to be aware of.

Top 5 Things Your Insurance Company Doesn’t Want Your to Know

  1. They are NOT on your side. The claims adjusters and insurance attorneys are working for their shareholders, not for you. Keep in mind that they are paid to minimize the money that is paid out to claimants.
  2. If you’ve been in an accident, a claims adjuster or attorney working for the insurance company is at the scene of the accident gathering evidence to minimize the amount of compensation you receive or deny your claim altogether. It is therefore, important to contact a personal injury attorney ASAP, so they can begin gathering evidence and witness testimony to support your claim for compensation.
  3. Insurance companies often ask confusing questions in an effort to have you admit to something you do not fully understand and that can be used against you in court at a later date. Do not give any statements to the insurance company without the representation of an experienced attorney on your side.
  4. If the person who caused your auto accident does not have sufficient coverage to cover your claim, and you have underinsured motorists coverage that exceeds their coverage, you may be entitled to compensation from your own insurance company. Our attorneys can help you make this determination.
  5. While insurance companies will do anything they can to discourage you from speaking with an attorney, it is important to realize that they have high-powered attorneys protecting their interests. This is why it is so important to have an experienced attorney on your side, protecting your interests.

If you have been involved in a St Louis car crash, it is very important that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible to gain a more than even footing with the insurance company and ensure your interests are protected.

At The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. our attorneys are here to help. We have over 15 years of experience and work on a contingency basis. This means we only get paid if you do.

Call (314) 361-4242 for a free and private consultation today.

Why Elderly Victims Take Longer to Heal From Car Accident Injuries – St. Louis Attorneys

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With Baby Boomers aging, the number of elderly drivers is rapidly increasing in the United States. According to the US Census Bureau, there will be close to 10 million people aged 85 years or older by 2030. This means an increase of 73 percent from the elderly population today. As of today, there are over 30 million drivers over the age of 65 on US roads. Older drivers make up almost 15 percent of licensed drivers. Experts are of the opinion that around the age of 65, drivers start facing a higher risk of causing an accident. Moreover, their chances of surviving a crash-related injury also reduce significantly. For this reason, older drivers are considered among the worst victims of car accidents. There are studies to prove that elderly victims often recover slowly, if at all they do, from car accident injuries. In this post, our St Louis auto accident attorney will discuss results of one such study.

Elderly victims of St. Louis car accidents

It is a known fact that recovery time for various types of car accident injuries varies, however, a recent study has shown that there is at least one that can slow down a person’s ability to heal, and this factor is the victim’s age. Researchers have found that elderly drivers tend to report pain for much longer periods of time after an accident compared to their younger counterparts. The study was published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, and it was reported that more than 50 percent of the senior citizens, who suffer serious injuries in car accidents admit to using pain relievers for as long as six months after the crash.

The study data also showed that doctors gave these elderly victims a prognosis of being completely healed in a period of 30 days. Researchers found that around 72 percent of the participants complained of moderate to severe pain after the crash. After six months, a quarter of patients still reported moderate to severe pain. These patients also reported other health complications. Those suffering from severe pain after six months of the crash reported a decline in physical function. Also, 23 percent of these patients reported having to change their living situation in order to receive more help.

Legal help for elderly victims of car accidents

Even minor injuries can cause significant pain and lead to complications. Serious injuries such as spinal cord or brain injuries could shorten the life span of an elderly car accident victim. They also require more time to recover from injuries, even if they are seemingly minor. If the car accident was caused by another driver’s negligence, you may be able to recover compensation. A competent and experienced St. Louis accident lawyer can help recover adequate financial compensation to cover medical costs and other losses including pain and suffering.

Call (314) 361-4242 for a free consultation with an experienced St. Louis car accident attorney.

St. Louis Broken Bone Injuries After Car Accidents

injured-st-louis-car-accident-350275-20-ffe7e7e7white-0-20-3-0-90-850-85-1Auto accidents are an unfortunately reality that many St. Louis drivers face on a daily basis. Such accidents often result in emotional and physical trauma. It is not uncommon for victims of St. Louis car accidents to suffer a broken bone injury in a St. Louis car wreck. Depending on the severity of the injury, bone fractures can be life-altering. Victims who have families to provide for may soon find themselves stressed over a loss of income and medical bills. This makes it very important to seek the compensation you are entitled to after being involved in an accident cause by someone else’s negligence.

Broken Bones Common in St. Louis Car Accidents

Bones are fragile. It is no surprise then, that the powerful impact of an automobile collision often results in broken bone injuries. Any bone is vulnerable in an accident, but the following are the bones that generally tend to break in car wrecks:

  • Skull
  • Collarbone
  • Pelvis
  • Ribs
  • Back
  • Hips
  • Legs
  • Arms

Bone Fractures

There are many different bone fractures, however the most common are:

Open fracture: This generally refers to when a bone breaks and bone fragments stick out through the skin. (Also known as a compound fracture.)

Closed fracture: A break occurs but the bone does not break the skin.

Non-displaced fracture: A bone cracks either part or all of the way through, however it does not move and maintains proper alignment.

Seeking Legal Help From a St. Louis Car Crash Law Firm

Recovery and treatment for a broken bone injury sustained in a St. Louis car accident will depend primarily on the severity of the fracture. Ensure that you receive the compensation you and your family need to recover and move forward after an accident by speaking with the St. Louis car accident attorneys at The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. We have extensive experience in car accident cases and can help protect your legal rights. Call us today at (314) 361-4242 for a free case evaluation.

Sources:
http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00582
http://www.healthline.com/health/fracture
http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/understanding-fractures-basic-information

Car Crash Attorney St. Louis: Preventing Child Passenger Injuries

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Every year, a large number of child passenger injuries are caused by car accidents and cars themselves. Cars can cause injuries even if they are not moving. Each year, there are several cases of kids dying of hyperthermia and heat stroke after they are inadvertently left inside a hot car. Many child injuries can be prevented by using certain safety devices. Here is a roundup of some of these safety devices that we found interesting and useful:

Smart car seats: A company has released something called a smart car seat that has temperature, angle, and motion sensors. These seats send an alert signal to the parent’s smartphone if the seatbelt is unbuckled or too warm while the car is moving.

Motion and heat sensors: These sensors are installed in a car seat and can sense heat or movement and alert parents if the child is left behind in the car.

GPS Systems: There are GPS systems that are specifically designed for children to help parents keep a track of their children. Some of these GPS systems feature a one-button touch pad that allows children call parents in case of trouble.

Proximity sensors: These sensors feature two parts. One remains with the parent and other with the child. When the parent or caregiver walks too far away from the child, the alarm goes off.

These devices can go a long way in preventing child injuries, however, it is important not to rely on them blindly. Nothing can replace the human mind and instinct. According to the NHTSA relying completely on these safety devices is not a good idea due to several reasons including:

Not completely reliable: According to the NHTSA, these safety devices are not 100 percent reliable and do not always work correctly. They may be affected by the presence of cell phones, liquids, or other problems. Some product reviews show that the devices did not work as intended in a given situation.

Break in routine can cause child death from hot car: These safety devices require parents or caregivers to act in a certain way. Any break in this routine can lead to an injury. For example, for the proximity sensor to work, the caregiver should carry one part of the device, but in case the caregiver fails to carry it or hand it over to the other caregiver, injuries can still result.

Many safety devices work only when the child is in the car seat: According to NHTSA reports, close to half of the cases of child deaths caused by hot car are occur when the child is not in a car seat. So, the devices that require the child to be in a car seat won’t work in such cases.

Parents need to be extra cautious when traveling with kids and about leaving them inside the car when they go out. If your child has suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, make a claim with the help of a qualified car accident attorney. Call (314) 361-4242 to schedule a free consultation.

How Wearing Your Seatbelt Properly Can Save Your Life

You have likely heard a lot over the years about how important it is to wear a seatbelt while driving a car. In fact, it is the first thing that we should do the moment we enter an automobile. Seatbelts are a vital safety feature of a car. According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, auto accidents are the leading cause of death of people in the age group of 5-34 years. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics show that someone is injured in an auto accident every 15 seconds and someone dies in an auto crash every 13 minutes. It is heartening to know that seatbelts save around 11,000 lives each year and they help the driver maintain control of the vehicle in event of a crash.

Having said that it is also important to understand how seatbelts work and what is the appropriate way to wear a seatbelt. Seatbelts prevent internal injuries by distributing the force of collision across the strongest body areas: upper chest and the pelvis. Here are some tips on the correct way to wear a seatbelt.

Wearing Your Seatbelt Properly

Make sure you position the diagonal belt across the chest and the lap belt across the upper thighs. The driver should not put the diagonal belt behind the body, because the lap belt alone may not be able prevent the motorist from getting thrown forward or even out of the car. It is also extremely important to wear the lap belt at all times because the body may get thrown under the shoulder belt and onto the steering wheel or dashboard.

Seatbelt Wearing Tips for Pregnant Women

Everyone must wear a seatbelt while driving even pregnant women. In fact, it becomes even more important to use the proper technique as the seatbelt can save not only one but two lives. Each year there are nearly 170,000 car crashes involving pregnant women.

Pregnant women should wear a shoulder seatbelt and the combination lap. Women should place the lap belt below the stomach, low and tight on the hip bones and it should touch the thighs. The seatbelt should not be worn across the belly. The shoulder belt is equally important when it comes to preventing crash related injuries. Make sure that the shoulder belt fits snugly across the chest and the center of the shoulder. Do not put the shoulder belt behind you.

Unfortunately seatbelts cannot prevent all injuries. In severe crashes, the drivers and passengers can still suffer injuries even if they were wearing seatbelts properly. In some cases, the seatbelt can malfunction and fail to save you from the impact of the crash. If you or someone close to you has been injured in a car accident, get in touch with an experienced car wreck attorney at The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. We can evaluate your claim for free and you never pay attorney fees unless we recover compensation for you.

Call (314) 361-4242 to speak with an attorney!

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.