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.

St. Louis Car Wreck Lawyer Discusses Backseat Safety

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Passengers depend on the driver to avoid car accidents. They are at serious risk of suffering injuries if a crash happens, especially if they are not buckled up properly at the time the collision occurs. Recently, the Governors’ Highway Safety Association published a report that highlighted the risks that backseat passengers face when they are not wearing a seat belt. The report shows that many people suffer severe injuries because they are not wearing a seat belt. In this post, our St. Louis car accident lawyer will discuss this issue in detail.

Unbuckled passengers face high risk of car accident injuries

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, each year, hundreds of unbuckled adults in the rear seats of cars are killed and hundreds suffer serious injuries. In 2013, 883 passengers in the age group of 8 and above were killed in a car accident when they were in the back seat without wearing a seat belt. The GHSA estimates more than 400 passengers who were killed in car accidents would have been alive if they were buckled up at the time of the crash. The fatality risk is three times higher for a person in the back seat who is not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. So, your chances of getting killed in an accident are significantly higher if you choose not to wear a seat belt while riding as a passenger in the backseat of a car.

Quite surprisingly, despite the importance of wearing a seatbelt in the backseat, as many as 32 states do not have strong requiring backseat passengers to wear seat belts. This contributes to myths that backseats are safer than the front seats and it is not really important to buckle up when you riding in the backseat. Due to such misconceptions, only 78 percent of the adults admit that they wear a seatbelt in the back seat while 87 percent wear it when they are riding in the front seat.

The GHSA also indicates that the risk to backseat passengers is even higher during the holiday season, because many people take road trips and are unconcerned with whether or not the adults and children in the backseat are buckled up or not. They also believe that the risk of injury has also increased with more people using ride sharing services.

St. Louis Car Accident Lawyers

If you have been injured in a St. Louis car accident as passenger or driver, you may have a claim for compensation from the party at fault. Give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 to learn more about your legal rights and schedule a free consultation with an experienced car accident attorney in St. Louis.

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.

The Awful Repercussions of a T-Bone Accident

A T-Bone accident can result in a multitude of injuries, including serious head trauma and fatalities.

A T-bone car accident is when a car is struck at a perpendicular angle. This type of crash can cause a multitude of injuries, including serious head trauma and fatalities. If you have recently been injured in a T-bone crash caused by a negligent driver, contact a St. Louis car accident attorney immediately. There is a good chance that your medical treatment will be lengthy and costly; begin pursuing compensation as soon as possible.

Fatality Rate for T-Bone Collisions

Compared with head-on and rear-end collisions, the fatality rate for broadside collisions is much higher. The reason for this is simple. There is very little protection offered by the doors of your vehicle compared with the distance between you and the force of impact in other types of collisions. Add to this the increasing number of large SUV’s on the road, and the number of serious injuries and deaths from a T-bone accident rise even higher.

The most common cause of a broadside collision is a driver’s failure to yield for a red light. Busy intersections are often the scene of these deadly accidents as a car careens through passing traffic until colliding with the side of another.

Case Study – Severe Injuries Suffered Resulting From T-Bone Collision

A St. Louis driver suffered a severe back injury after being T-boned at an intersection. The defense in this case chose to settle for $1 million during mediation proceedings rather than go to trial. This is typical in this type of crash as the defense recognizes the negligence of running a red light and how vulnerable their client would be to punitive damages if a jury were to rule on the case.

The severity of the impact of a T-bone accident could cause a number of injuries for the driver or passenger injured in the crash. Head, brain, and back injuries are common as are neck injury, chest and torso injuries, and fractures to the pelvis and femur. Head trauma has become a bigger concern in recent years as the size of SUV’s makes the point of impact higher than if the car were to be struck by another passenger vehicle.

Protecting Yourself and Your Passengers

To help protect yourself and your passengers, look for a car that has the following safety features:

  • Side curtain airbags – This provides protection to your head in the event of an accident and have become standard on all cars.
  • Torso airbags – These are placed lower than the side curtain airbags. These protect your chest and midriff in the event that your car is struck on the side.

There is little you can do to avoid the negligence of a driver other than making sure your car is as safe as possible and always watching for oncoming cars before entering an intersection. If you are involved in a T-bone accident, call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242. We will review the details of your accident and help you determine if you should pursue compensation for the injuries that you have sustained.

Head on Collisions – Are You Entitled to Compensation?

For a St. Louis driver, head on collisions are frequently the most dangerous accidents.

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Accounting for only 2% of all car accidents, head on collisions are responsible for 10% of fatalities caused by one. Drivers who have been injured in this type of accident will benefit from the assistance of an experienced car accident lawyer. Your attorney can make sure that all of the medical bills and pain and suffering endured are taken care of by the negligent driver who caused the crash.

Head on collisions cause the most devastating of injuries, including traumatic brain injury, spinal chord injuries, extensive internal injuries and bleeding, and broken bones. The medical expenses for these types of injuries will be financially devastating and the recovery period long and hard. Your best chance at protecting yourself and/or your loved one after being hurt in this type of accident is by seeking compensation with the help of a St. Louis car accident lawyer.

Take for example a Missouri car accident case where a young woman was hit head on by an approaching driver. The driver’s insurance company refused to settle the claim, forcing her and her Missouri car accident attorney to take the case to court. A jury found for the young lady after compelling evidence was introduced and awarded her with $25,000 to cover all of her costs.

Do You Really Need an Attorney?

After any type of collision, be it a high speed head on or a low speed fender bender, a lawyer in St. Louis should be consulted. Injuries sustained are all of varying degrees, and the circumstances always different. This means there is no cut and dry compensation that one can expect.

Also consider that the defendant may refuse a settlement the way the above mentioned case did. Someone unfamiliar with Missouri law may be unable to navigate the complexities of a head on collision in a courtroom without the help of an attorney.

Keep in mind too that you are not going up an individual. You will be fighting the battle for compensation with an insurance company, who notoriously hate to lose. Insurance claim adjustors are known for their covert methods of sabotaging car accident claims. With a Missouri car accident attorney at your side, all inquiries from an agent of the insurance company can be directed to your attorney.

Missouri Car Accident Lawyer

There are strict rules and regulations that a Missouri resident must follow if they wish to be compensated after a car accident. Even if the evidence clearly identifies the negligence of the driver, recovering for your losses will be difficult. With the Missouri car accident attorney at your side, all of these are taken care of seamlessly as you take the time you need to recover from your injuries.

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