35% Increase in Miles Driven by 2050? – St. Louis Auto Accident Lawyers

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A recent report from an international auditing corporation KPMG shows that in the next 35 years, drivers on American roads will be driving about a trillion more miles compared to what they are driving today. These figures are far more significant if we consider the fact that vehicle ownership in the country is predicted to decline sharply over the next three to four decades. The reasons are said to be:

  • The rise of ride sharing services such as Uber and Lyft
  • The introduction of self-driving cars, which could enter markets in next 5-10 years
  • The younger, urban millennials do not give as much importance to vehicle ownership as the previous generations did

This is what Gary Silberg, the automotive leader for KPMG had to say about the findings

“The automotive landscape will significantly change as a result of autonomous vehicles, and consumer behavior will dictate the rate of adoption. Like the smartphone, let’s not underestimate the power of these changes and the vast potential for new business models to satisfy them.”

Those increases would have a profound but unknown impact on vehicle sales, car ownership models, energy demand, and infrastructure…To be quite frank, I’m not sure people understand the enormity of the change, nor are we ready for it.

Key findings of the KPMG report

The study has found that although miles driven would increase significantly by 2050, not all drivers would be driving more in the next 3-4 decades. The researchers have predicted that:

  • Younger and middle age individuals will be responsible for the sharp increase in miles driven
  • Vehicles will need to have a flexible architecture to meet the demands and expectations of consumers
  • For these age groups, the surge in miles driven will be due to the increasing reliance on ride sharing services or self-driving vehicles, and not due to the fact these individuals will actually drive more often
  • Start-up companies and tech companies will become key players in the automotive industry, as these companies are usually better able to sense consumer changes

These findings are particularly significant for auto manufacturers, who would now want to focus on innovative solutions with a view to adapt to these predicted chances, and also to create a whole new driving experience for consumers.

This huge increase in the number of miles driven is also likely to bring about an increase in St. Louis car accidents. This makes it vital that traffic authorities gear up to create infrastructure and systems that can help cater to more number of vehicles particularly ride sharing vehicles and self-driving vehicles on the U.S. roads.

If you have been injured in a car accident, you should contact a competent and experienced St. Louis auto accident attorney. Give our experienced attorneys a call anytime, nights or weekends, at (314) 361-4242 for a free case evaluation.

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.

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.

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.

New Study Shows How the Brain Reacts to a Concussion – St. Louis Car Accident Attorney

Around 1.4 million people become a victim of traumatic brain injury (TBI) every year in the U.S.

concussion car accident attorneyMany of these brain injuries are minor, but they still affect the injured person’s health. Considering the high prevalence of minor TBI, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced the disease as a silent epidemic and a leading public health concern. Concussion is one of the most common types of minor traumatic brain injuries, but there is little awareness about how this type of injury affects the brain.

Concussions are Common in Car Accidents

Concussion is usually caused by a sudden, heavy blow to the head, which is common in car accidents. Symptoms of concussion include loss of consciousness, disturbed vision, and loss of equilibrium. In some cases, the injured person does not experience any major symptoms and the brain may seemingly remain intact, but there could be damages to the protective layers of the brain, according to the findings of a recent study conducted by the researchers at the National Institute of Health published in the magazine Nature.

How the Brain Protects Itself

The researchers created a mouse trauma model to monitor the brain’s responses to minor injuries and noticed that the brain has a system in place to prevent an injury from causing any widespread damage. This system works by forming an immune response to the injured brain cells. The study found that one of the molecules, if applied to the brain, can actually reduce the extent of the damages caused by a brain injury.

MRI scans of around 142 recently injured persons were analyzed as part of the study. Interestingly, signs of physical damage were not evident in many of the brain scans. However, damages to some projective layers of the brain were noticed. Likewise, signs of blood leaking into the protective layers of the brain directly from vessels were evident in the mouse model study. It was also found that an antioxidant called glutathione, which is released soon after one suffers a brain injury, helps reduce the amount of brain cell deaths by around 67 percent.

Preventing Brain Damage

The researchers took pictures of the underlying layers of the skull with the use of a microscope and learned how the brain cells develop an immune response to prevent any further damage. It was evident from the images that some brain cells collapsed in the meninges and the glial limitans of the brain. Some brain cells work as “first responders” to prevent any harmful material from reaching the surface of the brain, thus helping prevent any further damage. In fact, the usual inflammatory response of the brain to any minor brain injury helps protect the brain against any further damage, according to the findings of the study. The findings of this study will help doctors diagnose and treat traumatic brain injury cases.

If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident, contact a St. Louis car accident lawyer to claim compensation for damages from the at-fault person. Call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242 for a free consultation.

Serious Injuries: Head Hitting the Dashboard in a Car Accident

Head injuries resulting from automobile accidents are often serious and even fatal.

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Imagine you are driving through your everyday route, following traffic rules and safe driving guidelines. Suddenly, as you are about to cross an intersection, a large SUV comes around a turn and blocks the road, leaving you with no other option but to apply a sudden brake, and as a result your head hits the dashboard. The first thought that comes to your mind after you survive such a car accident is often whether you and your fellow passengers are okay. You are more likely to check for evident injuries, such as, excessive bleeding, broken bones, and unconsciousness. Unfortunately, however, most internal injuries caused by an accident often go unnoticed in the beginning.

Car Accidents Often Cause Traumatic Head Injuries

Car accidents are one of the most common causes of head injuries. The driver may suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI), if his head strikes on the steering wheel. On the other hand, passengers often suffer serious head injuries when their heads hit the dashboard or the windshield.

Every year, round 500,000 people suffer head injuries in the United States, and road accidents account for one out of every two of those head injuries. Even more alarming, around 34 percent of all injury-related deaths in the United States are caused by TBIs.

Around 1.7 million people suffer TBI every year, and 52,000 of these injuries result in death, estimates a 2010 report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report also reveals that nearly 32 percent of all TBI-related deaths are caused by the vehicle accidents. Also, motor vehicle accidents are the second most common cause of
TBIs, says the CDC report.

Symptoms of a Head Injury may not Appear Immediately

Unfortunately, symptoms of internal head injuries are more difficult to detect. The symptoms may occur right away or may take days or weeks to develop. Some common symptoms of a minor head injury include confusion, temporary loss of memory, temporary loss of coordination, nausea, confusion, and headache.

More serious head injuries may, however, trigger more serious symptoms, including vomiting, loss of consciousness, seizures, loss of muscle control, bleeding from the scalp, and complete loss of coordination.

Minor Head Injuries Often Heal with Time

Fortunately, not all head injuries are serious, and in most cases, minor injuries require no or very little treatment. It is still important, however, to seek medical treatment after experiencing any head injury in a car accident.

Not all TBI victims Experience a Loss of Consciousness

As already mentioned, symptoms of a traumatic brain injury are not always immediately apparent. Even when the victim does not lose consciousness, he or she may still suffer a TBI.

Types of Head Injuries

The four major types of serious head injuries include open injury, closed injury, scalp wounds, and concussion. The first type of injury occurs when an object penetrates the skull. For instance, if the victim’s head hits the dashboard hard, the collision may cause fractures in the head. Heavy bleeding is a common symptom of an open injury. On the other hand, a closed head injury occurs when the skull gets a strong blow but does not break apart. Common symptoms include swelling of the head and pain. If the head is shaken due to an accident, it may cause a concussion, with symptoms like headache and loss of consciousness.

If you hit your head with the dashboard in a car accident caused by another person’s negligence, speak with an experienced St. Louis auto accident claim lawyer.