St Louis Hit and Run Accident Lawyer: Never Flee The Scene

Auto accident involving two carsAny parent of a teenager knows that teens don’t always make the best decisions. That’s why when you hand your car keys over to your teenager, you must understand how their decisions can ultimately affect you.

If your teenager is driving your car and they are at fault for an accident, it will typically be your insurance coverage that is responsible for paying for any damages and injuries. There is a stipulation, however, and if you aren’t aware of it it can really hurt. If you don’t add your teenager to your policy and they are not specifically named as a driver, the insurance company may deny them coverage.

The rule of “vicarious liability” means that if you loan someone your car and they are at-fault in an accident, your insurance company is responsible for paying. However, vicarious liability generally only works if the person who borrows your car doesn’t share the same address. If your teen lives with you and you haven’t specifically listed them on your auto insurance policy, then your insurance company may deny the claim and all financial responsibility could end up falling on your shoulders since they are a minor.

The Importance of Teaching Your Teen to NEVER Leave an Accident Scene

If your teen is involved in a fender bender or they back into a parked car, they might be tempted to leave the scene. They may be afraid of what Mom and Dad will potentially do. That is a huge mistake. If you hit a parked car and leave the scene of the accident, you can be charged with a hit-and-run. Not only will that leave you and your insurance on the hook for paying for damages if they are found out, but it could also open your teen up to criminal prosecution.

So before you hand your keys over to your teenager, first make sure that they are specifically listed on your auto insurance coverage policy. Second, be sure that you go over the rules of the road, especially what to do if they ever hit another car and the driver is not around. If they fail to take action by informing the other driver and exchanging information, they can face some pretty harsh penalties and criminal charges.

Make sure your teen understand their responsiblities and the rules of the road. One small mistake could land them in a whole lot of trouble if they don’t understand what the law expects of them.

If you or a loved one have been involved in a St. Louis car accident due to the negligence of another driver, call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 for a FREE case evaluation.

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St. Louis Car Wreck Lawyer Discusses Backseat Safety

car-accident-passenger-injury-lawyer

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.

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!