Third Parties That Can Claim a Share in a Auto Crash Settlement – St. Louis Attorneys

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A person who is injured in a car accident may succeed in getting a settlement after a lot of negotiation. But they may be surprised to learn that a major part of it has been paid to third parties and not much has come to him directly. This is due to the numerous liens on a settlement. All the liens should be taken into account when the settlement is being negotiated so that the settlement amount exceeds the person’s debts. Our St. Louis auto accident attorney will discuss this in detail.

Liens on a Car Accident Claim

A lien is the right of a person to possess the property of another person until he repays a debt. A lien holder can claim a share in the person’s car accident settlement. However, he has to get the approval of the court to do so.

Some of the parties which generally file claims for a car accident settlement are doctors’ offices, hospitals, health insurance and auto insurance companies.

Healthcare Providers

Doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers are often some of the lien holders in a car accident settlement. Some of them may place a lien on the settlement while others may agree to a partial payment.

Hospitals and doctors bills may have to be paid from the settlement. Often, a doctors’ office or a hospital refuses to submit their billing through the person’s health insurance carrier. They prefer to issue a ‘claimed lien’ against the car accident settlement and wait for the full payment from the settlement when it is received. However, there are certain limits for the amounts that healthcare providers can claim from such settlements.

Health Insurance

The health insurance company takes up the responsibility for taking care of the person’s medical treatment and pays the medical bills for him. So it can request that the repayment is made from the car accident settlement. This depends on the kind of coverage. For instance, if the health insurance is via employment the person may have an ERISA protected plan. In such a situation, an ERISA lien could be placed on the car accident settlement.

Auto Insurance

If the person has medical pay in his auto insurance plan, some of his medical bills are paid by his auto insurance carrier. Therefore an auto insurance company can ask for a share in the settlement proceeds. But in many places, auto insurance carriers are not allowed to claim a share in a car accident settlement.

The plaintiff files a claim for a settlement in order to compensate for his losses. But, the lien holders have to be paid before he gets the settlement proceeds. If a major part of the settlement is used for paying the lien holders the claimant may not get enough reimbursement for his damages. In order to get a favorable outcome for him, it is essential to ensure that the claims made by the third parties are legitimate and have been taken into account during the negotiations for the settlement. An experienced St. Louis car crash lawyer can help get the compensation that you deserve.

 

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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.

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!