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


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


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.

Head on Collision Kills 2 People in Jefferson County

Recently, there has been a number of head on collisions in Missouri.

st-louis-head-on-collision-lawyerAfter a man was killed and another injured in a wrong way accident on 17th march, 2014, another head on collision caused by a wrong way driver on 25th March, 2014 resulted in the death of 2 people. The head on collision occurred on Highway 21 at Shady valley interchange in Jefferson County. The diseased were the drivers of the two vehicles involved in the head on collision.

According to The Missouri State Highway Patrol report, an 82-year-old St. Louis woman, Mary E. Burke was driving her 2000 Toyota Camry north on the southbound lanes north of Old Highway 21 at the Shady Valley interchange in Jefferson county when she collided with another vehicle coming from the opposite direction. The other vehicle was identified as a 1994 GMC Sonoma that was driven by James R. Sybert, 25, of De Soto. The fatal head on car collision occurred at 12:23 PM.

After the collision, Sybert’s truck slid off the road, and Burke’s Camry came to a halt on the roadway before it burst into flames. Burke was declared dead at the scene of the accident. Emergency crews rushed Sybert to the hospital, where he was declared dead a short time later. According to police authorities, Sybert was recently offered a position as a sheriff’s deputy in Jefferson County. He had accepted the offer, but he was yet to begin his job duties.

According to Missouri state highway patrol report, Sybert was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the car crash, but the wrong way driver, Burke was not.

Missouri state highway patrol authorities failed to figure out why the woman was driving the wrong way.

Wrong-way Drivers and Head on Collisions

Most head on collisions are caused by wrong way driving. In most cases, head on collisions lead to severe injuries or fatalities, as was the case in the Jefferson County accident. It is not uncommon for elderly drivers to be involved in such accidents.

Other causes of head on collisions include reckless driving, drunk driving, inattentive driving, trying to pass vehicles on a two lane road, driver distraction because of texting or speaking on the phone, driver fatigue, and failure to obey traffic regulations.

Apart from fatality, head on collisions can cause serious injuries that can render a person disabled for the rest of their life. Common injuries caused by head on collisions are head trauma, neck injuries, brain injuries, broken bones, contusions, lacerations, spinal cord injuries, and damage to internal organs.

If you or someone close to you has been injured or killed in a head on collision, contact a St. Louis car accident lawyer at The Hoffmann Law Firm,  L.L.C.

Call us today at (314) 361-4242 to schedule a free consultation.


photo credit: Flickr user | mmetchley