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.

Avoid Being a Distracted Driver

Over 400,000 people are injured each year because of distracted driving car accidents.

Distracted driving car accidents have reached an epidemic proprotion. If you have been the victim of a car accident where the driver was clearly not paying attention to the road, speak with a St. Louis car accident attorney today.

The Scary Story of Distracted Driving

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recently announced that the incidence of death in distracted driving car accidents has reached over 3,000 per year, and injuries are over 400,000. This is an increase from prior years and shows that the message is not getting across that distracted driving can be deadly.
It is estimated that 660,000 drivers around the country are using technical devices while they are driving. Texting and cell phone use top the list of offending activities, but GPS and iPods are also a problem. There are also the non-tech related distractions, such as eating, drinking, and even smoking.

How to Avoid Being a Distracted Driver

The last thing you want is to be the cause of an accident simply because you responded to a text message. Distractions do one of three things – they make you take your eyes off of the road, your hands off of the steering wheel, or your attention away from driving. Not surprisingly, reading and responding to texts involves all three, which is why there is such a focus on trying to convince St. Louis drivers to refrain from texting and driving at all times.

Take care of your calls before you start the ignition. Once in drive, put away your cell phone and focus on the road in front of you. Use a hands free option to help you navigate your GPS or radio, but use these sparingly as these activities may keep your hands on the wheel, but your mind is still not on the road.

Set a Good Example

If you drive with young people, set a good example by keeping your cell phone out of sight while driving. Missouri drivers between the ages of 17 to 25 are the most likely to be involved in a distracted driver car accident. Practice what you preach to young drivers in order to help prevent them from getting into a car accident.

Just because you have learned how to not let distractions interfere with your driving, doesn’t mean that everyone else on the road has. If you are injured by a driver who was on their cell phone,  contact a St. Louis auto accident attorney from The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. immediately. We will investigate your claim and help you recover compensation for the damages you have incurred.

The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C.

(314) 361-4242

Passenger Injury Claim After a Car Accident

The rights of a passenger injured in a car accident is similar to any other injured party.

The personal injury claim of a passenger who becomes injured in a car accident is comparatively simpler than that of the driver because the passenger does not have to prove liability for the accident as one of the driver’s will be held liable. The rights of a passenger injured in a car accident is similar to any other injured party. The victim must prove two things – liability and the severity of injuries sustained in the accident.

Establishing Liability of the Driver

If a car accident involves two cars, at least one of the drivers will most likely be held liable for causing the accident. It generally happens that either of the two drivers would have been driving in a negligent manner which resulted in the accident. If the accident involves only one car, for example, hitting a tree, the driver of the car will be held liable for driving negligently or failing to drive cautiously. There are, however, exceptions to this rule. In case a car hits a deer, which jumped in front of the car, the liability will not rest with the driver as he or she did not expect the deer to be there. Hence the driver may not be considered negligent in this case.

Passenger Injury Claim

A claim for passenger injury is just like a personal injury claim for car accidents; the only difference is that the claim will be filed against both drivers, in the case of a two car accident. The passenger is required to obtain the insurance information from both the drivers and file the compensation claim with the insurance company of the respective drivers. There are certain types of accidents where one of the drivers is not at all liable for causing the accident. A rear-end collision is one such type where the driver of the front vehicle is not liable for any negligence. In such cases the claim is filed against the driver of the vehicle which rear-ended the lead car.

When Two or More Passengers Are Involved

One complication in passenger injury claims is when there are two or more passengers involved. For example, if three passengers are injured in a rear-end collision, they will all file for damages against one driver. The maximum settlement amount may be limited by the driver’s insurance and the three may have to settle for compensation lower than the worth of their case. In these cases, a St. Louis car accident attorney will need to be consulted to receive the maximum amount of compensation. If you have been injured as a passenger in a car accident, call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242 for a free consultation.

St. Louis Car Accidents and Amputation Injuries

Approximately 30,000 amputations occur each year in the United States.

car accident amputation

An amputation is the removal of a body extremity. An amputation may occur accidently as a result of a trauma or may have to be done surgically. Body parts that commonly suffer these types of injuries include the toes, feet, legs, fingers, hands, and arms. If a limb is severely damaged due to a trauma or suffers a life threatening infection and cannot be saved, it may have to be surgically amputated. In serious accidents, a limb may be severed or torn off. This is known as amputation by trauma.

Compensation for Amputation Injuries

If someone is responsible for a car accident that causes an amputation, the victim may be entitled to recover compensation for all the losses suffered. The victim may claim the medical expenses and pain and suffering caused by the injury and amputation, but there are several other aspects of the claim that need due consideration. The victim may also be able to recover loss earnings, future medical bills, loss of earning capacity, and other expenses, such as those related to artificial limbs or prosthetics.

Compensation for Loss of Wages

A victim who suffers an amputation injury may need to take time off work to recover from the injury, or the victim may lose the ability to return to work. If the victim is able to return to work, he or she may have to take a wage cut or accept a job that involves less physical activity. In any situation, the victim may need to make a claim for lost wages, and possibly, for loss of earning capacity as well.

Compensation for Medical Expenses

A person who suffers an amputation injury may incur high medical costs for a long period of time. It is important to include in the claim all expenses related to the injury including radiology, emergency room treatment, surgery, rehabilitation, physical therapy, and prescription costs.
In some cases, the victim may develop significant scarring and may need to undergo plastic surgery. The victim may also suffer serious neurological or psychological symptoms after the injury. It is normal to experience depression, anxiety, or low self esteem, and may require help from a counselor or psychologist. A St. Louis car accident attorney will take all these expenses into account to file a claim for compensation.

Compensation for Prosthetics

In many cases of severe amputation, the victim has to use an artificial limb to restore the ability to perform daily activities. These prosthetics or assistive devices can be costly to purchase and maintain. So, including these costs in the claim for compensation is essential. Amputation can turn a person’s life around for worse. Using assistive devices and technologies or remodeling the home to allow the victim to function as normally as he or she can will cost a lot of money. This money should be recovered from the party at fault. There are strict time limits for all personal injury claims including those involving amputation injuries. Consult an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242 for a free consultation.

A Car Owners Responsibility Goes Beyond Just Their Car

The drivers of cars and trucks have a duty to protect other motorists by upholding driving laws and driving in a manner that does not put others in danger.

car-accident-unsecured-load-st-louisThis also extends to any load they may be hauling. While you may be aware that a truck has to secure their cargo in order to avoid an accident, the same holds true for a passenger car. If your St. Louis car accident stemmed from an unsecured load, either by a commercial truck or passenger car, a St. Louis car accident lawyer can help.

With the influx of large SVU’s and pick-ups on our highways, it is not unusual to see these types of vehicles towing anything from boats to small campers behind them. Pick-up trucks are also often used to haul items in the beds of their vehicles. Both of these scenarios have the potential to cause a horrific car accident if the loads are not secured properly.

How to Properly Secure Your Load

When towing, a vehicle owner needs to first make sure that their car has the capability of moving a heavy load. Once that is established then the proper towing gear should be installed, including brake and tail lights if the ones on the car are being obstructed by the load. The driver should also have experience in towing extra weight as this will cause a major difference in the way the car normally handles.

Not securing a load properly and or not knowing how to drive a car with such a load can cause the trailer, boat or whatever else is being towed to come undone. This is seen often with small moving trailers that an inexperienced customer may rent for a day. Once that trailer comes undone it becomes a major road hazard to other drivers.

If your accident is caused by this type of event, the car owner, the trailer owner and any entity the driver may have been working for at the time could be held liable for your injuries. A Missouri driver fractured his leg after a collision with a trailer that had become unsecured from the SVU that was towing it. In this case the negligence was found on the part of the drivers employer for not having the proper safety measures in place to prevent such an accident from occurring. As a result, the employer agreed to a $387,500 settlement.

Pick-up trucks hauling cargo in their bed pose the same type of risk to other drivers. They too have a responsibility to ensure that they have the skills needed to haul heavy items and that the items are securely in place so as not to fly out of the back. An object suddenly flying out of the back of a pick-up can cause a serious accident on a highway.

Car Accident Lawyer in St. Louis, Missouri

Unsecured cargo accidents do not necessarily have to involve a large commercial truck. Call an experienced St. Louis car accident attorney if you have recently been injured in a crash that was caused by the items being hauled by another car. Only they can help you obtain the compensation that is rightfully yours.

Call (314) 361-4242 or fill out the form on the right to request a free case evaluation. All communications are returned promptly.

 

photo credit: DiamondBack Truck Covers