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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5 Things Insurance Companies Don’t Want You to Know – St. Louis Auto Injury Lawyers


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.

Establishing a Claim for a Car Insurance Settlement

An automobile insurance claim will strengthen with the presence of supporting documents.

what to do after a car accident in St. LouisIt will also substantiate the compensation sought by the policy holder. The actions following the accident can have a considerable effect on the settlement. Due to this, it is essential to do the following.

Take pictures of:

  • The scene of the accident right after the accident. It will provide information about the time, lighting conditions, weather, and position of the vehicles involved.
  • The scene of the accident following the accident. It will provide information regarding the intersection of the roads at the accident site without any obstructions to the view of the damaged vehicles. It will also provide information about the road condition following the accident, including any damage to the roadside and skid marks.
  • The injury resulting from the accident. Images of the stitches, surgery, broken limbs, and hospitalization should be taken. Images provide more information compared to an ordinary narration.
  • Damage to the vehicle. The images should show all the sides of the vehicle. Images should also be taken when the vehicle is brought to the body or tow shop. It will provide information about the damage, the degree of damage, and how the vehicle was hit.
  • Impact or skid marks on the road. The measurement of the skid marks can also be taken. The speed of the vehicle prior to the impact can be calculated. Images of any marks or holes on the road or highway can be taken along with any damage on nearby properties.

Get the statements of witnesses – Obtain the names, addresses, and contact information of everyone who witnessed the accident. Written statements can also be obtained from the witnesses showing what they witnessed at the time of the accident.

Search for News Reports – Obtain a copy of newspapers that covered the accident. These reports should become a part of the documentation for the claim since it was considerable enough to elicit coverage by the newspaper.

Obtain Police Reports – Find copies of the police report, which can provide additional value to the claim. This is particularly true of the report indicates that the other driver was given a citation and ticket for moving violations or DUI.

Be Aware of Special ConditionsDUI, driving without a license, speeding, weather, light conditions, and time among others.

After the claim value is established and all the records showing the information associated with the accident are obtained, the policy holder will learn that the settlement can be facilitated by a good number of insurance adjusters. Get in touch with the insurance adjuster and look for a supervisor who is authorized to approve the automobile insurance claim.

A number of companies may improperly delay the settlement process anticipating that a lower offer will be accepted by the policy holder. This is not a good situation to be in. Being an informed claimant who is aware of the value of the claim will be the best approach in getting a favorable automobile accident insurance settlement.

Should I Speak with an Attorney?

BEFORE speaking with any insurance adjusters, get in contact with an experienced car accident lawyer. Your attorney can look over your claim and help you determine what it is actually worth. With this knowledge, your attorney will be in the best position to get you the full amount of compensation you deserve.

If you have been in a St. Louis automobile accident, contact The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. We have been helping Missouri auto accident victims for over 15 years and have thousands of cases to our credit. Call (314) 361-4242 or fill out the contact form on the right for a free case evaluation.


photo credit: ChazWags via Flickr


Missouri Car Accidents: Insurance Claim Dos and Don’ts

Car accidents can cause immense physical and mental pain to a victim.

insurance claimsHe may also have to bear a lot of expenses for the medical treatment and repair or replacement of the vehicle and other property damaged in the car accident. The insurance claim can however, help pay for expenses resulting out of a car accident.

A car accident may leave a victim totally confused and overwhelmed, and the impending medical and repair bills often make things worse. As if this was not enough, the insurance company may try to minimize the claims. Lack of knowledge about the claim process can make things quite difficult for the car accident victim. Here are some tips on handling insurance claims.

Insurance Claim Dos

  • Contact your insurance company as soon as you get injured in a car accident. After getting immediate medical care for the injuries, you should notify your insurer about the car accident injuries.
  • Maintain a record of all your conversations with the insurance company. Take down names and contact information of all insurance company representatives you speak with.
  • Make sure you have all information related to your insurance coverage before you speak to the insurance company.
  • Gather all evidences from the scene of accident. Get contact details of eye witnesses and take as many photographs of the scene and the vehicle as you can.
  • Maintain records of all expenses resulting out of the car accident including the medical bills, repair bills, car rentals, receipts etc.
  • Consult with a car accident attorney to ensure that all your rights as a victim of car accident are protected.

Insurance Claim Don’ts

  • Do not jump at the first offer made by the insurance company. It is highly likely that the insurance company will try to settle your claim for a smaller amount than it is worth. Sign any settlement only after you have consulted with your car accident lawyer.
  • Do not give a recorded statement to the insurance company immediately after the accident. Speak to an attorney before you do that.
  • Do not delay filing the claim, as many insurance companies have set tight deadlines for the claim filling.
  • Never sign a release before speaking with your injury attorney.

St. Louis Car Accident Lawyers

If you or someone close to you has become a victim of a car accident, and needs help dealing with the insurance company, get in touch with an experienced car accident attorney at The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C.  We have experience dealing with insurance companies and can help you at every stage of the claim process, while working to get your claim in a convenient and timely manner.

To schedule a free consultation with a St. Louis Injury Lawyer at our law firm call (314) 361-4242 to contact us online.



photo credit: Bob n Renee via Flickr