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.

St. Louis Car Wreck Lawyer Discusses Backseat Safety

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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.

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

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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.

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.

St. Louis Broken Bone Injuries After Car Accidents

injured-st-louis-car-accident-350275-20-ffe7e7e7white-0-20-3-0-90-850-85-1Auto accidents are an unfortunately reality that many St. Louis drivers face on a daily basis. Such accidents often result in emotional and physical trauma. It is not uncommon for victims of St. Louis car accidents to suffer a broken bone injury in a St. Louis car wreck. Depending on the severity of the injury, bone fractures can be life-altering. Victims who have families to provide for may soon find themselves stressed over a loss of income and medical bills. This makes it very important to seek the compensation you are entitled to after being involved in an accident cause by someone else’s negligence.

Broken Bones Common in St. Louis Car Accidents

Bones are fragile. It is no surprise then, that the powerful impact of an automobile collision often results in broken bone injuries. Any bone is vulnerable in an accident, but the following are the bones that generally tend to break in car wrecks:

  • Skull
  • Collarbone
  • Pelvis
  • Ribs
  • Back
  • Hips
  • Legs
  • Arms

Bone Fractures

There are many different bone fractures, however the most common are:

Open fracture: This generally refers to when a bone breaks and bone fragments stick out through the skin. (Also known as a compound fracture.)

Closed fracture: A break occurs but the bone does not break the skin.

Non-displaced fracture: A bone cracks either part or all of the way through, however it does not move and maintains proper alignment.

Seeking Legal Help From a St. Louis Car Crash Law Firm

Recovery and treatment for a broken bone injury sustained in a St. Louis car accident will depend primarily on the severity of the fracture. Ensure that you receive the compensation you and your family need to recover and move forward after an accident by speaking with the St. Louis car accident attorneys at The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. We have extensive experience in car accident cases and can help protect your legal rights. Call us today at (314) 361-4242 for a free case evaluation.

Sources:
http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00582
http://www.healthline.com/health/fracture
http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/understanding-fractures-basic-information

Car Accident Lawyer St. Louis – The Hazards of Drugged Driving

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Drug abuse has become a serious menace that has time and again proved to be hazardous for drivers, passengers, and other motorists and pedestrians on the roads. The use of any mind-altering drug – prescribed, legal or illegal – while driving, is extremely dangerous.

The number of deaths caused by driving under influence of drugs, often paired with alcohol is alarmingly high. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) reports that common drugs like marijuana and cocaine, coupled with alcohol can cause significant driver impairment and cause serious car accidents.

A study conducted on drivers who tested positive for drugs by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, revealed that:

  • 18% of all drivers involved in fatal car accidents tested positive for drugs.
  • Out of these, 57% were single vehicle accidents.
  • 48% of these drivers who tested positive for drug abuse also tested positive for alcohol.
  • Cannabinoids (a marijuana compound) and narcotics were found in almost half of all drug-positive drivers.
  • 47% of drugged-driving fatalities were below the age of 24
  • Those over the age of 45, were usually tested positive for narcotics and anti-depressants.

Drug Impairment

Each drug has a different effect on the brain. Nevertheless, they all impair the faculties and senses that are required to function while driving. A driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol can have compromised attention, perception, reaction time, judgement, motor skills, balance and coordination. Drugged driving can hinder all, or some of these vital faculties, leading to car accidents.

16 drugs – prescription, over-the-counter and illegal recreational drugs – were evaluated, in a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The results revealed that apart from LSD, (where the frequency of Driving under Influence (DUI) cases has been rare), all drugs were responsible for impairment, in varying amounts. However, the following commonly used recreational drugs were found to cause substantial impairment –

  • Marijuana.
  • Cocaine.
  • Methadone.
  • Morphine and heroin.
  • Methamphetamine and amphetamine.
  • Ecstasy (MDMA).
  • PCP

Over-the-counter prescription drugs and legally purchased drugs were also studied as part of this list. It was found that similar DUI charges and driver impairment could be applied to these drugs as well. Some of the drugs include antidepressants, decongestants, valium and other anti-anxiety medications, antihistamines, hydrocodone (Vicodin) and sleeping pills.

You Legal Rights If You Have Been Involved in a St. Louis Car Accident with an Impaired Driver

Drugs, prescribed or illegal, consumed alone or with alcohol, can result in a fatal St .Louis car accident. As a driver, it is important to be aware of the fatal risks of indulging in driving under influence of any kind of drug.

On the other hand, if you have been injured or a loved one has been killed due to a decision made by another person to indulge in the illegal act of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you can initiate legal action, and claim compensation for your loss. Seek the advice of an experienced accident injury attorney at The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C.

Call (314) 361-4242 to schedule a free case evaluation with a qualified attorney today!

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!