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.

Driving on Unfamiliar Roadways

Driving a vehicle on unfamiliar roads may place you in a vulnerable position, especially if you are not confident in your driving abilities.

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Since traffic rules and situations may differ from one city to another, travelers who are driving a rental vehicle in an unfamiliar area should always use extra caution. Read the following tips to increase your confidence when driving on unfamiliar roads.

Develop Confidence While Driving

St. Louis car accident attorneys offer the following tips that may help a driver increase his or her confidence while driving a rental vehicle on unfamiliar roadways.

1. Be Aware of Traffic Laws in the Area

This is an essential tip particularly for people traveling outside the country. Aside from avoiding traffic violations, becoming aware of traffic laws allows drivers to know the traffic situation in a particular area. Roundabouts, strange traffic signs, or weird intersections may be present in some towns, and it will be easier for drivers to navigate these unfamiliar areas if they are knowledgeable about these features.

2. Be Aware of Your Surroundings

A herd of cows in the middle of the road may be a familiar sight for local residents, but it may be something new or surprising for visitors. Drivers from the south may find icy roads difficult to manage while city dwellers may not know how to handle traffic caused by farm vehicles. Drivers can prepare for any traffic condition if they are aware of the situation in a particular area. It is also advisable to know the weather conditions of a particular area before visiting it.

3. Be Aware of Landmarks

Drivers should be familiar with the map of an area they visit for the first time. While traveling, drivers should take into account the connection between notable landmarks and the map. Drivers can easily identify their location and reach their destination if they are familiar with notable structures.

4. Use a GPS

Many rental vehicles feature a GPS system as add-ons. Using a GPS add-on is a cost-effective method of avoiding getting lost.

Common Road Rules

1. Avoid Unexpected Direction Changes

Drivers should wait and find the next available exit if they miss an exit or turn. Unexpected changes in direction using a rental vehicle may result in illegal or unsafe maneuvers, which can endanger the passengers and other vehicles on the road.

2. Use Turn Signals Properly

When making a turn, it is essential for drivers to use the turn signal in advance to warn other drivers of an upcoming turn.

3. Slow Down

Being patient is necessary while driving on unfamiliar roads. Driving at a lower speed allows a driver to react appropriately to unforeseen obstructions on the road, such as curves, animals, potholes, and debris.

These tips have been provided by The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. Enjoy your traveling and stay safe. If you are injured by a negligent driver, please contact us at (314) 361-4242. We help victims of motor vehicle accidents receive their full and fair compensation.

When a Driver’s Negligence Causes Harm

Car accidents may happen for several reasons, including the negligence of a driver.

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There are multiple factors that can cause a car accident. Driving under the influence, distracted driving, recklessness, and negligence are often the most common causes of car accidents. If you or someone close to you has been injured in a car accident, it is important that you seek legal assistance from a competent St. Louis car accident lawyer. The lawyer can help you receive compensation from the party at fault.

Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence of alcohol is a major cause of accidents not only in St. Louis, but in the entire United States. Alcohol impairs the driver’s motor skills, reflexes, decision making power, and reaction time. Drunk drivers pose a serious threat to all other vehicles and passengers on the road. According to the Missouri state highway patrol, drunk driving caused as many as 2,600 car accidents in 2011. Nationwide, close to 10,000 people are killed each year at the hands of drunk drivers.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of auto accidents in St. Louis. St. Louis car accident lawyers believe that it is the duty of every driver to pay attention to the road and to traffic. Any distraction can cause a driver to lose focus, leading to a car accident. Common distractions include:

Studies reveal that the use of a cell phone while driving is the most dangerous type of distracted driving. It causes the driver to lose focus and makes the perfect recipe for an accident. Car accidents caused due to texting and driving are completely preventable. According to the NHTSA, drivers who text and drive are at a 23 percent higher risk of becoming involved in an accident.

Reckless Driving

Speeding and general recklessness often leads to serious accidents. Reckless drivers may switch lanes without warning, run stop signs, turn without signaling, tailgate, and act aggressively on the road. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, speeding caused as many as 23, 098 vehicle accidents in Missouri.

Driving Under Adverse Weather Conditions

Adverse weather conditions such as snow, fog, ice, wind, and rain are also a leading cause of car accidents. Fog and rain can obstruct a driver’s view and make it difficult for the driver to identify and react to hazards on the road. Ice, rain, and other conditions that make the road wet often cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle. Ice and snow can reduce a vehicle’s traction and this makes it difficult to maneuver sharp turns and sudden stops. The Missouri highway patrol has statistics that reveal that wearing seat belts can considerably reduce injuries caused by weather-related accidents.

If you have sustained injuries as a result of a negligent driver, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses and lost wages. Call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242 for a free case evaluation.

Preventing Wrong-Way Driving Accidents

Entering a roadway in the wrong direction can have deadly consequences.

wrong way driving accident in St. Louiswrong-way car accident is caused when a person drives a car the wrong way on a one-way street. Statistics reveal that as many as 61 percent of wrong-way accidents are caused by intoxicated drivers during the early morning hours. The largest number of wrong-way car accidents takes place at around 2 AM, the time when bars and nightclubs typically close. Head-on collisions are often the result of wrong-way car accidents, claiming the lives of those involved.

Common Scenarios of Wrong-Way Driving Accidents

  1. The most common scenario is the person driving in the opposite direction of traffic entering or exiting the freeway.
  2. Entering a one-way street in the wrong direction is a common cause of accidents on metropolitan roads and downtown streets.
  3. Another common scenario is driving on the wrong side of the highway after taking a wrong exit.

Preventing Wrong-Way Driving Accidents

Most states put in place signs such as “One-way”, “Do Not Enter”, and “Wrong Way” on roads to alert drivers. However, most accidents are not because of the absence of warning signs, but due to the inability of the driver to read the sign, commonly during nighttime hours. Although these signs are designed to reflect light from head lights, the wrong-way driver has failed to notice the sign.

Some car accidents are caused by the failure of a driver to notice and react to another vehicle coming the wrong way. So, it is important that the moment you notice a vehicle coming from the opposite direction, you should flash your headlights to warn the driver that he or she is driving the wrong way. You should then slowly pull over to the side of the road, out of the vehicle’s path, and then call 911 to alert local police. By doing so, you might prevent a serious car accident.

St. Louis Car Accident Attorneys

Our St. Louis car accident lawyers believe that by driving responsibly and paying attention to hazards and other drivers on the road, you can avoid being a victim of a wrong-way car accident. However, you cannot always avoid a car accident, especially if the other driver is grossly negligent, driving under the influence, distracted, or speeding.

If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a wrong-way driver, call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242 to learn more about your legal rights.

Post-traumatic Osteoarthritis and Injury Claims

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What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is the erosion or wearing of the cartilage at the end of bones. The cartilage prevents the bones from rubbing against each other and hence when the cartilage wears down, the bones start rubbing together causing pain in the joints. Osteoarthritis can occur in any joint of the body, however it occurs most commonly in the joints of hands, spine, hips and knees. Post-traumatic osteoarthritis is a common car accident injury and almost 12% cases of osteoarthritis in America are caused by some accident or trauma.

The common symptoms of osteoarthritis are pain and tenderness in joints, inflammation, stiffness, reduction in movement of affected joint, loss of flexibility, and grinding of joints. These symptoms alone can determine osteoarthritis, however, certain other diagnostics like blood tests, x-rays, MRI are done to confirm the diagnosis.

Osteoarthritis After a Car Accident

Post traumatic osteoarthritis or osteoarthritis after an accident is a common condition. According to statistics available about 12 percent cases of osteoarthritis of knee, hip, and ankle are caused by some kind of accident or trauma.

Filing an Accident Claim in St. Louis

In a car accident case, your claim should be based on the medical treatment you received for the injuries caused due to the accident. This means, to make a claim for osteoarthritis following a car accident, it is essential that your treating doctor has diagnosed you with osteoarthritis, and should have mentioned in your medical reports that the condition is a result of the car accident.

The mere fact that you never had osteoarthritis before the accident does not entitle you to compensation. You will have to prove it in the court that the condition was caused by the car accident.

Damages for Post-traumatic Osteoarthritis

Damages for post traumatic osteoarthritis are similar to the ones that you can receive for any other injury or illness. You may receive compensation for all the losses that you have suffered as a result of the condition, not just the medical expenses.

Depending on the severity of the condition, post traumatic osteoarthritis may limit your ability to do work, and may cause substantial pain and suffering.  As long as you can prove that the damages are in some way related to the car accident, you can seek compensation.

It is important that the plaintiff’s testimony is in line with the doctor’s testimony. If the plaintiff claims that his complaints and symptoms are worse than what the doctors think, the jurors will assume that the plaintiff is exaggerating. Having a medical expert testify as to the extent of your injuries is essential.

If you have become a victim of a car accident, you should immediately speak with an experienced St Louis car accident attorney at The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. We can not only make you aware of your legal rights, we can actively work to protect them. Call us today at (314) 361-4242 for a free consultation.

Setting Car Accident Claims – Do It Yourself or Speak with an Attorney?

Some car accident claims can be settled with ease, while others can become an extremely complicated process.

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If you have been involved in a St. Louis car accident, it is highly advisable that you speak with an attorney about your accident to determine what your legals rights are and ensure that they are protected. Here are 5 factors to consider:

1. Status of Fault Liability

Cases where the other driver and his insurance company have accepted liability are often fairly straightforward; however, cases where the fault liability is contested become complicated and generally end up in court. There you will be required to prove the other driver’s fault and failing to do so will result in a denial of compensation. When the case gets contested in court, it becomes all the more wise to speak with an experienced car accident attorney.

2. Out-of-Pocket Expenses

After an accident you end up spending some money on your treatment and/or on repairing the damage to your vehicle. In many cases, your out-of-pocket expenses may add up into the thousands. An attorney can help you keep track of your out-of-pocket expenses and fight to get you compensated for these.

3. Extent of Bodily Injuries

Serious injuries sustained in an accident often take a long time to recover and a permanent injury will stay with you for your life. A broken bone, a herniated disc, and other such injuries may require a surgery, increasing the expenses for treatment. A permanent injury or disability will affect your day to day life and should be compensated adequately. Typically the higher the compensation amount, the less likely the other party is to agree to pay.

4. Is your case going to Court?

If you have exhausted all other means of negotiations and settlements, you will likely have to take your case to court. Having an experienced attorney by your side will no doubt increase your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve.

5. Time Invested

Representing your own case will no doubt require a great deal of time and energy. Especially in complex cases, you may invest hours in researching legalities and preparing your case, not to mention the stress of presenting your case, should it go to court. With an experienced attorney on your side, you will be able to focus on physical recovery and can rest assured, knowing everything is being done to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.

Contact The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. today if you have been involved in a St. Louis car accident. We can evaluate your case for free, help you determine what your legal options are, and assist you through every step of the process. Call (314) 361-4242.

Safe Habits for Every Teenage Driver

Establishing safe driving habits early on can save lives!

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Statistics have shown that automobile accidents are the foremost reason for death among adolescents. The risk of being involved in automobile accidents is high within the first six months after adolescents receive their license to drive. More often than not, it is due to lack of experience and over enthusiasm from a perceived independence.

Speeding, distraction, and failure to notice and respond to possible dangers, are all common reasons for accidents involving teenage drivers. The common reason for distraction among adolescents is texting and driving. Recent statistics indicate that around 21% of adolescent drivers involved in automobile accidents were speeding. The risk of drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 being involved in an automobile accident is four times higher compared to drivers in an older age group or drivers between the ages of 25 and 69.

Some simple tips can help teenage drivers decrease their chances of being involved in an automobile accident.

Check Your Surroundings

Experienced drivers are in the habit of checking all of their surroundings on the road. In addition to checking what is going on in front of and behind one’s vehicle, it is vital to check blind spots before switching lanes. When teenage drivers are aware of their surrounds their chances of being involved in an accident decrease.

Monitor Your Speed

A drivers surroundings may change in an instant, making an unexpected stop necessary. For this, and other reasons, it is important for all drivers to monitor their speed and make sure that they are well within the speed limit. The main reason why speed limit notices are posted in some areas, such as exit ramps, is to ensure that inexperienced drivers are aware of the necessary speed that will allow them to safely exit ramps. It is also essential to teach adolescents how weather conditions, such as rain or snow, can affect driving situations.

Remove Source of Distractions

Lives can be saved when parents have rules while driving. These rules include not using mobile phones or setting a maximum number of people inside the vehicle. Probationary periods should be established by parents to ensure they gain enough experience to drive independently. Some authorities recommend that a six-month period should be established by parents before they allow their adolescent children to drive independently.

Evidence indicates that adolescent drivers whose parents establish regulations and provide supportive guidance for them are less likely to become involved in automobile accidents. Therefore if you are a parent it is vital that you instill safe driving happens in your child. It could save not only their life but the lives of others.

If you have been involved in a St. Louis car accident, contact The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. right away at (314) 361-4242 for a free consultation with an experienced attorney!