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.

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Car Crash Attorney St. Louis: Preventing Child Passenger Injuries

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Every year, a large number of child passenger injuries are caused by car accidents and cars themselves. Cars can cause injuries even if they are not moving. Each year, there are several cases of kids dying of hyperthermia and heat stroke after they are inadvertently left inside a hot car. Many child injuries can be prevented by using certain safety devices. Here is a roundup of some of these safety devices that we found interesting and useful:

Smart car seats: A company has released something called a smart car seat that has temperature, angle, and motion sensors. These seats send an alert signal to the parent’s smartphone if the seatbelt is unbuckled or too warm while the car is moving.

Motion and heat sensors: These sensors are installed in a car seat and can sense heat or movement and alert parents if the child is left behind in the car.

GPS Systems: There are GPS systems that are specifically designed for children to help parents keep a track of their children. Some of these GPS systems feature a one-button touch pad that allows children call parents in case of trouble.

Proximity sensors: These sensors feature two parts. One remains with the parent and other with the child. When the parent or caregiver walks too far away from the child, the alarm goes off.

These devices can go a long way in preventing child injuries, however, it is important not to rely on them blindly. Nothing can replace the human mind and instinct. According to the NHTSA relying completely on these safety devices is not a good idea due to several reasons including:

Not completely reliable: According to the NHTSA, these safety devices are not 100 percent reliable and do not always work correctly. They may be affected by the presence of cell phones, liquids, or other problems. Some product reviews show that the devices did not work as intended in a given situation.

Break in routine can cause child death from hot car: These safety devices require parents or caregivers to act in a certain way. Any break in this routine can lead to an injury. For example, for the proximity sensor to work, the caregiver should carry one part of the device, but in case the caregiver fails to carry it or hand it over to the other caregiver, injuries can still result.

Many safety devices work only when the child is in the car seat: According to NHTSA reports, close to half of the cases of child deaths caused by hot car are occur when the child is not in a car seat. So, the devices that require the child to be in a car seat won’t work in such cases.

Parents need to be extra cautious when traveling with kids and about leaving them inside the car when they go out. If your child has suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, make a claim with the help of a qualified car accident attorney. Call (314) 361-4242 to schedule a free consultation.

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.