Third Parties That Can Claim a Share in a Auto Crash Settlement – St. Louis Attorneys

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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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What to Do After a Car Crash – St. Louis Lawyer

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Car accidents can happen to anyone, at any time. Those who have been in an automobile accident – minor or major – know that everything, right from dealing with injuries to insurance companies and the law is neither pleasant, nor easy.

While notifying the authorities is the first thing that most accident victims should do, it is not necessarily the first thing that comes to their minds. At that very moment, not everyone might have the ability or the presence of mind to always do the right things first. However, it is definitely important for everyone – accident victim or not – to understand what they should do in the event of an accident.

 

Get medical attention

Often, accident victims who do not have significant injuries do not seek immediate medical attention. Certain injuries, especially internal injuries can at times take more than 24 to 48 hours to show their effects. Injuries such as internal bleeding, internal damage to organs, closed head injuries like whiplash, etc. can cause severe damage and even cause permanent disabilities if left unchecked.

Not seeking medical attention immediately after an accident can also have repercussions on a civil suit. Most car accident lawyers recommend an examination to their clients, inquire if medical treatment was sought after the accident, and ask for a report even if the medical examination shows nothing.

Contact the police

However minor the accident may be, it is imperative to notify the police. Once contacted the police officer on duty will survey the scene of accident, interview those involved in the accident, issue a ticket if necessary and write an accident report.

The police report is an important document that is required in cases that result in a suit. Moreover, any experienced lawyer will ask to see the police report filed.

Contact an accident attorney

It is essential to make sure that accident victims contact a professional, experienced and qualified St. Louis car accident lawyer, before contacting their insurance company.

One can never ascertain how an accident case can unravel. Notifying a lawyer, right from the beginning can help in easing out the entire process, right from dealing with legal authorities and insurance agents to generating correct reports that help in identifying fault.

Call the insurance company

Many accident victims fear the negative if they call their vehicle insurance companies, and often prefer to sort out the issue with a handshake. One can never know the extent of damage that has taken place, and neither can they be sure that a verbal promise of payment for damages will be kept. In such cases, not reporting the accident to the insurance company might wipe out any chances of claim recovery later on.

It is thus wiser to follow protocol and file a claim for damages with the car insurance company.

Consult with your attorney before accepting any settlements

Insurance companies will obviously try to settle for as little as they can. A qualified St. Louis auto accident attorney should always be consulted before entering into any agreements, to ensure that a fair settlement is made.

Once in a car accident, there are a number of laws and legal procedures that need to be followed and that are often time bound. A car accident lawyer can assist with these and ensure that victims get what they are entitled for.

Call (314) 361-4242 for a FREE and private case evaluation.

https://www.hoffmannpersonalinjury.com/

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.

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.

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.

Rear End Bike Accidents in St. Louis, Missouri

Rear end bicycle accidents account for almost 40 percent of all bike accidents.

Many of these accidents occur because the drivers fail to share the road responsibly with the bike riders. In this post, we will discuss some rear end bike accident scenarios and how you can protect yourself as a St. Louis bicyclist.

Whether you commute on your bike daily, or just take it for an occasional ride, you must keep one thing in mind: Even though you have every right to use the roadway just like the other vehicles do, it is possible that the other drivers may not see you or fail to share the roadway responsibly. So, you must always ride with extreme caution and assume that the drivers cannot see you. Take it upon yourself to ensure your safety. Here are some common scenarios involving a rear end bike accident:

Swerving: Even though bikers are required to ride to the right as much as possible, certain hurdles such as a potholes, debris or some other hazards can cause them to switch lanes abruptly, and the vehicle coming from behind can collide with it. So, it is important for the riders to stay alert and check the rear before switching lanes.

Distracted riding: Bicycle riders have absolutely no protection against the mighty vehicles they share the roadway with. So, to prevent any accidents, it is important for bicyclists to be 100% alert at all times. Even a slight distraction can cost the biker his life or limb.

Bike Lane Intrusions: Drivers of motor vehicles often flout traffic rules. It is not uncommon for the drivers to intrude into bicycle lanes to make a right turn or for parking. So, you must stay alert even in the bike lane.

Intersection accidents: A large number of bike collisions occur on intersections. So, it is important to make frequent checks as you approach the intersection. Even if you remain to the right, watch out for the cars trying to make sudden right turns.

Poor visibility: A large percentage of rear end bike accidents occur in the night because of low visibility. Make sure there are reflectors on the bike as well as on your clothes so that you are easily visible to the drivers even at night.

Depending on the speed at which the rear end bike collisions occur, they can cause severe injuries and even death of the biker. In most cases, the driver of the vehicle that hit from behind would be held liable for the accident. However, in case the biker failed to observe the traffic laws, or was riding negligently or aggressively and got hit from behind, then he may not be able to recover any damages from the driver.

If you have been involved in a rear end bike collision, then you must get in touch with an experienced St Louis injury attorney to understand your legal rights and options.

Safety Tips for Child Pedestrians

Children tend to be impulsive and energetic and do not always think about their own safety.

Car Accident Involving a Child

Studies have indicated that approximately 20 percent of child car accident fatalities involved a pedestrian child. These accidents generally happen during the hours when children are going to or from school. Children tend to be impulsive and energetic and do not always think ahead about their safety. In most cases, these impulsive reactions result in minor scratches or bruises; however, when a child is playing in close proximity to a road, then a careless action can have devastating consequences.

Protecting Our Children From Harm

As a parent, we wish to watch over our children at all times, protecting them from harm. We teach them safety habits to keep them safe when we are not with them. Listed below are safety tips for walking on the road to help keep your children safe.

Pedestrian Safety Tips

• A green light does not mean that it is absolutely safe to cross the road. Always use caution while crossing a street. Stop and scan the intersection for vehicles making a right turn at a red light or cars that disregard a red signal.

• A cross walk is not always safe. Drivers are required to stop at cross walks when there are pedestrians waiting to cross. However, because not every driver follows traffic rules, wait for vehicles to come to a full stop before stepping onto a cross walk. Look left-right-left to check for any incoming vehicles.

• Just because you can see the driver of an incoming vehicle, it does not mean that he or she can also see you. Children, being small, can easily be missed by drivers who are not paying much attention on what is ahead or by drivers of large vehicles. Be extremely cautious when walking in front of or behind vehicles.

• Wearing bright colors at night does not ensure that drivers will be able to see you in the dark. Avoid walking on the road at night. If you must be a nighttime pedestrian on the road, carry a flashlight while walking on the road or wear retro-reflective clothing. Walk on the left side of the road so that you can see the incoming traffic.

Never run across the street while trying to beat the traffic. Running or darting across a street is extremely dangerous. A driver may become confused and fail to take evasive action when a child suddenly darts ahead, resulting in a catastrophic situation.

Injured by a Negligent Driver

If your child has been injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver, contact an experienced St. Louis traffic accident lawyer. Call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242.