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

Why Teen Drivers Are Often More Susceptible to Risk-Taking

Is all risky behavior by teen drivers caused because they simply do not care?

reckless driving accident attorney St. Louis

Fatal road accidents account for a large percentage of deaths among teenagers and young people ages 15 to 29, with newly licensed teenagers more susceptible to road accidents.

Why Are Teenagers at Risk for Auto Accidents?

A recent study found that teenagers with lower response to stress are more likely than those with higher response to stress to be involved in a road accident. The 18-month long study by scientists at the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec was conducted among more than 40 newly licensed teenage drivers. The study found that teenagers with a higher response to the stress hormone cortisol are less susceptible to road accidents.

The Role of Cortisol

“This study found that cortisol, a neurobiological marker, was associated with teenaged driving risk [and that] teenagers with lower response to stress were at higher risk for [crashes and reckless driving charges],” says investigator Marie Claude Ouimet in a written statement. “As in other problem-behavior fields, identification of an objective marker of a specific pathway to teenaged driving risk promises the development of more personalized intervention approaches.”

Scientists at the University of Sherbrooke measured the respondents’ cortisol response while they were given to perform a stress-inducing task. Meanwhile, they also gathered data on the respondents’ reckless driving charges. Finally, the researchers compared the two data to come to a conclusion. In order to measure the respondents’ response to cortisol, the researchers took saliva samples from the respondents after every few days. The researchers installed cameras and sensors in each participant’s car. As expected, the results show that teenagers with a higher response to cortisol or those who can handle stress better had been involved in fewer crashes or faced fewer penalties for reckless driving.

How Stress Affects Teen Driving Behavior

“The most immediate implication of the findings of the Ouimet et al study is for continued research to better characterize the relationship between cortisol reactivity in response to stressors and crash risk in the general population of healthy teens and among those teens who might be at higher crash risk owing to preexisting conditions or history of risky behaviors,” said Dennis R. Durbin, a doctor at the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia and the co-researcher of the study, in a written statement.

Durbin stressed the importance of conducting more studies to find out how stress affects teenage driving behaviors. Meanwhile, newly licensed teenagers need to be educated about avoiding risky behavior while driving. Parents have a major role to play in helping their children be aware of the risks associated with reckless driving.

If you have been injured by a reckless teen driver, contact a St. Louis car accident attorney from The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. to understand your legal rights.

Avoid Being a Distracted Driver

Over 400,000 people are injured each year because of distracted driving car accidents.

Distracted driving car accidents have reached an epidemic proprotion. If you have been the victim of a car accident where the driver was clearly not paying attention to the road, speak with a St. Louis car accident attorney today.

The Scary Story of Distracted Driving

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recently announced that the incidence of death in distracted driving car accidents has reached over 3,000 per year, and injuries are over 400,000. This is an increase from prior years and shows that the message is not getting across that distracted driving can be deadly.
It is estimated that 660,000 drivers around the country are using technical devices while they are driving. Texting and cell phone use top the list of offending activities, but GPS and iPods are also a problem. There are also the non-tech related distractions, such as eating, drinking, and even smoking.

How to Avoid Being a Distracted Driver

The last thing you want is to be the cause of an accident simply because you responded to a text message. Distractions do one of three things – they make you take your eyes off of the road, your hands off of the steering wheel, or your attention away from driving. Not surprisingly, reading and responding to texts involves all three, which is why there is such a focus on trying to convince St. Louis drivers to refrain from texting and driving at all times.

Take care of your calls before you start the ignition. Once in drive, put away your cell phone and focus on the road in front of you. Use a hands free option to help you navigate your GPS or radio, but use these sparingly as these activities may keep your hands on the wheel, but your mind is still not on the road.

Set a Good Example

If you drive with young people, set a good example by keeping your cell phone out of sight while driving. Missouri drivers between the ages of 17 to 25 are the most likely to be involved in a distracted driver car accident. Practice what you preach to young drivers in order to help prevent them from getting into a car accident.

Just because you have learned how to not let distractions interfere with your driving, doesn’t mean that everyone else on the road has. If you are injured by a driver who was on their cell phone,  contact a St. Louis auto accident attorney from The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. immediately. We will investigate your claim and help you recover compensation for the damages you have incurred.

The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C.

(314) 361-4242

How Can a Missouri Car Accident Lawyer Help Your Case?

When you are involved in a car accident, you get caught in myriad problems concerning insurance claims and settlements.

why-hire-a-car-accident-lawyerThere are countless issues to be settled, like proving the liability, payment for car damages, payment of medical expenditure, reimbursement for lost wages and many more. An experienced Missouri car accident lawyer is the most helpful person in handling such cases. These attorneys most often work on a contingent-fee basis and they negotiate the case well as they get paid only when the claim is successfully resolved.

Why Hire a Car Accident Attorney?

A competent Missouri car accident lawyer is well conversant with the relevant laws and regulations which affect such cases. Thus they can advice you on various issues pertaining to the case of which one is completely unaware. For example, they can inform you about time limits or ‘Statutes of Limitations’ which may prevent you from filing a lawsuit against the driver who has been at fault. In certain states the lawsuit can be filed within two years of your accident only and no lawsuit can be filed post completion of this period.

What Your Attorney Can Do For You

After you have hired an injury attorney, your hassles are reduced as he can file a lawsuit on your behalf and is the best person to handle the defense arguments raised by opponents. Your attorney is also your best guide in preparation of trial when the legal case commences. An attorney can also fight on your behalf if your case goes to trial. A knowledgeable attorney plays a defining role in the progression of the case. With his sound knowledge of the laws and regulations, they ensure that the opponents, who are generally big insurance companies, become aware that they cannot avoid paying the appropriate amount of compensation.

Once you have been in an automobile accident, the last that you want to do is preparing the paperwork for negotiating a personal injury suit and insurance settlement. This is a time consuming work that is best left to a legal professional. Attorneys have seen large number of such cases and know what pitfalls to avoid. They obtain the required documents and evidence to strengthen the claim, like police reports, statements of various witnesses, information regarding employment and loss of wages, medical reports and expenditures.

The next major step is the preparation of ‘Settlement Demand Letter’. Your attorney will put in order the relevant documents and evidence and issue the settlement demand letter to the insurance company. If the accident case is not settled, your Missouri car accident attorney will prepare the necessary documentation for starting a court case. He can also arbitrate on your behalf in case you have sustained serious injuries and are recovering.

Contact a Missouri Car Accident Attorney

Your attorney advocates on your behalf for the entire duration of the claim process. They will ensure that your case is well heard before the jury and the judge and that you are adequately compensated for all the losses incurred.

If you have been involved in a Missouri auto accident, contact The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. by calling (314) 361-4242 and scheduling a free consultation.

 

photo credit: flazingo_photo via Flickr

What to Do After If a Drunk Driver Hits You

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Despite stiff fines, jail time and loss of drivers license privileges, drunk driving is still one of the leading causes of fatal automobile accidents in the state of Missouri. Most frustrating is that most drunk drivers walk away from the accident they caused unscathed, while the victims suffer from massive bodily injure or even lose their life. There are a few steps you should take if you are ever involved in an accident with an impaired driver.

At the Scene

If you are in an accident and suspect that the other driver has been drinking make sure that the police are called to the scene. They will either perform a field test to check his sobriety or insist that he be treated at a hospital where it will be tested.

Criminal charges will be filed against any Missouri driver over the age of 21 with a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher. That number is only .02% for drivers under 21 and .04% for drivers of commercial vehicles. Obtain copies of all police reports regarding your accident and bring them to your attorney for review. Follow his criminal case closely and if asked, provide your own testimony with the assistance of your attorney. The outcome of the criminal case against the driver could affect your civil case, it is important to pay close attention to how it is being prosecuted.

Getting Compensated

As with any type of personal injury case, avoid talking with insurance claim adjusters. Their goal is to lower settlement amounts and will do whatever they can to accomplish this. Repeat drunk driving offenders are often unlicensed and therefore un-insured, making it necessary for you to have to seek compensation from your own insurance policy. Their goal is the same, so make sure thatyour attorney handles corresponding with them.

Drunk driving is a serious offense that most jury’s will not overlook. Insurance companies know this and are more likely to try and settle this type of case than allow a jury to out of fear of punitive damages. This is when a jury sets an award above the amount of the lawsuit as a punishment for the negligent party’s actions. With the dangers of driving intoxicated so well known, these types of damages are common in drunk driving civil cases. As a result, expect to be offered a fair settlement, like the young Missouri couple who suffered facial injuries as a result of being rear-ended by a drunk driver. After negotiating with their attorney, the insurance company agreed to pay them $900,000.

St. Louis Car Accident Attorney

Being involved in a car accident is an awful event to endure, and even more so when you realize it could have been prevented had the other driver simply followed the law. If you have been involved in a drunk driving accident in Missouri, contact a St. Louis car accident attorney at The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. Call (314) 361-4242 to schedule a free consultation.

 

photo credit: anieto2k via Flickr