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

third-party-car-accident-settlement

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

what-to-do-after-st-louis-car-accident

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/

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