Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Fatal Car Accident Lawyer St Louis

It is easy to understand why some people choose to drive older cars. They might enjoy their vintage style, want to save money, or think it's best for their child to drive an old car in their teens. Though these reasons are valid, people who drive older models are at a significantly elevated risk of fatal crashes

Fatal Car Accident Statistics by Model Year

One of the best sources of car accident data is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). One of the many things the NHTSA has studied in recent years is the fatality rates in new and old cars. The following is what they found:

1984 and earlier: 55%
1985-1992: 53%
1993-1997: 46%
1997-2002: 42%
2003-2007: 36%
2008-2012: 31%
2013-2017: 26%

As you can see, automobile safety has been consistently on the rise for the last three decades, and cars that were made in the previous ten years are significantly safer than older models.


One of the top reasons why newer cars are safer is the effectiveness of their airbag systems. Though older vehicles often also have airbags, the total airbag system is not as comprehensive as newer models. Car companies have been improving and tweaking these systems for decades, and it is paying off. Crashes that would have been lethal for older models are now not due to superior airbags.


Modern cars are structurally built in ways that lessen the chance of severe injury. There have been three significant design shifts over the years. First, the front and back of cars have been built to crumple, which allows the momentum of the other vehicle to be transferred to a part of your car that does not have passengers in it. Second, the structure surrounding the passengers is very sturdy, keeping impact away from the people inside. Lastly, modern cars are built to stay structurally sound when rolling over.

Accident Avoidance Systems

Aside from airbags and structure, cars built recently also have added some high-tech safety features. Some of them include auto-braking, backup cameras, and blind spot sensors. 

Old cars can entice you with affordability, the safest way to stay safe is driving a car that was made in the last ten years. They often have better airbag systems, stronger structures, and have accident avoidance systems to assist you. Each of these may decrease your chances of being involved in an auto accident. Though safe driving is an excellent method for avoiding collisions, having modern safety features is the best way to make inevitable crashes less severe. 

If you or a loved one has been involved in an Auto Accident call St. Louis Accident Attorney, Chris Hoffmann at (314) 361-4242.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Why Hydroplaning Is so Dangerous and How You Can Prevent It

Hydroplaning is a term that describes what happens when your car starts to skid or slide across the road. The results of that happening can be dire, as an out of control car is a hazard to its driver and everyone around it. Below, we tell you everything you need to know about this concept including why it happens, what makes it so dangerous, and what you can do to avoid it going forward.

Why Hydroplaning Happens

First, let’s discuss how cars work. When you drive, you rely on the friction between your tires and the road. This force allows you to turn and stop. What happens when the streets are wet is that you lose some or all of that friction. Rather than having your tire on the asphalt, there is a thin layer of water or snow between them, which causes you to spiral out of control. Though tires are built to resist this event from occurring, it often happens anyway. The most dangerous times to drive are when there is ice on the road and in the first ten minutes of rainfall.

What Makes it So Dangerous

The reason hydroplaning is so dangerous is that it leads to the following deadly types of accidents.

    Intersections - If you are driving up to an intersection and see a stop sign or red light, you’ll need to slow down. Unfortunately, you could be hydroplaning and end up skidding into the intersection. This can lead to high-speed collisions and severe injuries.

    Wrong Way Accidents - You also might skid onto the wrong side of the road. These head-on crashes are always damaging and often fatal.

    Jumping Off the Road - Losing control can lead to you jumping off of the road. In a mountainous setting, that can mean going over a steep cliff. In a city, you might hit a light post or person on the sidewalk. Either way, the result will be tragic.

How You Can Avoid it Going Forward

The following are some excellent ways to reduce your chances of hydroplaning.

    Slow down significantly in wet weather to reduce stopping distances and help your tires scatter water more effectively.

    Increase your following distance so you have plenty of room to stop when needed.

    Don’t drive on roads with large puddles or standing water.

    Don’t use your cruise control. Instead, be ready to slow down at any moment.

    Avoid sharp turns and never change direction at high speeds.

    Make sure your tires have enough tread and are inflated to the correct level.

As you now know, hydroplaning is incredibly dangerous and avoiding it is well worth your attention. That being said, accidents can happen no matter how careful you are, whether you are the one hydroplaning or if it is someone else. If you ever experience one of these collisions and come out with an injury, you should speak with a St. Louis car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Doing so will give you an advocate who will fight for you to get as much compensation as possible. Give The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. a call 24/7 for a FREE Legal Advice :: (314) 361-4242

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Self Driving Car Accident in Missouri

What Happens If I’m Hit by a Self-Driving Car? 

Self-driving cars once seemed like a feature of the distant future. Now, they are being tested and will likely soon hit the mass market. While the lifestyle implications of this shift are critical, there is a legal side to this issue as well. This situation will come into focus in the coming years, but for now, your best bet is talking to a St. Louis auto accident attorney and reading legal articles like this one. Below, we explain what happens if you’re hit by a self-driving car.

Growing Prevalence of Autonomous Cars

Though there have been a few hiccups along the way, self-driving cars seem like an inevitability. Not only are regular cars being outfitted with semi-autonomous technology, but various companies are testing their fully autonomous vehicles in many cities. According to TheStreet.com, one firm estimates there will be 8 million autonomous driving cars on the road by 2025.

No Laws Governing Self-Driving Cars in Missouri 

5-10 years ago, most people thought that self-driving car companies would have to negotiate with local governments and get laws passed before putting their cars on the road. What ended up happening is that these companies decided to start testing their technology now and deal with the legality later. Now, states and cities are beginning to catch up and pass legislation. Currently, Missouri is in the middle of creating laws surrounding autonomous vehicles. Currently there are no laws governing self-driving cars in Missouri.

Dangers of Autonomous Cars

Most experts believe that driverless cars are significantly safer than typical vehicles on the road. This is because machines do not fall into the same traps that humans do. They don’t drink, text, get aggressive, or become tired, so they bypass many of the most common causes of accidents. Still, they are not perfect. There have been instances of them getting into car accidents, and a recent case saw an autonomous vehicle strike a pedestrian in Arizona. The point is that although this technology is incredibly advanced, there are still safety concerns that you should know about.

Post-Crash Best Practices

If you ever get into a crash with one of these vehicles, the steps you take afterward are roughly the same as with a typical car. Those steps are assessing your injuries, calling the police, and gathering evidence. Where is it slightly different is compiling information. Write down the license plate number of the other car and later find out information on the passengers.

Liability is Generally Still Fault-Based

Just because the other car is driverless doesn’t mean it is always at fault. Instead, responsibility will be assessed as it would in a typical crash. Even if you are partially at fault, you may be eligible for compensation.

If the autonomous vehicle is at fault, you will have to investigate exactly what the error was and who was responsible. That could end up being the manufacturer of the car, the technology company that built the driverless software, or another party.

What was once science fiction is now reality, and there are a variety of implications that come with it. One day soon, you might find yourself in a car accident with an autonomous vehicle. When you do, refer back to this article and call a The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. for assistance.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Financial Impact of Car Accidents - St. Louis Auto Wreck Attorneys

Car accidents can affect you in ways more than one. They cost us financially in terms of medical expenses for injuries, vehicle repair costs, and wage loss as a result of not being able to go to work. In car this post, our St. Louis car wreck lawyer will explain in detail how car accidents can cost you financially.

In the U.S., more than 5.5 million motor vehicle accidents occur each year. Of these, a third involve injuries. It is needless to say that all accidents, whether minor or serious, cost something financially.

 The costs can be divided into four categories:


Medical costs

The most obvious cost of a car accident injury is medical bills. The overall effect your injuries has on your financial situation depends on the severity of the injuries, the treatment required, and the financial compensation you are able to recover.

In cases involving serious injuries, expenses can quickly spiral out of control. Right from the cost of taking you the hospital by ambulance, hospitalization costs, specialist costs, X-rays, medications, and other costs, things can snowball easily. In Missouri, unless you have a specific type of car insurance policy, you will likely be expected to pay the medical bills through your health insurance or some other option. Some options include:

  • Medical Payment Insurance (Med Pay)
  • Health insurance cover
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid

Wage loss

When you suffer injuries in a car accident, you will likely miss work. This time period could range from a few days to a few moths depending on the severity of your injuries and the treatment they require. Even once you are in a position to return to work, you may not be able to return full time. Being away from work for a long time can cause a huge financial strain.

In Missouri, the amount of lost wages you can recover after a car accident depends on your role in causing the crash, or “comparative fault.” If you were 0% at fault for the accident, you will likely be entitled to 100 percent of your losses. However, if you think you are 10% at fault, but the other driver says you are 50 percent at fault, you will need to prove your claim.

Diminished Earning Capacity

Even after you recover from your car accident injuries, your ability to earn could be diminished. You might lose opportunities such as a promotion while you are recovering from your injuries. Also, you may not be able to recover completely from injuries, and thus would not be able to advance as far as you could have if you had not suffered injuries.

Pain and Suffering

Another way a car accident injury can affect a victim financially is pain and suffered. Missouri law allows for pain and suffering to be factored into damages. It compensates you for having to endure physical or mental pain. It could also include compensation for emotional anguish.

If you are struggling to recover adequate damages for your car accident injuries, you should contact a competent St. Louis accident lawyer. Give us a call, 24/7, nights and weekends, at (314) 361-4242 to discuss your claim with an experienced attorney.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

When You Are In a Car Accident All By Yourself

Can you make sense of your car insurance policy if you are injured in a single car accident?

Various situations can cause a single car accident.
Accidents involving only one car are called single car accidents. They may happen when a deer runs into your car, or your car is damaged in a hailstorm while parked in your driveway, or someone strikes your car with an object. The award for compensation for single car accidents depends on the type of coverage in your insurance policy and the regulations of your state.

Various Types of Insurance Coverage

  • Liability insurance - provides coverage for property damage and bodily injuries caused to a third-person by an insured person.
  • Collision insurance - provides coverage to an insured vehicle for damage caused in a collision with another vehicle.
  • No-fault insurance - coverage is provided for the property damage and bodily injuries sustained by the insured person.
  • Comprehensive insurance - provides coverage for damage resulting due to loss or theft, rain, hail, earthquake, floods, vandalism, damage caused by animals, etc. This type of insurance covers all aspects which are caused by damage other than collision with another vehicle.

The applicable coverage of your policy depends on the provisions in your insurance policy and also the laws of the state where the accident takes place. For example, an accident caused by a deer hitting your car may be covered under collision insurance or comprehensive insurance depending on the interpretation of the provisions of the insurance policy.

Read Carefully About Exclusions

According to St. Louis car accident attorneys, unless a particular type of damage is excluded from the coverage list of your policy, you may be compensated for damages and injuries incurred. Hence, it is pertinent that while buying a policy you should ask about all the possible scenarios and damages which may or may not be covered by your insurance policy. While buying an insurance policy, you should also keep in mind the cost of the insurance premiums, deductibles, and the value and age of your car. It may not make sense to buy a comprehensive insurance policy for an old car which is already in a bad state.

Statute of Limitations For Filing a Claim

The next important step is to ensure that the claim is filed within the time limit specified in the policy. If you have had a car accident, you should contact your insurance agent to check the procedure for filing a claim and the time limit available. In case of personal injuries, this time limit is called the statute of limitations. You must file you personal injury claim and lawsuit within this time frame or else your claim and lawsuit may not be accepted.

If You Need Help From a St. Louis Car Accident Attorney

If you are intoxicated when you get into a single car accident, there may be other issues such as being arrested for drunk driving. In this case your insurance company may deny paying for your damages and you may also be penalized by a increase in your insurance premium. An accident involving a pedestrian is an extremely serious scenario which may involve a civil lawsuit and criminal prosecution.

If you have recently been injured in a single car accident, do not let the absence of a guilty party keep you from seeking compensation. Contact The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242. We may be able to help you recover your damages.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Filing a Bodily Injury Claim

Car accidents can be quite traumatizing and the injuries may take a long time to heal. 

Car accident victims often have to spend a lot of money on medical treatments. However, they can make a bodily injury claim and recover the expenses from the insurance company.

Filing a Bodily Injury Claim

A bodily injury claim can be filed after consulting the doctor following an accident. The claim must be filed with the insurance company of the driver responsible for the accident. It can be filed by the injured party whether he or she was driving an automobile, riding a bike, or walking along the street.

During the claim process, an insurance adjuster works with the victim; however, it is extremely important to be cautious during the process, because even a slightest mistake can jeopardize the compensation. So, all documents associated with the accident, together with the medical treatment details, should be maintained properly during the claim process. It is essential to update the insurance company about the progress of the treatment until the appropriate settlement is paid.

Keeping a Record of the Medical Treatment Received

In order to receive the appropriate settlement, St. Louis car accident lawyers advise proper recording of the treatment. A detailed medical report should be obtained from a medical professional to show the degree of the injury and treatment received. The record should include the following details:

Date of the injury
Cause of the injury
Diagnosis and treatment period
Required medication
Disability or scarring
Required pain management treatment
Possible future disabilities

Necessary Documents the Insurance Company May Require

Medical reports, expenses incurred, and radiology reports have to be prepared to corroborate the claim with the insurance company. This makes it necessary to document all medical reports and expenses incurred during the recovery period. It should include expenses for medications, transportation expenses to and from the clinic, and support received while dealing with the injury.

Details of psychological issues should also be recorded by the doctor treating the patient. Psychological issues should not be taken lightly, since it can have a damaging effect on any person involved in an automobile accident.

Although an injured person can discuss the settlement with the insurance company directly, he or she should be ready to provide evidence on the events leading to the injury, including the degree of pain experienced and treatment received. However, an experienced St. Louis car accident attorney can facilitate the collection of these records. Aside from collecting the necessary records, the lawyer can also discuss the bodily injury claim with the insurance company on your behalf. Contact The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242.

Photo credit: commons.wikimedia.org via Google

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Car Accidents Involving a Commercial Vehicle

A car accident is a traumatic event that may result in physical and mental pain and suffering; sometimes lasting a lifetime for many people. 

Compensation received for the injury and damages helps the victim with the treatment and payment of medical and other expenses. However, the situation becomes complicated when the car accident involves a commercial vehicle.

Receiving Compensation for Injuries and Damages

The companies behind commercial vehicles are a difficult lot to handle. They are seldom willing to part with their money to pay compensation for the injuries and damages even if they know that their vehicle’s driver is at fault. St. Louis car accident lawyers offer tips on steps that one must take after getting involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle. Armed with this knowledge, the victim may increase the chances of receiving compensation for injuries and damages.

Steps to Take After a Car Accident

After a car accident with a commercial vehicle, the most important thing to do is to stay calm and collect information which can be useful in the claim process. If you are not severely injured and can move around safely, ask the other passengers of your car and the commercial vehicle’s driver if they are alright. A checklist of things to do is as follows:

  • Call the police or emergency services using your cell phone to seek help. 
  • Ask for the commercial vehicle driver’s license number and insurance information. You must also share your insurance information and license number with the other driver. 
  • If you have a camera, take pictures of both the vehicles ensuring that you shoot the licence plate and the damaged areas.
  • Look around for witnesses to the accident and ask them what they saw.
  • Write down the details of the events that led to the accident, including all the minor details that you can remember. Ask your co-passengers to write down their recollection of the accident.
  • When you are receiving medical treatment after an accident, do not forget to take pictures of the injuries that you have sustained.

Legal Help to File a Claim

When you decide to file a claim against the driver of the commercial vehicle, you may consider consulting with a competent St. Louis car accident attorney to litigate your compensation case. You may find it extremely difficult to prove the fault of the commercial vehicle driver on your own as there could be several factors affecting the case.

  • The driver may be speeding, driving recklessly, or may be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 
  • The driver may have overworked or have had lack of sleep and was thus tired.
  • The vehicle may have had a brake failure or some other mechanical failure. This is the responsibility of the company’s repair crew or the vehicle manufacturer.

The governing laws for commercial vehicle insurance vary from state to state and some are federal laws. A commercial firm in violation of any of these laws is liable to pay a hefty compensation. Thus an experienced St. Louis car accident attorney will be very helpful in ensuring that your case gets through. The attorney will use the information you collected at the accident site, the driver’s log, vehicle inspection and safety records, and other pieces of evidence. Call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242 for a free consultation.

Photo credit: Barry Lewis via Flickr