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

Friday, July 18, 2014

Car Accidents and S.L.A.P. Injuries

A car accident can cause severe trauma to the shoulder, a complex joint that connects different parts of the body.


S.L.A.P. stands for Superior Labral Tear From Anterior to Posterior, and it occurs when a shoulder is dislocated. A shoulder can get dislocated when someone is involved in a car accident because the impact can cause severe trauma to the shoulder. A shoulder is one of the most complex joints in the body as it connects different parts of the body.

Symptoms of a S.L.A.P. Tear


A S.L.A.P. tear is an extremely serious condition and has symptoms which are quite similar to other shoulder injuries. The symptoms for a S.L.A.P. tear are as follows.

A popping or clicking sound from the shoulder.
A dull throbbing ache in the shoulder joint.
Pain in the shoulder when lifting a weight above the head.
Pain in the shoulder at certain positions.
A feeling that the shoulder is going to pop out or get dislocated.
A decrease in the range of motion of the shoulder.

A trained medical professional will be able to inspect the injury and give a correct diagnosis. It is essential that the victim meets a health care professional to get the injury examined for planning the further course of treatment.  The doctor will usually carry out an X-ray or MRI of the shoulder to check the extent of the injury and whether a S.L.A.P. tear has occurred.

Treatment Options For S.L.A.P. Tears


There are two types of treatment available for S.L.A.P. tears depending on the severity of the injury. The first is a conservative one in which the doctor prescribes medication to get rid of the swelling and pain. Once the swelling is gone the victim has to begin physical therapy, in which the therapist makes the victim undergo rigorous sessions of exercise to strengthen the shoulder muscles, improve flexibility of the shoulder joint, and increase range of motion which has been severely affected by the injury. The duration of the physical therapy depends on the severity of the injury.

The next course of treatment is arthroscopy, which is a surgical treatment for correction of the S.L.A.P. tear. In this case a small incision is made and the surgical instruments are inserted to repair the tear. This surgery is followed by physical therapy similar to the conservative treatment and the duration of therapy depends on the severity of the injury.

Receiving Medical Treatment After a Car Accident


If you have been involved in a car accident, you should see your health care provider for a check-up, even if you feel alright after the crash. Many injuries do not show any symptoms initially and then start troubling your day to day life at a later stage. A S.L.A.P. tear is one such injury and a minor pain in the shoulder should never be ignored.

If a serious injury is not treated on time, it may affect your life severely in the future. So, timely medical attention should be sought. The next step is filing a claim to receive compensation for your medical expenses. Call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242 to learn about your legal options.

Photo credit: sportEXjournals via Flickr

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Car Accidents and Eye Injuries

If you have sustained an eye injury in a car accident, seek the help of a St. Louis car accident attorney to receive compensation.


Exam by an ophthamologist.
The eyes are considered one of the most important body organs as they help us in all aspects of our day to day lives. When you are involved in a car accident, you are quite susceptible to receive an eye injury. Eye injuries can be caused by shattered glass entering the eye, or by the impact of the head on the dashboard or steering wheel. An eye injury should always be taken seriously and immediate medical help should be sought.

Types of Eye Injuries



  • Orbital Blowout Fracture - a fracture of the bones surrounding the eye and occurs when the face hits the dashboard.
  • Eyelid Injuries - the most common form is eyelid lacerations which occur when a blunt object hits the eyelid causing deep cuts. Other eyelid injuries are black eyes in which the tissue around the eye fills up with blood following a trauma. A black eye generally heals by itself with a cold compress and pain relievers, whereas lacerations generally require plastic surgery for repair.
  • Optic Nerve Injury - also called traumatic optic neuropathy and the symptom is a decrease or complete loss of vision. Severity of optic nerve injury determines whether the condition can be cured by surgery or not. 
  • Retinal Tear - a condition in which the retina separates from the underlying tissue inside the eye. The most common symptom of retinal tear is flashing lights and floaters in the vision. 
  • Eye Haemorrhage - a haemorrhage occurs mainly due to an impact of the head with a blunt object, causing bleeding in the anterior chamber of the eye, for example, the region between the iris and the cornea. The symptoms are blurred vision and pain in the affected eye.
  • Ruptured Globe Injury - the outer membranes of the eye are affected by the trauma, thus causing severe pain, vision loss, and fluid leakage from the affected eye. Other symptoms include facial pain and swelling, double vision, redness, and abnormal pupils. 


Medical Treatment for Eye Injuries


In case you have sustained an eye injury in a car accident, you must seek immediate medical attention, especially from an ophthalmologist. The ophthalmologist will be able to inspect the eye to establish the type of injury and suggest a suitable course of treatment. A timely detection of an eye injury and correct surgery and treatment can prevent permanent vision loss.

If the accident has been caused by a negligent driver, you may seek advice of a St. Louis car accident lawyer to file for compensation for the injuries sustained. Call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242.

Photo credit: en. wikipedia.org via Google

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

When Your Claim Exceeds Your Policy Limit in a Car Crash

When Your Claim Exceeds Your Policy Limit

When Your Claim Exceeds Your Policy Limit

The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C.

If you have been injured in a car wreck, you may have already heard the term policy limits being thrown around by the insurance adjusters and lawyers.

car-accident-attorney-in-st-louisWhat does that mean, and how does it affect your claim?
Insurance is not infinite. There is a set amount designated as the most a carrier will pay out on a claim. The number varies depending on the type of coverage.The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. will be happy to assist you in figuring it out if you were injured in an accident and are trying to recover your medical expenses from an at fault driver.

Policy Limits

Policy limits are presented as two numbers. Missouri law has set the minimum amount of liability coverage at 25/50, so let’s use that as our example. If you are hurt in an accident where the driver has opted for the minimum amount of liability insurance, then regardless of the amount of your bills, his insurance company is only obligated to pay out $25,000. This is a per person amount for bodily injury. Unless he has other assets, there may not be much else you can do to him.
The second number, 50, is per accident. So if a driver runs a red light and causes a wreck that injures 5 people, the insurance company will only pay out up to $50,000. It can be complicated trying to work this all out with the other drivers’ insurance company, which is why we recommend utilizing a car accident attorney.
What if your medical expenses totaled $50,000 and their policy limit is $25,000? Fortuantely, Missouri also has a minimum 25/50 law for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. You are allowed to file a claim against your own insurance company to make up the difference.

St. Louis Car Crashes

A smart Nodaway County motorist opted for higher uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. When he was struck by another vehicle in an intersection, the cost of his injuries exceeded the $25,000 liability policy of the other driver by $59,000. Not including the cost of his future care as a result of permanent disability. His own insurance company agreed to a $500,000 settlement amount on top of the $25,000 that had been paid by the at-fault drivers insurance company. The fact that he had the foresight to prepare for a worse case scenario not only ensured that the medical bills were paid, but that he was also compensated for future expenses. Had he not, he would have been left with a debilitating injury and a hospital bill balance of $9,000.
When considering the amount of coverage you need, consider all of your assets and make sure your policy limits equal or exceed them.
There are other options available to you besides just what a liable motorist can be forced to pay. If you sense that his insurance will be inadequate in relation to your expenses, consult with a St. Louis car crash attorney before giving up.

Injured in a car accident?

Call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242

Schedule a free consultation

photo credit: FeatheredTar
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