Monday, October 26, 2015

Claiming Compensation for St. Louis Car Wreck Injury

If you suffer an injury in a minor car accident, you may wonder whether you are entitled to financial compensation for your pain and suffering.

You may not be sure whether it is worth your time to make a car accident claim. Here are some important things to know about making a claim for pain and suffering from minor car accidents.

Making a Claim for Pain and Suffering

Making a claim depends on whether or not your state has no-fault insurance laws. If you have no-fault car insurance, your insurance company is liable to pay you for all or some of your medical bills and lost earnings, irrespective of who was responsible for the accident. At present, more than 12 states have no-fault insurance laws. In those states, there are certain restrictions on making a claim for personal injury outside of your no-fault insurance. Some no-fault states allow you to make a claim against the party at fault, only when your medical expenses exceed a certain amount, while some other states allow making a claim only if the injury is serious. If, however, the accident occurred in a at-fault state, you are legally permitted to make a claim against the party at fault, irrespective of the severity of your injury.

Common Injuries from Minor Car Accidents

Minor car crashes usually do not cause severe injuries, but minor injuries are almost unavoidable. Common injuries include neck pain, shoulder pain, headache, muscle pain, and shoulder pain. In most cases, an accident victim experiences the symptoms soon after the accident. However, in some cases, you may suffer hidden injuries and the symptoms may arise a few days after the accident.

Seeking Medical Attention after a Minor Car Accident

If you suffer an injury from a car accident - no matter how minor it is – you should seek medical advice. This not only helps you determine how serious your injury is, but also helps prove to the insurance company that your injuries were a direct result of the accident.

Determining the Value of Pain and Suffering

If you get involved in a minor car accident and suffer a minor injury that does not require hospitalization or days off from work, you may not be allowed to make a claim against the negligent party in a no-fault state. However, in an at-fault state, you have the right to make a claim for even your minor injury. But you should not expect the compensation amount to exceed $2,000. Contact an experienced St. Louis car crash attorney to find out how much compensation you can claim. The compensation amount you can claim for minor injuries may vary from one state to another. Call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242. We can give you advice on how to make a claim and how to protect your legal rights.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Automobile Accidents Involving St. Louis Teens

Teenage drivers are more prone than the average adult driver to get involved in an accident. According to a recent survey by American Automobile Association’s Foundation for Traffic Safety, a teenage driver’s risk of death due to an accident may increase by around 44 percent for ever mile they drove when they had a less-than-21-years-old passenger, rather than driving alone. The risk doubles if the teenage driver carries two less-than-21-years-old passengers, and quadruples if the driver carries more than three passengers aging less than 21. 

The study goes to show that teenage drivers are exposed to higherrisk of deaths due to an accident when they are accompanied by other teenagers in the car, while the risk of death decreases dramatically when they carry adult passengers. With only one passenger aged 35 years or more in the car, a teenage driver’s risk of death due to accident decreases by 62 percent, says the AAA study.
“Just because states have graduated licensing laws doesn't means everyone is obeying them,” said a spokesman for the Governors Highway Safety Association, Jonathan Adkins. “Graduated licensing laws are really good, but we rely on the parents to be the ones enforcing them,” Adkins added. 

However, results of the previous studies on this issue were a little misleading, because none of them was conducted after the changes in driving laws took effect during the mid-1990s. Under the revised laws, teenagers are not allowed to drive with less-than-21-years-old passengers, while in some states, only one young passenger is allowed. 

The AAA study was conducted during the period between 2007 and 2010, meaning that the study reflects the latest changes in state driving laws. The study was conducted analyzing government statistics on accidents involving teenagers during that period. Under Graduated Driver Licensing laws, most of the states in the US now have restrictions on nighttime driving and do not allow more than one less-than-21-years-old passenger in the car. Unfortunately, however, it is not easy to enforce these laws.

The period between 2000 and 2010 saw around 50 percent decrease in the number of teenage drivers involved in fatal accidents every year, thanks to the enforcement of graduated licensing laws and safe driving campaigns that helped raise awareness about the importance of using safety equipment, such as, seat belts in the car.

Regulations and campaigns did a wonderful job, but the job is still not over. According to the study, around 40 percent of the teenage drivers who lost their lives in an accident during that period had at least one less-than-21-years-old passenger and no adults in their car.

One practical problem with enforcing the laws is that police officers find it difficult to identify teenage drivers and passengers only based on their look, clarified Adkins. Interestingly, a large percentage of teenage deaths due to accident occur during the summer season. In fact, summer months account for around 422 teenager deaths per month due to fatal accidents, compared to 363 deaths during the non-summer months.

If you were injured in a Missouri auto accident caused by a negligent teen, get in touch with an experienced attorney at The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. We can evaluate your claim for free and help you determine what you are entitled to under Missouri law.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Common Driver Errors That Cause Car Accidents

There are various causes for car accidents and it is important for every driver to understand these causes and make an effort to prevent accidents.


There are two broad categories of causes for car accidents – driver error and everything else. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that the majority of car accidents can be attributed to driver error.

Texting and Driving

There are various types of driver errors which amount to driver negligence. For example, talking or texting on a cell phone while driving causes over 25 percent of all car accidents in the United States. As a driver you may think that you can easily do the job of driving and using a cell phone simultaneously; however, multitasking can adversely affect your driving ability and result in an accident. The brain will perceive a hazard and then take the appropriate action to avoid the hazard. When you multitask while driving, the brain’s ability to perceive the hazard and to provide a response is delayed. This can cause a car accident as the response time in such a situation is only a few seconds.

Drunk Driving

The next category of driver error is driving under the influence of alcohol. The NHTSA reports that over 40 percent of fatalities in car accidents across the country are attributable to alcohol consumption. Driving under the influence is known to reduce the body’s reaction time to situations, reduced visibility, and affects a driver's decision making capability. A fatigued driver also faces effects similar to driving under the influence. Fatigue may cause a driver to have slower reactions and a driver may even fall asleep while behind the wheel. The chances of missing a traffic signal, such as a stop sign, are higher for an intoxicated or fatigued driver.


The other major cause of accidents is over-speeding. Teen drivers, and especially male teens, are more likely to speed when compared to adult and female drivers. These drivers are less experienced and are not equipped to deal with a hazard on the road while driving at high speeds. They may also drive too fast for the road and weather conditions, leading to accidents.

Dangerous Road Conditions

There are various non-driver related reasons for car accidents. The conditions of the road play a big part in road safety. A poorly maintained road or a road with water accumulation can result in lower traction and less friction, making it hazardous for motorists. Moisture on the road from rain or snow also makes the roads slippery and hazardous. Weather conditions like fog, rain, and snow reduces visibility and affects driving conditions. Further, the condition of your car can also affect your safety on the road. Poorly maintained brakes and tires can make your car skid and can cause a crash.
If you or someone close to you has been injured in a car accident caused by another driver’s error, contact a St. Louis car accident attorney from The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. and claim your rightful damages.

The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C.

(314) 361-4242

Friday, May 8, 2015

Car Accident Lawyer St. Louis - Missouri Personal Injury Attorney

Car Accident Lawyer St. Louis - Missouri Personal Injury Attorney

At The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C., our personal injury practice focuses on helping victims of car accidents in and around St. Louis, Missouri.

If you were injured in a St. Louis car accident, you probably have many questions. How can I pay my medical bills? What if I can’t work? How can I take care of my family? Fortunately, you do not have to answer these questions alone. A St. Louis car accident lawyer can help you find peace of mind.
The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C.
(314) 361-4242

Friday, January 16, 2015

Avoiding Car Accidents in Unmarked Intersections

Establishing liability for a car accident in an unmarked intersection is not always simple.


Many car accident cases are quite clear and it is easy to decide liability; for example, a driver runs a red light or drives on the wrong side of the road, leading to a car accident. In such cases, liability is clearly established and the at-fault driver is considered personally, legally, and financially responsible for causing the accident. There are, however, accidents where establishing liability is not that simple.

Case Study - An Unmarked Intersection

Consider an example of a car accident that occurred in Barton County, Missouri last year. A 49 year-old male was heading west in his pickup truck and was hit broadside by a Ford Explorer which was traveling northbound. The impact of the collision was so severe that the pickup truck was pushed over the side of the road, overturned, and came to rest upside down. The driver of the pickup truck was pronounced dead on the scene. It was reported by the highway patrol that the driver was not wearing a seatbelt. This accident occurred on an unmarked four-way intersection and the absence of a stop sign or stop lights may have contributed to the two vehicles colliding. The other driver was a 55 year-old female who escaped unhurt. A sobriety test on the other driver came out clean and she was not arrested or cited.

It becomes difficult to establish liability for the cause of the accident and there may not be enough facts to support a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the surviving maily members of the deceased driver. To establish liability in such a case, it has to be established who had the right of way in the unmarked four-way intersection.

Follow the Rules of the Road

Many car accidents occur due to improper knowledge of the rules of the road when it comes to intersections without stop signs, yield signs, or stop lights. The first and foremost rule is that pedestrians have the right of way on any intersection or crosswalk. When you approach an unmarked intersection, slow down and be prepared to stop in case the need arises. The vehicle that enters the intersection ahead of you has the right of way and you should be prepared to yield to that vehicle or any other vehicle that is already crossing the intersection. When two vehicles arrive on an unmarked intersection at the same time, yield to the vehicle that arrived first or the vehicle on your right.

Safe Driving Tips

Our St. Louis car accident attorney offers some safe driving tips to avoid car accidents in an unmarked intersection.
  • Anticipate the actions of the other driver and be prepared to yield when the situation arises.
  • In case of conflict for right of way, making eye contact with the other driver may help.
  • To avoid an accident, be willing to yield to a driver who fails to yield the right of way when legally required.

The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C.

(314)  361-4242