Thursday, April 25, 2019

Should I Settle My Auto Accident Claim? - St. Louis Injury Lawyer

When thinking about getting compensation for their car accident injuries and damages, most people will picture themselves in open court. However, the majority of these cases actually get settled a long time before anyone even considered a trial.

There are some instances when a trial is actually the better option, but there are certain factors that have to come into play.

Sometimes, it’s Better to Settle

There are certain advantages to settling your case and not going to trial, and one of the most obvious ones is that you can get compensation a lot faster than if you were to were to go to trial.

When you settle, you do not have to go through multiple court proceedings like hearing, depositions, or sitting through a trial. Plus, the jury can often be unpredictable, and you may face an unfavorable verdict. Once that happens, you generally cannot file any other claim against the driver in regards to the car accident.

A lot of people may choose to settle to avoid high attorney fees. However, even if you do want to settle, it’s still best to work with a St. Louis car accident lawyer. They can often negotiate for a higher settlement.

When You May Consider Going to Court

Trials can be very unpredictable because you essentially depend on what a jury of your peers believe. But in some cases, it may be your only option. Even if car insurance is mandatory in Missouri, it is reported the almost 14% of drivers in the stat do not have it. If that is the case, it’s possible to sue the driver to get the compensation.

There is also the possibility that the insurance company is denying your claim, or offers a settlement too low for the injuries you’ve suffered. If you get nowhere with the negotiations, you can take them to court. Or, if there is gross negligence involved, you may feel compelled to take the matters to court to get a sense of justice.

However, you need to know that the burden of proof falls on you. As such, you and your lawyer will have to provide sufficient evidence that will convince the jury to rule in your favor. Evidence includes witness testimony, photos, camera footage, expert witness statements, police reports, and others.

Know that even if you go to trial, you can still settle out of court. Filling for a lawsuit can be an effective tactic to show the other side you are serious, and it can possibly convince them to come back to the negotiation table with a different mindset.

If you contact a St. Louis auto accident attorney and discuss your case with them, they can often advise the best course of action. Of course, it is ultimately up to you, and what you need to do to get a sense of closure. Call 24/7 for a FREE case evaluation :: (314) 361-4242

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Pedestrian Partially at Fault for Auto Accident

The NHTSA reports that almost 6000 pedestrians were killed in car accidents in 2016, meaning roughly one every 1.5 hours. Not to mention the thousands of pedestrians who got injured as a result of a car crash. In Missouri, nearly 10% of fatalities relating to car accidents involve pedestrians.

These accidents are, unfortunately, rather common, and most often the party to blame is the negligent driver whose actions created this mess. However, this is not a golden rule, and in some instances, the pedestrian can be the one responsible for the accident.

Liability in Accidents Involving Pedestrians

The most common instances where a pedestrian causes a car accident is when they violate certain rules, such as crossing the street at a red light. However, in these cases, the driver can also be found guilty of violating a rule.

For instance, if the pedestrian was crossing the street at a red light, and a car hits them, it begs the question: how come the driver didn’t see them in time to slow down? Further investigations can bring to light that said driver was also speeding at the time and did not have sufficient time to act and avoid the pedestrian. Missouri drivers are also held to a higher degree of responsibility than pedestrians, because through their positions they can cause a lot more harm.

Missouri is also a pure comparative fault state, which means both parties can be held responsible for the accident. The pedestrian can be found to be 60% responsible and liable for the accident because they crossed on a red light, which means they can be liable for compensation for only 60% out of total damages.

The driver, on the other hand, can be responsible for 40% of the incident, because they were speeding at the time. So the pedestrian, in turn, would want to recover 40% of total damages from the driver.

What Does the Legal Process Look like?

In Missouri, all drivers are required to carry auto insurance, which also covers accidents involving pedestrians. Any compensation claims will be made through the insurance company.

If, however, the driver wants to seek compensation from the pedestrian, then they may have to attempt to through trial. If the pedestrian also has valid auto insurance but was just not driving at the time, then it’s also possible to get compensated through their insurance company.

What Should You Do if you were involved in a Pedestrian Accident?

If you’ve been in a car accident involving a pedestrian, it’s in your best interest to contact a St. Louis car accident attorney at The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. as soon as possible. With their help, you can decide on the best course of action to get compensated for your injuries and damages, as well as build a compelling case. 

Monday, March 18, 2019

St. Louis Road Debris Car Accidents

Driving often presents a lot of risks. A lot of elements on the road could potentially lead to an unfortunate incident, particularly on interstates where you also drive alongside commercial vehicles. While the list is rather long, we're going to talk for now about road debris. It may not seem like much, but this small inconvenience can lead to severe accidents that can leave you heavily injured.

According to an AAA Foundation report, more than 200,000 crashes in the U.S. involve road debris, resulting in roughly 39,000 injuries and more than 500 deaths between 2011 and 2014. If you are injured in an accident involving road debris, you should contact a St. Louis auto accident attorney and consult with them about what your next steps should be.

 Who Is Liable?

 It all depends. In most road debris accidents, the liable party is the driver of the vehicle from which the object or substances fell. However, you’d have to prove driver negligence, such as showing that they did not secure the cargo according to safety standards and therefore acted negligently.

However, it’s possible that the driver is not at fault for the cargo falling. For instance, if they respected protocol and secured the cargo, but it fell anyway, it may be difficult to argue the driver could have predicted the outcome. In these cases, liability can go up the reigns to the company or institution that employs the driver, either a private entity or even a governmental institution.

In either case, it is still the task of the victim to prove negligence. You and your St. Louis car accident lawyer will have to prove that the driver’s employer breached their duty of care and, as a result, it caused the accident and your injuries.

Steps to Take

After receiving initial medical treatment, you may consider filing a claim for compensation, or even opening a lawsuit, particularly if the medical bills start piling up. Because these cases can be very hard to argue, you will certainly benefit from having an experienced attorney in your corner.

Personal injury claims have a rather complex process involving a lot of paperwork, and a lot of back-and-forth between you and the party you’re demanding compensation from. The best way to succeed is to gather sufficient evidence that can clearly show your claim has a basis, and that your request for a settlement is justified. Depending on your case, this evidence file can include:

A good lawyer can help you gather everything you need to make your case, and negotiate the settlement on your behalf. Particularly if you’re dealing with a company or an institution which can afford a team of legal representatives, it’s advised to work with a St. Louis car injury attorney.

7751 Carondelet Ave #601
St. Louis, MO
Call 24/7 for a FREE Case Evaluation :: (314) 361-4242

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Car Accident At Fault Driver Wrecked Friends Car

To drive a car in Missouri you need to have the mandatory minimum insurance. Liability insurance is the type of insurance that covers someone if they are at fault in an accident. If an individual is in an accident, at-fault liability insurance should cover the damages and injuries of the other driver as well as any injuries they sustain.

What is vicarious liability?

Vicarious liability involves a law that says that if the owner of a vehicle gives another driver access to their car and that driver is in an accident, the responsibility and liability for any damages and injuries rests with the vehicle owner. Therefore, due to vicarious liability, if the owner gives someone their car and they are at-fault in a car accident, the owner is liable for the damages.

Are there exceptions to vicarious liability?

For the owner to be liable for any other driver that borrows their vehicle, the driver must have been given permission to drive the owner’s car. If someone uses the owners car without their explicit permission, then they should be responsible for paying for the car accident, not the driver.

Another exception to vicarious liability is if the person to whom they lent their car was explicitly excluded from their car accident insurance policy. In other words, if their name is not stated in the insurance policy, the insurance company might try to deny them coverage whether they gave them permission or not.

What if someone lies about having permission?

If someone took an owners car and they were in an accident, at fault for that accident, and lied about having permission to drive your vehicle, it might be a matter of their word against the owners. If they notice their car is gone, notifying the proper authorities that it is missing is imperative to cover themselves. If they really didn't let the at fault driver borrow their car, they should have documented it by filing a report with the police.

If you have been in a car accident and the at fault driver was not the owner of the automobile it is important to have an experienced St Louis Accident Lawyer by your side.

Call 24/7 (314) 361-4242 Today.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Seriousness of Texting and Driving Resulting in Wrongful Death

In Massachusetts, a court recently convicted a teen of homicide because he was in a fatal car accident that resulted from texting while the teen was behind the wheel. He was then given the maximum sentence for the murder.

Thirty-eight other states and the District of Columbia have made it a crime to text while you are behind the wheel of a car. In Missouri, if you are in a fatal car accident where someone loses their life due to the at-fault driver texting and driving, it is possible for the driver to be charged and convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

Because distracted driving has become such a problem across the United States, texting or using your cell phone while you are driving is illegal. If someone is in a car accident while using a mobile device, they might be charged with a crime.

st louis wrongful death attorney

What is Involuntary Manslaughter?

Involuntary manslaughter, which is also sometimes referred to as criminally negligent manslaughter, is a crime where one person kills another person without the specific intent to do so. If a person is texting while driving and end up in a fatal car accident, even though they didn’t mean to kill anyone, the result is that their actions were to blame for another persons wrongful death. The fact that you drove with recklessness opens you up to the potential of being convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

If they are charged with involuntary manslaughter, it is considered a Class B or a Class C felony according to how the victim died along with other factors related to their death. The penalty for involuntary manslaughter can range from up to seven years and a five thousand dollar fine if it is a Class C felony, and five to fifteen years in prison if it is a Class B felony.

When can the charges be more severe?

If the driver who is responsible for the death of someone else in a car accident has a history of DWI,  killed more than two people in the accident, had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.18% or higher or if the person who was killed was not a passenger, the charges may be escalated as a Class A felony. Being convicted of a Class A felony, can result as many as ten to thirty years in prison.

If the at-fault driver is not charged with involuntary manslaughter in criminal court but, due to texting and driving, are responsible for someone else’s death, it is possible for the deceased family to file a wrongful death suit against them in civil court.

It is illegal to text and drive in the state of Missouri and doing so can lead to serious consequences and even jail time if a driver ends up killing someone.

Call the St. Louis Wrongful Death Attorney Today

Nothing affects a family more than the unexpected death of a father, mother, child or other relative. The void left by this sudden death can seem impossible to fill. If one of your family members was killed in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, you deserve compensation for your emotional and financial losses.

While compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit cannot replace what you have lost, it can provide you with a much-needed sense of justice. Furthermore, this compensation can alleviate some of your family’s financial worries.

Call the 24/7 Attorney Help Line (314) 361-4242.