Car Accident Lawyers Help in Times of Need
Between 2013 and 2015, 620 serious injuries and 130 fatalities resulted from car accidents in the City of St. Louis. More than 21% of fatal car crashes in the state of Missouri happened in the St. Louis region. The alarming statistics are frightening. Car accidents are not uncommon, and unfortunately, serious injuries, or death, can happen.
Being in a car accident is scary enough, but the aftermath can be incredibly overwhelming, too. You may have a lot of questions. Does your car accident qualify to receive compensation? Is it worth pursuing a claim? You may have incurred a large number of medical bills, been forced to take off work to recover or replace a car due to extensive damage, all of which are unexpected expenses. However, you do not have to face any of those worries alone. At TorHoerman Law, a St. Louis car accident lawyer is here to help you through every step of the process. We are experienced in car accident lawsuit representation services in St. Louis, MO.
You’ve Been in a Car Accident. Follow These Steps.
- STOP! Don’t drive away.
- Call the police and contact medical professionals. In Missouri, there are specific laws governing if you should complete and submit a Motor Vehicle Accident Report. If the following apply, you should submit an accident report.
- The accident occurred less than a year ago.
- An uninsured motorist was involved in the accident.
- An injury or death resulted.
- Property damage from the accident was more than $500.
- Document important accident information including pictures of the accident, license plates of all cars involved, and licenses of the drivers. Write down your account of the accident as well as the names and badge numbers of the responding law enforcement officers.
- Do not discuss fault with anyone, including the other driver and the insurance company.
- If hurt, keep track of all medical and billing records. This will help your lawyer compile the details of your case down the road.
- Hire a lawyer. The sooner you hire a lawyer, the better. A St. Louis car accident lawyer will help you navigate the confusing and complicated legal industry.
- Ask your legal team any and all questions you may have. We’re here to help you through the lawsuit process as seamlessly as possible.
TorHoerman Law Can Help You Receive Compensation
Car accidents can completely alter your way of life, emotionally, physically, and monetarily. Filing a claim and receiving compensation for a plethora of factors can help you move on with your life and overcome adversity.
At TorHoerman Law, we are experienced St. Louis car accident lawyers. Our focus is on helping people injured in car accidents receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, disabilities, pain and suffering, and the loss of the life you led prior.
Types of Car Accidents
Causes of car accidents can include drunk driving, reckless or careless driving, auto defects, distracted driving, rear-end crashes, among others. The Missouri State Highway Patrol records crash circumstances when documenting car accidents in reports and analyze the data using the Statistical Analysis Center. Statistics are provided for six factors:
- Alcohol involvement
- Speed involvement
- Young driver
- Mature driver
- Commercial vehicle
- Motorcycle involved
The most recent data available is from 2014. According to the analysis, the biggest factors of car accidents were speed and the age of the driver, which includes drivers under the age of 21 and over the age of 55.
Most Common Injuries in a Car Accident
Almost any injury can occur as a result of a car accident, but the following are a few of the most common injuries:
- Head and Brain Injuries
- Neck and Back Injuries
- Broken Bones
- Spinal Injuries
- Soft Tissue Injuries
All are common injuries as a result of a car accident, and all should be medically treated by a doctor. You may believe that your injuries are minor or will go away on their own, but many times, this is simply not true. Your injuries, if not treated properly, could have long-lasting, detrimental effects both physically and emotionally.
Rights as a Passenger in a Car Accident
It may not be a well-known fact, but if you were a passenger in a car and were injured in an accident, you have a right to receive compensation. But all too often, there is the question of “Who exactly is responsible for the passenger?” The answer is whoever was at fault for the accident – whether that be the driver of the car that the passenger was riding in or the other driver involved.
A passenger injury lawsuit claim proceeds exactly the same way as a regular personal injury claim, however, in this case, it is easier to prove. One of the drivers is going to be at fault regardless. After an accident, it is important, as a passenger, to get the information of both drivers, including pictures of licenses and insurance company contact numbers. It is likely that a lawyer will file a claim with both driver’s insurance companies, but there are exceptions such as in the instance a driver was rear-ended and only one person was clearly at fault.
Missouri does not require drivers to carry no-fault insurance which essentially means that if an individual is injured in an accident and another party is found to be at fault, that person must pay the victim’s medical expenses. In the case of a passenger injured in a car accident, this is incredibly beneficial as all medical expenses will be paid for.
Regardless of the circumstances, it is important to consult with a car accident attorney as they will know the proper steps to take. At TorHoerman Law, our St. Louis car accident lawyer team will help you at every step of the way.
A Surge in Car Accidents in St. Louis
According to a national evaluation of roadway safety conducted by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, a St Louis car accident lawyer can expect to see a continued surge in fatal car accident lawsuits, especially if the state of Missouri doesn’t reform its current traffic laws and regulations.
The 2018 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws report card, which evaluates state-by-state statistics of roadway accidents and laws, ranked the state of Missouri amongst the lowest states for roadway safety last year.
37,461 people were killed in auto accidents last year on a national basis – this is a 5.6% increase from the previous year. This follows an 8.4% increase from the year before – the largest increase in almost 50 years.
At the height of a national surge in fatal car accidents (roughly 100 traffic fatalities a day), the report card is meant to serve as a recommendatory tool, suggesting “effective and available countermeasures” for states to adopt in order to improve roadway safety.
Advocates broke down state traffic laws into five categories:
- Occupant Protection Laws
- Child Passenger Safety Laws
- Teen Driving Safety Laws
- Impaired Driving Safety Laws
- Distracted Driving Laws
Amongst every category, Advocate’s established a baseline of optimal traffic safety laws and regulations necessary for every state to carry in order to ensure state roadway safety. These laws are easily implementable and prove to have a drastic impact on the number of fatal accidents that occur.
States are graded on a three-color system:
- Green: State is significantly advanced towards adopting all of Advocate’s recommended optimal laws.
- Yellow: State needs improvement because of gaps in Advocate’s recommended optimal laws.
- Red: State falls dangerously behind in the adoption of Advocate’s recommended optimal laws.
Only 13 states were labeled “red”. Missouri was one of them.
Breakdown of Missouri Roadway Safety Grade
Missouri’s overall grade was based on the state’s implementation (or lack there) of optimal traffic safety laws and regulations in each of the five categories.
Occupant Protection Laws
- Primary Enforcement of Seat Belt Law for
- Front seat occupants
- Rear seat occupants
- All rider motorcycle helmet law
Missouri Grade: RED
Missouri only carries one optimal law – the All-Rider Motorcycle Helmet Law. In 2016 in Missouri, 301 lives were saved by seat belts but 109 more could have been saved if more strict seat belt laws were in place.
Child Passenger Safety Laws
- Rear Facing through 2-year Law
- Booster Seat Law
Missouri Grade: RED
Missouri carries neither of the optimal laws. Auto accidents are the leading cause of death for American children ages 5-14. An average of three children under the age of 14 was killed every day in an auto accident in the U.S. in 2016.
Teen Driving Safety Laws
- Minimum Age 16 for Learner’s Permit
- 6-Month Holding Period Provision
- 50 Hours of Supervised Driving Provision
- Passenger Restriction Provision
- Age 18 for Unrestricted License
Missouri Grade: RED
Missouri only carries one optimal law – the 6-Month Holding Period Provision. 4,853 people were killed in an accident involving a teen driver in the U.S. in 2016.
Impaired Driving Safety Laws
- Ignition Interlock Devices (IIDs) for All Offenders
- Child Endangerment Law
- Open Container Law
Missouri Grade: YELLOW
Missouri carries two optimal laws – but lacks an Open Container Law. More than 10,000 people died in auto accidents involving a drunk driver in the U.S. in 2016.
Distracted Driving Safety Laws
- All-Driver Text Messaging Restriction
- GDL Cell Phone Restrictions
Missouri Grade: RED
According to the NHTSA, in the U.S. in 2016 there were 3,450 people killed in accidents involving a distracted driver.
Missouri’s Overall Grade for Roadway Safety: RED
Unless the state of Missouri takes the necessary actions to implement the optimal safety laws suggested by Advocate’s, a St Louis car accident lawyer can expect to see a continued surge in the number of car accident lawsuits filed in 2018.
According to the report, Missouri is expected to do little in the form of reformative action, at least in the next year.
End Distracted Driving in St. Louis, Missouri
At TorHoerman Law, we are doing our part to combat the issue head-on; promoting our End Distracted Driving campaign and spreading the word about the dangers of driving distracted.
Lawmakers in the state are also beginning to take action to combat this deadly trend of distracted driving. According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, cell-phone related crashes are up 35% since 2014, and Missouri legislators want to do something about it.
In the last two years, lawmakers have introduced eight separate measures to limit cell phone use while driving, but most drivers can still use the devices without penalty. Current laws in place ban the use of cell phones for drivers under 21 and commercial motor vehicles, but the law is one of the most relaxed in the country whereas many other states ban distracted driving entirely.
Since early December, six measures have been introduced by elected officials with hopes that one will pass to restrict the use of cell phones while driving and in turn, make the roadways in St. Louis and the State of Missouri safer for everyone.
Call TorHoerman Law, St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer
Our experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer team at TorHoerman Law can help you navigate the complicated legal system and answer any questions you may have along the way. Our goal is to provide you with the best St. Louis car accident lawyer.
Contact our firm by calling 1-888-508-6752 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.