What are common injuries in car accidents?
What Are Common Injuries in St. Louis, MO Car Accidents?
Car Accident injuries can range in severity from minor bumps and bruises to major injuries that can include broken bones, serious concussions and even death. Here are a list of the most common injuries that can result from a car accident:
- Whiplash - Whiplash Injuries are one of the most common types of car accident injuries and involve the head and neck. The force is created when a vehicle in motion is struck from a direction that it isn't traveling. These types of injuries can lead to neck pain, back issues, spinal issues, tenderness in the shoulders and many other medical issues.
- Concussions - Concussions are caused by the forceful motion of the brain inside the skull, to the point that bruising or swelling can occur. Concussions can lead to loss of motor functions, loss of memory and can even be paralyzing.
- Broken Bones - Broken Bones are caused by either abrupt force that shatters the bone, or an amount of weight or pressure that causes the bone to bend and break. Car Accidents can easily lead to broken bones due to the force involved in the accidents. Broken bones can take some time to heal and often require lengthy amounts of rehabilitation before they are back to 100%.
- Internal Bleeding - Internal Bleeding is never immediately apparent, but can quickly cause death if not seen to immediately. Internal bleeding occurs when the organs inside your body are either punctured or ruptured from the force of an accident.
- Spinal Cord Injuries - Spinal Injuries occur when your spine attempts to control the motion of your body against an extreme amount of force. The spinal cord is integral to the motor functions of your body. Any damage to your spine can often result in serious injuries throughout other areas of the body.
Missouri and Illinois both have their own auto accident-related problems, traffic laws and roadway safety efforts. Information about the traffic accidents that occur and the injuries they cause are public information. You can learn more about Missouri and Illinois safety policies and campaigns to help protect yourself and your family and make the St. Louis and Missouri roads safer for everybody. When you are seriously injured in an auto accident, call Burger Law's car accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT.
When you are injured in a car accident, the first step you should always take is going to a doctor to make sure you are ok. No matter how tough you may think you are, your injury could be life-threatening. After you have received the necessary medical attention immediately after your accident, speak with our car accident firm in St. Louis to make sure that the other party is held fully liable and that all of your bills and needs are taken care of.
What Are Common Causes of Car Accidents?
What Are Common Causes of St. Louis Car Accidents?
Though there are some potentially dangerous conditions and events outside of our control that can contribute to accidents, you may be surprised to learn that driver error accounts for the vast majority of the auto accidents that take place every year. In fact, a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the Department of Transportation estimates that human operators are responsible for 94% of accidents that take place.
The top five most common causes of car accidents in St. Louis, MO are distracted driving, driving under the influence, aggressive driving, fatigued or drowsy driving and speeding. Learn more about these top five car accident causes below.
- Distracted Driving
Distracted driving refers to much more than texting and driving. Even though it is not consistently outlawed yet across the nation, driving distracted is a major hazard. Our world is full of distractions, and we humans are not as skilled at multitasking as we like to believe. Talking on the phone, putting on makeup, daydreaming, eating, looking at a stopped vehicle, etc -- these are just a few examples of common distractions while driving. The danger of distracted driving is multitudinous; it slows your reaction time, causes you to miss important information, impacts your decision making, can cause you to swerve in the direction you are looking and affect your speed.
- Driving Under the Influence
It should be obvious to anyone licensed to operate a motor vehicle that driving while under the influence of mind-altering substances such as alcohol and other drugs is a poor decision that can end very badly. Different substances have different effects on the mind and body, but driving while intoxicated generally impacts a driver's abilities, including:
- reaction time
- tracking (the coordinated activity required to stay in his lane, avoid obstructions, and maintain a regular speed
Take a look at some of the following FAQs to learn more about drunk driving accidents:
- Aggressive and Reckless Driving
There are certainly inconsiderate and unaware drivers on the road, which in some cases can give way to aggressive tendencies in others. Aggressive driving is deliberate behavior that disregards others' safety, such as:
- Cutting another car off
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Running red lights
- Blocking a car or changing speed to prevent another car from changing lanes, passing, etc.
- Driving very slowly or staying at a yellow light until the last second to prevent another car from passing through the light
- Refusing to use turn signals
- Forcing a car off the road
- Using high beams to interfere with another driver's ability to see
Whether motivated by spite or a simple desire to get somewhere quickly, abandoning safety and good judgment by committing such behaviors is incredibly dangerous.
- Drowsy Driving
Driving while fatigued or drowsy has, in recent years, been likened to driving drunk. The CDC released a study that showed that a driver who has been awake for 18 consecutive hours has the same impairments of a driver with a blood alcohol content of .05. In extreme cases, a drowsy driver can fall asleep at the wheel. Even when mildly fatigued, your reaction time, perception, and other senses and functions suffer. Fatigued driving is a major problem in commercial drivers - especially truck drivers. They are pressured by their employers to cover extreme distances in as little time as possible.
Speeding is a very common behavior among drivers in the US. Speeding can not only increase your chances of getting into an accident, but can also greatly increases the potential for destruction, injury, and even death if an accident does occur. When you are travelling faster, you have less time to react, impact with a greater force, and can lose control more easily in inclement weather conditions such as ice and rain.
How to win a car accident case
Tough on Insurance Companies
How to Win Your St. Louis, Missouri Car Accident Case
An auto accident claim begins the second the accident happens. And while it is also important for all plaintiffs to obtain prompt and thorough medical treatment right away, a car crash lawyer in St. Louis should be the next person you speak to. Not only can an experienced lawyer obtain the evidence and resources necessary to obtain damages, but they can also help guide you through the personal injury claim process and make sure that the insurance companies do not take advantage of you.
Do I need a car accident lawyer?
Do I Need a St. Louis, MO Car Accident Lawyer?
If you were injured in a car accident and it was not your fault, it is highly likely that you will need a St. Louis car accident lawyer to represent you. If you are not injured and you feel that the insurance company is being cooperative and fair with you, you may choose to complete your claim without the help of a lawyer. However, if you are hurt, the insurance company is fighting you, or the at-fault party is trying to accuse you of negligence, you need a lawyer to protect your right to complete compensation for your losses. If any of the following apply to your car accident, you must speak with one of our Car Accident Lawyers in St. Louis as soon as possible.
- Someone was injured.
Any time an accident results in injuries of any kind, the loss of life or severe property damage to your vehicle or other property, you need a great car accident lawyer like the personal injury attorneys of Burger Law on your side. Your car accident lawyer has the resources and knowledge to adequately assess the true total value of your case—something individuals without extensive car accident claim experience will not be able to do. If you needed medical attention because of your accident, speak to a lawyer right away.
- The insurance company is not playing nice.
If the insurance company is paying for all of your medical bills and also seeing to the replacement of your vehicle and any lost wages, then you may not need to pursue a car accident claim. If they are not working with you and are trying to get you to settle for partial medical coverage, or are trying to intimidate you or put blame on you for the accident, then stop speaking with them immediately and call our car accident attorneys now at (314) 500-HURT.
- Your injuries have long-term effects.
If you are seriously injured and your injury requires medication, lengthy rehabilitation, physical therapy, surgery or other medical treatment strategies to bring you back to full health, then you need an attorney to ensure you get all of the benefits you need in perpetuity.
- There is disagreement about who is at fault.
If the other driver refuses to admit they caused the accident and is willing to dispute you, then you absolutely need to speak to a car accident lawyer in St. Louis to protect your claim. If the other driver did admit responsibility and they are cooperating, then you may not need a car accident lawyer.
- There are complications to the case.
Any time your case involves disputed facts, multiple parties, insurance coverage issues or other factors that are not straightforward, you need a skilled car accident attorney to help you prove your case. If there are multiple parties involved, you were hit by a commercial vehicle or the accident was a hit and run—in all these situations, you need to work with a lawyer to make sure you get the best possible outcome for you as the victim.
While working with the insurance adjuster may seem like a good idea at the time, it is important to remember that insurance companies are looking out for their own best interests and NOT yours. Though straightforward accidents that do not result in injury can often be resolved reasonably without the involvement of a personal injury lawyer, there are certain times a car accident victim should always enlist the help of an experienced professional. With this in mind, if your car accident left you seriously injured or if any of the following statements are true, it is imperative that you seek help from the experienced St. Louis car accident lawyers with Burger Law. When you hire a Burger Law car crash lawyer, we advocate on your behalf and ensure that the insurance companies do not get away with bullying you to accept an unjust and incomplete settlement.
What Do Car Accident Lawyers Do?
What Do St. Louis Car Accident Lawyers Do?
In the simplest terms, dedicated and passionate car accident lawyers help people when they are at their most vulnerable. We know you did nothing wrong and did not choose to be in this situation, but we can make this trying time a little easier by standing by your side and offering the highest standard of legal advocacy. Some of what car accident lawyers do includes:
Take on the Insurance Company
Insurance companies use a lot of tactics to devalue your claim or avoid paying them. They might tell you they only have to pay for six weeks of medical care, that your injuries are pre-existing or that they do not have to pay for lost wages because you have paid time off. None of those things are true. A knowledgeable and experienced car accident lawyer will keep the insurance company honest and fight back against any attempts not to give you the compensation you deserve. If necessary, we will file a bad faith failure to settle lawsuit.
Help You Understand the Claims Process
Most people who were injured in a car accident have never had to seek legal representation before. A car accident lawyer will always keep you informed of what's going on with your case and help you understand your options and realistic expectations for what compensation you can recover, how long your case may take and any issues that may affect the outcome, such as if you were partially at fault or did have pre-existing injuries. We handle all documentation, litigation and negotiation so you can focus on healing, and explain legal details such as how policy limits affect your case and if more than one driver may be at fault.
Gather The Evidence Needed for Your Claim
While the burden of proof in a civil case is not as high as beyond a reasonable doubt, you'll still need to demonstrate to an insurance adjuster or a jury the extent of your injuries and why you are owed compensation for them. An auto accident law firm will gather all relevant evidence, including:
- Police reports
- Pictures of the vehicles and accident site
- Eyewitness testimony and depositions
- Expert witness testimony
- Medical records and hospital bills
- Depositions from family and friends stating how your injuries have affected your life
Utilize Our Network of Economic and Medical Experts to Value Your Claim
Once we acquire all the evidence, a car accident lawyer should meet with experts to precisely value your damages and calculate how much money you are owed. Medical experts will be key in cases where you will need medical treatment or assistive devices in the future, and economic experts will adjust for inflation and provide context for your lost wages.
Offer Sound and Honest Legal Advice
A good and honest lawyer will always let you make final decisions, such as whether to accept a settlement offer or want to go to trial. However, it's often difficult to make those decisions if you don't have the legal experience a car accident lawyer does. An effective attorney will keep you fully informed and give you all the information and advice you need to make what you feel is the best decision for you and your family.
Negotiate a Fair Settlement
Some insurance adjusters are honest while others will do whatever they can to pay you as little as possible. Either way, an experienced and aggressive car crash attorney will know how to fight back and make the insurance adjuster eventually see reason. We like to put insurance adjusters on their heels, so we're more aggressive than most law firms in filing lawsuits so that the insurance company knows we mean business.
Represent You in Front of a Judge and Jury
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, only four percent of personal injury claims ever go to court, and often an insurance company will finally offer a fair settlement on the eve of a trial in order to avoid a lengthy court battle. But when cases do go to trial, you need to be sure that your car accident lawyer knows how to fight in a courtroom and make your case to a judge and jury.
Get Your Leans Reduced
Your car accident lawyer's job isn't done once you've been awarded fair compensation; they should also work to reduce your medical liens. Hospitals, health insurance companies and sometimes a local government can file liens to recover money it spent on your treatment. A good auto crash lawyer will negotiate with any entity claiming a lien to reduce or even eliminate the lien.
Why experience matters in car accident lawyers
Experience Matters in St. Louis Car Accident Lawyers
Insurance companies profit by not paying out claims. However, a Burger Law St. Louis car accident lawyer is experienced in arguing the legal theory of the case and negotiating with insurance companies to get injured individuals the compensation they deserve. We ask all the right questions and stop at nothing when demanding answers and accountability. We are passionate about fighting for the rights of the injured and offer individualized attention to each of our clients.
When you choose Gary Burger and his team to represent you and your car accident case, you are backed by decades of experience in the personal injury law industry. For more than 30 years, our firm has been standing up to bullying and helping families and individuals who have been injured become whole. Burger Law offers free case evaluations and our car crash attorneys will begin fighting for you immediately. Burger Law will coordinate with your insurance company and medical care providers to ensure that your injuries are properly treated while giving your case the personal attention you deserve. The car crash lawyers of Burger Law will secure witness statements, interview police, take photos of the scene and take any other necessary steps in order to win your car accident case.
How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Claim?
How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Claim in Missouri?
Once you are injured in an auto accident, the Missouri statute of limitations dictates how long you have after the date of the accident to file your claim.
- In general, according to Missouri Revised Statute §516.120, you have five years from the date of your injury to file your personal injury claim in St. Louis or elsewhere in Missouri.
- If you were under the age of 21 at the time of the injury, or were mentally incapacitated at the time, Missouri Revised Statute §516.170 states that you have 5 years after the date you turn 21 or that your "legal disability" ends.
- If you are injured by someone who was a resident of the state when the injury occurred, but later left the state before you filed a lawsuit, Missouri Revised Statute §516.200 stipulates that the time the defendant is out of the state does not apply towards the five years.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Missouri, the clock is already ticking for when you can make your claim. Do not wait, call the auto accident law firm of Burger law now at (314) 500-HURT to get justice and maximum compensation for your injuries. We start working on your case right away and do not rest until we win your case.
Types of Car Accident Cases
Your St. Louis, MO Car Accident Case
Car accident cases are complicated and many different factors bear weight on the outcome of your case. Burger Law's experienced car accident attorneys in St. Louis and Missouri have experience representing and winning all manners of car accidents including different acts of negligence and various resulting injuries. Learn more about our capabilities regarding any type of car accident case by exploring our site or speaking with a car crash lawyer now at (314) 500-HURT.
What To Do After a Car Accident
What To Do After a St. Louis, MO Car Accident
The St. Louis car accident lawyers of Burger Law recommend taking the following steps if you have been in a car accident in Missouri:
- Check if Anyone is Injured
The most important thing is everybody's well-being and safety. Check to see if anyone is injured and how significant their injuries are. If you or anyone is severely injured, call 911 immediately. If you can, render aid to anyone who needs it.
- Get to Safety
If anyone has a significant injury, it's best not to move until emergency personnel arrive. Otherwise, get your car to the side of the road to avoid being a danger to oncoming traffic or risking further injury.
- Call the Police
Under both Missouri and Illinois law, it is illegal to leave the scene of an accident where someone was injured or killed, and you must file a police report. Police officers are trained to determine fault in an accident, and having a police report will greatly help your case. Police will be able to take over the scene safely and notify emergency medical personnel if necessary.
Get the names and badge numbers of the officers at the scene, and ask them where you can get a copy of the police report.
- Collect Evidence at the Scene
Take pictures of all vehicles involved, any injuries you sustained and other parts of the scene, such as the road surrounding the crash. Lack of tire marks may help prove that the other driver was distracted. If the other driver was drunk, take pictures of the police arresting them.
You should also exchange insurance information with the other driver. If there were eyewitnesses, get their contact information so your car accident lawyer will be able to take official depositions from them. It's also a good idea to write down everything you remember about the crash, as your memory will be freshest in the immediate aftermath, and you may forget seemingly insignificant details that later turn out to be important.
- Get Medical Treatment
In order to get maximum compensation from an insurance company, you need complete records of your injuries and medical treatment. With minor injuries, a quick trip to the emergency room or to your primary care physician may be all you need. More significant injuries may require ongoing care.
It's important to get medical treatment even if you believe your injuries are not serious. Injuries such as whiplash can take several days to show symptoms, and may only be noticeable with MRIs, X-Rays or other tests. Adrenaline can often mask pain immediately after an injury.
- Be Wary of the Insurance Company
If the other driver was at fault, you will need to notify their insurance company. Insurance companies use a lot of tricks and deceitful tactics to try to minimize your claim, or even avoid paying you anything at all. They may tell you that you have to give a recorded statement, which is false. Do not tell them anything regarding the nature of your injuries or who was liable.
- Call a St. Louis, MO Car Accident Lawyer at Burger Law
Burger Law's car accident lawyers in Missouri and Illinois have over 70 years of combined experience holding negligent drivers accountable. To date, we have won our clients over $175 million in verdicts and settlements. You may be wondering if it is even worth it to get a lawyer after a car accident. If you have been injured, in most cases it is absolutely worth it to hire a lawyer. Our personal injury lawyers will make sure that you are compensated for every way your injury has affected you, including your property damage, medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
What Evidence Do I Need to Prove a Car Accident Claim?
What Evidence Do I Need to Prove a Car Accident Claim in St. Louis?
In civil cases like car accident claims, the burden of proof is a preponderance of the evidence, which is lower than the "beyond reasonable doubt" standard in criminal cases. However, in order to secure a financial recovery from an insurance adjuster or a jury, you must still present evidence that shows how someone else's negligence caused you injuries. Some of the most common pieces of evidence needed to prove a car accident claim are pictures, eyewitness testimony, police reports, W2s or pay stubs, medical records and evidence of noneconomic damages:
Pictures of the Crash Site
Photographs are invaluable in car accident cases. While you should take pictures of the damage to both vehicles, you'll want documentation of other conditions at the scene, including:
- The placement of the vehicles in relation to each other
- Debris or broken glass from the collision
- Weather conditions
- Lighting conditions
- The road where both vehicles were coming from
- Any road hazards or construction work that might have been a factor in the accident
- Stop signs or traffic lights
- Any tire marks on the pavement
- Any injuries you sustained
These pictures will be important when your Burger Law car accident lawyer consults with our network of auto crash experts to determine what caused the crash and who is liable.
If there were other people who witnessed the crash, be sure to get their information. They'll be able to corroborate your story and attest to essential factors in the crash, for example, if the other driver was looking at their phone instead of the road.
Police officers are trained to assess who was at fault in an accident. When officers arrive at the scene, they'll interview both parties and anyone else who was a witness, as well as examine the accident scene. Be sure to get the name and badge number of the responding officer or officers, and ask them how you can obtain a copy of the report. While police reports aren't necessarily conclusive, the objective evaluation of a trained law enforcement officer is incredibly persuasive.
Evidence of Vehicle Damage
In order to receive compensation for the damage to your car, you'll need to have the bills and estimates your mechanic gave you. If you recently did repairs or modifications, be sure to provide records of that to the insurance company and your lawyer as well. It may help prove that your vehicle wasn't at fault or that a mechanic or the car's manufacturer is liable for your accident.
W2s or Letters of Employment
If your injuries forced you to miss time off work, you also deserve to be compensated for any wages you lost, even if your employer offers sick leave. You'll need evidence of how much you earned in a typical day or week and how much time you missed off work.
Of course, you'll also want to be compensated for any injuries you received. Hold onto bills and request medical records from emergency room visits, follow-up appointments and any necessary tests or surgeries. Sometimes, an insurance adjuster will lie and tell you your treatments weren't necessary, or that the accident couldn't have caused your injuries. But they're not doctors, and they have no right to overrule a medical professional's opinion. Your medical records will prove that they are responsible for compensating you for the injuries you sustained in the crash.
Evidence of Noneconomic Damages
A significant portion of the compensation you are entitled to is noneconomic damages, which compensate you for things like pain and suffering and mental anguish. The insurance company will try to downplay this as much as possible, but there is evidence you can bring to demonstrate how the accident has affected you:
- You can keep a journal detailing how your injuries have affected you and your mental state each day.
- Testimony from friends or family, for example attesting that you can't play with your kids like you used to, or that you can't bring in the groceries by yourself anymore.
- Testimony from your doctor that — despite treatment — you are still having migraines or pain because of the injuries the defendant caused.
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Burger Law's Missouri car accident injury law firm based in St. Louis has a team of gifted litigators and trial lawyers with more than 70 years of combined experience practicing law and protecting the vulnerable and injured. We will fight to get you maximum compensation in any injury claim in Missouri, including the case types listed here. Click for more information.
Other St. Louis, MO Car Accident Resources
Our experienced auto accident attorneys in St. Louis, MO serving all of Missouri and Illinois have the knowledge, resources and background to demand compensation from the insurance companies and hold the negligent responsible for breaking Missouri safety rules and causing you harm. Hire Burger Law's capable car accident lawyers to represent you in your claim and shoulder the burden of negotiating and fighting for your recovery so you can focus on your physical and emotional recovery. Though you can rely on our car accident lawyers to know St. Louis and Missouri law inside and out, it can help your claim experience to understand what to expect and how the civil process works. In addition to our expensive library of answers to frequently asked questions and videos addressing common questions and topics, we offer a number of other blog posts and resources to help you in your personal injury suit. Check out additional personal injury information below.
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