You’ve Been In a Car Accident – Should You Go to a Doctor?

The St. Louis car accident attorneys at Hoffman & Gelfman often consult with clients who postpone treatment following an automobile accident, preferring a ‘wait and see if it’s bad enough’ approach to care. Unfortunately, such delays in treatment tend to result in extended recovery times and the worsening of injuries.

If You Are Injured In An Accident, Go To The Doctor Right Away!
Injuries after a car accident demand prompt attention to determine the extent of trauma. X-rays, MRIs and other procedures can quickly determine complications that you may be unaware of. A doctor visit will also serve as documentation of your physical condition following a wreck.

Insurance companies have deemed a 72-hour time frame a reasonable span in which to seek treatment. But always err on the side of caution. If you feel unwell at the site of the accident, take an ambulance to the nearest emergency room.

No Insurance, Med-Pay or PIP?
Few have the cash required by some medical doctors who want you to pay for up front for treatment. Some may not even file the wreck under your medical insurance, seeking auto coverage. However an area ER or Urgent Care may see you. Other doctors specializing in accidents include physical therapists, pain management specialists, and chiropractors.

Not sure what to do following a wreck? Let the St. Louis car accident attorneys at Hoffman & Gelfman illuminate the way.

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Car Injures Bike Rider in Local Accident

St. Louis personal injury attorneys at Hoffman & Gelfman know too well the dangers that cyclists encounter on area roadways. And yet another rider has fallen victim.

25-year-old Fenton Cyclist Angelina N. Drago Injured by Careless Driver
Drago, 25, was riding her bicycle south on Main Drive at Valley Lane in High Ridge at 9:15 p.m. when 56-year-old Connie L. Stubits of High Ridge pulled into the path of her bike, according to Missouri State Highway Patrol reports. Stubits was driving her 2014 Chevrolet Sonic north on Main Drive. When attempting to turn left onto Valley Drive, she cut-off Drago, who struck the front of her car.

No injuries were reported for Stubits, who was wearing a seatbelt. However Drago, who was not wearing a helmet, suffered serious injury, and was transported by ambulance to St. Anthony’s Medical Center in south St. Louis County, where she was treated and released.

How Can Cyclists Stay Safe While Sharing the Roadway?

• Know traffic laws and cycling rules to foster a harmonious relationship.

• Use lights, and wear bright, reflective clothing to stand out from surroundings.

• Make eye-contact with drivers often.

• Ride to the right, or with traffic flow, avoiding curb proximity (you could be thrown into traffic).

• Do not ride on sidewalks or towards oncoming traffic.

Cycling accident? Secure your future with the help of the St. Louis personal injury attorneys at Hoffman & Gelfman today.

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You Suspect Neglect in Your Parent’s Nursing Home – What Do You Do Next?

Nursing home neglect often goes unreported due to the difficulties of defining and identifying abuse. However the St. Louis nursing home neglect attorneys at Hoffman & Gelfman want you to know there are things you can do to help your loved one:

1. Visit often, noting time-sensitive warning signs.
Those with memory loss, communication problems and other limitations are counting on you to notice interaction with caretakers, behavioral changes, unexplained sores and bruises, frequent diseases/infections, and even financial discrepancies and changes to power of attorney that often occur in abuse cases.

2. Give a detailed report of any suspicious incident . . .
To the doctor, patient advocate, or social worker. They are required by law to report abuse. Also contact the National Center on Elder Abuse to inform the proper authority.

3. Find a new facility.
This can be a stressful experience for your loved one, who has friends at the current facility. You may need legal counsel to facilitate their move to a better environment. Look for a nursing home close to a family member, where regular visits can be facilitated. Thoroughly research their reputation, allowing your loved one to visit the center and staff multiple times prior to the move.

Has your loved one suffered a severe case of nursing home neglect? Don’t wait on government action! Call 911 and seek the legal counsel of the St. Louis nursing home neglect attorneys at Hoffman & Gelfman today.

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Traffic Accident Fatalities Are Rising

As the years have gone by, the St. Louis traffic accident attorneys at Hoffman & Gelfman have been shocked at the increase in traffic accidents, particularly given the amount of safety technology available in vehicles these days. 2016 fatalities increased 6% to 40,200, on the heels of a 7% rise in 2015.

What’s Driving the Trend?

More Cars, More Miles
Lower gas prices and an improved economy have vehicle mileage on the up-and-up. The number of cars on the road jumped 3.5% over 2015, the largest increase in more than a decade.

More Distractions
At any given time of the day, more than 660,000 drivers are trying to use their phone to text, talk, or stay social while driving. Combined with added vehicle touchscreen tech, these distractions equate to more than a station swap.

Inexperienced Drivers
Making ignorant decisions (running lights, speeding through school zones) lead to more accidents overall.

Pricey Repairs
The expense of fixing technology-ridden cars is leading many to drive them in dangerous disrepair.

More than Fender Benders
More than 35% of spinal injuries are the result of vehicle accidents, with medical costs that have nearly doubled from 1999-2008. Combined with long-term post-injury care and lost income costs, these can become economically and emotionally crippling.

Have you suffered at the hands of a distracted driver? Protect your quality of life with the help of the St. Louis traffic accident attorneys at Hoffman & Gelfman.

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Speeding SUV Flies Onto Roof of Home Causing Serious Injury

Recently released photos of an SUV atop the roof a house have even the St. Louis personal injury attorneys at Hoffman & Gelfman scratching our heads. Apparently propelled into the air after the driver lost control of the vehicle, Michael Arras, Deputy Chief of Special Ops at the St. Louis Fire Department, noted it was like nothing he’d ever encountered.

Steep Incline of Homeowner’s Lawn Led to Launch
As the driver sped around the corner, he lost control, ascending the Missouri home’s front lawn like a ramp to land on the roof. Aided by ladder trucks and removed from under the dash by first responders, the driver was transported to the hospital, alert and responsive, but in critical condition.

Not the First Incident
The home’s owner, 66 year-old Bruce Redding, was at the gym at the time of the incident. Unfortunately his modest home, recently paid off, now suffers extensive damage. He and his neighbor, whose home was also affected, are now looking to insurance to cover repairs.

Redding noted this was not the first time he or his neighbors have suffered at the hands of careless drivers, whose antics frequently damage yards and street-parked cars. The city has yet to install speed bumps or other measures to prevent incidents.

Experience the unimaginable? The St. Louis personal injury attorneys at Hoffman & Gelfman are here to help you sort it out. Contact us today.

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You’re In an Accident with a Truck – What Do You Do Next?

Get into an auto accident involving a truck? Far larger than passenger vehicles, injuries and long-term damage resulting from such accidents can be catastrophic. And unlike the typical auto accident, standard rules do not apply.

What’s Different About Commercial Truck Accidents?
The St. Louis truck accident attorneys at Hoffman & Gelfman want you to know…

Time Limits
There are strict time limits on filing a case and making claims in the event of an accident involving a truck, which can be as little as two years, and vary by jurisdiction.

State and Federal USDOT Regulate Laws
Different from standard driver’s license requirements, truck drivers must have a clean background, proper and current licensure, truck inspections regularly performed, loads hauled properly, and ‘resting breaks’ taken as required. These can affect your case against the driver/driver’s employer.

More than the Driver May Be At-Fault
Employers can be responsible for accidents via negligence (above) or ‘vicarious liability.’ Due to the number of possible liability complications, legal advice is in your best interest.

Damage Awards May Be More Inclusive
Including medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, lost earning capacity (ability to perform future work), loss of companionship/wrongful death, and special damages.

Need help wading through the intricacies of a tractor-trailer related accident? The St. Louis truck accident attorneys Hoffman & Gelfman are here to help. Contact us today.

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Outdated Headlights Put Pedestrians and Drivers at Risk

Despite advances in car technology ranging from backup cameras to warning signals and other electronics technology designed to make travel safer, one heavily-relied-upon piece of equipment has remained, for the most part, unchanged: Automobile headlights.

In the Dark
The St. Louis personal injury lawyers at Hoffman & Gelfman have uncovered lackluster lighting as a common source of driver/pedestrian accidents. Each year, more than 2,500 pedestrians across the U.S. pay the price for this deficiency. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that two-thirds of lighting packages of 21 vehicles within the institute’s small SUV classification, 10 in the mid-size car genre, and 7 pickup models delivered “poor” lighting performance across a range of those commonly sold U.S. makes and models.

What’s the Bright Idea?
Outdated federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rules have blocked automakers from integrating adaptive beam headlamp technology into the U.S. market, though legal and available in Europe and Japan. Worsening issues, allowable headlight systems, paired with today’s modern car designs, are exacerbating lighting performance and glare issues. Since asked to allow the adaptable lighting tech in vehicles by Toyota in 2013, NHTSA has yet to make a decision on technology that could potentially save lives.

Who’s to blame for your pedestrian accident? The truth may be more complicated than you perceive. Unravel your case with the St. Louis personal injury lawyers at Hoffman & Gelfman today.

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Truck Wheel Ornaments are a Danger to Pedestrians

Glancing over at the medieval-looking spikes on the tractor trailer idling next to you at a stoplight is not only unnerving – these spikes are dangerous and the St. Louis personal injury lawyers at Hoffman & Gelfman want to make you aware of the risks.

Sharp Consequences
Spikes overextending from the edges of wheel rims can come into contact with other vehicles, bicyclists, and even pedestrians in the event of collision. As nearly half of cyclists and one quarter of pedestrians killed by truck impacts involve contact with the side of the vehicle, it’s easy to see the dangers of spiky wheel ornaments.

Making a ‘Point’
Perceptions of truck drivers can also be heavily influenced by the presence of spikes, which can be seen as a distraction at best, and as a sign of aggression and intimidation at worst. Just a few of the reasons some trucking companies ban the use of spikes in efforts to promote an image of courteous, safe driving.

A Blunt Reaction
In reaction to such concerns, one state has banned “dangerous wheels,” including spikes. Hawaii’s recently passed legislation bans any wheel ornamentation extending 4 inches or more beyond the rim in efforts to reduce injury and property damage resulting from truck accidents.

Has someone else’s careless choice put you or your family at risk? Contact the St. Louis personal injury lawyers at Hoffman & Gelfman today.

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Tow Truck Driver Hit and Killed While Recovering a Disabled Vehicle

A Killeen, Texas tow truck driver was recently killed in the line of work. Be wary, not all drivers are familiar with – or follow – “move over” laws. And the St. Louis truck accident attorneys at Hoffman & Gelfman want to remind you of the dangers.

A Careless Driver
One May morning, thirty-nine-year-old Scott Bowles, a vehicle recovery specialist from Goodes Towing, was struck by a passing automobile as he attempted to recover a disabled vehicle just west of the Nola Ruth Bridge on I-14 westbound in Texas. Despite the flashing emergency lights of his tow vehicle, he was struck by a passing minivan.

An Avoidable Tragedy
The impact amputated his right leg below the knee. Transported to Seton Medical Center, he later succumbed to his injuries. Bowles leaves behind a wife and two sons, 8 and 18.

Law Ignored
Like Missouri, Texas has a “move over” or “slow down” law requiring motorists to vacate the lane closest to emergency vehicles when driving on a road with multiple lanes moving in a single direction. If a lane isn’t available, or they prefer, they must slow down by at least 20 mph. Are you familiar with Missouri’s “move over” law?

Have you or a loved one fallen victim to a careless driver? The St. Louis truck accident attorneys at Hoffman & Gelfman are here in your time of need. Contact us today.

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Are Nursing Home Complaints in St. Louis Being Kept Secret?

In July 2015, Minnesota launched a statewide abuse reporting hotline for vulnerable adults in nursing homes, hospitals and other state-licensed facilities. Two-years later, MN DOH regulators cannot keep up. The St. Louis nursing home neglect attorneys at Hoffman & Gelfman want you to know some relevant facts, so you can protect your loved ones from harm.

Thousands of Incidents Go Uninvestigated
Despite maltreatment allegations rising sevenfold, from 500 to nearly 3,500 since 2010, only 10% of reported incidents at state-licensed facilities undergo on-site investigations, down from 73% in 2010. Running afoul of state and federal laws for prompt reviews, 85% of families wait 6-months on-average for investigations – 3-times the mandated deadline of the Minnesota Vulnerable Adults Act.

Problems Nothing New for the System
Problems existed even before the launch of the hotline, with a 2015 regulatory review by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finding the MN DOH failed to meet minimum federal standards for conducting investigations of nursing home complaints.

In more than 24 cases, no on-site investigation was ever conducted – despite complaints by residents of serious mistreatment including physical and sexual abuse. Of a reviewed sample of 40 alleged maltreatment cases, 25 violated federal guidelines, leaving perpetrators unaccountable.

Don’t let your loved one slip through cracks in the system. Make your voices heard. Contact St. Louis nursing home neglect attorneys Hoffman & Gelfman today.

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