Know What to Do to Protect Your Legal Rights When You Are Injured

If you’re injured in a car accident, you need to know what actions to take. It’s common that after an accident, you’re stunned, and unsure about how to proceed. If you follow some simple steps, you’ll protect yourself and your case.

Steps to Take After an Accident

There are some simple, but important steps you should take if you’re injured in an accident.

• Keep detailed records – You should write down as much information as you can about the accident. Details are very important, so don’t leave anything out.

• Take pictures – Pictures may need to be used as evidence if you have a valid case. Take pictures of your injuries, any damage to your car, and where the accident took place.

• Get medical treatment – You may think you feel fine, but it’s important to be treated by a doctor, just in case.

• Get a police report – This will be an important piece of evidence for your case.

• Talk with a St. Louis personal injury attorney – This is vital. Please don’t try to handle your case on your own. You need the legal expertise.

Getting Help for Your Personal Injury Case

Too often, people assume they don’t need the help of a St. Louis personal injury attorney when they’re injured. You absolutely do need the assistance, and you could be compensated much more with the proper legal representation. Don’t skip this step!

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Be Careful: Older Teens Become Over Confident Behind the Wheel

Every parent cringes when their teenage son or daughter gets a driver’s license. You caution them about going too fast and obeying the rules of the road. However, studies have shown that it’s not the new drivers parents should be worried about. Older teen drivers have inflated levels of confidence, which can actually make them more dangerous.

Teen Driver Statistics

High school seniors tend to be the most at risk behind the wheel. 75% of them feel very confident in their driving abilities; probably too confident. Also, 71% of all high school seniors will use their cell phones while driving. Distracted driving is reckless, and it’s caused so many more accidents in recent years.

Having a few years of driving experience doesn’t make one a safe driver and other drivers need to be aware of this mentality along the roadways of St. Louis.

Other Dangerous Teen Driving Behaviors

Distracted driving is only one problem older teens encounter on the road. Others include:

• Having too many passengers in the car

• Driving too fast

• Driving while drowsy

• Changing their music

As your St. Louis auto accident attorney, we want to caution you about these types of dangers on the road. Parents need to talk with their teens about risky driving behavior. It’s the best way to prevent accidents.

If you are in an accident with a teen driver, contact a St. Louis auto accident attorney right away.

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Report Nursing Home Abuse to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services

Has a loved one suffered abuse at an area nursing home? The St. Louis nursing home abuse attorneys at Hoffman & Gelfman want you to know the steps to reporting such tragic incidences so that together, with the families of fellow victims, you can prevent future suffering.

Steps to Reporting Nursing Home Abuse in Missouri:

You Make the Call.
Missouri’s Adult Abuse and Neglect Hotline responds to reports of neglect, harassment, abuse, and the financial manipulation of vulnerable patients age 60 and older, as well as people with disabilities ages 18 to 59. If an agency is suspect, call their hotline at 800-392-0210. Anyone who suspects abuse can call.

Discuss Necessary Actions with the Investigator
In long-term care facilities, investigation falls to the Missouri DHSS Division of Regulation and Licensure staff. Counseling, community support, financial/legal protections, or guardianship proceedings may be recommended. Understand a competent older person may refuse such support, and no decisions can be made without their consent.

Make Sure Your Loved One Knows Their Rights
Patients/residents have the right to:

• Privacy, respect and dignity.

• Freedom from mental/physical abuse.

• Select a physician.

• Get detailed information on their medical condition.

• Participate in the planning of care.

• Refuse treatment.

Together, with the St. Louis nursing home abuse attorneys at Hoffman & Gelfman, we can stop nursing home abuse. Begin the path to justice for your loved one now. Contact Hoffman & Gelfman today.

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How to Report a Medical Malpractice Incident in Missouri

Medical malpractice is serious business, and the St. Louis medical malpractice attorneys at Hoffman & Gelfman think such practitioners don’t deserve to be in business. Unfortunately, when such breaches in trust and care go unreported, repeat offenders can continue to harm the public.

Do Your Part – Report Medical Malpractice Incidents
The Missouri Health Service Regulation (HSR) recommends you bring malpractice complaints first to the attention of the health care facility via the patient advocate, ombudsman, customer relations team, or administrative rep.

Response Not Satisfactory?
Then you may forward your complaint to the HSR via phone, 8am to 5pm Monday-Friday at (573) 751-6303, via email to complaint@health.mo.gov, or via fax or regular mail with a printed complaint form. Be certain to include all essential information:

• Your name and contact information.

• Name(s) of the affected patient and those involved.

• Date and location of the incident(s).

• Your specific concern(s).

Complaint Process
The HSR will send a letter of acknowledgement, then determine the necessary steps in resolving the complaint. With serious concerns, an unannounced, on-site investigation may be performed. Offending parties may be required to provide a written response to the complaint, including corrective actions. Alternatively, the HSR will address the complaint at the facility’s next scheduled survey/inspection. In all circumstances, the complainant will be informed of any actions taken.

Don’t let malpractice go ignored. Contact the St. Louis medical malpractice attorneys at Hoffman & Gelfman today.

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Do You Have Cause for a Medical Malpractice Claim?

Many medical malpractice cases are filed in the U.S. annually, but the majority are dismissed. How can you determine if you have cause for a claim? The St. Louis medical malpractice attorneys at Hoffman & Gelfman have identified the following commonly accepted causes for claims:

Signs You May Have Grounds for a Medical Malpractice Claim Include:

Admission of Fault
If any medical provider admits an error, you should consider talking to a lawyer. Any error causing injury or death is typically considered malpractice.

Failure to Diagnose
This is a common malpractice claim, however proving a diagnosis did not occur or was incorrect can be difficult.

Failure to Obtain Informed Consent
The risks of surgery must be thoroughly explained and your questions answered before any procedure commences.

Neglect
Understaffed facilities are common in situations of neglect. Medication, assistance, and other necessary services should be provided in a timely manner to allow for a timely, complete recovery.

Surgical Errors
Improperly sterilized tools, improper surgical prep, wrong patient and wrong site surgery are all cause for legitimate claims.

Mistreatment Leading to Death
Such as patient being given the wrong medication or surgery, or their needs being ignored are cause for malpractice.

Medical professionals have the responsibility to provide proper, attentive, careful patient care. Don’t let your future likewise go overlooked or ignored. Contact the St. Louis medical malpractice attorneys at Hoffman & Gelfman today.

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You’ve Been Involved in a Car Accident – Can You Sue for Pain and Suffering?

People who have been victims in car accidents often want to know if they can sue for pain and suffering. If you’ve been in a car accident in St. Louis, you may want an answer to this question as well.

What is Pain and Suffering?

The legal definition of pain and suffering is two-fold. It refers to:

• The amount of physical pain you experienced as a result of the accident

• Any psychological or emotional pain or trauma you experienced because of the accident

Pain and suffering is different from other parts of your car accident claim, such as lost wages or medical bills. It’s important for you to get medical treatment so that your pain and suffering can be proven.

How is Pain and Suffering Calculated?

There are different ways that amounts for pain and suffering can be calculated. The insurance company may multiply your medical bills by a number between 1 and 5, depending on the severity of your accident. They could also offer you a generalized amount based on your injury.

Can You Sue for Pain and Suffering?

Every accident is different, and this question is best answered by a St. Louis car accident lawyer. If you have been in a car accident, please don’t try to represent yourself.

Working with a St. Louis car accident lawyer gives you the best chance of getting an award for pain and suffering. We’ll be happy to help.

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You’ve Slipped on a Wet Floor at a Business – What Do You Do Next?

Imagine that you’re walking along in a store, and suddenly, you slip and fall. The floor was wet, and it looked like an employee mopped it, but forgot to put a sign out to warn customers. This is a slip and fall, and if you get hurt, there is something you can do about it.

Negligence is the Key

It’s important to understand that negligence is the most important factor in slip and fall accidents. The store must have done something (or not done something) to cause you to injure yourself. In this case, the negligence was not putting out a sign to warn customers of the wet floor. If you had slipped and fallen with a sign present, the store would not be negligent.

Who is the At-Fault Party?

This is a tricky question. If there was negligence involved in your accident, you need to know who you can sue. It depends on what caused the slip and fall. So, in this case, the store would be at fault. If the slip and fall was caused by a leak that the property owner didn’t fix, you would sue the property owner.

It’s not easy to navigate cases like these. Your St. Louis slip and fall attorney is here to help you with that.

If you’re involved in a slip and fall, contact your St. Louis slip and fall attorney right away for immediate help.

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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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