Header image

This is the first in an occasional series of posts that I’m calling “How to Lose Your Accident Case.” With this series I intend to outline for you many of the things that accident claimants regularly do that seriously negatively impact their case, either causing them to get no recovery, or a substantially reduced recovery.

Lie to your lawyer. That’s it, the number one thing you can do wrong. Lie to your lawyer and you will negatively impact your case. What are some of the common lies that some clients tell, or things that they conveniently forget to tell their lawyer?
1. Lying about how an accident happened. If it is an auto accident, there will be a police report and witnesses. Insurance companies can and will hire private investigators. The truth will come out. You are much better off to tell your attorney the truth, right from the beginning. The problem may not be that big. Or it may not be a problem at all, but you won’t know unless your attorney has the ability to evaluate all the facts.
2. Lying about prior accidents, claims and injuries. This one is a no-brainer. Insurance companies have access to vast databases. If you’ve been injured and made a claim for benefits, they’ll probably have access to it. If not, there will be accident reports and medical records that they will find. Tell your attorney everything about other accidents, claims and injuries.

Toyota has issued a massive recall as reported by USA Today and elsewhere. The recall affects:2009-2010 Rav42009-2010 Corolla2009-2010 Matrix2005-2010 Avalon2010 Highlander2007-2010 Tundra2008-2010 SequoiaCertain 2008-2010 Carolla modelsThe recall is due to reports that the gas pedal can stick, causing the driver to be unable to cease acceleration. A previous notice indicated that the problem was occurring due to the gas pedal sticking in floor mats, but this recall indicates that it can occur even when the floor mats have been removed.Toyota has taken the step of notifying its dealers to cease selling the current new models until the problem has been corrected. This recall affects millions of vehicles.If you have been involved in an accident in which you were driving one of these Toyota models, or were struck by one of these Toyota models, you may have a claim against Toyota for product liability, in addition to any other claim you may have. If you’ve been involved in an accident in any Toyota in which you know or suspect that it was caused due to a sticking accelerator, please contact The Law Offices of Todd N. Hendrickson immediately. You have rights and we are here to protect them. Please call at 314-721-8833 for a no cost consultation.

The Department of Transportation has initiated, effective today, a ban on texting while driving for interstate truck and bus drivers.  If caught, these drivers will face significant fines and penalties.Texting while driving is responsible for numerous accidents. Some studies indicate it is as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. Studies indicate that drivers who text while driving are twenty times more likely to get into an accident than those who are not texting.If you have been in an accident with a truck or an accident in which you know or suspect that the other driver was using his or her cell phone or texting while driving, you should contact an attorney to protect your rights. Call or e-mail the Law Offices of Todd N. Hendrickson to discuss your case. As always, our initial consultation is free and there is no fee unless you recover.

Sport Utility Vehicles(SUVs) are advertised as being safe, well built vehicles which can be used for everyday road driving, as well as off roads and rough terrain. Unfortunately, not all SUVs are as safe as they are advertised to be. Research has shown that due to their larger size and higher center of gravity, SUVs are more prone to rollovers than smaller sized passenger cars.In the U.S., statistics show that more than 10,000 people are killed each year in SUV rollover accidents, and thousands more are left with severe or catastrophic injuries.Personal injuries resulting from an SUV rollover accident include, but are not limited to:Head injury or head traumaSpinal cord injury or back injuryNeck injuryBroken bones & fracturesLoss limbsParalysisDeathIf you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a SUV rollover accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries and damages. It is important to speak with an experienced St. Louis accident attorney who can investigate your case and evaluate if the auto manufacturer can be held liable.At the Law Offices of Todd N. Hendrickson in St. Louis, our attorneys are highly skilled in accident cases and have successfully represented numerous clients in various automobile accidents. We are committed to protecting the rights of our clients and help pursue compensation to help cover for; medical expenses, loss of income, future expenses, pain and suffering, and funeral expense.If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one due to an SUV rollover accident or other serious accident, contact Todd N. Hendrickson to schedule a free consultation and receive appropriate legal advice.

Have you been involved in a car accident that happened as a result of the other driver talking on a cell phone while driving? It is currently estimated that 7% of all car accidents in the United States involve cellular phone usage on the road. Today there are more drivers on the road than ever before, and the number of cell phone users continues to increase rapidly.A study done at Harvard showed that over the last five years, the number of cellular phone users has risen from 93 million to 129 million. With so many people driving and using cell phones, the two are bound to combine with disastrous results.Many states are implementing laws that make it illegal to use a cell phone while driving unless a ‘hands-free’ device is used. In St. Louis, we are still waiting for cell phone/driving laws to be passed. In the mean time, cell phone-related car accidents continue to injure and kill people. Todd N. Hendrickson is a St Louis accident attorney and represents those who have been injured in all types of accidents.If you or someone close to you has been injured in St Louis by a negligent driver who was using a cell phone at the time of the crash, you may be eligible to receive a monetary award for your injuries. All drivers are responsible for driving in a safe manner so they do not put themselves and other drivers at risk. When someone fails to operate a vehicle safely, the damage they cause is considered to be an act of negligence. St Louis accident lawyer Todd Hendrickson has a proven track record of bringing negligent parties to justice and holding them financially responsible for the damages and injuries they have caused.Call the St. Louis Law Office of Todd N. Hendrickson at 314.721.8833 to discuss your potential claim. Todd can provide you with a free consultation and advise you of your rights and what steps should be taken to pursue your claim.

You’ve been injured, whether it was in a car accident, work place injury, or due to medical malpractice or as a result of a faulty product. Have you ever thought about how you talk to your doctor about these injuries? No? Well you should …

Doctors write office notes and reports about every office visit they have with you, and every time they see you in the hospital. Doctors are the historians of your medical condition. What they write can affect any legal case you may have. Whatever the doctor documents about your injury or condition is what the insurance company, defense attorney, judge and jury will see. And all too often, if you try to say “that isn’t what I said!” who do you think that insurance company, defense attorney, judge and jury are going to believe?

Doctors are just like everyone else. They want to be successful at what they do. They want their patients to get better. As a result, doctors records tend to be biased in favor of recovery. I’m not saying it is an intentional bias. In most cases, it is not. It is just that their job is to make you better and they want to believe that they are achieving that goal.

So … how does what you say to your doctor affect what they write? Simple: unless you are 100% recovered, never tell a doctor “I feel fine” or “I feel better.” We all know that those statements are usually followed by an “except ….” “Doc, I feel fine, except my left leg is still killing me. I can’t bend it the way I should and the pain wakes me at night.” If your doctor has been treating this condition for awhile, chances are, his records will record: “Patient feels fine” or “patient improved.” In fact, you aren’t. And you’ve just created a hurtle for you and your attorney to overcome.

So, resist the temptation to say “I’m better” or “I’m fine” if you aren’t. Prepare for your visit with your doctor. Think about how your injury or condition has been since you last saw your doctor. Be prepared to tell him, quickly and succinctly, each of your complaints. Tell him or her what triggers any pain. Tell them if it hurst after certain activities or at certain times of the day. Be prepared to give them examples of things that your injuries have kept you from doing, or have made difficult to do, such as housework, your job, recreational activities. Don’t exaggerate. Never exaggerate! Simply list your problem and leave out “I’m fine” out of your vocabulary until there is nothing else on that list of things that are hurting or bothering you. Then, and only then, are you “fine.”