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Kansas City Personal Injury Law Blog

Missouri crash kills 2 teens just before school starts

A new school year started last week for students in Lincoln County, Missouri. Nevertheless, what should have been an opportunity to welcome students back turned into an occasion for mourning. Two 16-year-old students of the district lost their lives in a car crash just days before the new school year began. The school district responded by providing counseling services for those who need them, including students, family members and staff, throughout the first week of school. 

The accident occurred in the vicinity of Sunswept Drive and Missouri Route 47 last Sunday night. In addition to the driver, there were four other teenage boys in the vehicle that night. Three were 16 years of age, while the other two were 17. Reportedly, the two 16-year-old passengers who died were not wearing seat belts at the time of the accident. A 17-year-old boy who was not wearing a seatbelt required hospitalization for serious injuries. A second 17-year-old who did wear his seat belt sustained only minor injuries. He also received treatment at the hospital. Authorities report that the 16-year-old driver was wearing a seatbelt and sustained moderate injuries requiring transportation to the hospital. 

Unrestrained vehicle occupants die in Missouri crash

A recent two-vehicle crash in Missouri involved four occupants altogether. One was the driver of a semi-truck, one was the driver of an SUV and the other two, a 9-year-old boy and a 3-year-old girl, were passengers of the SUV. Two of the four wore proper restraints within their respective vehicles and survived the crash. The other two wore no restraints and died of their injuries. 

Early Tuesday morning found the two vehicles on Highway 36, traveling west. A law enforcement report indicates that the SUV struck the towed unit of the semi when the larger vehicle had stopped for a stoplight. The force of the collision reportedly caused the SUV to overturn, rolling over onto its top before coming to rest. Meanwhile, the driver of the semi was able to make a controlled stop. The semi-truck driver, a 59-year-old man from California, was wearing a seatbelt at the time and sustained no injury. 

Understanding whiplash-associated disorders

Most people in Missouri have heard references to whiplash, often made in a joking manner when conversations about vehicle accidents are had. However, whiplash or whiplash-associated disorders really are no laughing matters. Understanding what whiplash really is and what it may contribute to is important for anyone who might find themselves in a crash, no matter how minor it may seem at first.

As explained by WebMD, whiplash can result when the muscles or the tendons in the neck area have been damaged. The tendons are the mechanisms by which muscles are held to the bones. This is called a neck strain. A neck sprain, in contrast, involves tearing of the ligaments. The ligaments actually hold bones together.

What are the different areas of a construction zone?

When you come upon a zone of road construction in Missouri, you may not be thinking about the different areas that comprise each. This is understandable, as you are probably devoting most of your attention to paying attention to the signs and obeying the instructions of flaggers in the interest of navigating the work zone safely. 

Nevertheless, according to the Federal Highway Administration, several different areas comprise each zone of road construction, and each area poses its own potential hazards. Therefore, it may be helpful for you to identify the different areas and know the specific hazards that you face in each. 

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy after repeated head trauma

People who have a head injury can often face life-long challenges. In some cases, the problem is that the person has repeated brain trauma. This can come from sports injuries, but it might also involve being in more than one car wreck or other accident.

One catastrophic diagnosis that might be possible is chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which can't be diagnosed until long after the injuries occur. Sadly, this is a fatal condition that has many impacts on the person's life, especially near the end of their life.

Electronic logging devices for truckers

Most people in Missouri know that commercial truck drivers can spend many long and lonely hours on the road, often at night. This can lead to a high level of fatigue and contribute to a lack of safety. Many an accident has occurred due, at least in part, to trucker fatigue. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has enacted an Hours of Service rule that limits the number of hours a trucker may drive in a given day or work week. In an effort to force compliance with this rule, they have also mandated the use of electronic logging devices.

As explained by the FMCSA, an electronic logging device replaces an old manual process whereby truckers record their driving time. The manual process provided opportunities for records to be amended so as to appear in compliance with the HoS rule. An ELD is installed into a vehicle and automatically captures data including the date, time and location of any vehicle ignition start and stop. It also records the number of miles driven and identifies the driver.

Speeding trucker kills mother and her two babies

People in Missouri who have commercial driving licenses are expected to take the responsibility of safety seriously every time they climb up into their rigs. Unfortunately, that does not always seem to happen as too many truckers continue to display an utter disregard for their own safety and the safety of others. Fatigued truckers, drunk truckers and more expose innocent people to risks and losses that they should never have to endure.

One tragic example of this can be seen in the case of a trucker that rammed into other vehicles that had slowed up because of construction on a freeway. According to a report in the Indy Star, the incident occurred in the middle of the day on a Sunday along a stretch of Interstate 465 in Indianapolis. A truck driver was reported to be operating his semi-truck at an excessive rate of speed as he approached the slowed vehicles in front of him. Instead of slowing himself, he rammed into them, causing a multi-vehicle crash that left debris scattered along as much as three-fourths of a mile of the freeway.

Missouri's drunk driving reality

Summertime is generally associated with a feeling of freedom and easy living as school breaks give way to vacations and warm weather encourages people to be out and about more often. Missouri residents love to enjoy area lakes and events with friends and family members during this season. Unfortunately, these celebrations can often be marred by tragedies caused by negligent people. 

Despite many decades of widespread awareness campaigns against drunk driving, people continue to die at the hands of impaired drivers. A recent report from KDSK highlighted that over the Fourth of July holidays in 2015, 2016 and 2017, the state of Missouri experienced 20 different fatal drunk driving wrecks. A total of 33 drivers were involved in these accidents. Nearby Illinois only recorded 13 such accidents in the same time period.

Bad faith insurance tactics after a car accident

You get into a serious car accident. It results in weeks in the hospital. You obviously can't work at that time, and you miss work for months afterward as you heal at home. You will probably need some level of medication for the rest of your life, and all of your injuries may not heal.

In other words, the accident changes your life forever. You know that the insurance company is supposed to help, but, as it turns out, they don't. You feel like they're working against you. With everything else you're dealing with, this all seems very unfair and unreasonable.

Are liability waivers enforceable in Missouri?

Kansas City offers plenty of activities for you and your family to enjoy during the summer months. There may be times, however, when your participation in such activities is contingent on you signing a liability waiver. Such waivers are meant to signify that you understand that there might be inherent risks associated with a certain activity or entering on to a property, and by signing it, you agree to absolve the property owner of liability for any accidents that may occur. While you may agree that a property owner should be held liable for any injuries resulting from your own carelessness, you might also assume that a liability waiver does not extend to cases of obvious negligence. 

That may not always be the case. Liability waivers must be detailed in their descriptions in order to be enforceable. They cannot simply claim to protect a property owner of liability in any situation. However, those details that they do address may indeed protect property owners even in cases where their own negligence may have contributed to an accident. 

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