July 30, 2012

After a Car Accident: Insurance Claim Dos and Don’ts

If you have been involved in a car accident, you are likely concerned how to handle your insurance claim. By being prepared, you can avoid making any potential errors that could jeopardize your claim.

Do

Do contact your insurance company right away. After you have sought medical treatment (if necessary), contact your insurance company to notify them of the accident as soon as possible.

Do take thorough notes of your conversation with your insurance company. Be sure to list the names, titles, and phone numbers of everyone you speak to.

Do have a clear understanding of your insurance coverage prior to speaking with the insurance company. Also, consider if you have any additional insurance coverage available. You may want to check your homeowner’s policy, or an umbrella policy for instance.

Do take pictures of the damage to your vehicle, the scene of the accident, and your injuries if possible. Your cell phone is excellent for this purpose.

Do contact a qualified Missouri car accident lawyer for advice. It is important to speak to legal counsel to ensure that your rights are protected.

Do keep records of all of your expenses associated with pursuing your claim. This would include all receipts, purchases for lodging, and car rentals during the time of the accident until the time your claim is settled.

Don't

Don’t automatically accept an offer made by your insurance company. Insurance companies will likely offer you the lowest possible dollar amount, which may not adequately cover your losses.

Don’t immediately give a written or recorded statement to your insurance company. Be sure you completely understand your coverage first. If you are in any doubt, seek legal advice first.

Don’t sign a waiver or release without consulting legal counsel. Emotions often run high during this time, and you may be tempted to close the claim and settle for an amount less than your actual loss.

Don’t ignore any time limits set in your policy. Many policies require a proof of loss be filed within a certain time frame for instance. Also, if your claim is not being settled to your satisfaction and the clock is ticking, speak to legal counsel immediately.

July 23, 2012

Distracted Driving

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Recently, the National Transportation Safety Board called for a ban on the use of all portable electronic devices (PEDs) while operating a vehicle.

The NTSB reports that 3,000 people were killed last year due to distraction related car accidents. Deborah A.P. Hersman, chairman for the NTSB said, “It is time for all of us to stand up for safety by turning off electronic devices when driving. No call, no text, no update, is worth human life.”

Let’s face it, we have all become efficient multi-taskers. Our cars have become extension of our office and home, and are now equipped with CD players, navigation, cell phones, radios, DVD players and cup holders. A multi-tasking mom can now hold a phone conference while navigating the streets of St. Louis, while the kids are occupied in the back watching a movie. This type of distracted driving not only puts you and your family’s safety at risk, it endangers everyone around you.

This action taken by the NTSB carries important implications. It may encourage the development of new technologies that will prohibit the use of PEDs while a vehicle is on the road.

Here are some tips to avoid distracted driving:

1. Pull over if you need to make a call, or text;
2. Do not use your cell phone, or any other electronic media while driving;
3. Avoid all non-essential activities while driving (smoking, eating, drinking);
4. Plan your driving route before you leave home;
5. If you have children, pull the car over if they need something.

July 22, 2012

What to Do if You are in a Car Accident

Car accidents happen in Missouri everyday. Statistics show that in 2010 alone, there were a total of 54,875 people involved in auto accidents in the state of Missouri, and 821 people were killed. Whether you made an error while driving, or were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, it is important to know what steps you need to take if you are involved in a car accident. Taking informed action will protect your rights and ensure the best possible outcome. It is important to speak with a Missouri personal injury attorney from our office as early on as possible in the process.

Stop

If you are involved in an accident, Missouri law requires that you stop at the scene of the accident. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately, which will summon the fire department and the police.

Exchange Information

It is important to collect as much information as possible from the other party. You may be shaken up, but it is important to obtain the name, address, insurance information and driver’s license number of the other party involved.

Take Pictures of the Accident

A picture really is worth a thousand words. They can be extremely important during any negotiations or trial. Use your cell phone to take pictures of the damage to your car, your injuries, and the immediate area surrounding the accident.

Do Not Engage in an Argument

Often in the heat of the moment, people say things regarding the accident that can hurt their case later on. Do not get into a discussion with the other party about the circumstances of the accident. If you are questioned by police, give your account of the accident.

Notify Your Insurance Company

It is extremely important to notify your insurance company right away after an accident. Failure to report an accident can prevent you from pursing a claim in the future.

Go to the Doctor

Often victims of car accidents put off going to the emergency room immediately following an accident, feeling that their injuries may not be serious enough. Failing to immediately seek medical attention can affect your ability to obtain a favorable settlement in the future. An insurance company can argue that you were not injured because you did not seek medical attention.

File an Accident Report

Under Chapter 300 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, a driver involved in a car accident involving more than $500.00 in property damage or bodily injury must report the accident to local police. A police report is also useful because it will provide important information such as insurance information, diagrams, witness information, and document whether someone was taken to the hospital.

Speak with a Missouri Car Accident Lawyer Right Away

Many complex insurance issues can arise in car accident cases. There are specific insurance laws that limit what types of injuries can be legally pursued. To obtain the best possible chance of a just recovery for your injuries, speak with E. Ryan Bradley to ensure that your rights are protected.

June 24, 2012

Aurora, Missouri Infant Injured in Lawrence County Intersection Accident

An Aurora, Missouri infant under the age of one sustained minor injuries in an intersection accident that occurred on June 24, 2012 in Lawrence County, Missouri. The accident occurred on County Road near Marionville, Missouri and the time of the accident was approximately 12:00pm.

Sherry C. Marks, age 21, was driving eastbound on County Road #2210 in a 2000 Lincoln Navigator. Marks was also traveling with Caedryn J. Marks/Haumann, an infant that was under the age of one. Both Marks and Caedryn had safety devices activated while they were driving. At the same time, William A. Welch of Morristown, Florida, age 51, was driving southbound on County Road #1210 in a 2012 Toyota Corolla. At the intersection of County Roads #2210 and #1210, Welch failed to stop at the intersection. Welch subsequently drove in Marks’s path and collided with Marks’s vehicle. Both vehicles sustained moderate damage.

Missouri State Highway Patrol subsequently responded to the accident. Highway Patrol and medical first responders determined that Caedryn sustained minor injuries in the collision. Caedryn was transported to Mercy Hospital in Aurora, Missouri by ambulance.

As the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and a vast amount of other studies have noted over the years, intersection accidents are often some of the most dangerous maneuvers that a motorist can do on the road. When done in an unsafe manner, it exposes a motorist to oncoming traffic and can even result in severe property damage, serious injuries, or even car accident fatalities. Unfortunately, intersection accidents are a fact-of-life for motorists across the world; as roadways become more intricate and complex, intersections will always remain. Outside of outright avoiding a street intersection, motorists must first train themselves to drive in a safe and careful fashion as to best avoid potential Missouri car accidents.

Missouri has well-specified law in terms of handling intersection scenarios. Statute § 304.341 details certain procedures drivers must follow when making left, right, or u-turns at intersections. Section 304.341.1(2) governs the procedure for making left turns. A motorist first needs to be in the extreme left lane to the point where the driver can avoid oncoming traffic (or in the scenario of double left turn lanes, in any left lane that legally permits a proper left turn). This is easier to follow when there are electric signals that explicitly specify when a driver can make a left turn. In the scenario of road signs or no road signs at all, a driver needs to make a turn in a safe manner as to leave the lanes of oncoming traffic.

Section 304.341 also provides certain punishments for violating the intersection-turn procedures. Missouri deems the violation of this statute as a Class C Misdemeanor, which can result in up a fifteen day-imprisonment (or possibly even more imprisonment time in some scenarios). If you were the victim of an improper intersection-turn accident, consult with a Missouri car accident attorney.

June 20, 2012

Two Missouri Drivers Involved in Deer-Crossing Accident on Route 6

Two Missouri residents were involved in a car accident arising out of a deer-crossing incident on the evening of June 20, 2012 on Missouri Route 6 in Daviess County. The time of the accident was at 9:37pm.

Sandra S. Smith of St. Joseph, Missouri was driving westbound on Route 6 in a 2006 Dodge Caravan shortly before the accident. A 2001 Suzuki Vitara driven by Brandon K. Curtis of Gallatin, Missouri was also driving westbound on Route 6. Smith slowed down when she encountered a lone deer that was crossing the roadway. Curtis did not slow down in time and ended up striking Smith’s vehicle in the rear. Both drivers directed their vehicles to the westbound shoulder of Route 6. Both vehicles sustained moderate damage due to the collision. The investigation report did not mention whether or not Smith’s vehicle ended up striking the deer as a result of the accident.

Both drivers were assisted by Missouri State Highway Patrol, Daviess County Sheriff’s Department, Gallatin Fire Department, and Kaw Fire Department. They determined that both drivers sustained minor injuries due to the accident. Curtis was transported to Liberty Hospital in Liberty, Missouri by a private vehicle. Smith was similarly transported to Heartland Regional Medical Center.

In rural areas of Missouri, deer-crossings are very likely to happen at random moments. The state often puts deer-crossing signs up to warn drivers that deer presence on the roadway is possible and that drivers should remain vigilant while driving. Hitting a deer can potentially cause severe damage to a motorist’s vehicle and insurance companies may differ on how and when they would provide coverage in these kinds of situations. However, this is not the only risk that deer-crossing poses for Missouri motorists. Deer-crossing can potentially affect the flow of traffic on a given roadway and can affect multiple drivers. If one driver yields to a deer but the traffic behind also does not drive with the same car, a Missouri rear-end collision accident is likely to occur. Such accidents can also result in minor, serious, or even fatal injuries for accident victims.

The Missouri Department of Revenue has disclosed some tips for avoiding Missouri “Deer-Vehicle Accidents.” They suggest drivers to remain alert and cautious while approaching areas marked with deer crossing signs. They also note that deer usually cross either after sunset or around sunrise. Additionally, they note that deer often travel in groups and that there is always a possibility that there are more deer near the roadway than a driver may spot. Finally, they note that swerving or coming to a sudden stop is dangerous and can endanger fellow motorists.

Keep in mind that the Department of Revenue’s suggestions all conform with legal driving rules in Missouri requiring motorists to adhere to road signs and to drive in a careful and safe manner according to Statute § 304.014. If involved in an accident, consult a Missouri car accident attorney.

June 18, 2012

St. Louis, Missouri Resident Involved in I-270 Accident

A 24-year old female was involved in a car accident on northbound Interstate 270 south of I-70 on June 15, 2012. The St. Louis County car accident occurred around 1:20pm.

Hope B. Sexton of St. Louis, Missouri was traveling northbound on I-270 in her 1994 Toyota Corolla. Shelbi K. Eads of St. Peters, Missouri was also traveling northbound on I-270 in her 2010 Nissan Altima. Both Eads and Sexton were forced to come to a stop due to traffic on I-270. Ryan D. Derryberry of Maryland Heights, Missouri was then traveling northbound on I-270 in a 1992 Dodge Dakota. Derryberry did not stop in time and ended up colliding with the rear of Sexton’s vehicle. Due to the force of the collision, Sexton’s vehicle was moved forward and also collided with the rear of Eads’s vehicle. Eads’s and Sexton’s vehicle sustained moderate damage in the three-car chain collision. Derryberry’s vehicle only sustained minor damage. Derryberry was the only driver that did not have insurance.

Missouri State Highway Patrol subsequently responded to the accident and determined that Sexton sustained moderate injuries due to the crash. Sexton was subsequently transported to De Paul Medical Center in St. Louis County by Maryland Heights Fire District.

Missouri requires all motorists to maintain “financial responsibility” for their vehicles. In other words, Missouri statute § 303.025 requires all drivers to have some kind of insurance policy for their vehicles that conforms to the requirements of the state. Such policies can include liability coverage, coverage for theft of one’s motor vehicle, or other types of scenarios which may lead to property damage of a vehicle. Authorities and Missouri municipalities typically punish the failure to drive with a valid insurance policy with a misdemeanor penalty. The statute also requires increasingly severe penalties for subsequent violations, including up to 15 days in a county jail. Unfortunately, different cities or municipalities in Missouri have different ways of enforcing the financial responsibility duty imposed on drivers.

In the case of a Missouri car accident, the responsible party’s lack of insurance can potentially make any kind of lawsuit much more complicated than it would have been if the party possessed an insurance policy. Without an insurance policy, the driver who is responsible for the accident would potentially have to pay for any liability damages out of his or her own pocket. This becomes somewhat troublesome when the responsible party does not actually possess the amount needed to cover for the damages. If the party did possess insurance, damages could swiftly come out of the insurance company’s costs. This could serve as a great hurdle to sufficient recovery of damages for injured victims of a Missouri car accident. Nonetheless, victims of a Missouri car accident should consult with a St. Louis County Missouri car accident attorney for information and assistance.

June 17, 2012

Three Vehicle Car Accident Occurs on Highway 30 and High Ridge Blvd

Three people were involved in a Missouri three-vehicle accident on Westbound Highway 30 and High Ridge Blvd in Jefferson County, Missouri. The date and time of the accident was on June 17, 2012 at 10:09pm.

Laura M. Wheat of St. Louis, Missouri was driving eastbound on Highway 30 in a 2003 Hyundai Accent. At the same time, Stephanie R. Roth of Brentwood, Missouri was driving westbound in a 2011 Mazda 3. John F. Massara of Fenton, Missouri was also driving westbound on Highway 30 in a 2012 Chrysler Town and County vehicle. As Wheat approached the intersection between Highway 30 and High Ridge Blvd, authorities note that Wheat made an improper left turn and subsequently traveled in the path of Highway 30’s westbound traffic. Roth could not stop her vehicle in time and struck the rear of Wheat’s vehicle. Massara attempted to swerve out of the way of the accident, but his vehicle swerved off of the road and traveled into a ditch. Wheat and Roth’s vehicles sustained extensive damage while Massara’s vehicle only sustained moderate damage.

Missouri State Highway Patrol responded to the accident and determined that Roth sustained minor injuries due to the accident. Roth was immediately transported to Mercy Hospital in Creve Coeur, Missouri by North Jefferson County Ambulance services.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration routinely warns motorists that intersections can be the most complex and most dangerous scenario a motorist can face. If even a single motorist drives in an unsafe manner when crossing an intersection, a multiple-vehicle car accident is highly possible. In prior studies, the NHTSA has also noted that close to 40% of all car accidents either occurs at intersections or the accident involves an intersection in some way.

Missouri has imposed strict laws on intersection driving due to the potential safety risks. According to Statute § 304.351.3, any motorist wishing to make a left turn must give the right-of-way to any vehicle that is driving on the opposite direction of traffic. The law also allows Missouri authorities to set up yield or stop signs to further regulate the flow of traffic in intersections. Authorities can also forbid right or left turns at certain intersections if they wish. In a legal context, the statute states that driving above the speed limit in these kinds of areas will be “prima facie evidence of careless and imprudent driving” in a court of law. In other words, driving above the speed limit would make a very strong case of imprudent driving unless the driver could successfully rebut this kind of evidence. Missouri also makes the violation of § 304.351 a Class C Misdemeanor which can potentially imprison the violator for any amount of time less than a year.

Missouri takes intersection safety very seriously. If you were involved in a Missouri intersection car accident, please consult a Missouri car accident lawyer.

June 14, 2012

Fatal Head-on Collision Occurs on U.S. Route 160 in Howell County

Two Caulfield, Missouri residents were injured on June 10, 2012 in a car crash on Route 160 in Howell County. One Caulfield, Missouri resident was killed in the crash. The time of the Missouri wrongful death accident was 3:00pm.

Gary M. Ragar, age 53, was driving eastbound on Route 160 in his 1963 Ford Galaxie. At the same time, Ronald L. Becker, age 75, was driving westbound on Route 160 and was traveling in his 2001 Ford F250. Becker was also accompanied by Carolyn H. Becker, age 71. For unknown reasons, Ragar crossed the center line of Route 160. Ragar’s vehicle ended up striking Becker’s vehicle in a head-on collision. Both vehicles sustained total damage due to the head-on collision.

Carolyn and Ronald Becker both sustained some injuries due to the collision. Gary M. Ragar was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident by Missouri State Highway Patrol. Highway Patrol examined the surviving drivers as required by Missouri law. Carolyn and Ronald Becker were both transported by ambulance services to Ozarks Medical Center in West Plains, Missouri. Ragar’s body was transported to Robertson-Drago Funeral Home in West Plains Missouri. Ragar’s next of kin has been since notified of the fatal Missouri car accident. None of the parties had their safety devices activated before the accident.

Missouri State Highway Patrol also notes that this has been the fourteenth (14th) fatality in this sector this year as opposed to the twelve (12) fatalities that occurred in 2011 in the same time period.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and multiple other sources have noted that head-on collisions are among the most dangerous types of car accidents. Statistics show that close to 10 percent of all fatal car accidents are head-on collisions. From a scientific standpoint, head-on collisions are deadly because even a head-on collision with two vehicles traveling at moderate speeds can simulate an impact as if a vehicle had been traveling at extremely high speeds. Not only do head-on collisions often guarantee severe vehicle damage, but could also result in serious or fatal injuries. Wearing a seat-belt may potentially be the difference between a serious injury and a fatality, but the best protective measure is drive in a safe and careful manner.

Missouri car accident lawsuits can occur even if one or all of the parties involved in the accident are deceased (whether in the accident or afterwards). Parties can file lawsuits like wrongful death suits in a Missouri court of law that will litigate the issue of the car accident even if main parties are dead. In most cases, estates of the deceased will stand-in as a representative party. In some scenarios, family members may be able to act in behalf of a Missouri fatal car crash victim. However, these kinds of lawsuits are often very complex. In the case of a fatal Missouri car accident, it would be best to contact a Missouri car accident attorney for assistance and information.

June 7, 2012

Nine Year Old Sustains Minor Injuries in Clay County Car Accident

A nine-year old Kansas City, Missouri male sustained minor injuries in a car accident that occurred on Interstate 35 in Clay County. The accident occurred on June 7, 2012 at 1:08pm.

Misty L. Vaughn of Kansas City, Missouri was driving northbound on I-35 shortly before the accident. Vaughn was also traveling with Kwintin L. Cook, a nine-year old Kansas City, Missouri resident. Braiden M. Vanbrunt of Cameron, Missouri was also driving northbound before the accident occurred. Vaughn ended up slowing down her vehicle due to the amount of traffic that was on I-35. For unknown reasons, Vanbrunt attempted to overtake traffic and subsequently struck Vaughn’s vehicle. Vanbrunt’s vehicle sustained minor damage while Vaughn’s vehicle sustained moderate damage. All parties had their safety devices and seat belts activated.

Missouri State Highway Patrol notes that an investigation in the accident is ongoing and that charges are pending. When Highway Patrol determined that Cook was injured in the accident, he was transported to Liberty Hospital in Liberty, Missouri by Kearney EMS.

Overtaking a vehicle on a highway is often a risky maneuver when done improperly. Agencies such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have repeatedly mentioned that hasty overtaking and passing of vehicles could be considered “aggressive driving.” This fashion of driving is often dangerous, as it often disregards basic Missouri rules of the road and greatly increases the possibility of creating a Missouri car accident. In the scenario where an aggressive driver is faced with slow traffic, this could give rise to “road rage” which will greatly impair a driver’s ability to drive in a careful and prudent manner. On busy or fast traffic roads, this kind of driving can become a great threat to all motorists and passengers on the road.

Missouri statute § 304.016 also requires that drivers that want to overtake a vehicle on the highway needs to pass to the left of those vehicles. However, merely passing a vehicle on a left-hand side is not enough. A driver needs to make sure that all other vehicles are of a safe distance during the overtaking so that a car accident does not occur. A driver can do this by making their intentions clear through signals and blinkers, maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles on the road, and only try to overtake a vehicle when the driver has absolutely determined that it is safe to do so. Attempting to overtake vehicles in the middle of traffic is an extraordinarily dangerous move. Vehicles in traffic will often be closer together and will not be of a safe distance for adequate passing. Moreover, sudden stops are expected in high traffic scenarios and a driver must be especially aware of this in order to avoid rear-end collisions. Since improper overtakings and subsequent Missouri car accidents are quite common in high traffic interstates, it would be advisable to consult a Missouri car accident lawyer if you are an accident victim.

June 5, 2012

Three Injured in Car Accident on Missouri Route 25 in Dunklin County

Three Missouri residents were injured in a two-vehicle accident that occurred on Missouri Route 25. The accident occurred in Dunklin County on June 4, 2012 at 11:55am.

James F. Reynolds, age 62, was traveling southbound on Route 25 in his 2003 Dodge Ram. He was also traveling with Judy A. Reynolds, age 60, during this time. At the same time, Floy D. Weinert, age 76, was traveling northbound on Route in her 2008 Toyota Corrolla. Eventually, Weinert attempted to make a left turn on an unspecified street. However, Weinert traveled into the path of Reynolds’s vehicle during the turn. Reynolds could not stop the vehicle in time and the two vehicles collided with each other. Both vehicles suffered total damage as a result of the accident.

Missouri State Highway Patrol responded thereafter. James Reynolds and Floy Weinert sustained minor injuries due to the accident. However, Judy Reynolds sustained moderate injuries. All parties were immediately transported to Twin Rivers Medical Center in Kennett, Missouri in Dunklin County by ambulance.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes a distressing trend concerning older drivers in terms of injury and fatality statistics. In 2009, close to 5,000 individuals who were above the age of 65 were car accident fatalities across the nation. Past studies held this total to be around 16% of all traffic fatalities and close to 8% of all people injured in vehicle accidents during 2009. Nothing in these studies implies that older drivers cause more accidents. In December 2010, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration initiated a Five-Year “Older Driver Program” meant to run from 2012 to 2017. This program is meant to account for the increasing population of older drivers across the nation and is meant to both address the needs of older drivers and to decrease injury and fatality rates for all drivers. The program encourages roadway reforms such as making better or more visible signs or making more protected left turn lanes.

The program highlights a fundamental distinction between “medically at-risk drivers” and “healthy older drivers.” The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has expressed that it does not want to trigger legislative reform that would instead be more restrictive for older drivers.

Older drivers must not only adhere to the rules of the road, but must also be certain that they are not “medically at-risk” drivers. A driver who operates a vehicle while medically at-risk could be liable to any victims in a Missouri car accident lawsuit if the medical condition was shown to have “caused” the accident. Since older drivers are likely to be involved in a Missouri car accident beyond their control, victims should nonetheless contact a Missouri car accident lawyer for more information.

June 3, 2012

Two Injured in Lane Change Accident on I-70

Two O’Fallon, Missouri residents were injured in a lane change car accident on Interstate 70 in St. Charles County. The accident occurred on June 2, 2012 at 7:17pm.

Dallas D. Brock was traveling eastbound on I-70 shortly before the accident. Brock was traveling in a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt along with Denise A. Brock. At the same time, Larry V. Miller was also traveling eastbound in a 1993 Saturn SL2 on I-70 not too far behind Brock’s vehicle. Miller attempted to change into an unspecified right-hand lane, but did not wait until it was safe to turn into the other lane. As a result, Miller’s vehicle struck the left rear of Brock’s vehicle. Both vehicles sustained minor damage as a result of the collision.

Missouri State Highway Patrol subsequently arrived on the scene. Both Dallas Brock and Denise Brock were the only injured parties involved in the accident. St. Charles County Ambulance District services transported both Dallas Brock and Denise Brock to St. Joseph Health Center for medical attention.

On roads and highways with fast moving traffic, changing lanes can be a dangerous maneuver when conducted improperly. According to past statistics by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, lane change accidents consist of close to 2% of all fatal motor vehicle accidents across the nation. While seemingly a small percentage, lane change accidents still have the potential to result in a fatal accident or an accident resulting in serious injuries or heavy damage to vehicles. However, avoiding a Missouri lane change accident requires adhering to the rules of the road and to drive in a responsible manner.

Missouri statute § 304.012 requires that all drivers of a motor vehicle on any road or highway must drive in a “careful and prudent manner” as to not endanger the lives and property of fellow motorists. In the scenario of a lane change accident, a driver must make it an absolute priority to ensure that it is safe to actually conduct a lane change. Unlike lane changes on normal roads, lane changes on highways must be done with a great amount of care since the increased speeds of traffic can easily lead to more deadly Missouri car accidents. A driver can act in a “careful and prudent manner” during a lane change by making sure that the lane they want to change into is empty or that the nearest car is far away to ensure a safe lane change. Using electrical signals can also allow following vehicles to know that you intend to change lanes. You also need to both look into rearview mirrors and check any and all blind spots (usually by looking over your shoulder). You also need to make sure vehicles in front of you are also of a great enough distance to ensure a safe lane change.

If you were involved in a Missouri lane change car accident, it would be best to consult with a Missouri car accident attorney.

May 31, 2012

Texas Woman Injured in Car Accident on Missouri Route 13

A woman from Texas was injured in a car accident that occurred on Missouri Route 13 in Greene County eight miles away from Springfield, Missouri. The date and time of the accident was on May 30, 2012 at 3:40pm.

Carla L. Davis of Corpus Christi, Texas was driving her 2011 Nissan Altima southbound on Route 13. At the same time, Matthew C. Cross of Morrisville, Missouri was driving his 2000 Chevrolet Impala westbound. Cross was attempting to cross onto Route 13 in order to travel southbound. However, when Cross turned onto southbound Route 13, he pulled into the path of Davis’s vehicle. Davis’s vehicle struck Cross’s vehicle in the rear as a result of this. Both Davis and Cross were subsequently forced off the west side of Route 13 as a result of the collision. Both vehicles suffered extensive damage.

Davis sustained some injuries due to the collision. Missouri State Highway Patrol did not report Cross as having sustained any injuries. Both drivers used safety devices such as seat belts when they were driving. Davis was subsequently transferred by ambulance to Cox South Hospital in Springfield, Missouri.

When traveling across state lines and away from a home state, it must be noted that a car accident can always occur. However, if a driver wished to file a lawsuit against another driver responsible for a vehicle accident, it is not entirely as simple as merely filing a lawsuit in any state. A court of law would need “personal jurisdiction” over the parties of a lawsuit. This legal doctrine can be more complex than what one would initially assume; multiple parties coming from multiple states could complicate what could have been a simple car accident lawsuit with a clear driver at fault. Some factors that typically come into play concern where the parties may live either at the time of the lawsuit or when the events took place (usually referred to as “citizenship”), where the main bulk of the events leading to the suit took place, or many other factors.

Accident victims who reside outside of the state should nonetheless contact a Missouri car accident lawyer for legal representation and advice if they were involved in a Missouri car accident. The doctrine of personal jurisdiction is a fundamental component to filing a lawsuit and courts can potentially dismiss a lawsuit due to it lacking personal jurisdiction over the parties of a suit. If a defendant of a Missouri car accident lawsuit is from Missouri, a Missouri court can exercise personal jurisdiction over the defendant even if the plaintiff is out-of-state. In addition, Missouri can “reach out” to out-of-state defendants under its “long arm statute” (§ 506.500). Even if all parties are all of state, a court may exercise personal jurisdiction because Missouri car accidents are “tortious acts” that occur within the state. An out-of-state victim should consult a Missouri car accident lawyer as opposed to a home-state lawyer.

May 29, 2012

Two Injured in Missouri Route 5 Car Crash in Douglas County

Two Missouri residents were injured in a car accident that occurred on Missouri Route 5 near Squires, Missouri in Douglas County. The accident happened at 9:00pm on May 28, 2012.

A 2005 Ford F150 Truck driven by Evert L. Potter of Ava, Missouri was stopped in the left-hand lane of southbound Route 5 shortly before the accident. Potter was currently waiting for traffic to past so he could make a left turn at an unidentified intersection. Potter was also transporting a trailer attached to his truck which did not have any tail lights. A 2000 Chevrolet Caviler driven by Louis W. Garcia of Rogersville, Missouri was also traveling southbound on Route 5. Garcia did not see Potter’s stopped vehicle over the Potter’s trailer until it was too late. Garcia attempted to swerve to avoid striking Potter, but Garcia ended up striking the left front corner of Potter’s vehicle. Potter’s vehicle was subsequently forced off the left side of the road, drove down an embankment, and overturned. Potter’s vehicle rested on its top and sustained total damage.

Garcia and his passenger, Jacqueline C. Turner of Gainesville, Missouri both suffered minor injuries as a result of the collision. Turner was transported by Douglas County’s Emergency Medical Services to Baxter County Regional Medical Center in Mountain Home, Arkansas. Garcia refused medical treatment at the scene.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has noted that tail lights are vital to ensuring safe roads for fellow drivers. The NHTSA has often recommended complete recalls of vehicle lines due to faulty tail lights and have even made interpretations on some safety laws and regulations as to how certain colors of tail lights may be less effective than others. From a functional standpoint, a tail light is a crucial instrument for motorists in two ways: it allows motorists to know that a vehicle in front of it is stopped and it allows motorists to actually see a stopped vehicle in night conditions. This is especially important when considering that motor-drawn vehicles like trailers usually do not have elaborate electronic devices like high beams, head lights, or other illuminating devices.

Missouri statute § 307.075 states that all vehicles, whether driven or motor-drawn, must possess at least two rear lamps that show a clear red light. The purpose of this law is to allow vehicles to be clearly spotted “from a distance of five hundred (500) feet to the rear.” If this rule is not followed, then drivers may receive infractions or even more severe penalties. This is especially important for motor-drawn vehicles like trailers. Trailers will often obscure and block the main vehicle drawing the trailer. Not having a tail light on a trailer makes a Missouri car accident much more likely at night due to the inability to see the trailer until it is too late. If you were involved in an accident involving another driver’s lack of tail lights, consult a Missouri car accident attorney.

May 28, 2012

Three Injured in ATV Road Accident in Mercer County

Three Missouri residents were injured in a car accident that occurred in Mercer County on May 27, 2012. The accident occurred on Holly Road eight (8) miles west of Princeton, Missouri in Mercer County.

John L. Whitsell of Clarksdale, Missouri was driving his 2009 Suzuki King Quad All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) on northbound Holly Road before the accident. At the same time, a 2003 Polaris Predator ATV driven by Stephen L. Farr was driving behind Whitsell’s vehicle and was also going northbound. Twenty-two (22) year old Lacey D. Edwards of Hamilton, Missouri was riding along with Whitsell at the time. Farr’s vehicle suddenly turned in front of Whitsell’s vehicle, causing Whitsell’s vehicle to strike the rear of Farr’s vehicle. Whitsell’s vehicle overturned as a result of the collision and both Whitsell and Edwards were subsequently thrown from the vehicle. Whitsell’s vehicle suffered extensive damage when it eventually came to rest at the end of the road.

Edwards and Whitsell sustained serious and moderate injuries respectively as a result of the collision. Edwards was transported by Emergency Helicopter Life Flight Eagle to North Kansas City Hospital. Whitsell was transported by Mercer County Ambulance to Bethany Hospital. Farr sustained minor injuries but refused treatment on the scene of the crime.

The issue of liability in a Missouri vehicle accident that involves All-Terrain Vehicles is a difficult and complex one. According to Missouri Statute § 304.013, no driver shall operate an ATV on any highway or public road. However, this statute does note some exceptions to this rule. For instance, ATVs may be permitted on public roads and highways if they are government owned and operated by a government entity for “official use.” Agricultural or Industrial organizations can also use ATVs on their premises during their official hours of operation. Some handicapped Missouri citizens can use ATVs for short-distance travel on some secondary roads during certain times of the day. Some Missouri cities can even offer special permits for the use of ATVs within their city limits.

Normally, in a Missouri vehicle accident that involves one or more ATVs, the first inquiry would be whether or not the driver of the ATV was licensed to use the ATV on the roadway at that time. If a driver was not licensed, then the normal rules of the road may not apply and the driver of the ATV could be held at fault in a court of law (even if the ATV driver did not start the accident). If the driver is licensed, then the rules of the road may apply and any law suit may resemble a standard Missouri car accident suit. Moreover, Missouri laws require ATV drivers to drive in a careful fashion as well. Since ATV usage may be more prominent in some cities and may greatly complicate Missouri vehicle accident litigation, it would be best to contact a Missouri car accident lawyer for more information.

May 24, 2012

Three Injured in Pulaski, Missouri Car Accident

Three people were injured in a Pulasky, Missouri car accident that occurred on Missouri Route 17. The accident was near Samantha Road in Waynesville and occurred on May 23, 2012 at 9:40pm.

Mincy L. Mayor of St. Robert, Missouri was driving her 1999 Chervolet S-10 Pickup Truck on southbound Route 17. Mayor was accompanied by two other passengers at the time of the accident; Cory N. Trotter of Laquey, Missouri and Tony Trotter of Waynesville, Missouri. All parties except for Cory N. Trotter were wearing their seatbelts at this time. Robert A. Johnson was driving his 2003 BMW northbound on Route 17 at that same time. For unknown reasons, Johnson’s vehicle crossed the centerline of Route 17 and struck Mayor’s vehicle. Both vehicles sustained heavy damage due to the collision.

All three occupants of Mayor’s vehicle sustained injuries as a result of the collision. Mayor and Tony Trotter were transported to Phelps County Regional Medical Center in Rolla, Missouri. Cory N. Trotter sustained minor injuries, but he refused to undergo medical treatment at the scene.

A great amount of Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) programs recognize that a competent adult has the right to refuse medical treatment on the scene of an accident. EMT handbooks typically require technicians to attempt to persuade the injured party to pursue some kind of medical treatment a second time. Alternatively, an EMT would have to make sure that the victim is not under the influence of a controlled substance that would impair the victim’s ability to make decisions. An EMT would also have to inform the victim of the risks of what could happen if medical treatment is not pursued. This is especially vital when considering that those injured in a car accident could potentially have latent, hidden injuries.

Car accidents can also trigger negative physical symptoms in a victim due to something that occurred before the accident itself. For a most extreme example, the court case Steinhauser v. Hertz Corp. described an instance where a car accident can bring about latent psychological effects such as triggering one’s latent schizophrenia.

Refusing medical treatment may make things harder for the victim of a Missouri car accident in a potential car accident lawsuit. A defense lawyer may argue that the victim did not accept medical treatment because the victim was not actually injured. Alternatively, the defense lawyer could also argue that even if the victim was injured, doing things like not wearing a seatbelt were contributing factors to the victim’s injury. In this case, a defense attorney would be looking for ways to reduce the overall damages a victim could legally recover from a lawsuit. Since latent injuries are just as important as apparent injuries in a lawsuit, it may be best to contact a Missouri car accident lawyer for more information.

May 22, 2012

Minor Causes Rear-End Collision in Crawford County

A Davisville, Missouri teenage female collided into the rear of a Viburnum, Missouri female on Highway Route 49 near Viburum on May 21, 2012. The Crawford County Missouri car accident occurred at 2:35pm.

Christina G. Webb was driving her 2008 Ford Fusion southbound on Highway 49 shortly before the accident. At the same time, a 1996 Mercury Sable driven by Samantha L. Callahan, age 16, was driving behind Webb in the same lane. Webb slowed down because another vehicle in front of her was turning in an unspecified direction. Callahan did not also slow down and her Mercury Sable struck Webb’s Ford Fusion in the rear. Webb’s Ford Fusion suffered moderate damage, but Callahan’s Mercury Sable suffered extensive damage as a result of the collision. Callahan’s vehicle had to be towed from the scene of the accident.

After a response by Missouri State Highway Patrol, authorities discovered that neither Webb nor Callahan sustained injuries. Instead, it was Webb’s passenger, 10-year old Sydney M. Webb who sustained injuries in the accident. Sydney Webb was transported by a private vehicle to Phelps County Regional Medical Center in Rolla, Missouri. Highway Patrol noted that all parties did have proper safety restraints and seat-belts active at the time of the accident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes some distressing statistics when concerning teenage drivers. NHTSA first notes that teen drivers are at a greater risk for alcohol-related vehicle accidents than all other drivers. NHTSA notes that this can be lessened by higher enforcement of underage purchase and possession of alcohol or other controlled substances. If this were a factor in a Missouri vehicle accident, the presence of a vendor selling a minor alcohol could also play an important part in a Missouri vehicle accident. NHTSA also notes that younger drivers, particularly drivers of 16 or 17 years of age, are highly represented in causing fatal car accidents. Driving inexperience and psychological immaturity are often cited to be factors in this phenomenon. Finally, studies show that teenage drivers and passengers are the least likely to swear safety devices such as seatbelts when traveling.

Missouri statute § requires all drivers to drive in a “careful and prudent manner” to not endanger the lives or property of other motorists. Unfortunately, it would seem as if the NHTSA’s studies show the trend that teen drivers in particular sometimes do not drive in a careful and prudent manner. When concerning teen accidents, however, a Missouri car accident suit may be more complex than it would initially seem. In addition to the accident itself, other factors such as alcohol involvement and how Statute § 311.325 prohibits the sale of alcohol to minors could also surface. In the scenario where an accident is caused by a teen, it would be best to consult a Missouri car accident lawyer because it is likely that the lawsuit could turn out to be very complex.

May 21, 2012

Two Injured In Head-On Collision in Morgan County

One Stover, Missouri and one Versailles, Missouri residents sustained moderate to serious injuries in a head-on vehicle collision in Morgan County. The accident occurred on May 17, 2012 at 8:30pm on Highway Route 5 near Versailles, Missouri.

A 2003 Ford driven by Derek J. Garvin was traveling northbound on Highway 5 shortly before the accident occurred. A 1994 Ford driven by Christopher R. White was traveling southbound on Highway 5. The accident occurred when Garvin attempted to overtake other northbound vehicles traveling on Highway 5. Garvin’s vehicle ended up driving into the path of White’s vehicle and collided with White’s Ford in a head-on collision. Both vehicles suffered extensive and total damage as a result of the collision. No safety restraint devices were used by either of the drivers at the time of the Missouri car accident.

White was traveling with Anthony J. Blacksten of Stover, Missouri during the time of the collision. Blacksten was 15 years of age at the time of the collision. Blacksten suffered moderate injuries. White and Garvin suffered serious injuries. Blacksten was transported to Capital Region Medical Center and both White and Garvin were transported to University Hospital by Staff for Life.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has noted that driving behavior such as improper overtaking or passing may constitute as “Aggressive Driving;” driving a vehicle in a way which is likely to endanger lives or property. Moreover, past NHTSA statistics show that close to one-third of all vehicle accidents are due to multiple examples of aggressive driving (including improper overtaking, quick lane changes, failure to yield to other vehicles or emergency vehicles, speeding, and disregarding traffic signs and electrical signals). Attempting to overtake a vehicle without properly making sure that the maneuver is safe can technically be a form of aggressive driving even if the driver may not be “aggressive” in the word’s text-book definition. Improper overtaking or passing of vehicles is very likely to cause a Missouri vehicle accident.

Missouri laws also have very strict guidelines on passing or overtaking vehicles. Statute § 304.016 requires drivers who wish to pass or overtake vehicles going in the same direction to pass to the left of those vehicles. The overtaking vehicle also needs to pass other vehicles at a safe speed and needs safely clear the other vehicles before re-entering the lane. However, the statute also states that a driver cannot drive to the left of a center line of a highway or public road when overtaking a vehicle unless the “left side is clearly visible and is free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance to permit such overtaking.” Some roads and highways may also prohibit overtaking vehicles entirely. Disregarding overtaking and passing rules can greatly increase the risk of head-on collisions for vehicles traveling in the other direction. If you were involved in a vehicle accident that involved a driver improperly overtaking another vehicle, consult a Missouri car accident lawyer.

May 13, 2012

Florissant, Missouri Woman Injured in Lane Change Accident

One Florissant, Missouri woman was injured in a two-vehicle collision that occurred on eastbound I-70, west of I-270 in Florissant. The collision occurred on May 8, 2012 at 3:25pm.

Shortly before the collision, Colleen M. Huggins of Florissant, Missouri was driving in lane number four of eastbound I-70. Donald W. Partney of Edwardsville, Illinois, then driving behind Huggins in lane three of I-70, attempted to merge into lane four. Huggins attempted to serve into lane five to evade a potential collision between the two vehicles. Huggins applied her breaks during the maneuver and then spun clockwise one and a half times. Partney’s 2006 Jeep Laredo struck Huggins’s 2000 Volkswagen Jetta. After the collision, Partney continued to drive without stopping and subsequently left the scene of the accident.

Huggins’s vehicle sustained minor damage but Huggins suffered from moderate injuries due to the collision. After being assisted by a highway state trooper, Huggins was transported by a Pattonville EMS to DePaul Hospital. As an accident victim, Huggins may require the services of a Missouri car accident lawyer.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, lane changes and merge-related crashes constitute for about 5 percent of all police-reported crashes and close to 2% of all vehicle accident fatalities. According to Missouri state statute § 304.012, all drivers operating a motor vehicle on all roads and highways must drive in a careful and prudent manner in order to not endanger the lives of other fellow motorists. Missouri heavily emphasizes that all motorists must exercise the highest degree of care when operating a motor vehicle on any road. Missouri drivers can best avoid causing lane change accidents by doing things like checking side and rearview mirrors for nearby vehicles, accounting for potential vehicles in blind spots, and signaling in advance to indicate when and in which direction your vehicle will be changing lanes. By taking such precautions, a driver can operate his or her vehicle in a manner that Missouri would recognize as careful and prudent and can avoid causing a Missouri lane change car accident.

Missouri statute § 577.060 requires that motor vehicle operators stay at the scene of a motor vehicle accident that occurs either on a road, a highway, or a public or private parking lot. This Missouri law requires any driver involved in a motor vehicle accident to stop and give his or her name, residence, motor vehicle number, or driver’s license number to the other driver or to a police officer. If a police officer is not present, then the driver is required by law to give his or her contact information to the nearest police station. Missouri regards the act of fleeing from the scene of an accident as a crime. Drivers who fail to follow this law may be subject to both penalties by the state as well as potentially being liable to the injured party in a Missouri lane change accident lawsuit.

March 18, 2012

Stoddard County Crash Injures Four

Four people suffered personal injury when two vehicles collided on a hillcrest in Stoddard County, Missouri. The Missouri rollover car accident occurred of March 18, 2012 at 5:40pm.

A 1996 Chevrolet and a 1983 Jeep met on a hillcrest, coming from opposite directions. The Jeep crashed into the Chevrolet. A driver and a passenger in each vehicle was injured in the crash. The Jeep overturned in the roadway after the collision.

The Jeep occupants - Joshua A. Lewis and his passenger Michael A. Lewis – were transported to Missouri Southern Healthcare. The Chevrolet occupants – Morgan L. Willard and Amanda J. Lewis – were taken to St. Francis Medical Center.

Personal injuries typically result from St. Louis rollover accidents, especially when an older vehicle rolls over. Older vehicles may lack the front and side airbags that protect the occupants of vehicles that are pushed over by a collision. These safety features are becoming standard in newer vehicles, but older vehicles may lack these simple protections.

Modern technology has also improved the frames in motor vehicles. Historically, the greatest cause of personal injuries in rollover accidents is a collapsing roof. The roof of a passenger vehicle is not designed to hold the weight of the vehicle and its occupants. Yet, when a vehicle overturns the strength of the roof must do to prevent catastrophic injuries. Modern vehicles are better equipped to handle this situation, but older vehicles may not be.

Federal and state regulations often address motor vehicle safety issues. If a design flaw or defect lead to personal injuries in a Missouri rollover accident, the car manufacturer may have violated a safety regulation. Contact a St. Louis rollover accident lawyer to learn more about how vehicle design may have affected your injuries.

March 17, 2012

Rural Missouri Car Accident at Uncontrolled Intersection Injures Two

Two men from Liberal, Missouri were injured when two vehicles collided at an uncontrolled intersection. The accident occurred in Barton County, Missouri, at 10:01pm on March 17, 2012.

A 1997 Ford F150 and a 2002 Ford Escape crashed into in an uncontrolled intersection. The F150 struck the side of the Escape. No one in the F150 was injured. The driver of the Escape and one passenger suffered personal injury.

The Escape driver, Jimmy D. Long of Liberal, Missouri, was transported by Medflight to Freeman Hospital in Joplin, Missouri with serious injuries. Mark Venable, Long’s passenger, was taken to Barton County Memorial Hospital in Lamar, Missouri.

Uncontrolled intersections are ripe for Missouri side impact car accidents. Uncontrolled intersections are intersections without traffic signs or stoplights. Uncontrolled intersections are common in sparsely populated rural areas, where it is unlikely that two vehicles would arrive at the intersection at the same time.

Missouri state law governs right-of-way rules for uncontrolled intersections. Missouri statute § 304.351 states that whoever first arrives at an uncontrolled intersection has the right-of-way: “The driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to a vehicle which has entered the intersection from a different highway, provided, however, there is no form of traffic control at such intersection.”

When two vehicles arrive at an uncontrolled intersection at the same time, the driver on the right side has the right-of-way: “When two vehicles enter an intersection from different highways at approximately the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the driver of the vehicle on the right.”

When these simple right-of-way rules are ignored, serious car accidents may occur. Accident victims should contact Missouri car accident lawyers to understand how right-of-way statute violations may affect their claim for compensation.

March 14, 2012

Two Injured in Missouri Rear End Accident

Two women were injured in a Henry County Missouri rear end car accident. The accident occurred as a 1996 Dodge attempted to exit a private driveway onto northbound Missouri Highway 7. The Dodge travelled into the path of a 2007 Chrysler. The Chrysler crashed into the left side of the Dodge. The impact forced both vehicles off the roadway.

Both drivers suffered personal injury in the accident and were transported by Life Flight to area hospitals. Breeanna R. Tucker, the 17 year old driver of the Dodge, was transported to University of Missouri Hospital in Columbia, Missouri. Penny A. Redd, the 44 year old driver of the Chrysler, was transported to Research Medical Center.

Drivers who are turning onto a public roadway from private drive should exercise due care in avoiding a collision. According to Missouri statute § 304.351, the drivers on the public roadway have the right of way. Section 5 of that statute states: “The driver of a vehicle about to enter or cross a highway from an alley, building or any private road or driveway shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching on the highway to be entered.” The drivers in the driver is required by law to let the other vehicles pass before entering the roadway.

Drivers who are entering private driveways also need to yield to other vehicles on the roadway. Section 6 states: “The driver of a vehicle intending to make a left turn into an alley, private road or driveway shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction when the making of such left turn would create a traffic hazard.”

Drivers who fail to adhere to the statute may be liable in a Missouri rear end car accident lawsuit. Anyone who is injured in this type of accident should obtain legal representation.

March 12, 2012

I-55 Lane Change Causes Saint Louis County Car Crash

A two-vehicle collision happened on northbound I-55 in Saint Louis County, north of Reavis Barracks. The collision occurred on March 12, 2012 at 2:15pm.

The Saint Louis County lane change car accident occurred when Tahir Krdzic of St. Louis, Missouri attempted to change lanes on northbound I-55. Krdzic’s 1998 Oldsmobile Cutlass crashed into a 2008 Cadillac DTS, driven by Tyronne K. Houston of St. Louis, Missouri.

Four people were injured in the accident, two from each vehicle. Kimberly L. Cleaveland and Rochelle H. Green, both occupants in Houston’s vehicle, were injured. Alma Elijazovic and Krdzic suffered injuries as well. All of the injured people were taken to St. Anthony’s Hospital.

Lane changes can be a surprisingly dangerous maneuver. According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, a feature created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2% of fatal motor vehicle accidents involve a lane change or lane merge. Drivers have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to avoid causing lane change accidents.

The best way to avoid a lane change car accident is by taking prudent steps to ensure that the lane to be entered is empty. First, check the side and rearview mirrors of the motor vehicle for a break in traffic in the lane to be entered. If there appears to be a break in traffic, check the blind spot in the direction of the lane change by looking over your shoulder. If the blind spot is empty, signal the lane change. Then, ease gradually into the new lane. By taking these steps before each lane change, a driver can avoid causing a Missouri lane change car accident.

Drivers should also maintain visibility. Drivers should avoid putting anything near the windows on the car so that they can have a clear view of their surroundings. Drivers should also avoid tinting their windows. While drivers add window tint to make it hard for others to see them, tinting windows may also make it harder for drivers to see other vehicles on the road.

March 10, 2012

Missouri Front Impact Car Accident Kills Teen, Injures Three

One Carrollton teen was killed in a Missouri double head on collision in Carroll County, Missouri. Three other teens were seriously injured.

The accident occurred when two vehicles crossed the centerline of CR 281. A 2003 Mitsubishi and a 2000 Ford struck each other head-on. Quentin J. Simmons, the 18 year old driver of the Ford, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

Three other Carrollton teens suffered personal injury in the accident. Logan W. Frank, 18, was the driver of Mitsubishi. Two of Simmons’ occupants – Jessica N. Hendrix, 17, and Brianna S. Millard, 15 – were seriously injured as well. Frank, Hendrix, and Millard were transported by Carroll County EMS to the Carroll County Memorial Hospital.

Car crashes involving teen drivers are the top killer of teenagers in the United States. Car crashes account for the deaths of thousands of American teens each year. The Center for Disease Control estates that more than 350,000 teens are injured in motor vehicle crashes in a single year. Teenaged drivers are four times more likely to crash than older drivers.

Parents with teenaged children often worry about Missouri teen car accidents. One way that parents can prevent Missouri teen car accidents is by instilling a curfew. Studies show that more than 40% of fatal teen crashes occur between the hours of nine p.m. and six a.m.

Parents can also respect the restrictions imposed on teen drivers who have recently obtained a learners permit or driver’s license. Graduated driver’s license programs are designed to empower teens to learn how to drive while protecting teens from dangerous influences. In many states, teen drivers who have recently obtained a driver’s license cannot have teen passengers. The restrictions on passengers for teen drivers follows studies that show that teens are more likely to crash their vehicles with passengers in the car than when driving alone.

March 7, 2012

Rolla Man Killed in Fatal Missouri Head On Collision

A man from Rolla, Missouri was killed in a Missouri front impact car accident. The accident injured four other people.

The accident occurred when a teenager from Cuba, Missouri attempted to pass two other vehicles on a hill in a 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix. The Grand Prix slammed into a 2002 Ford Escort, driven By Robert N. Sexton of Rolla, Missouri. Sexton was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

One of Sexton’s passengers – Sherri L. Hill, 54 - was seriously injured in the accident. Hill was flown to Mercy Hospital in St. Louis for medical treatment. Three teenagers – Jeremy A. Ottermann, Michael T. Marino, and Joseph D. Alvey - who rode in the Ford were injured. Ottermann was flown to Children’s Hospital in St. Louis. Marino was taken to Phelps County Regional Medical Center in Rolla, Missouri. Alvey was taken to Missouri Baptist Hospital in Sullivan, Missouri.

Studies indicate that a substantial portion of head on collisions are caused by attempts to pass. Head on collisions caused by failed passing attempts are particularly common in rural areas. Rural drivers often have to drive on long, undivided roads. Rural drivers are tempted to pass slow drivers, but passing may lead to a head on collision.

Responsible rural drivers know not to attempt to pass vehicles when it is difficult to see ahead on the road. Hill crests are too dangerous to attempt a pass, since drivers cannot see over the hill. Curved roads obscured by trees and other foliage are also too dangerous to attempt a pass. When rural drivers attempt a pass in a dangerous situation, they can be held accountable for their negligent conduct. If you are injured in a head on collision because another driver attempts a dangerous pass, contact an experienced Missouri car accident lawyer immediately.

March 5, 2012

Pedestrian Struck in Jefferson County Missouri Car Accident

A pedestrian from St. Louis, Missouri suffered personal injury in a Jefferson County Missouri pedestrian accident. The accident occurred at the intersection of Route M and West Outer Road I-55.

20 year old pedestrian Christopher A. Taylor was standing on the northwest court of the intersection just before the accident. Taylor attempted to cross Route M. However, just as Taylor began to cross, a 1996 Chevrolet 3500 pickup truck crashed into Taylor. The pickup truck was driven by Mark S. Johnson, 43, of Herculaneum, Missouri.

A Rock Township ambulance transported Taylor to St. Anthony’s Medical Center for medical treatment. Taylor suffered moderate personal injuries in the accident. The pickup truck driver suffered no reported personal injury in the accident.

Thousands of pedestrians are injured each year in pedestrian accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), roughly 5,000 pedestrians die in car accidents each year. Pedestrians are extremely vulnerable when a car strikes them. Drivers are protected from personal injury by their vehicle, especially newer vehicles which are equipped with extensive safety features. Pedestrians are not protected from injury. When a car strikes a pedestrian, the pedestrian’s body endures the full force of the impact.

The accident itself does not account for all of the difficulties that an injured pedestrian faces. Even when a pedestrian is the only injured person in the accident, the driver’s defense attorney will argue that the pedestrian was responsible for the accident occurring. The defense attorney may argue that the pedestrian caused the accident by walking outside the crosswalk, jaywalking, or failing to look both ways before crossing. Defense attorneys are encouraged to make those arguments because of Missouri’s doctrine of comparative negligence.

If the court finds that the pedestrian has liability for a Missouri pedestrian accident, the court will reduce the pedestrian’s damage award accordingly. For example, the court will reduce the pedestrian’s damages by 40% if the court finds that the pedestrian was 40% at fault for the accident. Injured pedestrians should contact a Missouri pedestrian injury lawyer to learn more about protecting their damages in a lawsuit.

February 29, 2012

Triple Fatality in Missouri Head On Collision

Three people died and two more were injured in a Miller County Missouri head on car accident on February 28, 2012. The afternoon accident involved two vehicles on Missouri Route 52 at Brown Road.

The accident occurred when Emily M. Frakes, driving a 2002 Toyota, crossed the centerline of the roadway. The Toyota slammed head-on into a 2008 Pontiac with several passengers, including an infant and a child. Both vehicles were totaled in the collision.

Three family members were killed by the crash. Marty R. Wilcox, the 36 year old driver of the Pontiac, was killed. Elisa M. Wilcox, the 27 year old wife of the driver, was also killed. Marty R. Wilcox Jr., the three year old son of Marty Sr., was killed in the accident. Gabriel J. Wilcox, the 2 day old son of Marty Sr., suffered moderate personal injury. The family was bringing Gabriel home from the hospital when the crash occurred. Emily Frakes, the driver of the Toyota, was injured in the accident as well.

February 27, 2012

Sedalia Man Sent to Hospital after Franklin County Missouri Crash

James E. Case of Sedalia, Missouri suffered moderate personal injury in a Franklin County Missouri rear end car accident on February 27, 2012 at 7:38 am. The Missouri rear end car accident occurred as Case was traveling on eastbound Route E, half of a mile west of Route VV.

Case slowed his 1995 Mercury Mystique in response to the headlights of another vehicle. A 1988 Chevrolet Silverado crashed into the rear of Case’s vehicle. Case’s vehicle was totaled in the accident. Case was taken from the scene of the accident by New Haven Ambulance. The ambulance took Case to Mercy Hospital in Washington, Missouri.

February 25, 2012

Three Injured in St. Francois County Missouri Head-On Collision

Three Missourians were injured in a St. Francois County Missouri front impact collision on February 25, 2012 at 4:55pm. The head-on collision occurred on Missouri Route 221, south of Henson Road.

A 1999 Chrysler Concord was travelling southbound on the northbound lanes. Chrysler driver Heather A. Beers of Imperial, Missouri attempted to correct to the right. However, the left front of the Chrysler crashed into a 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee that was travelling in the opposite direction. The crash was head-on. The Jeep overturned, coming to rest on the passenger’s side of the vehicle.

Hazel R. Jones of Doe Run, Missouri, the driver of the Jeep, suffered the worst reported injuries in the accident. Jones was transported to Parkland Hospital by St. Francois County Ambulance. Beers and her occupant Michael S. Marcee of Lonedell, Missouri were taken to Mineral Area Regional Medical Center.

The time of day plays an important role in the probability of the occurrence of a collision. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the time period with the most fatal motor vehicle crashes is between 3:00pm and 5:59pm. The time period just after, between 6:00pm and 8:59pm, has the second highest number of fatal motor vehicle crashes. Those two 3-hour time periods account for nearly a third of all fatal crashes. Nearly 10,000 fatal crashes occurred in those two time periods in 2009 alone.

The rate of crashes increases during the early evening hours because of increased traffic at those times, especially on weekdays. Commuters leaving work clog the roadways and intersections. Since there are more cars on the road, there is a greater chance that speeding, red light running, and crossing the centerline of the roadway will lead to collision. Drivers should pay extra attention during the early evening hours to avoid a collision. If an early evening collision occurs regardless, contact a Missouri head on collision lawyer for a free legal consultation.

February 22, 2012

St. Louis Teen Killed in Chesterfield, Missouri car accident

A teenager from south St. Louis was killed in a Chesterfield Missouri car accident that injured two others. The St. Louis County car accident occurred on Olive Blvd where it hits Creve Coeur Mill Road, blocking the road and causing major traffic delays.

The accident occurred when a 2012 Infiniti SUV crossed the centerline of Olive Blvd and crashed into a 2007 Dodge truck. The Infiniti then crashed into a 1998 Honda Accord head-on. Traffic on westbound Olive Blvd was blocked until 3:45pm.

Clayton Pfeiffer was fatally injured by the head-on collision. The teen was memorialized by Vianney High School, from which he graduated last year. The driver of the Infiniti and his passenger were sent to an area hospital for medical treatment. The driver of the Dodge Truck had no reported injuries in the accident.

The loss of a child is possibly the most difficult circumstance imaginable for any parent. When parents lose a child, a lawsuit is often far from their minds. However, wrongful death lawsuits are time limited.

Most lawsuits have an applicable “statute of limitations.” The statute of limitations creates a strict time limit on the ability to file a lawsuit. If parents try to file a lawsuit for the wrongful death of their child past the deadline, the court will dismiss the lawsuit. The consequences of waiting until the statute of limitations has barred suit are severe.

Parents who have lost their children in car crashes should contact an experienced Missouri wrongful death attorney for a free legal consultation about their options. Ideally, the consultation should occur soon after the accident. Having the consultation early can ensure that the statute of limitations will not stop the parents from bringing a lawsuit that can hold the tortfeasor accountable for the accident.

January 30, 2012

Franklin County Missouri Double Head-On Collision Injures Four

Four people were injured to varying degrees in a double head-on car accident in Jefferson County, Missouri on Missouri Route 185. The accident occurred January 30, 2012 at 11:35am when a vehicle crossed the centerline of the roadway and crashed head-on into two separate vehicles.

Walter G. Cates of Washington, Missouri and John W. Woodcock of Ballwin, Missouri were driving their vehicles on southbound Missouri Route 185, south of the Meramec River. Russell B. Mercer drove a 2002 Nissan Xterra across the centerline into oncoming traffic. First, the Xterra crashed into the 2006 Ford Taurus driven by Cates. Then, the Xterra crashed into the 2008 Dodge Ram driven by Woodcock.

Four people were ultimately injured in the collisions. Mercer suffered serious injuries. Cates and Woodcock suffered moderate injuries. Paula J. Woodcock, an occupant in Woodcock’s vehicle, suffered minor injuries. All of the injured parties were taken to Missouri Baptist Hospital in Sullivan, Missouri. The sole exception was Mercer, who was taken to Mercy Hospital in Creve Coeur Missouri.

When multiple accident victims suffer moderate to serious personal injury in a Jefferson County Missouri accident, there is a significant chance that at least one of them suffered a brain injury. Car accidents are a major cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the United States. Car crashes are a cause of 40% of brain injuries in Missouri. In all, over 2 million people suffer from some sort of brain injury in the United States.

TBI can dramatically alter the course of an accident victim’s life. The brain is the control center of the human body. When the brain of an accident victim is injured, the accident victim may suffer from issues that affect their ability to function in some capacity. Even mild TBI can require hospitalization and long term medical treatment. Anyone who suffers TBI as a result of a truck accident should contact an experienced St. Louis brain injury lawyer or have a loved one contact the attorney.

January 28, 2012

Dexter Man Killed in Missouri Train Accident

Kelvin E. Wooten, 43, of Dexter, Missouri was killed in a Missouri train accident on January 25, 2012. The train crash happened in Stoddard County, Missouri at 2:00pm.

Wooten was driving a 2004 Pontiac on County Road 657, 2 miles west of Dexter. A Union Pacific train slammed into the Pontiac. The force of the impact caused the Pontiac to overturn off the county road. Wooten was not wearing a seatbelt during the accident. The railroad crossing was only marked by a sign. There were neither warning lights nor other automatic warning devices at the crossing.

Train accidents at railroad crossings caused the death or personal injury of the lives of roughly 2,000 Americans each year. According to the Federal Railroad Administration, there can be nearly 3,000 collisions at railroad crossing in a single year.

Train accident victims often wonder who is liable for a Missouri train accident? Train accidents are most common at railroad crossings. Some railroad crossings are equipped with automatic warning devices, but many crossings are only marked by sign. However, merely posting signs at railroad-roadway intersections may not be enough to prevent deadly accidents.

Posting signs at intersections is not enough to completely prevent accidents. The signs must be check regularly to be effective. If left unchecked, the signs may fall over during inclement weather. A negligent driver may hit the sign and leave it on the ground. Nearby foliage may grow and cover the sign from view. Signs at intersections must be maintained and checked to provide adequate warning to drivers.

Victims of Missouri train accidents should contact a Missouri train accident lawyer for more information about their options. Our attorneys are well-versed in Missouri’s personal injury laws and provide free legal consultations to accident victims.

January 23, 2012

Granby Woman Drowns in Missouri Car Accident

A woman from the rural area surrounding Granby, Missouri drowned after a Newton County car accident on January 23, 2012.

Jennifer and Robert Youngblodod were driving on Old Scenic Drive near Fremont Lane. Robert, who was driving a Honda Accord, became distracted while driving. The Honda drove off the east side of the roadway, down an embankment, and into nearby Shoal Creek.

The couple called 911 while still in the vehicle in the creek. The couple did not know exactly where they were. Investigating authorities believe that both Jennifer and Robert managed to escape the vehicle after it crashed into the creek. However, Jennifer never made it to the bank. When the authorities arrived, Jennifer had drowned and was swept down the creek.

Car accidents are often harrowing for accidents. Car accidents that involved a body of water are even more terrifying. The moments after any kind of motor vehicle collision are confusing for accident victims. If the accident victim is inside a sinking vehicle, the confusion can be life threatening.

Studies indicate that panic is a common cause of death in car accidents that involve bodies of water. While the situation is harrowing for anyone, understanding how to react can reduce the amount of panic that the accident victim feels.

First, the accident victim should lower the windows. In most modern cars, the windows are controlled by the vehicles electrical system. Like all electrical devices, the vehicle’s electrical system will begin to malfunction in water. Lowering the windows first will create an effective escape route for the accident victim. If the power window function is no longer working, the accident victims should use a heavy object to break the window.

Next, the accident victim should remove his or her seatbelt. Escaping from the vehicle with the seatbelt on is impossible, but many accident victims forget this step while panicking. Removing the safety devices from any child occupants is always important at this stage.

Finally, the accident victim should quickly escape the vehicle from the window. A vehicle can fill up with water in 60 to 120 seconds. While the vehicle still has air, the accident victim should take a breath, exit the vehicle, and swim to the surface as quickly as possible.

If capable, the accident victim should contact emergency services for medical treatment. Trained medical professionals can identify and treat the injuries resulting from the accident. After receiving medical treatment, the accident victim should contact a St. Louis Missouri accident attorney for a legal consultation about the accident.

January 21, 2012

Two Women Injured in Jefferson County Missouri Stoplight Crash

A woman from Imperial, Missouri and a woman from Hillsboro, Missouri were hurt in a Jefferson County Missouri injury car accident on January 19, 2012 at 2:40pm. The Thursday afternoon accident occurred when one of them failed to stop at a red light at the intersection of MO-141 and Romaine Creek Road.

Judith A. Fletcher of Hillsboro was traveling westbound on Romaine Creek Road through the intersection. Chastity M. Duncan of Imperial failed to stop at a red light, crashing into the front of Fletcher’s 2008 Chevrolet Impala. The Impala was totaled in the crash.

Both Fletcher and Duncan suffered moderate personal injury in the accident. Rock Township ambulance transported them to St. Anthony’s Hospital for medical treatment.

Red-light running is a major cause of injury crashes in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than 2.3 million intersection-related crashes in a single year. Those intersection-related crashes resulted in over 7,500 fatalities. The NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System indicates that more than 700 deaths were caused by running a red light in particular. The problem is so widespread that one in three people say that they personally know at least one person who has been involved in a red-light running crash.

The increased implementation of red light cameras may help accident victims prove liability in a red light intersection accident. Many cities have installed cameras to monitor intersections for red light violations. Some cameras are equipped with sensors. When a car runs a red light, it triggers the sensor, which in turn causes the camera to take a photograph of the intersection. Other red light cameras take a photograph of the intersection at every red light. Either type of red light camera may provide helpful evidence for victims of red light intersection accident.

The process of obtaining evidence for trial is called “discovery.” Obtaining government records like red light camera photographs for trial may be complex, especially for accident victims unfamiliar with the process. Some cities have a very easy process for obtaining documents. Other cities have complicated, bureaucratic systems with strict deadlines. Accident victims should contact a Missouri red light intersection accident attorney as soon as possible for a free legal consultation.

January 18, 2012

Distracted Driver Causes Pacific Missouri Injury Accident

Three people from Pacific, Missouri were injured in a Jefferson County Missouri distracted driver accident on January 18, 2012. The accident occurred on Missouri Route F, south of McNamee School Road.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol crash report, driver John W. Reed was inattentive while driving a 2002 Hyundai Accent. The Hyundai drove off the left side of the roadway. After leaving the road, the Hyundai overturned.

Three people suffered moderate personal injury in the accident. Reed, who was not wearing seatbelt during the accident, was transported to Mercy Medical Center for treatment. Two occupants were taken to Mercy as well: Teresa J. Knipe and Lynnette K. Moore. Knitpe and Moore wore their seat belts during the accident.

Distracted driving is becoming an epidemic. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 5,000 people were killed in distracted driver crashes in a single year. 20% of all injury-causing crashes involved reports of distracted driving.

A driving distraction is any activity that takes the driver’s attention away from operating a motor vehicle. Driving distractions endanger drivers, passengers, and pedestrians because the distracted driving is less capable of safely operating a vehicle. Avoiding accidents takes more than following the rules of the road. Drivers must respond to constantly changing road conditions. If the driver fails to notice the road conditions, the driver cannot respond appropriately. Driving distractions decrease the driver’s ability to notice changing road conditions.

Text messaging is the ultimate driver distraction. Text messaging involves a number of types of attention– cognitive, visual, and manual. A texting driver will use manual attention to direct the finger movements to complete the text message. A texting driver will use visual attention to look away from the road to the phone. A texting driver will use cognitive attention to read a received message and construct a response. Text messaging uses vital types of attention that are necessary to safe driving.

Text messaging is not the only driving distraction, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Other culprits include using a cell phone or smartphone, grooming, adjusting a radio or mp3 player, using a navigation system, eating, and talking to passengers. If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident and suspect that distracted driving played a role, contact Missouri personal injury attorneys to understand how that will affect a settlement or lawsuit.

January 16, 2012

Stalled Vehicle Involved in St. Charles Rear End Accident

A Warrenton woman was injured after a car stalled on eastbound I-70 in St. Charles County Missouri. The accident occurred on January 13, 2012 at 4:33pm when a 1999 Ford Windstar was stalled on the interstate. A 2003 Durango crashed into the rear of the Ford.

Mary F. Thorn suffered moderate personal injury in the St. Charles rear end car accident. Thorn was the driver of the Durango. She was taken to St. Joseph’s East Hospital for medical treatment. Manuel E. Escobedo of East St. Louis, the drive of the Ford Windstar, was not injured in the accident.

Stalled vehicles are serious hazards for other drivers, especially on interstate highways. Drivers on interstate highways travel at high speeds, making them less capable of adjusting to unexpected road obstructions like stalled vehicles. Missouri drivers are particularly speedy on highways when compared to other Americans. TomTom, a navigation company, released data showing that the average speed on Missouri highways exceeds 67 mph. The personal injury resulting from stalled vehicle accidents can be devastating. Accident victims should contact a St. Louis, Missouri accident attorney.

Stalled vehicles present serious dangers to the occupants of the stalled vehicle as well. If the vehicle stalls on an interstate highway, the occupants may not be able to safely exit the vehicle and seek help. Staying inside the vehicle presents other risks, since another vehicle may crash into the rear of the stalled vehicle.

Drivers who notice signs of stalling or vehicle malfunction should move their vehicles onto the shoulder of the roadway to avoid a collision. Drivers who continue to operate a motor vehicle in hopes that they can make it to gas station or repair shop are making a risky choice for other drivers. If the drivers insist on continuing to a nearby repair shop while driving a malfunctioning vehicle should drive in the lane closest to the shoulder. If the vehicle begins to stall or slow, the driver should immediately pull into the shoulder.

Stalled vehicles may be particularly dangerous under any conditions that diminish visibility, including: blind curves, fog, precipitation (e.g. rain, sleet, and snow), and during the nighttime.

Reduced visibility means that other drivers may take longer to notice the road obstruction caused by the stalled vehicle. When drivers need to suddenly avoid a collision, every second counts.

January 14, 2012

Florissant Woman Injured in St. Charles County Three-Vehicle Crash

Caryn N. Hill, a 21 year old from Florissant, was injured in a St. Charles County personal injury accident. The accident occurred on I-70 on the Blanchette bridge.

Hill stopped a 2008 Volkswagen Rabbit behind a stranded motorist on the westbound portion of the interstate highway. A 2008 Honda Civic driven by Kyle P. Kenyon of Lake St. Louis swerved to avoid Hill’s Rabbit. The Honda still crashed into the Volkswagen before changing lanes. When the Honda changed lanes, it crashed into a 2006 Kia Spectra driven by Laron S. Taylor of St. Charles.

The three vehicles involved in the accident sustained damage. There were no reported injuries for any drivers or occupants, with the sole exception of Hill. Hill was taken to St. Joseph East Hospital by St. Charles County Ambulance.

Multi-vehicle accident attorneys understand that the injuries caused by a Missouri multi-vehicle accident can be devastating. Accident victims may be in a vehicle that endures more than one collision. Multi-vehicle accidents may so many cars that accident victims become trapped for long periods of time. Rescue crews have a more difficult time getting to accident victims, so injuries that need quick attention worsen.

Multi-vehicle accidents are even more dangerous on high-traffic, high-speed roadways like interstate highways. Drivers operate their vehicles at such high speeds, often above the posted speed limit, that they cannot stop or avoid the pile-up before making it worse.

Pile-up accident victims often wonder: who is liable in a Missouri multi-vehicle accident? Determining which driver is at fault when multiple vehicles are involved. The complexity of determining fault is detrimental to an accident victim without an attorney. Multiple drivers mean multiple insurance companies and multiple attorneys attempting to take advantage of unrepresented accident victims. Accident victims who are injured in pile-ups should contact an accident attorney as soon as possible.

January 11, 2012

Car Pushed off Roadway in Jefferson County Car Crash

A car was pushed off the roadway in a Jefferson County two-vehicle car crash on January 11, 2012. The morning accident occurred when Caleb W. Parker-Mathews of Pevely, Missouri was driving on Monticello Drive, west of Metropolitan Boulevard. Parker-Matthews attempted to make a right turn in a 1999 Ford Escort.

The front of the Ford skidded on wet pavement. The Ford crashed into a 2002 Chevrolet Impala driven by Katie M. Presley of Hillsboro, Missouri. The Impala was pushed off the roadway in the accident.

One person sustained personal injury in the accident. Megan L. Hawkins, 20, of Barnhart, Missouri suffered moderate personal injury. Hawkins was taken to St. Anthony’s Medical Center by Rock Township Ambulance District. All of the vehicles involved sustained damage.

People who are victimized in the same accident can sue the defendant driver together. The process is called “permissive joinder.” The process is “permissive” because plaintiffs are allowed to join their cases, but are not required to do so. The courts allow permissive joinder because joining together related cases is more efficient. The court can conduct a single trial about the accident instead of hearing two separate trials with large the same facts.

Permissive joinder may be beneficial for accident victims who suffered personal injury in a single accident. If there is no conflict of interest, the plaintiffs may be able to hire one law firm instead of obtaining separate attorneys. The attorney that the two plaintiffs hire can become intimately connected to all of the facts of the case, instead of having to coordinate with another attorney.

Even when both plaintiffs are injured in a single accident, there may be separate issues for each plaintiff for the court to decide. For instance, if both plaintiffs suffered personal injury, the court will have to hear evidence about their individual injuries. If one of the plaintiffs owned a vehicle that was damaged in the accident, the court will hear evidence that only applies to the vehicular damage. Nevertheless, hearing a few separate issues for each plaintiff is still more efficient that hearing two separate trials.

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January 9, 2012

Washington County Teen Crashes on Gravel Roadway

Dustin K. Burnett of Mineral Point, Missouri lost control of his vehicle in a Washington County Missouri car accident on January 7, 2012. The 18-year-old was driving on travelling on Trockey Road, 100 feet north of Frontier Road in Washington County. Burnett lost control of a 2004 Ford Taurus and travelled off the gravel roadway. The Ford crashed into a nearby tree at the conclusion of the accident.

Burnett was moderately injured in the crash. He was not wearing a seat belt. The Arch helicopter transported Burnett to Mercy Hospital in Creve Coeur, Missouri. The Ford was totaled.

Driving on unpaved rural roads can be perilous. Fewer cars drive on rural roads compared to suburban and urban environments, so transportation departments invest less in safety devices. As a result, rural roads are well-equipped to handle high-speed traffic.

Rural roads present a great deal of safety hazards to drivers, including:
- steep hills
- sharp curves
- damaged roads

Rural roads lack many features that allow urban and suburban drivers to operate safely. Rural roads are notable for:
- lack of signs
- lack of sufficient width for vehicles to pass
- lack of shoulders
- lack of guard rails

Roads in rural areas may be dirt roads or gravel roads. Either may suffer from corrugations in the road surface nicknamed “washboards.” Washboards occur when roads are not regularly maintained, a common occurrence in rural areas. Rural transportation departments have smaller budgets than city departments, but have more ground to cover.

Washboards have reduced traction and cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles. To avoid losing control on a washboard in a rural road, brake before entering potentially washboarded areas like curves or downhills. Use four wheel drive if your vehicle is capable.

If an area near your regular driving route is washboarded, contact your local government to see if the road can be better maintained. If you are injured in a car accident on a washboarded area of the roadway, contact a Missouri personal injury attorney. If the local transportation department failed to adequately maintain the road, the transportation department may be liable for your injuries.

January 7, 2012

Franklin County Motorcycle Accident on Route HH near Rock Church Road

Two Missourians were injured in a Franklin County Missouri personal injury accident on January 7, 2012 at 12:56pm. The afternoon accident occurred on Route HH near Rock Church Road.

The accident occurred as Keith L. McGee, 40, of Ballwin, Missouri drove on southbound Route HH. The 2009 Kawasaki VR100 driven by McGee crossed the centerline of the roadway. The motorcycle crashed into a 2006 Dodge Dakota, driven by Walter F. Lee of High Ridge, Missouri.

Two Missourians sustained moderate injuries in the accident: Delores E. Utley of Osage Beach, Missouri and McGee. Utley, 72, was a passenger in the Dodge. Utley was transported to St. Claire Hospital by Meramec Ambulance. McGee was taken to Mercy in Creve Coeur. Both injured parties were transported by Meramec Ambulance.

Higher gas prices have encouraged many commuters to drive motorcycles. Motorcycle fuel economy tends to be much better than car or SUV fuel economy. Some motorcycles have been documented as getting hundreds of miles per gallon (mpg). However, owning and operating a motorcycle requires prudence.

Motorcycles require careful maintenance. Motorcycle owners should exercise care in choosing a mechanic. Motorcycles should only select mechanics who are competent. Motorcycle owners may be able to read reviews of various mechanics and motorcycle repair shops in making their decision. Negligent motorcycle repair can cause Missouri motorcycle accidents. Negligent motorcycle mechanics may fail to notice that the tires are improperly aligned or that the engine has problems that could lead to a failure. These mistakes may lead to a serious accident.

Motorcycle accidents may also be caused by the driver of a passenger vehicle. Car drivers may fail to notice that the motorcycle is driving on the roadway and crash into it. Car drivers should exercise due care to ensure that a motorcycle is not in their blind spot. Failure to exercise that care constitutes negligence.

January 4, 2012

Improper Stop on I-64 Causes Saint Charles County Missouri Crash

Two Missourians were involved in Saint Charles County Missouri personal injury accident on an exit ramp of I-64. Susan L. Morrow of St. Peters, Missouri stopped improperly on the I-64 exit ramp to Highway K in a 2008 Mazda 3. A 2008 Nissan Rogue crashed into the rear of the Mazda. The Nissan was driven by Rebecca S. Tiek.

Both Morrow and Tiek were injured in the accident. Tiek was taken to Progress West by St. Charles County Ambulance. St. Charles County Ambulance transported Morrow to Mercy Medical Center.

MSHP’s crash reports create an effective record of important details concerning a traffic accident. The crash report will specify the drivers involved, the vehicles involved, and the people who suffered personal injuries. If a lawsuit is not filed until a while after the accident occurs, having a written record about the crash is useful. Memories about the accident may fade before the statute of limitations tolls completely. Official copies of the crash report can be obtained from the MSHP. The MSHP posts unofficial, preliminary crash reports online for 29 days.

The crash report will also include a summary of the accident. Occasionally, a MSHP officer will indicate that a particular party is at fault for the accident. For example, the officer who prepared the crash report for the above accident stated that Morrow made an improper stop. The Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) makes crash reports available online.

Crash reports are very useful in car accident lawsuits. Crash reports are not conclusive evidence of negligence, but they leave a strong impression. MSHP officers are well-trained and experienced with traffic accidents on Missouri’s highways. If a MSHP officer believes one party made an improper turn, the court will be inclined to agree.

Saint Charles County Missouri personal injury lawyers expertly use crash reports to support the cases of their clients. If the officer’s description of the accident coincides with the testimony of an independent accident reconstruction specialist, the crash report becomes strong evidence in court. If you were involved in a car accident and wonder how the crash report will affect your ability to recover compensation, please contact our firm. Our firm provides free legal consultations to accident victims.

January 2, 2012

Two Suffer Personal Injury in Jefferson County Missouri Crash

Two women were injured in a Jefferson County Missouri accident on January 2, 2012 at 3:45pm. The accident occurred on southbound U.S. Highway 67 at Meyer Road. One vehicle was totaled in the crash.

Gina L. Warhover of Desoto, Missouri slowed her 2000 Ford Ranger to avoid hitting another vehicle. The Ford swerved left directly into the path of a 2010 Hyundai Sonata driven by Kimberly M. Schnitz of Bonne Terre, Missouri. The left of the Ford crashed into the right rear of the Hyundai. The Hyundai travelled off the right side of the roadway. Off the roadway, the Hyundai struck a guardwire and a traffic signal post. The Hyundai then overturned.

Warhover and Schnitz suffered personal injury in the accident. Warhover suffered moderate injuries and Schnitz sustained minor injuries. They were transported to Jefferson Regional Medical Center by Joachim Plattin Ambulance.

Even people who consider themselves safe drivers may need the help of a St. Louis auto accident attorney or a defensive driving course. Safe drivers rarely think about how they would deal with a car accident. Safe drivers drive at the speed limit, adjust their choice to weather and road conditions, and check their blind spots before initiating a lane change. However, those driving techniques may not be enough to avoid a Missouri car accident.

Safe drivers may still be harmed in car accidents because of the behavior of negligent drivers. Drivers who carefully obey safety regulations may still be struck by other drivers. A safe driver may be driving prudently in the correct lane, but still be hit by a negligent driver too concerned with a text message to avoid an accident. Learning how to deal with negligent drivers is an important skill.

Defensive driving courses can teach safe drivers how to deal with the behavior of negligent or aggressive drivers. Accident prevention is typically a key focus of defensive driving courses. Students may learn how to identify inappropriate driving behaviors and respond. Defensive driving course students may also learn about automobile safety outside of driving. For examples, the courses may teach student show to change tires or charge motor vehicle batteries.

Often, experienced drivers feel that defensive driving courses are unnecessary. However, even experienced drivers are involved in accidents. Outside of young adults between the ages of 16 and 20, experienced drivers between the ages of 45-54 suffer the highest number of fatalities in car accidents. Experienced drivers should consider taking defensive driving courses.

December 31, 2011

Alton Woman Injured in Missouri Chain Reaction Rear End Crash

Three vehicles were involved in a Howell County Missouri rear end car accident on New Year’s Eve, 2011, at 7:10pm. The Missouri chain reaction rear end collision occurred on U.S. Highway 160, just half a mile west of West Plains, Missouri.

Two vehicles were stopped in traffic on westbound US-160: a 2005 Ford Freestyle and a 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt. A 2009 Chevrolet Malibu crashed into the rear of the Freestyle. The impact caused a chain reaction. The Freestyle was shoved into the rear of the Cobalt.

An occupant in the Freestyle suffered physical injuries in the accident. Arline P. Ebarb, 64 of Alton, Missouri was transported to Ozarks Medical Center in nearby West Plains, Missouri.

People involved in Missouri multivehicle accident often wonder: who is liable in a Missouri chain reaction car accident? Chain reaction accidents typically occur when the first vehicle crashes into the rear of a second vehicle. The impact of the first collision pushes the second vehicle into another vehicle. The process may cause even more collisions on particularly crowded highways.

Determining who is at fault in a Missouri multivehicle car accident is a complex process. If the chain reaction accident began when the first vehicle crashed into the rear of a second vehicle, the driver of the first may be partially at fault for the accident. Was the first driver engaged in a distracting activity like texting when the crash occurred? Was the driver operating at a speed that was too fast for the traffic conditions when the accident occurred? The first driver in a chain reaction accident will be under scrutiny for negligent behaviors that may have caused the accident.

Other drivers involved in the later portions of a Missouri chain reaction multivehicle accident may be held liable. Missouri courts the theory of comparative negligence. With comparative negligence, the court and the jury may find more than one party liable for the accident. The jury will determine the percentage of fault that should be apportioned for each party. Any damages awarded will be adjusted by the percentage of fault.

December 28, 2011

Five Vehicles Crash in St. Charles County I-70 Collision

A St. Charles Missouri multivehicle accident occurred on westbound Interstate 70, just .4 miles east of Missouri Route W. The St. Charles County Missouri car accident involved five vehicles, and resulted in a great deal of property damage and physical injury.

The Missouri multivehicle accident began when Laura A. Jager of Columbia, Missouri stopped her 1997 Nissan Altima on the highway because of a previous accident. A 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix driven by Nicole J. Ayala of St. Louis, Missouri slammed into the rear of the Altima. The Altima travelled off the left side of the roadway and struck the cable median barrier of the highway.

The impact spun the Grand Prix counterclockwise, and the Grand Prix struck two additional vehicles: a 1999 Pontiac Grand Am driven by Laura J. Hollman of Foristell, Missouri and a 2012 Chevrolet Equinox driven by Elizabeth J. Flesch of Warrenton, Missouri. Ivis N. Martinez of Honduras, South America attempted to avoid the accident and travelled off the right side of the roadway in a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer. While off the roadway, the Trailblazer crashed into the Grand Prix.

Missouri multivehicle accidents occur when more than two vehicles are involved in a single collision. Multivehicle accidents typically happen on large, high capacity roadways like interstate highways. When a standard, two-vehicle accident occurs on a highway, other drivers may fail to stop before striking the wreck themselves, creating a pile-up. Other drivers may swerve or initiate quick lane changes in an attempt to avoid the wreck. An attempt to avoid a Missouri pile-up car accident may result in an overturned vehicle or another collision.

Multivehicle accidents often result in a large number of injured parties. Each vehicle may be been struck more than once in a pile-up. A car may crash into an existing wreck, only to be struck by another vehicle from behind. If an accident victim suffered injuries in the initial collision, the later strikes may exacerbate them. Several drivers are involved in Missouri multi-vehicle car accidents, and they may have been carrying several occupants each. A large number of people in vehicles struck multiple times are a recipe for disaster.

The injuries of an accident victim in a Missouri multivehicle car accident are at risk of remaining untreated for a longer length of time, compared to injuries in single- or two-vehicle accidents. Rescue personnel may have a more difficult time freeing the accident victims from the wreckage because of the number of vehicles involved. When an accident victim is gravely injured, every moment counts. Multivehicle accidents create serious risks for accident victims.

December 19, 2011

NTSB Recommends Total Ban on Personal Electronics in Cars

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) voted to recommend a total ban on the use of personal electronics during the operation of motor vehicles. The “personal electronics” includes mobile phones and other electronic devices. The NTSB’s recommendation goes further than most federal, state, and local bans on handheld electronic devices. Many bans focus on actual use of the device – texting, talking, etc. Other bans focus on the handheld nature and allow drivers to use hands-free devices. The NTSB, an independent agency of the federal government, has determined that the current bans on mobile phones and other electronic devices do not go far enough.

The NTSB voted unanimously for the ban after reviewing the details of the tragic Missouri school bus accident that occurred in 2010. In that accident, a pickup truck driver crashed into a tractor trailer that had slowed in a construction zone. Two school buses carrying dozens of high school students crashed into the wreck. Two people died in the Missouri pickup truck accident and dozens were injured. After the accident, the authorities discovered that the pickup truck driver had been texting while driving. In fact, the pickup truck driver had sent 11 text messages in the 11 minutes before the accident had occurred.

According to reports, texting while driving is becoming an increasingly serious problem. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that many Americans admit to texting, emailing, and browsing the internet while operating a motor vehicle. According to the NHTSA, 16% of fatal crashes involve distracted driving. 20% of injury accidents involve distracted driving.

The effect of distracted driving on the rate of Missouri car accidents is the logical extension of its effect on the brain. According to a study from Carnegie Mellon, using a cell phone while driving decreases the amount of brain activity affiliated with driving by 37%. Cell phone use while driving delays a driver’s reaction to road conditions, regardless of whether the cell phone is hand held or not. In fact, the effect of distracted driving on the brain may be just as dangerous as drunk driving.

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December 14, 2011

Inattentive Driver Causes St. Charles Missouri Chain Reaction Accident

A St. Charles County Missouri three vehicle accident occurred when a driver failed to notice stopped traffic on Highway 94, west of Kisker. The St. Charles County Missouri multi-vehicle accident occurred on December 19, 2011 at 11:18pm.

The late night accident occurred on eastbound on Highway 94. Alisa E. Siegel, 41, of Troy, Missouri failed to notice vehicles stopped ahead. Siegel crashed a 1993 Geo Storm into the rear of a 2003 Honda Accord driven by Kenneth R. Rubach, 18, of St. Peters, Missouri. The impact forced Rubach’s Honda into the rear of another vehicle: a 1999 Toyota Corolla driven by David Q. Hoang, 29, of Normandy, Missouri.

Three people were injured in the Saint Charles County Missouri chain reaction car accident. Siegel and Hoang sustained injuries. Elizabeth N. Forbes, 22, of St. Louis sustained physical injuries as well. Forbes was an occupant in Hoang’s vehicle. Hoang and Forbes were transported to Mercy Medical Center in Creve Coeur. Siegel was transported to St. Joseph Health Center East in St. Charles.

Drivers must pay careful attention to the environment in order to drive safely and prudently. Cars enter and exit the highway, change lanes, swerve to avoid road obstructions, and slow down unexpectedly. Drivers must be able to respond to these changing road conditions and more. When a driver fails to pay attention, the results may be dangerous.

Distracted driving is becoming a major public safety problem. Drivers are texting, reading their email, talking on the phone, and even applying makeup while operating their vehicles. Engaging in distracting activities while driving is negligent and may be the direct cause of an accident.

Federal, state, and local authorities are cracking down on distracted driving because of the enormous toll its taking on highway safety in this country. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently banned texting while driving for truck and bus drivers. Missouri prohibits texting in “novice” driver. All drivers are legally obligated to drive prudently. Driving while distracted is not driving prudently.

December 12, 2011

St. Louis Teen Injured after Crashing into Concrete Median

Alexander C. Bright of St. Louis, Missouri was injured after crashing into a concrete median on I-44. Bright’s St. Louis County Missouri car accident occurred when he drove off the left side of I-44 in a 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer. The Lancer crashed into a concrete median. After colliding with the median, the Lancer returned to the roadway. The St. Louis County Missouri car accident continued as the Lancer drove off the roadway and crashed into the median again.

States and municipalities may be re-evaluating the type of highway median to build. Concrete medians are well-known, but the number of states installing cable median barriers are increasing. Cable median barriers are posts with three or four steel cables strung on them. During a St. Louis County Missouri car accident, the cables bend while the posts break. Cable median barriers are designed to absorb the forces created by a collision and redirect the vehicle’s direction along the barrier.

Concrete median barriers are not capable of the same movement. Concrete is a stiff material so it is less capable of absorbing the impact of an accident. Concrete barriers may increase the likelihood of serious physical injuries in a St. Louis Country Missouri car accident. Proponents of concrete median barriers, however, assert that concrete median barriers prevent dangerous crossover accidents.

Proponents of cable median barriers state that cable median barriers lessen the severity of a car crash and help states save money. Concrete median barriers may cost up to $500,000 per mile to install, while cable median barriers may cost $140,000 per mile. To many states, the cable median barrier represents a dual improvement in cost and safety.

Missouri was one of the first states to widely install cable median barriers. The state government determined that cable median barriers are generally safer than concrete barriers. If a Missourian is injured after crashing into a concrete median barrier, the government’s choice to maintain a concrete barrier may be partly responsible for the accident victim’s injuries.

December 10, 2011

Pothole Causes St. Louis County Missouri Car Accident on I-70

Courtney D. Jackson, a 25 year old man from St. Louis, Missouri, was injured in a St. Louis County Missouri car accident. The St. Louis car accident occurred on eastbound I-70 at Natural Bridge Road. Jackson was driving a 1998 Ford Explorer on I-70 when he struck a pothole in the highway. Jackson lost control of the SUV and crashed into the right side guardrail of the highway.

Jackson suffered moderate injuries in the Saint Louis County Missouri car accident. Christian Northeast Ambulance transported Jackson to Barnes Jewish Hospital for medical treatment. There were no other reported injuries in the Saint Louis Missouri car accident.

There may be more Missouri car accidents caused by poorly maintained roads in the near future because of economic factors. The unemployment rate is slowly improving, but still depressed. High unemployment results in lower tax revenue to support government budget levels. As a result, all levels of government are examining where to cut spending from the budget. State and local governments may decrease their budgets by maintaining roads less often as before.

Poorly maintained roads increase the risk of Missouri car accidents. Potholes, guardrail damage, and other defects remain uncorrected for a longer amount of time when maintenance schedules are decreased. Nearby foliage and plants may stay overgrown, blocking important traffic signals. The traffic signals themselves may break down, only to be repaired after an accident. Decreased road maintenance creates many hazards for drivers.

People who are seriously injured in Missouri road maintenance car accidents may worry about how to obtain compensation. If the accident is a single-vehicle accident, the accident victim may mistakenly think that they cannot obtain compensation from anyone else. However, accident victims should not have to bear the loss caused by poorly maintained roadways. Federal, state, and local governments should maintain the roads to prevent serious car accidents.

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December 5, 2011

Five Injured in Jefferson County Missouri Multi-Vehicle Accident

Five Missourians from Fenton, Dittmer, and House Springs were injured in a Jefferson County Missouri car accident on December 4, 2011. The Jefferson County multi-vehicle crash occurred on Missouri Route 30 at Old Sugar Creek Road.

The three vehicles involved in the accident were: 1) a 2008 Ford Expedition driven by Sheila L. Klash of Arnold, Missouri, 2) a 1996 Dodge Caravan driven by Nichole M. Santander of Fenton, Missouri, and 3) a 2006 Chevrolet Malibu driven by Cherlyn A. Land of House Springs, Missouri.

Land lost control of the Chevrolet and turned clockwise. The front of the Chevrolet crashed into the front of the Dodge. Then the Chevrolet crashed into the rear of the Ford. Most of the drivers and occupants in the three vehicles wore seat belts, but five people were still injured in the Jefferson County Missouri multi-vehicle car accident.

Three people who rode in the Dodge were injured in the accident. Santander, 36, Willima R. Thomas, 43, and Samantha L. Gray, 15, suffered moderate to minor injuries. Two people who rode in the Chevrolet suffered moderate to minor injuries: Land, 45, and Marilyn V. Dismukes, 74. All of the injured parties were transported to St. Anthony’s by the Mehlville Fire Protection District, except for Gray. Teenaged Gray was transported to Child Care Pediatric for medical treatment.

Missouri multivehicle accidents are likely to result in injury for at least one of the vehicle occupants. Multivehicle accidents often occur on interstate highways, where the rate of speed is much higher than on other roadways. If a vehicle moves out of its lane or a driver loses control on a major highway, other vehicles may be involved very quickly.

Determining the cause of a multi-vehicle accident becomes complex. Each vehicle may have multiple points of contact in the crash. The order of the crashes is difficult to reconstruct over the fact as well. Plus, if multiple drivers are involved there may be multiple attorneys involved. An accident victim without an attorney who faces multiple attorneys at the negotiation table or in the courtroom is at a distinct disadvantage. Accident victims who suffer injuries in Missouri multivehicle car accidents should obtain experienced legal counsel to protect their legal rights.

December 3, 2011

Chesterfield Man Killed in St. Louis County Missouri Wrong Way Crash

James V. Gobble, 35, of Chesterfield died in a St. Louis County Missouri head on car accident. The Saint Louis County Missouri front impact car accident occurred on eastbound I-64, east of Boone’s Crossing.

Gobble drove a 2005 Honda Civic westbound on the eastbound lanes of I-64 at 9:32pm on December 01, 2011. The Civic crashed head on into a 2004 Nissan Altima driven by Jorge P. Hernandez of O’Fallon, Missouri. The Civic and Nissan were both totaled in the St. Louis County Missouri car accident. The Missouri State Highway Patrol and local authorities could not immediately uncover why Gobble drove against traffic on the interstate highway.

Both Gobble and Hernandez were transported by Monarch Ambulance to Mercy Hospital in Creve Coeur, Missouri for medical treatment. Gobble was pronounced dead at the hospital. The authorities notified his next of kin. Hernandez survived the fatal St Louis County Missouri head on collision.

Occasionally, the person who passes away in a fatal Missouri car accident is the person who caused the accident. In this situation, a surviving accident victim may worry about whether they can obtain compensation for their injuries. If the person who caused the accident is dead, who may be sued?

In Missouri, the estate of a negligent driver may be sued in this situation. The lawsuit would continue just as if the negligent driver were still alive, with minor differences. For example, the summons and complaint would have to be served on the estate’s executor. This policy allows injured parties to recover compensation for injuries that resulted from the negligent conduct of another person. The accident victim should not have to bear the burden of recovering from the accident merely because the person who caused the accident passed away.

Missouri statute §537.020 allows personal injury and wrongful death to survive, “regardless of the death of either party.” This statute provides the substantive legal basis for the accident victim’s ability to file suit against the estate of a negligent driver.

Whether to file suit against the estate of a negligent driver is a serious decision that an accident victim should not take lightly. Accident victims may be concerned about other parties who may need to recover from the estate. Some accident victims feel uncomfortable suing the estate with the knowledge that spouses and children were left behind by the negligent driver. Our Missouri car accident attorneys understand the serious concerns that accompany the decision to sue. Contact our attorneys for a free legal consultation to discuss the legal and personal issues that may affect your decision.

November 30, 2011

Fatal Franklin County Missouri Car Accident on MO-30

A teen from High Ridge, Missouri died in a Franklin County Missouri stop sign accident on November 29, 2011. Two other Missourians suffered moderate injuries in the Franklin County Missouri car accident.

The Tuesday afternoon accident occurred with 17 year old driver Gunnar T. Smith failed to stop at a stop sign at the intersection between highway 30 and Hendricks Road. Smith’s 2003 Ford Escort collided with a 1999 Winnebago in the intersection. The Winebago was driven by Glennon O. Naeger of Perryville, Missouri.

Nicholas S. Decker, a teenaged occupant in Smith’s vehicle, died in the fatal Franklin County Missouri accident. Both drivers – Smith and Naegar – suffered moderate injuries in the accident. Naeger received treatment at St. Anthony’s Medical Center while Smith was transported to Mercy Hospital in Creve Coeur, Missouri. Decker’s next of kin has been notified.

Stop sign violations are a major cause of Missouri car accidents. Many types of stop behaviors lead to stop sign accidents. A common cause of Missouri stop sign car accidents is the failure to stop at the stop sign. Other car accidents result when a driver does stop at a stop sign, but fails to notice traffic already in the intersection.

A study published in the Journal of Safety Research analyzed the crash reports of crashes at stop sign controlled intersections. According to the results, 70% of all crashes at stop sign controlled intersections are caused by stop sign violations. The study found that roughly 700,000 motor vehicle crashes occur at stop signs. A substantial proportion of those accidents cause physical injuries. Drivers under the age of 18 accounted for a disproportionate amount of Missouri stop sign accidents.

Stop sign accidents in which the driver completely failed to stop at the stop sign are more likely to cause injury. Failure to stop at a stop sign may be the result of driver negligence. Drivers may be too distracted by conversations or mobile devices to notice the stop sign. A municipality may be at fault for a stop sign accident. The stop sign may be difficult to see because trees or other large objects are obscuring their view.

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November 28, 2011

St. Charles County Missouri Three-Vehicle Accident Injures Four

Missourians from Troy and Dittmer were injured in a St. Charles County Missouri three car accident on November 26, 2011 at 8:25am. The morning accident involved both eastbound and westbound traffic on I-70, west of Wentzville Parkway.

The St. Charles County Missouri rear end car accident occurred as a 2001 Infiniti I30 crashed into the rear of a 2007 Lexus ES350 driven by Gregory D. Noe of Chesterfield, Missouri while driving on westbound I-70. Both the Infiniti and the Lexus travelled off the left side of the interstate highway. The vehicles smashed through the median cables and drove on the other side of the interstate. The Lexus came to stop on the inside shoulder, avoiding oncoming traffic. Noe, the driver of the Lexus, had no reported injuries in the accident.

The Infiniti drove into eastbound traffic into the path of a 2007 Jeep Liberty. The Jeep and the Infiniti collided. The Infiniti did not come to rest until it reached the south side of the interstate. Four Missourians were injured in the St. Charles County Missouri multi-vehicle accident. Jeep driver Ashley S. Lehman and two child occupants – 3 year old Braden L. Lehman and 5 year old Wyatt A. Lehman – sustained injuries in the accident. They avoided serious injuries by wearing safety devices appropriate for their age and size. Infiniti driver Cortney B. Miller of Dittmer, Missouri sustained injuries as well. Miller did not wear a safety device during the accident. St. Charles County Ambulance transported all the injured parties to Mercy Medical Center for treatment.

The cable median on I-70 failed to stop two passenger vehicles from crossing onto the other side of the highway in the above accident. Multiple styles of highway barriers are available to states and which style they choose may have a great impact on the rate of injurious Missouri car accidents. Cable barrier medians have exploded in popularity in the past decade, in part because they are inexpensive to build. Cable barrier medians cost 50% less than traditional concrete highway medians or steel medians. Missouri was one of the first states to adopt cable median barriers, along with North Carolina, Texas, Washington, and California. Now the majority of states use cable barriers.

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November 26, 2011

I-55 Street Racers Cause St. Louis County Missouri Car Accident

A St. Louis teen was injured in a St. Louis County Missouri car accident that occurred on northbound I-55 at 11:40pm on November 25, 2011. Two other vehicles that were racing late Friday night cut off Emina Ofmanovic, 18, who was driving a 2010 Mazda 3. The Mazda went off the right side of the roadway. The Mazda crashed into a guardrail and a concrete wall. Ofmanovic was taken to St. Anthony’s Medical Center by Mehlville Ambulance.

Illegal street racing is a dangerous phenomenon that threatens public highway safety. Illegal street racing occurs when drivers unaffiliated with organized motorsports compete at high speeds on public roadways. Illegal street racers may hold their events when there are fewer vehicles on the road (e.g. late at night). However, the street racers travel at such high speeds that any other vehicles present on or near the road are put at a serious risk.

Illegal street racers imprudently create a risk of harm for themselves and their spectators. For example, a 17 year old St. Louis teen was killed earlier this year. One of the racing vehicles hit her while she was acting as a “flag girl.” The racing drivers fled the scene of the accident as the girl died.

Illegal street racers create a serious risk of harm for vehicle occupants unrelated to the race. Street racers may cut off vehicles driving at reasonable speeds and create a Missouri single vehicle accident. Ofmanovic was injured in a Missouri street racing car accident because the racing vehicles cut her off, for instance. Street racing vehicles may crash directly into other vehicles on the roadway as well.

Illegal street racing is banned in all of Missouri by statute 304.012.1, which regulates vehicle speed. The statute states that “[a] person shall operate a motor vehicle in a careful and prudent manner and at a rate of speed so as not to endanger the property of another or the life or limb of any person and shall exercise the highest degree of care.” By definition, street racers do not drive in a careful and prudent manner while racing. The primary goal of a street racer is drive as fast as possible.

Under Missouri state law, cities and towns have the ability to prevent racing on Missouri’s highways through traffic ordinances and fines. Cities may even imprison violators. Any penalties are punishments that a city may impose on an illegal street racers do not interfere with an accident victim’s ability to recover for injuries sustained in a street racing accident.

November 23, 2011

St. Clair High School Teen Killed in Franklin County Missouri Car Crash

Corina L. Wilken, a 17 year old from St. Clair, was killed in a Franklin County Missouri car accident. The Missouri car accident seriously injured Tyler M. Palmer, a 16 year old from St. Clair. The tragic accident serves as a stark reminder about the importance of safe teen driving.

Palmer was driving a 2001 Dodge Stratus on northbound Highway 47 when the Franklin County car accident occurred. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Palmer was driving too fast for road conditions. The Dodge began to spin. The Dodge careened off the left side of the roadway and crashed into a tree.

An emergency responder revealed that Wilken died at the scene of the accident. She did not wear a safety belt during the accident. Palmer was transported by flight to Mercy Medical Center in Creve Coeur, Missouri. Palmer suffered serious injuries during the Franklin County Missouri car accident, including a ruptured spleen, collapsed lung, broken bones, and spine damage. A recent update indicated that Palmer was in an induced coma. Palmer may be unable to breathe on his own.

Teen car accidents statistics tell a dire story about teen driver safety. Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States. Studies show that drivers between the ages of 16 to 19 have the highest crash rates when compared to other age groups. Researchers believe that several factors account for the large amount of Missouri teen driver car accidents, including poor risk analysis and distracted driving.

Poor risk analysis plays a large role in teen car accidents. Teenagers tend to underestimate the amount of risk while driving. Teens engage in risky driving behavior without quite comprehending the amount of risk that they are taking. For example, a teen driver may drive significantly faster than the speed limit on a curvy road without appreciating the danger of that choice. Teens tend to overestimate their abilities to avoid threats as well. A teen driver may attempt a turn in a busy intersection with the mistaken belief that the other vehicles are easily avoidable.

Distracted driving is a major problem for teen safety. Teenagers often engage in dangerous, distracting behaviors while driving. Teens are more likely than older adults to write and read text messages while operating a motor vehicle. In response to the texting while driving phenomenon, Missouri law bans drivers under the age of 21 from texting while driving.

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November 19, 2011

Failure to Yield Causes St. Charles Missouri Car Accident

Two people were sent to Christian Northeast Hospital for medical treatment after a St. Charles County Missouri car accident. The Saint Charles Missouri car accident occurred at the intersection of northbound Highway 67 and Red School Road.

Denise M. Newberry of Florissant, Missouri was driving on northbound 67 in a 2009 Nissan Quest as the accident began. Matthew A. Gearing of Bethalto, Illinois was driving a 2003 Dodge Stratus on eastbound Red School Road. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Gearing failed to yield to Newberry’s vehicle. Gearing drove his Dodge into the path of Newberry’s Nissan. The Nissan crashed into the passenger side of the Dodge. Both drivers were injured during the Missouri car accident. Both vehicles sustained extensive damage.

Missouri failure to yield car accidents cause extensive vehicle damage and serious physical injuries. A failure to yield car accident occurs when a driver fails to adhere to right-of-way rules at an intersection or road junction. Failing to yield to other vehicles is a dangerous mistake to make on the road. Drivers reasonably expect that other drivers will observe the rules of the road. When a negligent driver fails to yield, other drivers are caught off guard and have a limited amount of time to adjust their speed and direction.

Failure to yield properly is against Missouri law. Missouri statute 304.351 governs the right of way rules for intersections and the consequences for failure to yield. If there are no traffic control devices (e.g. traffic light, stop sign, et cetera) at an intersection, a vehicle approaching the intersection must yield to traffic already in the intersection. If two vehicles approach the intersection at roughly the same time, the driver on the left must yield the right of way to the driver on the right. If a driver intends to make a left turn in the intersection, the driver attempting the left turn must yield to any incoming traffic.

Missouri statute 304.351 imposes on penalties on drivers who fail to yield in accordance in the law as a deterrent. A violation of the statute is a misdemeanor offense. If the failure to yield caused some physical injury, the violator will be fined up to $200. If the violation caused serious physical injury, the violator may be fined up to $500. If the violation caused a fatality, the violator may be fined up to $1,000. The financial penalties in the statute do not interfere with the compensation owed to the victim.

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November 16, 2011

St. Francois County Missouri Head-On Collision Injures Two Women

Two Missourians suffered physical injuries as a result of a St. Francois County Missouri front impact car accident on November 8, 2011 at 5:30pm. The Saint Francois County Missouri head-in car accident began as Tamara N. Sykes of Middlebrook, Missouri drove on eastbound Missouri Route NN in a 2004 Jeep Cherokee. Sykes crossed the centerline in the roadway and crashed head-on into a 2006 Chevrolet Impala. The Impala was driven by Miriam D. Counts of Ironton, Missouri.

Both drivers suffered injuries as a result of the accident. Counts suffered serious injuries. Sykes sustained moderate injuries. Both women were taken to Parkland Health Center South in Farmington, Missouri. The women were transported by St. Francois County ambulance. Both vehicles were totaled in the accident.

Missouri head-on collisions carry an extreme risk of serious injury for Missouri drivers. In a high speed front end car accident, at least vehicle occupant is likely to suffer serious physical injury. Accidents in which one vehicle crosses the centerline of the roadway to crash into another vehicle are particularly dangerous because both vehicles were travelling at full speed before the crash occurs.

Accident victims deserve a full investigation into their Missouri front impact car accident. A properly conducted investigation may reveal the type of negligence at the heart of the accident. Common causes of front end collisions are: drowsy driving and distracted driving.

Drowsy driving occurs when a fatigued driver operates a motor vehicle. Drowsy driving is a serious threat to public safety. Sleepiness and fatigue cause serious cognitive deficient that increase the risk for a car accident. Drowsy drivers have slower reaction time and impaired vision, compared to alert drivers. Drowsy drivers also suffer from problems with information processing.

Distracted driving increases the risk of a car accident because the driver’s attention is taken away from operating the motor vehicle. Distracted drivers engage in attention-sapping behaviors like texting, talking on the phone, eating, adjusting a GPS device, or applying makeup. Distracted drivers may drift into other lanes without even realizing. Distracted drivers create a heightened risk for Missouri front impact car accidents because they may negligently drive into oncoming traffic.

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November 12, 2011

Bicyclist Seriously Injured in Missouri Hit-and-Run Accident

A bicyclist was seriously injured in a Ste. Genevieve County Missouri hit and run accident. The Missouri hit and run accident occurred on Missouri Route F, 1.3 miles east of Pleasant Hill Church Road. The bicyclist was Mahan Deeds from Evansville, Indiana. Deeds was cycling westbound on Route F when he was struck from behind by an unknown vehicle. Deeds was taken by the Arch helicopter to Mercy Medical Center in Creve Coeur, Missouri. The motor vehicle that slammed into Deeds’ bicycle sustained minor damage. As of the time of the crash report, the Missouri State Highway Patrol had not identified the driver in the hit-and-run accident.

Missouri hit-and-run car accidents occur when a driver leaves the scene of a traffic accident before the authorities arrive and without helping the accident victims. Unfortunately, hit and run accidents are a significant problem in the United States. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, hit and run traffic accidents account for 18% of pedestrian traffic accident fatalities. Reports indicate that hit and run accidents may account for nearly 4% of fatal traffic accidents overall.

The Missouri legislature enacted statute §577.060 to combat Missouri hit and run car accidents. The statute makes leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident a crime against public safety. A motor vehicle driver violates the statute by leaving the scene of the accident knowing that a person (or a piece of property) was harmed in the accident. The driver may avoid committing a crime under the statute by leaving detailed contact information with the injured party or a police officer.

Leaving the scene of an accident is a misdemeanor by default. Leaving the scene accident may be a misdemeanor, for instance, when a driver lightly hits a parked car and drives away without leaving behind contact information. Leaving the scene of an accident becomes a class D felony under three circumstances: (1) if the accident victim suffers physical injury, (2) if the collision caused property damage greater than $1,000, or (3) if the negligent driver has left the scene of a traffic accident before.

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November 7, 2011

Two from St. Louis Area Injured in Missouri Rear End Accident

A man from Florissant and a man from St. Louis City were injured in a Lincoln County Missouri rear end collision on November 6, 2011 at 5:05pm. The accident occurred on U.S. Highway 61 south of Wilson Rd.

The accident began as Gary J. Bruckner of St. Louis, Missouri slowed his 1995 Chevrolet truck to make a left turn. Iowa driver Zachariah T. Rhodes failed to stop as Bruckner slowed. Rhodes crashed a 2003 Ford F150 into the rear of Bruckner’s vehicle. Two people were injured in the Lincoln County Missouri rear end accident. Bruckner and occupant Kenneth A. Bruckner of Florissant were transported to St. Joseph West by Lincoln County Ambulance.

Missouri rear end car accidents are unfortunately common. Statistics indicate that there are as many as 1.8 million rear end accidents a year. Rear end accidents account for more than 20% of injury causing traffic accidents. Clearly, rear end accidents are a serious threat to the safety of our public highways.

Missouri rear end car accidents vary in the degree of injury. Some rear end car accidents are nicknamed “fender benders.” In a fender bender rear end accident, the vehicles were traveling at a slow speed when they collided. Fender bender may result in minor to moderate vehicle damage, but the risk of injury is lower. A fender bender may occur if a following driver slows in response to a stopped vehicle, but does not slow down enough to avoid tapping the vehicle in front.

High speed rear end car accidents carry a heightened risk of serious physical injury. The collision causes the vehicles to abruptly stop. Accident victims may be suddenly thrown forward in their seats, causing serious injury. A deploying airbag may break an accident victim’s nose. The seat belt may break the accident victim’s collarbone. The sudden change in velocity may cause “whiplash” neck injuries or spinal cord injuries. Victims of high speed rear end car accidents may face serious hospitalization and medical expenses.

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November 3, 2011

Car Overturns on I-44 in Missouri Rear End Car Accident

Three people suffered moderate injuries in a St. Louis County Missouri rear end accident on November 8, 2011. The St. Louis County Missouri car accident occurred on westbound I-44 at 9:14am during the morning rush hour traffic.

The Missouri rear end accident occurred as two vehicles travelled on westbound I-44 just west of the Big Bend exit. The first vehicle was a 2000 GMC Savanah and a 1999 Mercury Sable. The Mercury slammed into the rear of the GMC. The impact of the rear end collision forced the GMC to crash into the guardrail of the roadway. The GMC overturned.

The Missouri rear end car accident injured three people. GMC driver Terry R. Lochmann of Granite City, Illinois and his occupant Rodney R. Macon of Collinsville, Illinois were treated at Mercy Hospital in Creve Coeur, Missouri. Mercury driver Damine M. Thorton of St. Louis, Missouri went to St. Anthony’s Hospital. All three injured parties were transported to their respective hospitals by Abbot Ambulance.

The State of Missouri touches the border of eight other states: Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. The two largest metropolitan areas of the state are located near the state border. St. Louis, Missouri is located on the border of Missouri and Illinois. Kansas City, Missouri is located on the border of Missouri and Kansas. The location of Missouri and its major cities increase the likelihood that a Missouri car accident may involve residents of other states.

Accident victims from other states are often confused about where to file a Missouri car accident lawsuit. While filing in their home state may be more convenient, the home state’s courts may lack authority to make a binding judgment on the defendant. Accident victims from other states who become injured in Missouri car accidents, should be able to successfully file Missouri’s courts.

Missouri courts have the authority to make binding rulings about Missouri car accidents. Missouri statute §506.500 authorizes the courts of Missouri to have jurisdiction over any person who commits “a tortious act within this state.” That language means that anyone who negligently causes an injury in the state of Missouri may be held accountable for that negligence in Missouri, regardless of citizenship. If a car accident occurs in Missouri, Missouri’s state courts have the authority to make rulings about it.

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November 3, 2011

Lincoln County Missouri Car Accident Causes Chain Reaction in Work Zone

Two people and four vehicles were harmed in a Missouri chain reaction car accident on November 1, 2011 at 6:50pm. The Lincoln County Missouri car accident happened on Missouri route 47 near Fairgrounds Road.

Traffic was stopped in a work zone on eastbound MO-47. Alexander P. Ronsick failed to stop for traffic in a 2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser. The PT Cruiser crashed into the rear of a 2006 Buick Lucerne driven by Francis R. Biron. The impact of the collision pushed the Lucerne into the rear of a 2008 Cadillac CTS driven by Daniel J. Clark. The impact pushed the CTS into the rear of a 2003 Buick Lesabre driven by James M. Schaper. Four vehicles were involved in the Missouri chain reaction accident. Ronsick is a resident of Moscow Mills, Missouri. The other drivers are residents of Troy, Missouri.

Two people – Ronsick and Biron - suffered moderate injuries in the Lincoln Missouri County car accident. Biron wore a seatbelt during the accident, but Ronsick did not. The injured parties were taken to St. Joseph Hospital West by Lincoln County Ambulance.

The State of Missouri is working diligently to improve the safety of Missouri’s highways and bridges. For example, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) initiated the Safe & Sound Bridge Improvement Program, which will replace more than 800 bridges by 2013. The projects aim to improve safety and provide jobs.

Highway improvements necessarily result in work zones. MoDOT tries to make work zones apparent through warning signs and bright orange cones. Despite MoDOT’s efforts to make work zones apparent to drivers, Missouri work zone car accidents still occur. More than 1,000 people were injured in Missouri work zones in 2010, a 53% increase from the number of work zone injuries in 2006. 15 MoDOT workers were killed in the line of duty.

According to MoDOT, there are five major contributing factors to Missouri work zone car accidents: (1) following too closely, (2) inattention, (3) improper lane usage or lane changes, (4) driving too fast for conditions, (5) and failure to yield. These factors are particularly dangerous in work zones because MoDOT employees could be outside their vehicles, working to improve the state’s highways and bridges. Drivers should prudently exercise due care to avoid contributing to Missouri work zone accidents.

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October 29, 2011

Fiery Nodaway County Missouri Pickup Accident Causes on Triple Fatality

Three people were killed and four people were injured in a Missouri pickup truck accident on October 29, 2011 at 2:15am. The Missouri pickup truck accident occurred as Scott R. Woods of Hopkins, Missouri drove a 2003 Chevrolet pickup truck on Missouri highway 246, just half a mile east of Hopkins. The pickup truck ran off the south side of the road. Woods overcorrected and the pickup truck drove off the north side of the road. The pickup truck overturned re-entering the roadway and caught fire.

None of the occupants of the pickup truck wore a seatbelt. All of the occupants were ejected from the vehicle during the accident. There were three fatalities in the Missouri pickup truck accident. Chrystal N. Olerich, 18, and Benjamin T. McIntyre, 22, were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident by Nodaway County Coroner Dr. Vince Shelby. Joshua E. Bix, 21, was transported to St. Francis Hospital for medical treatment, but Dr. Bob Matthews pronounced his death at 3:48am. Three other adults were injured and transported to St. Francis Hospital – Jordan L. Breeding, 19, Kaley L. Folkerts, 19, and Samantha L. Weed, 18. Weed was life-flighted to Omaha, Nebraska after her visit to St. Francis Hospital. Woods the pickup driver suffered injuries, but refused medical treatment at scene.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 8,000 pickup trucks are involved in fatal truck accidents nationwide. Pickup trucks account for 18.5% of vehicles involved in fatal traffic accidents. Pickup trucks account for a significant portion of fatal traffic accidents, even though other vehicles are more popular. Some analysts believe that Missouri pickup truck fatalities are related to the increased risk over rollover in a pickup truck accident.

Missouri rollover accidents cause a disproportionate number of traffic accident fatalities. Certain factors increase the risk of rollover accidents. Pickup trucks are more likely to rollover than passenger cars like coupes or sedans. Rollovers are more likely to occur in single vehicle accidents. Rollovers may occur when a driver overcorrects after traveling off the roadway. Avoiding these factors when possible may prevent a fatal Missouri rollover accident.

October 24, 2011

St. Charles Car Accident Kills New Mexico Woman

A New Mexico woman died in a St. Charles Missouri car accident on October 23, 2011 at 2:40pm. Three other people suffered injuries St. Charles Missouri SUV accident.

The St. Charles single vehicle car accident occurred on eastbound I-70 near Wentzville Parkway as Terry Taylor of Espanola, New Mexico drove a 2001 Chevrolet Suburban. Taylor suffered a medical condition while driving. The Suburban swerved off the left side of the roadway, then swerved off the right side of the roadway. The Surburban crashed into a fence off the roadway and overturned.

53 year old occupant Rebecca Taylor died in the St. Charles rollover car accident. She was pronounced by Dr. Anthony Schultz at St. Joseph Health Center West. Driver Terry Taylor, 46, was transported to Mercy Medical Center in Creve Coeur, Missouri with serious injuries. Two other occupants – Patricia Taylor, 43, and Gary T. Jett, 29 – suffered minor injuries and were transported to St. Joseph Health Center East in St. Charles, Missouri by St. Charles County ambulance.

St. Charles County Missouri is one of the most populated counties in the State of Missouri. A number of cities are in St. Charles County ; St. Charles, O’Fallon, St. Peters, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and West Alton are all located in the county. St. Charles County car accident lawsuits are often heard at the Circuit Court of St. Charles County.

When car accident victims are injured outside of their home state, they may be confused about where to file a car accident lawsuit. A state court may only make binding rulings on people connected to the state in a meaningful way (e.g. state residents, businesses doing business in the state, etc). If the defendant has nothing to do with a state, the state court cannot be enforced against the defendant. For example, a New Mexico court cannot create enforceable rulings against a Missourian with no connection to the state. If a New Mexico resident wants to sue a Missouri resident after a Missouri car accident, the New Mexico resident should file the lawsuit in Missouri’s courts. The New Mexico resident would be advised to obtain legal counsel from a Missouri personal injury attorney, since a local attorney will be familiar with the laws of the state.

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October 19, 2011

Chronic Drunk Driver Crashes into Hayride, Injures Children

A fun hayride turned disastrous as a chronic drunk driver crashed into a leisure wagon in Oak Grove, Missouri. Thirteen people, including six children, were transported to local hospitals after the Missouri drunk driving car accident.

Six children and seven adults were enjoying their hayride on Saturday night on Highway H, near I-70. The area was dark, but the tractor pulling the wagon was illuminated. Drunk driver Kaylon Childers, 27, crashed into the hayride. According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, the impact of the Missouri drunk driving car accident destroyed the wagon.

Childers was intoxicated during the Missouri drunk driving car accident. The authorities arrested Childers on suspicion of drunk driving, though Childers attempted to flee the scene of the accident. Last year, Childers was sentenced for repeated drunk driving.

Multiple accident victims had extended hospital stays after the accident. According to local reports, a five year old girl and an 18 month old boy suffered serious injuries in the Missouri drunk driving accident. An adult had to endure surgical operations as a result of the accident as well.

Drunk driving endangers the public roadways in Missouri. Statistics show that at least 350 Missourians die each year in alcohol-related traffic accidents. In one year, more than 600 Missourians died in drunk driving accidents. Even more Missourians are seriously injured in drunk driving accidents. The consequences of drunk driving accidents are dire. These accidents are even more devastating because they are preventable.

The State of Missouri prosecutes offenders of the state’s driving while intoxicated (DWI) laws to preserve the public safety. In 2010, Missouri strengthened its DWI laws to target repeat offenders. Missouri House Bill 1695 created new structures to prosecute repeat DWI offenders. HB1695 creates specialized DWI courts to hear the cases of repeat offenders while preventing municipal courts from hearing those trials. HB1695 creates a statewide database for DWI offenses, including arrests. The law also limits which DWI offenses can be expunged from an offender’s record.

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October 17, 2011

Pedestrian Injured in Jefferson County Missouri Car Accident

Three Missourians – including a pedestrian – were moderately to seriously injured in a Jefferson County Missouri car accident on October 15, 2011 at 9:11pm. The Jefferson County Missouri pedestrian car crash occurred on Route MM, just east of Route 30.

Another Missouri car accident had already occurred on Route MM. The previous accident involved a 2001 Buick LeSabre driven by Timothy S. Maenner of Imperial, Missouri. Pedestrian Derrick W. Voisey of Lemay, Missouri was checking in with Maenner in referenced to the accident that had already occurred. Meanwhile, Thomas A. Lewis failed to notice the previous accident while driving a 1997 Pontiac Grand Am. Lewis crashed into the rear of Maenner’s vehicle. The collision forced the door of Maenner’s vehicle close, injuring Voisey.

Lewis, Maenner, and Voisey were all injured in the Jefferson County Missouri car accident. Maenner suffered the most severe injuries and was transported to St. Anthony’s Medical Center. Lewis was taken to St. Anthony’s Medical Center with moderate injuries. Voisey was taken to St. Clare Health Center with moderate injuries. Both the Buick and the Pontiac were totaled in the accident.

This Jefferson County Missouri car accident highlights the importance of exercising care while driving near a car accident. If drivers fail to notice and accommodate previous accidents, another Missouri car accident may occur. When approaching a car accident, drivers should prudently watch out for accident victims who may exit one of the damage vehicles. When possible, changing lanes to avoid the previous accident may be advised.

If you are involved in a Missouri car accident on a public roadway, you should exercise care to avoid another accident. Turn on your hazard lights as soon as the accident occurs to alert other drivers. Carefully monitor traffic on the roadway before exiting your vehicle to check on the occupants of the other vehicle involved in the accident. If you need to discuss the accident or exchange insurance information with other people involved the accident, do so on the shoulder of the roadway instead of in traffic lanes.

If possible, accident victims may be advised to move the involved vehicles into the shoulder of the highway. If a road shoulder is not available, move the involved vehicles as far over as possible. Other drivers may not expect stopped vehicles on the roadway. If drivers do not expect an obstruction, they may take longer to adjust their speed or change lanes. Keep in mind that negligent or even reckless drivers may approach. These drivers could be operating above the speed limit or engaging in distracting activities like texting. A reckless or distracted driver may not notice your vehicles until it is too late and cause a Missouri rear end accident. While the accident victims should not take the blame for such an accident, the best accident strategy to is avoid accidents whenever possible.

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October 15, 2011

Fiery Lincoln County Missouri Car Crash Kills Moscow Mills Woman

Kimberlee A. Harper, 41, of Moscow Mills, Missouri was killed in a Lincoln County Missouri car accident on October 12, 2011 at 1:15pm. The deadly Missouri single car accident occurred when she crashed head-on into the concrete entrance of the Mallard Point subdivision. The 2001 Ford van that Harper drove overturned and caught fire.

Harper was pronounced dead at the scene of the Missouri van accident by Lincoln County Medical Examiner Robert Shramek. Harper’s van was totaled as well. No one else was injured according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The crash report did not indicate how or why Harper crashed into the subdivision entrance.

Some people instinctively blame the driver in a Missouri single vehicle traffic accident. However, a single vehicle accident may actually be caused by Missouri defective roads. Missouri’s public roadways must be designed and maintained safely, in accordance with standards released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA).

Proper road design is crucial for preventing car accidents. A single Missouri defective street may cause multiple accidents. If a road lacks a shoulder, malfunctioning vehicles may not be able to pull off the roadway entirely and become vulnerable to collisions. If an intersection lacks a traffic control device (e.g. a stoplight, a yield sign, etc.) but has a great deal of traffic, drivers may collide in their confusion.

Inadequate lighting is another dangerous defect. Drivers may not be able to see traffic control devices, road obstructions, or pedestrians in poorly lit areas. Defective lighting may cause an accident by making it difficult for drivers to see where they would like to turn. Drivers may not see their desired street or driveway until they are very close. If the drivers slow to take the turn, they may take a following vehicle by surprise. If the drivers attempt the turn without slowing, they may not be able to control their turn.

Obtaining compensation after a Missouri defective road car accident may be complex. Municipal, state, and federal government agencies may be liable for the defective road. The doctrine of sovereign immunity means that government entities are immune from lawsuits unless they specifically waived that immunity. Many government entities allow lawsuits against them, but require administrative proceedings beforehand. Each agency may have its own administrative requirements and deadlines. Accident victims should consult with a Missouri car accident attorney to make sure their options are not limited.

October 8, 2011

St. Louis County Multivehicle Accident Kills Hazelwood Girl

An 11 year old from Hazelwood, Missouri died in a St. Louis County Missouri car accident on October 8, 2011 at 4:20pm. The Saint Louis County multivehicle accident occurred on I-170, near Missouri Route 115. A Hazelwood teen and a Florissant adult were seriously injured in the accident as well.

The St. Louis County Missouri multivehicle accident began as 16 year old Elizabeth J. Campanella of Hazelwood travelled off the left side of the interstate in a 2000 Nissan Maxima, crashing into the median cable barrier. The Nissan rotated into the path of a 2003 Chevrolet Blazer driven by 36 year old Grace T. Matney of Florissant. The Maxima and the Blazer collided. James M. Vanderiet of O’Fallon slammed into the rear of the Blazer in a 2007 Chevrolet Malibu.

11 year old occupant Katerina M. Campanella passed away in the St. Louis County Missouri car accident. Emergency personnel pronounced her fatality at the scene of the accident. Two of the drivers in the Missouri multivehicle accident were seriously injured. The teenaged driver Campanella was taken by Arch Helicopter to St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Matney was taken by Abbott Ambulance to Barnes Hospital in St. Louis.

Determining liability in a Missouri multivehicle car accident is complex. The degree of fault may not be as apparent as in single- or two-vehicle accidents. Investigators must answer questions such as: Which vehicles collided first? Was the second collision an uncontrollable result of the first collision? Is there more than one driver at fault for the collision? To discover the answer to these questions, investigators will study clues such as skid marks and vehicle contact points. Investigators may question witnesses, but witnesses may not have viewed the entire accident from beginning to finish. Investigators may question the drivers and occupants of the vehicles involved, but some of those parties may have difficulty recalling the details of the accident. The act of piecing together the accident for the court is imperfect.

Anyone who is involved in a Missouri multi-vehicle accident needs skilled legal representation. An experienced Missouri car accident lawyer will know how to study the facts of your collision to support your claim for compensation. If you are injured in the accident, the attorney will fight for your compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. If your loved one was killed in the accident, the attorney will navigate the Missouri wrongful death lawsuit so you can focus on the grieving process.

October 3, 2011

O’Fallon Woman Injured by Distracted Driver in St. Charles County

A woman from O’Fallon, Missouri was injured in a Missouri distracted driver car accident in St. Charles County. The St. Charles Missouri car accident occurred on October 1, 2011 at 5:31pm.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, driver Jeanette M. Gau of Williamsville, Missouri “failed to keep a proper lookout” while driving on northbound Highway 79. Gau drove off the right side of the roadway just as driver Robert B. Porterfield attempted a right turn onto a private driveway. Gau crashed into the right side of Porterfield’s vehicle.

Regina G. Burns of O’Fallon, Missouri suffered the only reported injuries in the accident. Burns was an occupant in Porterfield’s vehicle during the Saint Charles Missouri car accident. St. Charles County ambulance transported Burns to St. Joseph’s West for medical treatment.

Missouri distracted driving car accidents may be becoming more common. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 20 percent of injury-causing car accidents involved distracted driving in 2009. Distracted driving was related to the traffic accident deaths of 5,474 people in the United States that same year.

The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) initiated a campaign against distracted driving in reaction to the number of fatalities and serious injuries sustained by Americans each year. According to USDOT, there are three types of driving distractions: visual, manual, and cognitive. Visual driving distractions take the distracted driver’s eyes away from the road. Manual driving distractions take the distracted driver’s hands away from the steering wheel. Cognitive driving distractions take the distracted driver’s mind away from the road.

Many distracting driver activities involve more than one type of distraction. For example, talking on a cellphone is both a manual and cognitive distraction. Cell phone conversations are a manual distraction because drivers may use their hands to operate the phone or gesture. Cell phone conversations are a cognitive distraction because some of the driver’s attention becomes devoted to the conversation instead of driving. Using a GPS navigation system may have the same effect. Responsible drivers should avoid engaging in any activity that could be a visual, manual or cognitive distraction while driving.

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October 1, 2011

Driver Flees Scene after Causing Fatal Missouri Car Accident

A driver fled the scene of an accident after causing a fatal Missouri car accident. The Barton County Missouri car crash occurred on August 28, 2011 at 8:55pm.

Accident victim Christopher M. Wells drove a 2004 Ford pickup truck on U.S. Highway 160, 11 miles west of Lamar. David R. Bailey attempted to pass Wells in a 2007 Chevrolet pickup. Bailey slammed his vehicle into Wells vehicle while passing. Wells drove off the roadway and overturned. Bailey’s pickup struck a ditch to conclude the accident.

Bailey fled the scene of the accident. The accident proved fatal for Wells, a 39 year old from Carl Junction, Missouri. Both vehicles were totaled in the Missouri rollover accident. Bailey, the surviving driver, was not tested for intoxication because he fled the scene.

Missouri law empowers law enforcement officers to test surviving drivers of fatal Missouri car accidents for intoxication. Missouri statue §577.021 imposes a duty on law enforcement officers to test surviving drivers of fatal traffic accidents for intoxication. The statute specifically states: “Any state, county, or municipal law enforcement officer who has the power of arrest…shall make all reasonable efforts to administer a chemical test to any person suspected of driving a motor vehicle involved in a collision which resulted in a fatality or serious physical injury.”

The statute does not impose an absolute duty on law enforcement authorities. Instead, the statute commands that the law enforcement officers “make all reasonable efforts.” If drug testing cannot be done with reasonable efforts, the law enforcement officer has not violated the statute. For example, if the surviving driver fled the scene of the accident before law enforcement arrived, the law enforcement officers may not be able to test the surviving driver.

Missouri statute §577.021 ultimately improves the safety of Missouri’s public roadways. The statute states that the chemical tests may be used “as evidence of probable cause to arrest” in a trial. If law enforcement officers use their professional judgment to arrest the surviving driver at the scene of a fatal Missouri car accident, they can defend their judgment with the results of the chemical test. Enabling law enforcement officers to remove dangerous drivers from the road improves traffic safety for all Missourians.

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September 28, 2011

Troy Missouri Car Crashes into Local Store

An elderly driver crashed her vehicle into a Dollar Tree location in Troy, Missouri last Thursday, just after 2:00pm. The Missouri car accident occurred on Magee Road. Both employees and customers were inside the store location during the Missouri car crash.

The elderly driver accidently crashed her small yellow car deep into the store. Witnesses say the shock of the impact could be felt throughout the building. Shattered glass littered the floor and some shelves were crumpled. The Lincoln County Fire Rescue responded to the accident. According to the authorities, no customers or employees were injured in the accident. The elderly driver was sent to an area hospital.

The number of elderly drivers in America is increasing as members of the Baby Boom generation grow older. By 2007, there were more than 20 million drivers over the age of 70 in the United States. As the number of elderly drivers increases, some wonder how the law should adapt.

Some states have adopted shorter license renewal periods for elderly drivers. In Connecticut, for instance, drivers 65 years or older may renew their license every two years instead of six years. In most states, the renewal period for elderly drivers is half or two-thirds of the typical renewal period.

Two states – Illinois and New Hampshire – require elderly drivers over the age of 75 to take a road test to renew their license. Indiana had a road test for drivers age 75 and older, but the state decided to eliminate the requirement in 1999. The District of Columbia may require a driver age 75 and older to take a road test, but the road test is not mandatory. Instead, the examiner may use his or her discretion to administer the test. Other states require vision tests as young as age 40 for license renewal.

Missouri reduces the license renewal terms for elderly drivers. Typically, Missouri drivers must renew their license every six years to continue driving. Missouri does not have a road test or vision test for elderly drivers. As Missouri car accidents caused by elderly drivers are featured in news stories, the public may demand changes in those laws.

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September 24, 2011

Plaintiff Wins $1.1 Million Award in Missouri Drunk Driving Lawsuit

Accident victims Clarence Everett Wood and Mary Wood won a $1.1 million dollar judgment in Missouri drunk driving car accident lawsuit. The plaintiffs sued Huey E. Crocker for causing a Missouri front impact accident. The accident occurred on January 28, 2008 on U.S. Highway 50. Crocker drank heavily before driving his pickup truck. Crocker swerved across the centerline of the roadway and slammed into the Woods’ vehicle head on.

Clarence Wood suffered severe physical injuries. He suffered from a shattered pelvis and an injured knee. Ultimately, the accident victim was billed for more than $237,000 for medical expenses. The medical treatment resulted in a substantial loss of income for the accident victims. Mary Wood sued for her own loss of consortium. The couple sought compensation for their loss as well as punitive damages.

Crocker and his defense attorneys tried to argue against the evidence showing his role as the cause of the Missouri drunk driving accident. The defense argued that the accident victim caused the collision by not wearing a seatbelt and speeding. The defense also attempted to argue that Crocker did not drink before driving. However, Crocker was convicted of driving while intoxicated resulting in injury. Crocker received a five-year sentence for the DUI.

Wood v. Crocker is a good example the types of arguments that defense attorneys make in Missouri car accident lawsuits. Even when the car accident is the result of drunk driving, defense attorneys will attempt to shift blame to accident victim. If the accident victim did not wear a seatbelt, the defense attorneys will attempt to use that fact to decrease the accident victim’s compensation.

The “seat belt defense” is an argument that defense attorneys make when their clients caused an injuries traffic accident. The defense attorney will claim that if the accident victim had worn a seatbelt, the accident victim’s injuries would not have been so severe. In some cases, courts will decrease the accident victim’s award because the accident victim did not wear a seat belt. An accident victim should contact an experienced Missouri car accident lawyer who understands how to combat the seat belt defense.

September 21, 2011

Three Texans Injured in Callaway County Missouri T-Bone Car Collision

Three residents of Texas were injured in a Callaway County Missouri T-bone car accident. The Wednesday morning Missouri car accident occurred at the intersection of westbound Highway 54 and County Road 211.

The accident began as Missourian Harold L. Giboney, 59, pulled her vehicle into the path of a 2002 Dodge driven by Thomas M. Giemann of Lufkin, Texas. The vehicles collided in a Missouri side impact collision. Four people were injured in the accident. Giboney sustained minor injuries. Tiemann and his Texan occupants – Mary J. Tiemann and Bettie Tiemann - suffered moderate injuries. The out-of-state accident victims received medical treatment at the University Hospital in Columbia, Missouri. Giboney sought his own treatment.

Missouri side impact car accidents are a frightening experience for out-of-state accident victims. T-bone collisions are generally sudden and unexpected. Out-of-state accident victims may be unaware of local emergency procedures. They may not be near their families or their primary care doctors. Accident victims may know which hospitals they prefer in their home state, but may be simply carted off to whichever hospital is near the accident.

To regain a since of control, out-of-state accident victims may feel inclined to hire an attorney from their home state to represent their interests in a Missouri car accident lawsuit or in a Missouri car accident settlement. However, out-of-state attorneys may not be well-equipped to handle a Missouri car accident case. Tort laws – the laws that govern negligence and traffic accident liability – are determined by the states. A Texas lawyer may not be familiar with Missouri tort law. Juries may respond better to out-of-state accident victims who are represented by a local attorney. Since a Missouri attorney will be close to the court, out-of-state accident victims with Missouri attorneys may be able to pay lower attorney’s fees. A Texas lawyer who has to travel to Missouri’s courts may bill travel expenses to his clients.

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September 19, 2011

Two Bicyclists Injured in Bates County Missouri Car Accident

Two bicyclists were transported to a local hospital with moderate to serious injuries after a Bates County Missouri bicycle accident. The Bates County Missouri car bicycle accident occurred on Highway 18.

Malissa D. Brooks, 36, and Benjamin L. Saubers, 28, were struck by a 2011 Chevrolet vehicle on September 19, 2011 at 7:05pm. Brooks sustained serious injuries and Saubers suffered moderate injuries. They were transported to Research Medical and Research Main for medical treatment. The accident victims were from Adrian, Missouri and Butler, Missouri.

Bicyclists are at a great risk of serious injury or death when they collide with a car, truck, or SUV. In fact, hundreds of bicyclists lose their lives in fatal traffic accidents each year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 600 cyclists died in fatal traffic accidents in 2009 alone.

Even as the popularity of cycling increases, many Missouri drivers are still not used to sharing the road with bicyclists. For example, many Missouri bicycle accidents occur as motorists attempt to pass cyclists on the road. When a bicyclist rides near the far side of a lane, some motorists attempt to pass within the same lane. The motorist may strike the cyclist while driving within the same lane. Passing a cyclist within the same lane is a dangerous maneuver.

Passing a cyclist within the same lane is not only dangerous, but in violation of Missouri traffic laws. Missouri statute §307.188 states that “[e]very person riding a bicycle or motorized bicycle upon a street or highway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle.” Any maneuver that would be illegal between two motor vehicles is illegal between a motor vehicle and a bicycle. Regardless of the width of the lane, motor vehicles can only pass other motor vehicles after completing a lane change. In order to pass a cyclist, Missouri motorists should first change lanes.

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September 17, 2011

Head-on Collision in Osage County Missouri Kills One, Injures Seven

A deadly Osage County Missouri car accident killed one Missourian and injured an additional seven people. The Missouri head on car accident occurred on September 17, 2011 at 3:20pm on U.S. Highway 63.

The fatal Missouri head on car collision occurred as Loretta J. Thompson of Fulton, Missouri crossed the centerline of US-63. Thompson’s 2004 Chevrolet crashed head on into a 2004 Pontiac driven by Kraig J. Walker of Eugene, Missouri. The collision stopped Walker’s vehicle on the roadway. However, Thompson’s vehicle rotated across the centerline and drove off the roadway. The vehicle crashed into a road ditch, ejecting a passenger.

Thompson was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Two of her occupants – Mariah N. Buchholz, 9, and Billy J. Buchholz, 57 – were seriously injured. Walker was seriously injured as well. Walker’s four occupants – Christopher A. Welch, 28, Taylor R. Fierce, 21, Frederick R. Moore, 23, and Matthew S. Evans, 19 – suffered moderate injuries in the Missouri head on car crash. The injured parties were transported to Capital Region Hospital or University Hospital in Columbia.

According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 6,000 passenger cars are involved in fatal front impact car crashes each year. The sheer volume of fatal Missouri head on collisions speak to their potential for serious injury and death.

Many head on collisions occur as one vehicle crosses the centerline of the roadway into oncoming traffic. Drivers may cross the centerline because they are engaged in dangerous driving distractions in Missouri. Distracting activities like texting, changing radio stations, eating, and adjusting GPS settings drag the drivers’ attention away from safe driving. Distracted drivers may drift out of their lane without even realizing it. Drivers may cross the centerline while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. Drugs and alcohol distort a driver’s perception and ability to respond to the environment. An intoxicated driver may be too impaired to avoid a deadly Missouri head on car accident.

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September 12, 2011

Jefferson County Missouri U-Turn Accident Injures Four Missourians

A Jefferson County Missouri U-turn car accident resulted in serious to minor injuries for four Missourians on September 12, 2011 at 1:15pm. Brett M. Hogan of Hillsboro made a U-turn in a 1994 Saturn SL2 on Missouri Route A near Pioneer Road. Hogan’s vehicle drove into the path of a 2005 Buick Terraza driven by Adam N. Thompson of Desoto. The vehicles collided in the Missouri side impact car accident.

Hogan suffered serious injuries in the accident; she did not wear a seatbelt during the Jefferson County Missouri U-turn car accident. Hogan was transported to Mercy Hospital in Creve Coeur by Survival Flight. Three occupants in the other vehicle were injured – Tosha L. Steffens, 23, Anthony L. Thompson, 4, and Trenton N. Thompson, 2. The injured occupants were taken to the Jefferson Regional Medical Center by Valle Ambulance.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), less than one percent of fatal traffic crashes occur when a vehicle made a U-turn. Nevertheless, U-turn accidents kill more than 100 people a year. Missouri U-turn car accidents may unfortunately result in serious injuries and extensive property damage for dozens of people.

Many Missouri drivers execute U-turns at intersections without knowing whether U-turns are technically legal. Missourians who ask are U-turns legal in Missouri should look to Missouri statute 304.341, which governs turns at intersections in the state of Missouri. According to statute 304.341, U-turns are only permissible if the U-turn “can be made in safety and without interfering with other traffic.” Missouri drivers should attempt U-turns prudently, which exercising due car to avoid Missouri car accidents. Attempting a U-turn near other vehicles on the roadway may be too risky for the law’s limitations.

The statute further restricts U-turns to decrease the risk of U-turn car accidents. The statute prohibits U-turns on any curve in the roadway. U-turns are additionally prohibited “near the crest of a grade” (e.g. near the crest of a hill). Drivers cannot attempt a U-turn in any part of the roadway on which the vehicle cannot be seen by any other driver for three hundred feet in any direction. The statute further emphasizes that U-turns are not allowed where they “may create a traffic hazard.”

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September 10, 2011

Springfield Residents Injured in Greene County Missouri Broadside Accident

Four Missourians were injured in a Greene County Missouri side impact car accident on U.S. Highway 160. The Greene County Missouri broadside car accident occurred on September 10, 2011 just south of Springfield, Missouri.

The Missouri t-bone car collision occurred as Crystal A. Graham, 35, crossed the roadway while driving a 1999 Pontiac. Graham’s Pontiac drove into the path of a 2002 Nissan driven by Leona Divincenzo, 71. The cars collided as Divincenzo’s vehicle crashed into the side of Graham’s Pontiac.

Four Missourians were injured in the accident. Graham suffered the worst physical injuries in the accident. An ambulance took her to Cox South Hospital in Springfield, Missouri. Two young occupants in Graham’s vehicle sustained minor injuries – Amethyst N. Graham, 5, and Ruby J. Graham, 0. Both children were taken to Cox South Hospital for treatment. Divincenzo was taken by ambulance to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Missouri for medical treatment as well.

Some Missouri accidents are clearly the result of negligent conduct. When negligence is obvious based on the occurrence of the accident itself, the common law doctrine of res ipsa loquitur (“the thing speaks for itself”) applies. For example, res ipsa loquitur may apply to a medical malpractice case in which a surgical tool is found in a patient’s body after the surgery is completed. The surgical tool can only be left in the patient’s body as a result of a medical professional’s negligence. Therefore, the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur relieves the patient of needing to show the defendant medical professionals failed to exercise due care.

The doctrine of res ispa loquitur rarely applies to a Missouri car accident lawsuit. Determining liability in a Missouri car accident is often more complex than the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur’s reasoning. Some accidents may be caused by brazen negligence – e.g. heavily intoxicated drivers who cause accidents while driving opposite traffic on a freeway. However, the fault of most car accidents is not as clear.

Accident victims should have Missouri personal injury lawyers who specialize in securing compensation for car accident victims. After receiving medical treatment, contacting a Missouri car accident lawyer is the most important step for an accident victim to take after being injured in a Missouri car accident. Insurance companies are highly skilled in avoiding liability for the accidents of their customers. Insurance companies are equipped with a number of attorneys who specialize helping insurance companies avoid paying compensation to accident victims.

August 31, 2011

Chesterfield Missouri Car Crash Injures Whitfield Teacher and Her Son

A Chesterfield Missouri car accident resulted in serious physical injuries for a popular teacher and her son. Janet Esrock, a teacher and coach at Whitfield High School, was leaving a football game on Friday night in a 1992 Infinity when the accident occurred. Her son, sophomore Jonathan Esrock, was an occupant in her vehicle. Esrock’s vehicle was hit by a speeding Chevy Tahoe that was careening down Wildhorse Creek Road. The accident was a Chesterfield Missouri head on collision. According to local reports, the driver of the speeding Chevy Tahoe was 53 years old. The Chesterfield police stated that the accident could have been alcohol-related. The Missouri State Highway Patrol did not release a crash report for the St. Louis County Missouri car accident.

Esrock and her son had to be extricated from the vehicle by Monarch Fire Protection District paramedics. Both accident victims were taken to St. John’s Mercy hospital. Esrock reportedly needed a respirator to breathe as of Wednesday. Her son underwent surgery for broken bones. According to an email written by Mrs. Ruth E. Greathouse, the Interim Head of School at Whitfield School, both accident victims were under heavy sedation and could not see or speak with anyone from the broader community. The email was made public.

Missouri car accidents may be distressing for entire communities. The accident victim herself has to deal with the physical pain and suffering caused by personal injury. The accident victim and her family have to struggle with the financial consequences of numerous medical bills and an inability to work. Other members of the community – friends, colleagues, students – have to struggle with the uncertainty of the accident victim’s health outcomes. When intoxicated, distracted, and unsafe drivers injure accident victims by negligently causing Chesterfield Missouri car accidents, they harm the entire community that surrounds the accident victim.

Missouri car accident lawsuits cannot heal a community after an accident, but it may alleviate the financial losses sustained by the accident victim. Under Missouri law, accident victims may obtain compensation for the medical expenses resulting from the accident. Accident victims may recover compensation for any wages lost due to missing work because of the accident. Accident victims may even recover compensation for the pain and suffering caused by the accident. Accident victims should contact a Missouri car accident attorney to discuss their legal options after an injurious accident.

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August 29, 2011

Six People Injured in Lincoln County Missouri Stop Sign Accident

Six people were sent to local area hospitals after a Lincoln County Missouri car accident on August 27, 2011 at 7:40 pm. The injured parties included two adults, three young teenagers, and a child. The injuries resulting from the Lincoln County Missouri car collision ranged from serious to minor.

The accident occurred as 19-year-old Angela S. Linhorst of Elsberry, Missouri drove through a stop sign on Highway 47 at Gravens. Linhorst drove a 1999 Ford Taurus into the intersection. In the intersection, the front of Linhorst’s vehicle slammed into the front end of a 2003 Ford F150 driven by James E. Koeneman of Winfield, Missouri. The Lincoln County Missouri front impact car accident totaled Linhorst’s Taurus and resulted in moderate damage to Koeneman’s F150.

Six people sustained physical injuries in the accident. Minor injuries were sustained by Linhorst and three of her occupants – Nichole Lindhorst, 13, Alex Schnieder, 10, Heather Schnieder, 15. Douglas J. Koeneman, a 30-year-old occupant in Koeneman’s F150, suffered moderate injuries. Abigail Schnieder, 13, suffered serious injuries and was sent to Children’s Hospital by Air Evac. The other injured parties were taken to St. Joseph West Hospital by Lincoln County Ambulance.

Running a stop sign involves a heightened risk of a Missouri stop sign car accident. Drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians reasonably assume that a vehicle nearing an intersection will stop at a traffic control device (e.g. stop sign, yield sign, etc.) if a traffic control device is present. If those drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians enter the intersection relying on that assumption and the vehicle disobeys the traffic control device, a serious Missouri car accident may result. The accident victims may be seriously injured.

Running a stop sign is a violation of Missouri traffic law. Missouri statute 304.271 requires that Missouri drivers obey traffic control devices: “The driver of any vehicle shall obey the instructions of any official traffic-control device applicable thereto placed in accordance with the provisions of the law.” If a driver violates this statute while causing a Missouri car accident, the statute violation may be used to prove negligence in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

There are a few exemptions to Missouri’s traffic control device laws, but they do not apply to most Missouri stop sign car accidents. Drivers may disobey posted traffic control devices while they are being “directed by a traffic or police officer.” Traffic and police officers may direct traffic when a traffic light malfunctions. Traffic and police officers occasionally direct traffic against the traffic control devices when a special event creates an atypical amount of traffic. Another exemption only applies to drivers of “authorized emergency vehicle[s].”

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August 13, 2011

Road Debris Causes Jefferson County Missouri Car Accident

Two Lake St. Louis residents were taken to Jefferson Regional Medical Center by Joachim Plattin ambulance after a Jefferson County Missouri car accident. The Jefferson County Missouri single vehicle accident occurred on I-55 near US-61 on August 13, 2011 at 12:55pm.

Cynthia K. Mcavity drove a 1998 BMW Z3 on southbound I-55 this Saturday morning. She swerved around debris in the roadway only to overcorrect. The BMW drove off the right side of I-55 into a rock bluff. After impacting the rock bluff, the car overturned several times.

Cyntian Mcavity and her occupant Peter M. Mcavity suffered moderate injuries. The BMW was totaled. According to a crash report from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, no other vehicles were involved in the Lake St. Louis Missouri car accident.

Single vehicle accident victims may avoid pursuing compensation for their injuries, even when the single vehicle accident was not their fault. Unfortunately, accident victims may assume that legal recourse is impossible because they were not hit by another driver. Skilled Missouri single car accident lawyers understand how to investigate the facts of a single vehicle accident to determine whether another party is actually responsible for the accident.

If a single vehicle accident occurs because a driver had to swerve to avoid a road obstruction, the driver may be able to recover compensation from the party that caused the obstruction. For example, debris may fall onto the roadway from a commercial motor vehicle like an improperly loaded tractor trailer. If a single vehicle accident occurs because drivers must swerve to avoid the tractor trailer’s debris, the accident victims may be able to recover compensation for their injuries.

When tractor trailer debris causes an accident, the truck driver may be liable for failing to properly inspect his vehicle. The trucking company may be liable for the negligent actions for its employees. The manufacturer of the security devices may be liable for a defective product. The single vehicle accident victim may have legal recourse for related injuries, even though there was not a Missouri multi-vehicle accident.

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August 10, 2011

Bates County Missouri Accident Results in Fatality and Injuries

On August 3, 2011, a serious Missouri rear impact car accident resulted in a fatality and three injured Missourians. The Bates County Missouri car accident occurred as both involved vehicles – two 2007 Fords – travelled westbound on Route D, near County Road NE7003. The vehicle driven by Dakota L. Moyers of Clinton, Missouri rear ended the vehicle driven by Ruth E. Althoff of California, Missouri. Moyers then drove off the side of the road and crashed into a tree.

The accident proved fatal for Misty D. Vann of Clinton, Missouri, an occupant in Moyers’s car. She was transported to Cass County Medical Center by LifeFlight Eagle for medical treatment. However, she was pronounced dead in the emergency room by a doctor. Kimberly L. Stout, another adult occupant in Moyers’s vehicle, was seriously injured. Stout was taken to Research Medical Center.

Two minors were injured in the Missouri rear end collision. Justice Rove, a one-year-old occupant in Moyer’s vehicle, suffered moderate injuries. Teenaged driver Moyers sustained serious injuries. Rove and Moyers were taken to Children’s Mercy by Air Ambulance.

Traffic accidents are traumatic for accident victims and their loved ones. Accident victims may suffer serious mental distress as a result of their accident. Anxiety while driving or riding in a motor vehicle after an accident is common. Sleep problems and nightmares may plague an accident victim. Some accident victims may even suffer symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Obtaining compensation for mental distress after a Missouri car accident is possible, but insurance companies will fight the attempt. Accidents should take care to have a Missouri car accident lawyer involved early in the process.

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July 11, 2011

Investigation Continues After Fatal Benton County Accident

58-year-old Ellon Stradford of Lincoln, Missouri lost her life in a Benton County Missouri multivehicle accident on July 11, 2011 in the afternoon. There is no arrest information, but the Missouri State Highway Patrol indicated that an investigation continues.

The accident began as Stradford drove northbound on US-65, north of Sterett Creek. Timothy B. Underwood of Collins, Missouri and Carmen L. Henke of Sedalia, Missouri drove southbound. Stradford failed to negotiate a curve in her 2007 Ford, crossing the center of the roadway. Stradford slammed into the 2006 Chevrolet driven by Underwood. The crash was nearly a Missouri front end collision. The impact created debris that hit the 2010 Ford driven by Henke.

Stradford was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident by Benton County Coroner Jim Reeser. Underwood was taken to St. John’s Hospital by the Staff of Life. Underwood was not wearing a seatbelt during the accident. Whether Stradford wore a safety device is unknown.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) hundreds of Missourians die in car accidents each year. According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), there were 878 fatalities in Missouri car accidents in 2009 alone. Fatal car accidents create tremendous and tragic loss for the state of Missouri.

Car accident fatalities are difficult for family members to deal with because they are sudden. Hard decisions become even more difficult to make in a state of grief. However, families must make difficult decisions when a loved one passes away. One decision that families are confronted with after an accident is whether to file a wrongful death claim.

The statute of limitations restricts the amount of time that a family has to file a wrongful death lawsuit after a Missouri car accident. Statutes of limitations are different in every state. Even within Missouri, the statute of limitations differs by the type of claim. For example, the statute of limitations period in which a family member could file a Missouri wrongful death claim may be shorter than the period in which a living accident victim could file a personal injury claim.

Grieving family members should seek a legal consultation about their rights to make an informed decision about filing a wrongful death claim before it is too late. After the statute of limitations tolls, the right to sue is extinguished.

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July 4, 2011

Independence Day Car Crash in Cass County Missouri Injures Seven

Seven young adults were injured in Cass County Missouri multivehicle car accident on Independence Day at 1:30am. The injured people in the Cass County Missouri car accident were from Raymore, Garden City, Harrisonville, and Pleasant Hill.

The Missouri multivehicle accident occurred as a 2003 Pontiac Grand Am driven by 18-year-old Brandyn P. Stewart overtook another vehicle on MO-58, 1 mile east of Prairie Lane. Stewart overtook and slammed into the rear of a 2000 Ford Mustang driven by 21-year-old Jereth D. Schrock, who was the oldest injured person in the accident. Schrock traveled off the right side of the roadway into a field.

Stewart’s Grand Am continued on the road and crossed the centerline. Stewart crashed head-on into a 2003 Dodge 1500 driven by 18-year-old Trevor D. Williams, who was injured by the Missouri front end collision. William’s Dodge overturned repeatedly until it was off the roadway.

Seven people were injured in the accident. Williams, Joshua A. Ogan, 18, and Taylor N. Hood, 17, were seriously injured. Schrock, Stewart, and Emily K. Warren, 20, were moderately injured. Jaque J. Willis, 18, sustained minor injuries. The young adults were taken to local hospitals by South Metro EMS, Belton EMS, Lifeflight Eagle, and a private vehicle. Research Hospital, Truman Medical Center, Overland Park Regional, and KU Medical Center received the injured parties. The crash report did not indicate that drunk driving played a role in this accident.

Holidays may increase the risk of drunk driving accidents, since the related festivities often include alcohol consumption. Statistics show that in 2008, drink driving contributed to over 3,500 car crashes. Dealing with Missouri drunk driving accidents may be confusing and complicated.

Every drunk driving should complete the following steps after a Missouri drunk driving accident: meet with a Missouri accident attorney, seek counseling, and take a defensive driving course. An experienced accident attorney will help accident victims understand their legal rights after the accident and pursue their rightful compensation in court. Counseling may alleviate some of the emotional distress and flashbacks that result from the accident. Defensive driving courses may help the accident victim avoid future accidents.

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July 2, 2011

Two Marston Residents Killed in Stoddard County Missouri Crash

Two elderly residents from Marston, Missouri were killed in a fatal Missouri car accident this holiday weekend on July 2, 2011 at 12:17pm. The fatal Missouri car accident occurred on US-60 and MO-114 at Morehouse.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Missouri car crash happened when Charlie S. Hammons pulled a 1998 Ford into the path of a 1996 Chevrolet driven by Bryian G. Brown. Brown’s Chevrolet slammed into Hammons’s Ford. The force of the collision pushed both vehicles off the roadway. Hammons was ejected from his vehicle during the accident, though he and the others involved wore seat belts. Both drivers were insured by State Farm.

93-year-old Hammons was transported by Air Evac to St. Francis Hospital for medical treatment. Nevertheless, he was pronounced dead by Cape Girardeau Coroner John Clifton at the hospital. 87-year-old occupant Essie P. Hammons was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident by Stoddard County Coroner Aaron Mathis. Teenaged occupant George D. Brown of New Madrid was moderately injured in the accident. An ambulance took him to Missouri Delta Medical Center.

Injured accident victims often wonder whether they can recover damages for their injuries if the driver at fault died during the accident. Is it possible to sue drivers for personal injuries from a Missouri car accident after they have passed away? The answer depends on whether your jurisdiction has passed a type of law called a “survival statute.” Survival statutes dictate that personal injury cases “survive,” even when a party does not.

Missouri statute §537.020 is Missouri’s survival statute. Statute §537.020 says that causes of action for personal injuries “shall not abate” because the defendant died. Rather the cause of action survives to a representative for the deceased defendant. The statute authorizes a probate court to appoint a personal representative for the deceased. Suing a deceased defendant is often referred to as “suing the estate of the deceased.”

The accident victim will not receive a lower judgment or settlement merely because the defendant has passed away. Missouri law dictates that “the liability and the measure of damages shall be the same as if such death or deaths had not occurred.” If the accident victim would have received a judgment of $25,000 against a living defendant, the accident victim would receive a $25,000 judgment against a deceased defendant.

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June 29, 2011

Two Men Seriously Injured in St. Francois County Missouri Rollover Accident

A man from Park Hills, Missouri and another man from Caledonia, Missouri were seriously injured in a Saint Francois County Missouri rollover accident. The Missouri rollover accident occurred on June 23, 2011 at 6:10pm.

The Missouri rear impact car accident occurred as both vehicles traveled north on Flat River Road, just south of Fairgrounds Drive. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Carl F. Furry of Park Hills, Missouri was traveling at a high rate of speed in a 1988 Ford F150. The front of the F150 slammed into the rear of a 1997 Chevrolet S-10 driven by Robert E. Payne of Caledonia, Missouri. The F150 ran off the right side of the roadway, striking a tree. The Missouri rollover accident ended as the F150 overturned.

Both drivers were seriously injured. Payne wore a seat belt during the accident, while Furry did not. The injured parties were transported to St. John’s Mercy Medical Center in Creve Coeur, Missouri. Furry was taken by Air Evac helicopter and Payne was transported by the Arch Helicopter.

The terrain in Saint Francois County is hilly and sloped. Hilly terrain is beautiful, but it makes controlling speed more difficult. Drivers should monitor their speed in hilly terrain to avoid Missouri rear impact car accidents. According to the United States Census Bureau, there were more than 11,000 speeding-related traffic fatalities each year. In Missouri, more than 400 speeding-related fatalities occur each year. The risk of a fatality dramatically increases at 55 miles per hour. High rates of speed cause a high rate of speeding accident fatalities.

Missouri traffic statutes are designed to deter drivers from speeding. Missouri statute §304.012.1 is the basic speed rule for the state: “A person shall operate a motor vehicle in a careful and prudent manner and at a rate of speed so as not to endanger the property of another or the life or limb of any person and shall exercise the highest degree of care.”

A Missouri driver may violate statute §304.012.1 while driving slower than the posted speed limit. If driving at the posted speed limit endangers person or property, then driving at that rate of speed is in violation of the statute. Drivers often violate this statute by driving the posted speed limit in inclement weather or on poor road conditions. Drivers should operate at a lower rate of speed in those conditions to decrease the risk of an accident.

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June 22, 2011

Pedestrian Injured in Jefferson City Accident on Missouri Blvd

A Jefferson City Missouri pedestrian accident resulted in injuries for a 22 year old on Wednesday. The Cole County pedestrian accident began when Abby Luetkemeyer, 20, turned left from a K-Mart parking lot on the 2300 block of Missouri Blvd. Luetkemeyer turned a 2002 Chevrolet truck into the center lane to merge into traffic. As Luetkemeyer turned, 22 year old pedestrian Serenity Crump walked across Missouri Blvd. Luetkemeyer’s Chevrolet struck Crump. Crump was sent to a local hospital with moderate injuries after the accident. Both Crump and Luetkemeyer were from Jefferson City, Missouri.

The public did not react to the Jefferson City pedestrian accident with surprise. One Jefferson City resident wrote online, “I see people trying to cross MO Blvd on foot all the time. It's insane. The city needs to implement safe ways for pedestrians to get across or this kind of accident will become more prevalent.”

Roadways in Jefferson City are becoming more congested. As a result, an astonishing number of traffic accidents occur there. Data from the Missouri State Highway Patrol ranks Jefferson City as 14th among the 734 Missouri cities in traffic accidents. There are more than 1,000 traffic accidents in Jefferson City each year, many resulting in injury. Pedestrian accidents are likely to increase. Congested streets without crosswalks at regular intervals may be particularly dangerous for pedestrians. Missouri Blvd, and other major roads without sidewalks on both sides, are often the location of pedestrian accidents as well.

Jefferson City Missouri pedestrian accidents may be caused by both the driver and the pedestrian accident victim. If the accident was partially caused by the pedestrian accident victim, the doctrine of comparative fault may decrease the accident victim’s recovery in a lawsuit. The driver’s defense attorney may argue that the pedestrian was partially at fault because she was jaywalking or walking against a stop signal. To defeat these arguments and preserve their compensation, pedestrian accident victims should obtain experienced plaintiff’s lawyers who specialize in Missouri pedestrian accidents.

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June 15, 2011

Greene County Pickup Accident Caused by Mechanical Failure

Two Ash Grove residents were injured when the mechanical failure of a pickup truck caused a Greene County Missouri car accident. The Greene County Missouri car accident happened near Ash Grove, Missouri on June 13, 2011.

Donald K. Bouling was driving on County Road 76 near Ash Grove, Missouri when his 1930 Ford Pickup experienced an unexplained mechanical failure. The pickup suddenly went into reverse and drove off the left side of the road. The pickup crashed through a fence and overturned. The Missouri pickup truck accident injured two Ash Grove residents. Driver Donald K. Bouling, 68, was moderately injured. Occupant Nedra A. Bouling, 69, sustained minor injuries. Both of the accident victims were taken by ambulance to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Missouri.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol did not specify the mechanical failure that caused the Missouri pickup accident. Mechanical failures vary widely because motor vehicles are complex machines. Seemingly small problems may result in a traffic accident.

Several parties contribute to the mechanical integrity of a motor vehicle. Drivers have a duty to properly maintain their motor vehicle. If a driver fails to have the vehicle inspected or refuses repairs, the driver may be legally accountable for injuries caused by related mechanical failure. Mechanics have a duty to perform repairs correctly. If a mechanic improperly repairs a vehicle, the mechanic could be legally responsible for injurious mechanical failure. Manufacturers have a duty to make motor vehicle parts without defects. If a manufacturer created a part with a manufacturing defect or design flaw that contributed to the occurrence of a Missouri car accident, the manufacturer may be responsible.

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June 6, 2011

Taney County Car Chase Ends in Head On Collision

A car chase resulted in a Missouri multivehicle car accident that injured three Missourians in Taney County. The Missouri multivehicle car accident occurred in June 4, 2011 at 8:10pm on Route F, near Branson, Missouri.

The accident occurred as Benjamin K. Sanders drove a 1982 Honda Gold Wing on Route F. Sanders was being pursued by Bernard H. Johnson of Rockaway Beach, Missouri, who drove a 2004 Ford Crown Victoria. Sanders crossed the centerline of the roadway and crashed into a 1997 Ford Taurus driven by Jodi M. Ebersol. The force of that collision pushed Ebersol into a Missouri front impact car accident with Johnson. All three vehicles were totaled. Ebersol, 37, sustained serious injuries. Sanders, 31, suffered moderate injuries. Johnson, 69, sustained minor injuries.

Missouri multivehicle accidents are collisions between more than two vehicles. Determining liability in a multivehicle is difficult because the negligence of multiple parties may have caused the collision. Factual disputes over which party caused which injury become complex as more drivers are involved.

Knowing what to do after a Missouri multivehicle accident is vital for making the best case for compensation. First, call the police. Calling the police is the first step after any car accident, regardless of whether there are serious injuries. Having the accident on record will only benefit your case. If the accident is not recorded, parties may change their story and insurance companies will lower your claim. Second, take pictures. Photographs are excellent documentation of an accident. Photographs should be taken before vehicles are moved from the roadway. Third, get medical care. Accept medical help and describe any pain you feel, no matter how small. Fourth, make sure to follow up with your doctor. Some car accident injuries have delayed symptoms. Brain and spinal cord injuries may not cause in pain or discomfort until later.

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June 4, 2011

Double Fatality in Poplar Bluff Missouri Rollover Accident

A Missouri rollover accident resulted in the death of two Naylor, Missouri residents, including a 3-year-old. Two other people were injured. The Missouri rollover accident occurred on June 4, 2011 at 4:43pm on Business 67 just one mile south of Poplar Bluff, Missouri.

Robin R. Steele of Naylor, Missouri lost control of a 2005 Chevrolet Cavalier, sliding into opposing traffic. The Chevrolet crashed into a 1999 Ford F150 driven by Cleveland S. Koonce of Poplar Bluff, Missouri in the opposite direction. The force of the collision caused both vehicles to overturn.

A woman and child were killed in the Butler County Missouri rollover accident. Robin R. Steele, the 36-year-old Chevrolet driver, and 3-year-old occupant Jayden K. Baugus were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident by Butler County Coroner Jim Akers. Their next of kin have been notified. Trisha K. McGaughy, a 32-year-old Chevrolet occupant from Fairdealing, suffered serious injuries. Cleveland Koonce sustained moderate injuries. The Missouri State Highway Patrol did not report whether any driver or occupant wore a safety device during the accident.

Missouri rollover accidents are disproportionately fatal car accidents. Rollovers are less than 5% of car accidents in Missouri, yet they account for nearly 30% of Missouri traffic fatalities. The greatest contributor to serious injuries and fatalities from rollovers is a roof collapse. When a vehicle’s roof collapses in a rollover accident, safety features like air bags and seat belts can no longer protect the accident victims. As a result, surviving accident victims may suffer traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury.

Determining liability in a Missouri rollover accident is difficult because a number of parties may be responsible. A post-accident investigation may focus on a number of parties. Mechanics may be investigated for negligent work that could have made the vehicle more likely to overturn. Vehicle manufacturing companies may be investigated for potential manufacturing defects that made the vehicle too susceptible to rollover accidents. As in any multivehicle accident, a surviving driver will be held accountable for negligently operating a vehicle.

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May 18, 2011

Callaway County Change Reaction Accident Injures Fulton Girl

Shyan M. Clark from Fulton, Missouri was injured in a Callaway County Missouri rear impact car accident on Missouri Route J. The Missouri chain reaction car accident occurred on May 17, 2011 at 5:15pm.

According to a corrected crash report, James R. Allen, 33, was stopped in a 2003 Saturn behind a vehicle making a left turn. Deborah J. Roberts, 55, failed to stop her 2005 Lincoln before reaching Allen’s vehicle. Roberts slammed her Lincoln into Allen’s Saturn. Shelly Basnett, 40, then struck Robert’s Lincoln in the rear, causing Robert to strike Allen a second time. A 2001 Chevrolet driven by Renee M. Knipfel then crashed into Basnett’s vehicle. All of the drivers were from Fulton, Missouri except Knipfel. Knipfel was from Auxvasse, Missouri.

Shyan M. Clark, age 12, of Fulton, Missouri sustained the only reported injuries in the Missouri rear impact car accident. Clark suffered moderate injuries. She was taken by an ambulance to Callaway County Hospital. The Fulton girl was not wearing her seatbelt during the accident. Clark was an occupant in the Dodge Stratus driven by Basnett.

Missouri child restraint law requires children under the age of 15 to wear a seat belt while in an operating vehicle. Missouri children must wear a seat belt regardless of their position in the vehicle (e.g. either the front seat or the back seat). Unlike the Missouri seat belt law for adults, Missouri’s child restraint law is a primary enforcement law. The child restraint law’s primary enforcement status means that law enforcement officers can and will pull over vehicles solely because a child is not properly restrained by a safety device like a seat belt, car seat or booster seat. There are few exemptions to Missouri’s child restraint law: namely agricultural purposes and parades.

Missouri’s child restraint law decreases the risk of serious injury and death for a child involved in a Missouri car accident. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 184,000 children sustain bodily injuries in car accidents in a year. Studies indicate that seat belt laws effectively reduce the car accident injuries of children. The CDC further recommends that children ages 12 and younger avoid sitting in the front seat of a vehicle. Sitting in the back seat eliminates the risk of child injury caused by airbags, the forces of which a smaller body has trouble absorbing without injury. Child appropriate safety devices and smart choices for children save countless lives each year.

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May 14, 2011

St. Louis Woman Dies in Fatal Head On Car Accident

A St. Louis woman died in a St. Louis County Missouri car accident on northbound I-55 near Union Road. The St. Louis front impact car accident occurred on May 14, 2011 at 11:50pm.

Hai M. Pham, 46, drove the wrong way on northbound I-55 in a 2006 Toyota Sienna into oncoming traffic late Saturday night. Pham crashed head on into a 2000 Toyota Camry driven by John D. Casalone, 51.

Casalone died in the St. Louis Missouri front end collision. Casalone’s fatality was pronounced at the scene of the accident by Brian Torno of the Mehlville Fire Department near midnight. Casalone’s next of kin has been notified. Pham was seriously injured in the St. Louis Missouri front end accident. He was taken to St. Anthony’s Medical Center by Lemay ambulance. Neither of the men wore a safety device during the accident.

When a fatal car accident is caused by carelessness or misconduct, the accident victim’s family can file a successful wrongful death claim. Missouri wrongful death law creates classes of relatives who can bring a wrongful death suit for compensation. Class (1) is comprised of the spouses, the children, the lineal descendants such as grandchildren, and the parents of the deceased accident victim. Class (1) family members are the first relatives entitled to compensation after a wrongful death. If there are no class (1) relatives, then class (2) relatives may be entitled to compensation. Class (2) includes the deceased’s brothers and sisters and their descendants.

Relatives may recover compensation for funeral expenses, medical bills, and the pain and suffering that the deceased endured from the onset of the accident until death. The family members of the accident victim may additionally recover the reasonable value of services, consortium, companionship and support that the deceased provided. Missouri wrongful death law is complex. Experienced legal representation is critical obtaining compensation after a loved one dies in an accident caused by carelessness.

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May 11, 2011

Pike County Pedestrian Accident Kills Curryville Boy

A Curryville man died in a Pike County Missouri pedestrian accident on May 11, 2011 at 6:10pm. The Missouri pedestrian accident occurred on Missouri Route M at Pike County Road 457.

Samuel E. Borntrager was killed in a Missouri pedestrian accident. The 12-year-old boy was from Curryville, Missouri. Borntrager attempted to cross rural Route M when he was struck by a 1989 Ford F150 pickup truck. The F150 was driven by James C. Bufford, a 66-year-old man from Curryville, Missouri. The Missouri State Highway Patrol did not report any injuries for Bufford. Borntrager’s next of kin has been notified.

Thousands of pedestrians are killed each year in auto accidents. Moreover, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association estimates that roughly 75,000 pedestrians are injured in auto accidents each year. The enormity of the damage caused by Missouri pedestrian accidents means that Missouri accident lawyers must be aware of the traffic ordinances and tort laws that affect the cases of their injured clients.

A pedestrian victim’s claim may be affected by the doctrine of comparative negligence. A pedestrian accident is occasionally the result of negligent behavior of both the driver and the pedestrian. According to the doctrine of comparative negligence, if the court finds the pedestrian is partially at fault for the accident, the court reduces the pedestrian’s damage award. The attorney for the negligent driver may raise the defense of comparative negligence and argue that the pedestrian victim was partially at fault for the accident. The driver’s attorney will argue that the pedestrian caused the accident by jaywalking or disobeying a traffic control device such as a stop sign. If the court agrees, the pedestrian’s damage award may be reduced by as much as 99% in Missouri.

Pedestrian accident victims need skilled plaintiff lawyers to represent them. A good Missouri accident plaintiff attorney will investigate the facts of the Missouri pedestrian accident to find evidence of the driver’s negligence. The plaintiff lawyer will argue that the driver was at fault for the accident, not the pedestrian.

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May 9, 2011

Quadruple Fatality of Rolla Residents in Miller County Accident

A Miller County Missouri car accident caused a quadruple fatality and injured 2 additional people on May 8, 2011 at 10:43am. The Missouri side impact car accident occurred on MO-42 at Hawken Cemetery Road.

22-year-old Murali Bottu, a resident of Rolla, Missouri, lost control of his 1997 Toyota Camry while driving westbound on MO-42. Bottu crossed the centerline of the roadway. Bottu then overcorrected and the Toyota flipped sideways on the road. A 2001 Chevrolet Silverado driven by Darren J. Denter struck Bottu’s sideways vehicle on the passenger side. The force of the Missouri side impact collision pushed both vehicles off the roadway. Both vehicles were totaled by the accident. The vehicles were towed from the scene of the accident.

Four young adult residents of Rolla, Missouri – all occupants in Bottu’s Toyota – were killed in the Missouri side impact car accident. 22-year-old Sri H. Chittury (from Visakhapatnam, India), 23-year-old Dheeraj Gudlawar (from Hyderabad, India), 21-year-old Srikanth Ravi (from Hyderabad, India) and 24-year-old Srupun Velumula (from Karimnagar, India) were all pronounced at the scene of the accident by Miller County Coroner Rick Callahan at 12:10pm. Driver Bottu was seriously injured in the accident. He was life flighted to the University of Missouri Hospital in Columbia, Missouri for medical treatment. Driver Denter refused medical attention at the scene of the accident. Denter’s passenger, Robert E. Davis of Cedar Hill, was taken by Miller County ambulance to the Lake Regional Hospital in Osage Beach, Missouri.

When a death is caused by negligence, carelessness, or misconduct, it constitutes a “wrongful death.” Missouri wrongful death statutes allow certain family members to recover whatever damages the accident victim could have “if death had not ensued” in the accident. For example, if the accident victim experienced pain and suffering as a result of the accident before passing away, certain members of his family could recover for that pain and suffering.

If the accident victim was an occupant, he is not barred from suing his driver. Status as a foreign citizen does not preclude recovery either. If a foreign citizen is the victim of a Missouri car accident, certain members of his family may still obtain compensation through Missouri wrongful death statutes.

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May 7, 2011

Jefferson County Crash Fatal for Teen and Injures Seven More

A Jefferson County rear impact car accident killed a teenager from Bonne Terre, Missouri. The Missouri rear end car accident injured an additional seven people from Festus, Bonne Terre, French Village, and Crystal City. The Missouri car accident occurred on May 1, 2011 at 12:10pm.

The accident occurred as two vehicles were stopped at a red light on southbound US-67 at Meyer Road: a 2005 Chevrolet Impala driven by Michael A. Rayfield from Festus, Missouri and a 1997 Ford Escort driven by Holly J. Duncan. Daniel B. Torrence, driving a 2008 Pontiac G8, failed to stop. Torrence crashed into the rear of Duncan’s Ford in the Missouri rear end collisions. The force of the accident caused Duncan’s Ford to crash into the rear of Rayfield’s Chevrolet.

Thomas A. Duncan, age 15, from Bonne Terre, Missouri suffered the only fatality in the Missouri three vehicle car accident. He was first taken to St. John’s Mercy Medical Center in Creve Coeur, then the Children’s Hospital by Survival Flight. Unfortunately, his fatality was pronounced at Children’s Hospital by Dr. David Limbrick. His next of kin has been notified.

Seven other Missouri residents were injured in the crash. 9-year-old Joshua Duncan and 14-year-old Caleb Reed were both seriously injured. The Arch helicopter transported both of them to Cardinal Glennon Hospital. Holly Duncan, 11-year-old Paul Duncan, Daniel Torrence, and 14-year-old Blaise Torrence sustained minor injuries. Joachim Plattin Ambulance transported them to the Jefferson Regional Medical Center. All of the injured parties were minors except for Holly Duncan, 39, and Daniel Torrence, 37.

Suing to obtain compensation for the death or serious injuries of a child can be an emotionally wrenching experience for parents. Parents and legal guardians are often caught unawares by the process; most parents do not expect to see their children suffer to that extent. Parents should rest assured that their children have an equal legal right to obtain compensation for their injuries as adult accident victims. Minors may obtain compensation for present and future medical expenses, loss of income and earning capacity, and other losses they have sustained in a Missouri car accident. Parents and legal guardians should work closely with an experienced Missouri attorney every step of the process to make sure their children’s rights are well-protected.

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May 4, 2011

Franklin County Three Vehicle Accident Seriously Injures Motorcyclist

A motorcycle driver was seriously injured in a Franklin County Missouri motorcycle accident on May 3, 2011 at 3:09pm. The Missouri motorcycle accident occurred on Highway A near Julie Lane. Clestin J. Hohlt from Union, Missouri was stopped in traffic in a 2003 Jeep Cherokee. Harold V. Huston of Wildwood, Missouri was stopped behind Hohlt’s Jeep in a 2011 Harley Davidson MC.

William M. Mueller from Washington, Missouri caused the Missouri motorcycle accident when he crashed into the back of Hutson’s Harley Davidson with a 1988 Ford F150. The crash pushed the motorcycle off the roadway. The motorcycle overturned, ejecting Hustson. Mueller’s F150 continued and crashed into Hohlt’s Jeep, causing a Missouri rear impact car accident. Huston’s Harley Davidson sustained moderate damage, along with the Jeep Cherokee. The F150 was totaled.

Hutson was seriously injured in the accident. He was transported by Air Evac to St. John’s in Creve Coeur, Missouri. Missouri motorcycle accident injuries are often serious because motorcycles lack the structural protection of other vehicles. As a result, motorcycle riders often suffer serious injuries or death in multivehicle accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle riders sustain 98% of fatalities in accidents involving motorcycles and passenger vehicles. Thousands of motorcycle riders die in motorcycle accidents each year.

Given the potential for serious injuries and death in Missouri motorcycle crashes, motorcycle riders should observe a number of riding safety tips. Motorcycle riders should take care to be seen by other drivers. Keep the motorcycle’s headlamps on, even during the day, to increase visibility. Wear bright clothing while riding. Position the motorcycle so other drivers can see it – avoid blind spots and the area behind large vehicles. To avoid injury in the event of an accident, wear a motorcycle helmet.

Wearing an appropriate motorcycle helmet may decrease the likelihood of dangerous motorcycle accident injuries. Protective headgear for motorcycle riders is required on interstate highways in Missouri. Protective headgear must be “reasonable” according to the specifications mandated by Missouri’s state government. Wearing a helmet is not required for a motorcycle rider over the age of 21 who is not on an interstate highway. Nevertheless, wearing a helmet whenever riding a motorcycle is recommended to prevent serious injuries and fatalities.

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May 3, 2011

Ray County Man Killed When Driver Fell Asleep at the Wheel

A man was killed in a fatal Ray County Missouri car accident when a driver fell asleep at the wheel. The Missouri front impact car crash occurred at 5:14pm on May 1, 2011.

Robert G. Aliff from Richmond, Missouri fell asleep behind the wheel of a 1996 Jeep Cherokee on eastbound Business MO-10, east of Swafford Road. Aliff drove the vehicle across the centerline into oncoming traffic. Gladys M. Stafford, also from Richmond, was unable to avoid a Missouri head on collision. Aliff’s Jeep crashed into Stafford’s 1995 Chevrolet Corsica head on.

Bruce W. Sodders, an occupant of Stafford, passed away in the Missouri front end collision. The 59-year-old from Richmond, Missouri was pronounced at the scene of the accident by Ray County Coroner Jim Garrison. His next of kin has been notified. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, he wore his safety device during the accident.

Several parties suffered injuries as a result of the Missouri front impact car accident. Stafford suffered moderate injuries. She was transported by Life Light to Liberty Hospital in Liberty, Missouri. Aliff, the driver who fell asleep, sustained moderate injuries. He was also transported to a hospital for medical treatment.

Drowsy driving causes many Missouri car accidents. Authorities estimate that drowsy driving causes a roughly 1,550 deaths per year and injures over 70,000 people. These estimates may be low considering how difficult it is to determine whether drowsiness contributed to an accident after the fact. States inconsistently report drowsiness in accident crash reports. Missouri, for example, does not have a code for driver fatigue or falling asleep while driving. Most states lack drowsiness identification training for law enforcement officials.

Drowsy driving is a common phenomenon. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 60% of adult drivers have engaged in drowsy drowsing in a year. 37% of adult drivers admit to falling asleep at the wheel – a figure that amounts to over 100 million Americans. Millions of Americans are affected by drowsy driving each year. When drowsy driving causes a fatal Missouri car accident, the accident victim’s family may be able to file a successful Missouri wrongful death claim. Wrongful death compensation may include damages for funeral expenses and pecuniary loss. Missouri’s wrongful death is limited in who can file a claim after the death of a loved one and when a claim may be brought.

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April 30, 2011

Cooper County Missouri Crash Injures Three from Boonville

A Cooper County Missouri car accident on Old Hwy 40 at Dunkles Road sent three Boonville citizens to the hospital for medical treatment. The Missouri rollover auto accident occurred on April 29, 2011 at 5:57pm.

18-year-old India R. Bloom from Boonville, Missouri attempted to make a left turn while driving a 1997 Ford Escort. As she crossed the centerline of the roadway, her vehicle was struck by a 2001 Dodge Truck. Melvin L. Gregory, 53, of Boonville drove the Dodge. After striking Bloom’s vehicle, Gregory’s truck drove off the roadway and down a ravine. The truck overturned, coming to rest on its side.

Gregory and his occupants sustained the only reported injuries of the accident. Gregory, who was reportedly not wearing a safety device, suffered moderate injuries. EMS transported him to Cooper County Memorial Hospital in Booneville, Missouri. Occupant Kendy H. Gregory, 45, sustained serious injuries. She was transported by Staff for Life to the University Hospital in Columbia, Missouri. Kasey J. Terrell, only 8 years old, also sustained injuries in the accident. Her injuries were less severe than the others, but she was the only injured party wearing a safety device.

The potential for injury in a Missouri rollover car crash is high. Rollover car accidents account for a disproportionate number of car fatalities. 30% of car accident fatalities are from rollover car accidents, while they only account for 5% of car accidents. The heightened risk of fatality may a result of vehicle design. Trucks, SUVs, and minivans are more likely to rollover because they have a higher center of gravity. Poorly constructed rollover bars and inadequate roof strength contribute to the serious injuries caused by Missouri rollover accidents. These serious injuries may include traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, or neck injury, among others. The devastating injuries that result from rollover car accidents highlight the importance of wearing a safety device while in an operating motor vehicle.

Investigations following a rollover accident can be complicated affairs. While an investigation may be simple if the accident was the result of obviously negligent driving, the cause of a rollover accident is often more difficult to discover. Defective tires, potholes, driver negligence, and items left in the road are some of the many contributing factors to rollover accidents.

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April 27, 2011

Iron County Missouri Rear End Accident Injures Three

A Missouri rear end collision in Iron County, Missouri has left three Missourians injured. The accident occurred on MO-21 at 12:20pm on April 26, 2011.

Both vehicles traveled northbound on MO-21, just 2 miles south of Arcadia. Jeffrey A. Thomas of Annapolis, Missouri slowed a 1997 Ford to turn right into a driveway. Lakota A. Wilkins, also of Annapolis, crashed a 2007 Chevrolet into the rear of Thomas’s vehicle. The Missouri rear impact car accident damaged both vehicles and injured three people in Thomas’s vehicle.

Thomas sustained injuries in the collision along with occupants Leo C. Thomas from Annapolis and Jeremiah E. Jackson of Ironton, Missouri. Two of the injured parties were taken by ambulance to Iron County Hospital in Pilot Knob. Leo Thomas was taken to Mineral Area Regional Medical Center in Farmington. No injuries were reported for Wilkins. All parties wore a safety device.

Inclement weather conditions often create hazards on the road that increase the likelihood of Missouri rear end car accidents. Over one million accidents per year are weather-related crashes. The recent onslaught of high winds, rain, and apparent tornadoes means drivers need to be more careful on the road to avoid rear end car accidents. Precipitation decreases the friction of pavement so suddenly slowing a vehicle is risky. Precipitation decreases visibility, so identifying sudden changes in traffic conditions is more difficult.

Weather conditions impact accident risk, so drivers should change their driving strategies. Drivers typically should operate their vehicles at a lower speed during inclement weather. Drivers should also take care not to follow other vehicles too closely. While drivers should always leave a substantial distance between themselves and the vehicle in front of them, this rule of thumb becomes imperative when the pavement is slick from rain. Driving prudently is a good way to avoid Missouri rear end collisions during inclement weather.

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April 25, 2011

St Louis County Accident Injures Teenager from Pacific, Missouri

A teenager from Pacific, Missouri was taken to the hospital after a St. Louis County Missouri car accident occurred on I-44 at 10:50am on April 25, 2011.

17 year old John T. Norton from Pacific, Missouri was taken to St. Clare Hospital in Fenton by Eureka Ambulance after a Missouri side impact collision. Norton, who was driving a 1995 Pontiac Firebird, veered into another lane while driving on eastbound I-44, west of Fox Creek Road. The left side of the Firebird struck a 2008 Chevrolet Silverado in a Missouri side impact car accident. The Silverado was driven by Gary M. Miles, 59, of Beaufort, Missouri. After striking Miles’s vehicle, Norton travelled across two lanes and struck the concrete median barrier. Miles pulled over into the right shoulder after the accident. Teenaged Norton sustained the only reported injuries in the accident.

Car accidents are the leading cause of death for teens in America. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), teens between the ages of 16 and 20 account for the largest number of car accidents and car accident fatalities in a year. Younger, less experienced drivers are at substantial risk of injury and death in Missouri car accidents. Teen drivers lack knowledge gleaned over time from driving experience about safe driving and accident avoidance. The statistics indicate that Missouri driver education for teens should be seriously considered.

Teen driver education courses provide practical information about Missouri traffic laws, safe driving, and even car maintenance. Through driver education courses, teens may learn how to change flat tires after a blowout without interfering with traffic or causing a Missouri car accident. Teens may also learn how to use jumper cables when having battery trouble. Accident evasion and avoiding dangerous drivers may be a part of the teen driver education curriculum. The perils of driver distractions like text messaging and eating may additionally be discussed. Teens are not the only drivers who would benefit from driver education. Even experienced drivers should consider Missouri defensive driver courses.

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April 20, 2011

Head-On Collision in Lafayette County Injures Four Including Toddler

A Missouri front end car accident injured four Missourians in Lafayette County, Missouri. The Missouri front end collision occurred on April 18, 2011 at 5:23pm.

Both vehicles were driving in opposite directions along the center of Rolling Hill just east of MO-213. A 2004 Hyundai driven by Melanie R. Dysart, 23, of Dover, Missouri traveled eastbound in the center of the roadway. A 1989 Nissan driven by Tiffany R. Earnest, 19, of Higginsville, Missouri traveled westbound in the center of the same roadway. The two vehicles met at a hillcrest and collided head-on.

Four Missourians were injured in the accident; most were not wearing a safety device. Earnest suffered serious injuries. Higginsville E.M.S. took her to the Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri. Gary J. Earnest, 22, was also seriously injured. The Lifelight Eagle air ambulance transported him to Truman Medical Center. Dysart was moderately injured in the Missouri front end car accident. Higginsville E.M.S. transported her to Centerpoint Hospital.

Tilan L. Sinkler, a toddler of only 1 year of age, sustained minor injuries. He was the only injured party who wore a safety device. The toddler would have likely suffered greater injuries if he was not secured in an appropriate safety device.

Protecting small children from serious injury and death in a Missouri front end car collision is primary purpose of child passenger restraint laws. Missouri’s child passenger restraint law requires that any child less than 4 years old must be secured in a child restraint system. If the child is under 4 years of age, the child’s weight is irrelevant to the requirement. Any child less than 40 pounds in weight, regardless of age, is required to be secured in a child restraint system. A booster seat or child restraint system is required for children who weigh more than 40 pounds but less than 80 pounds.

Missouri’s child passenger restraint law protects the safety of children on the road. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, child passenger restraint systems reduce the risk of death for toddlers ages 1 to 4 years in a Missouri car accident by 54%. Child restraint systems decrease the risk of infant death in a car accident by 71%. Utilize a booster seat or child restraint system for any passenger under the age of 8 to prevent serious injury and death in Missouri.

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April 18, 2011

Wrong Way Accident in Butler County Missouri Causes Extensive Damage

A two vehicle accident caused extensive damage in Butler County, Missouri. The Missouri wrong way car accident occurred on April 17, 2011 at 5:35 pm. The accident was located on Apple Street at Mill Street in Popular Bluff, Missouri.

Joshua R. Stewart, 27, drove the wrong way down a one way street in a 2008 Ford Crown Victoria. When he reached an intersection, Stewart failed to yield to traffic. Stewart crashed his vehicle into the 1997 Pontiac driven by Georgia N. Dudley, 23.

Both vehicles sustained extensive damage in the Missouri car crash. Dudley was reportedly not wearing her safety device. Dudley suffered the only reported injury of the accident. An ambulance took Dudley to the Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center. Both Stewart and Dudley were from Poplar Bluff, Missouri.

Missouri wrong way auto accidents may have several contributing factors. The driver at fault may be confused or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Recklessness and driver negligence may also be the cause. Drivers may incorrectly read a GPS device or a navigation application on a smartphone. Regardless of the cause, Missouri wrong way accidents endanger highway safety. Wrong way accidents are particularly dangerous because they often double as Missouri front end collisions.

If you see a wrong way driver on a roadway while driving, take care to avoid and alert the wrong way driver. Avoid the wrong way driver by safely pulling over to the shoulder of the roadway and stopping. If there is no shoulder on the roadway, pull over to the right and attempt to safely stop your vehicle. When stopping or pulling over, stay aware of the traffic behind and to the side of you. Alert the wrong way driver by sounding your horn. Put on your lights and flash your highbeams to provide additional notice to the wrong way driver. Stay aware of your surroundings and accommodate the wrong way driver as he or she adjusts. Hopefully, the extensive damage and personal injury often caused by Missouri wrong way car collisions will not occur.

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April 9, 2011

Four Missourians Injured in Burning Car Accident in Madison County Missouri

Four injured Missourians and two totaled vehicles are the result of a Madison County, Missouri car accident after a driver failed to stop at a stop sign.

The Missouri side impact car accident occurred when Amber M. Lewis, 27, of Bixby, Missouri failed to stop at a stop sign on Business 67 in Cherokee Pass while driving a 1997 Plymouth. Lewis drove into the path of Whitney N. Kemp, 18, of Fredericktown, Missouri. Kemp was driving a 2000 Mercury. The crash caused both vehicles to run off the roadway, down an embankment. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, both vehicles were burned in the accident.

Both drivers were injured, as well as their passengers. Lewis suffered moderate injuries. Her occupant, Bruce E. Copeland of Bixby, Missouri sustained moderate injuries in the accident. Lewis and Copeland were taken by ambulance to Madison Medical Center in Fredericktown, Missouri. Neither wore a safety device during the Missouri auto accident.

Robert D. Berry of Fredericktown, Kemp’s occupant, suffered serious injuries in the Missouri car crash. Kemp suffered minor injuries. They were taken to the Parkland Hospital in Farmington, Missouri by ambulance and private conveyance, respectively.

Missouri statute §304.271 requires drivers to obey the instructions of a traffic-control device, including stop signs. The statute only exempts drivers of authorized emergency vehicles, or drivers being directed to disobey the . A driver who fails to stop at a stop sign violates the statute. Violating §304.271 is a class C misdemeanor.

Statute violations can be used to prove driver negligence. A victim of a successful negligence claim after a Missouri car accident will show that: (1) the driver owed a duty to the victim, (2) the driver breached the duty, (3) the breach was the cause of the injury to the victim, and (3) the victim has sustained a loss as a result of the breach and injury. Traffic statutes establish the legal duties which drivers owe to passengers, pedestrians and other drivers. When a driver violates a traffic statute and causes an accident, they may also be breaching a duty owed to the victim. If the victim can prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant was negligent, the defendant must pay the victim compensation for injuries sustained.

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April 6, 2011

Four Injured in St Clair County Missouri Broadside Collision Near Osceola

Four injured Missourians and two totaled vehicles are the result of a Missouri side impact collision at the intersection of MO-13 and Route T on April 2, 2011at 3:35pm.

This St Clair County Missouri car accident occurred as George F. Hays, 55, of Weaubleau, Missouri drove a 2001 Chevrolet 2500 on MO-13. Scott A. Keeler, 40, of Osceola, Missouri was traveling on Route T at its intersection with MO-13 in a 2007 Ford Police Interceptor. Keeler failed to yield and pulled into Hays’s path. The front end of Hays’s vehicle slammed into the passenger side of Keeler’s vehicle.

Four people were injured in the Missouri side impact car accident. Hays was seriously injured. Hays’s occupant Benjamin W. Hays, 30, of Weaubleau, Missouri was moderately injured. Keeler was seriously injured. His occupant, Billy D. Wood, 22, of Collins, Missouri was moderately injured. According to reports, the drivers and passengers were all wearing their safety devices. Keeler was transported by helicopter to St. Johns Hospital in Springfield, Missouri. The others were taken to the Sac-Osage Hospital in Osceola, Missouri. Both vehicles were totaled in the failure-to-yield accident.

Missouri statute §304.351, also known as Clutch’s Law, regulates failure-to-yield traffic accidents. A relatively recent change in the law imposed increased penalties for failing to yield to existing traffic on a roadway. If the failure-to-yield violation results in physical injury, serious physical injury, or death to a person, there is an additional penalty and driver’s license suspension.

A victim of a Missouri car accident can use a violation of Clutch’s Law as evidence of negligence in a lawsuit to recover compensation for injuries. If the statute was intended to protect the victim from the harm that caused the injury to the victim, the statute violation will help establish that the defendant’s negligence. A successful negligence claim results in compensation paid to the victim for the injuries sustained in the accident.

The role that statute violations play in proving negligence is different across jurisdictions. In some jurisdictions, the statute violation establishes that the defendant behaved negligently. In others, a statute violation is mere evidence of negligence and the victim has to show more evidence.

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April 4, 2011

Man Killed in Perry County Missouri Head-On Collision Between Two F150s

One man was killed and another man moderately injured in a Missouri front impact car accident when two F150s crashed on Route H in Perry County Missouri on April 4, 2011 at 8:07am.

Michael T. Tomkins, 39, of Herrin, Illinois was driving on Route H just .1 miles east of PCR 936 when his right wheel dropped off the side of the roadway. Tomkins overcorrected, causing the 1998 Ford F150 he drove to partially travel off the other side of the roadway. James E. Buck, 44, of Cape Girardeau, Missouri tried to swerve a 2004 Ford F150 off the roadway to avoid hitting Tomkins. Nevertheless, the two F150s collided in the Missouri front end collision, causing Buck’s vehicle to overturn.

Tomkins was pronounced dead at the scene by the Assistant Coroner at 8:45am. Buck was transported by the Perry County Ambulance to the Perry County Memorial Hospital with moderate injuries. Both of their vehicles were totaled. Tomkins was reportedly not wearing his safety device.

Missouri statute §307.178 currently requires that all drivers and front seat passengers wear a seat belt. The statute allows for secondary enforcement, meaning that law enforcement officers do not stop or detain anyone solely because of the seat belt law. Postal workers and agricultural workers are exempted from the law while performing their duties. People with a medical reason for not wearing their seat belt are also exempted from the law.

Missouri safety advocates have repeatedly pushed to change the law. MoDOT and the state transportation director want lawmakers to change §307.178 to allow primary enforcement. Primary enforcement would allow law enforcement to pull over cars in which some is not wearing a seatbelt. Safety advocates additionally want the law to require all passengers to wear a safety belt, not just front seat passengers.

Not wearing a seat belt greatly increases the risk of Missouri serious injuries and fatalities. According to MoDOT, 80% of Missouri teens that died in car accidents were not wearing a seat belt. Two thirds of Missouri car accident fatalities were people who were not wearing their seat belt. Only 76% of Missourians wear their seatbelt while driving – a rate that lags behind the national average. Wearing a seatbelt is key to preventing Missouri car accident injuries.

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April 3, 2011

Charges Pending After Vehicle Catches Fire in Clay County Collision

An investigation continues after a destructive Clay County car accident causes a vehicle to drive off the roadway and catch fire on April 2, 2011 at 9:30am.

Douglas E. Beckner, 41, of Kansas City, Missouri traveled on M92 in a 2004 Nissan Frontier on Saturday morning. Beckner made a left turn onto Five Corners Road into the path of the 1991 Dodge Ram driven by Derek B. Johnson, 18, of Kearney, Missouri. Beckner’s vehicle was left in the middle of the roadway after the Missouri side impact collision. Johnson’s Dodge drove off the roadway into a field and caught fire.

Beckner was moderately injured in the crash. His occupant, Kyle J. Beckner, suffered minor injuries. E.M.S. transported both of the injured parties to North Kansas City Hospital. No injuries were reported for Johnson. Both vehicles were totaled and towed from the scene.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, an investigation into the accident continues. Charges are pending. The Missouri car accident was investigated by Trooper B. Sanson. Trooper Sanson was assisted by Sergeant R. Fletcher and the Clay County Sheriff’s Department.

The specific charges being considered by the authorities in this accident remain unreported. Sanctions after Missouri auto accidents range from fines to jail time. Fines are imposed after Missouri car accidents in which traffic violations play a role. For example, fines may be imposed for driving in excess of the speed limit or failure to obey a traffic control device. At the other extreme, the prosecution may charge vehicular homicide in the event of a fatality caused by the accident. Driving while intoxicated is a charge often used after auto accidents involving drugs and alcohol. The party-at-fault must handle the cost of any criminal sanctions in addition to any compensation that may be owed to the victim of the accident. In fact, criminal sanctions against the party-at-fault may help the accident victim’s claim.

Criminal sanctions against the party-at-fault may bolster the victim’s negligence claim. Even a typical traffic violation can be used as evidence of negligence. A statute violation establishes negligence when the victim of the violation was the type of person the statute intended to protect, and the injury sustained by the victim was the kind that the statute aimed to prevent. Drivers, occupants, and pedestrians are the type of people that most traffic statutes intend to protect. Missouri car accident injuries are the kind of injuries that traffic statutes aim to prevent. When drivers, occupants, or pedestrians are injured in car accidents involving a statute violation, they can use that violation to better argue for compensation.

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March 30, 2011

Two Local Women Crash Into Rock Wall Off Side of I-270 in St Louis County Missouri Car Accident

Two women were moderately injured in a St. Louis County Missouri car accident on southbound I-270 on March 25, 2011 at 3:24pm. One driver struck the other while changing lanes in a Missouri side impact collision.

Stephanie L. Mayo, 34, of Maryland Heights, Missouri drove a 1996 Ford Thunderbird on southbound I-270 near highway 21. Mayo changed lanes, causing the accident. Mayo crashed into the 2004 Chevrolet Malibu driven by Diane L. Slattery, 67, of St. Louis, Missouri. Both vehicles drove off the right side of the road and slammed into a rock wall.

Both Slattery and Mayo were moderately injured in the Missouri car accident. Slattery was taken to St. Anthony’s Medical Center by Mehlville E.M.S. for medical treatment. Abbort E.M.S. took Mayo to St. John’s Medical Center. Both vehicles were totaled and towed away from the scene of the accident. Both women were wearing their safety device. According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, Mayo was a Missouri uninsured driver.

Missouri defensive driving courses provide invaluable lessons in accident prevention, injury minimization, and dealing with aggressive drivers. Driving well is not enough to avoid car accidents. Learning how to avoid collisions when other drivers make mistakes (e.g. not checking their blind spot before changing lanes) is essential to driving safety. Learning how to identify dangerous drivers and quickly respond to them minimizes the risk of a Missouri auto accident. Minimizing the risk of car collisions prevents personal injury, decreases vehicle damage, and saves money. Many states offer insurance credits to drivers who take defensive driving courses. Regardless of whether insurance credits are available, Missouri defensive driving courses are recommended for drivers of any skill level.

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March 28, 2011

Ten Missourians Injured In Adair County Missouri Failure-to-Yield Car Collision

Ten Missourians were sent to the hospital for the medical treatment of Missouri car accident injuries after an Adair County, Missouri car crash. The collision occurred on MO-149, 8 miles north of Novinger, at 2:38pm on March 27, 2011.

Driver Charles C. McFarland, 52, of Novinger failed to yield the right of way to highway traffic as he left Grapevine Road to enter MO-149. McFarland’s 1987 GMC was hit by driver Jennifer L. Belzer, 41, of Columbia. She had been traveling on MO-149 in a 1999 GMC before the Missouri car accident.

McFarland suffered moderate injuries, along with his occupant Virgil J. McFarland, 54, of Novinger. Belzer additionally suffered moderate injuries in the Missouri auto accident. Belzer had 7 passengers; each suffered an injury as a result of the accident. Belzer’s passengers were Ricky J. Belzer, Esther H. Belzer, Lydia G. Belzer, Maggie C. Belzer, Mariah L. Belzer, Noel F. Belzer, and Sarah D. Belzer. Two of the passengers were moderately injured. The rest of the passengers sustained minor injuries.

The drivers and passengers were all transported to Northeast Regional Medical Center in Kirksville, Missouri. The Adair County Sheriff’s Office, the Northern Novinger Rural Fire Department, and the Adair County Ambulance assisted the injured drivers and the injured passengers. Both GMC vehicles sustained extensive damage in the Missouri car collision.

Missouri statute §304.351(1) mandates that “[t]he driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to a vehicle which has entered the intersection from a different highway.” This Missouri law mandates that a driver entering a highway must yield to the traffic already traveling on that highway when there is no traffic control at the intersection. Failing to yield the right of way gives the other driver little time to respond and therefore endangers everyone at the intersection.

Violating §304.351 is deemed a class C misdemeanor. If the violation caused a physical injury, the court assesses a financial penalty. The court may also suspend the offender’s driving privileges for a statutorily define period. An experienced Missouri car accident attorney can use a violation of §304.351 as evidence of negligence to secure just compensation for the victims of a failure-to-yield Missouri car accident.

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March 26, 2011

Inattentive Driver Sends St Louis Woman to Hospital with Moderate Injuries in Five Car Collision

Syreeta A. Holland is in DePaul Hospital after being moderately injured in a Missouri rear end collision caused by an inattentive driver on March 25, 2011 at 11:45pm. Her car was totaled in this City of Saint Louis Missouri car accident.

According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, Paul E. Johnson failed to notice stopped traffic ahead of him on eastbound I-70, just west of Jennings Station Road. He slammed his 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe into the 2005 Nissan Armada driven by LaAngela A. Tompkins in a Missouri rear impact car accident. Then Johnson changed lanes and side-swiped Bertha C. Himes, who was driving a 2005 Nissan Armada, in a Missouri side impact car accident. After hitting Himes’s vehicle, Johnson crashed into Holland’s 2008 Mercedes C300. Johnson’s Tahoe then swerved and struck a 2008 Saturn Astro driven by John N. Wulf in a Missouri front impact car collision. After colliding with the four vehicles, Johnson traveled away from the scene in the grassy interstate median.

Holland sustained the only reported injury in the five car accident. Her Mercedes C300 was totaled in the accident. She was taken by Northeast Fire and EMS to Depaul Hospital. Johnson’s Tahoe was also totaled. The other vehicles sustained minor to moderate damage. All of the drivers were reportedly insured and wearing their safety device except for Johnson.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rates driver inattention as the leading factor in both crashes. In a research report made in conjunction with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, the NHTSA found that 80 percent of crashes involve driver inattention within three seconds before the event. Cell phone use and drowsiness are key causes of driver inattention. The study emphasized that driving conditions change abruptly so drivers cannot predict when it is safe to look away from the road. Drivers should avoid Missouri dangerous driving distractions like applying makeup or using mobile electronic devices while driving.

The driver of a motor vehicle has a duty to exercise reasonable care while driving. If an inattentive driver was distracted by eating or talking on a cellular phone, an knowledgeable Missouri accident attorney can argue that the driver breached his duty to exercise reasonable care. If the attorney proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the breach caused the crash and the crash resulted in damage to you, a successful claim for negligence is made.

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March 23, 2011

Franklin County Head-On Collision Seriously Injures Two

Two men suffered serious injuries in a Missouri front end collision on March 20, 2011 at 2:17am.

The Franklin County Missouri car accident occurred on Missouri Route AT near Missouri Route M. Jeffrey Liviapoma, 19, of Manchester, Missouri was driving on a roadway near 2:00am. He lost control of his 2002 Chrysler Town and Country and crossed the centerline of the roadway. Liviapoma’s car crashed into a 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt driven by Justin E. Derecskey, 30, of House Springs, Missouri in a Missouri front impact collision.

Both Liviapoma and Derecskey were seriously injured in the accident. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, neither man was wearing his safety device. Derecskey was taken to St. John’s Mercy Hospital in Washington, Missouri by ambulance. The Arch helicopter took Liviapoma to St. John’s Mercy Medical Center in Creve Coeur. Liviapoma was reportedly uninsured.

Missouri law requires that all vehicle drivers and owners have a liability insurance policy, imposing minimum levels of coverage. Each driver is required to have uninsured motorist coverage of at least $25,000 for bodily injury per person and $50,000 for bodily injury per accident. Missouri requires that proof of insurance be kept in the vehicle at all times.

The financial consequences of being in a Missouri car accident with an uninsured motorist are staggering. In a typical accident, the insurance company of the party at fault would cover expenses and pay damages. If the at-fault party does not have insurance, the victim is stuck with the bill. Uninsured motorist coverage is the surest way to protect your finances in the event of a car crash with a Missouri uninsured driver.

Missouri uninsured drivers themselves face significant financial risk when driving. Uninsured drivers receive no assistance from insurance companies to pay for vehicle damage, medical expenses, or protracted lawsuits. Lacking car insurance may also prevent a party from collecting damages from an at-fault party.

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March 21, 2011

Four Car Collision in Cedar County Sends Two Stockton Missouri Residents to Hospital

A four car Missouri car accident combined the destruction of a Missouri rear impact car accident and a Missouri wrong way accident on March 21, 2011 at 5:08pm. Two Stockton residents were taken to the hospital for medical treatment.

Ernest E. Rosenbaum, 43, stopped his 1994 Dodge Caravan in traffic on MO-32 just west of Stockton. Marvin F. Robinson, 46, had also stopped his 1991 Chevrolet in traffic on the same roadway. Michael G. Gioshes, 51, struck Robinson’s Chevrolet in a Missouri rear end collision, forcing Robinson’s Chevrolet to strike Rosenbaum’s Dodge. After striking Robinson’s vehicle, Gioshes’s Ford crossed the highway centerline into oncoming traffic. Gioshe’s Ford struck Michael G. Terhune, 56, in a Missouri wrong way auto accident.

Robinson, who was reportedly not wearing a safety device during the accident, suffered serious injuries. Kialla L. Barila, 14, suffered moderate injuries. She was an occupant in Gioshes’s Ford. Both Robinson and Barila were taken to Citizens Memorial Hospital in Bolivar, Missouri. This complex collision totaled two cars and caused moderate damage to the other cars involved.

Knowing what to do after a Missouri car accident can be confusing. Car crashes are often chaotic and disorienting. Knowing what to do is critical, because actions taken after an auto accident can affect the victim’s compensation. First, call the police and get medical assistance immediately after an accident. Delaying medical treatment will allow insurance companies to argue that the accident did not cause the injury. Second, exchange insurance information with the other people involved in the accident. Exchanging contact information is also recommended. Third, photograph the accident as well as the injuries and vehicle damage that it caused. Keeping a disposable camera in the car at all times is advisable. Fourth, keep documentation of the consequences of the accident (e.g. medical records, doctor’s visits, et cetera).

Accepting medical treatment, cooperating with the police, and refusing to accept the blame for the accident are wise choices that protect your rights after a collision. Remember to never give a written or oral statement to an insurance company before contacting a Missouri car accident lawyer.

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March 19, 2011

Pleasant Hill Father Saves Infant Son from Watery Wreckage In Cass County

A Pleasant Hill father rescued his infant son from the icy wreckage of a Missouri rollover accident on March 14, 2011 at 8:15am in a Cass County Missouri car accident.

24 year old William S. Whenham from Pleasant Hill, Missouri drove his infant son Colton L. Whenham on MO-7 on Monday morning. The roadway was covered in slush. The father lost control of his 2009 Ford F150 Pickup. The truck ran off the right side of the road, crashed down an embankment, and overturned. The truck submerged into the creek upside down, only the undercarriage and tires of the truck visible. The infant son was still buckled inside.

The father managed to rescue his son from the wreckage. The infant submerged in the icy waters for less than a minute. The F150 sustained extensive damage in this Missouri car accident. Emergency crews found the father and son suffering from hypothermia symptoms on the side of the road. The father only had minor injuries. The infant was taken to Children’s Mercy Hospital for treatment.

According to local reports, the father could have been driving too fast for the inclement weather conditions. Missouri law requires motorists to exercise the highest degree of care while driving on Missouri roads. Operating a vehicle in a careful and prudent manner is required at all times. When the roads are slushy and icy, driving prudently often means driving slower than usual. When the weather becomes drastically colder, as it did on Monday morning, drivers should monitor their rate of speed so as not to endanger others.

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March 16, 2011

Plato Missouri Man Escapes Serious Injury in Snowy Franklin County Missouri Car Crash

Orlando Soto of Plato, Missouri narrowly avoided serious injury in a snowy nighttime Franklin County, Missouri car crash on March 14, 2011 at 10:00pm.

Joy L. Exline of Krum, Texas lost control of her 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt on eastbound I-44 and slowed to a near stop. Soto was driving his 2009 Chevrolet Silverado immediately behind Exline. When Exline almost stopped, a Missouri rear end impact accident occurred as Soto’s Silverado struck Exline’s Cobalt. Soto then veered off the roadway and hit the cable median barriers.

The Missouri car accident caused extensive damage to Soto’s Silverado and totaled Exline’s Cobalt. Exline and her passenger, 12-year-old Chyanne M. Atherton, were taken to Missouri Baptist Hospital in Sullivan, Missouri. They suffered minor injuries. The Highway Patrol did not list any injuries for Soto.

The “rear end doctrine” complicates personal injury cases for back-most drivers like Soto in Missouri rear end collision. The rear end doctrine presumes that the back-most driver was both at fault for the accident and was negligent while driving. The back-most driver would then be responsible for showing that the front driver was actually at fault.

The front driver in a rear end collision would be at fault if she drove in such a way that the back-most driver could not reasonably avoid the collision. Courts often look to expert testimony to determine vehicle speeds before the accident, damage and injury caused by the accident, distance between the vehicles, and other factors related to the accident. Whether to apply the rear end doctrine to a case is a complex decision within the judge’s discretion. The rear end doctrine is the default rule in Missouri, so it will apply to most cases involving Missouri rear end collisions.

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March 14, 2011

Rear-End Collision in Wright County Missouri Causes Chain Reaction Leaving Two Seriously Injured

A three-car accident caused by a rear-end collision in just south of Mansfield, Missouri left two people seriously injured on Friday, March 11 at 2:25pm.

Rhonda R. Gerald stopped her 1994 Chevrolet in Friday afternoon traffic on Missouri Route 5. Gerald was then rear-ended by a 2011 Honda driven by Karen W. Blevins. The Missouri rear-end collision started a chain reaction that forced Blevins to cross the centerline and strike a 2006 Lincoln driven by Michael Tovar of Mountain Home, Arkansas. The rear-end collision combined with the Missouri wrong-way auto accident caused extensive damage to all vehicles involved.

Gerald of Mansfield, Missouri suffered serious injuries in this Missouri car accident. An ambulance transported her to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Missouri. Betty J. Tovar, a passenger in the 2006 Lincoln driven by Michael Tovar, also suffered serious injuries. She was transported to Cox South Hospital in Springfield, Missouri, by air ambulance. No injuries were reported for other drivers or passengers.

Rear-end collisions are the most common type of auto accident at 2.5 million each year nationwide. Driver inattention is often a cause of car accidents in which a stopped car is rear ended. Driver inattention is not a new phenomenon, but the increase in electronic device use while driving exacerbates the problem. The Journal of the Transportation Research Board published a study in 2009 analyzing the effects of electronic device usage in Missouri car accidents from 2001 to 2006. The study found that driver inattention led to a higher likelihood of crash involvement. Specifically, the highest number of inattention-related accidents occurred when drivers used cell phones or other electronic devices while driving.

Driver inattention from text messaging and cell phone use endangers Missouri drivers. Missouri does not have a cell phone ban for drivers, despite the scientific link between cell phone usage and car accidents. Missouri’s limited text messaging ban only applies to novice drivers, defined as drivers aged 21 and younger. Given the laxity of Missouri’s driving regulations, driver inattention will continue to play a prominent role in Missouri rear impact car accidents.

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March 2, 2011

Fatal Accident for Teenaged Girl from Cowgill, Missouri

A teenaged girl from Cowgill, Missouri lost her life in a tragic Missouri car accident in Caldwell County on the M-116, four miles east of Polo. The crash happened on the afternoon of Sunday, February 27 at 1:07pm.

Kasey L Bolling, age 16, lost control of her 1999 Ford Contour on the wet roadway. She skidded sideways into oncoming traffic and was involved in a side impact car accident on the front passenger-side by a 2009 Ford F-250 driven by Kevin T Smith, 47, of Polo, Missouri. Kasey was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident by the Caldwell County Coroner Dana Brown.

Kevin Smith and his passenger, Parker Smith, 13, were moderately injured. They were taken to Liberty Hospital in Liberty, Missouri by the Caldwell County ambulance.

Kasey Bolling was wearing her safety device according to the investigating officers. Under Missouri statute §304.012, all operators of motor vehicles are required to use the highest degree of care when driving on Missouri roads and highways. Missouri state law additionally requires drivers to operate at a “rate of speed so as not to endanger the property of another or the life or limb of any person.” This means that when the road is slick from inclement weather, driving the speed limit may not necessarily equate to driving with the highest degree of care. In these cases, Missouri law requires operators to drive at a speed less than the applicable limit. Violating § 304.012 R.S.Mo. is a class B misdemeanor. When an accident is involved, the violation is a class A misdemeanor.

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March 1, 2011

Head-On Car Collision in St. Francois County Missouri Results in Double Fatality

A St. Francois County Missouri car accident claimed the lives of two Missourians late Monday, February 28th at 10:10 pm. According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, this front impact car accident occurred on Highway O-32 just east of Schwartz Rd when Judson D. Kimbrough crossed the center lane of MO-32, and collided with eastbound driver Jacob A. Blum. Both vehicles were totaled. Jacob Blum, who was reportedly not wearing a safety device, was pronounced dead by the St. Francois County Coroner at 10:40pm. Judson Kimbrough and his passenger Jarvis Kimbrough were transported by helicopter to St. John’s Mercy in Creve Coeur, Missouri. Judson Kimbrough was pronounced dead around midnight. Jarvis Kimbrough was seriously injured.

Missouri's wrongful death statute can help alleviate the financial consequences of losing a loved one. The statute sets forth categories of damages a family may recover for as well as who in the family may recover. In addition, the statute sets a strict time limit on when the claim must be filed. If a family waits too long to file the wrongful death petition with the court, they may be forever barred from doing so.

Continue reading "Head-On Car Collision in St. Francois County Missouri Results in Double Fatality" »

February 12, 2011

Head-On Collision Leaves Two Chillicothe Residents Seriously Injured

A serious car accident in Missouri recently injured multiple people. The Missouri highway patrol reported a 2005 Ford Expedition, driven by Dennis E. Sturguss, 45, was traveling southbound when it crossed the center line, striking an oncoming 1998 Chevrolet pickup, driven by Randall R. Bonnette, 54, head-on. The vehicle driven by Sturguss then spun in a counter-clockwise direction, sliding to a stop on the east side of the road. Mr. Bonnette’s vehicle also ended up on the east side of Route A, approximately six miles northwest of Chillicothe.

Mr. Sturguss was not wearing a safety device, and was taken by Chillicothe EMS to Hedrick Medical Center then airlifted to Liberty Hospital by LifeNet. The injuries sustained by Mr. Sturguss are considered to be very serious. Mr. Bonnette was taken by Chillicothe EMS to Hedrick Medical Center where he is also being treated for serious injuries. Mr. Bonnette was wearing a safety device at the time of the crash. Police have not yet determined what caused Mr. Sturguss to cross the center line.

In my experience as a St. Louis car accident attorney, accidents such as this are caused by few seconds of inattention. Most of us are guilty of taking our eyes off the road while reaching to change the radio station, adjust the GPS, reach for food or drink, check on the kids in the back seat, or answer a cell phone call. Unfortunately, it only takes a split second for this type of inattention to result in a potentially fatal accident. Distracted and inattentive driving is at the top of the list as the cause of auto injury accidents in Missouri. If drivers are not paying attention to the road, they risk causing serious injuries or even potentially ending their own life or that of an innocent motorist or pedestrian.

Continue reading "Head-On Collision Leaves Two Chillicothe Residents Seriously Injured" »

February 11, 2011

Three Car Collision on U.S. 63 Injures Five

A drunk driving car accident in Missouri resulted in numours injuries. A three-car collision on U.S. 63 has resulted in Jason C. Shoot, 35, of Ashland, Missouri being arrested on suspicion of five counts of second-degree felony assault, driving while intoxicated, careless and imprudent driving resulting in an accident and not wearing a seat belt. According to reports, Shoot ran his 2004 Lexus off the right side of the road while traveling southbound on U.S. 63. Shoot’s Lexus then struck a parked 2000 Ford, owned by Joseph Vernon, 17, who was standing near his vehicle when the crash occurred. The crash caused Vernon to be trapped underneath his own vehicle. Shoot’s car then spun out onto the highway where it was struck by a 2006 Ford, driven by Charles M. Phillips, 53.

Joseph Vernon is a resident of Jefferson City, while Mr. Phillips resides in Holts Summit. There were three other passengers in Mr. Phillip’s vehicle, including Faith Phillips, 55, Ralph Kidd, 38 and Eleanora Bailey, 88. Joseph Vernon, the pedestrian, was taken to University Hospital where he was treated for minor injuries. Charles Phillips, Faith Phillips, Ralph Kidd and Eleanora Bailey were all transported by ambulance to University Hospital and treated for minor injuries as well. Jason Shoot refused medical attention at the scene of the accident, and it was noted that all parties were wearing safety devices except Mr. Shoot. Shoot’s bond was set at $22,500. Further details of the accident are pending a full investigation.

Throughout the nation, about one-third of all fatal traffic accidents involve a drunk driver. Statistically, a drunk-driving accident claims the life of one motorist every 45 minutes. In Missouri alone, drunk-driving accidents account for approximately 40 percent of all traffic fatalities. Frequently, a Missouri personal injury lawyer is called upon to assist victims who are doing their best to deal with the tragic aftermath of a driver who got behind the wheel after having too much to drink.

February 8, 2011

Branson Man Seriously Injured in Highway Crash

Richard Upchurch, 25, of Branson, Missouri suffered serious injuries as a result of an automobile crash north of Branson city limits Monday night. The Missouri car crash occurred at 8:10 p.m. as Upchurch was driving his 1990 Volvo south on Route F, three miles north of Branson. Upchurch apparently turned onto the southeast outer road, then lost control of his vehicle, sliding into the path of a northbound 2001 Chevy Suburban driven by Donna Karkosh, 44, of Spokane. Ms. Karkosh’s Suburban then struck the Volvo in the driver’s side door area. Mr. Upchurch suffered serious injuries as a result of this Missouri car crash and was taken by ambulance to St. John’s Regional Center in Springfield. Donna Karkosh and her 12-year old passenger, Cameron Caulfield were taken by private automobile to Skaggs Regional Medical Center in Branson, where they were said to have minor injuries. This Missouri car crash is under investigation, and it is not known what caused Mr. Upchurch to lose control of his vehicle.

Missouri car crashes can be caused by a wide variety of things--from inattention caused by cell phone use, eating, drinking or changing the radio station to bad weather, excessive speed, driving while intoxicated or just sheer negligence. When accidents lead to injuries, as they so often do, a civil lawsuit may result. If you have been involved in an accident with injuries, and wonder whether you have a case, a Missouri personal injury attorney will look at several things to determine whether or not your case has merit.

Missouri personal injury claims will have two general, yet essential, elements: liability, meaning who is legally responsible for your accident, and damages, which encompasses how much compensation you are entitled to. The person responsible for the accident must be deemed to have been negligent, and a mental or physical injury must be directly and proximately caused from this negligence. Once your Missouri car accident lawyer determines whether your specific situation has legal merit, he or she can discuss how best to move forward with your case. Once the investigation process is complete, your personal injury attorney will put together a demand package to the person's insurance company. If the insurance company refuses to pay a reasonable amount to settle your claim, you may need to file a civil lawsuit against the negligent person.

Often times, people believe the negligent person's insurance company will be the party defendant. This is not true. Under Missouri law, the proper party in a motor vehicle accident is the individual who was negligent- not his or her insurance company.


January 27, 2011

Snowy U.S. 160 Causes Troop D’s Fourth Fatality of 2011

The Missouri State Highway patrol reported recent wintery weather caused several car accidents in Missouri, one of them a fatal. Monday afternoon, Jarrett C. Rudisill, 33, of Ozark was driving his Suzuki Grand Vitara Northbound on U.S. 160 when he apparently lost control of the vehicle, possibly due to the snow-covered roads. Rudisill’s vehicle crossed the center line, sliding out of control directly into the path of Joshua Flora’s 2004 Toyota 4Runner. Mr. Flora, 28, and his wife, 28-year old Stacy Flora, both suffered moderate injuries as a result of this serious car wreck, and were transported to Cox Medical Center-South in Springfield, MO.

Unfortunately, Jarrett Rudisill was pronounced dead at the scene by John Cunningham, Stone County Coroner. Michael L. Shull, 43, of Nixa, was a passenger in Rudisill's car. Shull suffered serious injuries and was taken to St. John’s Regional Medical Center for treatment. Sadly, Shull died later Monday night as a result of those injuries. Jarrett Rudisill was a Computer Programmer at Richmond Monroe, and left behind a wife, two young children and other grieving family members.

Unfortunately, many drivers can neglect the basic rules of driving in snowy weather, resulting in accidents that range from minor bump-ins to serious and fatal Missouri car accidents. If you have a choice, when snowy weather strikes, don’t drive. A tragic car wreck can happen in an instant should a driver fail to stay a safe distance from other vehicles or underestimate his or her stopping distance. During snowy weather, it is extremely important to drive defensively. Be alert for other drivers who may be traveling too fast for the weather conditions, or are too close to other vehicles.

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January 24, 2011

Charges May Be Filed in Fatal St. Louis Pedestrian Accident

Sunday evening, a 45-year old man was walking in the 4100 block of Penrose Street, when he was struck by a car at Goodfellow Boulevard and Natural Bridge Avenue. The man, identified as Lazarus Britton, died at approximately 8:00 p.m. after the 2004 Chevrolet Impala struck him as he walked south on the sidewalk near the intersection. The Impala was driven by a nineteen-year old man, who was subsequently arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. The police are withholding the identity of the driver at this point. There were three other passengers in the car, ranging from 16 to 19 years in age. Police presented the case to prosecutors on Sunday, who then took the matter under advisement. Blood and toxicology reports as well as a full accident reconstruction report can take up to three or four months to complete. Initial reports state the car struck a metal fence, a wooden fence, and a metal pole before hitting Lazarus Britton.

When struck by a moving vehicle, pedestrians are extremely vulnerable to injury and death. There are a variety of reasons why a driver may inadvertently strike a pedestrian, including reckless or inattentive driving, texting while driving, driving at excessive speeds, failure to yield to traffic signs and signals, or driving under the influence. In Missouri car accidents involving pedestrians, it is extremely important that the facts of the accident come to light so the responsible party can be held accountable for their actions. Injured pedestrians, or the families of pedestrians, who have tragically lost their lives due to the negligence of a driver should seek the services of an experienced Missouri wrongful death lawyer. Of course drunk driving is not only unsafe, it is illegal as well. If it turns out this particular case involved drinking and driving, the driver may be held liable for this fatality. If you were involved in a pedestrian accident you are likely very aware of the damages arising from the accident including mounting medical bills, physical therapy fees, and lost wages. E. Ryan Bradley will fight to make sure a negligent motorist is not allowed to deny your legal rights.

January 20, 2011

Minor Injuries in Hollister Automobile Accident

Along with the snowy weather, Hollister, Missouri saw an auto accident on Tuesday, which left two with minor injuries. The Missouri State Highway Patrol reported the accident took place around 7:55 a.m. on Tuesday morning, January 18th. Apparently, Blain R. Gunter, 18, a resident of Hollister, made a left turn in his 2007 Saturn Aura. Gunter failed to stop at the stop sign during his turn, and pulled straight into the path of a southbound 2003 Dodge Dakota. According to state trooper Kevin Waters, the Dakota was driven by John R. Diebel, 47, of Kimberling City. Both Waters and Diebel suffered minor injuries and were subsequently taken to Skaggs Regional Medical Center in Branson by ambulance. This Missouri car accident occurred at the intersection of Fruit Farm Road and Wild Flowers Lane, some five miles south of Hollister.

Although the injuries in this particular case were relatively minor, all accidents have the potential to be serious. Fatal Missouri car accidents are, unfortunately, all too common. If you have been involved in a serious car wreck, it is imperative you receive the best legal advice possible. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills as lost wages. Handling the complex issues following an automobile accident can be stressful and frustrating. It is definitely in your best interest to retain a qualified St. Louis personal injury lawyer who will do everything within their power to handle the details and obtain you just compensation. Missouri auto accident law can be complicated, so don’t try to wade through it without the help of a knowledgeable Missouri attorney.

January 18, 2011

Blue Springs Missouri Man Dies Following Two-Vehicle Collision

Tony C. Long, 45, a resident of Blue Springs, Missouri, died Sunday following a car accident in Kansas City. In an odd twist, the victim’s nineteen-year old son was also driving westbound on 63rd Street at the same time. It appears from preliminary investigation that one vehicle tapped the back of the other, causing both drivers to lose control of their vehicles. The older son suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries. Long’s younger nine-year old son was traveling in one of the vehicles, although the details are not yet completely clear. The younger son’s injuries were not considered severe, which came as a surprise considering the Nissan Mr. Long was driving flipped over, coming to an abrupt halt against a large tree. The nineteen-year old son’s car spun around following the contact, coming to a stop on the roadway. Although the incident is still under investigation, a police officer at the scene stated speed and impairment may have been the cause of this Kansas City wrongful death fatality. The accident occurred at approximately 12:30 p.m. on January 16th.

While any contact between vehicles can result in a serious car wreck, this particular collision appears to have other factors involved. It is not clear which car initially hit the other, although it’s speculated that the car in the rear was attempting to pass the car in front. Because this accident resulted in a fatality, it is likely there will be an accident reconstruction in order to fill in the details of the collision as well as determine the speeds the vehicles were traveling when the crash occurred. Should you or a loved one be a victim of a serious car wreck, you may feel overwhelmed by the events following the wreck. The most advantageous course of action for those involved in serious injury accidents is to hire a Missouri personal injury attorney who possesses up-to-date knowledge and information regarding such accidents. Driving defensively, safely and unimpaired is always the wisest course when driving, especially in heavy traffic areas.

December 18, 2010

Winter Brings Car and Truck Accidents to the St. Louis Area

Over the last few days, the St. Louis area has been inundated with hundreds of car and truck accidents resulting in injuries to many. Winter weather typically creeps upon on us in the Midwest and for some reason, many Missouri drivers simply forget the simple basics of driving in inclement weather.

First, if you don’t have to drive, don't. I was watching the news the other night and the reporter demonstrated how dangerous the St. Louis sidewalks and roads were, yet cars were zipping back and forth in the background as if it were no big deal.

Second, remember it can take much longer to stop your vehicle when driving on snow and ice. In St. Louis, the black top roads may conceal icy conditions, what is commonly referred to as "black ice." Just because you may not see the ice does not mean it is not there. Give yourself plenty of room between your vehicle and the one in front of you. The common rule of thumb for ordinary driving is one car length for every 10 miles per hour traveled. So, if you are driving 30 miles per hour, you need to give 3 car lengths of space. However, in bad weather, I would suggest doubling this distance.

Third, practice defensive driving. Anticipate the young and inexperienced driver will in fact pull right out in front of you and your family. Anticipate the car in front of you will wait too long to brake and then slam on them.

Fourth, do not talk, text or surf the internet on your cellular phone. This is dangerous behavior even in good weather let alone bad weather! If you have hands free, use it if you must talk on the phone. Otherwise, your call can wait. If it can't, pull off the road.

Heed these winter driving tips when driving in the St. Louis area and we will see far fewer car accidents and serious injuries to motorists. In the event you do find yourself the victim of a car accident in the St. Louis area and are seriously injured, call an experienced St. Louis personal injury lawyer to discuss you legal options. As always, all consultations are free and we never charge a fee unless we recover for you!

November 11, 2010

Five hospitalized after Washington County wreck

Five people were injured, four of which were teenagers, after a Missouri car crash on Highway 185 in Washington County.

The serious injury accident occurred at the intersection of Highway 185 and Strange Road. Desiree Link, 16, was driving northbound in a 2003 Ford Focus. Another 2003 Ford Focus, this one driven by Tiffany Puckett, 31, was approaching in the oncoming lane. Link attempted to make a left turn onto Strange Road, but as she did so, her vehicle pulled into the path of Puckett's. Puckett was unable to avoid a collision and slammed into the passenger side of Link's vehicle.

Link and Puckett both sustained the most serious injuries and were taken to local hospitals for emergency treatment. Three teenage passengers in Link's car, Dasia Brewer, 14; Dana McKee, 16; and Thomas Simmons, 18, were also injured, but their injuries were not considered life-threatening. They also received treatment at local hospitals for their injuries.

None of the passengers in Link's car were wearing a seat belt at the time of this Missouri Car accident.

November 7, 2010

Van accident injures five in Jefferson County

Five people were hospitalized Sunday after the van they were riding in crashed into another vehicle on Highway 30 in a serious Jefferson County, Missouri car accident.

This Missouri van accident took place shortly after 4:00 p.m. just west of Route B. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the van was a 2008 Dodge Caravan being driven by William Hoare, 72. As Hoare was driving the van east, a 2002 Dodge Ram, driven by Kayla Elder, 16, was approaching on the highway heading west. Elder attempted to make a left turn onto a private drive and pulled directly into the path of the van. Hoare was unable to avoid a collision and crashed into the passenger side of Elder's vehicle.

Hoare and four passengers sustained injuries and were treated at St. Anthony's Hospital. Among the other victims in this St. Louis area injury accident were Nicholas Bendillo, 81; Robert Larson, 80; Carroll Posey, 74; and Joseph Pusateri, 71. Elder was not injured, according to the initial crash report.

Thankfully, everyone involved was wearing a seat belt or the injuries could have been more serious. Hopefully everyone involved in this wreck can make a full recovery.

The initial crash report also leaves out several other key details such as the speed of the two vehicles at the time of the accident and whether Elder signaled before making the turn. The road conditions were also not described.

November 3, 2010

Mother and son killed in Pulaski County accident

Diana Dawes, 43, and her son, Ivan Barton, 19, were killed when their car was hit head-on by a driver attempting to pass another vehicle.

This fatal Missouri car accident occurred on Highway C near the town of Dixon. Dawes was driving a 2000 Ford Taurus eastbound at the time of the accident, according to the Missouri Highway Patrol. In the westbound lane on the highway, Thomas McGrath, 63, was approaching Dawes' vehicle. Just before the impact, McGrath attempted to pass a slower moving vehicle by moving into the oncoming traffic lane. According to the initial accident report, McGrath attempted to perform this passing maneuver on a hill, which likely obscured the road ahead and possibly led to the tragic car wreck.

The two vehicles collided head-on, totaling both.

Dawes and Barton were pronounced dead at the scene. McGrath sustained moderate injuries and was flown to University Medical Center in Columbia for treatment.

Neither Dawes or Barton were wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

This is the second serious accident involving a passing vehicle that we have commented on in the past couple weeks. As we said before, passing vehicles on two lane road is a perfectly legal maneuver as long as it is done safely and at appropriate locations. The lines on the road indicate when it is safe to perform such a maneuver. If the lines are solid, then don't attempt to pass. If the lines are broken or dotted, you are in an area with enough visibility that you should be able to see the road ahead and pass if there is no oncoming traffic.

Typically, hilly and curvy sections of roads are designated as no passing zones, though the initial report of this latest accident did not specifically say how the lines were marked on the roadway at the accident site.

Continue reading "Mother and son killed in Pulaski County accident" »

November 1, 2010

Missouri man seriously injured in accident with tractor

Brandon Butterfield, 37, was seriously injured in a Missouri car accident when the vehicle he was driving hit a farm tractor on Highway 32 in Cedar County.

Butterfield was driving a 2002 Ford Explorer westbound at the time of the serious car wreck. At approximately 6:20 p.m., a farm tractor, driven by Fred Wosoba, 71, pulled out into the the roadway ahead of Butterfield. Butterfield was unable to avoid a collision and both vehicles sustained massive damage.

Butterfield was seriously injured and taken by ambulance to St. John's Hospital for emergency treatment. Wosoba also sustained injuries and was taken by private conveyance to a local hospital.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Wosoba failed to yield to Butterfield's vehicle as he pulled his tractor onto the highway.

Under Missouri law, the liability insurance of the at-fault driver is supposed to pay the medical bills and other expenses of the injured party. However, some cases are more complicated than they first might appear and insurance companies will often look for ways to limit the amount they pay out, even if that means trying to stick the injured party with a bill for an accident they didn't cause. To make sure your rights as an accident victim are protected, it is often advisable to discuss your case with a Missouri personal injury lawyer before making statement or accepting an offer with the insurance company.

October 26, 2010

Man killed after collision with passing vehicle

Jason Bollinger, 27, was killed in a Missouri car accident after a collision with a vehicle attempting to pass him on Route 47.

Bollinger, a resident of Park Hills, Missouri, was heading north on Route 47 in a Mercury Cougar at the time of the fatal car crash, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. At approximately 7:30 p.m., Andrew Gregory, 19, who was driving a Dodge Dakota, came up behind Bollinger. Gregory attempted to pass Bollinger's car, but the two vehicles hit each other on the center line.

After the impact, both vehicles ran off the road and hit a tree.

Bollinger, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Gregory was seriously injured and flown to St. John's Mercy Medical Center for emergency treatment. Two passengers in Gregory's car, Decker Ortmann, 18, and Samantha Randazzo, 18, were also injured, though not as seriously.

Passing vehicles is not an illegal maneuver, provided it is done in a controlled manner at a location where it is safe to do so. It is not safe to pass a car on a winding road or while approaching a hill crest because your viability is too low. The initial accident report does not describe the location where this latest accident occurred or indicate why the two vehicles collided.

Since there was a fatality, an accident reconstruction will be requested to try and fill in the details leading up to the crash. Information like the speeds of the two vehicles and where Gregory first began his passing maneuver will be helpful in determining just how this incident happened.

October 22, 2010

Brake problems prompt two recalls

Toyota and Honda have both issued recalls for thousands of vehicles over brake fluid issues that could lead to diminished brake pedal performance and the possibility of a serious car accident.

The potentially dangerous vehicle defect has prompted Toyota to recall 740,000 vehicles, including 2004-2007 Avalons, Highlanders and a number of Lexus models. The issue has to do with a rubber seal that may become misshaped over time or with certain types of brake fluid. If this occurs, brake fluid could leak, leading to a feeling of soft or unresponsive brakes.

Honda has not yet released the total number of vehicles affected, but they are recalling Acura cars and Odyssey minivans for a similar issue.

No injuries or serious accidents have been blamed on the problems yet. Both issues will be repaired by the automaker if the vehicle's owner brings it in for service.

For more specific information of the defect and to see if your car is one of the affected models, contact your local dealer immediately.

Toyota has recalled millions of vehicles since an uncontrolled acceleration problem was discovered last year. Since then, numerous lawsuits have been filed and many people have blamed various defects for some traffic accident injuries and fatalities.

October 20, 2010

Rear-end collision injures Missouri family

Five people were hospitalized, three under the age of 13, after a Missouri rear-end collision on Highway 39 in Stockton.

The events leading to this serious injury accident began with Eric Luff, 49, bringing the 1997 Honda Accord he was driving to a stop in order to make a left turn. According to the investigating trooper with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, a second vehicle, a 2001 Ford Focus driven by Wade Thornton, 37, was following behind Luff. Thornton failed to see Luff's vehicle and slammed into the back end of the Accord causing extensive damage.

Luff and an adult passenger, Carrie Messick, 32, were both seriously injured and flown to St. John's Hospital for emergency treatment. The three children in Luff's car, Harmon Messick, 3; Londen Messick, 6; and Tanner Messick, 12; all sustained moderate injuries and were taken to CMH Hospital for treatment. Thornton was not listed on the injury report.

Fortunately, all those involved were wearing a seatbelt, or this crash could have been much worse. Hopefully everyone can make a full recovery.

In the majority of rear-end collision cases, negligence is assumed for the at-fault driver since everyone should be in control of where their vehicle is heading at all times. There are some rare exceptions, however, and there may be details not listed on the initial report that shed more light on this accident.

October 15, 2010

Another Missouri school bus accident causes injury

Two people were injured, including a 13-year-old student, after a Missouri school bus accident on Highway 47 in Lincoln County.

This wreck is the latest in a string of crashes in the past couple months. Earlier this month, a school bus was hit by a tractor-trailer and 19 people were injured. In August, two people were killed in an accident on I-44 involving two school buses, as well as a couple other vehicles.

Thankfully, the two injuries in the Lincoln County car crash were not described as life-threatening.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, this latest accident occurred at the intersection of Highway 47 and Ridge Road around 12:40 p.m. The school bus, which was being driven by Jean Thomasson, 56, was heading eastbound on the highway and attempted to turn left onto Ridge Road. As it did so, it pulled into the path of a 1993 Chevrolet 1500, driven by Kurtis Colbert, 30. Colbert tried to avoid a collision, but skidded out of control into the school bus.

A passenger in Colbert's vehicle, Steffan Pogue, 23, was injured and taken to St. Joseph Hospital West for treatment. Pogue was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the wreck, according to the investigating officer.

Jonathan Halbert, 13, who was a student on the bus, was also injured, but his injuries were described as relatively minor. Halbert also received treatment at St. Joseph Hospital West.

Continue reading "Another Missouri school bus accident causes injury" »

October 13, 2010

Six teenagers injured in head-on collision

A total of six people, all 18 or younger, were injured in a Missouri head-on collision on County Road 418 in Livingston County.

According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, the accident occurred around 6:20 p.m. Tuesday near Ludlow. Two vehicles, a 1993 Ford Ranger driven by Justin Jones, 16, and a 1990 Geo Tracker driven by Aaron Reed, 17, were approaching each other from opposite directions. Jones' car was heading eastbound and Reed's was heading westbound as they topped the crest of a hill at the same time.

As the two vehicles came over the hill, they collided head-on. The initial crash report said the collision took place on the westbound side of the roadway.

Reed and a passenger in his car, Anthony Sayers, 14, were both seriously injured and taken for emergency treatment at local hospitals. Three other passengers in Reed's vehicle suffered moderate to minor injuries, as did Jones.

Jones was wearing a seatbelt, but none of the passengers in Reed's car were wearing one at the time of the car accident.

October 1, 2010

Hit-and-run driver triggers accident that injures St. Louis woman

Lynn Blackey, 59, was hospitalized after a St. Louis car accident which began with her car getting struck by a hit-and-run driver on I-44.

Blackey was heading eastbound on the interstate in her 2009 Kia Spectra at the time of the accident, according to the initial crash report. Suddenly, an unidentified vehicle rear-ended her car and sent it spinning out of control. Blackey's car was hit by a third vehicle, a tractor-trailer, before skidding off the left side of the roadway and into the cable median.

The driver who hit Blackey didn't stop and continued heading east on I-44.

Blackey was taken by ambulance to a local hospital for treatment. Her injuries were not considered life-threatening. Fortunately, nobody else was injured in what could have been a much worse situation.

If you have any information on the driver of the vehicle that started this incident before fleeing the scene, please contact the Troop C headquarters of the Missouri State Highway Patrol at (636) 300-2800.

Leaving the scene of an accident is a serious offense. Whether you think you were at-fault or not, you must remain at the scene until emergency responders arrive and tell you it's okay to leave. If found, the hit-and-run driver in this Missouri car accident case will likely face criminal charges.

Even if the driver is not found, those injured by a hit-and-run driver can often claim the accident against their own insurance policy's uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. For more information on how to handle a complicated car accident case, consult a St. Louis personal injury attorney.

September 27, 2010

Highway 67 accident hospitalizes two

Joshua Odenthal, 20, and Aleyce Ashbrook, 19, were both injured in a St. Louis area car accident when the car they were in was hit by another vehicle on Highway 67 in Jefferson County.

Odenthal and Ashbrook were riding in a 1999 Mercury Sable heading southbound on the highway when the serious car crash occurred, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. As they approached Flucom Road, a 2006 Dodge Caravan, driven by James Gramlich, 36, attempted to cross the highway. As Gramlich tried to cross Highway 67 heading eastbound, Odenthal, who was driving the Mercury, couldn't avoid crashing into the side of the Dodge.

Odenthal and Ashbrook were taken to Jefferson Regional Medical Center for treatment. Gramlich was not listed as injured on the initial crash report.

What the investigating officer didn't specify on the initial report was whether either driver was at-fault for failing to yield, speeding or some other dangerous maneuver. Under Missouri car accident law, the at-fault driver's liability insurance will cover the damages caused by the accident.

September 25, 2010

Fatal accident in I-35 construction zone

Seth Stanley, 27, was killed and two others were injured in a three-vehicle Missouri car wreck near a construction zone on Interstate 35.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the accident occurred around 7:30 p.m. Friday at mile marker 33. Keith Emmons, 43, was heading southbound on the highway in his 2001 Mercury when he slowed due to construction traffic. Stanley was following behind Emmons in a 2002 Dodge and failed to stop before rear-ending the 2001 Mercury. A third vehicle, a 2008 Chevrolet driven by Christine Young, 57, was also traveling southbound and slammed into the back of Stanley's vehicle.

Stanley was pronounced dead at the scene. Emmons and Young both sustained injuries and were taken by ambulance to local hospitals.

According to the initial crash report on this Missouri rear-end collision, Stanley suffered his fatal injuries in the second impact when the Chevrolet hit his vehicle.

More investigation into this fatal traffic accident will be needed and, since there was a fatality, an accident reconstruction will be performed. Investigators will be looking into how two drivers could not see the traffic back up before rear-ending the vehicle ahead. They will also look at road conditions and the speeds of the three vehicles.

Typically, in a rear-end collision, negligence is presumed on the part of the at-fault driver. This is because all drivers are supposed to be in control of where their vehicle's forward motion is taking them, and generally rear-end collisions can be avoided if a safe distance between vehicles is maintained. There are rare exceptions and the possibility of extenuating circumstances in some cases, so the counsel of experienced Missouri personal injury attorneys is often essential.

September 21, 2010

Washington summit takes aim at distracted driving

Legislators and transportation officials gathered on Tuesday for a summit on the dangers of distracted driving and its role in fatal car accidents across the country.

The meeting is taking place on the heels of the release of new statistics saying the percentage of serious traffic crashes involving distracted driving has not dropped in the past couple years. While the overall number of accidents nationwide has declined, distracted driving is still to blame in 16 percent of crashes.

In 2009, 5,474 people died and 448,000 were injured in crashes linked to distracted driving.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood seems to be tackling the issue head-on. Recently, a federal ban on texting was created for commercial truck and bus drivers. Those violating this law are subject to civil or possibly criminal penalties up to $2,750.

Those present at the summit are expected to discuss suggestions for local districts wishing to regulate texting and cell phone use for all drivers. Some areas have already banned texting or cell phone use while driving and will fine anyone caught using them behind the wheel with possible felony charges awaiting those that cause an accident because of their distraction.

September 17, 2010

Toyota admits to software bug in black boxes

Throughout the past year, Toyota Motor Corp. has been involved in a number of high profile recalls spurred by concerns of sudden, uncontrollable acceleration and serious car accidents. From recall to recall, the automaker has tried to blame the problem on a number of different issues based on data from on-board black box data recorders, similar to the type used to determine the cause of airplane crashes.

It turns out that those data recorders might not be so reliable either.

Toyota is now acknowledging the existence of a software bug which causes the black boxes to report faulty data. The company said it has identified the problem and fixed it, but the admission of a problem in the data recorders will likely cast another cloud over a company that has been much maligned since the first reports of sudden acceleration cases last year.

The cause of the acceleration problems, according to Toyota, has changed seemingly from month to month. First they believed it to be improper installation of floor mats, then they blamed a problem with the accelerator mechanism. Human error was also cited in several of the cases. Many of these diagnoses were based largely on data collected from the black boxes, which now appear to have faults of their own.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has even cited Toyota black box data in their accident reports to Congress.

Since last year, Toyota has issued recalls for over 11 million vehicles and been named in hundreds of lawsuits for potentially dangerous vehicle defects.

Toyota has written an update for their black box software and provided it to the various safety agencies investigating the accident claims.

September 13, 2010

Head-on collision injures two

Two people were injured and hospitalized after a Missouri car crash on Highway 13 near Reeds Spring.

The accident occurred around 2:15 p.m. in Stone County. Marcus Aschwege, 19, was driving a 2006 Mercury and Garry Mayberry, 50, was driving a 2009 Chevrolet. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Aschwege failed to yield when making a turn and pulled directly into Mayberry's path. Mayberry was unable to avoid a collision and the two vehicles collided head-on.

Mayberry and a passenger in his car, Chris Dillard, 29, were both injured in this car accident. They were taken by ambulance for treatment at Skaggs Hospital. Aschwege was not listed as injured on the accident report.

No citation was noted for either driver.

Thankfully, everyone involved was wearing a seatbelt or this accident could have been much worse.

September 7, 2010

18-car pileup injures 26 in Missouri

A massive pile-up on Highway 60 injured 26 people, some seriously, near the town of Essex. 18 vehicles were involved in this Missouri car accident.

According to local media reports and the Missouri Stat Highway Patrol, the accident occurred as a large cloud of thick smoke covered the roadway from a nearby fire started on a farm. A farmer was burning some trash when the blaze got out of control and blanketed the area in thick smoke. While many details have yet to be released, the initial investigation found that three vehicles were involved in the initial collision. Shortly after that crash, a tractor-trailer, driven by Kenneth Loness, 36, came upon the accident scene and braked hard to try and avoid plowing through the damaged cars. In the chaos that followed, another 14 cars crashed into the pile or were run off the road.

Four people sustained serious car accident injuries. They were Jaclyn King, 18; Jackie Chamness, 51; Lana Chamness, 61; and Melissa Reeser, age unknown. Reeser and Lana Chamness' injuries were so severe that they were airlifted to local hospitals for emergency treatment. 22 others sustained moderate to minor injuries. Only seven managed to escape the wreck without injury, according to the initial crash report.

A full investigation into this multi-collision accident is underway, but may take weeks to complete.

It is not known whether the farmer will be issued a citation for his role in the incident.

September 5, 2010

Crash tax being debated in some states

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While the economy is slow in recovering and local municipalities are feeling the pinch, some areas around the country have turned to what many call a "crash tax" as a way of saving some money.

The idea behind a crash tax or accident fee is that a charge will be assessed those involved in a serious car accident to pay for the cost of handling that accident. Many areas have had such fees for years, but the idea is gaining more traction in cash-strapped states, like California.

In a lot of cases, a driver's insurance policy will cover the cost of the accident fee, but not in every case. It would be a good idea to check your own policy and the laws in your city to know if you may be on the hook for one of these charges should you be involved in a wreck.

Theses types of fees vary widely from city to city, but to give you an idea of the costs we are talking about, some fire departments charge over $600 to put out a burning car, $1800 to use the jaws of life and more than $2,000 for an airlift to the hospital.

Legislators who allow these laws on the books argue that emergency response is an expensive job and these fees are necessary to recoup costs. Opponents argue that tax dollars already go to emergency responders and that an accident fee is excessive or even cruel. Some people who know about the fees may refuse needed medical care or fail to report an accident at all out of fear of being hit with one of these fees.

Here in Missouri, along with nine other states, we have banned any so-called crash taxes. This is not the case across the river in neighboring Illinois. One thing illustrated by the notion of crash taxes is the complications involved in handling a car accident injury claim. Laws vary so much from state-to-state and city-by-city that it is imperative you seek an experienced personal injury attorney with extensive knowledge about local laws if you are involved in a crash.

September 3, 2010

Two injured, one seriously, in Missouri wreck

Virginia Daughhetee, 60, was seriously injured in a Missouri car accident that occurred on I-55 in Pemiscot County near Portageville.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the accident began when a 2004 Chevrolet Trailblazer, driven by Brandi Taylor, 35, rear-ended Daughhetee's 2004 PT Cruiser while both vehicles were traveling southbound on the highway. The impact of the collision sent the PT Cruiser into the back of a tractor trailer and Taylor's vehicle ran off the right side of the roadway and overturned.

Daughhetee was airlifted to St. Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau for emergency treatment. Taylor was also injured and taken by ambulance to Pemiscot Memorial Hospital.

Typically, in car accident injury cases, the at-fault driver's liability insurance will cover the damages caused to the injury victim. Occasionally these cases can become complicated by insurance companies trying to limit the amount they pay out. To make sure your rights as an accident victim are protected, it is important to consult the legal advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer.

August 30, 2010

New studies emphasize dangers of distracted driving

Two recent studies have added to the mountain of data showing that distracted driving is a major cause of car accident injuries.

The first study, which was released earlier this year by the Washington Post, said that 28% of accidents are at least partially the result of talking on a cell phone or texting. Incidents involving talking on a cell phone are still the number one type of distracted driving wrecks with about 1.4 million cases each year. Crashes caused by texting have been increasing, though, over the last few years and as many as 200,000 wrecks are blamed on texting annually. Imagine the number of lives that could be saved if everyone decided it wasn't worth the risk to drive while on the phone and we, as a nation, cut out over a quarter of our yearly accidents.

A study by Car and Driver Magazine continued the exploration of how distracted driving compares to drunk driving by impairing reaction times. According to their trials, an unimpaired driver will take 0.54 seconds to brake when faced with an unexpected obstacle. Someone who is at the legal limit of 0.08 BAC will be delayed and take, on average, an additional four feet to stop when traveling at highway speeds. While four feet may not sound like a lot, it can be the difference between a near miss and a fatal car accident.

The really shocking results came when they tested distracted drivers. Test subjects who were asked to read an email while driving added more than 30 feet to their stopping distance when at highway speeds and texters needed an additional 70 feet to stop.

Studies like these have not gone unnoticed. Many states, including Missouri, have begun to limit distracted driving by resticting texting or cell phone use for at least some drivers. Mothers Against Drunk Driving have also gotten involved and made combating distracted driving part of their group's mission.

August 26, 2010

One killed and 5 others injured in tragic Missouri wreck

Matthew Eberhardt, 32, was killed and five others were hospitalized after a car accident in the St. Louis area along Highway 67.

Eberhardt was riding in a 2000 Dodge Stratus, driven by Melinda Carter, 39, that had stopped on Victoria Road at the intersection with Highway 67. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, when Carter pulled forward into the highway, she crossed into the path of another vehicle, a 1998 Dodge Dakota, driven by Johnathan Fisk, 22. The right front of the Dakota struck the left front of the Stratus, totaling both vehicles.

Eberhardt was taken to Jefferson Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. Carter and a passenger in the Dakota, Terrance Dugan, 25, both suffered serious injuries and needed to be airlifted to local hospitals. Fisk and two other passengers in his vehicle, Rebecca Stallard, 20, and Thomas Voyles, 25, were also injured.

Only Fisk and Stallard were wearing a seat belt at the time of this deadly Missouri car accident.

An accident reconstruction will be performed since there was a fatality in this case. The reconstruction team, along with other investigators, will try to piece together exactly what caused this wreck and figure out the exact sequence of events leading to the collision.

August 24, 2010

Four vehicles involved in chain reaction crash

A four-car Missouri injury accident on Highway 30 in Jefferson County sent Megan Breuer, 26, to the hospital with serious injuries.

The crash was a chain reaction, bumper-to-bumper wreck that occurred as three of the vehicles, including Breuer's, were stopped at a traffic signal at the intersection of Highway 30 and Route PP. As the cars were waiting for the light to change, a fourth car, a 1993 Pontiac Bonneville driven by Anthony Ventiniglia, 27, crashed into the line of cars. The force of the impact pushed each car into the next and caused the injuries to Breuer.

Breuer was taken by ambulance to St. Clair Hospital for emergency treatment. Ventiniglia and the other two drivers were not listed as injured on the initial crash report.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Ventiniglia didn't see the line of cars and that's what caused the St. Louis area car crash. They did not comment on why Ventiniglia didn't see the traffic directly in front of him or if he was distracted by something else.

The initial report also says that Ventiniglia was driving without insurance, though no citation was listed.

August 22, 2010

Massive 22-vehicle crash injures 9

Rain soaked roads and a hydroplaning car are being blamed for triggering a chain reaction Missouri car accident on I-70 in Columbia that ultimately involved 22 separate vehicles and sent nine people to the hospital.

Many of the details are not yet available as investigators are still trying to determine the exact sequence of events. An injury accident of this size with so many collisions could take weeks of investigation before all the facts are known, but the Columbia Police Department has issued a statement with their preliminary findings.

According to the CPD, the pileup began in the westbound lanes when a Pontiac Grand Prix began to hydroplane and spin out of control. The Grand Prix hit a guardrail before returning to the roadway where it was hit by a Dodge truck. As other cars slowed to avoid the accident, a tractor-trailer hit a stopped car setting off another chain reaction of collisions.

Nine people were taken to the hospital and three of them were described as having serious injuries.

While the rainy conditions seemed to play a role in this Columbia injury accident, weather is not seen as a legal defense in crashes like these. Drivers still must be in control of their vehicles regardless of wet or icy conditions just like they are responsible for their cars when the weather is nice.

When dangerous driving conditions arise, there are several simple steps to take that can greatly reduce your risk of being involved in an accident. Make sure your headlights and wipers are in good working condition at all times and use them when it starts to rain. Being able to see the road ahead and making sure other drivers can see you is an important factor in these situations. Also, give plenty of extra space between your car and the vehicles ahead of you. So often these chain reaction crashes are the result of drivers following too closely, especially on slick roads. Finally, if you don't feel comfortable driving in the current conditions, pull over at the next exit. It's not worth putting yourself or others in danger when you can wait 20 minutes for the worst part of a storm to blow over.

Even if you are a responsible behind the wheel, that doesn't mean you are completely safe from other negligent drivers. If you have been the victim of injury due to someone else's negligence, it is in your best interest to contact a Missouri personal injury lawyer to make sure your rights as an accident victim are protected.

August 20, 2010

One killed and two injured when driver runs stop sign

Harold Groves, 75, was killed and two others were seriously injured in a Missouri car accident that occurred early Friday morning at the intersection of Route M and Route D.

Groves and a passenger, Michael Wheeler, 15, were heading southbound in a 2002 Ford at the time of the wreck. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, as they approached the intersection, a second car failed to stop at a stop sign and pulled into their path. The second car was a 1997 Lincoln, driven by April Crawford, 32. Groves was unable to avoid a collision and crashed into the side of the Crawford's car.

Groves was pronounced dead at the scene. Wheeler and Crawford were rushed to University Hospital in Columbia for emergency treatment.

None of the people involved in this Missouri injury accident were wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

August 18, 2010

Two Missouri car wrecks send multiple people to the hospital

Two serious car accidents on rural Missouri highways sent three people to the hospital in a matter of hours.

The first wreck occurred on Highway 8 at West Road, according to the initial crash report. Patricia Williams, 25, was heading westbound on the highway in a 1992 Chevrolet pickup followed by a 2004 Ford Taurus, driven by Kimberly Nixon, 37. When Williams slowed to make a left turn, Nixon's vehicle slammed into the back of Williams' pickup.

Despite wearing a seat belt, Williams sustain significant injuries and was taken by ambulance to a local hospital. Nixon was not listed as injured.

While there are more details that need to be investigated aside from the brief description in the initial crash report, this case may full under the guidelines of the rear end collision doctrine. Basically this doctrine says that all drivers are to be in control of where their vehicle is going and that in rear end collision cases, negligence is assumed on the part of the at-fault driver. There are certain cases of exception when it comes to auto accident injuries, so anyone with specific questions about their case should consult with a Missouri car accident lawyer.

The second accident took place on Missouri 52 in Morgan County and sent Gary Abbott, 40, and Timothy Vanderveld, 17, to the hospital.

According to the investigating trooper from the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Abbott was heading westbound in a 1997 Dodge when Vanderveld pulled out in front of him in a 2001 Toyota. Unable to avoid a collision, Abbott's car crashed into the driver's side of Vanderveld's.

August 16, 2010

Three drivers injured after multi-car accident

A Missouri car accident on Highway 40 in St. Charles County involved three vehicles, multiple collisions, and left three people seriously injured.

The incident took place about a mile west of Route K and began when David Thiedke, 50, drove his 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt off the roadway and into the median. According to the investigating trooper from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Thiedke's car broke through the median cables and entered the oncoming traffic lanes where it struck a 2008 Chevrolet Equinox, driven by Carol Ebbesmeyer, 66. The force of the impact sent Ebbesmeyer's car off the roadway and into a guardrail. Thiedke's car remained in the roadway where it was struck by a third vehicle, a 2004 Chrysler Town and Country driven by Jill Knelange-Hummel, 42.

Thiedke, Ebbesmeyer and Knelange-Hummel all sustained serious injury and were transported to St. John's Mercy for emergency treatment.

All drivers involved were wearing a seat belt at the time of the wreck.

It is not yet known what exactly caused this St. Louis area car accident. The initial report doesn't say what caused Thiedke to lose control of his car and drive into the median.

Median cables have typically been very good at keeping cars from crossing into oncoming traffic while causing as little damage as possible to an out of control car. Further investigation into the speed and angle of impact for Thiedke's car will shed some light on how the vehicle was able to pass through the median.

Continue reading "Three drivers injured after multi-car accident" »

August 14, 2010

Two injured in Missouri after Highway 60 wreck

Dana Pope, 28, and Tracy Crutchfield, 53, were both hospitalized after a major car accident on Highway 60 in Stoddard County, Missouri.

According to the accident description in the initial crash report, Pope was heading eastbound in a 2000 Dodge on the highway near the intersection with County Road 717. Crutchfield was in a 2002 Kia and was heading southbound on County Road 717. Crutchfield pulled into the path of Pope's vehicle and Pope was unable to avoid a collision.

Both drivers were hospitalized with significant injuries. Crutchfield's injuries were so severe, she was air lifted to St. Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau.

The details listed in the accident report do not tell us what speeds the two drivers were traveling.

After a serious Missouri car accident, it is often advisable to contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your case. Insurance and liability issues can quickly complicate a case and serious injuries can be a huge financial burden as well as keep victims out of work for weeks.

When consulting a car accident lawyer, it is important to seek out someone who you feel comfortable with and who you trust to help you protect your legal rights. Gather as much information as you can and request a free consultation from lawyers from different areas as proximity is not the best way to decide your legal representation.

August 12, 2010

Speeding is major cause of St. Louis car accidents

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Statistics on drivers along I-70 show that a leading cause of St. Louis car accident injuries is speeding, followed closely by distracted driving and dangerous maneuvers such as reckless lane changes and tailgating.

These results were printed in a report from the St. Louis Post Dispatch and comes after local law enforcement has begun a crackdown on speeders on the stretch of highway between the Blanchette Bridge and the city. According to the report, over the last four years, speeding contributed to 31 percent of accidents along that segment of I-70. Inattention or distracted drivers contributed to 22 percent of St. Louis car accidents in that area.

The data came from the records posted by the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Crash reports filed by troopers may list more than one contributing factor, so some accidents may have been caused by a combination of different negligent actions.

Area officials have been considering various measures to try and cut down on the number of incidents in that area. It was speculated in the article that speed trap cameras may be installed along I-70. The use of traffic cameras has been widespread at area intersections over the past several years and a speed camera has been in use on I-170 for weeks. Some believe these and other strategies can be used to prevent accidents.

If you have been involved in an accident caused by another driver's negligence, contact a St. Louis car accident attorney to discuss your case and make sure your rights as an accident victim are protected.

August 10, 2010

Missouri man killed in railroad crossing accident

John Norris, 79, was killed in a Missouri railroad crossing accident when he attempted to cross tracks in Saline County on Tuesday morning.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Norris was driving a 2006 Dodge and approached the marked crossing on English Street shortly after 11:00 a.m. The investigating officer said the lights and bells at the crossing were working at the time of the crash, but Norris failed to stop and his car was hit by the train.

Norris was pronounced dead at the scene. The train, which was a single engine GP40 locomotive from KC Southern, sustained only minor damage and was later driven from the scene.

While the initial accident report described the lights and bells as working, it is not known whether the train conductor sounded his horn as he approached the crossing.

Missouri is one of the ten most dangerous states for railroad crossing accidents, according to fatality rates. A recent report found that the state has more than 2,000 dangerous crossings that are unguarded with no lights or warning signals.

Even crossings with lights and crossing guards have been known to produce accidents. Malfunctions with the automatic warning systems and signage that is obscured by overgrown trees can leave even the most attentive motorist unaware of an approaching train. Once a car crosses into the path of a train, there is little a conductor can do to slow down as a fully loaded freight train can take up to a mile to come to a full stop once brakes are applied.

If you have questions about a railroad crossing accident claim, it is important to consult an experienced Missouri personal injury attorney who has a background with such accidents.

August 8, 2010

School bus accident facts

While the region is still reeling from the fatal St. Louis area school bus crash on I-44, some are questioning the safety of school buses in general and looking back on what we can learn from previous incidents. The St. Louis Post Dispatch, for example, published a list of past school bus accidents in the area. Here are just of few examples from that list:

February 2010 - Three people are injured, including a child, in a head-on collision with a school bus in St. Louis.

October 2007 - 32 people are injured when a school bus flips over in Oates, Missouri.

November 2006 - Two people are killed in an Missouri school bus accident involving a bus, two tractor-trailers and a car.

August 2003 - A young girl is killed and more than a dozen more are injured when a bus runs down an embankment in Hillsboro, Illinois.

Despite these notable and tragic cases, school buses are statistically one of the safest ways for children to travel. Every year, there are about 6,000 bus related injuries and 20 deaths. Compare that to 78,000 teen drivers who are involved in an injury accident each year.

Many people note that most school buses do not come equipped with seat belts for many of the riders. While this is the case, the vast majority of injuries and fatalities in school bus crashes come from other vehicles involved in the wreck. Like tractor-trailer crashes, the large size and weight of school buses make them more dangerous to smaller passenger vehicles.

School bus accidents can be very complicated from a legal standpoint and, while they are rare, the injuries sustained can result in months of rehabilitation costing thousands of dollars. Whether an accident is caused by negligence on the part of the bus driver or another motorist, those responsible need to be held accountable and injury victims need to have the resources to make a full recovery. If you have questions about a school bus injury claim, contact a Missouri personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. Many will offer you a free consultation so there is no risk or obligation involved.


August 5, 2010

Terrible school bus crash kills two, injures at least 50

Photo by KMOV TV
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A day of celebration turned into a horrific and tragic incident for students in the St. James School District who were involved in a fatal Missouri school bus accident on their way to Six Flags. Initial reports say two people have been killed, one a female student and another in a GMC pickup, and up to 50 people have sustained injuries.

The investigation is still in the very early stages, but some details have already begun to emerge. The two buses were carrying band members from John F. Hodge High School on an annual trip to Six Flags. Ahead of the buses was a Volvo tractor cab without a trailer that had slowed or stopped due to traffic caused by a construction zone. The GMC pickup collided with the back of the stopped truck. According to numerous local media sources, the driver of the first school bus, which carried all the female members of the band, was changing lanes due to a stalled vehicle and was unable to stop before hitting the pickup and truck tractor. The second bus then rear-ended the first bus, which was pushed on top of the smaller pickup.

The female student who was killed was sitting in the back of the first bus and likely sustained her fatal injuries when the second bus crashed into the first. The driver of the pickup truck was also pronounced dead at the scene.

The rest of the accident victims, including students, bus drivers and the truck driver, were treated at various local hospitals. At least one student was flown to St. Louis Children's Hospital for emergency treatment. More than 30 students were transported by charter bus to Cardinal Glennon Hospital. Others were taken by ambulance to hospitals in Washington, Creve Coeur and Fenton. Many of the injured students were fortunate to escape the wreck with relatively minor bruises and cuts and will not need to be hospitalized.

Climate Express Inc. operates the truck that was initially hit. Examining their safety profile shows the company is above average in their safety inspection ratings. The company has 118 drivers and has been involved in four injury accidents in the past two years.

Our thoughts go out to all those who were involved in this terrible accident and their families.

Officials say it could be up to two weeks before an accident reconstruction can be conducted to determine the exact sequence of events that led to this terrible accident.

From the perspective of a St. Louis personal injury attorney, there are many questions that still need to be answered. We do not know what speeds the vehicles involved were traveling at. We also don't know what caused the pickup driver to crash into the back of the Volvo truck in the initial collision. Why did not one, but two school bus drivers fail to see an accident on the road ahead in enough time to stop? How far apart were the vehicles when they were moving?

The NTSB reported they will launch an investigation concerning the probable contributing circumstances surrounding this Missouri bus crash. The NTSB made it equally clear they would not be commenting or making any conclusions concerning fault or liability. Both fault and liability are legal terms and investigators are hesitant to extend their conclusions into this arena.

The investigators request any witness to this crash immediately contact the Missouri Highway Patrol or the NTSB with any additional information. Sometimes, people are hesitant to give oral statements to investigators because they simply don't want to be involved. However, it is extremely important to overcome this hesitation and realize you have a unique opportunity to help understand how this St. Louis bus crash occurred and who is at fault. Unfortunately, neither the Missouri Highway Patrol or the NTSB have opened the door to emailed information. If you have information concerning this St. James Missouri bus accident, if you dont feel comfortable contacting the authorities, feel free to email me and I will immediately contact officials with your information.

August 1, 2010

Missouri motorcyclist injured in wreck

Gary Tawney, 51, was seriously injured in a Missouri motorcycle accident that happened Saturday morning on Mo. 15.

According to local media reports and the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Tawney was heading south on a 2009 Harley-Davidson at the time of the crash. A 2000 Chevrolet, driven by Jeffrey Crain, 29, was heading north at the same moment. According to the initial description of the wreck by the investigating trooper, Crain failed to yield when making a left turn in front of the motorcycle. Tawney was unable to avoid a collision.

Tawney was taken by ambulance to University Hospital for treatment. Crain wasn't listed as injured.

Driver inattention is one of the leading causes of motorcycle injury accidents. Larger cars will merge or turn without noticing smaller motorcyclists. Since bikers are so much more vulnerable, often times the injuries in these incidents are serious or even fatal. Fortunately, Tawney was able to receive treatment and will hopefully make a full recovery.

July 27, 2010

Highway 50 wreck injures two

A near-miss at an entrance ramp eventually did result a Missouri car wreck when two vehicle crashed on Highway 50 in Cole County.

Christopher Guinther, 40, was heading eastbound on Highway 50 in a 2000 Chevrolet truck when a FedEx truck attempted to merge ahead of him. According to the initial crash report, Guinther swerved to miss the FedEx truck and ended up in the northbound lane of Route U. Theresa Loschky, 42, was driving on Route U at the time and was unable to avoid the collision with Guinther's truck.

Both Guinther and Loschky suffered serious injuries and were taken by ambulance to Capital Region Hospital for treatment. No information was listed about the FedEx truck or its driver.

More investigation will be needed to determine any liability issues around this Missouri injury accident. If the FedEx truck driver made an negligent maneuver in trying to merge, he or she could be found at least partially responsible for the damages caused. In a car wreck, you don't necessarily need to actually collide with another vehicle to be held responsible. For instance, if you run a red light causing other vehicles to swerve and miss your car, you may be liable for damage they sustain while avoiding you.

Since car accident claims can become very complicated, it is important to have good legal advice from an experienced Missouri personal injury attorney. Most offer free consultations where you can discuss your case and get advice on protecting your legal rights as an accident victim. If you have questions about a Cole County, Mo car accident claim, feel free to contact us to discuss your situation.

July 26, 2010

Two Missouri accidents result in serious injuries

Two Missouri car accidents left a number of people hospitalized with serious injuries on Monday. The first was an early morning accident involving teenagers on Highway 160 and the second was a chain reaction collision later in the afternoon on I-55.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Highway 160 accident occurred around 12:40 a.m. as John Coleman, 20, attempted to cross the highway in his 2005 Jeep. The investigating officer said he failed to yield to traffic and pulled into the path of a 2000 Pontiac, driven by Rachel Savage, 18. Savage was unable to avoid the collision and slammed into the side of Coleman's Jeep.

Savage and one of her passengers, Kylie Davolt, 17, sustained minor injuries, but another passenger, Danielle Foster, 17, wasn't so lucky. Foster's injuries were described as serious and she was rushed to Cox South Hospital for emergency treatment. Coleman was not listed on the injury report.

At around 3:30 p.m., another person was injured in a Missouri car crash when three cars collided on I-55. The three vehicles were slowing for traffic congestion when the third vehicle in line, a 2002 Oldsmobile Alero driven by Justin Ruessler, 24, rear-ended the second vehicle, a 1992 GMC Sonoma driven by Keith Donachy, 41. The impact of the collision sent Donachy's vehicle into the third car.

Donachy was taken to Perryville Memorial Hospital for treatment. He was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, according to the investigating officer.

July 23, 2010

St. Louis area car accident injures two drivers


Two area drivers were hospitalized after being injured in a car accident on I-270 near the junction with I-70.

The drivers involved were Robert Matsko, 20, and Bobbie Cole, 33, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Matsko was driving a 2000 Ford Contour and Cole was driving a 2011 Kia Sorento. Both drivers were heading southbound in one of the middle lanes and attempted to merge into the same lane at the same time. Matsko's car hit the rear of Cole's causing both drivers to lose control of their vehicles. Cole's car actually overturned after the initial impact.

Cole was seriously injured and taken to St. John's Mercy Medical Center for emergency treatment. Matsko was also taken to St. John's, though his injuries were less serious. Both drivers were wearing a seat belt at the time of this St. Louis area car crash.

Neither driver was insured, according to the initial report, but no citations were listed on the report.

July 21, 2010

Missouri woman killed in car accident

Carolyn Flynn, 38, was killed and a man riding with her was injured after a Missouri car wreck on Route J in Morgan County.

The accident took place around 1:16 p.m. at the intersection of Route J and Webb Road. According to the investigating officer, Flynn was driving a 2000 Chevrolet eastbound with a man named Todd Stenzel, 47. Another vehicle, a 2010 Ford driven by William Donnelly, 67, was heading westbound toward Flynn's vehicle. For an unexplained reason, Donnelly's vehicle crossed the center line and struck Flynn's vehicle, forcing is off the side of the road where it overturned and came to a rest in a ditch.

Flynn was pronounced dead at the scene. Stenzel was taken by ambulance for emergency treatment. Donnelly was not listed as injured on the initial crash report.

Neither Flynn nor Stenzel was wearing a seat belt at the time of this deadly Missouri traffic accident.

Whenever there is a fatality in an accident like this, additional investigation is supposed to follow, including an accident reconstruction and alcohol testing for the drivers involved. Insurance companies will also get involved to determine what they will be paying out to cover damages and, many times, they will be looking to reduce the amount they owe to the injured parties. Because of all the complicated legal and financial issues involved, it benefits anyone involved in a serious accident to contact an experienced Missouri personal injury attorney to discuss you rights as an accident victim.

July 15, 2010

Towed trailer separates from pickup, kills Missouri man

Photo by Houston Herald
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Stephen Thompson, 61, was killed and another man, Douglas County Deputy Steven Zehner, 29, was seriously injured when the county patrol vehicle they were riding in was struck by a trailer that had separated from a pickup.

According to the officials with the Missouri State Highway Patrol and local media outlets, Thompson was an inmate being transported by Zehner on Highway 63 when the fatal Missouri car accident occurred. A northbound pickup, driven by Gary Miller, 65, was pulling a trailer unit that drifted across the center line of the highway. It collided with a southbound tractor trailer and another pickup before being pulled from Miller's truck. The towed unit continued into the southbound lanes where it slammed into Zehner's car.

Thompson was pronounced dead at the scene. Zehner was taken by ambulance for emergency treatment at a local hospital. Both were wearing seatbelts.

No other drivers were listed as injured, according to the initial crash report of this Missouri trailer accident. All drivers were tested for alcohol in accordance with the law.

Trailer accidents claim 400 to 500 lives across the country each year. The most common trailer accident occurs when a trailer is not properly hitched and drifts away from the towing vehicle. At high speeds, trailer units can be deadly obstacles as we were tragically reminded by this latest accident on Highway 63. Other accidents are caused when the weight of trailer catches the driver off-guard and he or she is unable to brake in time to avoid a collision.

In response to the number of trailer accidents, several states have modified their laws to make trailer regulations stricter. According to a USA Today report, the state of Virginia has recently passed one such law and other states, including Alabama, Hawaii, Louisiana and Tennessee, have measures being considered by state legislators.

July 13, 2010

Missouri Highway Patrol's anti-texting campaign

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Over the the last week, you may have noticed some new anti-texting signs or logos getting posted around the state. That's because the Missouri State Highway Patrol, along with various other public departments and private sponsors, has begun a new public awareness ad campaign aimed at reducing distracted driving, specifically targeting texting.

The campaign logo will be popping up on billboards and on decals that you can stick to your car. It will also be seen on cars at Gateway International Speedway races.

Missouri has already banned texting while driving for people under the age of 21 and this ban will be strictly enforced over the coming weeks. While this law is aimed at younger drivers, campaign organizers hope that drivers of any age will heed the warnings and not engage in negligently distracting activities that could result in serious car crash injuries or fatalities.

Officials with the Highway Patrol say the new campaign is important because distracted driving is at least partially responsible for one-in-four Missouri car accidents.

July 11, 2010

Terrible three-car Missouri wreck kills one and injures nine

Lynn Fraker, 54, of North Liberty, Iowa, was killed and nine others were injured in a Missouri car accident on Highway 54.

The accident occurred shortly after 2 p.m. when a 1998 Pontiac, driven by Charles Howdeshell, 50, attempted to pass a 2004 Mazda, driven by Douglas Hill, 50. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Howdeshell's car struck Hill's causing in to swerve out of control. The Mazda then crossed over into oncoming traffic where it collided head-on with a 2008 Chevrolet, driven by Robert Becker, 50.

Fraker, who was riding in the Mazda, was pronounced dead at the scene. Three other people in her vehicle, including Hill, were seriously injured by the car crash and taken to local hospitals. Becker was accompanied by four members of his family in the Chevrolet, all of whom suffered substantial injuries.

The investigating officer didn't specify what caused Howdeshell's car to hit Hill's to trigger the accident. No citations were indicated on the initial crash report.

July 5, 2010

Three vehicle crash injures five

Five people were injured, three seriously, in a Missouri car accident involving three separate vehicles in St. Genevieve County.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the accident occurred on Route F just after 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. Two vehicles, a 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier and a 2006 Chevrolet Silverado, were traveling westbound while a third vehicle, a 2006 Ford F150, was heading eastbound. The Cavalier, driven by Michael Kerrigan, 31, crossed the center line of the roadway and struck the F150 pickup nearly head-on. After the initial collision, the pickup continued down the roadway where it also crossed the center line to slam head-on into the Silverado.

Three people were seriously injured in this St. Louis area car crash: Karri Donze, 34, and Shawn Merritt, 34, who were riding in the Silverado and Larry Mahaney, 30, who was driving the F150. Two others sustained less serious injuries.

The cause of the crash is still unknown. The initial report doesn't indicate what could have caused Kerrigan to lose control of his vehicle and cross the center line.

Our thoughts are with those injured in this accident and hopefully all will make a full recovery.

Car accidents can quickly become complicated from a legal point of view, especially when multiple collisions are involved. Anybody injured on the roadway should consider contacting a St. Louis personal injury attorney to discuss their legal rights and make sure they give themselves the best chance to make a recovery.

July 3, 2010

Hands free devices still a dangerous distraction

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In all the recent news about texting bans, the dangers of hands free devices might be getting lost in the background noise. Just because you can keep both hands on the steering wheel, talking with a hands free device has been shown to still increase the risk of a serious car accident.

Studies have repeatedly shown that talking on the phone, hands free or not, decreases your ability to react to changing road conditions. Participants in one study were, on average, more than 100 milliseconds delayed in responding to sudden obstacles behind the wheel. That small difference in reaction time translates to about 10 - 20 feet in stopping distance for a car traveling at highway speeds.

Scientists say that the reason for the decrease is simply that the brain isn't as good at multi-tasking as many people think. The brain can only process a certain amount of information presented to it at once and performing tasks requiring concentration, like carrying a phone conversation, can interfere with processing road conditions.

There's even a difference between a conversation on the phone and one with a passenger in the car. Researchers are divided on the explanation, but numerous experiments have shown talking on a cell phone is more distracting and impairing than talking with a passenger in the car. A driver on the phone is four times more likely to make an avoidable driving error, like missing an exit, than a driver conversing with passengers. One possible explanation is that the passenger is also paying attention to the road and the flow of the conversation synchronizes with the flow of the drive with lulls during tricky driving maneuvers.

Some distractions are unavoidable, but the most important thing to remember is to respect the extent that these distractions impair your driving. Distracted driving is a major cause of car accidents in Missouri and hopefully with more education on the subject we can limit the number of avoidable tragedies.

July 1, 2010

St. Clair County crash kills one and injures four

Casey Bain, 25, was killed and another four people were seriously injured in a Missouri car accident that took place on Route B in St. Clair County.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the accident took place just before 8 p.m. near the town of Rockville. The two vehicles involved, a 2005 Ford Pickup and a 1990 Chevrolet Pickup, were both approaching the same intersection from different directions. According to the investigating officer, Benjamin Balthrope, 30, the driver of the northbound Chevy pickup, failed to stop at a stop sign. Michael Durst, 54, who was behind of the wheel of the westbound Ford pickup, was unable to avoid a collision and slammed his truck into the side of Balthrope's.

Bain was pronounced dead at the scene. Balthrope, Durst, and two passengers in Durst's truck were all taken to local hospitals with serious and potentially life-threatening injuries.

According to the initial crash report, most of the people involved were not wearing a seat belt at the time of this Missouri injury accident.

The drivers were both tested for alcohol in accordance with Missouri law. Balthrope was listed as driving uninsured, though no citation was indicated on the initial report.

June 27, 2010

Texting laws continue to spread around the country

More states will soon have anti-texting-while-driving laws go into effect in an attempt to reduce the number of car accident injuries, according to an NPR report. Six laws will go into effect in just the next month, including a ban in Georgia.

Missouri is among the more than thirty states with at least some type of texting ban. Missouri's law is only a partial ban, however, restricting texting by drivers under 21. Tractor trailer drivers have also been banned from texting under a recent federal regulation.

Georgia's new law is a total texting ban, according to the NPR report, and will allow cell phone records to be subpoenaed in some instances after a serious car crash.

The wave of laws is in response to a growing problem of distracted driving. The Department of Transportation says that accidents caused by distracted driving resulted in 6,000 deaths and more than 500,000 injuries in 2008.

The report says even though the laws are getting tougher, the statistics haven't shown much improvement in states with texting bans. A study conducted by the Highway Loss Data Institute looked at the effect of anti-texting laws in three states and Washington, D.C. and concluded that there has been little to no reduction in accidents due to the new laws. Previous studies have shown clearly that texting or talking on a cell phone while driving increases the chance for an accident, yet laws curbing this behavior have yet to garner results. This may simply be due to the fact that people are ignoring the new laws and continuing to use cell phones while driving.

As more state laws go into effect and more research is done, a clearer picture should evolve around the issue of distracted driving and how we can limit its consequences.

June 25, 2010

Missouri woman killed in head-on collision

Judy Braden, 58, was killed and another woman was injured in a terrible Missouri car accident on Missouri Highway 7.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Braden was heading northbound in a 2006 Nissan Altima at the time of the crash. Approaching her in the southbound lane was a 1996 Buick Le Sabre, driven by Joanne Goeth, 50. Goeth's vehicle drifted over the center line and struck Braden's car head-on before overturning off the roadway. Braden's car continued northbound before running off the right side of the roadway.

Braden was pronounced dead at the scene. Goeth was seriously injured and taken to St. Luke's Hospital for emergency treatment.

Our thoughts are with the families of both victims.

At the moment, the cause of this fatal Missouri car crash is unknown. The investigating officer did not say what caused Goeth's vehicle to cross the center line. No citation or arrest information was listed.

An accident reconstruction will be performed to determine the exact series of events in this incident. By looking at tire skid marks and debris patterns, investigators can recreate the accident precisely and better determine what caused the crash.

June 22, 2010

Missouri bicyclist hit by car

Kenneth McFarland, 75, was injured and hospitalized after being hit by a car while he was out for a morning bike ride. This Clay County, Missouri car accident appears to be an avoidable one.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, McFarland was heading northbound towards the intersection of Route W and Route C when the Missouri car accident occurred. As McFarland entered the intersection, so did a 2010 Chevrolet driven by Adam Christiansen, 26. Christiansen's car hit McFarland and knocked him off his bike.

McFarland was taken by ambulance to a local hospital for emergency treatment. Fortunately, he was at least wearing a helmet or his injuries could have been more severe.

The investigating officer said in the initial report that Christiansen failed to yield the right of way to McFarland and that charges are pending. Initial crash reports are just the initial impressions of the responding officer and considered hearsay in court. It is often in an injury victim's best interest to contact a Missouri personal injury attorney to help with a full investigation into any accident and make sure the rights of the victim are protected.

This accident could have been much worse. With little more than a helmet, and sometimes not even that, bicyclists are at great risk when sharing the streets with cars. Most accidents are caused when a drivers fails to see a smaller cyclist until it is too late.

June 20, 2010

St. Francois County wreck hospitalizes two

Michael Kinneman, 56, and Henry Williams, 33, were both injured in a Missouri car accident when their vehicles collided on Highway 67 in St. Francois County.

According to the investigating officer, Williams was traveling southbound on Highway 67 in a 2005 Chevy Suburban at the time of the crash. Kinneman was on Route DD in a Chevrolet 1500 pickup and attempted to cross Highway 67. As Kinneman crossed the highway, he pulled directly into the path of Williams, who was unable to avoid slamming into the passenger side of the pickup. The impact was so fierce that Kinneman was thrown from his truck.

Both Williams and Kinneman were taken for emergency treatment at local hospitals.

According to the initial crash report on this St. Louis area injury accident, Kinneman was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

June 14, 2010

Missouri law enforcement plan to limit fatal crashes

A statewide law enforcement campaign to limit the number of serious Missouri car accidents will be returning this summer after some success last year.

The campaign, called High Enforcement Action Teams (HEAT), consists of increased patrols on area highways with particular attention paid toward stopping aggressive drivers. The plan, which is sponsored by the Missouri Highway Safety Division, is being adopted by agencies all across the state, including the Missouri State Highway Patrol and numerous local police departments.

HEAT began last year after officials began to notice a jump in the number of accidents during the summer months. Patrols were stepped up on Interstates 70 and 44 and there was a decline in serious injury accidents from the prior year. For 2010, the HEAT program has been super-sized to include more roadways and for a longer duration.

One of the areas that will be focused on this year is Interstate 270, according to a St. Louis Post Dispatch report. That report said that local law enforcement already writes dozens of tickets every hour in that area, but reckless and negligent drivers continue to break the law.

Aggressive driving is a major problem across the country. This includes excessive speeding, tailgating, or reckless lane changes. Studies show that these types of negligent behaviors are present in a large portion of serious car accidents and cause thousands of deaths each year.

While law enforcement will do its best to prevent these incidents from happening, inevitably, there will still be accidents. Negligent drivers must be held accountable for their behavior and no one should have to pay because somebody else decided to drive aggressively and caused an accident. If you have been injured in a Missouri car accident, contact a Missouri personal injury lawyer to make sure your rights as an accident victim are protected.

June 12, 2010

Tractor accident seriously injures Missouri man

James Kenagy, 56, was seriously injured in a Missouri car accident Friday afternoon when the John Deere farm tractor he was driving was hit by another car.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the other vehicle was a 2010 Mercury Milan, driven by William Roark, 34. Roark was heading northbound on Missouri Highway 7 when he came up behind Kenagy's tractor. For whatever reason, Roark was unable to slow his car before rear-ending the tractor.

Kenagy was flown to a local hospital for emergency treatment of serious injuries. Roark and a passenger in his car suffered only minor injuries.

Hopefully all involved will be able to make a full recovery.

An investigation into the details of this Missouri injury accident is ongoing and the initial report says that charges are pending.

Often, in rear-end collision accidents, negligence is assumed on the part of the at-fault driver. This is due to the rear-end collision doctrine which says that all driver's should be in control of where their vehicle is heading. You must prove that this doctrine applies, though, and some accident cases are more complicated than they may at-first appear. If you have been injured in an accident and have questions about your case, seek a free consultation from a Missouri car accident attorney.

June 8, 2010

Missouri reforms DWI laws to crack down on repeat offenders

Gov. Jay Nixon signed into law a reform of the state's DWI laws that aim to be stricter on repeat offenders and limit the number of serious Missouri car accidents caused by drunk drivers.

Some of the key components of the new bill are:

-Cases involving repeat offenders must be moved from a municipal court to a state court, where the penalties are tougher.
-All law enforcement agencies across the state must participate in a DWI reporting policy to better track the number of drunk driving wrecks across the state.
-All municipal court judges must complete a course focused on drunk driving laws.
-Special DWI courts will be created specifically for driver's who plead guilty and new penalties for drivers with a blood alcohol content of .15 or above.

Aside from those main changes, several procedural changes to how DWI cases are handled will be enacted as well. For instance, the law closes a loophole that allowed DWI offenders to have prior offenses expunged.

The bill comes after Gov. Nixon held a summit of state officials to come up with a plan to reduce drunk driving accident injuries in Missouri.

According to nationwide data, Missouri ranks in the bottom half of all states in terms of the number of drunk driving accidents and the percent of fatalities involving a drunk driver.

June 2, 2010

Tractor trailer crash near Herculaneum kills two

Photo by KMOV-TV
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A terrible Missouri tractor trailer crash occurred Wednesday afternoon on Interstate 55 leaving two people dead and another five with significant injuries.

The accident took place at the McNutt Street exit near Herculaneum. According to the initial crash report on file with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the driver of the tractor trailer was Jay Valentine, 32. He was driving northbound on I-55 and approached a line of cars that had stopped due to traffic congestion. Valentine became distracted, according to media reports, and didn't see the traffic ahead until he was too close to stop. He attempted to avoid a collision by quickly changing lanes, but he still plowed through the back end of several vehicles. In all, seven other vehicles besides the tractor trailer were involved in this fatal St. Louis area truck accident.

Charles Martin, 52, was driving a Ford Focus which was one of the cars first hit by the big rig. The car was dragged the length of a football field and completely devastated. Martin was pronounced dead at the scene.

The other fatality was Alana McKnight, 28, another driver in the line of cars. Her car was struck in the chain reaction that ensued after the initial crash. She was rushed to a local hospital for emergency treatment, but was unable to recover.

There were five others listed as injured on the report: Cathy Hawn, 53; Terry Hawn, 58; Alice Falk, 79; Mary Davis, 65; and Mark London, 51.

Our thoughts are with the families of the deceased and with the injured parties still making a recovery. Hopefully they will be able to fully heal their injures and not be left with any permanent disabilities.

The tractor trailer appeared to belong to a trucking company call Western Express, Inc. This large company, based out of Nashville, has been involved in over 100 serious injury accidents in the past couple years. Six of these accidents resulted in fatalities.

An investigation into this incident is ongoing and could take weeks to complete. Until then, we won't have a detailed description of how this crash occurred, but officials at the scene have been quoted as saying the truck driver was distracted and looking to the right just before the wreck. A full investigation will also be able to determine if any motor carrier regulations were violated.

Since these types of accidents can become incredibly complicated from a legal standpoint, it is often advisable to seek a professional consultation from a Missouri personal injury attorney before talking to the insurance companies.

May 31, 2010

Statistics on train-vehicle crashes

In following up on a previous post about Missouri train-vehicle crashes, I wanted to post some statistics related to the problem both in the St. Louis area and around the country.

Nationwide, there have been over 30,000 railroad crossing accidents and 3,600 deaths in the past decade. While uncontrolled railroad crossings can be very dangerous, about half of all railroad crossing collisions occur at sites with warning devices as drivers will try to beat the train even when they know it's coming.

St. Louis happens to lie on the border of two of the most dangerous states when it comes to fatal car crashes at railroad crossings. Illinois ranks #1 as the most dangerous state and Missouri comes in at #10.

The causes of these crashes vary from case to case, but generally, they are either caused by driver error, unsafe conditions at the crossing, or some mix of the two. Too often we hear about a driver who saw a train coming, but thought he could beat it over the crossing. In many other cases, a responsible driver will simply not be aware of a train due to obstructions along the tracks, a lack or warning lights, or a conductor who fails to blow a warning horn when approaching.

In some cases, the victims may be entitled to damages from the railroad company. It is in the best interest of accident victims to contact a St. Louis personal injury lawyer to make sure their rights are protected.

May 27, 2010

Memorial Day traffic season almost here

It's nearly Memorial Day weekend and that means the kids will be finishing up school, the pools will be opening and the barbecue grills will be hot. It also means that a lot of people will be out on the roadways.

Memorial Day is a very busy traveling holiday, especially for motorists. The long weekend lends itself to a road trip, and millions of Americans take advantage. Tens of millions of people leave home for the holiday every year.

This year is expected to be even bigger with AAA predicting more than a 5 percent increase in travelers. As many as 32 million Americans will be traveling this holiday weekend. The increase, according to some experts, can be attributed to the economy that, while not nearly totally back on track, is a little brighter than this time last year.

All those extra cars on the road also means more serious car accidents. There is always a spike in accident numbers over the holiday weekend due largely to the increased traffic and the fact that a lot of Memorial Day festivities involve alcohol. Memorial Day is also the start of the summer driving season which is especially notorious for being a bad time for teens getting injured in car crashes.

Be sure your holiday doesn't take a tragic turn. Don't drink and drive and be aware of others on the roadway who may not be so responsible. Even if you typically have a lead foot, make this weekend be the one where you stay under the speed limit and don't take any chances.

May 23, 2010

Comparative negligence

In most Missouri car accidents, the liability insurance of the at fault driver will pay for the injured party's medical bills and other expenses. But what about cases where both drivers were at fault for an injury accident?

It's in these cases where comparative negligence may come into play. Different states have different rules about comparative negligence or comparative fault. In Missouri, there is a pure comparative negligence rule which means that the injured party may recover damages even if he was partially at fault, but those damages will be reduced by a percentage in proportion to his fault in the accident.

For example, a driver may have been injured in an accident where he is 50% at fault. If the damage award is $50,000, he will only receive $25,000. The same process would follow were he to have been 75%, 20%, or even 99% at fault for a serious car accident.

A real life example would be a car accident that occurs late on a foggy night. Driver 1 may have hit Driver 2's car, but Driver 2 didn't have his lights on. It could be argued that both drivers should share some of the fault for this incident

This is one reason why it's so important to be careful when talking to insurance companies. You may feel like you were at fault for an accident, but even if you were partially at fault, you may still be entitled to damages. Before you make any statements to an insurance company or sign any forms they offer, it may be a good idea to consult with a St. Louis personal injury attorney.

May 21, 2010

Serious crash occurs as Missouri man runs stop sign

Two people were seriously injured in a Missouri car accident late Friday afternoon in Clay County.

The accident occurred at the intersection of Nation and 144th Street. According to the investigating trooper from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Chris Wickerson, 57, arrived at the intersection in a 1994 Geo Metro. He stopped at the stop sign and then began to cross the intersection. As he crossed 144th street, a 2002 Ford Explorer, driven by Robert Munzt, 25, failed to stop at the stop sign and slammed into Wickerson's car. Munzt's car crashed into the passenger side of Wickerson's car.

Both Wickerson and Munzt were taken to Liberty Hospital for emergency treatment. Luckily, both drivers were wearing a seatbelt in the in this side impact accident.

According to the initial crash report, an investigation is ongoing and charges are pending.

Under the law, the liability insurance of the at-fault driver pays for damages incurred by the injured party in an accident. While the initial report in this wreck seems cut and dry, Missouri injury accidents can quickly get complicated when insurance companies get involved. To make sure your rights as an accident victim are protected, it is in your best interest to contact a Missouri personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident.

May 19, 2010

Teens driving after dark leads to more accidents

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A new nationwide study of young drivers shows that driving at night is the biggest risk factor and causes the most fatalities in serious car accidents. While it may seem obvious that driving at night is more dangerous than driving during the day, what is surprising is the degree at which the risk rises. Controlling for all other variables, driving after dark contributes to more fatalities than drinking, speeding or not wearing a seatbelt.

What's alarming about this bit of information is the fact that teens driving at night are also more prone to engaging in those other risky driving practices which raises their chances of being injured in a car wreck exponentially.

The authors of the study claim that a big contributing factor is cell phones. Driving at night provides its own challenges, but those risks are compounded when a driver's attention is divided by a cell phone.

Here in Missouri, we have taken steps to limit this risk factor by banning texting behind the wheel for any driver under 21. The graduated license system we adopted several years ago also places restrictions on new drivers at night.

May 17, 2010

Missouri legislature doesn't ban texting for all drivers

Since Missouri banned drivers under the age of 21 from texting behind the wheel last year, the debate has focused on whether to ban texting for all drivers. The state legislature has decided, for now, that it will not ban texting for adult drivers.

Laws against texting and driving have been adopted in numerous states around the country as a way of combating distracted driving and the serious car accident injuries it can cause. 42 states have at least considered such laws, with 24 adopting some type of texting regulation, while federal agencies have banned texting for commercial truck drivers and federal employees driving state-owned vehicles.

Since the Missouri law banning minors from texting took effect, only a few tickets have been issued. It's too early to tell what type of effect the law has had on crash statistics.

Nationwide, over 6,000 people are killed every year by car accidents caused by negligent distracted driving. In Missouri alone, there were over 500 injuries related to distracted driving crashes.

May 15, 2010

Two seriously injured on Highway 65

Two men were hospitalized after a serious Missouri car accident at the intersection of Highway 65 and Sacajawea Road.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol's investigating officer, Joshua Dillon, 25, and Robert Smith, 47, were driving separate cars on the highway at the time of the crash. Dillon was heading southbound in a 1994 Ford, while Smith was heading northbound in a 2004 Dodge. Dillon attempted to make a left turn in front of Smith, but in the process of executing the turn, Smith's car struck the side of Dillon's.

Smith was seriously injured and taken to Bothwell Hospital for emergency treatment. Dillon was also taken to Bothwell Hospital, but with less serious injuries.

More evidence besides the initial crash report is needed to determine exactly what caused this Missouri injury accident. We need to know how close the cars were when Dillon attempted to make the turn, as well as the speeds of the two vehicles.

Left turn crashes are some of the most common types of accidents on U.S. roadways. Anytime you have cars crossing in front of oncoming traffic, you have the potential for a serious wreck. To combat this, federal and state transportation officials have come up with a number of unique solutions. Most recently, the Missouri Department of Transportation gained some national attention for being one of the first in the country to try a "diverging diamond" intersection design in Springfield. This somewhat unusual design has drivers swap sides of the road when passing through the intersection in order to eliminate the need to make a left turn across oncoming traffic.

The best way to prevent these types of accidents, though, is being a defensive and responsible driver. Make sure you have plenty of time to cross in front of an oncoming car and don't speed towards an intersection to beat a light.

May 13, 2010

Motorcycle wreck hospitalizes Missouri man

Ronald Hall, 20, was injured in a Missouri motorcycle accident on Missouri 76 near Tiff City.

Hall was riding his 1997 Suzuki motorcycle westbound at the time of the wreck, according to a Missouri State Highway Patrol report. He approached an intersection at the same time as Charles Bales, 58, who was driving a 2001 Oldsmobile. Bales pulled out of the intersection into the path of Hall's motorcycle. Hall was unable to avoid a collision and struck the Oldsmobile.

Hall was taken by ambulance to Freeman West Hospital for emergency treatment. He was wearing a helmet. Bales was uninjured and was able to drive from the scene.

Again we have a case of a car not seeing a motorcycle at an intersection and pulling into its path. This scenario, and cars merging into motorcycles on the highway, are the most common causes of serious motorcycle accident injuries.

Now, there are still some details missing from the the initial crash report of this latest accident. We don't know the speed at which Hall was traveling or whether he had the right of way in the intersection. Whatever the liability situation of this particular incident, it serves as yet another warning to drivers and riders to be cautious when out on the road.

May 11, 2010

Head-on collision sends two to hospital

Two people were injured and hospitalized Tuesday afternoon after a Missouri car crash on Route 47 in Franklin County.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Mark Taylor, 49, and Ashlea Spires, 29, were each driving on Route 47 at the time of the accident. Taylor was heading northbound in a 1991 Mazda Miata and Spires was driving a 1990 Toyota Camry southbound. As they approached each other, Taylor lost control of his car and crossed the center line. The drivers were unable to avoid a collision with each other and the two car collided nearly head-on.

Both Taylor and Spires were injured and taken by ambulance to St. John's Mercy Hospital for treatment. Neither driver was wearing a seat belt.

Hopefully both drivers can make a full recovery from this St. Louis area injury accident.

While the initial reports have a basic series of events, determining any liability and settling insurance issues is going to require further investigation. For instance, we don't know the speed of the two vehicles or what caused Taylor to lose control of his car. Under Missouri law, the at-fault driver's liability insurance should pay the medical bills and other costs incurred by the injured party.

Cases that seem simple at first can sometimes become very complicated when insurance companies get involved. When that happens, you'll want the legal advice of someone on your side to make sure your rights as an accident victim are upheld. The best way to do this is to consult a Missouri personal injury lawyer.

May 9, 2010

Traffic accidents leading cause of death for American teens

The Centers for Disease Control has issued a report stating that serious car accidents are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States. Over a third of all teenage deaths can be attributed to traffic accidents.

According to the report, over 16,000 teens die each year from car accident injuries. That equals about a third of all teenage deaths, beating out the other leading causes of death including non-car related accidents, homicide, suicide, cancer and heart disease. Accidents in general, both car related and not, are to blame for over half of all teen fatalities.

The numbers also show that male teens are much more likely to be killed in a traffic accident than female teens. At 16, males are about twice as likely to be in a fatal car accident and that disparity only widens as they get older. By 19, males are three times as likely to be killed in a car crash.

While the numbers are disheartening, especially since the loss of life of among teens is a such a tragic occurrence, there is room for optimism. Car accidents are a preventable cause of death. Safety advance through the years have done a pretty good job at preventing serious accidents. No advances in car engineering or safety technology will ever take the place of responsible driving. Teens need to receive plenty of practice in a supervised setting before being on the road on their own. Parents need to make sure to pass on safe driving tips and a encourage their children not to engage in risky or negligent driving practices.

Here in Missouri, state laws have also stepped in to try and prevent these tragic accidents. The graduated license system was implemented in the last decade and in just the last year, teens were banned from texting while driving.

May 7, 2010

Car vs. tractor accident sends two to hospital

Viola Dudenhoeffer, 72, and Kennith Eichholz, 47, were injured and hospitalized after a Missouri car accident between a car and John Deere Tractor on Highway 63.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the incident occurred around 8 a.m. on Friday as Eichholz was driving his tractor on the highway. Dudenhoeffer was also driving on the highway behind Eichholz in a 2009 Ford. Eichholz attempted to make a left turn onto County Road 511 at the same time that Dudenhoeffer attempted to pass the tractor. The car crashed into the left side of the tractor as it tried to make the turn.

Both Dudenhoeffer and Eichholz were taken to St. Mary's Hospital for treatment. Both drivers were wearing safety belts.

Living in Missouri, seeing tractors on roadways is a common sight. While they are generally slower than the other traffic on the road, it doesn't mean that the presence of large farm equipment has to result in a dangerous situation or major car accident injuries. Both drivers just need to respect one another and follow the rules of the road.

Likewise, passing on highways and country roads is also legal, but can be dangerous if not done with extreme caution. You have to make sure that you know what the other driver is going to do and if there are any incoming cars.

When there is an accident, it is a wise decision to contact a Missouri car accident injury lawyer. Crash cases can quickly become complicated, especially when it comes to dealing with insurance companies, and consulting with a legal professional a good way to make sure your rights as an accident victim are preserved.

May 3, 2010

Three car Missouri crash sends two to hospital

A three-car, chain reaction Missouri crash sent two people to the hospital Monday evening in Pulaski County.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, all three vehicles involved were traveling eastbound on Missouri highway 28 at around 6:00 p.m. Among the drivers were Kendra Cunningham, 20; Sharon Shamblin, 26; and Jared Sabatasso, 28. The initial crash reports says Sabatasso's 2007 Toyota Solara rear-ended Shamblin's 2006 Mazda 3. The impact then sent Shamblin's car into the back of Cunningham's 2006 Hyundai SGX.

Shamblin suffered serious injuries and was rushed by ambulance to a local hospital. Cunningham was also hospitalized, but with less serious injuries. Sabatasso was not listed as injured on the report.

Our thoughts are with the injured parties. Hopefully they are able to make a full recovery.

In these types of chain reaction crashes, the rear-impact collision doctrine often applies. This doctrine states that in rear-impact collisions, negligence is assumed on the part of the at-fault driver. The basis for this is that every driver should be in control of his or her vehicle and should leave plenty of space between it and the vehicle ahead.

Unfortunately, not all injury accident cases are so simple. There may be extenuated circumstances to every crash and details besides what was listed on the initial crash report. Because of the complicated nature of traffic and injury law, it is often advisable to get a free consultation from a personal injury attorney. Many will discuss your case with you at no charge and with no obligation to hire.

May 1, 2010

Two people seriously injured in Highway 50 crash

Two people were hospitalized after a serious Missouri car accident on Highway 50 in Jackson County.

Beverly Cathcard, 80, was driving northbound toward the intersection of Highway 50 and Smart Road, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Also approaching the intersection was Jill Powell, 26. According to the investigating officer, Cathcard failed to yield to traffic as she entered the intersection. Cathcard's 1989 Ford F350 pulled into the path of Powell's 2007 Pontiac G6. Powell was unable to avoid smashing into Cathcard's vehicle.

Both Powell and Cathcard suffered serious injuries and were taken to Research Medical Center for emergency treatment.

Powell was not wearing a seat belt.

An investigation into this Missouri traffic injury accident is ongoing. Charges are pending.

Further investigation is often needed in traffic accidents to corroborate the details of the initial crash report. The description of the accident made by the investigating officer is just that officer's opinion based on initial comments at the scene. In court, it is considered hearsay unless the officer actually witnessed the crash, is trained in accident reconstruction or the report is backed up by other physical evidence. Because accident cases can quickly turn complicated, it is in your best interest to contact a car accident injury lawyer after a serious wreck in order to discuss your case and make sure your rights as an accident victim are protected. Our Jackson County, Missouri personal injury lawyers can answer your legal questions. Call us for a free legal consultation.

April 29, 2010

Jefferson County crash injures three

Three people were hospitalized, including one young child, after a Missouri car accident at the intersection of Route A and Old Highway A in Jefferson County.

According to the investigating officer of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Beverly Cornman, 52, was sitting on Old Highway A at a stop sign in her 2004 Dodge Durango. At the same time, Adrienn Hardebeck, 23, was approaching the intersection on Route A in a 1998 Kia Sephia. Just before Hardebeck entered the intersection, Cornman attempted to cross Route A toward Frontier Road. In doing so, Cornman pulled into the path of Hardebeck, who was unable to avoid a collision, and a side-impact crash occurred.

Adrienn Hardebeck and a child in her car, Sonia Hardebeck, 4, were taken by ambulance to Jefferson Regional Medical Center. Cornman was also injured and sought treatment at Jefferson Regional Medical Center.

The initial crash report for this St. Louis area injury accident did not say why Cornman attempted to cross the intersection when she did. Further details may tell investigators whether Cornman did not see Hardebeck's vehicle or whether Hardebeck was traveling at a high rate of speed or some other scenario.

Hardebeck was driving without insurance, according to the initial report, but no citation was listed.

April 25, 2010

Pickup trucks collide; hospitalize six

A Missouri injury accident sent six people to the hospital Sunday after two pickup trucks collided on Highway 51 in Bollinger County.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the accident occurred around 6:20 p.m. near Highway NN. Lisa Abney, 31, was driving southbound in the first pickup, a 1989 Chevrolet. The other pickup was a northbound 2002 Chevy S-10, driven by Tommie Reece, 64. According to a description of the accident by the investigating officer, Abney's truck drifted across the center line and struck the front left of Reece's pickup. The nearly head-on collision totaled both trucks.

Abney and Reece were seriously injured and taken to St. Francis Hospital. Also in Abney's truck were Ryan Burns, 23, and Ronald Wilson, 23. The passengers in Reece's truck were Philip Lawler, 40, and Zachary Lawler, 14. All of the passengers suffered injuries requiring emergency treatment and they were also taken by ambulance to St. Francis Hospital.

Thankfully, all of the passengers in both trucks were wearing seat belts or this accident could have been worse, perhaps even fatal. Hopefully everyone can make a full recovery.

The road to recovery is not always easy. Sometimes Missouri car accidents result in injuries that require serious physical therapy and numerous expensive treatments. Medical bills can pile up and victims may not be well enough to return to work. Because of these hardships, drivers are required to carry liability insurance to pay for the expenses of the injured party should they cause an accident.

Not every case is clear cut, though, and initial crash reports often need much more investigation to corroborate the details. It is often in a victim's best interest to contact a Missouri personal injury attorney after an accident to make sure his or her rights are protected and they are given the best chance to make a full recovery. Most lawyer's offer free consultations with no obligation to hire.

April 23, 2010

When to consult a personal injury attorney

After a Missouri car accident, many people would like to assume that they can rely on their insurance company to take care of them. That's what their customers are paying them for, after all. The mistake people sometimes make is to assume these companies, with their ads claiming that they will protect you in any situation, are not going to be looking for any way to not pay you the amount you deserve.

Insurance companies are working to make a profit and those profits are affected by each serious injury accident they have to pay for. Insurance adjusters will sometimes give you an inadequate settlement offer to see if you accept. Other times, they may try and get out making any kind of settlement at all.

Personal injury lawyers are there to work with you and make sure your rights as an accident victim are protected while allowing you to get the settlement you need for a full recovery. But when should you hire an attorney?

Unfortunately, personal injury law is very complicated with many nuances that can only be understood with years of experience. Every case is different and no blog post will be able to tell you whether you absolutely need representation.

Not every case needs a lawyer and some minor claims can be settled fairly easily. If you have any questions whatsoever, though, about your case, there is almost no risk in contacting a personal injury attorney as they mostly offer free consultations with no obligation to hire. You can discuss your case and the lawyer will be able to determine your best course of action. Sometimes this means he will offer to represent you, while other times, he may give you some free tips on how to handle the case yourself.

April 9, 2010

Two vehicle collision injures four

Four people were hospitalized Friday after a Johnson County, Missouri car accident.

According to the initial accident report on this Missouri car accident, the crash happened at the intersection of Highway 50 and Missouri Route 131. A 1997 Acura, driven by James Frisbey, 31, was heading northbound toward the intersection at the same time as a 2005 GMC pickup, driven by Henry Tiner, 59. According to the investigating trooper from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Frisbey failed to yield at the intersection and pulled into the path of Tiner's pickup. The pickup then slammed into the driver's side of Frisbey's car.

Both drivers were taken to local hospitals with Frisbey, who wasn't wearing a seatbelt, sustaining the most serious injuries. Chelsea Fink, 20, a passenger in the Acura, and Doris Tiner, 56, a passenger in the pickup, were also both injured and taken to local hospitals.

Charges are pending and an investigation into this Missouri injury crash is ongoing.

April 3, 2010

Chain reaction crash sends two to hospital

A Missouri car accident involving three cars occurred Friday afternoon on Interstate 44 and sent two people to the hospital.

According to the initial crash report filed by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, traffic on the highway began to back up due to an earlier accident. Thomas Mayfield, 21, stopped his 2006 Honda at the end of the line of cars. Behind him was Joyce Morris, 52, who was unable to avoid hitting Mayfield's car with her 1994 Mercury. Moments later, a second collision occurred when Logan Harris, 20, slammed his 1998 Jeep into the back of Morris' car. The force of the second impact sent Morris' car into Mayfield's for a second time.

Both Morris and Harris were taken to local hospitals for treatment. Mayfield did not sustain serious injury.

The initial crash report did not say why Morris or Harris were unable to stop their cars before colliding with the traffic ahead of them. No citations were listed on the crash report.

Usually negligence on the part of the at-fault driver is assumed in Missouri rear-end collision cases. This is because every driver is responsible for the road ahead of him or her and should always be in control of where the car is going. Many times these crashes are caused by driver inattention. A person will be distracted by a cell phone or the radio and not see cars stopping ahead on the road. The true cause of an accident is often not found in the initial crash report, which is why it is sometimes necessary to consult a Missouri car accident attorney to help investigate your case.

April 1, 2010

Not everyone is a "supertasker"

A recent article on Wired's website about multitaskers caught my eye both for the information in the article, and how some people might interpret that information.

The article focuses on the findings of a recent study saying that a small percentage of people are exceptionally good at multitasking behind the wheel. These so-called supertaskers are able to perform well on benchmark driving tests while doing other distracting tasks such as talking on the phone or solving math problems. While the average person's response time when braking is reduced 20 percent when multitasking behind the wheel, supertaskers seem to be unaffected.

The idea that driving performance can be unaffected by cell phone use flies in the face of recent legislative trends to restrict the use of phones behind the wheel. Missouri recently banned minors from texting and driving, while commercial truck drivers have been banned from texting by a federal regulation as a way of preventing fatal traffic accidents.

And that's precisely the concern with the article. Most people are definitely not supertaskers. The average person's reaction time while talking on the phone is equivalent to that of a drunken driver and texting while driving is even more dangerous. Only about two percent of people studied had this unique talent, but chances are, a much higher percentage of people reading that article will get the idea that they, too, are multitasking prodigies.

While the science behind brain function and the existence of supertakers is interesting, don't make any assumptions on your own ability. Distracted driving is incredibly negligent and in the vast majority of cases will increase the chances of a serious car accident.

March 29, 2010

Motorcycle accident seriously injures Missouri couple

Two people were hospitalized Monday afternoon after a Missouri motorcycle crash on Highway 112 near Cassville.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the accident occurred as Arthur Brophy, 38, and Melissa Brophy, 30, were riding their 1996 Honda motorcycle northbound on the highway. A 2001 Pontiac Sunfire, driven by Shawanna Hains, 25, was approaching the motorcycle in the southbound lanes. Hains attempted to make a left turn and pulled directly into the path of the motorcycle. Brophy was unable to avoid a collision and crashed into the side of the car.

Both Arthur and Melissa Brophy were taken to St. John's Hospital for treatment. Hains was uninjured in the crash.

Motorcycle accidents are often caused by other drivers not realizing a motorcycle is present and then turning or merging into them. Most drivers only quickly glance to look for other cars and don't notice the smaller motorcycle that might riding next to them or approaching them. Every driver needs to make sure that they share the road with motorcycle riders.

Hopefully the Brophys can make a full recovery from this motorcycle injury accident. Fortunately, they were wearing their helmets at the time of the crash.

While the description of the accident gives some details, we don't know exactly who is at fault for this accident. Why didn't Hains see the oncoming motorcycle in the middle of the day? Was Arthur Brophy driving at an excessive speed? Did Hains make her left turn without signaling? All these questions need to be answered by further investigation.

March 27, 2010

Missouri man seriously injured after car hits tractor

Laccey Umfleet, 41, was seriously injured Saturday morning after his truck collided with a John Deere tractor in Cape Girardeau County.

This Missouri injury accident occurred at 9:45 a.m. on Missouri 25 near Dutchtown. Umfleet was driving a 2007 Chevy pickup southbound on Missouri 25 when he came upon a John Deere tractor, driven by Joshua Veussink, 23. Umfleet began to pass the tractor, when Veussink attempted to make a left turn. The tractor clipped the side of the pickup and sent it veering off the roadway. Umfleet's truck went off the right side of the road and overturned.

Umfleet was seriously injured and taken to St. Francis Medical Center for emergency treatment. Veussink did not sustain any serious injury.

Umfleet was not wearing a seat belt.

Typically, in Missouri traffic accidents, the at-fault driver's liability insurance will pay for damages sustained by the injured party. Not every accident is so clear cut. The initial crash report in this crash will need to be corroborated by further evidence to fill in the missing details like the speed of Umfleet's truck and whether Veussink made a negligent maneuver in making his left turn.

If you are ever involved in an injury accident and want legal guidance, contact a Missouri personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Many will offer a free consultation in which you can discuss your case without any obligation to hire. Our Cape Girardeau, Mo personal injury lawyers are ready to help.

March 25, 2010

Steps to take after a hit and run accident

Being in a serious car accident is stressful enough under normal conditions. You are worried about your health and the safety of those riding with you. Then your thoughts wander to how you are going to pay for the damages and what you need to tell the insurance company. Generally, you call the police to have a report written up and then the at-fault driver's liability insurance will take care of many of the expenses arising for the injured party. But what happens when the at-fault driver doesn't stay at the scene? It can be a helpless feeling to be left injured on the side of the road while the other person illegally drives away.

Your first priority should be to ensure your safety and the safety of those riding with you. Get out of the roadway if you can and make sure that emergency responders are notified.

If there are witnesses, make sure to get their information and see if they can give the police a statement. It is incredibly helpful to have additional people corroborate your account of the crash.

Be sure to write down everything you know about the car that hit you. If you got the license number, that's great, but any information is helpful. Knowing the make, model and color can all help track down the person that hit you. Don't rely on your memory at this stressful time. Be sure to write everything down.

Even if authorities never find the at-fault driver, you can file a claim with your own insurance company's uninsured motorist coverage. By law, your plan must include this coverage that protects you should you be involved in a Missouri car crash with a driver that doesn't have insurance or attempts to flee the scene of the wreck.

Unfortunately, insurance companies may still try and not pay the claim even if you followed all the steps above. If this happens to you, contact a Missouri car accident lawyer as soon as possible and he will be able to help you preserve your rights as an accident victim.

March 23, 2010

Rear-end collision injures three in Jefferson County

Three people were injured in a Tuesday evening Missouri car accident on Highway 21 in Jefferson County, according to the Missouri Highway Patrol.

The accident occurred around 6:15 when Joey Holmes, 47, slowed his northbound 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee to turn into a private driveway. Behind Holmes was Darrell Hasty, 26, who was driving a 2008 Chevrolet Aveo northbound on Highway 21 as well. Hasty failed to see Holmes' Jeep slowing down and was unable to avoid smashing into the back of the Jeep.

Holmes was injured and taken to Jefferson Regional Medical Center for treatment. Hasty and a passenger in his car, Hayden Hasty, 2, were also injured and taken to Jefferson Regional.

The initial crash report did not give a reason why Hasty failed to see Holmes' Jeep slowing down.

Unless further investigation reveals extenuating circumstances in this Missouri rear-end collision injury accident, the case would probably fall under the rear impact collision doctrine which states that negligence is assumed on the part of the at-fault driver in all accidents of this type. The rationale behind this rule is that all drivers should be in control of where their vehicles are heading and leave plenty of space between themselves and the car ahead of them. That way if there is a sudden stop or turn, the rear driver will have time to avoid an accident.

While these types of cases may seem pretty straight forward, there may be complications not readily apparent, especially once insurance companies get involved. To ensure that your rights as an accident victim are upheld, it is usually a good idea to contact a St. Louis based personal injury lawyer for a consultation after any injury. Often they will provide the consultation for free with no obligation to hire.

March 21, 2010

Winter burst causes dozens of accidents

In what was probably Winter's last gasp, a massive snow storm dropped up to a foot of snow in some places in the state causing dozens of Missouri car accidents.

Local media reports, predominately from southern Missouri, listed dozens of crashes in the area. At least 25 vehicles had to be towed just along Interstate 44 after they spun out of control into the median or roadside. The Joplin Globe reported that some emergency dispatch centers were receiving triple the amount of calls normally received on a busy night.

The storm was the mix of rain, sleet and snow that is so often a problematic mixture for drivers. Roads become wet due to the rain and freeze as the temperature lowers. The ice can appear so suddenly that drivers don't realize it's there and lose control of their vehicles. Also, after a couple weeks of milder weather, drivers might have been overconfident and convinced the roads wouldn't freeze again.

Overconfidence in bad weather is often a problem for drivers of SUV's and large trucks. Many times a driver will report that since he had four-wheel drive and solid gripping tires, he felt safer and drove at a faster speed. Despite the added traction that is sometimes featured in SUV's, a solid sheet of ice is still just as slick.

While the Winter weather may be over for the year, as we move into Spring we will start to see thunderstorms and driving rain showers. These can prove to be dangerous for drivers as well. While weather can contribute to a Missouri injury accident, it is not a defense if you cause an accident. If the weather is too severe for your driving ability, stay off the road until it passes.

March 17, 2010

Text messaging leads to Mid-Missouri accident

Becky Burkhart, 28, was seriously injured Wednesday when she was hit in a rear-end collision accident by a driver who was texting behind the wheel.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Burkhart was driving southbound on Missouri Highway 5 in a 1995 Toyota when the accident occurred. Just behind her in a 1997 Ford was Teddy Newell, 29. According to the initial crash report, Newell was text messaging causing him to rear-end Burkhart's vehicle and cause major damage.

The impact of the crash was severe enough to seriously injure Burkhart, who was taken to University Hospital in Columbia. Newell was not severely injured.

If the information in the initial crash report is true, then this Missouri car accident is the result of negligent driving decisions on the part of Newell. Texting behind the wheel has become more of a problem as high-tech phones become ubiquitous among young drivers. While texting, a driver is 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident.

Because of these risk factors, legislators around the country are looking to limit the use of cell phones and text messaging behind the wheel. Missouri has already banned texting by minors while they drive and a national ban on texting for truck drivers was recently established. This trend of regulation only looks to pick up steam with the eventual total ban of texting behind the wheel for all drivers just over the horizon.

March 13, 2010

Missouri teen killed while walking along roadway


Tiffaney Fisher, 18, was killed Friday evening after she was hit by a 2004 Ford while walking along the roadway in Dunklin County, Missouri.

Many of the details are not available at this time, but what we do know is that Fisher was walking along Missouri 164 around 7:21 p.m. when the fatal Missouri pedestrian accident occurred. Trenton Burns, 17, was traveling westbound in the 2004 Ford and struck Fisher as she was walking, according to the Missouri Highway Patrol.

Fisher was pronounced dead at the scene. Burns suffered no physical injuries.

Our thoughts go out to the families of both Fisher and Burns. This is a terrible incident for anyone to endure.

There are several other details not addressed in the initial crash report that need to be fleshed out in order to get a better idea of how this tragic Missouri car accident happened. We need to know if Fisher was walking alongside the roadway or if she was trying to cross the road. We also need to know if Burns was traveling the speed limit or if he was possibly distracted by something else in his car.

It is important to determine what caused any serious accident, whether on the roadways or elsewhere, for several reasons. First, if we know what caused an accident, maybe similar incident can be prevented in the future. Second, in some cases liability isn't clear and needs to be determined for legal reasons. If you or a loved one has been involved in a serious injury accident, it is in your best interest to contact a Missouri personal injury lawyer to discuss your rights as an accident victim.

March 10, 2010

Jefferson County, Missouri crash kills Hillsboro senior

Marjorie Harris, 89, was killed Wednesday morning in a Missouri car accident on the corner of Hillsboro House Springs Road and Tishomingo Road.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Harris was a passenger in a 2005 Ford Explorer heading eastbound through the intersection around 11:10 a.m. A 2006 Ford F150 pickup, driven by Charles McDaniel, 23, was heading northbound toward the intersection at the same moment. McDaniel failed to stop at the stop sign, according to the initial crash report, and the pickup struck the SUV in the passenger side.

Harris was taken to St. Anthony's Medical Center where she was pronounced dead by hospital staff. Nobody else involved in the accident suffered serious injury.

Under Missouri law, the at fault driver's liability insurance should pay for the funeral cost and any other accident expenses for the injured party. It seems from the initial crash report that McDaniel violated traffic regulations by running a stop sign, which lead to the accident. An initial crash report alone is not solid enough evidence, however, as it is considered hearsay in court. A full accident reconstruction will be conducted to determine the exact sequence of events and who was truly at fault for this fatal SUV accident.

Accident cases can quickly become complicated, especially if the insurance company tries to lower the amount it is paying out for damages. Those involved in an crash should seek the counsel of an experienced Missouri car accident attorney.

March 2, 2010

Jefferson County crash injures two

Three cars were involved in a Missouri injury accident on Highway 30 in Jefferson County Tuesday afternoon. At least two people sustained significant injuries in this Jefferson County, Missouri car wreck.

The accident occurred on Highway 30 just before Old Sugar Creek Road, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Two vehicles had stopped in preparation of making a left turn. The first vehicle was a large Ford Econoline van, driven by Charles Kersten, 26, and behind that was a 2005 Dodge Ram, driven by Bruce Finkes, 56. A third vehicle, a Chevy 1500 driven by Martin Gsell, 56, approached the line of cars from behind. Gsell's pickup slammed into the back of Finkes' truck causing serious damage.

Both Finkes and Gsell suffered serious injuries in this Missouri car accident and were taken to St. Anthony's Hospital for treatment. While Finkes' truck was pushed forward into Kersten's van, Kersten didn't suffer any significant injuries, according to the investigating officer.

The initial crash report didn't say what caused Gsell to crash into a line of stopped cars. Generally when this happens it means that a driver was not paying attention to the road ahead or was driving too fast to slow down in time. There may be extenuating circumstances, though, and this case may be more complicated than it first appears.

Because there are so many complications and nuances to Missouri accident law, it's important to seek the advice of a professional when handling the aftermath of a crash. Consulting an experienced St. Louis area car accident lawyer before settling with the insurance companies is the best way to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the chance at recovery you deserve.

February 27, 2010

Missouri car accident injures two

Two people were injured, one seriously, in a two-car Missouri car accident in Jefferson County Saturday morning.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the accident occurred on southbound Highway 67 near Meyer Road. Sandra Doty, 38, was heading southbound on the highway in a 2004 Kia Sedona. Approaching the highway heading eastbound was a 1998 Ford Escort, driven by Holly Mann, 23. Mann attempted to pull into the highway and it doing so crossed into the path of Doty's vehicle. Doty was unable to avoid a collision and slammed into the driver's side of the Escort, totaling both cars.

Mann was seriously injured by this Missouri car crash and taken to St. Louis University Hospital for treatment. A passenger in her car, Jeremy Racette, 24, was also injured and taken to a local hospital. Doty was not listed as injured on the initial accident report.

Side impact collisions can cause devastating injuries to the passengers of cars, even when compared to head-on collisions. This is because while numerous safety technologies like air bags and crumple zones are designed to protect riders in front end crashes, there's just not a lot to protect passengers from the side. Hopefully the injured parties will be able to make a full recovery.

The initial crash report does not indicate who had the right of way or if one driver in this accident was driving negligently.

After a car accident, insurance companies will quickly try and contact those involved and settle claims as cheaply as possible. To make sure you understand your rights before you lose money that may be needed for a recovery, consult a Missouri car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

February 16, 2010

Toyota recall update

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It seems that as each week goes by, another complaint is lodged with Toyota and another round of recalls is issued for a potentially dangerous design defect. The total number of vehicles affected by recalls has risen to 8.5 million. To put that in perspective, Toyota sells about 2.3 million vehicles in the U.S. every year. It appears news for the auto manufacturer is not getting much better as the U.S. government has asked the company to hand over recall documents at the same time as a flood of new complaints rolls in.

The Transportation Department has demanded that Toyota turn over documents relating to the recalls that would demonstrate when the company found out about the potential dangers. Officials are looking to see if the company delayed publicizing the news after learning about the potential flaws and dangerous mechanical failures. If the company knew about problems and failed to warn drivers causing more fatal car accidents, the company could face serious consequences.

Toyota's response to the Federal Government's demands must be received in 30 to 60 days or the company could face fines. The Transportation Department is already considering fining Toyota for its handling of the situation.

As the government continues to put pressure on Toyota, more and more complaints stream in from average citizens. According to some reports, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received word of up to 34 fatalities in the past decade connected to rapid acceleration issues. Nearly a thousand new incident reports have come in since the recalls went public and officials expect the numbers to rise. It should be stressed that these reports have not been verified or investigated, but if they are accurate, they will be evidence that Toyota's problems are much larger than first suspected when the first recalls were issued last year.

As if all that wasn't enough, the company has just announced it will be looking into a new reported problem: defective power steering in their Corolla models.

February 14, 2010

Another fatal accident raises concerns over Highway DD

Area residents have called for safety improvements on Highway DD in St. Charles County in the past. Before Sunday, there had been five deaths on the rural roadway in the last five years. Tragically, after Sunday that number was raised to six.

Daniel Windler, 61, was killed Sunday evening while walking along Highway DD after his own car had slid off the road. According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, he called for a tow truck and was walking back to where his car was stuck when a 17-year-old girl also lost control of her car on the icy road and slid into him.

Windler was pronounced dead at the scene. The girl was uninjured and will not be charged for this fatal Missouri car accident.

According to the Post Dispatch, Windler was among the residents who were calling for improvements to the road. Highway DD is extremely windy and hilly with no shoulder or guardrails in many places. It has made lists of the most dangerous roads in the state and we have even commented about it here on the blog.

The Missouri Department of Transportation already has plans to do safety upgrades on the road to prevent car and truck crashes, but residents have been spreading a petition to get MoDOT to fast track these improvements. According to the Post Dispatch, Windler had recently signed the petition.

Continue reading "Another fatal accident raises concerns over Highway DD" »

February 10, 2010

St. Louis County accident sends man to hospital

Christopher Hausermann, 35, was injured and hospitalized after a three-car Missouri wreck in St. Louis County Wednesday evening.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Hausermann was driving his 2003 Ford F150 southbound on I-270 at the time of the crash. He was in a line of cars with Linda Ferber, 59, who was driving a 1999 Nissan Altima; and Brandon Smith, 24, who was driving a 2004 Nissan Maxima. Smith tried to pass the other two vehicles on the right, but lost control of his car. In an attempt to regain control, Smith overcorrected and slammed into the median in front of Hausermann. Hausermann attempted to avoid a collision with Smith’s vehicle and, in doing so, collided with Ferber’s Altima. The impact of Smith’s car into the median also propelled it back into the roadway where it hit Ferber’s car.

Hausermann was taken to St. John’s Medical Center for treatment. Fortunately, despite the multiple collisions and high speeds, Hausermann’s injuries were not considered life-threatening and neither Smith nor Ferber sustained serious injury.

The report did not say what caused Smith to lose control of his car while passing the other vehicles. Perhaps this Missouri injury accident was caused by driver error and could have been prevented.

In accidents like this one, where there are multiple collisions, determining liability can be complicated. It is advisable that anyone injured in an accident consult a St. Louis car accident attorney to discuss their rights before making a comment to the insurance companies.

February 7, 2010

St. Charles County crash sends three to the hospital

Three people were hospitalized Saturday in a two-car Missouri injury accident on Highway 94 in St. Charles County.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the accident occurred when Jason Gamarin, 32, failed to yield to another vehicle at the intersection of Highway 94 and South Breeze Lane. Gamarin pulled his 2002 Chevrolet S10 into the path of a 2010 BMW 328I, driven by Jacob Haman, 27. Haman was unable to avoid a collision and crashed into the side of the pickup truck.

Haman was injured and taken by ambulance to St. John's Mercy in Creve Coeur. Two passengers in his car, Jennifer Hawkins, 25, and Dylan Hawkins, 6, were also injured and taken to St. John's Mercy. Haman and Jennifer Hawkins' injuries were described as relatively minor, but Dylan Hawkins' injuries were more serious. Gamarin was not listed as injured on the initial crash report.

Typically, the at-fault driver's liability insurance would pay the injured party for any medical bills or other expenses arising from a Missouri car crash. The description of the accident in the initial report needs to be corroborated by further investigation, though, as the initial crash reports are not definitive descriptions of an accident and they alone can't prove liability.

Often, insurance companies will look for ways to lower the amount they pay out for an accident. It is advisable not to talk to the insurance representative until you have consulted a St. Louis area personal injury attorney to discuss your legal rights.

February 3, 2010

Pressure on Toyota mounts as DOT issues statement

Ray LaHood, the Department of Transportation Secretary, has issued a statement saying that drivers who own one of the recalled Toyota models should bring their cars back to their local Toyota dealers to have the cars fixed as soon as possible, according to a CNN report.

Some earlier reports had quoted LaHood as more sternly warning Toyota owners to stop driving the vehicles at all. LaHood later said this was a misstatement, according to the report.

Either way, the pressure on the car manufacturer has ramped up considerably over the last couple weeks over concerns that a dangerous vehicle defect in several of their models could lead to a serious car accident. Numerous reports have come in describing the accelerator pedal in some Toyota sticking and causing the cars to speed uncontrollably.

Toyota initially blamed the problem on improperly installed floor mats, but has since issued several more statements that indicate the problem may have to do with the actual pedal mechanism wearing down. Millions of cars have been listed in the recall and you should consult your dealer to see if your model is one of them.

The problem garnered national attention after a fatal car accident in California, but some are reporting that hundreds of rapid acceleration accidents have occurred with Toyota vehicles over the last decade. A report by Safety Research and Strategies Inc., which used data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Association among other agencies, says that as many as 815 crashes since 1999 may be linked to some sort of uncontrollable acceleration in a Toyota vehicle. 19 people died in those crashes and more than 300 were injured.

Toyota, or any other vehicle manufacturer for that matter, needs to be held accountable if a dangerous defect exists which could end up costing lives, especially if the defect is something the company has known about for some time. Toyota owners need to be diligent and look for signs that their accelerator pedal is sticking or returning slowly after being pressed. Contact your dealer and ask what they can do to fix your vehicle and don’t get behind the wheel if you feel unsafe at all.

If you have been injured by a vehicle defect in a Toyota or any other car, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Product liability cases need to be well documented and handled very quickly so don’t delay in having your case examined.

January 30, 2010

Rear end collision injures two near Cape Girardeau

Melissa Spain, 41, and Gayle Cantrell, 56, were both injured Saturday afternoon in a Missouri rear impact crash on Highway 25, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

The initial crash report describes the accident as a rear end collision. Cantrell had slowed her 1995 Dodge to make a left turn when she was struck in the rear by Spain's 1995 Plymouth. The impact of the crash caused both vehicle so spin off the roadway.

Both Spain and Cantrell were taken by ambulance to St. Francis Medical Center for treatment.

Spain was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the wreck, according to the crash report.

It is unclear what exactly caused Spain to hit Cantrell's vehicle and cause this Missouri car accident. It could have been weather related or Spain simply could have been inattentive. A more thorough report of the crash will be needed to fill in the details.

In most rear end collision cases, though, the rear end collision doctrine applies which means negligence is assumed on the part of the at fault driver. This is based on the reasoning that all drivers should be in control of where there vehicles are heading at all times and leave enough space between them and the vehicle ahead of them. A Missouri personal injury lawyer would need only prove that the doctrine applies to any specific rear end collision case and that no other extenuating circumstances helped cause the accident.

January 28, 2010

St. Francois County accident injures three

Three people were hospitalized with serious injuries after a Missouri car crash Wednesday morning on Highway 221.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the accident occurred around 11 a.m. near the intersection of Highway 221 and Henson Road. Anthony Hedrick, 34, was traveling northbound in a 2004 Ford F-150 when he lost control of his vehicle. Hedrick's truck began to travel off the right side of the roadway and, in an attempt to regain control, Hedrick over-corrected and sent his truck screeching back across the roadway. Gracie Haus, 33, who was driving a 1992 Jeep Cherokee southbound on Highway 221, was unable to avoid a collision with Hedrick's truck.

Both Hedrick and Haus were seriously injured and flown to local hospitals for emergency treatment. Patricia Helms, 36, a passenger in Haus' Jeep, was also seriously injured and flown to a local hospital.

Helms was the only passenger wearing a seat belt in this serious Missouri injury accident.

The initial crash report does not say what caused Hedrick to lose control of his truck in the first place. If negligence on the part of either driver helped cause this accident, a Missouri car accident attorney may be called in to help the injured party recover damages to pay for medical bills and other expenses.

January 24, 2010

Department of Transportation warns against distracted driving using new website

The U.S. Department of Transportation is trying to educate drivers about the dangers of distracted driving using a new website, www.distraction.gov.

The site has an extensive list of statistics and facts about distracted driving and the serious car accidents they lead to. Talking on the cell phone and sending text messages are two distractions that have been featured prominently in the news, but the site warns against other activities that take your eyes off the road such as eating or applying makeup.

As the laws around these distractions continue to evolve, the site will update visitors on local regulations.

Recently, the Department of Transportation banned texting by all commercial truck and bus drivers as a way of cutting down on tractor trailer crashes.

According to the Department of Transportation, 80 percent of all automotive crashes are caused by distracted drivers and almost 6,000 people died in 2008 as a result of inattentive drivers.

Educating drivers on the dangers of distracted driving is one step toward limiting these incidents, but some people will undoubtedly continue to participate in these behaviors. Negligent drivers need to be held accountable. If you have been involved in a serious car accident and would like to learn your legal rights, consult a Missouri car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

January 22, 2010

Chrysler to issue recall to address brake failure


Right on the heels of another large Toyota recall, Chrysler has issued a recall of their own involving more than 24,000 Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles over brake failure concerns.

A potentially dangerous product defect has been discovered by the company in which some vehicles could have faulty brake booster rod retaining clips or, in the case of the Ram pickup truck, the vehicle may not have the part installed at all. The clip is important for normal function of the brakes and the defect could cause brake failure and a serious car or truck accident.

The recall applies to some late model Sebrings, Avengers, Dodge Nitros, Jeep Liberty, Jeep Commander, Grand Cherokee and Ram pickups. Not every vehicle in each line is subject to the recall so if you own one of these vehicles, contact Chrysler or the NHTSA to see if it is involved in the recall.

According to a statement made to the NHTSA, the problems were discovered by company workers and the recall is not in response to any crashes or injuries caused by a mechanical defect.

Reports say that factory workers doing safety tests discovered that some of the vehicles with the defect had the potential to lose all braking power.

January 20, 2010

Toyota issues another recall

Toyota Motor Corporation has issued a recall for approximately 2.3 million vehicles sold in the U.S. due to the potential danger of sticking accelerator pedals causing serious car accidents.

Toyota has already issued a recall last year for vehicles that may have a defect which caused floor mats to jam the accelerator pedals causing the car to accelerate uncontrollably. This is also the fourth major recall by Toyota in the past two years.

The most recent recall is in response to a potentially dangerous mechanical defect that may cause the accelerator pedal to stick when pressed down. When Toyota issued the recall last year, it claimed that the rapid acceleration problems were caused only by mismatched floor mats, despite concerns that additional mechanical problems existed. This latest recall seems to confirm some of those concerns.

Vehicles involved in the recall include the 2010 Highlander, 2009-2010 RAV4, 2008-2010 Sequoia, 2009-2010 Corolla, 2005-2010 Avalon, 2007-2010 Camry, 2009-2010 Matrix and 2007-2010 Tundra.

Toyota will continue to investigate potential problems relating to the accelerator. It is unclear if this latest recall was spurred on by any recent car accident injuries or if the recall is just based on concerns arising from in-house product testing.

If you have any questions regarding your vehicle, contact your local dealer for more details.

January 18, 2010

Woman injured in Lincoln County crash

Liberty White, 29, was injured in a Missouri car accident when her vehicle crashed into another on Highway 47 on Monday morning.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, White was driving a 1993 GMC Jimmy northbound at the time of the injury accident. A 1999 Ford Expedition, driven by Marilyn Smith, 66, was backing out of a private driveway onto the highway. According to the initial crash report, Smith failed to yield to White and pulled in front of her SUV. White was unable to avoid the collision.

White was taken to Lincoln County Medical center for treatment. Smith was not listed as injured in the report.

If Smith was at-fault in this Lincoln County, Missouri car accident, her liability insurance will pay for the damages sustained by White. While the initial crash report says Smith failed to yield, this is just the opinion of the investigating officer and will need to be corroborated by further investigation should liability be disputed. If you have been involved in a similar accident and have some questions about how to handle your case, contact a Missouri car accident attorney as soon as possible.

January 16, 2010

Head on collision kills Missouri woman

Brandy Phillips, 21, was killed Saturday afternoon in a Missouri car accident after another car crashed head-on into hers.

This tragic crash occurred on Route WW in Boone County around 1 p.m., according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Phillips was driving her 1991 Ford Festiva eastbound at the time of the accident. An oncoming vehicle, a 1995 Geo Prizm driven by Byron Young, 38, crossed the center line and crashed head-on into Phillips' car.

Phillips was pronounced dead after being taken to University Hospital. Young was also taken to University Hospital, though his injuries were listed as moderate.

Young was driving without insurance, according to the initial crash report. The report did not go into detail about any citations or what may have caused Young to cross the center line into oncoming traffic.

Typically, the liability insurance of the at-fault driver will be used to pay money to the injured party, but in cases where the driver is uninsured or under-insured it may be a little more complicated. In these cases, the injured party will need to make a claim against their own insurance policy's uninsured motorist coverage. This coverage is required by law. If you have any questions about your rights after a crash, contact an experienced Missouri car accident attorney. Many offer free consultations where you can discuss your case.

January 11, 2010

Five people hospitalized after I-29 crash

Five people were injured Sunday afternoon in a two vehicle Missouri car accident on I-29.

According to the initial report filed by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the crash occurred just before 4 p.m. as Eric Martin, 21, was traveling northbound in a 2000 Pontiac Grand Am. He was traveling faster than the 1996 Chevrolet Blazer in front of him and struck the Blazer in the rear. The force of the impact caused the SUV to travel off the side of the road, overturn, hit a guardrail and come to a rest on its side.

Martin and two passengers in his car, Jeffrey Book, 21, and John Rockwell, 21, were taken to Heartland Regional Health Center for treatment. The driver of the Blazer, Hassan Mwanabaji, 28, and his passenger, Paul Dujinja, 51, were also taken to Heartland Regional for treatment.

Everyone injured in this Missouri car wreck was wearing a seat belt.

The rear-end doctrine typically applies to rear-end collision accident cases. This states that negligence is assumed on the part of the at-fault driver. A Missouri car accident attorney would need only to prove that the doctrine is applicable in a particular case.

January 9, 2010

Andrew County, Missouri crash injures three


Three people were hospitalized, one with serious injuries, after a Missouri car crash on Highway 71 at Route B on Saturday evening.

Emily Howell, 21, was driving a 1996 Honda Accord northbound on Highway 71 when the crash occurred. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Brent Furst, 20, was heading westbound on Route B in the direction of Highway 71 and Howell's car. The reached the intersection at the same time and Howell's car crashed into the driver's side of Furst's 2003 Pontiac Grand Am. After the impact, both cars slid off the roadway into the median.

Furst was seriously injured and flown to Heartland Regional Health Center for emergency treatment. Howell and a passenger in her car, Kelsey Sanders, 20, were also injured and sought treatment at Heartland Regional.

All passengers were wearing seat belts and the initial crash report didn't mention any citations for this crash.

With the details initially available, it's hard to determine which driver is at-fault for this Missouri injury accident. More information needs to be gathered like the speed of the two vehicles and whether the intersection was controlled or not. Once this information is determined, the injured party may want to contact a Missouri car accident lawyer to discuss their rights and ensure that they receive compensation for their injuries. Many personal injury attorneys offer free consultationsto discuss your case.

January 7, 2010

Missouri woman killed in accident at car wash

Rosland Watson, 40, was killed and another woman was seriously injured Thursday in a Missouri car accident at a car wash in the city of Grandview.

According to a KSHB-TV report, the two women were were sitting on a bench waiting for their cars to be cleaned, when an out-of-control SUV struck them upon leaving the washing area. The SUV was being driven by its owner away from the washing area when it accelerated rapidly and jumped the curb.

Watson was pronounced dead at the scene. The second woman, whose name has not been released, was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries to her leg.

The name of the driver has also not been released, but reports are that he is cooperating fully with authorities as they try to determine whether this fatal car accident was the result of driver error or some sort of mechanical malfunction.

We have previously reported on rapid acceleration issues with Toyota and Lexus vehicles. Toyota has issued a series of recalls and statements after a few incidents and tests. One tragic case of rapid acceleration killed four people in San Diego last summer.

Authorities will no doubt be investigating the possibility that this latest Missouri car accident is the result of rapid acceleration caused by faulty manufacturing.

January 5, 2010

Car and tractor collide causing serious injury

Three people were injured, including an infant, when a car collided with a farm tractor on a narrow bridge in Clark County, Missouri.

This Missouri car accident occurred Monday evening on Missouri 81. According to the initial crash report, a 1995 Ford, driven by Michelle Rigg, 20, and a 1998 Case Farm Tractor, driven by Burnell Olberholtzer, 21, attempted to cross a narrow bridge at the same time. They met in the middle and without enough room to pass each other, the two vehicles collided head-on.

Rigg was seriously injured and flown to Blessing Hospital for emergency treatment. Two other passengers in her car, Rhonda Slocum, 15, and the infant Kailey Wayson, were also injured and hospitalized, though their injuries were less serious. Olberholtzer was not injured, according to the crash report.

Only the infant was using a safety device as all others were without a seat belt.

Hopefully Rigg and the passengers in her car can make a full recovery from their personal injuries. Part of their recovery, though, will involve discussing the accident with insurance companies and trying to settle all the medical bills arising from this injury accident. The liability insurance of the at-fault driver is supposed to pay for the bills of the other driver, but liability in this incident may be hard to determine. Accident investigators will need to look at the crash to see who had the right-of-way to cross the bridge and if either driver violated any road regulations. An experienced Missouri personal injury attorney will be able to examine the case and advise accident victims on how to handle insurance companies.

January 3, 2010

The role of accident reconstructions

The biggest question after a serious Missouri car accident is usually “Why did this happen?” Accidents can be caused by any number of factors including driver error, mechanical failure or weather conditions, to name just a few, and are often a mix of numerous causes. It’s important to learn the cause of accidents for a couple reasons. First, if we understand the cause, we can prevent the accident in the future. This is often the case when a mechanical failure causes a crash. The other reason is to determine legal liability. Accident reconstructions are used to help determine the cause.

An accident reconstructionist will use physical evidence and photographs of the crash site to map out the exact sequence of events that lead to a crash. Tire skid marks and debris patterns can, with an extensive knowledge of physics, tell investigators the exact path and speed of vehicles involved in a crash. Reconstructionists can also use this information to determine if any driving violations occurred or if the vehicles could have avoided the crash.

Forensic pathologists investigate the passengers and their vehicles to determine what exactly caused the injury. They will be able to tell if internal components of the vehicle contributed to the injuries sustained. It is here where we can learn of a dangerous defect in vehicle manufacturing that can be corrected to save others from a similar accident.

One way to prevent accidents is to use the civil courts system to hold people accountable for their negligent actions. Experienced personal injury attorneys can use the information gathered by accident reconstructionists to prove liability and recover damages for the injured party.

December 30, 2009

North St. Louis accident leaves one dead

One Missouri man was killed and another was seriously injured this morning in a two-car St. Louis accident at the intersection of Hall Street and Adelaide Avenue.

According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, the name of the deceased was Ricky Prosser, 35. The name of the second man has not been released by authorities.

While some details are sketchy, it appears that Prosser was heading northbound on Hall Street in a 2004 Ford Escort when his car veered into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with a 1999 Mazda.

Prosser was pronounced dead at the scene while the driver of the Mazda was taken to a local hospital for emergency treatment.

Police initially suspected slick road conditions as a potential contributing factor, but now the Post Dispatch is reporting that alcohol may have played a role. A definitive answer may not been known until the accident reconstruction report is released which could take up to three months.

Icy road conditions can contribute to accidents, but are typically not a defense in a personal injury lawsuit as drivers should be aware of the conditions and drive accordingly. Should alcohol have been involved, that is a clearer sign of negligence, but until the full accident report is released it remains to be seen whether that was the case in this St. Louis area car accident.

December 28, 2009

Chain reaction crash injures three on I-55

Three people were hospitalized after a four-car Missouri injury accident on Interstate 55 in Pemiscot County, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

The initial accident report describes the accident as a chain of rear end collisions as several cars were stopped due to traffic. Megan Fielder, 25, was driving her 2007 Buick southbound and was unable to stop before slamming into the back of the line of cars. The force of the collision pushed one car into another and, in all, four cars were involved.

In the third car was Robin Roberts, 25, and three members of her family. Rhonda Roberts, 26, Rheyna Roberts, 3, and Riley Roberts, 4, were all injured and taken to the hospital for treatment. According to the investigating officer, no one else in the other vehicles sustained serious injury.

The description of this Missouri car crash did not say why Fielder was unable to stop before hitting the line of cars. The roads may have been slick or she simply could have been inattentive and not seen the backup in front of her. Initial crash reports are, as their name suggests, just the initial opinion of the investigating officer. Further investigation may reveal another reason Fielder was unable to stop.

Unless another explanation is found, however, this case may fall under the rear-end collision doctrine which states that negligence is assumed on the part of the at-fault driver in rear end collision cases. That does not necessarily mean the case will be cut and dry so the injured parties might benefit from contacting a Missouri car accident lawyer to discuss their rights.

December 20, 2009

Missouri crash injures five in Jefferson County

Five people were hospitalized Sunday after a two-car Missouri injury accident on Route W in Jefferson County, according to investigating officers of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

The accident took place just after 10 a.m. when Leonard Gaither, 61, lost control of his 1994 Ford Ranger as he tried to negotiate a curve. His vehicle crossed into oncoming traffic where it crashed head-on into a 2008 Chevrolet Silverado, driven by Clifford Ladenberger, 38. The initial crash report did not specify why Gaither failed to negotiate the curve or how fast he was traveling at the time.

Gaither was injured and taken to St. Anthony's for treatment. Clifford Ladenberger and three others in his car, Skylar Ladenberger, 2, Lisa Bircher, 30, and Ryan Bircher, 11, were all taken to St. John's Medical Center for medical care.

All involved were wearing a seat belt.

Some details still need to be examined about this wreck. Investigators will need to determine what caused Gaither to cross into oncoming traffic. It could have been inattentiveness, speeding or perhaps a problem with his car or another reckless driver. Once all the details are known, the insurance companies will get involved to start the claims process. Before talking to an insurance representative, it wouldn't be a bad idea for the injured parties to contact a St. Louis personal injury lawyer to discuss their rights as accident victims.

December 16, 2009

1 killed and 7 injured in Missouri van crash

A terrible collision between a van and another vehicle killed one person Wednesday evening in Callaway County, Missouri and left seven others injured, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

This fatal Missouri van accident happened at the intersection of Highway 54 and Route T at around 7:40 p.m. A 1991 Ford van, driven by Fredtonya Rodgers, 41, was traveling on Highway 54 at the time of the crash. As the van approached the intersection with Route T, a 1997 Dodge attempted to cross the highway and struck the van on the driver's side. The force from the side impact collision sent the van off the road where it overturned.

One passenger in the van, Michelle Lee, 38, was killed when she was ejected from the van after it overturned. Rodgers was seriously injured and taken to University Hospital in Columbia, Missouri. Four others in the van were seriously injured including Martha Krampe, 39; Jamie Jaegers, 30; Cynthia Hopkins, 51; and Martha Gardener, 64. The two people in the Dodge, Tyler Wilson, 20, and Danielle Hosenfelt, 16, were also injured, though their injuries were not life threatening.

Several of the people involved in the accident, including Lee, were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

My condolences go out to the family of the deceased and hopefully the people that sustained injuries will make a full recovery.

Even if a full recovery is made, the medical bills from a serious injury accident like this will likely be extraordinarily high. Under Missouri law, the bills arising from an accident must be paid by the at-fault driver's insurance. More investigation into this accident is needed to determine liability, but if Wilson, the driver of the Dodge, is found to be at fault, there might be an issue with the insurance claim. On the initial report, Wilson's insurance was listed as 'unknown', which may mean he was driving without insurance. If this is the case, the injured party may be able to make a claim on their own uninsured motorist coverage.

Sometimes a defendant may invoke the seat belt defense in cases like these to reduce the amount of damages that must be paid to the inured party. The seat belt defense is a form of comparative negligence that says the injured party could have prevented some of the injury had they been wearing a seat belt. Some states allow for this defense while others explicitly restrict it. Anybody that is interested in learning more should contact a personal injury attorney to learn their legal rights.

December 14, 2009

Hit and run accident causes injury in St. Charles County, Missouri

Nichole Royer, 21, was injured during Monday’s rush hour when her car was hit by another driver who then fled the scene, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

The Missouri hit-and-run accident occurred on I-70 near Mid Rivers Mall Drive. Royer had stopped her 1989 Buick Park Avenue for traffic which had built up during the afternoon rush. An unidentified driver, who presumably was not paying attention to the traffic, slammed his vehicle into the rear of Royer’s. The impact sent Royer’s car forward into a third vehicle which sustained moderate damage.

The driver that caused the wreck fled the scene and no description of the driver or the vehicle was given by the Highway Patrol. If you have any information that may help locate this driver, please call the patrol’s Troop C headquarters at (636) 300-2800.

Royer was taken to St. Joeseph’s Hospital for treatment. Fortunately, despite the fact that her car was totaled and rear impact collisions have been known to cause serious injury, Royer suffered only non-life threatening injuries.

The driver of the third vehicle was uninjured.

Leaving the scene of an accident is a serious offense and hopefully the driver will be found and face criminal charges for this cowardly act. Even if the driver is not found, Royer can obtain civil relief by contacting a St. Louis area personal injury attorney who can assist her in preparing a claim against her own insurance company’s uninsured motorist policy.

December 12, 2009

Missouri crash injures two small children

Andrew Crowe, 3, and Dylan Crowe, 7, were injured in a Missouri car accident on County Road 355 in Thayer, Missouri.

The children were riding with Elaine Crowe, 26, who was driving a 2006 Mitsubishi Endeavor southbound when the accident happened. A second vehicle, a 1995 Chevy Monte Carlo driven by Cheryl Stutts, 27, pulled out in the path of Crowe's car. She was unable to stop and slammed into the side of Stutts' car.

Both children were injured and received treatment at local hospitals. Andrew's injuries were the most severe and he was airlifted to the hospital with life-threatening injury. Neither of the the drivers were listed as injured on the crash report.

While the initial crash report seems to indicate that Stutts pulled out in front of Crowe suddenly, which caused the accident, more investigation is needed to truly confirm liability. Should this accident turn into a personal injury case, for instance, the initial crash report would be considered the opinion of the investigating officer and not be treated as admissible evidence. An accident reconstruction would have to back up the initial claims.

The report did say that Stutts was driving without insurance. Typically when an accident occurs, the at-fault driver's insurance will pay the medical bills of the injured party. In cases where the at-fault driver is uninsured, however, the injured party can make a claim against their own insurance plan's uninsured motorist coverage. Contact a Missouri car accident attorney if you have been involved in a wreck and would like to learn more about this process or discuss other details relating to your accident.

December 10, 2009

Another Missouri railroad crossing accident claims three lives

Three people were killed Wednesday morning in a Missouri railroad crossing accident in Trenton when the car they were riding in was hit by a freight train.

The three people killed in this accident were Nancy Groves, 24, Adam Romesburg, 30, and Nina Spencer, 28. All three were riding together in a 2001 Plymouth Neon that attempted to cross the railroad tracks on First Street.

According to reports filed by the Missouri State Highway Patrol and local media, the car was crossing the tracks at an uncontrolled crossing, which means there is no automatic arm or lights to warn motorists. They crossed into the path of the train which engaged its brakes, but was unable to stop before hitting the car. The train finally came to a stop a couple thousand feet down the tracks.

This news comes on the heels of another fatal Missouri train crossing accident last week. In both cases, the crossings did not have automatic arms to block motorists from the tracks when a train approaches.

In the wake of the Trenton crash, many residents are sending condolences, but some are expressing concern that the crossing was a known danger due to the fact that there are no lights to warn motorists and snowfall could obstruct the signs and tracks themselves.

Transportation officials and locomotive companies have as much a responsibility for preventing accidents as the drivers themselves. Accidents should be investigated by authorities and Missouri railroad crossing accident lawyers to see if they were caused by driver negligence or an existing dangerous situation at the crossing itself.

December 8, 2009

Two car Missouri crash injures three in West Plains

Jennifer Liles, 23, Michael Omara, 37, and Michael Poch, 27, were all hospitalized after a Missouri car accident on Route CC.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Omara and Liles were traveling westbound in a 1995 Chevy Suburban. Omara, who was driving, attempted to pass a slower moving vehicle by passing into the eastbound lane. In making the pass, he pulled into the path of Poch's 1986 Ford Mustang and the two vehicles collided head on.

Poch sustained the most serious injuries and was rushed to Ozark Medical Center. Omara and Liles also sought treatment at a local hospitals, though their injuries were not as serious.

Both drivers were tested for alcohol.

We seem to be having a string of these types of injury accidents in Missouri where a car attempting to pass causes an accident. This is a legal maneuver on most rural roads in the state, but it is also a dangerous maneuver. As the passing driver, you must be absolutely sure the oncoming traffic lane is clear, otherwise you could can cause a serious accident like the one here in West Plains. Hopefully all involved can make a full recovery.

Even if the injured parties make a recovery, their medical bills will need to be paid. Generally, the at fault driver's insurance will pay for the injured party's bills that result from the accident, but sometimes it gets more complicated than that. An insurance company may try to find a way out of paying the claim or the amount of insurance may not cover the high cost of emergency medical care. If a driver would like assistance in filing a claim and dealing with these potential problems, he or she can contact a Missouri car accident injury attorney.

December 6, 2009

Texting ban gains momentum in Missouri

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The writing has been on the wall for some time and it now seems more likely than ever that Missouri will see some sort of comprehensive texting while driving ban to prevent Missouri car accidents.

At least three bills will be filed and up for debate in the early 2010 legislative sessions. Some media reports suggest that up to five or more bills will be filed before all is said and done.

The high number of bills tackling the subject speaks to the complicated nature of trying to regulate this fairly new technological distraction. It's easy to say that texting while driving is dangerous and should not be allowed, but the details of such a ban will be the main point of debate. For instance, should drivers only be banned from typing texts, but be allowed to read them? Will the ban be for all roads or just highways? What about devices like the iPhone, which are capable of sending and receiving texts as well as playing music through a car's speakers?

Currently, Missouri has a ban on sending and receiving texts for drivers under 21 while they are behind the wheel. Since that ban took effect in August, the Highway Patrol has issued eight citations, according to a KRCG report.

Whatever plan eventually comes out on top, hopefully it will do something to curb the number of Missouri car and truck crashes caused by distracted drivers. Studies show that drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident if they are attempting to text while driving. Four out of five crashes caused by driver error are the result of distracted driving.

December 4, 2009

Missouri railroad crossing crash kills driver and injures passenger

A fatal Missouri railroad accident has claimed the life of Kristy Willis, 33, and seriously injured injured her daughter, Kelsey Turner, 8.

The crash occurred at 3:35 p.m. Friday afternoon on Greenbriar Drive near Highway 60 in Seymour, Missouri. According to local media reports and the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Willis was driving a pickup truck with three children, including Turner, as passengers. The truck attempted to cross the railroad tracks when a train, initially unseen by Willis, slammed into the side of the vehicle.

Willis was killed by the crash. Turner, who was riding up front in the truck, was seriously injured and taken by helicopter to St. John's Hospital. The two other passengers, Tiffany Bowden, 15, and Carl Bowden, 16, were riding in the truck's bed and were able to leap to safety moments before the crash.

Witnesses say that Willis had gone to pick up the children from the bus stop. There are also witness reports that say the train failed to blow a whistle or sound any sort of warning horn as it approached the crossing.

While drivers need to exercise extreme caution when approaching a railroad crossing, the burden of safety does not fall squarely on their shoulders. The tracks and crossing should be be free of obstructions so drivers can clearly see if it is safe to cross. Not every crossing has automatic warning bells, so conductors should also sound the onboard horn to warn motorists. This appears to be something that didn't occur in the Seymour crash. If any negligence on the part of the locomotive company is suspected, the incident should be investigated by a Missouri train accident attorney to help ensure that similar accidents don't take place in the future.

December 1, 2009

Warsaw, Missouri woman seriously injured in crash

Clarisa Pardee, 38, was seriously injured Tuesday afternoon in a multi-car Missouri injury accident on Mo. 83.

The crash involved three vehicles and occurred at the intersection of Mo. 83 and Christina Street in Benton County, Missouri. Pardee had stopped her 1983 Ford Fairmont to make a left turn when Robert Clymer, 66, crashed his 2002 Ford F250 into the back of her car. The force of the impact sent Pardee’s car across the center line, where it was struck a second time by a 2002 Jeep Wrangler, driven by Jeanette Boulet, 44.

Pardee was flown to University Hospital in Columbia for life threatening injuries. According to the crash report, neither Clymer nor Boulet sustained serious injury.

All involved in the accident were wearing seatbelts.

No indication was given as to why Clymer would have rear-ended Pardee’s vehicle. There may be extenuating circumstances, but in many cases like this, one driver is just being inattentive. Negligence is often assumed in rear-end collision cases. If Clymer was at fault, his insurance will be obligated to pay for Pardee’s medical bills. If Pardee chooses, she can contact a Missouri car accident attorney to assist her with the claim and make sure the payment she receives is enough to cover the extensive medical bills from the accident.

November 29, 2009

Male teenage drivers more likely to be involved in Missouri car crashes

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Studies published by federal agencies show that men are more likely to be involved in deadly car accidents than women, especially during their teenage years, according to a NPR report. Teenage boys are twice as likely to be in a fatal crash and more likely to participate in risky driving such as speeding.

According to the report, 6,000 15 to 20-year-olds were involved in a fatal car accident nationwide, with the majority being male.

Here in Missouri, the statistics mirror the national averages with male drivers being in more accidents, particularly our many rural roads.

Other studies cited in the report show that the discrepancy between men and women continues among older demographics. Male drivers are more likely to be in a fatal collision until the age of 60, which is when the rate for female drivers finally equals the male rate.

Some researchers claim the differences are the result of aggressive driving patterns caused by testosterone. Men are also more prone to drinking and driving.

To lower the number of youth driving deaths, many states, including Missouri, have gone to a graduated license systems which restricts younger drivers from full privileges until they mature while still allowing them to learn behind the wheel. Parents are being held responsible as well. In some cases where a minor causes a fatal accident, a personal injury lawyer’s investigation will discover evidence that the parents knowingly allowed the minor to driver outside of the graduated license restrictions or under the influence of alcohol.

November 27, 2009

Multi-collision Missouri accident injures five

Five people were hospitalized Friday, two with serious injuries, after a series of collisions on I-55 in Jefferson County south of St. Louis.

The St. Louis area injury accident occurred when Jolene Hancock, 31, pulled her 2009 Toyota Tundra to the shoulder of southbound I-55, according to a Missouri State Highway Patrol crash report. While Hancock’s vehicle was on the side of the road, a southbound 2007 Hyundai Elantra, driven by Melina Clark, 16, traveled off the side of the road and crashed into the back of the parked Toyota.

The force of the impact pushed Hancock’s car back into the highway where it was struck by a tractor trailer, driven by Roger McIrvin, 54. The tractor trailer immediately pulled over to the shoulder, but Hancock’s car stayed on the highway where it sustained a third collision, this time from a 1993 Ford Explorer driven by Joshua Cheli, 30.

Jolene Hancock and two passengers in her car, Christopher Hancock, 34, and Tristan Hancock, 10, were taken to Jefferson Regional Medical Center. Jolene sustained the most serious injuries of the three.

Clark was taken by ambulance to St. Anthony’s Medical Center with moderate injuries. Cheli was also transported to St. Anthony’s with serious injuries.

McIrvin, the tractor trailer driver, was uninjured.

This Missouri rear end collision car accident is very complicated with multiple collisions that may take much more investigation to determine liability. The initial accident report doesn’t say why Hancock was on the shoulder of the road or what caused Clark to suddenly veer off the highway. Both are important factors that should be investigated by authorities and possibly a St. Louis area personal injury attorney.

November 25, 2009

Hit and run accident injures four in Missouri

Four people were injured, one seriously, by a Missouri car accident on I-70 in which one driver fled the scene.

The hit-and-run injury accident occurred in Lafayette County at around 1:15 Wednesday afternoon. Kenneth Dusch, 42, was driving eastbound in a 1995 Chevrolet with a boat trailer. Behind Dusch was 27 year old Erik Myhill who was driving a 2007 Toyota. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Myhill overtook Dusch's vehicle and crashed into the boat trailer. The impact caused Dusch's vehicle to overturn and flip into the median. The trailer detached and was flung off the south side of the roadway.

Riding with Kenneth Dusch was his family including Theresa, 41; Jackson, 15; Samuel, 11; and Lily, 9. Theresa Dusch suffered the most severe injuries and was flown to an area hospital for life-saving treatment. The other members of the Dusch family sustained minor to moderate injuries and were taken by ambulance to local medical centers.

After the wreck, Myhill fled the scene of the crash. He was later stopped by police and charges are pending.

An investigation into the accident is ongoing.

Myhill made a bad situation much worse for himself by fleeing the scene. It is illegal to leave the scene of a Missouri car accident whether you think you are at fault or not.

Now, instead of staying at the scene, calling for help and cooperating with authorities, Myhill will almost certainly be facing serious criminal charges. If the description of the accident in the initial report is accurate and Myhill is found to be at fault for the accident, the Dusch's may be able to contact a Missouri car accident lawyer to help them recover damages to cover medical bills and other expenses stemming from this incident.

November 23, 2009

Study shows crime may be linked to fatal car accidents

A University of Michigan study has found a correlation between the number of homicides and the number of fatal car accidents in a state. This study comes right on the heels of a yearly survey of crime rates that has St. Louis ranked as the 2nd most dangerous city in the United States.

The researchers behind the Michigan study looked at data from the top states in traffic fatalities and compared several different factors. Among the factors was proportion of male drivers, proportion of older drivers, income and several others. The strongest correlation and best predictor of a high rate of traffic fatalities, though, is a high rate of homicides.

A representative of the researchers says a link could be made to aggression. High homicide rates reflect highly aggressive areas with more aggressive drivers.

So where does Missouri fit in and does the crime rate reflect the number of fatal Missouri car accidents? Well, the NHTSA has the Missouri traffic fatality rate at 1.4 deaths per 100 million miles traveled. That is a little above the 1.27 national rate. Government crime data shows the state's homicide rate is 6.3 per 100,000 people, which is also slightly above the national average of 5.7. On the surface, the Missouri statistics seem to fall in line with the Michigan study.

Further proof can be found in Louisiana, a state with one of the top rates in both homicides and deadly car and truck accidents.

Not every state follows the trend, however. Montana has the highest traffic fatality rate, yet it also has one of the lower homicide rates.

This study may turn out to be more of a case of loose correlation not equaling causation, but any attempt to determine and eliminate the cause of tragic car accidents is a noble one. As technology evolves and more accidents are investigated by crash experts, car accident attorneys, and policy makers, we may be able to come up with solutions to the traffic fatality problem. In fact, the national rate of traffic deaths nationwide for 2008 was the lowest it's been in more than 40 years.

November 21, 2009

Holiday traveling turns tragic for some

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Thanksgiving is a time for being with family and friends and this often means lots of traveling. In fact, 33 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles by car to see their loved ones, according to a NPR report. This extra traffic will be accompanied by a tragic increase in the number of car accident deaths and injuries.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 400 people were killed in car and truck accidents last year over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend. Many more were injured.

These facts should not scare anybody from their holiday plans. The vast majority of people embarking on a Thanksgiving trip will arrive safely and without incident. What these numbers should do is cause drivers to pause and examine their driving habits. Safe driving practices can dramatically reduce your chances of being involved in an accident.

Depending on which demographic group you look at and your definition of driver error, 70 to 95 percent of all car accidents are caused by a driver error. This means that 70 to 95 percent of accidents are preventable and can be eliminated if drivers were simply more aware of their unsafe habits. Negligence behind the wheel such as excessive speeding, overly aggressive driving and being distracted by portable electronic devices are major causes of these preventable accidents.

If someone is injured by another driver's negligence, the at-fault driver's insurance is required to pay for the damages caused to the injured party. This procedure may sound simple enough, but often it is more complicated. Negligence or fault may be hard to determine or both drivers may share a portion of liability for the accident. Insurance companies may also look for ways to avoid paying for an accident. Other times the at-fault driver's insurance may not be enough to cover the medical bills after a serious accident or the driver may have no insurance at all. All of these potential complications are good reasons to consult a car accident attorney after an accident.

November 19, 2009

Missouri car accident on Highway 94 sends four to hospital

Four people were hospitalized Wednesday afternoon after a two-car accident on Highway 94 in St. Charles County, Missouri.

This Missouri injury accident occurred just east of Route DD when Jo McCall, 66, lost control of her Jeep Cherokee, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. McCall's Jeep crossed the center line into the path of a 2008 Saturn Outlook, driven by Timothy Barrett, 53. Barrett was unable to avoid the collision and the two vehicles collided head-on, totaling both the car and Jeep.

McCall and Timothy Barrett both suffered serious personal injury in the wreck. Also in the Saturn at the time were Mark Barrett, 27, and Deborah Barrett, 54, who both sustained serious injury as well. All four were transported to St. John's Hospital in Creve Coeur for emergency treatment.

As of now, we don't have an indication as to what caused McCall to lose control of her Jeep. As this accident is investigated, more details should emerge as to whether McCall was simply distracted, or if another driver contributed to the crash. Since liability and negligence are often complicated issues to prove after a car accident, a St. Louis area car crash lawyer is a vital adviser to have if you are involved in such a scenario. Crash victims often can't rely on insurance company representatives to help them after an accident as they are often more concerned with the bottom line than with the well being of crash victims.

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November 17, 2009

Missouri car accident injures two in Clay County

Frances Lewis, 49, and Anita Janssen, 41, were injured in a two-car Missouri injury accident at 11 a.m. Monday morning.

The investigating officer described the accident as a rear-end collision. Lewis was traveling northbound on I-35 in a 1985 Mercury and Anita Janssen was riding with Robert Janssen, 43, in a 2007 Ford. Lewis had to stop in the middle of the roadway and Robert Janssen was unable to avoid slamming into the back of Lewis' car.

Lewis' injuries were described as serious and he was rushed to a local hospital for emergency treatment. Anita Janssen suffered only minor injury and was able to find private transportation to the hospital. Robert Janssen was uninjured, according to the initial crash report.

Lewis was driving without insurance.

An investigation is ongoing and charges are pending.

Typically rear end collision cases assign negligence to the at-fault driver, but the investigation must confirm that there were no extenuating circumstances. Once the investigation is complete and the charges are filed, a Missouri car accident lawyer will be able to take that information and help the injured party recover damages to pay for medical bills and other expenses.

November 13, 2009

Missouri crash kills one and injures three in Barry County

Ricky Taylor, 51, was killed and three others were injured in a three-car Missouri injury accident on Highway 90 in Barry County, Missouri.

Taylor was driving his 2003 Chevrolet Impala westbound, according to investigators, when he came upon a slower moving pickup, driven by David Wickman, 70. Taylor attempted to pass Wickman by going into the eastbound lanes. As he did so, he crossed into the path of a 2007 Honda Civic, driven by Vang Lee, 57. The two cars crashed head-on. The violent impact pushed the Civic into Wickman's pickup, which was also damaged in the wreck.

Taylor was pronounced dead at the scene. Vang Lee and two others in his car, Pazoe Lee, 15, and Yee Thao, 47, were all injured and taken to Cox South Hospital.

While it is not illegal to pass other vehicles on two lane roads, great care must be taken to ensure you do not attempt this maneuver when an oncoming car is approaching. This should certainly not be attempted on a winding road or over the crest of a hill when you can't see very far ahead of you. If the initial crash report is accurate, it appears that Taylor attempted to pass negligently and caused this accident. If this is true, his liability insurance will be responsible for paying damages to the injured parties.

Unfortunately, insurance companies are not always as concerned with the well being of those injured in Missouri car accidents as they are with their own bottom line. They will often look for ways to reduce the amount they repay injury victims. There are also cases where the at-fault driver's liability insurance simply isn't enough to cover the cost of catastrophic injuries. In these cases, the injured party will have to file a claim against their own insurance policy's 'under-insured motorist coverage'. Working through these issues can be complicated, which is why it is a good idea to consult a Missouri car accident lawyer before talking to the insurance companies. Many attorneys offer a free consultation to discuss your rights as a victim and to better educate you on your options with no obligation to hire the attorney.

November 9, 2009

Missouri man killed while riding tractor

Ronnie Engle, 46, was killed Monday in a Missouri car accident when his tractor was hit by another car on Route K near Liberal, Missouri.

According to the initial report filed by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Engle was riding his John Deere farm tractor on Route K when he was struck from behind by a car. The car was a 2005 Dodge Neon, driven by Dillon Duffy, 18, of Arcadia, Kansas. After impact, both cars traveled off the roadway and Engle's tractor overturned.

Engle was pronounced dead at the scene. Duffy did not sustain any significant injuries, according to the accident report.

Engle was tested for alcohol by the investigating officer.

Typically, Missouri rear-end collision cases follow a doctrine that says negligence is assumed on the part of the at-fault driver. All drivers should be focused on where their vehicle is heading to avoid such collisions. Each specific crash must be examined thoroughly to determine whether this doctrine should apply.

Many times, accident cases are more complicated than they first appear and the initial crash reports may leave out crucial details that could shed light on how an accident occurred. Because of this, it is important to contact a Missouri car accident injury lawyer to make sure you and your family get the help you need after a serious or, in many cases, tragic accident.

November 7, 2009

Missouri car accident kills two

A serious and tragic Missouri car accident claimed the lives of two Missourians late Saturday evening on Missouri 32 near Lebanon.

The accident occurred when Kaleb Barber, 16, fell asleep at the wheel of a 2001 Chevrolet Blazer, according to the investigating officer from the Missouri State Highway Patrol. His vehicle drifted over the center line and struck a 1996 Mercury Cougar head-on. Riding in the Cougar was Kenneth Kimrey, 51, and Patricia Kimrey, 72.

Both Kenneth and Patricia were pronounced dead at the scene and taken to a local funeral home. Barber was seriously injured and flown to St. John's Hospital for treatment.

All of the people involved in this fatal Missouri car wreck were wearing a seatbelt.

If the initial crash report is correct and Barber did indeed fall asleep at the wheel, that is a very serious sign of negligence as a driver. The initial crash report by itself is only considered hearsay, though, so further investigation into this accident, including a crash reconstruction, will determine exactly how this accident occurred.

From a Missouri personal injury lawyer's perspective, this crash is also complicated by the fact that Barber is a minor. In some cases, the parents of a minor who causes an accident may be held liable. More information must be gathered before this determination can be made.

November 6, 2009

NHTSA suggests that case is not closed on Toyota rapid acceleration issue

More information has come to light regarding a story we've been following involving possibly unsafe Toyota vehicles.

Federal regulators from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have issued a statement that certain Toyota and Lexus vehicles may have defects in their design that can lead to uncontrollable acceleration.

Toyota had previously issued a statement in response to a fatal August 28th accident that the driver side floor mats in some Toyota and Lexus vehicles can cause the gas pedal to get stuck if they aren't installed properly. This appeared to be the case in the fatal car accident in San Diego that killed four people when a mat designed for an SUV was accidentally installed in a smaller Lexus sedan. The Toyota statement seemed to imply that the floor mats were the only concern and that no other design flaws are present.

This may not be the case, according to the NHTSA, and some Toyota and Lexus vehicles may have other problems with the accelerator mechanism and the design of the foot well itself.

The problem, of course, is owners of these vehicles may have been mislead by Toyota's statement and believe that by simply removing the floor mat in their vehicle, they will be immune to this acceleration problem. In fact, they may still be driving a car that could suddenly speed out of control due to some other factors.

Toyota spokesmen continue to say that the improperly installed floor mats are the only known cause of the problem with no evidence being yet found to support the theories that other design defects exist.

The NHTSA is continuing to investigate the matter.

If you believe that you or a family member have been the victim of a dangerous vehicle defect, it is in your best interest to contact a product liability attorney as soon as possible.

November 3, 2009

Governor calls summit to discuss Missouri DWI problem

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Governor Jay Nixon assembled a panel of 34 officials, including police, lawyers and politicians, to discuss the problem of drunken driving in the state of Missouri. The summit is in response to the large number of fatal Missouri car accidents caused by drunken drivers and a recent St. Louis Post Dispatch report exposing numerous loopholes allowing dangerous drivers back on the road.

One common problem is that repeat offenders were not charged as such. Despite having a three-strikes law in Missouri, numerous repeat offenders who should be charged with felonies are set free with misdemeanors or less. The Post Dispatch reports this happens about half the time in St. Louis County.

Officials on the panel said that law enforcement needs to have a better way of tracking these repeat offenders so they can be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

Another problem discussed at the meeting was the issue of refusing a blood alcohol test. Under current Missouri law, if you refuse a blood alcohol test, you are supposed to automatically lose your license for a year. This is often not the case, though, as thousands of drivers were allowed to stay on the road after refusing the test due to various loopholes and appeals.

A suggested solution to this problem was to make refusing a blood alcohol test a crime punishable by more severe penalties than just losing your license. Several other states have adopted a similar law. This law would only reduce Missouri car accidents if it was more strictly enforced, though, and the loopholes that existed for the loss of license rule don't carry over to the criminal charges.

Missouri annually ranks among in the top third of states for most alcohol-related fatalities. With hundreds of drunk driving deaths every year, we often outpace similarly populated states.

If you have lost someone to a drunken driving accident or have been injured yourself, contact a Missouri personal injury lawyer to discuss your case.

October 30, 2009

Fatal Missouri car accident in Franklin County