Recently in Personal Injury Category

Pedestrian accidents in Springfield: FAQs answered

October 30, 2014

crosswalk-354782-m.jpgA key part of any car accident injury claim is determining who is at fault. Each accident is unique, so our Missouri car accident attorneys have to consider several different factors in each case. When a pedestrian is part of the equation, there are additional issues that must be evaluated. In this post, we answer some frequently asked questions about car accidents involving pedestrians

Is a pedestrian accident always the driver's fault?

Every accident requires an investigation to determine liability, or who is at fault. There are instances where the pedestrian might have been reckless or negligent. Certain factors could cause a pedestrian to endanger his or her life, or to cause an accident through negligence (for example, impaired judgment due to alcohol or drug use, or a medical condition). Other accidents are caused by pedestrians who are simply distracted or careless, failing to pay attention to traffic around them. In any case, if the driver was being careful and following all traffic laws, and he or she was unable to avoid a pedestrian accident, the driver is not always legally liable. Once again, each case needs to be weighed separately.

If I am the driver and someone intentionally ran out in front of me, can I sue the pedestrian?
In a small number of cases, it can be possible to take legal action against the pedestrian, but it is extremely difficult: it is much easier to build a case against a driver. A case against a pedestrian requires witness statements and clear-cut evidence to demonstrate that the pedestrian was primarily at fault for the accident. In some situations, it may be possible to seek damages from other responsible parties, if it can be shown that they contributed to the pedestrian's actions.

As a pedestrian accident victim, when can I sue a driver?
If you can establish that the driver was at least partially at fault for your injuries in a pedestrian accident (for example, the driver was negligent, or impaired, or speeding, etc.), you are entitled to pursue a lawsuit. The amount you can recover is limited by the percentage the driver was at fault. That is one reason why it can be beneficial to consult a lawyer, whether you were the pedestrian or the driver: to determine the percentage of liability, and therefore the viability of a personal injury suit.

Can I seek damages from other parties (besides the driver who hit me) in a pedestrian accident?
Here again, it depends on the nature of the accident - but in certain cases, it's possible that another party could bear some measure of responsibility. For example, if the signal light was malfunctioning, or if the crosswalk or sidewalk were in disrepair, and these factors contributed to an accident, then the city or county responsible for maintenance could be found at least partially liable.

Continue reading "Pedestrian accidents in Springfield: FAQs answered" »

Hit and run accidents create serious consequences for at-fault drivers, injury victims

494062_that_hurt.jpgA hit and run accident occurs when one vehicle strikes another vehicle, causing property damage and/or personal injury, and the at-fault driver leaves the scene of the crash. As Springfield personal injury lawyers, we know that hit and run can have many serious consequences. Under Missouri law, leaving the scene of an accident is considered a class D felony if the accident resulted in one of the following: 1() physical injury to another party; (2) property damage in excess of $1,000; or (3) the driver has previously pled guilty or been found guilty of this offense. In addition to legal consequences, hit and run drivers may also be subject to personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits filed on behalf of their victims.

Unfortunately, the average number of hit and runs in Missouri has increased dramatically in recent months. According to KY3 News, 132 hit and run accidents were reported in Springfield during the month of May, and over the past 6 months, the number of reported hit and runs has averaged 120 per month. It is worth noting that these statistics only reflect hit and run accidents that were reported to authorities. Local police believe the actual number of crashes is much higher, and that the cause of many hit and run accidents is connected to drivers who are either under the influence or uninsured. Currently, an estimated 20 to 22% of Springfield drivers are getting behind the wheel without insurance.

Under state law, any motorist that is involved in an auto accident is required to pull over and provide the other motorist with their correct name, address, driver's license number, and motor vehicle number. Failing to provide the appropriate information can result in serious legal consequences. Further, drivers who are uninsured or under the influence create more severe consequences for themselves when they leave the scene of a crash.

When a collision occurs, the drivers involved should pull over immediately and contact emergency help for anyone injured. They should also contact local police to file a formal report. In some cases, a police officer may not be able to come to the scene of the accident. Under these circumstances, the involved parties should exchange the appropriate information and go to the nearest police station to report the crash. This step is especially important for accident victims: a formal police report can be an important piece of evidence in a personal injury claim connected to a hit and run crash. Victims should also contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to ensure their rights and interests are protected.

Continue reading "Hit and run accidents create serious consequences for at-fault drivers, injury victims" »

Are you covered in the event of a Missouri car accident caused by an uninsured driver?

Vs-Camborne_2011_09_25_0004.JPGIt is estimated that approximately 10-15% of drivers throughout Missouri don't carry auto insurance, even though state law requires drivers to have insurance. If you're injured in an auto accident, there's the unfortunate risk that the driver who caused the auto accident is will be uninsured. Under those circumstances, do you know who would be responsible for your medical bills and other expenses?

Being involved in an auto accident can be difficult enough, even when both parties are insured and liability is clear. And if you've suffered whiplash or sustained soft tissue injuries, the physical pain you're feeling can distract you from other important issues. Further, insurance companies can be reluctant to offer even token settlements to cover the cost of personal and bodily injury, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other damages resulting from car accidents. In some cases, claims can drag on for years and years.

Now imagine jumping through these hoops because of an auto accident cause by an uninsured driver. In this situation, you may still be able to recover compensation for your property damage and even your injuries. Insurers offer uninsured motorist coverage, and in fact, this coverage is required for all Missouri drivers. This portion of the policy allows you the ability to collect damages from your own insurance carrier if you are involved in a car accident caused by an uninsured driver.

Uninsured motorist insurance coverage also applies in the event of a hit-and-run accident, where the at-fault driver eaves the scene and can't be located. In this example, uninsured motorist coverage is available to take the place of coverage that should exist, so you're not left on the hook for thousands of dollars in medical expenses and property repairs that were incurred due to the negligence of another party. Further, it applies in similar situations where pedestrians are injured by drivers who flee the scene of the accident, or where the driver who caused the crash can't be found.

Continue reading "Are you covered in the event of a Missouri car accident caused by an uninsured driver?" »

Greene County's Annual Missouri Seat Belt Survey Reviewed

September 13, 2011

For decades now the repeated public safety announcements and the enacting of seat belt laws remind us that seat belts save lives. Springfield Missouri car accident lawyers agree with all the experts and all the studies and all of the data that says the same thing, "Seat belts save lives." But it might surprise you to know how many people in Missouri still do not wear their seat belt. Together with the Highway Safety Division (HSD) of the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), the Missouri Safety Center (MSC) conducts an annual survey to determine seat belt use in Greene County and throughout Missouri. The results of the last survey are in and the Greene County car accident lawyers want you to know.

Greene County and the Annual Missouri Seat Belt SurveySeatbelt_02.JPG
Since 2004, the MSC has conducted an annual observational study to determine the percentage of Missouri drivers wearing seatbelts. The sad truth is that Missouri seat belt use is 6 percent under the national average. The annual observation involves observing drivers and passengers from 460 locations in both urban counties like Greene County and in rural counties.

The HSD of MoDOT provides federal funds for the study. And the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has developed uniform criteria for the seat belt survey. The funds are part of grant moneys designated by the Transportation Equity Act, which provides grant money for States based on the State's seat belt use rate. So the annual Observational Surveys of Seat Belt Use not only works to reduce the amount of traffic accident related injuries and fatalities but to also obtain federal grant monies to work toward that goal.

Missouri 2011 Operational Survey of Seat Belt Use Results
Nearly 128,000 observations were made. Notations are made based on vehicle type, age of driver and passenger use of seat belts.

  • 79 percent of Missouri's general public use a seat belt.

  • 85 percent seat belt use is the national average.

  • 66 percent of pick up drivers wear a seat belt.

  • 67 percent of teenagers wear a seat belt.

In 2010 the general public rate in Missouri was 76 percent. And the teenager rate has also increased but only by 1 percent. In 2010, 392 of the people killed in traffic crashes were unbuckled.

Continue reading "Greene County's Annual Missouri Seat Belt Survey Reviewed" »

Legal Analysis of Decision Finding City of Springfield, Missouri Partially at Fault for Accident at Grant and Portland in Midtown Springfield

September 2, 2011

One of our Springfield Missouri car accident lawyers shares the results of a recent personal injury case. Read this article to learn how personal injury cases can work.

1232540_statue_of_wisdom.jpgSpringfield Mo. Traffic Accident Results in Personal Injury Suit
In Lampe v. Taylor, 338 S.W.3d 350 (Mo. App. S.D. 2011), the Southern District Court of Appeals upheld a judgment in favor of an injured driver holding a negligent driver and the City of Springfield Mo. jointly and severally liable for $399,322.71 in damages to the injured driver. In October 2001, Hunter and Summer Lampe were driving southbound on Grant Avenue when they were t-boned by a car driven by Bette Taylor at the intersection of Grant and Portland in midtown Springfield. Ms. Taylor, who was driving westbound on Portland toward Grant, ran a red light at the intersection causing the accident with the Lampes. Summer Lampe sustained significant injuries in the accident. Ms. Lampe brought suit against Taylor alleging she was negligent in failing to obey the traffic signal, and against the City of Springfield alleging the city negligently maintained a dangerous condition at the intersection. Under Missouri law, a lawsuit for negligence against a public entity may be brought in certain situations if the public entity created a dangerous condition on public property.

Springfield Mo. Personal Injury Case Goes to Trial
At trial, Lampe offered the testimony of a traffic engineer, Dr. John Glennon, who testified that the authoritative manual on minimum traffic standards, the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (Manual), required that the intersection have continuous visibility of the traffic signal for a minimum of 270 feet. According to Dr. Glennon, the city failed this requirement in that various obstructions blocked the continuous visibility of the light, including foliage, utility poles, and the traffic signals on Grant. Dr. Glennon concluded that the obstructions would have been obvious to utility workers who had visited the intersection for inspections numerous times in the several years prior to the accident. Dr. Glennon also testified that the failure to comply with the manual made the intersection dangerous, and this dangerous condition caused or contributed to the accident.

Additionally, Dr. Glennon testified that the City's installation of a "signal ahead" sign did not comply with the Manual. Under the Manual, if it is possible to meet the continuous visibility requirement, then placing a warning sign instead is not sufficient to be compliant with the Manual. Dr. Glennon testified that the 270 foot visibility requirement could be met in this specific situation, and thus the "signal ahead" sign was insufficient to make the intersection safe. Further, the "signal ahead" sign had its own visibility problems that minimized its effectiveness. Dr. Glennon concluded and testified that the intersection was dangerous despite the "signal ahead" sign.

Continue reading "Legal Analysis of Decision Finding City of Springfield, Missouri Partially at Fault for Accident at Grant and Portland in Midtown Springfield" »

A Single Car Accident May Generate Personal Liability

August 14, 2011

Citing recent car accidents in Springfield and Lebanon, Missouri Springfield Missouri car accident lawyers say a personal injury case is possible even if the injuries and property damage come from a single car accident.

road closed sign.jpgPartial List of Factors That May Contribute to Cause A Single Vehicle Personal injury Cases in Lebanon and Surrounding Missouri

  • Motor vehicle design defects or mechanical problems

  • Roadway hazards such as road damage, road construction, or bridge problems

  • Improper signage, traffic barriers, or warning devices about roadway hazards

  • Negligence such as driving too fast or carelessly by the driver.

The passenger has no control of the car and generally is not at fault. Exceptions can include rare circumstances such as when the driver has been drinking and the passenger had knowledge of that fact, and decides to get in the car. This is known as "assumption of the risk" and is used by defense attorneys in an effort to minimize the value of the case. It is raised more frequently in states like Kansas where 51% comparative fault can bar a party from recovering money damages. Missouri is a pure comparative fault state which in general terms means that a parties recovery is reduced by their share of fault. As we mentioned above, comparative fault is generally not an issue for a passenger in single car accident except under rare circumstances.

In addition to driver error, sometimes there are other factors that may come into play From a vehicle manufacturer cutting corners to save money to a road construction crew forgetting to set up proper road barriers to a city failing to properly maintain part or all of a roadway, negligence happens. That negligence can result in serious injury and property damage and worse the loss of life. Just because there was only one vehicle involved in a car crash does not mean there isn't a personal injury claim. If the car crash was caused by someone else's failure to act properly or responsibly, a case for personal injury claims can arise.

Why Single Vehicle Accidents Often Require a Lawyer
The majority of single vehicle accidents involve driver error. Any and all evidence of mechanical failure such as a blown tire, crumpled roof, or other faulty mechanism needs to be preserved and documented. Pictures of the scene and surrounding area are critical to prove road hazard issues. Accident diagrams and accident reconstruction may show how and why the accident occurred.

A Missouri car accident lawyer may know the obstacles that can present themselves in a personal injury case resulting from a single car accident. They can walk you through the steps to take. They can provide an investigator who can also look into evidence to prove negligence, design defect, or other contributing factors.

Aaron Sachs and Associates, PC is a law firm that has a focused practice dealing with car accident cases. You can talk to a lawyer for a free, no obligation, consultation meeting and learn your options.

Bus Accidents in the News in Springfield Missouri and Nationwide

Springfield Bus Accident Lawyers have noticed a rash of bus accidents taking place nationwide, from the terrifying to the simply bizarre. Here are some of the latest headlines, all from the past week in June:

1170123_bus_on_the_run.jpgHouston, TX-- "A Metro bus crash near the Medical District left the driver dead and the bus split in half." A bystander says, "Major accidents are awful; I've seen my share of them before. But this is unbelievable that a bus can be split in half like that."

Fort Lauderdale, FLA--Driver flees after hitting BSO inmate transport bus... This hit-and-run bus crash on June 22 involved a prisoner transport bus. None of the 45 prisoners on the bus were injured and the bus continued on its route to the jail after the crash, the Sheriff's Office said. (We have never heard of a hit-and-run bus accident before, but it proves there is a first time for everything.)

Salt Lake City, UT--Investigation continues after teen falls out of moving school bus...The bus was traveling eastbound when officials say the 17 year old special needs student got out of his lap belt, walked to the rear of the bus, opened the emergency exit door and fell out onto the road.

But the main bus accident in the news that has captured our interest is this Arkansas bus accident case:

Little Rock, ARK--Arkansas Supreme Court affirms insurance ruling in fatal Craighead County bus crash...

Continue reading "Bus Accidents in the News in Springfield Missouri and Nationwide" »

Springfield Car Accident Lawyers Join Drowsy Driving Awareness Efforts

A West Plains, Missouri women apparently fell asleep at the wheel on I-44 early last Monday morning and the truck she was driving veered off the road. The vehicle rolled over and she was ejected. It was then several hours before she was spotted and subsequently airlifted to Cox South Hospital in Springfield with serious injuries.

b19nature_characters_closedeye.jpgSpringfield car accident lawyers say this accident maybe one more of many which result from what is now being called Drowsy Driving and that this is an under-report and under-recognized problem on the Springfield, Missouri roadways as well as worldwide. Drowsy or sleepy driving is as dangerous as drunk driving and even tends to be more violent. This is because you cannot react at all if you are asleep versus the impaired reactions of driving-under-the influence of alcohol.

The National Sleep Foundation launched a campaign last November called Drowsy Driving Prevention week. And in light of Monday's accident on I-44, Springfield Accident Attorneys want to renew awareness efforts for Drowsy Driving and the dangers of sleep deprivation in general.

Early Signs to Help You Recognize Driver Fatigue:

  • Daydreaming or long reveries
  • Heavy eyes or frequent blinking
  • Excessive yawning
  • Stiffness or head dropping
  • Driving over the center line or swerving
  • Feeling impatient, restless, or aggressive
  • Missing exits or traffic signs
  • Slow reactions
  • Losing track of time or the inability to remember the last few minutes of the road

Continue reading "Springfield Car Accident Lawyers Join Drowsy Driving Awareness Efforts" »

Springfield Missouri Accident Attorneys Remind Christian County Residents About the Safety Benefits of Seat Belts After Recent Accident On US 60.

Car accident.jpgOn Saturday July 2 on U.S. 60 about a half mile west of Billings, two people were seriously injured in a car crash. The driver had stopped his car, a Honda Accord, in order to make a left-hand turn from westbound U.S. 60 when a Ford F350 struck their vehicle from behind. Both the driver and the passenger were wearing their seat-belts. Their vehicle was deemed totaled by the Trooper on scene. And they were both transported by ambulance to Cox South Hospital, in Springfield, Missouri with serious injuries. The driver of the second vehicle, who was also wearing seat a belt, escaped injury.

For Springfield, MO accident attorneys, this accident serves as a reminder that seat belts save lives and reduce the severity of injuries from traffic accidents. It is possible that their seat belts saved the lives of these to Crane, Missouri residents.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) 821 Missourians were killed in traffic crashes in 2010. While this number is the lowest since 1949, it can still be lower. And many agencies and organizations in Missouri are very dedicated to reducing this number even further.

MSHP launched their "Permanent" campaign in July of last year to draw attention to the dangers of texting while driving. And MSHP continues to uphold the "Click It or Ticket" campaign as part of their education and enforcement endeavors to reduce preventable traffic fatalities. MSHP is not alone. Springfield MO Accident attorneys urge Christian County residents and all Missourians to buckle up as well.

Continue reading "Springfield Missouri Accident Attorneys Remind Christian County Residents About the Safety Benefits of Seat Belts After Recent Accident On US 60." »

Branson Missouri ATV Accidents as Dangerous as Any Other Vehicle Accident

Two people were taken to Skaggs Regional Medical Center in Branson last Friday after being injured in an ATV accident. The Missouri State Highway Patrol reported that Joseph Schall, 55, suffered serious injuries and Michelle Schall, 16, suffered minor injuries.

1109243_quad.jpgThe accident happened at 7:10 p.m. Friday on Panorama Point Road four miles northeast of Blue Eye. Apparently, Joseph Schall was backing out of his driveway when the ATV somehow ran off the road and overturned. Both passengers were thrown off and injured. The police noted that neither was wearing a helmet at the time, although helmet use is required by Missouri law for anyone under 18.

Branson ATV accident lawyers want to point out that an ATV accident can be just as dangerous as an auto accident or motorcycle accident. All Terrain Vehicles are increasingly popular, and with that popularity come the inevitable accident statistics: the US Consumer Products Safety Commission reported 376 ATV related deaths in 2009 nationwide and 131,900 other ATV related injuries requiring emergency room treatment.

Many people use their ATV's for summer fun, and seem to treat them like a giant toy. ATVs are covered under Missouri Laws however, just like other motorized vehicles.

Causes of Branson ATV Accidents include:

• Improper driving techniques (taking an ATV training is highly recommended)
• Rollovers (ATVs are particularly prone to this if the driver takes a curve too rapidly)
• Traveling too fast for the prevailing conditions, especially on paved roads where ATVs don't navigate as well

Continue reading "Branson Missouri ATV Accidents as Dangerous as Any Other Vehicle Accident " »

AB - Springfield Missouri Car Crash Caused By Construction

A loose drainage grate on US 65 in Springfield Missouri caused a single car accident last Wednesday. Two people were traveling southbound when their car hit a loose drainage grate between Chestnut Expressway and Sunshine Street and flipped over.

According to police, both people walked away from the crash uninjured. Highway workers will work to repair other drainage grates as a precaution.

Although there were no reported injuries in this case, more than 1,000 people die each year as a result of highway construction related accidents, and thousands more are seriously injured. Some of the causes of these accidents are:

  • Inadequate signs, construction area not clearly marked, no warning signs, warning signs not visible

  • Narrow lanes, no shoulder, lanes not properly marked

  • Careless or reckless operation of construction machinery or construction vehicle

  • Inadequate buffer zone prior to construction zone, not enough time to slow down or react

  • Open trenches or open pits

  • Uneven pavement, broken pavement

Highway construction areas can be difficult to navigate for even the best of drivers. The presence of pedestrian construction workers, heavy trucks and industrial equipment can lead to a confusing maze, often at rapidly changing speeds.

Continue reading "AB - Springfield Missouri Car Crash Caused By Construction" »

Consumer Advisory Urges Motorists to Check Tires to Help Prevent Car Accident in Springfield, Stockton, Bolivar Missouri and Elsewhere

A recently released consumer advisory, from the U.S. Department of Transportation, urges that all motorists take a look at their tires for signs of tread wear or damage and to make sure they're properly inflated. Just by simply checking the condition of your tires and making sure they are up to par, you can greatly reduce your risk of a serious car accident in Fair Grove or elsewhere in Missouri.
This consumer advisory comes as heat of the summer months begins to take a serious toll on our tires. Driving with poorly maintained tires in the summer heat can have serious consequences. In an additional effort to raise awareness about this safety precaution, the DOT is launching its National Tire Safety Week to kick-off of the summer travel season.

Our Purdy car accident attorneys understand that the condition of your vehicle can make all the difference in your safety on our roadways. All residents are urged to conduct routine checkups on their vehicle to make sure that everything is in proper working order. It is especially important during this time of year to check the condition of your tires before setting out on the scorching-hot pavement.

"As the weather warms up, it's especially important for drivers to ensure their tires are properly inflated," Secretary Ray LaHood said. "For your safety and the safety of others on the road, inspect your tires regularly and maintain the proper inflation."

The Department's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that through the years of 2005 and 2009, nearly 3,400 people died in tire-related car accidents. Another 116,000 were injured in these types of crashes during the same year.

"While it's true improperly maintained tires can contribute to a crash at any time of year, it is particularly critical for motorists to check tires during hot weather, when families and luggage often overload vehicles for long vacation trips," NHTSA Administrator David Strickland warned. "Underinflated tires spinning on hot asphalt for extended periods of time can be a recipe for disaster."

The Department and safety advocates around the country urge that all motorists check their tire pressure periodically, but especially before long trips. They also suggest that motorists keep an eye on aging tires. Old tires and the summer heat can turn out deadly results because older, more warn tires are more susceptible to heat stress. These risks only increase if the tires are not properly inflated. Be sure to regularly check the tire sidewall to check the tires wear. It is also a good idea to check with the vehicle's manual or the manufacturer for recommendations on how often to change tires.

Properly maintaining your tires will not only help to keep you safe on our roadways, but it will help to keep some extra cash in your wallet. The Department of Energy reports that under-inflated tires can lower your vehicle's gas mileage by nearly 0.5 percent for every 1 PSI (pound per square inch) drop in pressure of all four tires. Properly inflated tires can save you nearly 3 miles per gallon.

Continue reading "Consumer Advisory Urges Motorists to Check Tires to Help Prevent Car Accident in Springfield, Stockton, Bolivar Missouri and Elsewhere" »

Elderly Drivers in Springfield, Nixa and Ozark Missouri and Elsewhere Worry Local Motorists

It is not uncommon for us to worry about the safety of our parents and grandparents and with good reason: Older drivers are at high risk for a car accident in Ozark or elsewhere in Missouri. It's no secret that along with old age comes diminishing function, eyesight, coordination and other driving skills, according to US News. Do you know when it's time to hang up your keys or urge a loved one to stay off our roadways?
A Springfield Missouri auto injury can lead to a difficult recovery -- particularly for older motorists who may never regain their quality of life after a serious accident. Our Springfield injury lawyers understand that there are a plethora of risks that motorists face on our roadways on a daily basis, whether it be road construction, drunk drivers, varying weather conditions or distracted driving. The best way to protect yourself from a serious accident is to practice safe and defensive driving habits. But at some point in each of our lives, driving because too much of a risk.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), offers you these key points to help you determine if it may be time for you to retire, or urge a loved one to retire from driving:

-Noticing scratches and dents on your car.

-Becoming lost when taking a familiar route.

-Receiving tickets for a number of traffic violations.

-Getting into accidents or having near-misses.

-Receiving a recommendation from your doctor urging you to reduce your driving.

-Experiencing health problems that could intentionally affect your driving abilities.

-Taking medications that urge you to refrain from using a motor-vehicle

-Finding that road signs or road markings are suddenly overwhelming.

-Driving too slow or too fast for no apparent reason.

The NHTSA reports that people over the age of 64 made up nearly 15 percent, or 40 million, of the total population of the United States in 2009.

On the bright side, nearly 80 percent of the individuals in this age group that were involved in motor-vehicle accidents were reportedly wearing their seat belts. This is greater than the percentage of any other age groups, which sat at roughly 60 percent.

In that same year, nearly 5,500 people age 65 and older died in motor-vehicle accidents in the United States. Another 187,000 were injured in these incidents. The fatal accident that occurred within this age group made up nearly 20 percent of all traffic fatalities throughout the year. They also totaled nearly 10 percent of all the people injured in traffic accidents. This number of injuries from traffic accidents increased 2 percent from the previous year.

In 2009, Missouri saw nearly 150 fatalities result from traffic accidents involving those ages 65 and older.

Continue reading "Elderly Drivers in Springfield, Nixa and Ozark Missouri and Elsewhere Worry Local Motorists" »

Young Driver Faces 15 Years in Prison for Drunk Driving Car Accident in Springfield, Missouri

An involuntary manslaughter charge from a drunk driving accident that happened four years ago could land a Springfield man behind bars for as many as 15 years, according to The News-Leader. The jury recently handed him a guilty verdict, he only awaits the scheduled sentencing now.
The 23-year-old driver was convicted by a jury late last month, according to the Greene County Prosecutor's Office. The jury reported to have deliberated the case for approximately three hours before concluding that the young driver was guilty of the Springfield car accident.

Our Springfield Missouri car accident attorneys understand that drunk driving oftentimes result in serious consequences -- including death. Not only is the act of driving while intoxicated illegal, it's also extremely dangerous. Drunk driving places the lives of all motorists in peril. Residents are asked to practice logical decision making before a night on the town to help prevent getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.

The young driver had been placed on probation for leaving the scene of that accident and had also had a subsequent conviction for driving under the influence.

The accident happened back in November of 2007. The driver measured a blood alcohol content of 0.146 at the time of the accident near the intersection of Weller Avenue and Dale Street.

The driver that was hit by the drunk driver reported suffered a "cardiac event" before rolling into the intersection. The intoxicated driver, who was speeding at the time of the accident, collided with the other vehicle.

The other motorist died as a result of his injuries from the intersection accident.

The young, intoxicated driver faces a minimum of five years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. His maximum penalty is 15 years behind bars. The man remains in Greene County jail until his sentencing that is scheduled for August.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were nearly 11,000 people killed in car accidents that involved a driver impaired by alcohol in 2009. These accidents made up more than 30 percent of all traffic accidents in the United State during that year.

In these fatal accidents, drivers ages 21 to 24 represented the age group with the highest percentage of drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Nearly 2,000 drivers from this age group were involved in motor-vehicle accidents while driving legally drunk during 2009.

Missouri saw nearly 300 motor-vehicle accident fatalities caused by intoxicated drivers in 2009.

Missouri Drunk Driving Fines and Penalties (for nonfatal, first offenses):

-Fines: up to $500.

-Jail: up to 6 months.

-License Suspension: 30 Days Full Suspension.

-License Reinstatement Fee: $45 .

-Missouri SR22 Insurance Requirement (Proof of Insurance).

-Ignition Interlock Device Possible

Continue reading "Young Driver Faces 15 Years in Prison for Drunk Driving Car Accident in Springfield, Missouri" »

Newly Released Data Reiterates Risks of Bicycle Accidents in Springfield, Missouri and Elsewhere

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released its latest information illustrating the dangers of being involved in a bicycle accident in Springfield, Missouri and elsewhere in the United States.
In the U.S., 630 bicyclists were killed in 2009 because of traffic accidents. Another 51,000 suffered injuries from these incidents.

Our Springfield car accident attorneys recognize the dangers of bicycling on our Missouri roads, especially during the spring and summer months when traffic increases significantly. Even though the number of bicycle fatalities decreased from 2008 to 2009 by 12 percent, the roadway is still a very dangerous place for our two-wheeled travelers.

The NHTSA's release reports that 70 percent of the bicycle fatalities that occurred in 2009 happened in urban areas and non-intersections. This number jumped 5 percent from 2008 calculations.

Roughly 75 percent of bicycle fatalities happened during the daytime hours, between 4:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. This is also an increase from the previous year -- 6 percent.

The Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation urges bicyclists to enroll in Bike Education Classes to help decrease your risks of a serious accident.

Ken Kifer's Bike Page would like to tell you about these common mistakes that bicyclists make. Making tiny adjustments can help you increase your safety on our roadways:

-Making your seat too low. Folded legs are more likely to result in cramping. Just as you shouldn't drive while fatigued, you shouldn't bike that way either. Make sure your bike is positioned comfortably for your size and weight. Make sure your leg can fully extend when pedaling.

-Be sure to stop for stop signs and follow all of the other road rules that motorists do. As a biker, you are to abide by the same laws as a motor-vehicle driver. This goes for red lights as well. By Missouri state and local law, bicyclists are allowed to use the road and by law they have the same rights and duties as other drivers.

-Be sure you're riding in the correct lane. Always ride with traffic, never against it. Avoid riding on sidewalks. Sometimes sidewalks can be more dangerous than the roadway because of pedestrian congestion.

-Make sure your headlight and taillight is working. These lights help you to be more visible to motorists during the evening hours. Also, remember to wear light colored clothing. Every little bit helps. Do as much as you can to be seen by motorists.

For your enjoyment, a complete list of Missouri bicycle trails and trail maps can be found on the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation website.

Continue reading "Newly Released Data Reiterates Risks of Bicycle Accidents in Springfield, Missouri and Elsewhere" »