Recently in Truck Accident Category

Semi-truck driver sued for wrongful death after striking bicyclist, leaving scene

February 4, 2013

1102344_cross_over.jpgIn 2011, car accidents caused 32,667 deaths nationwide, including 786 deaths that occurred here in Missouri. As Springfield personal injury lawyers, we know that the aftermath of a fatal car accident is a traumatic, overwhelming time. When someone is killed as a result of another driver's negligence, fault, or misconduct, surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party.

Recently, a Massachusetts family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a semi-truck driver who struck and killed a bicyclist in 2012. According to the Boston Globe, the suit was brought by the widow of 41 year-old Alex Motsenigos, who was training for a triathlon when he was hit by the semi and pulled under the vehicle. Authorities say the truck driver, 51 year-old Dana McCoomb, drove away following the collision. When McCoomb was later located by police, he said he heard about the accident but denied that he struck anyone.

The wrongful death lawsuit names McCoomb, his employer, and the company that owned the truck he was driving. It alleges that McCoomb was driving recklessly on the day of the accident, labeling him an "extremely dangerous driver who should not have been behind the wheel of a truck." McCoomb reportedly has a lengthy history of driving offenses: since 1982, his license has been suspended 19 times, and he was required to enroll in a National Safety Council driver retraining program in 2010. His license was ultimately revoked after the accident involving Motsenigos. In a statement, the Motsenigos family claims that "if the truck driver had used even basic care in operating the truck that struck Alex down, the accident would have been avoided and Alex would be alive today."

The lawsuit was filed about a week before a grand jury declined to indict McCoomb on charges of motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation, unsafe overtaking of a bicyclist, and failing to take precautions for the safety of other travelers.

A wrongful death claim is a civil action, completely separate and independent from any criminal charges associated with a death. When someone dies as a result of another individual's negligence or misconduct, certain surviving family members may be entitled to compensation for their losses and damages, which may include:

• Medical and burial expenses
• The deceased's future lost wages
• The deceased's lost benefits (insurance, pension, 401K, etc.)
• Loss of care or companionship
• Pain and suffering

Wrongful death lawsuits must be filed within a specific time period, known as the statute of limitations. If you have lost a family member in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, we encourage you to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your legal rights.

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Whose Fault is It, Anyway? Proving Who's Responsible in Springfield, Missouri Car Accident Cases

January 5, 2012

Missouri Accident Lawyers
Establishing who did what, and when they did it, is a significant part of any injury claim tied to a Missouri car, truck, or motorcycle accident. It is in your best interest to remember and implement a few basic tips if you are ever involved in a crash. First and foremost, get yourself to safety. Then, you should call 911 and contact a Springfield, Missouri car accident attorney.

If possible, it's a good idea take pictures of the scene with your cell phone; and to make notes of road, weather, and other driving conditions. All of these materials can be used to demonstrate what circumstances caused the collision to occur. Below, we outline some other factors that are connected to the process of establishing fault.

Missouri Police Reports
Missouri police reports can provide crucial evidence in accident cases: you'll need a copy of the responding police officer's formal record. If a Missouri state traffic law was broken, or there was apparent negligent behavior, this information should be recorded in the report.

Missouri Traffic Laws
In most cases, as discussed above, the police officer will note violation of any Missouri traffic laws in the accident report. If you need more information to understand why a citation was (or wasn't) issued, review the Missouri Vehicle Code.

"No-Doubt" Liability: Rear End Collisions and Left Turn Car Crashes
Most people have heard that if another driver hits your car from behind, that driver is automatically at fault. This is usually true, no matter why your car stopped. Similarly, if a collision occurs when a driver making a left turn is struck by an oncoming vehicle, the driver turning is considered responsible, under most circumstances.

Why the "rear end collision rule?" Your job as a driver is to travel at a safe distance from the car in front of you. So, you must be able to stop without hitting the car in front of you, no matter what happens--even if you are hit from behind and pushed into the car in front of you, or if the car in front of you stops short.

Why the "left turn rule?" A driver only has legal permission to turn left if the path is totally clear. If the path is not completely clear, the left turn is not legal: thus, if an accident is caused, the left turning driver is almost always at fault. In extremely rare cases, traveling at excessive speed into the intersection can transfer some measure of fault to an oncoming driver who collides with a vehicle turning left.

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Springfield Missouri Car Accident Lawyers Cite Exeter Man's Death As Reminder To Focus On Driving

Our Springfield Missouri Accident Lawyers are Kenworth wheel.jpgconcerned anytime someone dies on our Missouri roads or highways and offer condolences to everyone who ever experiences this type of tragic event. A fatal car crash is devastating for all involved. A man from Exeter, Missouri has died from such a traffic accident.

Early Friday morning, shortly before 1 am on July 15, there was a truck accident on Missouri 37 just 3 miles south of Monett; a community which straddles Barry and Lawrence Counties. The man was driving southbound in a Ford pickup truck and crossed over the center line. The resulting traffic accident was a head-on collision with a semi tractor-trailer. The driver of the pickup truck, the man from Exeter, died from his injuries. The driver of the semi was unharmed.

According to Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) this is the 45th fatality for Troop D this year. Troop D covers Springfield and the surrounding southwest corner of Missouri. At this time it is unknown why the pickup truck driver crossed the center line.

This truck accident could have occurred for a number of reasons. Any time a car or truck crosses the center line the potential for a fatal accident is very high.

Common Reasons for Crossing The Center Line:

  • Passing a slower moving vehicle
  • Falling asleep behind the wheel
  • Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs
  • Distracted by texting or cell phone use
  • Swerving while distracted by a dropped item or other type incident in the vehicle
  • Faulty vehicle or mechanical damage

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Springfield, Missouri News Reports on Polk County Car Accident -Investigation still Pending Regarding an Ambulance vs. Dump Truck In Polk County

172435_ambulance.jpgThe back of an ambulance is the last place anybody should expect to be injured in a car wreck. But that is exactly what happened on July 8th near Fair Play, MO. And the .

Until the investigation results are released Springfield Missouri Car Accident Lawyers remind Polk and Greene County, as well as all Missouri drivers, to observe traffic laws for emergency vehicles:

  • Always be on the lookout for emergency vehicles.

  • Remember that in modern cars sirens are difficult to hear.

  • On a highway, traveling at faster speeds, vehicles are traveling fast enough that the siren cannot be detected until the emergency vehicle is very close.

  • If an emergency vehicle approaches in your lane, pull over to the nearest edge of the roadway and clear an opening so they may safely pass. Never stop right where you are.

  • If an emergency vehicle approaches from the opposite direction, be prepared to slow and stop, they may need to turn in front of you or enter your lane.

  • Treat any vehicle with flashing red, blue, or amber lights as an emergency vehicle and slow down, move over and let them do their job.

  • Missouri Revised Statute requires a driver to yield right-of-way; move as far to the right of the roadway as possible and stop until the emergency vehicle has passed.

  • A driver is required to change lanes so as not to be adjacent to a stationary emergency vehicle and if this is not possible to slow down and use caution if this lane change is not possible.

This particular traffic accident occurred on Highway 32, about a mile east of Fair Play.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) is still in the investigation phase. The Cox Health ambulance was transporting a patient to a local hospital on Friday when a dump truck traveling in the opposite direction of traffic apparently crossed the center line.

Continue reading "Springfield, Missouri News Reports on Polk County Car Accident -Investigation still Pending Regarding an Ambulance vs. Dump Truck In Polk County" »

Teens Pledge to Drive Safely to Avoid Car Accidents in Springfield, Missouri and Elsewhere

Teens met in Washington D.C. recently to make a pledge be alert when driving near large trucks and to not text while driving during the summer months. Teen drivers pledged to practice safe and alert driving habits in an attempt to reduce the risks of a serious or fatal car accident in Dixon, Monett, Aurora and elsewhere in Missouri. School is out, the summer is here and teens typically hit our roads in full force over the new few months.
Teen's met at the nation's capital for a rally put on by U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA). Officials from these organizations met with teens to talk about the importance of safe driving habits, especially near big trucks. During the summer season we typically see an increased number of large trucks, tractor-trailers, big rigs and teen drivers on our roadways.

Our Springfield car accident attorneys urge all drivers, but especially inexperienced teen drivers, to be alert around these large vehicles. It is important to stay out of their blind spots, or "No Zones," and to allow them plenty of room to maneuver. Experiencing an accident with one of these large trucks oftentimes results in serious, if not fatal, consequences as their vehicles overpower passenger cars, trucks and even SUVs.

"We want everyone to be safe, but as newer drivers, teens must adhere to a few simple rules," said Anne Ferro, Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. "They are: buckle up, don't drink and drive; don't speed, don't text or use your phone, and steer clear of a truck's blind spots."

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Fatality Analysis Reporting System reports, according to their most recent data, that the deadliest days of the year for teen drivers ages 15 to 19 are in the months of May through August. It is during these four months that we see nearly twice as many teen deaths from traffic accidents each day than the rest of the year on average. The average for these months is about 16 deaths per day while the average for the year as a whole is roughly 9 deaths per day.

"Do not expect that having a driver's license is a right that comes without responsibility or risk," said Steve Keppler, Executive Director of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA). "Be accountable for your actions, spread the word to your friends and parents, and help create a culture of safety. Most importantly, take the driving task seriously. You never know the impact you can have that ultimately could save your life or someone else's."

Drivers that are ages 16- to 24-years old have the highest motor-vehicle accident death rate in the country. Their death rate is higher than that of any other age group. From 2005 to 2009, approximately 4,0000 teens from this young age group were killed in traffic accidents that reported the involvement of large trucks.

"Prom, graduation, and summer are fantastic times for youth to celebrate and enjoy. However, with these fun times come unfortunate tragedies," said Sandy Spavone, President of the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS). "Through education, enforcement, and legislation lives can be saved and injuries prevented."

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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.

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Car Accidents in Springfield, Missouri and Elsewhere Cost the U.S. More than $41 Billion in a Year

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report that estimated motor vehicle accident-related death costs in the United States. The accidents resulted in roughly $41 billion dollars in medical and work loss costs in 2005. The data from that year is the most current available data for the study. The CDC also found that nearly half of the $41 billion was a result of the accidents in 10 states.
"Deaths from motor vehicle crashes are preventable," said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. "Seat belts, graduated driver's license programs, child safety seats, and helmet use save lives and reduce health care costs."

Our Marshfield car accident attorneys know that following too closely and failure to yield are just a few of the common causes of car crashes in Springfield and the surrounding area. would like to continue to urge all drivers to practice safe driving habits as a car accident can cause a ripple effect in consequences. A traffic accident can cause a vehicle occupant to suffer from serious injury, death, lost time at work, expensive medical bills, drawn-out insurance claims or life altering damages. If you've experienced a car accident in Missouri, you are urged to contact an experienced attorney to help you protect and fight for your rights.

According to the CDC, Missouri racked up more than $1 billion in medical and work loss costs.

The CDC releases this new fact sheet to highlight the costs of these accident deaths to coincide with the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety campaign. The United Nation's kicked off the campaign to raise awareness of the widespread effects of car accidents in an attempt to enhanced focus on reducing and stabilizing the number of car accidents across the world by 2020.

Through these statistics, the CDC found that children and teens under the age of 19 contributed roughly $856 million to the total, making them the main contributor to the total number of costs related to car-accident deaths.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 200 teens were killed in motor vehicle-related accidents in 2009 in Missouri alone.

"It's tragic to hear that anyone dies on our nation's roads. But it's especially so when the person who loses his or her life is a child or teenager," said Linda Degutis, Dr. P.H., M.S.N., director, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. "Child passenger safety laws and comprehensive graduated driver licensing laws are proven to protect young lives. We encourage states to strengthen and enforce these laws to help keep more of our young people safe."

The complete list compiled by the CDC for the 10 states with the highest medical and work loss costs is as follows:

-California ($4.16 billion)

-Texas ($3.50 billion)

-Florida ($3.16 billion)

-Georgia ($1.55 billion)

-Pennsylvania ($1.52 billion)

-North Carolina ($1.50 billion)]

-New York ($1.33 billion)

-Illinois ($1.32 billion)

-Ohio ($1.23 billion)

-Tennessee ($1.15 billion)

Continue reading " Car Accidents in Springfield, Missouri and Elsewhere Cost the U.S. More than $41 Billion in a Year" »

Heavier Trucks Increase Risk of Springfield Missouri Tractor-Trailer Accidents

The risk of serious or fatal injuries suffered in Springfield tractor-trailer accidents could increase if heavier semis are permitted on Missouri roads, the News-Leader reported.

Springfield accident lawyers know motorists are already at high risk of fatal injuries if involved in a crash with a tractor trailer -- some of which can weigh 80,000 pounds, or 20 times the weight of a 4,000 passenger car. As we reported recently on our Springfield Missouri Car Accident Lawyer Blog, 98 percent of those killed in accidents with large trucks are the passengers of smaller vehicles.
Missouri trucking accidents claimed 83 lives in 2009, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Nationwide, nearly 4,000 were killed and 74,000 were injured.

With revenue in the $600 billion trucking industry set to double in the next decade, Congress is being lobbied to permit trucks to run down the nation's roads 16,000 pounds heavier and to permit double- and triple-trailer trucks nationwide. Not only would such a move come at the expense of highway safety, it would add significant costs to the task of maintaining roads and bridges -- a price also paid not by the trucking companies but by the motoring public.

Nationwide, 1 in 8 fatal crashes already involves a large commercial truck. Bigger trucks would mean more weight and energy in crashes, and longer stopping times. Heavier trucks would also be more prone to rollover crashes. Maintenance issues involving brakes, suspension and tires would also increase the risk of accidents.

Some 4,000 Missouri bridges are classified as "structurally deficient" and another 3,000 are "functionally obsolete." Increasing the permitted weight of trucks would be good for trucking industry profits, but would come at a cost to taxpayers in both road maintenance and lives lost.

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Are Springfield Missouri Truck Accidents Unavoidable? Learn to Drive Defensively

232053_semi-truck_3.jpgAccording to truck accident lawyer Aaron Sachs, trucking revenues currently are above $600 billion, and expected to double by 2015. The trucking industry is booming. However, where there is trucking, inevitably there are truck accidents. For Springfield MO drivers who have to share the roads with big trucks, semi's and tractor trailers, this creates an extremely hazardous situation.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) approximately 500,000 truck accidents happen every year, nationwide. Of this number, some 5,000 truck crashes result in fatalities. In fact, one out of every eight traffic fatalities involves a trucking collision.

Springfield truck accident lawyers point out that in a collision with a big truck, the cars, vans and SUVs are at a potentially fatal disadvantage. A tragic 98% of all fatalities in a truck accident occur to the people in the smaller passenger vehicles.

Residents of Springfield, Rolla, West Plains, and Cassville MO might be surprised to hear that 68% of all fatal truck accidents occur not in cities, but in rural regions.
Springfield truck accident attorneys recommend drivers of smaller vehicles learn to practice defensive driving around trucks.

Top Ways Springfield Drivers Can Avoid Truck Accidents:

• Stay extra alert when driving near a tractor trailer or other big rig.
• Give trucks plenty of room when they are turning, going through a construction zone, or on entrance and exit ramps.
• Give trucks extra room in bad weather conditions. They cannot accelerate, stop or maneuver as quickly as a passenger car.
• Try not to drive in a truck's blind spots.
• Avoid passing a truck on the right when the truck is turning right.
• Never cut off a truck while passing.

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