Kansas City Personal Injury Law Blog

Spinal cord injuries present many challenges to patients

Many Americans, including some in Missouri, think that injuries to a person's spinal cord inevitably mean such severe loss of mobility that the person will be permanently disabled and can only look forward to a life of diminished quality. It is true that many people who suffer spinal cord injuries are permanently paralyzed and must change the way they live. Many others, however, are able to adapt to these challenges and live full and complete lives.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, approximately 12,000 Americans suffer spinal cord injuries each year. Most experience significant changes in their lives, including many secondary injuries caused by neural damage and restricted blood flow.

What are the most common contributing factors to truck accidents?

No accident is inevitable, but some failures drastically increase the chances that an accident will happen. Consider the truck accident, for example. Although less common than accidents involving other motor vehicles, an accident is probable if a driver fails to operate the vehicle safely or the vehicle is not well-maintained. Because commercial trucks are so much heavier and larger than other vehicles, they are far more likely to do considerable damage to property and to seriously injure and kill other motorists. This is as true in Missouri as it is in Arizona.

All too often, the cause of a truck accident is assumed to have been the reckless behavior of the truck driver. Certainly, drivers have their share of the blame because too many fail to drive safely and operate without enough rest before embarking on long road trips. In truth, though, truck accidents also have other causes. One of the biggest causes of truck accidents is equipment failure. A commercial truck has many different systems that are often operational for far more of the day than the usual passenger car or pickup truck, so any faulty part or failed system can spell trouble on the road. No matter how skilled or experienced a truck driver is, failed or improperly working equipment can mean trouble.

Dealing with a brain injury? We can help

Thousands of Americans are affected by traumatic brain injury, or TBI, every year. Loss of consciousness, stiff neck, swelling and bruising, fracture and nasal discharge are some symptoms of a head injury. Unfortunately, sometimes doctors find it difficult to determine whether an individual has suffered a brain injury. A brain injury may go undetected until telltale symptoms emerge, such as short-term memory loss, behavioral issues and paralysis, which are often present when a victim suffers accidental head injury.

Our Kansas City-based law firm is familiar with the brain injuries that can arise from accidents including car crashes, workplace accidents and medical malpractice. A serious brain injury can completely alter a person's life, cause permanent disability, and affect one's ability to do daily tasks and even walk.

OSHA: Vehicles cause 15 percent of fatal workplace accidents

Vehicle accidents are among the most common events that lead to wrongful death claims in Missouri. Not all vehicle accidents occur on public roads and highways, however. Many occur at worksites and involve one employee striking another with a vehicle.

Fatal accidents involving vehicles in workplaces are of particular concern because they are largely preventable. Victims can be struck by a variety of construction and manufacturing vehicles, including tractors, trucks, cranes, yard trucks and forklifts. According to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, workplace fatalities involving motor vehicle accidents account for 15 percent of work-related deaths.

Missouri surgeon not sanctioned by state after medical error

A medical error can have serious consequences for those involved. If doctors or healthcare providers make a medical mistake, they may be held legally liable for damages if the patient files a medical malpractice claim. Sometimes, doctors who committed a severe medical error may also face a disciplinary action from state medical review boards or licensing agencies. In a recent Missouri medical malpractice case, however, the state declined to discipline a neurosurgeon who allegedly operated on the wrong side of a patient's brain.

According to a news report, the Missouri Board of Registration for the Health Arts is not pursuing disciplinary action against the neurosurgeon. Apparently, the surgical error happened more than a year ago when the neurosurgeon performed a procedure on the wrong side of a woman's brain. The patient's lawyer claims the wrong-site surgery has required the patient to have round-the-clock medical care. The victim's family filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the surgeon and the hospital. Both plaintiffs and defendants decided to settle the case out of court. The plaintiff's attorney also filed a complaint with the Missouri Board of Registration for the Healing Arts regarding the incident.

Helping you overcome the expense of spinal cord injury

The spine is delicate, and although it is protected by bone, any trauma to the spinal cord could cause life-long damage. Spinal cord injuries may range from difficulty walking or moving to partial or even full paralysis. Some causes of spinal cord injury, or SCI, are: car or truck collisions, workplace accidents and slip and fall incidents.

Our law firm is dedicated in protecting the rights of spinal cord injury victims. We can provide information about this injury and how it may affect your life and the lives of people around you. While a spinal cord injury physically affects a person, it takes a heavy emotional toll as well.

Wrongful death lawsuits in Missouri

When a person dies due to the negligent or wrongful act of another person, members of the victim's family have the right to seek monetary damages in a civil lawsuit for wrongful death. However, there are certain limitations that have been placed on a wrongful death lawsuit.

Damages for wrongful death may be claimed by the victim's dependents. Dependents may include minor children, a spouse or the dependent parents of the deceased victim. In certain cases the victim's siblings may have the right to claim compensation for wrongful death. But limitations have been set on the legal claimants for a wrongful death lawsuit. Only one wrongful death lawsuit may be initiated for the set of facts in question.

Tracy Morgan alleges brain injury after Wal-Mart truck accident

Comedian Tracy Morgan is a well-known recent victim of an apparent brain injury caused by a truck accident. According to Morgan's attorneys, the comedian sustained a traumatic brain injury in a truck crash in June that also killed one man and injured two others.

Morgan and several other passengers were in a limousine van stopped in traffic in a construction area on the New Jersey Turnpike when the limousine was hit by a Wal-Mart truck. The comedian spent several weeks in the hospital after sustaining a broken leg, ribs and nose. He has spent the last few months in rehabilitation. In July, attorneys for the "30 Rock" star filed a personal injury lawsuit against Wal-Mart, the owner of the tractor-trailer involved in the accident. The retail giant has countered with an argument that the victims were partly at fault for their injuries because they were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.

How does overloading contribute to truck accidents?

Like elsewhere in the United States, many truck accidents in Missouri can be attributed to poor truck maintenance, speeding and truck driver fatigue. A fourth factor, however, is contributing more and more to unsafe commercial trucking: overloading.

To address this issue, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has implemented regulations that address this growing problem. Commercial trucks must now follow two rating guides: gross combination weight and gross axle weight. These ratings apply weight limits that mean a load should never be more than a truck's combined rating for both its axles and its load. Unfortunately, some truck companies regularly exceed weight limits and allow their trucks to travel longer distances to reduce operations costs and other expenses. An overloaded truck has an increased risk of being in a truck accident, according to federal regulators.

Did Joan Rivers die from a medical error?

The death of Joan Rivers shocked many Americans, including many Missouri residents. The comedian and host of "Fashion Police" died at the age of 81. Recently, however, it has been claimed that Rivers' death was a result of medical professional negligence.

There is also speculation that Joan Rivers' death is an example of a medical malpractice case. According to a report released by a federal investigation, the clinic that provided treatment for the comedian in August failed to notice that her vital signs were deteriorating for at least 15 minutes. This condition reportedly occurred before Rivers went into cardiac arrest. The host died several days later.

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