Kansas City Personal Injury Law Blog

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.

Helping you recover damages following a spinal cord injury

Any Missouri resident who has suffered a spinal cord injury can tell you that it changes your life forever. Any damage to the spinal cord can permanently affect proper functioning of many different parts of the body. People with spinal cord injuries can experience temporary paralysis or permanent paralysis and disability, along with other health problems.

An injury not only can cause physical impairment, but also financial challenges from the cost of medical treatment and lost wages if an injured person can no longer work. According to data from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, the annual healthcare costs and living expenses associated with a spinal cord injury can total nearly $71,000 per year. The cost varies with each case and the severity of the injury.

Lawsuit alleges NCAA at fault for student athlete brain injuries

Over the last several decades, colleges and universities, including many in Missouri, have become the training grounds for professional sports. Football players are among the athletes who develop under the auspices of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the governing body of college sports. Now, like the National Football League, the NCAA is being held accountable for the same type of brain injury now commonly seen among football players.

Recently, former University of Texas football player Julius Whittier became the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit filed against the NCAA. The first African American player at Texas, Whittier is holding the NCAA responsible for brain damage he sustained as a player from 1969 to 1972. Now 64, he has developed early onset Alzheimer's disease.

Missouri report shows increases in fatal workplace accidents

Some Missouri workers risk their lives everyday on the job. First responders are a good example. But, many more workers face daily risks on construction sites, in industrial plants and factories. For this reason, wrongful death cases following workplace accidents are fairly common.

Like other states, Missouri reports the numbers of workplace injuries and fatalities each year. The most recent report from the state's Department of Labor and Industrial Relations shows 113 fatal workplace accidents in 2013, a significant increase over the 83 lives lost in workplaces in 2012. Nearly 93 percent of 2013's deaths (105) happened in private industry. As it has since 2009, transportation -- roadway, water, air and rail -- leads all private industry sectors in the number of deaths with 45. Of those, 26 deaths came from incidents involving motor vehicles in roadway crashes.

Drug pipe found in truck that caused deadly truck accident

Residents near Kansas City Missouri may be familiar with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, an organization whose purpose is to stop drivers who drink and drive. Following the recent commercial vehicle accident involving a tractor trailer and a van that killed four students, the anti-drunk driving organization has even more reason to educate Americans about the dangers of impaired driving.

According to a report, the van carrying the victims was traveling southbound from their school when a tractor-trailer swerved off Interstate 35, crossed a median, and hit the van. The accident claimed the lives of four members of a football team, aged 19, 20, 19 and 18, respectively. The National Transportation Safety Board is currently investigating the deadly accident.

What is the connection between seatbelts and spinal cord injury?

Buckling up may feel uncomfortable for some motorists in Kansas City, Missouri. However, it is a simple way to protect yourself from a possibly serious injury, such as a spinal cord injury. In fact, seat belts, together with airbags, are designed to protect the vehicle's occupants from more severe injuries in the event of an accident.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a 2012 report stated that lap-shoulder seatbelts can limit the risk of a fatal injury to front seat occupants by 45 percent. The seatbelt also reduces the risk of moderate to severe injuries by 50 percent. In 2011, approximately 11,949 lives of children aged five and older were saved because they were wearing their seatbelts. As a result, law enforcement officers and the Department of Transportation are doing their best to educate motorists about the significance of seat belts, not only to protect against spinal cord injuries but also to protect against fatal injuries from a crash.

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