Kansas City Personal Injury Law Blog

Summer boating safety: Steering clear of a fatal accident

With summer right around the corner, many residents of Kansas City are likely to want some recreational time with their friends and families. For many, water will play a large role, whether it's a swimming pool or a lake for boating. As with all forms of recreation, though, boating requires a commitment to safety or else summer fun could give way to a damaging accident.

No one expects to be in a boating accident, but the truth is that accidents can happen on any state waterway. Therefore, it is important for boaters, or anyone considering buying a boat, to be familiar with basic boating safety before hitting the water. If a boater exhibits negligence, even without realizing it, and harms someone else, a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit could result.

How long can truck drivers be behind the wheel?

Most Kansas City drivers know that driving for too long, or driving while sleepy, can prove dangerous. Those who operate commercial vehicles, such as large trucks and 18-wheelers, are required by federal trucking regulations to drive only for limited hours. Those who have found themselves the victim of a commercial vehicle accident may wonder what rules are in place to prevent dangerous truck driver fatigue.

First, there are various regulations - and exceptions to such rules - that state how long truck drivers can be behind the wheel. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a driver must have 10 consecutive hours off-duty before starting their shift. In addition, a driver can only drive for 11 hours in a row; those 11 hours must be within a 14-hour period which can take place only after the 10-hour off-duty period. Moreover, with some exceptions, most drivers are not allowed to continue driving if more than 8 hours have lapsed since their last rest period of least half an hour.

Woman awarded millions in Missouri wrongful death suit

Countless damages can be caused by the sudden loss of a loved one. In addition to the loss of companionship and pain and suffering, a family can also experience the loss of significant financial support. In addition, an unexpected death caused by another's negligence can bring forth tremendous costs, such as funeral expenses and medical bills. Following car accidents, fatal workplace incidents and deadly industrial accidents, what can a family do?

A wrongful death suit has the potential to bring a grieving family much-needed financial relief. Recently, a jury awarded a Missouri woman $20 million after her husband was killed in an accident with a train. The incident happened in 2012 on a rural road in Stoddard County. A 53-year-old man was struck by a train at a crossing, which, according to court records, featured only a railroad crossing sign. In addition, the deceased man's family argued that the crossing did not have lights, gates, adequate visibility or a safe sight distance. Finally, they claimed that the crew of the train was negligent.

Location of spinal cord injury determines effects on body

Even without extensive medical knowledge, most people know that a spinal cord injury can be very serious. Spinal cord injuries can be caused by all manner of incidents, from a car accident to a workplace accident to a sporting event injury. When the bony area around the spinal cord is fractured, dislocated, compressed, hyperextended or otherwise damaged, the resulting back injuries have the potential to cause severe and long-term damage, including paralysis.

What many Kansas City accident victims may not realize is that the location of the spinal cord injury tends to indicate what other parts of the body will be impacted. The human spine is divided into several sections, with the cervical spine being at the top, the thoracic spine in the middle and the lumbar and sacral sections of the spine located at the bottom. In general, it is often the case that the area below the damaged part of the spinal cord will be affected; thus, injuries affecting the cervical spine can cause quadriplegia, or paralysis of one's arms and legs.

Midwestern malpractice victims don't have to go it alone

When Kansas City residents visit a doctor's office or experience a stay in a hospital, they generally trust that they will be cared for by a team of professionals focused on patient safety. However, at times, patient safety gets overlooked when a medical professional is negligent or even reckless regarding their job duties. When a patient is injured or even killed due to medical negligence, the aftermath can be both tragic and bewildering. By securing the proper legal help, though, victims can move forward in holding negligent parties accountable.

The process begins with an initial consultation with a medical malpractice attorney. Experienced trial attorneys Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman offer a free consultation to potential clients throughout Missouri as well as Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma. At the consultation, a medical malpractice attorney can review the facts of one's case and hear the patient describe their experience and its effects. The initial consultation will also lay the foundation for an ongoing relationship between client and attorney.

Signs of mild brain injury and its treatment

Throughout Missouri, people are liable to suffer a head injury at any moment. While most won't result in any long-term damage, a brain injury can still have severe consequences even if it is mild. A concussion is a frequent issue discussed in the news, but the brain damage it can do is slowly becoming more evident.

While a concussion often doesn't reach the level of a major injury that leads to extensive hospitalization and a dramatically altered life, it is still a brain injury that can disrupt the normal ability to function. Like any physical injury to a part of the body, some are worse than others. That's true with concussions as well. The level of brain injury and how it's assessed will depend on the person's ability to maintain consciousness; if he or she was unconscious, how long it lasted; if there is a problem with memory; if there were other side effects to the behavior, physicality or cognitively; and how effectively they recover.

Missouri police search for driver fleeing scene of fatal crash

It is an unfortunate reality, but roads are often site of serious and sometimes fatal automobile collisions. Accident victims and their loved ones often suffer greatly after a negligent driver causes a crash. Through investigation and legal actions, loved ones might be able to recover compensation but this does not make them whole again after the loss of a loved one. Moreover, in matters of a hit-and-run accident, family members of the deceased often suffer tremendously as they seek to locate the driver at fault.

According to recent reports, Missouri police responded to a fatal hit-and-run accident in Independence. The preliminary reports suggest that the incident occurred at the intersection of U.S. 24 and Blue Mills Road.

Long-term care following a spinal cord injury

Whether it was in an accident with a motor vehicle or in the workplace, a spinal cord injury can significantly impact the lives of a victim and their loved ones. The treatment plan is often extensive, can last for a long time and can come with a large price tag.

While it is unfortunate that the damages to the spinal cord in a spinal cord injury cannot be reversed, there are treatment plans that can help promote nerve cell regeneration and improve function. These treatment plans often mean much medical attention and often requires long-term care for the victim.

Understanding FDA warnings of serious medication errors

Medical professionals are heavily relied on when residents in Missouri fall ill or are injured. Once diagnosed, patients are often treated with medicine at a hospital, clinic or at home via a prescription. While medication could help treat a patient or help them with the recovery of an injury or surgical procedure, errors could occur. A pharmaceutical error could result in great harm to a patient, causing them medical conditions, injuries and even death.

Because medication errors are serious and could have severe outcomes, the Food and Drug Administration or FDA makes communications and announcements concerning medication errors to both healthcare professionals and patients in order to reduce these types of errors. A current medication safety announcement by the FDA concerns the administration of medicine given to treat neurological complications from ruptured blood vessels in the brain.

Missouri Senate passes cap on medical malpractice damages

Patients rely on the expertise of medical professionals to diagnose and treat them for their ailments. If a physician fails to meet the accepted standard of care in their specialty and a patient is injured as a result, the patient has the right to seek compensation through a medical malpractice suit. If a bill that recently passed the Missouri Senate becomes law, the amount of that compensation may be limited.

The Senate voted this month to reinstate a damages cap that was overturned by the Missouri Supreme Court three years ago. In a 28-2 vote, state senators passed a bill to limit the non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, in lawsuits for medical malpractice. Under the Senate bill this limit would be put at $400,000. For catastrophic injuries, the limit would be $700,000. For wrongful death cases, the existing cap would be raised from $350,00 to $700,000.

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