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Saint Louis Missouri Legal Blog

Motor vehicle accidents involving DOT vehicles on the rise

In Missouri, road workers are in harm's way strictly by the nature of the work they do. With vehicles driving past - some at significant speeds - motor vehicle accidents can cause injuries and death. While drivers are encouraged to take caution when they encounter Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) vehicles, many ignore the safety of others and the law. The problem has gotten worse as research and records indicate there have been a worrisome number of crashes involving MoDOT vehicles already in 2019. For those who were injured or might have lost a loved one in a motor vehicle crash while working on the road, legal advice is can be beneficial for filing a claim for compensation.

In the St. Louis area, there have been 25 crashes in which a MoDOT vehicle was hit. Included are truck-mounted attenuators whose function is to shield workers from vehicles. According to law enforcement, many of the motor vehicle accidents are because of drivers being distracted. Other issues include poor weather and road conditions. Since MoDOT trucks are slow-moving vehicles and have mounted arrows and lights designed to warn drivers to slow down, it should not be a problem for drivers to take care when encountering these vehicles. Unfortunately, many do not.

Study: Fatal pedestrian-motor vehicle accidents getting worse

A pedestrian accident in Missouri can cause catastrophic injuries and death. The increasing number of ways in which drivers' attention can be diverted from the road along with the time-tested dangers place pedestrians in jeopardy of suffering injuries and death in motor vehicle accidents. While the risk was inherently understood as a part of life, new research shows that the number of pedestrian fatalities has risen at a troubling rate. This should be a concern for everyone. It is also wise to understand all the problems - financially, physically, personally - that can result from a pedestrian accident and that a legal filing can help with recovering a sufficient amount in compensation.

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) conducted a study that indicated the number of pedestrian fatalities on U.S. roadways has risen to its highest level since 1990. Fatalities rose by 4 percent from 2017 to 2018. Even though there was improvement in many states, these numbers are troubling. GHSA used preliminary data from the first half of the year and came to its totals. Its estimate is that more than 6,200 people died in pedestrian accidents over the full year.

Can I have a fraud alert under the Fair Credit Reporting Act?

With the availability of information and the number of people who are using their personal information on various devices, it is understandable that St. Louis residents are concerned about identity theft. Since identity theft is a criminal act that is growing in frequency and damaging people in myriad ways, it is important for people to protect themselves. The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows people to shield themselves with a fraud alert. Of course, when people are dealing with identity theft and are seeking to repair their credit after these criminal acts, legal assistance is essential.

A consumer can ask consumer reporting agencies to put a fraud alert in their file. This gives creditors and others information that the person could have been victimized by identity theft. With the fraud alert, it becomes harder for another individual to open an account in the person's name. Creditors will adhere to a series of procedures to provide protection to the consumer. It is important to remember that those who use this alternative could face a delay in getting legitimate credit for themselves.

Icy roads spark motor vehicle accidents, one injuring cop

During the winter, icy roadways are a constant problem throughout Missouri. Motor vehicle accidents are common because of skidding and sliding and it can cause serious injuries and fatalities in St. Louis and across the state. No one is immune to being hurt or killed in these crashes and that includes first responders and law enforcement. Even if the accident is a matter of circumstance, it is important to remember that the aftermath can cause financial and personal hardship and a legal filing is frequently the main strategy to recover adequate compensation.

A police officer who was assisting a driver on the interstate was hit by a second vehicle and thrown over an embankment. The accident occurred in the morning at around 8:30 a.m. A female driver in a silver SUV hit the guardrail on the road. The officer stopped to help. He was, in part, inside the vehicle when a pickup truck skidded and hit the SUV. The officer went down the embankment. At first, the officer was thought to have suffered broken bones or worse, but instead he had bruises and other injuries. He was hospitalized. The driver of the pickup was given a citation for not yielding when there was an emergency vehicle.

What is a security freeze with the Fair Credit Reporting Act?

Missourians who are dealing with financial concerns based on their credit reports are frequently unaware of their rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Since it is vital to have functional credit, an accurate credit score is imperative. Credit reporting agencies are not immune to mistakes and people who have been victimized by identity theft can have their credit negatively impacted and face extensive challenges because of it. Knowing about the law and what rights are available is critical.

One that is not commonly understood is the right to have what is known as a security freeze. If this is needed, it is important to have legal help to achieve it. The security freeze stops the reporting agency from providing information about the consumer's credit report without having express authorization for doing so. The purpose of the security freeze is to stop others from having credit, loans and other services approved in the individual's name if consent has not been granted. There are factors that people who are considering a security freeze should know. If they use this option, it could hinder efforts for subsequent requests for loans, credit, a mortgage or other factors that require a credit check.

Safety tips to avoid a motorcycle crash

Riding a motorcycle can be a fun and freeing experience, but there may also be many challenges that come along. For many, riding alongside large SUVs and tall semis can feel daunting, not to mention that you are riding in an open-air vehicle that exposes your body. Even the most experienced bikers might find themselves in an accident that could have been avoided. No matter how comfortable you feel on your bike, it is important to practice safe and defensive riding habits so that you do not find yourself in an unnecessary crash:

Holiday motor vehicle accidents claim eight lives in Missouri

When people are celebrating the holidays in Missouri, there are always risks that they will encounter a driver who is under the influence and decided to get behind the wheel. This is unfortunate, but it is a fact of life. People who have lost a loved one in a crash during the holidays, on New Year's Eve or at any time will face similar challenges in the aftermath. Funeral costs, lost companionship, lost income and more will arise. It can be difficult to think about, but a legal firm that understands personal injury and wrongful death cases can be of assistance to pursue compensation.

There were eight fatalities on Missouri roads during the holidays. They occurred from Dec. 28 to New Year's Day. State police said that, of those who died, two were pedestrians who had been hit by a motor vehicle. Overall, there were more than 350 accidents in the state in that time-frame. Of those, there were 112 injuries. One hundred and twenty-seven people were placed under arrest for driving under the influence. In the same time-period from 2017-2018, there were seven fatalities. No people died in boating accidents or by drowning.

Roadside worker suffers personal injury in hit-and-run

Roadwork is common and necessary in St. Louis and throughout Missouri. While many drivers will view it as an inconvenience and a delay as they try to get from one place to another, it is important to maintain road safety. When drivers encounter road work, they are expected to reduce their speed to make sure the workers and other drivers are safe. Unfortunately, some drivers do not take this seriously and accidents happen. This can cause personal injury and death to vulnerable workers. To make these circumstances worse, some drivers flee the scene making it a hit-and-run. People who have been impacted by these accidents should think about the future and consider a legal filing.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and civil liability

When St. Louis residents are facing financial struggles and they are being contacted by debt collectors, they are often frightened, intimidated and stressed. The personal issues that accompany a difficult financial situation are compounded by constant calls seeking to collect on debts. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is in place to protect debtors from untoward and illegal behavior on the part of debt collectors. When debt collectors violate the law, however, debtors should understand that they have the option of seeking compensation through civil liability.

When the debt collector violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the debtor has the right to damages they suffered because of that violation. If it was an individual action, there can be additional damages up to $1,000. If it is a class action, the amount for the plaintiffs will be whichever is less of $500,000 or 1 percent of the debt collector's net worth. With a successful claim, the costs and reasonable attorney fees will be determined by the court.

Head-on motor vehicle accidents can cause serious injury

The roads in Missouri are generally busy, but that is nothing compared to when the holidays are approaching. Combined with potentially rough weather, that can be a dangerous and outright deadly combination if there are motor vehicle accidents. People will tend to rush just before or during the holidays. With that will be risky behaviors and accidents that are often unavoidable. For those who are in a crash -- especially a head-on crash -- there can be serious injuries and death.

An early afternoon head-on collision between two vehicles injured multiple people. The accident happened November 21 at around 1:30 p.m. when a vehicle that was heading south on the interstate went out of control and went to the northbound lanes, going directly over the median. It then collided with another vehicle. The drivers were injured, and a helicopter was needed to take them for treatment. A passenger in one vehicle was also hurt and was taken to the hospital in an ambulance.

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