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Saint Louis Missouri Legal Blog

Inattentional blindness often contributes to motorcycle accidents

Motorcycle accidents are all too common in the St. Louis area. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in such an event or you lost a loved one in a motorcycle crash, you probably want answers as to why it happened and want to know if compensation may be available to you. According to researchers, inattentional blindness often contributes to these accidents, but it is not something many people know about.

Inattentional blindness is the ability to be looking at something but still not see it. Confused? Most people would be.

Collision shows danger of motor vehicle accidents as three killed

The roads in St. Louis and the surrounding areas in Missouri can be treacherous if people are not paying strict attention when they are behind the wheel. Even looking away for a split second can cause motor vehicle accidents with deadly consequences. When there is an auto accident and people have suffered injuries or lives have been lost, there will be many factors that should be considered in how to proceed. A legal filing is often the only way to recover sufficient compensation for all that was lost in the crash.

A two-vehicle accident led to three people dying. The accident occurred late in the evening shortly before midnight. A 2004 Mitsubishi Montero was hit on the left rear side by a 2020 Freightliner Cascadia - a large truck. The impact forced the Montero to flip. There were three people in the vehicle. All were ejected. The occupants were ages 73, 73 and 55. The two older people were declared dead at the site of the accident. The third person was taken to the hospital where she was also declared dead. The driver of the truck that hit the Montero was uninjured. The investigation into the crash is continuing.

Property owners should be made accountable for personal injury

When a Missourian is injured on someone else's property, they might not immediately consider that the property owner was somehow responsible for the incident. At the time, they will have greater concerns such as dealing with the injury, how much time they will miss at work and how the personal injury will impact their life in the short and long term. However, once the medical bills begin coming in and the extent of the injury is understood in the context of everyday life, they must think about what steps are available to receive compensation for the accident.

Premises liability is a key part of the law. Owners are required to ensure that their property is safe. This is true for residential and commercial property. For residential property, if there is a cracked sidewalk, snow that has not been cleared or construction taking place, an innocent person who is walking by and is injured by stepping on the crack and falling or is hit by an object that was improperly secured will have the right to seek compensation from that owner. With commercial property such as a store, the owner must make sure that there are no dangerous areas or circumstances such as a wet floor or a broken escalator.

Changes proposed for the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Missouri debtors who are having trouble making their payments are shielded from various tactics debt collectors and creditors might use to try and collect what they are owed. Various protections include a limit to the number of times that a debt collector and creditors can contact the debtor, the times at which they can make contact, and where they can legally call. Now, with the new proposed rule changes in the form of an update to FDCPA, it will open the door for debtors to receive unlimited text messages, emails and private messages. Those who are confronted with this should think about contacting a legal professional to address their debt before this change is made.

FDCPA was passed in 1977 and consumers and their advocates are concerned about the proposed updates. The fear is that debt collectors and creditors will send an avalanche of messages to try and collect on the debt. They will also be able to send messages on social media outlets like Twitter. According to debt collectors, the relatively new ways in which people communicate makes these changes necessary since many people are altering how they use phones and contact has become more difficult.

Toddlers can be severely injured in motor vehicle accidents

Anyone can suffer serious injuries and lose their lives in motor vehicle accidents in St. Louis and throughout Missouri. However, the most vulnerable members of society are those who are young and old. Toddlers, children and elderly people can suffer long-term and even fatal damage after an auto crash. To make these incidents worse, some drivers decide that they would prefer to flee the scene rather than remain and face potential consequences. Whether they were scared, worried or were committing an illegal act at the time of the crash is irrelevant. Fleeing can lead to an arrest. Those who were hurt or had an at-risk loved one injured in a crash should consider a lawsuit to help with the investigation and to seek compensation.

A toddler who was a month away from turning two was severely injured when he was hit by a car. The driver of the vehicle that caused the crash subsequently fled. The accident happened in the evening at about 7:30 p.m. The child was out with his grandmother. They were getting into a vehicle when that vehicle was rear-ended, causing the child to fall over and the vehicle to go over him. He suffered crushed bones in his pelvis. The woman who was driving the other vehicle took off. Witnesses gave chase, but could not stop her. The child had surgery as a result of his injuries. Law enforcement is searching for the driver.

Are you sharing the road with a fatigued driver?

When you think about the great safety concerns on the road, you may think about things like distracted driving and drunk driving. However, you may not think about the specific dangers of when a person gets behind the wheel while he or she is too tired. Fatigued driving can be incredibly dangerous, and it is one of the leading causes of accidents in Missouri and across the country.

Fatigue is particularly dangerous because many people are reluctant to admit when they may be too tired to drive safely. They may not even realize how tired they truly are until they are dozing off while behind the wheel. The American Sleep Foundation estimates that about half of all adult drivers get behind the wheel while fatigued, many of them completely unaware of the risks involved with sleepy driving.

Smartphone addiction can cause auto accidents and personal injury

The word "addiction" can have inherently negative connotations regardless of the topic. However, for Missourians and people across the nation, it is an apt way to describe how many people perceive their smartphones. Unable to put it down even if it puts them and others in danger, the problem of distracted driving is getting worse because of it.

A recent study from the driver behavior analysis company Zendrive illuminates this issue and suggests that people who are distracted behind the wheel are this era's drunk drivers. People who have suffered personal injury or lost a loved one in a crash should be cognizant of the problem and consider a legal filing to be compensated.

Time-barred debt and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Missourians who are experiencing financial turmoil will feel overwhelmed at the pressures they face. This can come from the uncertain future and the constant calls and letters they receive from debt collectors who want to get all or some of what is owed. While some debts will be subject to collection attempts regardless of when they were accrued, there are protections that a consumer has based on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. For debts that are "time-barred," it is important to know the alternatives. As with any financial issue, getting on stronger financial ground frequently requires legal assistance.

Crashes involving semitrailers can have deadly consequences

Four family members were killed recently in a head-on crash involving a semitrailer. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the crash occurred March 22 outside of Union when the car crossed the center line of Highway 47, collided with the semitrailer, spun around and hit another passenger vehicle. An additional passenger vehicle was hit by debris from the semitrailer. The only other person who was injured was the truck driver, who was taken to a nearby hospital with minor injuries.

The news article does not share why the car with the family in it crossed the center line. However, the devastating damage caused by this crash is, unfortunately, typical of many crashes involving semitrailers.

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.

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