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Joplin Personal Injury Law Blog

Lifelong love ended by medical malpractice

They were teenage sweethearts who got married and raised a family. When the husband died of a heart attack 22 years after they had taken their wedding vows, he was still a young man of 40.

Everyone no doubt agrees that that’s a young age at which to have a heart attack. According to a jury in a recent medical malpractice trial, the untimely death might have been averted if a hospital emergency room doctor had not dismissed the heart attack as a common stomach ailment.

One fatal Missouri truck accident causes another

It’s nearly 250 miles from Joplin to Missouri’s Boone County, but it’s the kind of hours-long haul truck drivers make routinely. Unfortunately, it’s not always the kind of haul that can be made safely.

Earlier this week, a pair of truck accidents on Interstate 70 took two lives. One person died in Boone County in a fiery crash, and the second was killed was in next-door Cooper County in a crash in traffic backed up because of the first accident. 

Doctors operate on medical malpractice attorney's knees

It is understandably a somewhat awkward situation when an attorney who handles medical malpractice cases must go in for surgery. However, that was the subject of a recent column by a Missouri attorney about 150 miles north of Joplin.

He has had arthroscopic surgery done on both his knees, and because he deals with cases involving medical negligence, he keeps a careful eye on how doctors and nurses work together to avoid making surgical errors. It should be noted that all patients would do well to pay close attention to what medical professionals do before surgeries, and at all other times.

Head-on crash near Joplin: two dead, three seriously injured

Just about an hour’s drive north of Joplin sits the tiny town of Sheldon, Missouri. The quiet there was shattered on a recent Sunday afternoon when two cars collided head-on about a mile north of town on Interstate 49.

A car driven north by a 92-year-old Sheldon woman was reportedly in the highway’s southbound lanes when it slammed into a car headed south. Both drivers were killed in the crash and three people in the southbound vehicle sustained serious injuries, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said.

Truck accident leaves four dead, four injured

Most truck drivers are good people who are concerned with highway safety. But as in all other lines of work, there are some who break the rules and make their peers look bad. One of the most common safety regulations broken in trucking is the rule restricting the hours a truck driver can drive and work in a 24-hour period: they can, at most, drive 11 hours during a maximum 14-hour workday.

As Joplin residents know, truckers who exceed those limits can wind up dangerously fatigued, posing a menace behind the wheel of an 80,000-pound vehicle moving at highway speeds. Next door to Missouri, a 51-year-old man faces criminal charges in a truck crash that killed four people and left four others injured. 

7-year-old traumatic brain injury victim sees dream come true

The dreams a 7-year-old girl has are often very different from the ones her parents will have for her. In the case of one little girl, she dreamed of a little backyard playhouse all her own. Her family had even bigger dreams for the young victim of a traumatic brain injury: that she would one day see and walk again.

The girl was recently thrilled by her discovery in the backyard of a Minnie Mouse-themed playhouse built just for her by volunteers with the Dream Factory, a wish-granting foundation active in Missouri and elsewhere.

Jury: woman to receive $25.3 million in medical malpractice case

Sometimes a headline like the one above this blog post is misunderstood. People can see the dollar amount and think that the person has received a windfall, like winning the lottery. Of course, the reality is far different.

The 53-year-old woman in this medical malpractice case lost all four of her limbs; both arms, both legs. All four were amputated because an undetected infection led to septic shock, which caused devastating damage to her vascular system.

Fourth of July DWI crackdown ready to roll

The Fourth of July holiday celebration is going to get off with a bang not far from us in Joplin. Just a short drive on Interstate 44 will take you to Lawrence County, where law enforcement officials are determined to do their level best to prevent car accidents caused by drunken drivers over the big three-day weekend.

In fact, they’re going to begin the annual “Drive Sober of Get Pulled Over” crackdown a couple of days early, beginning tomorrow and lasting through July 6. You can expect police agencies in Joplin and surrounding communities to increase high-visibility DWI patrols over the same time period as well.

Wrist-slaps for DWI drivers can result in heavy, later price

The numbers are staggering. A Missouri man has been convicted of DWI six times, yet spent less than a total of two years behind bars for the offenses (state law says that after three convictions, a person can be sentenced to 15 years in prison). His criminal record stretches far beyond the repeated drunk driving offenses, however: he has been arrested about 150 times, including for reckless driving, operating a vehicle without a license, speeding and failure to show up in court.

The 56-year-old's latest, worst convictions came days ago after he reached a plea deal with prosecutors. He pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and fleeing the scene of a deadly pedestrian accident, avoiding a possible conviction on felony murder and assault charges. The man is responsible for the October 2012 crash that killed a four-year-old boy and injured his older brother, then just 10.

Senators to try to stop rollback of truck safety regulations

As far as the trucking industry is concerned, it’s always a good time to roll back regulations that restrict how long truckers can drive per day. However, in the wake of national headlines generated by the truck accident that killed a man and left comic Tracy Morgan with critical injuries, several U.S. senators say they don’t want regulations changed to allow even more fatigued truckers on our roads.

Joplin fans of the former “30 Rock” star were undoubtedly glad earlier this week to read media reports that Morgan’s medical condition has been upgraded from critical to fair. But the New Jersey accident that was caused, according to authorities, by a trucker who had not slept in more than 24 hours has refocused national attention on truck safety.