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Joplin Personal Injury Law Blog

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.

Motorcycle, construction zone warnings go unheeded

Every year at this time, Missouri law enforcement officials warn motorists to slow down and obey traffic signs in construction zones. Drivers are also cautioned to pay attention to other vehicles on the roads, and to keep watch for motorcycles before turning or changing lanes.

Those warnings appear to have gone unnoticed before a recent motorcycle accident north of Joplin.

Shaping the future of car safety

The Joplin Globe recently ran an article that had us wonder: what would you do if you had an invention with the potential to save thousands of lives every year, but the device was illegal to operate? That's the dilemma technology giant Google faced with its driverless cars.

The vehicles piloted by computers might well prevent thousands of accidents, injuries and fatalities, but because they have no steering wheels and no brake pedals, they were not legal to operate.

However, by this time in 2015, the company will have a small fleet of driverless cars legally operating in its home state of California.

Medical malpractice caps: ineffective wherever they're tried

Every state in the nation wrestles with decisions over how best to serve its citizens. In Missouri, we have repeatedly wrestled with different approaches on the how to handle cases in which patients are harmed by doctor or hospital negligence.

Florida is currently faced with similar decisions on medical malpractice after its state Supreme Court held that caps on noneconomic damages were unconstitutional, much as the Missouri high court ruled here a couple of years ago.  

Police: driver fell asleep before Granby accident

The people of Granby are rightfully proud of their quiet, small community just 25 miles southeast of Joplin. The quiet was shattered on a recent Monday morning, however, when a 72-year-old woman walking on Main Street was struck and killed in a car accident.

Law enforcement officials said the 22-year-old woman driving a southbound vehicle fell asleep at the wheel and her car went into the northbound lane and hit the older woman.