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Jefferson City Personal Injury Law Blog

Safety agency: Side underride guards can save lives

Crashes between cars and trucks often turn out far worse for the occupants of the smaller of the two vehicles. Many are fatal for those in the car. That's why it's essential to be sure to keep out of a truck's blind spots and to keep a safe distance when you encounter them on the road.

Fatal car/truck crashes are increasing. In 2015, over 1,500 motorists were killed in collisions with tractor-trailers. Twenty percent of those fatalities involved the car striking the side of the truck.

A new recall for The Honest Company

Of all of the products that consumers buy, those that are used by and on our children are probably the ones where safety is the most paramount. Baby products in particular can be dangerous to tiny bodies, delicate immune systems and sensitive skin if they are not manufactured properly or are contaminated.

Once again, The Honest Company, founded by actress Jessica Alba, is facing a recall for one of its products. Alba says that she started the company "to help moms and to give all children a better, safer start." The products are promoted as nontoxic.

Your dog can be a road companion but shouldn't be a distraction

As millions of Americans start planning their summer road trips, many are including their canine family members in those plans. Unfortunately, too few take the proper precautions to protect their pets -- and the humans in the car and on the road around them -- from injury. A full 84 percent of dog owners who transport them in the car admit that they don't restrain them.

An unrestrained dog can cause all sorts of dangers on the road. Many like to climb into the driver's lap to get a better view of the scenery or just to snuggle. Some 17 percent of drivers have admitted to allowing their dog to be on their lap.

Do 'driver-only' licenses improve safety on the roads?

The question of whether people who are living in this country illegally should be allowed to get driver's licenses has been a hot-button topic. Missouri is among the majority of states that requires non-U.S. citizens to present immigration documents when applying for a license.

However, advocates of allowing undocumented immigrants to go through the instruction and testing process necessary to obtain driver's licenses argue that it improves public safety.

Reasons why semi drivers are often very tired

Driver fatigue is a very real issue for truckers. It's dangerous, it can lead to serious accidents, and there are even federal regulations aimed at preventing it. Still, it keeps happening.

You may be a bit perplexed about the reasons. After all, a lot of people work 40 hours a week or even more. What is it that makes truckers so tired? Below are a few reasons:

Congress reduces how long employers must keep incident reports

One of President Obama's last acts in office was to issue a rule requiring large companies in hazardous industries to retain records of worker health and safety incidents for five years. This was already an Occupational Safety and Health Administration policy. However, the presidential action solidified it. OSHA says that it helps them spot recurring health and safety issues and therefore assign their limited resources more effectively.

Now the Republican-led Congress has voted to repeal that regulation. The Senate vote of 50-48 came after the House passed a similar bill. Invoking a little-used (until recently) "resolution of disapproval," they were able to pass it with a simple majority and the minority party (the Democrats) could not filibuster it.

What is a 'storm doctrine?'

As late-winter snowstorms bear down on a significant part of the country, slip-and-fall injuries are no doubt increasing. That's why it's important to know just how much liability a property owner should assume when someone falls on a sidewalk, parking lot or other part of their property during a storm. That's where something called the "storm doctrine" comes in.

These laws also go by a variety of "continuous storm doctrine." Local cities and municipalities may also have regulations about a property owner's duty to keep the outdoor area clear. St. Louis, for example, has a snow removal ordinance that mandates this removal after "any fall of snow."

What kinds of defects give rise to product liability claims?

American consumers rely on the safety of everyday products that they purchase at department stores, that are prescribed to them by their doctors, and that they incorporate into their routine lives. However, not all of these products are safe, and sometimes they can cause catastrophic injury or death to the people who use them. Even worse, virtually any kind of innocent-looking product could present dangers, so there's no way to know for certain if something is 100 percent safe.

Let's take a look at the types of product defects that could give rise to an injury or death:

The devil is in the details with Samsung Galaxy's warranty

When most people get a new electronic gadget, they don't read through the enclosed brochures with all of the fine print (generally in several languages). They just want to start using their new purchase.

For people who bought the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phone, what was included in the fine print may keep consumers from holding the company liable for damages caused by the defective product. The phones were recalled after numerous complaints of them exploding or catching fire. In some cases, consumers were injured as a result.

Who's liable if a teen causes a car accident?

Statistics show that teen drivers are among the most dangerous on the roads. That's why many states, including Missouri, have graduated licensing programs. These allow teens to gradually gain driving privileges such as driving alone and at any time of the day or night as they demonstrate their ability to drive safely.

They are required to have insurance, which parents of teen drivers can attest is not inexpensive. Here in Missouri, drivers must have a minimum of $25,000 per person coverage and $50,000 per collision for bodily injury. They must also have at least $10,000 coverage for property damage.

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Carson & Coil
515 East High Street, Suite 301
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Phone: 573-298-4186
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