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Cape Girardeau Missouri Legal Blog

Truck damages highway in fiery crash

Auto accidents are devastating for everyone involved, including family members and loved ones who are not even in the vehicle at the time of the crash. A truck accident wreaks even more havoc, due to the sheer size and weight of the vehicle and the materials inside the truck. Motorists, pedestrians and motorcyclists have little protection in a crash involving a truck and many fatalities and personal injuries can result.

While many truck accidents are caused by truckers because of drowsy driving due to overwork or failing to yield, this is not always the case. Any vehicle can cause accidents and the reality is that regardless of the cause, the resulting crash can be disastrous. A recent truck accident in Missouri demonstrated just how true that is, as the truck caught fire and damaged the highway it was on.

Pedestrians are at risk when they go for a walk

Although drivers are aware that pedestrians may be nearby, there are many pedestrian accidents that take place each day. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration believes that, after completing an analysis of 2018 traffic data, the total number of pedestrian deaths will have increased by 4% over 2017's numbers. Based on 2017's data, one pedestrian is killed every 88 minutes, making up 16% of all traffic fatalities.

While there are many factors in pedestrian crashes, one of the most important to speak about is distraction. Distractions can take a driver's eyes off the road and make a pedestrian unaware of their surroundings. For both parties, the reality is that distractions increase the risk of a collision.

Workers' compensation basics

When leaving one's house in the morning to go to work, no one expects to become injured in a workplace accident. However, this is a stark reality many Missouri workers contend with on a daily basis, regardless of what type of work they are performing. While construction sites post their own hazards, even retail or bartending jobs are not free from creating injuries related to repetitive actions. When a worker is injured while performing tasks within the scope of their work, they may be eligible to receive workers' compensation.

Workers' compensation insurance is paid by the employer to cover injuries or illnesses sustained by an employee during the course of their work. One of the most important things to know about this system is that it is not based on fault. This means even if the worker was at fault, it would not preclude them from recovering compensation. But, once someone accepts workers compensation benefits, they must understand that they are giving up their right to sue their employer in the future.

Understand the difference between Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy

Missouri residents may be surprised to hear that around a million businesses and people file for bankruptcy every year. Federal bankruptcy law allows people to file twice in a lifetime to get some relief from their debt. However, there are certain qualifications that must be met in order to be eligible, and they differ depending on the type of bankruptcy one is filing for -- Chapter 7 or 13.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows filers to discharge the vast majority of their debts. Any entity or individual can file for it, if they meet the required thresholds. It may also absolve the filer of most of their debt, as lenders can collect a debt through the sale of nonexempt property. If there is no qualifying nonexempt property, lenders are not going to be able to collect. Due to this, Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows filers the opportunity for a fresh start. Though, filers must keep in mind that they will lose most of their nonexempt property, and there must be a low income in order to qualify.

Infotainment systems distracting older drivers more than younger

When thinking of distracted driving, many Missouri residents are quick to point the finger at teenagers and young drivers and their texting and driving habits as the cause of these motor vehicle accidents. What many do not realize is that, while using the cellphone while driving is dangerous, it is not the only form of distracted driving. In fact, it may come as a surprise that older drivers are distracted eight seconds more than their younger counterparts by in-car infotainment systems.

Large digital infotainment systems are common sights in cars these days. While one would think that systems are becoming easier to navigate and people are becoming more used to them in their cars, this is not the case.

Study: Distracted driving accidents more common among the young

Safety advocates have been saying for years that smartphones and other devices are dangerous distractions for drivers. They may be especially dangerous for younger drivers.

According to one recent study, distracted driving was a factor in almost 14% of Missouri motor vehicle accidents in 2017. Statewide, the accident rate that year was about 13 accidents per 1,000 residents, but for drivers ages 21 and younger, the rate was 43 per 1,000 residents.

Understanding the process of vehicle repossession

If you have had trouble lately with paying certain financial obligations, for example, your car loans, you will likely face the consequences of missed payments. The contract that you signed when you purchased a car on finance will probably mean that your creditor will have the right to repossess your car if you have missed the payments.

You must take the appropriate action to address your financial issues if you are struggling to meet your obligations. In addition, communicate well with your creditors so that you are able to avoid unintended consequences such a vehicle repossession. The following is an overview of the course that vehicle repossession usually takes.

Preparing for trial with discovery

Television and movie depictions of trials often show high-drama moments where one side suddenly presents new evidence, shocking the courtroom. In real life, this almost never happens, especially civil trials such as personal injury lawsuits. The reason for this is the requirement that both sides see all the evidence in advance through the process of discovery.

The term discovery refers to the fact-finding process that takes place before the trial. There are three basic types of discovery: written discovery, production of documents and depositions.

New law seeks to protect workers at roadside job sites

The Missouri workers' compensation system provides benefits for workers who have been injured on the job in a wide variety of industries and workplaces. A qualifying injury does not necessarily have to take place in an office, a factory or a construction site; it just has happen during the course of the worker's job duties.

Missouri Department of Transportation workers face serious safety hazards in the form of careless drivers when they work on roadside projects. According to MoDOT, 13 of their workers have been killed in work zones since 2000. Thousands have been injured in work zones just over the past five years.

Does Chapter 13 discharge your debts?

Many people in Missouri struggle with debt. Mortgages, credit card bills, medical bills and other forms of debt can pile up and gather interest quickly, overwhelming your ability to pay them off. Once you're overwhelmed by debt, it can be nearly impossible to get out of it without seeking help from a debt relief professional.

Two of the most powerful ways to get out of debt are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Of these two, Chapter 7 is the most common, the fastest and the farthest-reaching way to eliminate most types of debt. However, Chapter 13 can be a good choice for many people who have a steady income, but whose debts have got out of their control.

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