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Cape Girardeau Missouri Legal Blog

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.

Four injured after driver allegedly runs stop sign

When a negligent driver injures another person, Missouri law provides that the injured can hold the driver liable for their damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and so on. One of the first big steps, therefore, is proving that the driver acted negligently.

Recently in Cape Girardeau County, several people were injured after a two-vehicle crash. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, a BMW was speeding westbound when it ran a stop sign and collided with a Ford pickup truck traveling southbound through an intersection. Both vehicles ran off the road. The truck flipped and hit a tree.

Common strategies to fight debt

Unfortunately, it is common for people in the United States to find themselves under a mountain of debt. With the constant availability of credit cards and loans, as well as the social pressure to have an impressive car and designer brands, it can be easy to bury your head in the sand and continue to spend to no avail.

However, there will come a time when you need to get back to reality and face the debts that you have accumulated. This is no simple task, especially when it is likely that you will have debts in many different places. Before taking action to combat your debt, you should devise a strategy based on your individual situation. The following are some common strategies that have proven to be effective for many debtors.

Premises liability claims against the government

The legal theory of premises liability holds that property owners have a duty to keep their premises reasonably free from hazardous conditions. When they breach that duty, and someone is injured as a result, the owner can be held liable for the injured person's damages.

Premises liability often comes up in the context of grocery stores or restaurants, in cases where a customer has slipped and fallen on a spill or other hazardous condition that the owner failed to remedy. These private property cases are tricky enough, but premises liability cases face further complications when the property owner is an agency of the federal, state or local government.

Think carefully before accepting a settlement offer

When you have a dispute over workers' compensation, at some point the other side will make you an offer of a settlement. You should think carefully before you decide whether to accept it.

One of the first things you should ask is whether the proposed settlement adequately compensates you for your medical care and the wages you lost while you were unable to return to work. Likewise, you should add up the costs you incurred related to your medical treatment. If you had to travel out of town for treatment, you should factor your travel costs into your calculations.

New rules would give debt collectors more ways to contact people

One of the worst things about being in debt for many people is being hounded by creditors. Many creditors hire debt collection agents who harass debtors with frightening letters, angry phone calls and other high-pressure tactics.

Now, the Trump administration is trying to give debt collectors more ways to contact debtors. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently proposed new rules that, if implemented, would allow debt collectors to send as many texts and emails as they want to debtors.

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