Posted on August 15th, 2012
Comedian Matt Fisher recently called out Progressive Insurance on their seemingly unethical practices when faced with a substantial claim regarding his sister’s death.
Katie Fisher was tragically killed in a car accident in June 2010. Katie’s estate immediately settled the claim with the at-fault driver, but Progressive refused to pay the estate any underinsured coverage without a judgment of liability against the driver. This forced Fisher’s family to reluctantly file suit against the driver. This is when the unexpected event occurred. Not only did Progressive refuse to pay the underinsured coverage but they actually defended the driver who killed Katie. Liability was eventually found on behalf of the driver and Progressive has been ordered to pay an unknown amount.
As outrageous as it sounds, this is often common practice for insurance companies who are in the business solely to protect their bottom line. Insurance companies have one objective and that is to limit their loss exposure. If that means defending the killer of one of their insureds, Progressive has shown they are not afraid of that fire storm. Matt Fisher’s post has caused many people to question Progressive’s actions to which Progressive provided a robotic twitter response of “This is a tragic case, and our sympathies go out to Mr. Fisher and his family for the pain they’ve had to endure. We fully investigated this claim and relevant background, and feel we properly handled the claim within our contractual obligations. Again, this is a tragic situation, and we’re sorry for everything Mr. Fisher and his family have gone through.”
This situation is precisely why one should always higher a lawyer before discussing any facts or settlements with an insurance company. This instance with Fisher’s estate is common place in personal injury litigation and requires a highly skilled lawyer to be on your side.
To read the entire article in its entirety click on the link below.
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Posted on April 20th, 2012
A Missouri teenager has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and texting-while-driving for killing another motorist. The teenager will face trial as an adult.
In Missouri, all drivers under 21 are prohibited from texting while driving. The offense carries a $200 fine. Second-degree involuntary manslaughter is punishable by up to four years in prison.
The teenage killed a 72-year-old woman and injured the woman’s 10-year old granddaughter last September.
A passenger in Gannon’s car told police that the teen lost control while texting and looking at her cell phone.
“Texting-while-driving is at least as dangerous as drinking and driving. We make a crime of that for anybody, no matter the age. It also ought to be a crime for anybody, regardless of how old you are, to text while driving,” said Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd.
A recent study has shown that despite the known safety risks, teen drivers are now texting more than ever.
Read more: http://www.ky3.com/news/ky3-teenager-from-kansas-city-is-charged-with-texting-before-fatal-crash-20120420,0,885659.story
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Posted on April 12th, 2012
A recent article on KSPR.com suggests that despite all of the warnings and acknowledgments that texting while driving is dangerous, teens are still doing it. The article reads as follows:
Several years after a massive national campaign to stop teen texting and driving a new survey says it isn’t working. conducted for state farm, it shows 14 to 17-year-olds are still texting behind the wheel, while admitting its dangerous, even deadly.
In the summer of 2009 it became illegal for anyone 21 and under to text and drive in Missouri. Since the law went into effect the Missouri Highway Patrol has issued more than 130 tickets for the violation state-wide, but teens themselves will tell you that hasn’t fixed the problem.
2:45 p.m. is high school rush hour. Students pour out of Parkview; the goal– get in the car, get on the phone.
Arianna Beckham and Taylor Hulsey sheepishly admit they don’t just talk, they text.
“Every time I get a text,” Beckyham says she replies.
The girls also admit it’s dangerous; they’ve both been on the receiving end of a texting driver’s folly.
“I was a passenger and the person behind us hit us. She was texting,” Hulsey tells us.
“In the school parking lot the third day I started driving at school I got bumped from a guy texting behind me,” Beckham tells us.
Sometimes it’s worse. Car wrecks are the leading cause of teen deaths in Missouri, and inattention is the leading cause of car wrecks. That’s why for years the state highway patrol has been cracking down on teen texting.
“The highway patrol has not only increased enforcement efforts but we’ve gotten into schools,” explains Sergeant Jason Pace.
A new nationwide survey suggests that might not be enough. The results this year are virtually the same as when it was first conducted in 2010.
57% of the teens surveyed say they have texted while driving. 76% say they believe regular texters and drivers will eventually be killed in a car crash, and 93% say regular texters and drivers will eventually have some kind of a car crash, so clearly there is a disconnect.
Still– Pace is convinced the message is translating.
“Some statistics show you’re 23 times more likely to be involved in a traffic crash while using a cell phone or texting and driving so people are understanding that, they are pulling over,” Pace says.
Shelby Martin is pulling over.
“I was raised better,” the Parkview Student tells us.
So are Evan Atwood and his friend and fellow sophomore Darren Busbey.
“I just wait til I get to where I’m going and check it out,” the boys tell us.
As for Beckham and Hulsey– it may take more direct intervention.
“I got pulled over for speeding, so I don’t speed anymore. So if I got pulled over for texting I probably wouldn’t text anymore,” Beckham concludes.
The Missouri Highway Patrol has added a new feature to its online crash reports in 2012. You can now break down the cause of a crash to something as specific as texting, so it will be easier to track those numbers.
37 states and Washington DC ban texting while driving for drivers of all ages. Six states including Missouri have a ban for a specific age group.
Read more: http://articles.kspr.com/2012-04-10/teen-texting_31321327
The attorneys at Strong-Garner-Bauer have seen first hand the life-changing impact texting and driving can have. Texting while driving not only poses a substantial risk to your own life, but also the safety of everyone on the road. The attorneys at Strong-Garner-Bauer, P.C. urge all drivers to be mindful of this and do not text and drive.
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Posted on April 11th, 2012
Deaths from traffic accidents rise 6 percent on tax day, that mid-April paroxysm of collective financial agony, according to a study published in Wednesday’s edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association. This year, since the traditional IRS tax filing deadline of April 15 falls on Sunday, the deadline will be Tuesday, April 17.
A pair of Canadian researchers tallied up U.S. tax day traffic fatalities for each year between 1980 and 2009, then compared the figures to those from two “control” days, exactly one week before and one week after. On average, they found, there were 226 deaths on tax day — 13 more than on nontax days.
The rise in e-filing — which would presumably keep procrastinators from speeding recklessly to the nearest post office — doesn’t appear to have put a dent in the trend, said Dr. Donald Redelmeier of the University of Toronto’s Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, who led the study.
Perhaps that’s because the heightened danger involves more than a deadline dash to a mailbox. Stress is a likely culprit, Redelmeier said: In general, most accidents are the result of human error, not mechanical failure, and stress has been shown to significantly worsen performance behind the wheel.
About 20 percent to 25 percent of American taxpayers file their returns within the last two weeks before the deadline, according to the Internal Revenue Service.
But even for those who don’t procrastinate, the arrival of tax day can prompt enough distraction to spell trouble, said William Helton, a psychologist at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, who was not involved in the study.
“It might not even be that you’re anxious,” Helton said, but “you’re thinking about the nitty-gritty: ‘Line 27, did I put the right number in?’ ”
And then there are all those other edgy drivers to worry about, Redelmeier said, pointing out that his study used data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration but did not determine the circumstances behind those deadly accidents or ascertain who was at fault.
“Just because you’ve filed early doesn’t mean this is not going to affect you,” he said. “If you’re on the road for 20 to 25 minutes, it brings you into contact with 100 other drivers, any one of which could change your life forever.”
More research is needed to untangle the link between tax day and traffic deaths, said Dr. Ricardo Martinez, who headed the traffic safety administration in the 1990s. Among the outstanding questions: Does the increased risk come from a small number of really stressed-out drivers — last-minute filers, perhaps — or a large number of slightly edgy ones?
Either way, the researchers emphasized that stress is the issue in question here, not Uncle Sam. “We are not advocating an abolition of taxes,” Redelmeier said. “That does not make the problem go away.”
Read more: http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/fitness/fatal-traffic-accidents-are-more-common-on-tax-day-study/article_23c5d859-3260-58cd-9564-1a403f887c98.html#ixzz1rnFpFxWG
Posted on March 12th, 2012
Missouri Lawyers Weekly recently published an article recounting the Greene County trial of Lewis v. Busco Inc. The plaintiff, Daniel Lewis was represented by Springfield Lawyer of the Year Steve Garner. The article reads as follows:
A Greene County jury awarded nearly $1 million to a Republic man whose car was hit by a charter tour bus headed to Branson in a 2007 accident.
That Nov. 18, Daniel Lewis, then 37, was driving his 1990 Honda Accord on Route N in southwest Missouri. A charter bus heading the opposite direction on the rural road turned in front of Lewis’ car and struck the driver’s side, according to the plaintiff’s attorneys’ written case description. James P. Mailen of Lawrence, Kan., was driving the bus.
Lewis, a concrete finisher, suffered back and spine injuries that have left him unable to work, said attorney Steve Garner, who took over the case in November, a month before the trial, after Lewis’ first lawyers stepped aside. Neither Mailen nor the bus passengers were injured. The bus driver had made a wrong turn and was trying to get back onto Interstate 44, Garner said.
Lewis sued the bus driver and Busco Inc., which owned the bus, in November 2009. The Norfolk, Neb., company does business as Arrow Stage Lines.
A four-day jury trial began on Dec. 19. In his opening arguments, Garner told the jury of his client’s history of methamphetamine abuse and “petty crimes that go along with people who have substance abuse problems.” Lewis’ rap sheet includes previous convictions for burglary, drug possession and drunken driving, court records show. He was also on probation at the time of the trial.
Lewis’ drug addiction prevented him from being treated with prescription painkillers, Garner said.
“He has chronic pain and can’t take painkillers other than over-the-counter medicine,” he said. “The jury was good to their promises not to consider [his drug abuse]. I think lawyers give it a lot more credence than jurors do.”
Lewis agreed to dismiss Mailen, the bus driver, from the case two weeks before trial.
“I didn’t see any need to drag that guy to court,” Garner said. “Ultimately, insurance is responsible. I didn’t want the jury to feel sorry for this driver.”
On cross-examination, defense attorney Dana Mark Harris elicited testimony from Lewis’ doctor that the accident victim’s injuries could have been “psychologically perpetuated.” The physician also said Lewis was “doctor shopping” in an attempt to obtain prescription narcotics.
“It appeared to me that the complaints went beyond the normal healing course,” Harris said. “His treating doctor agreed with me.”
During jury deliberations, Garner and Harris reached a high-low agreement, calling for a minimum payment to Lewis of $175,000 and a maximum of $1 million. On the trial’s fourth day, the jury returned a plaintiff’s verdict of $941,000.
Harris said he was disappointed in the verdict but didn’t plan to appeal.
Read more: http://molawyersmedia.com/blog/2012/03/12/drug-addicted-plaintiff-wins-southwest-mo-trial/
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, please contact the experienced Springfield car accident attorneys of Strong-Garner-Bauer, P.C. at 417-887-4300.
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Posted on March 7th, 2012
A two-vehicle crash in Springfield sent a 1 year old to the hospital after her car seat was ejected.
Cindy Wells, 45, of Springfield, said she was driving south on Kansas Expressway and making a left-hand turn onto Hovey Street. Wells, who was driving a 1986 Bronco, said she was hit by another car.
The baby was in a forward facing car seat but was thrown out of the back of the vehicle during the wreck.
“The only thing we could figure is that the pressure on the seatbelt caused the lock to disengage,” Wells said.
Fortunately, no one in the accident was seriously injured including the baby, who was transported to the hospital with minor injuries.
There are several lessons to be learned from this accident. First of all, it is imperative that car seats are properly installed. Failing to properly install a car seat can result in serious injuries to your children. One should consult an expert if they have any questions regarding proper installation. Secondly, one should make sure the product they are using to keep their child free from harm is a safe product. There are many dangerous and defective products on the market. In order to avoid purchasing a dangerous or defective productive, make sure and conduct your own research before purchase.
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Posted on March 3rd, 2012
A 25-year-old Texas man was pronounced dead at the scene of an early-morning crash today at Commercial Street and National Avenue, according to a report from the Springfield Police Department.
Brandon S. Smith, of Copperas Cove, Texas, was a passenger in a westbound 1997 Acura driven by Harold L. Evans, 33, of Galena. Evans reportedly lost control of the car and struck a traffic signal pole at the northeast corner of the intersection, the report said.
The accident occured about 12:15 a.m.
The Acura then struck a 76 Ford LTD that was southbound on National and stopped for a red light at Commercial.
A second passenger in the Acura was not injured, Evans suffered minor injuries, and was taken into custody due to alcohol impairment, according to the police report.
Speed is also thought to have been a contributing factor in the crash. The investigation is ongoing, police said.
Read more: http://www.news-leader.com/article/20120303/NEWS01/303040011/fatal-crash-harold-evans-brandon-smith?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE
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Posted on June 13th, 2011
The city of Kansas City got hit with a verdict of more than $1 million for a fatal accident that the victim’s relatives blamed in part on a poorly designed and maintained traffic signal.
Tina Jons had mistakenly entered the downtown intersection of 18th and Charlotte streets, believing she had a green light, and caused a crash resulting in the death of Stephen Sasnett. Another vehicle, driven by Ronald Brooks, collided with Jons’ car, sending her vehicle in the air. It landed on Sasnett’s vehicle.Jons, who actually ran a red light, later learned she had looked at green traffic lights in a nearby intersection to the west.
Sasnett’s survivors, including his wife and children, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Jons and Brooks for negligence and also sued Kansas City, claiming the city contributed to the accident because its improper design and maintenance of the traffic signal created a dangerous public condition.
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Posted on July 12th, 2010
Man faces charges after car accident that injured eight and killed one. The man was charged with involuntary manslaughter, drug possession, unlawful use of weapons, and eight counts of second-degree assault.
The 50-year-old caused a three-car accident after striking a passing vehicle. The impact caused the vehicle to strike another vehicle head-on. The driver of the second vehicle was killed.
Three people were injured in the second car and five people in the third vehicle were injured. The accident occurred on Highway 45 near Audrain County Route A.
Car accidents can cause serious injury to everyone involved, our thoughts are with the friends and family of the victim.
Posted on May 24th, 2010
A one car accident on Route D left one man from Kaiser injured.
A 26-year-old man was driving a Ford Ranger on Route D when his vehicle ran off the road causing the driver to over correct. He then swerved back across both lanes before crashing into a fence. The man was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The cause of the accident is unknown at this time.
Car accidents can happen very suddenly and can cause devastating effects that change lives of all involved. Our thoughts are with the victim’s friends and family.
Posted on April 28th, 2010
A two-vehicle crash in Bollinger County injured six people on April 25 at 6:20 p.m.
According to a report of the crash, a 31-year-old woman crossed the center line of Highway 51 and hit a Chevrolet truck that was being driven by a 64-year-old man. Both drivers received moderate injuries.
There were two passengers in each car that were all injured and taken to the hospital. Officials say that none of the victim’s suffered life-threatening injuries. The exact cause of the accident is still under investigation.
Posted on April 21st, 2010
A one-year-old boy was injured in a one-car accident in Morgan County, Miss.
According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, A 21-year-old was driving westbound on Peach Tree Road when the vehicle traveled off of the left side of a the road and struck a tree causing the car to overturn into the creek. The infant suffered serious injury and a 22-year-old passenger suffered moderate injuries. Both passengers were taken to the hospital by ambulance to be treated for their injuries.
Posted on April 16th, 2010
A man was driving on Interstate 44 when he crashed into a Missouri Department of Transportation dump truck and spun into the path of a tractor trailer.
The man was driving in the westbound lanes of the interstate when he crashed into the back of the truck while trying to steer away from it. The semi truck then hit the man’s Oldsmobile on the driver’s side. The 61-year-old driver was killed and a passenger in the car was injured. No other people were injured in the accident.
Posted on April 14th, 2010
Seneca police were responding to reports yesterday of an accident on Missouri 43 south of Seneca when a 1998 Oldmosbile Bravada that had slowed down to avoid the first accident was struck by a 1990 Mazda Protege.
The Protege was forced off the road and crashed into a Seneca police patrol car, while the Bravada was pushed across the center line and collided with a 2004 Dodge Ram pickup truck.
The 25-year-old driver of the Protege sustained serious injuries, while his 15-year-old and 27-year-old passengers suffered moderate injuries. According to police, no one in the car was wearing a seatbelt.
Seat belts were worn by both the 17-year-old driver of the Bravada and his 15-year-old passenger, both of whom sustatined minor injuries.
The patrol car and pickup truck took minor damage while the Bravada and Protege were both completely totaled.
Posted on April 5th, 2010
One man was killed in a two-car crash on Missouri 47 in Warren County.
Officials say that the police officer was driving northbound int the southbound lane to pass stopped traffic when a vehicle made a left turn in front of the police car and the two vehicles collided. The police car was passing the traffic in order to respond to another police officer’s in-need call and his lights and sirens were activated.
The 59-year-old driver of the car was pronounced dead at the scene and there has been no update on the police officer.
Posted on April 2nd, 2010
Two Cassville, Mo., residents were injured in a motorcycle accident Monday afternoon when a vehicle turned into their path, authorities said. Police said the accident occurred south of Cassville on Highway 112.
The 38-year-old man sustained serious injuries, and the 30-year-old woman suffered moderate injures in the crash. They were both taken to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield. Both cyclists were wearing helmets, police said.
Posted on April 2nd, 2010
A man from Springfield was injured in a one-vehicle accident on April 1.
The accident occurred on Farm Road 235 around 6:30 p.m. when the truck the man was driving ran off the road and struck two trees and a fence before coming to a stop. The 41-year-old man was taken to St. John’s Hospital and his condition is unknown at this time.
Posted on March 29th, 2010
Students from Wisconsin were injured while driving through Missouri on their way to Texas during Spring Break.
They were traveling north on I-55 when the driver of the vehicle steered to the right to avoid hitting a vehicle that was merging into their lane. Their vehicle then veered off the right side of the road and struck a guardrail and a concrete pillar.
A 23-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene. Six others were injured and three of those were said to be in serious condition.
Posted on March 26th, 2010
A man is now in police custody in connection with the car crash that killed an officer while chasing a car in St. Louis.
The 27-year-old St. Louis Metropolitan Police Officer was chasing a burglary suspect down Kingshighway Boulevard when his car was struck by an SUV. The collision caused the patrol car to spin and hit two other cars. At least four other cars were involved in the accident and four people were taken to the hospital for minor injuries.
Posted on March 12th, 2010
A Missouri woman was struck by a car and injured Sunday while assisting a senior citizen who was involved a separate car accident.
Officers with the Missouri Highway Patrol say the 25 year-old good samaritan was helping an injured 70 year-old man along Interstate 70 at Adams Dairy Parkway when she was struck by a car. The elderly man was traveling east pulling a camper trailer on the interstate and lost control shortly after 3:30 a.m. Sunday.
The woman was one of several people assisting the injured man. Brett Deberry was on the side of the road when the woman was hit. “We got out of the car to see if [the elderly man] was OK. As we were doing that, I was screaming for everybody to get back,” Deberry said. “There was another car coming down the highway. It ran right into her… It was a big mess.”
The woman who was hit and the man she was helping were both transported to an area hospital for treatment. The nature and extent of their injuries is not known.
Missouri Highway Patrol officials did not release any details on the driver of the vehicle that struck the woman.
Posted on March 12th, 2010
Two women from Hannibal, Missouri were injured Wednesday, in a car accident on Route V near New London.
According to officials with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, 20 year-old Taryn L. Marquardt was driving a 2005 Ford west on Route V, three miles east of New London, shortly after 5:00 a.m. Wednesday when the accident occurred. Police say Marquardt lost control of the vehicle, went off the right side of the road, and struck a tree.
Marquardt and her passenger, 18 year-old Angela D. Keith, were transported by Marion County Ambulance to the Hannibal Regional Hospital for treatment. The nature and extent of their injuries is not known. Police say neither of the women was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
The Ralls County Fire Department and Ralls County Sheriff’s Department also responded to the crash.
Posted on March 12th, 2010
Police arrested a Florissant man who allegedly stole a Lexus from a car dealership and triggered a five-car accident Wednesday.
According to officials with the Missouri Highway Patrol, 21 year-old Dawite Derjew stole a 2006 Lexus from the Dave Mungenast car dealership shortly after 9:00 a.m. Wednesday. Police say the man sped away from the lot on Lindbergh Boulevard, lost control of the vehicle and crossed the centerline into oncoming traffic.
A police crash report says the Lexus struck the side of a Ford Ranger driven by 63 year-old Micahel McGaughey near the Industrial Lane intersection. The Lexus continued traveling north down the road and collided with a Ford Explorer driven by 22 year-old Katherine Scheiwe. The force of the impact caused the Explorer to spin out and hit a Chevrolet K1500 driven by 51 year-old Theodore Rodgers. The Lexus then smashed into a Mercury Sable driven by 65 year-old William Wandling.
Troopers with the Missouri State Highway Patrol say Scheiwe and Wandling both sustained serious injuries in the crash. Police described McGaughey’s injuries as minor. All three drivers were transported to DePaul Hospital for treatment.
Officials say Derjew was ejected from the Lexus and was found semiconscious on the roadway. He was also taken to DePaul for treatment.
Derjew has been charged with stealing a motor vehicle, first-degree property damage, and resisting arrest. He is being held in lieu of a $10,000 bond.
Posted on March 12th, 2010
A man from Fairfax, Missouri was injured in a head-on collision with a tractor-trailer Thursday.
According to officials with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, 21 year-old Jordan Hughes was traveling north on U.S. Highway 59 when he lost control of his 1996 Pontiac on the snowy road. Hughes’ vehicle crossed the centerline and struck a 2001 FRHT tractor-trailer before sliding off the road.
The tractor-trailer ran off the road into an embankment, blocking the northbound lane of the highway.
Authorities say Hughes was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident. He was transported by Atchison-Holt Ambulance to Fairfax community Hospital, where he is believed to be in serious condition.
The 70 year-old driver of the tractor-trailer, Jay Deyoung, was not injured in the crash.
Posted on March 10th, 2010
A stolen Lexus caused a multiple-car crash and injured several people. The accident also caused Lindbergh Boulevard to be shut down for hours.
Officials say that a man stole a Lexus from a dealership in Missouri and was speeding down Lindbergh Boulevard when he struck another vehicle. After hitting the car, the Lexus started spinning and struck a truck. He continued to spin and was then broadsided by another vehicle. Five people were injured in the accident and were transported to the hospital.
Posted on March 5th, 2010
A two-car accident on I-55 in Missouri caused a woman’s Ford Focus to veer off of the road and overturn after striking a light post. Missouri Highway Patrol officials say the other vehicle failed to stop following the accident and immediately left the scene. The woman in the Ford Focus was transported to St. Anthony’s Medical Center for treatment for her injuries following the accident.