Category Archives: Missouri Wrongful Death Lawyer

Five Killed in July 4th Crash

A two-vehicle crash in Archie, Missouri claimed the lives of five people on the Independence day holiday. Among the deceased were three young children.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol report, the crash took place Thursday afternoon when the victims’ vehicle ran off of Cass Country Road (east of Archie), over-corrected and skidded across the road in a sideways motion. Their vehicle then struck a second vehicle, which was eastbound on Country Road.

The Highway Patrol recorded that victims included 22 year-old Aleah Lucas, 8 year-old Anna Rittermeyer, 32 year-old Jason Rittermeyer, 9 year-old Sage Rittermeyer, and 10 year-old Noah Rittermeyer. The Rittermeyer’s were all residents of Archie, Missouri, while Lucas was from Olathe, Kansas.

According to the report, the driver of the victim’s vehicle and one of the children were not wearing a seatbelt and were ejected from the vehicle. The driver of the vehicle that was struck by the over-correcting car sustained minor injuries.

Our thoughts and prayers are extended to the entire Archie, Missouri community as they mourn the loss of these five individuals. If you have lost a loved one in a tragic car crash, such as the accident detailed above, you may be entitled to a monetary reward. You deserve to be compensated for the tragedy you suffered, and for the associated expenses as well. To find out more about a claim for wrongful death, and for an absolutely FREE phone consultation, give one of our experienced personal injury lawyers a call today at 855.40.CRASH or 314.409.7060 to discuss your potential case. We look forward to being of service to you.

Memphis, MO Couple Killed in Tragic Crash

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, in a Sunday afternoon crash, 77-year-old Elva Farris was driving northbound on Missouri Route AA when she attempted to cross Highway 54. Farris attempted to cross the highway, but failed to yield to an oncoming motorcycle, colliding with a Memphis, MO couple. The motorcycle was traveling eastbound on 54 in Miller County, Missouri when it was struck by the side of the SUV.

In this tragic Missouri motorcycle crash, Christopher Vanhoozen, 40, and Cynthia Vanhoozen, 38, were both pronounced dead at the scene. The investigation is ongoing, and there is still no word on the date and time of the funeral services. From all of the lawyers at, our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Memphis, Missouri community in the wake of this serious tragedy.

Unfortunately, following a devastating loss, there is nothing anyone can do or say to lessen the pain of the victim’s family. However, for whatever it is worth, the lawyers at feel blessed that they are in the position to help grieving family members by providing with them with advice, helping them with arrangments, and potentially winning them compensation following a loss. If you have lost a loved one to a tragic motorcycle accident or car crash, please give one of our compassionate, skilled attorneys a call today at 314.409.7060. We promise that you will feel confident putting us to work for you, while you focus on mourning and recovering from your loss. Remember, we NEVER charge a single fee unless we win your loved one’s case.

Musician Ben Tucker Killed in Car Crash

In a tragic story that took place earlier in the week, Georgia musician Ben Tucker, 82, was killed in a car accident. Tucker, a famous musician, performed with stars like Peggy Lee and Quincy Jones before settling into the jazz scene in Savannah, Georgia.

The famous musician and avid golfer was driving a golf cart across a cross walk on Hutchinson Island, when a car slammed into him at a high speed. According to Savannah-Chatham County police, Tucker was pronounced dead at a local hospital. The negligent driver of the vehicle that struck him was charged with vehicular homicide and several other criminal charges.

The news stunned jazz enthusiasts and fellow musicians in Savannah, where Tucker continued to be a musical figure after four decades. Tucker made a living by playing an upright bass in jazz festivals, nightclub gigs, and wedding receptions.

Jazz guitarist Howard Paul remembers Tucker as being beloved by so many people in the town of Savannah. Before moving to the Georgia coast, Tucker was a successful songwriter, perhaps most notably with “Comin’ Home Baby,” a song co-written with vocalist Bob Dorough, and recorded by Herbie Mann and Michael Buble. By the time the 1960s came to a close, Tucker had toured and recorded with Lee and performed with jazz greats like Buddy Rich, Jones, and Dexter Gordon. According to the Savannah Morning News, Tucker was also the former owner of radio stations WSOK-AM and WLVH-FM.

Police say that the crash that claimed Tucker’s life is still under investigation. The driver that slammed into Tucker’s golf cart, has been identified as 52-year-old Robert William Martin of Spicewood, Texas. Martin is being held without bond in the Chatham County jail for charges of racing and reckless driving, and vehicular homicide.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Savannah community as they mourn the tragic loss of this celebrated jazz musician. Anytime that someone is killed because of the reckless and negligent driving of another, a wrongful death claim can be made. The family members or loved ones of the deceased are entitled to compensation, which can obviously never make up for their tremendous loss, but can help with sudden funeral arrangements and associated costs. If you have lost a loved one to the negligence of someone else, call a Missouri wrongful death attorney today, to discuss your potential case for free. Give us a call at 314.409.7060 or toll free at 855.40.CRASH.

What Can Be Done After a Family Member Dies In a Car Crash?

Life is absolutely precious. Anyone who has lost someone to an auto accident can certainly attest to how precious and fragile life is. Unlike illness or old age, dying in a car crash is an abrupt, unplanned tragedy. In a matter of seconds an entire family’s life can turned upside down. One of the hardest questions to be both asked and answered is– what can be done?

Who pays for the funeral arrangements and associated costs?

With your life already turned upside down, you will have people contacting you about arrangments for your loved one’s remains. This might be something you have never thought about before the loss.  Do not let this stress get you down even further. Assistance is avaliable. If your loved one or family member was an insured driver, funerual benefits may be avaliable through their own personal injury protection coverage. If he or she was uninsured, but was killed by an insured driver, funeral benefits could be avaliable from that driver’s insurance. If you have lost a loved one in a car crash, please feel free to contact me directly at 314.409.7060. My team and I have always worked to help those who have suffered tragic losses in any way we can. We will be more than happy to provide a free investigation of what beneifts are avaliable to help you, or to help find someone who can help make funeral arrangments no matter what your financial situation. Call attorney Christopher Dixon at 314.409.7060 or 855.40.CRASH, and ask to speak about this matter.

What type of claim should be filed for the death of my loved one?

When someone is killed due to another driver’s negligence, it is considered to be a wrongful death claim in the eyes of the law. Although wrongful death is not criminal, it is a pursuable claim for damages against the responsible party and their insurer.

What options do I have after a loved one has been killed in a car crash?

Following the loss of a loved one, wrongful death lawyer Christopher Dixon can take care of your claim, while you focus on recovering from your tremendous loss.  Dixon considers his work a humbling honor, as he has helped numerous families who have lost a loved one to a wrongful death automobile accident. Attorney Chris Dixon works hard to ensure that a family can focus on grieving, while his efforts are focused on making those responsible liable for their actions. His hard work will never bring a loved one back, but he hopes that through his tireless efforts he is able to provide some degree of closure to a family who has suffered a great loss. Call us today, and allow us the honor of serving you and your family in your time of need.

Missouri Mom Killed By Falling Out of a “Party Bus”

A twenty-six year old Missouri mom died Saturday after falling out a “party bus” on a friend’s bachelorette party. The vehicle’s emergency doors busted open while the bus was driving on a busy highway to what was supposed to be a fun girl’s night out.

According to Kansas City’s KSHB, new mom, Jamie Frecks, was out celebrate the impending marriage of a friend, when she fell out of the “party bus” and was struck by at least three vehicles. Jamie was tragically pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

Of course, Freck’s entire family is devastated over the young mother’s death, and they are demanding answers as to how the accident occurred in the first place. Jamie’s aunt questioned the company as to why the doors weren’t secured properly.

According to KSHB, Eddy Goetz, an owner of Midnight Express Party Bus, which operates the vehicle, said that he had absolutely no idea how the doors could have just come open. Unfortunately, Goetz’s half-hearted answer provided no real answers for Jamie’s mourning family, and the 5-month-old child that she leaves behind.

A wrongful death, such as Jamie Freck’s tragic passing, alters a family forever. When a loved one dies because of someone’s carelessness or intentional act, or as a result of a defective product, it is hard to know how to proceed. Missouri wrongful death attorney Chris Dixon understands that grieving families need real answers. An experienced St. Louis wrongful death lawyer, Dixon has several years experience in investigating accidents, litigating claims and obtaining awards in wrongful death cases. To talk to attorney Chris Dixon about your potential claim today, call 314.409.7060.

Missouri Memorial Day 2013: Accidents Result in Fatalities & Injuries

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, five people died in traffic crashes on Missouri roads over the long holiday weekend. Similarly, one individual died on a Missouri waterway, and numerous car accidents resulted in injuries on the busy three-day weekend.  

The Highway Patrol records that the fatalties include:

  • Kaitlyn Prater, of Farmington, Missouri, who passed when she was struck by a vehicle at a pedestrian cross walk;
  • Buck Haynes, of Bentonville, Arkansas, who died when a vehicle rear ended his motorcycle in Washburn, Missouri on Saturday.
  • Alta Rader, of Risco, Missouri, died in following a car crash Saturday, when her vehicle caught fire near Portageville, Missouri.
  • Devin Scholl, of California, passed away when the ATV he was operating overturned Sunday in Perry County, Missouri.
  • Augustus Dodson, of Walnut Grove, Missouri, died when his car flipped near Eudora, Missouri on Sunday.
  • Oscar Shannon, of Sikeston, Missouri, passed away in a boating accident on Upper Big Lake over the weekend. Shannon lost his balance while fishing, and fell off the boat. He was not wearing a life jacket.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, there were 274 crashes investigated between Friday night and Monday night of Memorial Day Weekend 2013 in Missouri. State troopers similarly arrested 129 individuals for driving while intoxicated. Over the course of the weekend, there were seven investigated boating crashes, involving one fatality and several injuries.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family members and loved ones of all of those lost this Memorial Day weekend. If you are a family member or loved one of someone who was killed in a St. Louis wrongful death accident, we hope that while you mourn and recover, you seek counsel from a Missouri injury attorney. A compassionate, understanding injury attorney can help you to recieve compensation for your tragic loss. Call us today for free, at no obligation, at 314.409.7060.

Towing A Trailer Safely: MO Unhitched Trailer Attorney

Thousands of individuals are injured, and others are killed, each year from unhitched or defectively hitched vehicle trailers. Victims of these catastrophic injuries and loved ones of these wrongful deaths may be entitled to reimbursement for their losses. A Missouri unhitched trailer accident attorney can help to win you the reimbursement you deserve.

If you are going to drive with a trailer hitched to the back of your vehicle, it is important that you perform the following safety inspection before each and every trip.  Double check that:

  • The hitch pin that secures the ball mount to the trailer receiver is intact.
  • The spring bar hinges are tight with their safety clips in proper place.
  • The coupler is completely secured.
  • All safety chains are properly attached.
  • The electrical plugs are properly installed.

Individuals towing trailers share similar safety concerns as RV drivers. But, a tow vehicle and trailer form a hinged vehicle, which presents several additional sets of concerns. Weight considerations are extremely important to safe towing, as the tow vehicle must be a proper sized match for the trailer. If the trailer is properly equipped, it can perform safely under a variety of conditions.

Ultimately, there are three basic types of trailers, and they differ in the way they are hitched:

  1. Conventional traveling trailers
  2. Motorcycle, tent, or cargo trailers
  3. Fifth-wheel trailers

Conventional Trailers

Typically, the ball and the coupler hitch are used on a wide variety of tow vehicle and trailer combinations. The coupler hitch is just a ball attached to the rear of the tow vehicle and a socket at the tip of an A-frame, which is attached to the front of the trailer. This particular hitch is most commonly used on recreational trailers.

Heavier models, such as boat trailers or travel trailers, require a load-distributing hitch. These hitches use special types of equipment to distribute the heavy load to all axles of the tow vehicle and the trailers to help stabilize the tow vehicle. Some helpful terms that pertain to hitch adjustment and hitch performance on this type of hitch are:

  • Receiver: The receiver is a hitch platform that is fitted to the tow vehicle itself.
  • Ball Mount: The ball mount is a removable steel piece that fits into the receiver.
  • Sway Control: This device lessens the pivoting motion between the vehicle and the hitch.
  • Coupler: The coupler is the ball socket at the front end of the trailer that receives the hitch.

Tent, Motorcycle, or Cargo Trailers

There are numerous types of couplings between the towing vehicle and the trailer.  These include:

  • The ball and socket.
  • The universal joint with a detachable pin.
  • The ball with swivel.
  • The pin with swivel.

If towing one of these types, the coupling you choose should be:

  • Not binding, not able to slip, and not able to loosen.
  • Easy to properly hook and unhook.
  • Free moving.

Motorcycle riders who are towing a trailer should remember to drive in the center of the road, as they have to worry about the width of the trailer. To avoid a motorcycle crash, motorcycle riders should avoid the oil strip near the center of the roadway at busy intersections, in addition to uneven road surfaces and edges.

Fifth-wheel Trailers

Fifth-wheel trailers are typically extremely stable, so not as much attention is paid to balance, weight limits, and hitching procedures.  However, driver’s of fifth-wheel trailers should still pay attention to these factors. Fifth-wheel trailers are not as common as the trailer types listed above, because they lack space. The hitch occupies the truck bed’s center, so the hitch itself takes up around 20% of the trailer.

How to Weigh a Trailer

Trailers must be weighed to be sure that loads are properly distributed. To weigh a trailer, one should look for “Public Scales” in their area in the yellow pages or in an online search.

Missouri Defective Trailer Hitch Lawyer

If you or a family member has suffered a wrongful death or a catastrophic injury from a trailer hitch or defective product, please contact an experienced Missouri unhitched trailer attorney today at 314.409.7060 or toll free at 855.40.CRASH. Our aggressive legal team of accident investigators and experts are available to offer a free consultation, and ultimately to bring the wrongdoers to justice. In doing so, we will achieve the best results for you and your family. We look forward to serving you, and promise that we will never take a fee unless we win your case.

Farmington, Missouri Pedestrian Accident Causes Fatality

In a tragic accident Friday evening, Kaitlyn Rose Prater, of Farmington, Missouri was killed. Prater, tragically taken way too soon, was a young student at Farmington Middle School, where she excelled in softball and sports. Kaitlyn, or “KK,” as friends called her, will be laid to rest today following Friday’s pedestrian accident.

Local pages on social media sites featured fond memories of Prater from numerous friends, family members, and loved ones over the holiday weekend.  Those who didn’t know Kaitlyn personally remember her as a young softball player who wore #23, and was a member of the Blue Angels girl’s softball team.

Prater passed away shortly after being struck by a vehicle while walking along Business 32, near Karsch Boulevard in Farmington, Missouri on Friday evening.  According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Kaitlyn was crossing a cross walk across Karsch Boulevard, when she was struck by an eastbound 2011 Nissam Altima. Prater was transported to Parkland Health Center by ambulance, but succumbed to her critical injuries before recieving treatment.

Kaitlyn’s funeral service is taking place this afteroon in the C.Z. Boyer Chapel in Desloge. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials are directed towards their attention.

The thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends, and loved one of the young Kaitlyn Prater. Pedestrian accidents are both catastrophic and tragic, and the loved ones of the victims are typically entitled to reimbursement for their unimaginable loss. If you or a loved one has suffered losses as a result of a pedestrian accident or wrongful death, we urge you to contact a Missouri injury attorney today at 314.409.7060. We will fight to win you the compensation you deserve, while you focus on healing and moving on. Let us help you today; we promise we will not take a fee unless we win your case.

Passenger Van Rollover in Vandalia Kills 5, Injures 6

A group on their way home from a religious event in California has been the victim of the latest local SUV roll over crash. This morning the 15 person passenger van reportedly ran into the median on eastbound highway 70, before crossing traffic and rolling over. It is reported that 11 people were riding inside the 15 person passenger van. A recent string of SUV rollover accidents has sparked a new renewal of warnings over the dangerous nature of the large vans.

The van rollover occurred around 9:45 am, Monday morning, under ideal weather conditions. The crash was approximately 57 miles northeast from St. Louis, at mile marker 57 on highway 70. Officers at the scene report that all 5 of those fatally injured were ejected from the van during the rollover. Initial reports state that the driver of the van may have ‘overcorrected’ the vehicle as result of a possible shifiting load.

Of the six injured survivors, some were airlifted to St. Louis University Hospital, some taken to Greenville Regional Hospital, as well taken to a hospital in Springfield, Illinois. All of the occupants were reported to be men and no women or children were involved.

15 passenger vans have recently come under fire due to several similar one vehicle rollovers. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the fatality rate for drivers of 15 passenger vans is less than other vehicles; however, the non-driving passengers often have a much higher fatality rate than passengers of other vehicles. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported that 1090 people died between the years 1997 and 2006 as the result of 15 passenger vans, with 668 of those being from SUV rollover accidents. In addition to the dangerous nature of the 15-person vans, several other popular SUV’s have rated poorly in a recent SUV safety study.

Some useful facts about the dangers 15 person passenger vans are as follows:

  • The center of gravity of a loaded 15-person van may cause the center of gravity to shift rearward and upward. This can increase the incidence of a rollover.
  • When a 15 person van is loaded with between 5-9 occupants, it is twice as likely to become a victim of a rollover, as opposed to being loaded with 5 and under passengers.
  • Speeds of 50 mph and winding roads greatly increase the likelihood of a rollover.
  • Federal law outlaws selling 15 person vans for the transportation of high school kids.

If you chose to transport children in a 15 person passenger van, the following safety precautions should be observed:

  • Ensure the driver of the van is properly trained. Carrying 15 people in van does not require a commercial motor vehicle license, but the training can save lives.
  • Make sure the tires on the vehicle are properly inflated and not worn out. Before taking any 15 person passenger van on a road trip, make sure it is inspected and safe for travel.
  • Try to load the vehicle so the weight is in front of the rear axle and keep loads off the roof.
  • Make sure the driver is well rested. Driver fatigue may result in drifting or other dangerous driving which may lead to ‘overcorrecting’ of the vehicle. This surprise may lead to panic and carry devastating consequences.
  • It is imperative that those carrying sports teams and children pay extra attention and take extra precautions. Loud, rambunctious children can create additional noise and distraction which requires extra attention.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed as the result of a SUV rollover, contact a St. Louis rollover lawyer to discuss your legal rights despite where the crash occurred. SUV rollover cases must be investigated immediately to gather all necessary evidence while it exists. The failure to preserve and inspect the vehicle can have devestating consequences on your ability to recover reimbursement for your loss.

Contact and SUV and St. Louis wrongful death lawyer immediately for a free consultation by calling 314-409-7060. Rollover accident lawyer Chris Dixon has successfully recovered over $34,000,000 for injury victims and their families. For his efforts, Chris has been recognized as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association, among the National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40, and a Life-Time Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

North St. Louis Employee Electrocuted

A North St. Louis employee of a local manufacturing plant dies of injuries following electrocution. Police report that the employee of St. Louis Cold Drawn, Inc., died of what appears to be an electrocution injury. The worker was discovered next to an electrical box around 4:15 p.m., on May 14, 2013. He was reportedly lying on the ground unconscious when he was discovered. Upon transportation and arrival to the hospital, the victim was pronounced dead.

Electrocution related injuries are devastating. Electrocution related dangers include:

  • Burns: Shocks of high-voltage electricity often leads to internal burns from the intense energy. The energy heats the tissue and can be fatal if it travels throughthe heart or other internal organs.
  • Ventricular Fibrillation: Low voltage energy which reaches the heart or chest can cause fibrillation.  Fibrillation’s are usually lethal because they cause the heart to contract and prevent movement.
  • Neurological Effects: Electrical shock can interfere with the nervous systems and result in loss of consciousness or death.
  • Arc Flash: According to OSHA, a arch flash is a phenomenon where electric current leaves its intended path and jumps through the air from one conductor to another, or to the ground. An Arch flash is a common occurrence at work. Work environments must adhere to electrical safety standards set forth in the NFPA-70E’s – Electrical Safety in the Workplace. Common causes of Arch Flashes included
    • Dropping tools
    • Condensation
    • Dust
    • Material Failure
    • corrosion
    • Improper Installation

Employees dealing with electricity should ensure their employer abides by the proper safety measures set forth by the U.S. Department of Labor. For more information and commonly asked questions from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, visit their publication “Controlling Electrical Hazards“.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed from an electrocution injury, contact St. Louis personal injury lawyer Chris Dixon to discuss your legal rights. Electrocution injuries which occur at work may involve a worker’s compensation case, general negligence case, premises liability case, and/or a products liability lawsuit. It is important that the circumstances of the incident are investigated immediately following the incident before evidence is lost or destroyed.

St. Louis electrocution lawyer Chris Dixon has recovered over $34,000,000 in judgments, verdicts, and settlements for injury victims. He is available to discuss your rights by calling 314-409-7060, or Toll-Free at 855-40-2724. There is no cost to discuss your case and we are not paid unless we are successful handling your claim.

The National Trial Lawyers Association has named Chris Dixon a Top 100 Missouri Trial Lawyer and listed him amount the the Top 40 Under 40 in Missouri. He is also a Life-Time Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Call today for a free consultation.

Jefferson County, Missouri Accident Lawyer

In a tragic Tuesday afternoon crash, 74 year-old Mary Howard, of Eureka, was killed. According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, Angela Snider, 33, from Cedar Hill, was driving on Highway 30 west just before 4:00 p.m. Howard, driving on Rivermont Trail near Scottsdale Road, was struck by Snider’s vehicle. The left front end of both vehicles collided, resulting in minor injuries for Snider and Howard’s eight year-old grandson, Christian Howard. Although she was wearing a seat belt, Mary Howard was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Howard family, as they cope with this unfortunate loss.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a Missouri car crash, such as the one detailed above, you may be entitled to compensation. A St. Louis Injury Lawyer can handle your case, no matter what county the accident occurred in, from start to finish.  For a free case evaluation, contact a personal injury attorney today at 314.409.7060, or toll free at 855.40.CRASH. Let us win you the compensation you rightly deserve.

Driving Time Rules & Regulations for Commercial Vehicles

Have you been injured in a crash involving a semi-truck, 18-wheeler, or other property-carrying vehicle? The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has a very detailed list of rules and regulations that apply to the drivers of these vehicles. If the at-fault driver of the vehicle that caused the crash was in violation of one of these drive-time rules, you may be entitled to excess compensation. Call a Missouri truck crash lawyer today to discuss your unique case and the rules applicable to it.

There are numerous rules and stipulations that apply to driving time for commercial motor vehicles. These regulations are typically divided between on-duty and off-duty time. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration defines on-duty time as all time from the time a driver starts to work (or is required to be in readiness from work) until the time that the driver is finished with work and all work related responsibilities.

On-duty time includes:

  • All time at a plant, facility, terminal or other related property of a motor carrier or shipper, or on any public property awaiting dispatch, unless the driver has been relieved of work duty by the motor carrier;
  • All time servicing and conditioning any commercial motor vehicle as a part of work-related duty;
  • All driving time as defined as all time spent operating the driving controls of a motor vehicle;
  • Ultimately, all time spend in or on a commercial motor vehicle, besides:
  • Any time spent resting in a parked vehicle
  • Any time spent in a designated sleeper berth; or
  • Up to two hours riding in the passenger seat of a property-carrying motor vehicle moving on the highway directly before or after a period of at least eight consecutive hours of rest in the sleeper berth;
  • All time loading or unloading a commercial motor vehicle, supervising, or assisting in the loading or unloading, attending a commercial motor vehicle being loaded or unloaded, remaining ready to operate the commercial motor vehicle, or in giving or receiving receipts for shipments;
  • All time repairing, recieving assistance, or remaining in attendance of a disabled commerical motor vehicle;
  • All time spent providing a breath or urine sample, including travel time to and from the collection facility, to comply with random, reasonable suspicion, post-crash, or follow-up testing;
  • Performing any other work in the service of a motor carrier; and
  • Performing any compensated work for an individual who is not a motor carrier.

Maximum Driving Time for Property-Carrying Vehicles

No motor carrier can allow or require a driver of a property-carrying commercial motor vehicle, regardless of the number of motor carrier’s employing the driver, unless the driver complies with these Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations:

  • Start of driving shift. A driver may not operate the vehicle without first taking ten consecutive hours off duty;
  • Driving period. A driver can drive only during a period of fourteen consecutive hours following a period of ten consecutive hours off duty.  Similarly, the driver cannot driver after the end of fourteen hour consecutive period without first taking ten straight hours off duty.
  • Drive time and rest breaks.  Drive time: A driver may drive a total of eleven hours during the fourteen hour period specified above.  Rest breaks (starting June 30, 2013): Driving is not allowed if more than eight hours have elapsed since the end of the driver’s last off-duty or sleep period of at least 30 straight minutes.

No motor carrier can allow or require a driver of a property-carrying commercial motor vehicle to drive, nor can any driver drive a property-carrying commercial motor vehicle, regardless of the number of motor carrier’s employing the driver, for any period after:

  • Having been on driving duty for sixty hours in any period of seven consecutive days if the motor carrier that employs the driver does not operate commercial motor vehicles every single day; or
  • Having been on driving duty for seventy hours in any period of eight consecutive days if the motor carrier that employs the driver operates commerical vehicles every single day of the week.
  • Up until June 30, 2013, any period of seven consecutive days may can end with the beginning of an off-duty or rest period of 34 or more straight hours. Following June 30, 2013, any period of seven straight days can end with the beginning of an off-duty period of 34 or more consecutive hours that includes two periods from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.
  • Up until June 30, 2013, any period of eight straight days can end with the start of an off-duty period of 34 or more straight hours. Following June 30, 2013, any period of eight consecutive days can end with the start of an off-duty period of 34 or more straight hours, including two  periods from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.
  • Following June 30, 2013, a driver of a commercial motor vehicle may not take an off-duty period allowed by the above stated regulations to restart the calculation of sixty hours in seven straight days, or seventy hours in eight consecutive hours until 168 or more straight hours have passed since the beginning of the last actual off-duty period.  Similarly, when a driver takes more than one off-duty period of thirty-four or more straight hours within 168 consecutive hours, the driver must indicate in their records of status which off-duty period is being used to restart the initial calculation of sixty hours in seven straight days or seventy hours in eight straight days.

Maximum Driving Time for Passenger-Carrying Vehicles

No motor carrier can allow or require any driver to drive a passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicle, nor shall any driver operate a passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicle:

  • More than ten hours following eight straight hours off of duty; or
  • For any period after having been on duty fifteen hours after eight consecutive hours off duty.
  • No driver can be permitted to operate a commercial motor vehicle for any period following:
  • Having been on duty for sixty hours in any seven straight days if the motor carrier does not employ commercial motor vehicles every day of the week; or
  • Having been on duty seventy hours in any period of eight straight days if the employing motor carrier employs commercial motor vehicles every day of the week.

These rules and stipulations can be extremely confusing and verbose. A Missouri personal injury attorney can help to makes sense of these rules in correlation with your own case. If you have been injured in a accident with a tractor trailer, semi-truck, or other commerical motor vehicle, call an injury attorney at 314.409.7060 or 855.40.CRASH.

Republic Missouri Semi Crash Kills Two

On March 27, 2013, a tractor trailer driver, Sun Lei from Alhambra, California, slammed his semi truck into 4 vehicles stopped at a red light. The Missouri truck accident occurred at 9:03 a.m., on U.S. 63 in Republic, Missouri. 31 year old Sun Lei was operating a 2006 Freightliner Tractor Trailer westbound on US 63, in front of Republic Ford and Oakwood Avenue (Farm Road 93). The four stopped cars were lawfully stopped behind another semi truck waiting on a traffic signal to change when the impact occurred.

Sun Lei’s semi-truck crushed the 2011 Chevrolet pick-up truck being driven by 65 year old Lawrence Coan of Kimberling City, Missouri, as well as the 2011 Nisan Altima, driven by 41 year old Corey Greshman of Macon, Missouri. Both Lawrence and Corey were tragically killed as a result of the tractor trailer crash. The impact of the tractor trailer forced the vehicles being driven by Corey and Lawrence into a 2006 Volvo Tractor Trailer being operated by 58 year old Edward Holland of Aurora, Missouri, and the 1995 Chevy Blazer being operated by 42 year old Oval Williams of Galena, Missouri. Edward and Oval both fortunately survived the crash.

Authorities identified Sun Lei as a Chinese citizen living in California. His immigration status is currently on appeal. Green County police have arrested Sun and he is being held on $25,000 bail. To make matters worse, Missouri Highway Patrol Troop D reports this as their 25th and 26th fatality of 2013.

The reason for Sun Lei’s failure to stop his rig is not yet know. Pursuant to State and Federal law, Sun was tested for alcohol after the crash. The results of this test are not yet known. In addition, following the crash, a 5 hour on scene crash reconstruction was conducted.

Sgt. Gruben downloaded the information from the crash data recorder on board in Sun Lei’s Freightliner semi-truck. This data showed Sun Lei’s tractor trailer truck was traveling 59.5 miles per hour at the moment of the accident in Republic, Missouri. He did not even appear to slow his vehicle down. In addition, Sun Lei was operating a commercial motor vehicle and is subject to the stringent requirements of the Department of Transportation’s guidelines for commercial truck drivers. Sun’s logbooks, kept pursuant to the DOT’s regulations, show that Sun was driving in excess of the 70 hours of time allowed during the past 7 day period.

It is likely Sun fell asleep or was simply not paying attention to stopped traffic. Fatigued truck driving is all too common today. It is important that negligence of this degree is corrected. A thorough investigation needs to occur in order to determine whether the trucking company who put Sun Lei behind the wheel of such a large vehicle took the proper safety measures and training procedures before doing so. The families of those killed now have a great responsibility to protect other members of the community from similar harm through the negligent hiring, training and retention of improper truck drivers.

Missouri Wrongful Death Lawyer

Missouri law provides for the family members of those killed through no fault of their own to recovery for their loss. This process is referred to as a Missouri wrongful death claim. In addition to preventing trucking companies from placing profits ahead of people, families of the deceased are entitled to reimbursement for their harms and losses, such as funeral and medical expenses, future lost wages, guidance and companionship. To learn more about Missouri wrongful death law, contact an experienced Missouri wrongful death lawyer at 314-409-7060, or toll-free at 855-40-CRASH.

Springfield, MO Car Crash; Distracted Semi-Truck Driving Rules

Recent Missouri Tractor-Trailer Crash

A crash Tuesday near Springfield, Missouri claimed the lives of father and daughter residents of St. Joseph, Missouri. This tragic crash occurred when their vehicle collided with a tractor-trailer truck. The driver, twenty-six year old Jason Musser, was following a semi-truck that was driving extremely slow due to mechanical problems, when he changed lanes. While changing lanes, the slow moving semi-truck and Musser’s vehicle collided, killing Musser and his five year old daughter, Charlene. Prayers go out to the family and friends of Jason and Charlene Musser in the wake of this terrible tractor-trailer accident.

What kind of regulations keep semi-truck drivings from driving negligently?

New texting and hand-held phone restrictions for drivers of commercial motor vehicles:

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) have recently come together to publish a series of rules and regulations targeting interstate truck and bus drivers. These regulations specifically prohibit drivers of commercial motor vehicles who transport large quantities of hazardous materials from texting or using mobile phones while driving or operating their vehicles. These joint rules reflect the latest actions by the United States Department of Transportation to put an end to distracted driving. Violations of the new rules result in fines and disqualifications, while impacting the driver’s and federal motor carrier’s Safety Measurement System results.

The Safety Measurement System:

  • The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s safety measurement system keeps track of the on-road safety performance and driver compliance history of motor carriers.
  • This system prioritizes enforcement resources, determines safety and compliance problems that a motor carrier might exhibit, while tracking each motor carrier’s safety.
  • The safety measurement system identifies carriers for intervention that pose a higher safety risk in terms of future crash involvement and in the potential for increased ill-effects resulting from the potential presence of hazardous materials in the event of a crash.

The FMCSA Rules: No Texting & Driving

Federal commercial motor vehicle drivers are strictly prohibited from texting while driving. But what qualifies as texting and driving? According to FMCSA, texting occurs when an individual manually enters any form of alphanumeric text into, or reads alphanumeric text from, an electronic device. Obviously, this definition would include any type of messaging service, e-mailing, instant messaging, commanding or requesting information for a Web site, or dialing more than one button to initiate or end a phone call or voice communication on a hand-held mobile phone.

The Use of Cell Phones is Prohibited for Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers

These regulations restrict federal commercial motor vehicle drivers from reaching for or even holding a cellular phone to conduct a phone conversation. Drivers are similarly restricted from dialing by pressing more than a single button on their cell phones. Commercial motorists who use a cell phone while driving must only use a hands-free phone located in close proximity to them. Ultimately, the new rules restrict drivers from unsafely reaching for a device, holding a mobile phone, or pressing multiple keys or buttons on the phone.

So can tractor trailer drivers and other commercial motorists use a cell phone and still obey the rules?

According to the Federal Motorists Carrier Safety Administration, the answer to this question is yes. Drivers must locate the mobile phone in a position where it is operable by the driver, who is restrained properly by an adult seat belt. Drivers can use a mobile phone by utilizing an hands-free earpiece, or the speaker phone function. Similarly, drivers can abide by the rules by using voice-activated or one-button touch features to initiate, answer, or end a call.

What will happen if a commercial motorist is caught using a cell phone or texting while driving?

The new rules impose serious sanctions for any driver offenses. The sanctions include civil penalties of up to around $3,000, and disqualification for repeat offenses. Motor carriers themselves are similarly prohibited from requiring or even allowing their drivers to text or use hand-held mobile devices while driving. Motor carriers that allow or require this type of behavior could be subject to civil penalties of $11,000 or more. Similarly, these all of these violations will affect the above-explained safety measurement system results of each driver and motor carrier. Texting and operating a mobile phone carry the absolute worst possible severity weights against a driver’s results. It should be easy for drivers to comply with the new mobile phone rules: no reaching, no dialing, no holding, no texting, no reading.

What are the risks imposed by a commercial motor vehicle driver who texts and drives?

  • Besides the fines, penalties, and possible disqualifications, recent studies show that the odds of being involved in a crash or lane deviation are around 25 times greater for commercial motor vehicle drivers who text while driving versus those who do not.
  • Drivers distracted by their phones took their eyes off of the road on average for about 4.6 seconds.  At 55 mph, this lapse equates to a driver travelling the distance of a full football field without looking at the roadway.
  • Commercial motor vehicle drivers who dial on a cell phone while driving increase their odds of causing a wreck or a lane deviation by six times, as opposed to focused CMV drivers.

What are the Missouri tractor-trailer, and other commercial motor vehicle crash statistics?

For 2011 (the most recent year with succinct released data)

  • 3,664 large trucks and 426 buses involved in crashes
  • 1,281 large trucks and 261 buses involved in crashes where injuries were incurred
  • 1,883 injuries in crashes involving large trucks and 722 injuries in crashes with buses
  • 2,383 large trucks and 165 buses involved in tow-away wrecks
  • 61 large trucks involved in crashes where hazardous materials were present

The numbers of tractor-trailer crashes, semi-truck crashes, and other commercial motor vehicle crashes in Missouri are startling. Surely, distracted driving is a cause of a large percentage of these crashes. Hopefully the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s new cell phone restriction rules can help to minimize these types of crashes.  However, if you were the victim of a truck crash, a tractor-trailer crash, a semi-truck crash, bus crash, or of a crash with another federal motor vehicle, you will want to hire an attorney who understands Missouri law and how it applies to your unique case. A car crash lawyer who has the knowledge and resources to get you the best possible result can be reached today at 314.409.7060 or toll free at 855.40.CRASH.  Call a tractor-trailer crash lawyer today; your initial consultation will be free.