Distracted driving is a serious problem across the country. It leads to thousands of fatalities and hundreds of thousands of injuries each year. Unfortunately, distracted driving collisions can occur at any point in time, even if the distraction present seemed small and insignificant. Continue reading “Distracted Driving Crashes”
Attorney Doug Horn is a personal injury lawyer who leads The Horn Law Firm, P.C.. During the course of his 26 year legal career, Horn has compiled a track record of success in maximizing recovery for persons who have been negligently injured or killed. He handles a wide variety of injury claims, including car, truck, and motorcycle injuries, work injuries, injuries to children, premises liability, medical mistakes, pharmacy error, nursing home neglect, catastrophic injury, and wrongful death.
Horn’s areas of concentration include neck, back, and extremity injuries, head and brain injury, orthopedic injuries, including bone fractures and joint trauma, injuries requiring surgery/rehabilitation, and injuries causing full and partial disability.
Horn is a “rapid response” attorney offering free consultations and accident investigations. He accepts referrals and accommodates potential clients at his headquarters in Independence or at Horn Law’s Kansas City area consultation offices. For those who are unable to travel, Horn offers home and hospital consultations.
Although the majority of his cases are in the Kansas City Metropolitan area, Horn regularly handles matters throughout Missouri & Kansas. He is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, which recognizes the top injury lawyers in the United States.
In addition to his law practice, Horn devotes a substantial portion of his work and resources to advancing driver safety. In his role as a driving safety advocate, Horn helps driving safety stakeholders, including school districts, public health organizations, and business firms implement effective driver safety programs. He is also a frequent contributor to media outlets, including TV, radio, print, and online, where he helps keep driving safety high on the public consciousness.
Horn, who was born and raised in Ohio, lives with his wife in Lee’s Summit. The couple has 3 grown children. He is active in the church and an avid supporter of many local charities and non-profit organizations, including Mother’s Refuge where he has been a long-time Board of Directors Member.
For more information on Doug Horn or Horn Law, visit hornlaw.com.
Attorney Doug Horn, who has spent the bulk of his 25 year legal career representing persons injured in motor vehicle accidents, is putting his professional experience to work in an effort to bring about a reduction in the types of collisions that cause serious injury and wrongful death. Horn, who has handled thousands of accident cases in the Kansas City metro, is leading Drive By Example, a public service organization that helps influence drivers to exercise the highest degree of care while driving.
“In 2009 I sensed a significant change in our traffic culture. From my work as a motor vehicle accident lawyer, I saw that not only were people driving more distracted, but they were also driving more aggressively. I knew then the problem was likely going to get worse before better”, Horn said.
Although distracted driving prevention continues to be one of Horn’s top driving safety priorities, he says that drivers are facing a new universe of roadway risk brought on by a combination of factors, including traffic volumes, speed, and impatience behind the wheel.
Horn is now invested in creating a culture of safe driving for Kansas City. “We must keep driver safety high in the public consciousness through awareness and educational initiatives. In this regard, Drive By Example can provide the platform so that school districts, public health departments, municipalities, and private sector organizations, can effectively implement driver safety programs”.
“If Drive By Example is used to its full capacity, I have no doubt we will see a change in the way local drivers, both young and older, approach driving. It has become clear to me that we no longer can sit back and hope the problem takes care of itself.”
Kansas City Crash Lawyer Presents his Plan to Reduce Traffic Fatalities and Improve Driving Culture
This past week Horn, along with other traffic safety experts from around the state, gathered in Columbia, MO to attend Missouri’s 2016 Traffic Safety and Blueprint Conference. Horn, who founded Drive By Example, was one of several driver safety advocates who exhibited at the conference. The event proved to be a good first step toward the installation of programs that will help reduce Missouri traffic deaths.
Developed by Horn in 2011, Drive By Example is a traffic safety platform that influences drivers to adopt the habits and behaviors that protect themselves, their passengers, and others on the roadway. It is an effective response to the new universe of roadway risk caused by an increasing number of distracted, impatient, and aggressive drivers.
Horn is using Drive By Example to partner with a variety of driving safety stakeholders, including hospitals, public health departments, schools, and private sector organizations. In addition to supplying them with support materials, Horn helps these organizations implement Drive By Example in order that they can implement a comprehensive driver safety program that will protect motorists in their communities.
In the coming weeks, Horn will be announcing new partnerships based on meetings he had this past week in Columbia. “It is important we improve our traffic culture now and our Drive By Example can be a primary catalyst in not only reducing the types of collisions that cause serious injury and death, but also helping to make drivers more defensive in their approach to driving”, Horn said.
This week Attorney Doug Horn will be attending Missouri’s Traffic Safety and Blueprint Conference in Columbia, Missouri. The meeting brings together traffic safety experts from around the state to help reduce traffic fatalities.
For Horn, who concentrates his Kansas City-based law practice in motor vehicle accident law, the conference could not have come at a better time. “Over the last 18 months Missouri has experienced a spike in traffic deaths. The Blueprint Conference will allow us to take a fresh look at how we are going to reverse this trend”, Horn said.
Horn is particularly concerned about the proliferation of the cell phone and its connection to distracted driving. In this regard, Horn has developed a distracted driving prevention program called Drive By Example, which he will be presenting to state transportation officials and authorities during the 3 day conference that starts Tuesday in Columbia.
“Distracted driving has become an epidemic and is likely to get worse before better unless we act now. Although a majority of drivers believe it is dangerous to use a phone while behind the wheel, it is surprising how many drivers use their phones while driving to talk, text, navigate, email, and access social media. All of us are facing a new universe of risk and danger on the roadway”.
Horn, who provides legal representation to drivers hurt and killed in car, truck, and motorcycle accidents, has devoted a substantial amount of work and his professional resources to advance driver safety since 2009. In addition to distracted driving prevention, Horn also is active in teen driver protection, working with schools and other driving safety stakeholders to help them implement effective safe driving programs. “It has been rewarding to have a hand to help improve our driving culture. I look forward to making a difference for our state”.
It used to be you did not need to involve a lawyer if you were hurt in an auto accident. Below are 3 reasons why you should strongly consider consulting with Kansas City Injury Lawyer Doug Horn before trying to handle your case on your own.
- Horn Law Case Evaluations
If you have been hurt in a car accident, it is important that we perform a detailed case evaluation in order to determine the full amount necessary to obtain a fair and full settlement. At Horn Law, we take into account the liability, applicable law, legal aspects, insurance policies, and the economic and non-economic damages incurred by our client. A proper case evaluation sets the tone and is a vital part of maximizing our client’s recovery.
- Horn Law’s Legal Leverage
Because of our experience in personal injury law and our track record in previous cases, we have an advantage in getting the best possible results. If an insurance company is being difficult or unfair in negotiations, we will file the claim as a lawsuit. This is called “legal leverage” and it is an important part of resolving cases, all types of claims, including small, medium, and larger claims in a timely manner.
- Horn Law Negotiations
Most people who have inside experience with Horn Law are familiar with both Doug Horn and Laurie Del Percio. Both Horn & Del Percio combine their efforts to fully prepare the evidence in individual cases. We must be able to prove every aspect of the case and show why the client deserves a larger recovery. Detailed preparation, that starts early on, makes a big difference in negotiating with insurance company representatives and defense counsel.
Solid case evaluations, leverage, and negotiating from strength are the key components of maximizing a car accident victim’s recovery.
It may surprise some parents to learn that a 16 year old is not entitled to full driving privileges. Instead, drivers between the ages of 16-18 are subject to Missouri’s Graduated Driver License Law. The purpose of the law is to protect young, inexperienced drivers from the types of collisions that cause serious injury and traffic fatalities.
It is important to know that when teen drivers between the ages of 16-18 are first licensed to drive in Missouri, they receive an “Intermediate License”. Discussed below are the two 2 types of special restrictions that are applicable to a teen with an Intermediate License.
During the first 6 months after the Intermediate License is issued, a teen driver can only have 1 passenger who is under age 19 and not a member of the immediate family. For instance, it is illegal for an Intermediate Licensed (hereinafter “IDL”) driver to drive 2 classmates to school within the first 6 months of being licensed.
After the first 6 months of driving experience, an IDL can have no more than 3 passengers who are under 19 and who are not members of the teen driver’s immediate family.
This restriction makes good sense in that passenger distractions considerably heighten the risks of dangerous driving.
An IDL can not drive alone from 1:00am to 5:00am except to a job, school function, or an emergency, unless accompanied by a licensed driver who is 21 or over. Notice, that the driving curfew restriction applies to the IDL even after the first 6 months of driving experience
This restriction is pretty obvious in its purpose. The risks get much higher this late at night.
Because it is very difficult for police officers and other law enforcement to enforce Missouri’s GDL law, the law was constructed with the idea that parents will be the “chief enforcers” of the law. This interpretation of the law makes good sense because parents are in the best position to protect their children.
One more point that relates to the protection of your child when they are a passenger of an IDL. Make sure that your child’s IDL driver is adhering to these restrictions. It is all about saving lives.
Crash lawyer Douglas R. Horn, Lead Attorney of The Horn Law Firm, is a safety advocate who frequently publishes driver safety alerts, especially in the areas of distracted driving prevention, teen driver protection, and traffic fatality reduction.
In my experience, the most tragic traffic fatalities are the accidents that involve children pedestrians. In this regard, it is not uncommon for children who are playing near a yard, park, or playground to wind up in the street without regard to crossing motor vehicle traffic. While I am aware that it can be difficult for motorists to prevent these types of accidents, especially in a “child dart out” circumstance, I hope these tips help drivers be more vigilant in keeping a careful lookout for children at play.
- Drive in “Child Safety Mode”
Whenever driving in a reduced speed zone, such as in a residential area, it is wise to drive in what I refer to as ‘child safety mode’. This means to anticipate that children may be more apt to being in the street either on foot or a bicycle. When, as a driver, you alert yourself to the possibility of a child being suddenly in the street, you are better prepared to brake or take another evasive maneuver to avoid a child at play.
Also, there are other areas that also require drivers to be more cognizant of children at play, such as areas around parks, swimming pools, and playgrounds. Often these areas are heavily landscaped which means the risks dramatically increase.
- Beware of Your Blind Spots
Many cars have a blind spot that prevents visibility of vehicles or pedestrians who are approaching from the right (or passenger side) of the vehicle. This blind spot is created by the “A” pillar, also known as the windshield pillar. Often, this pillar, in combination with the side view mirror, causes children to be lost within the blind spot.
To compensate for this blind spot it is necessary for drivers to more attentive to their right sided scan. Holding your right sided attention just a touch longer may allow the child to move out of your blind spot.
Knowing your vehicle’s blind spots, coupled with a cautious speed, are important aspects of developing a more defensive approach to driving.
- Absolutely No Distractions
Just a quick glace off the road can prove very dangerous when driving in an area frequented by children.
I recommend glove boxing your phone anytime you are behind the wheel, but it is particularly important to do this when you are driving in “child safety mode”. The phone is not the only attention stealer, but it is a leading cause in reducing a driver’s reaction time to avoiding wayward pedestrians, including children who are entering the street.
The lines of liability often get blurred in situations where someone is driving a vehicle, but not the owner of the vehicle. While you are searching for the perfect car, you may take a test drive of the vehicle around the block. What if, during the drive, you are involved in an accident? After that accident, you then suffer from pain, and cannot work. In this scenario, who is responsible for your injuries? This is one of those cases that can occur in Blue Springs, and most definitely will need the assistance of a car accident attorney to help define the lines of liability.
Dealership Coverage: Will That Help?
In most cases, if you are driving a vehicle that is still owned by the dealership – or owned by it at the time of the test drive – the dealer’s own auto insurance policy would cover all accident costs. Accidents during test drives are rare, but they can happen. If the accident is your fault during the test drive, the dealership should cover the costs of the property damage through its insurance.
However, the dealership could attempt to hold you liable for other issues if you are at-fault for the accident, such as injury claims from the other party involved in the collision. The dealer may also try to place blame on you – even if the accident was not your fault – in order to escape liability.
Exterior Liability: What Are Your Options?
When the dealership refuses to cover the damages or the test-driving vehicle was your own, it would then be treated like any other type of auto accident. You will submit a claim to your auto insurance (or to the other party’s, if he or she were at-fault). Then, you will go through the steps with the insurance claims adjuster to work out a settlement.
It is imperative that you protect yourself after any accident – even if you were test-driving a vehicle. You can do this by:
- Taking detailed notes at the scene. This includes what you were doing before, during, and after the collision. Write down the weather, where the accident happened, the date and time of the accident, and anything that the other party says in regard to the incident – especially if he or she admits fault, or apologizes for his or her actions.
- Take photographs. If you are able, take photographs of the accident scene – including the vehicles, witnesses, and the other party.
- Get information from witnesses. If you are test-driving a vehicle, you will most likely have a dealership representative in the vehicle with you; therefore, you already have a witness’s account of the collision. You will also want to get the names and contact information of any other witnesses present, so that you may contact them later for an official statement.
- Speak with an accident attorney. Because determining fault in these types of cases can become complicated – and insurance companies will quickly try to pass the case along to one another, with you suffering all the while – it is in your best interest to contact a car accident attorney.
Contact Horn Law Regarding Your Recent Car Accident Today
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident in Blue Springs – during a test drive or otherwise – you will want to contact an experienced car accident attorney to discuss your claims. Speak with a team member at Horn Law today and let us explore your options for compensation. Schedule a free consultation at 816-795-7500, or fill out our online contact form with your legal questions.
Soft tissue injuries are one of the more common types of injuries seen after motor vehicle accidents – especially those involving rear-end collisions. Personal injury attorneys who take on these types of cases in Lee’s Summit know that the clients suffering from soft tissue damage are in permanent and debilitating pain. Soft tissue injuries are unfortunately one of the hardest types of injuries to prove in court – despite whether an attorney knows that his or her client is in serious pain. But, why are they so difficult to prove – and how do you prove them – in court?
What Are Soft Tissue Injuries?
Soft tissue injuries are the most common motor vehicle accident injury, and can include tissues throughout the body – such as muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Technically, your organs and brain are also soft tissues, but these are not what attorneys and physicians are referring to for personal injury claims.
How Do You Prove Soft Tissue Injuries?
Soft tissue injuries are not easily seen on CT or MRI scans. Instead, they must be objectifiable and visually documented. It may require demonstrating how these injuries affect the body, so that the jury or judge can see how the plaintiff is suffering due to his or her injury. Most jurors are highly skeptical of such injuries, since soft tissue injuries are notorious among false injury claims. While it is true that they are difficult to prove and, therefore, easy to fake, a large majority of claims for similar injuries are indeed legitimate.
Because you have no objective or visual demonstrations to provide to the court, it is easier for your attorney to prove your injuries by submitting medical records and testimony from accident and medical experts. Testimony that states that you have suffered from pain and stiffness – or still suffer from it – will not be discounted by the courts unless for some reason your credibility is challenged. Therefore, the court will accept your testimony in regard to your suffering.
Also, having witnesses present at the time of your trial may help. Witnesses who saw the accident and can testify to the severity of your injuries at the scene, or your behavior immediately after the accident, can also establish your injury. If you have proof that your injuries have affected your quality of life – such as being unable to play with your children or even engage in physical activity – that could help your claim.
Proving Soft Tissue Injuries Requires a Lee’s Summit Attorney
While you could testify that you suffer from pain, you cannot allow the baseless arguments from insurance companies to discredit your testimony. Let the attorneys at Horn Law assist you with filing your personal injury claim. We understand the pain and suffering associated with soft tissue injuries, and we have helped countless clients just like you receive compensation for their injuries. Schedule a free consultation now to explore your options at 816-795-7500, or fill out our online contact form with your questions.