Horn Law Obtains Six-figure Car Accident Settlement For A Local Family

179Earlier this month attorneys at Horn Law recovered a large insurance claim settlement for an Independence family injured by a drunk driver in 2014. The total settlement, which was in excess of $358,000, represented a full settlement for the driver of a vehicle and her 3 children. While the collision was violent with a severe force of impact, the mother and back seat children were spared from serious injury.

Lead Attorney Doug Horn, commenting on the size of the settlement, described the case as one of “aggravated liability”. Horn says that what made the case particularly troublesome was that the man responsible for the collision was drunk, uninsured, and living outside of Missouri. As a result, Horn Law brought the family’s claims under his client’s uninsured motorist coverage.

“This case is a perfect example of why it is so important that people protect themselves by having full insurance coverage with higher policy limits. In my experience more drivers are not insured. We are all subject to a new universe of roadway risk when we are behind the wheel” Horn said.

Horn urges all drivers to periodically check with their insurance agents to make sure they have proper coverages in place. “What used to be considered ample insurance limits, isn’t so true anymore.”

How To Select An Injury Lawyer

Having been in the position of having to select a lawyer, I thought the following may be of benefit to persons facing an injury claim. Because an injured person ordinarily only gets one chance to make an insurance claim settlement, choosing the right lawyer is important.

Tip 1

First and foremost, never select a personal injury lawyer based on an advertisement. While many very good injury lawyers advertise, it is best that you do not make any assumptions about the lawyer’s abilities, either positive or negative, based on an advertisement. Instead, before you call a lawyer, do a thorough review of the lawyer’s website. You can gain important information from a website, including the specific types of cases that lawyer or law firm handles, whether or not the firm offers free consultations, the lawyer’s background, etc. Overall, a website can give you a good sense of whether that particular lawyer is a good fit.

Tip 2

Upon meeting with a personal injury lawyer, try and gain some insight into the lawyer’s track record. The lawyer should have a good amount of experience in cases that are similar to your case. For instance, if you have suffered a blow to the head and have been diagnosed with a concussion, you will do best with a lawyer who has had experience with brain injury cases. The lawyer with specific experience in your type of case is better able to evaluate strengths and weaknesses of your case and is generally in a better position to formulate a successful legal strategy. Please take note – if you are initially meeting with a paralegal or someone else who will not be in charge of your case, you are probably in the wrong office.

Tip 3

Because injury lawyers get very busy, it is important that the lawyer you are working you hire has a capable and responsive staff. First, a paralegal or other assistant that is working directly on your case can help facilitate communications and keep the case moving in a positive direction. Secondly, it has been my experience that behind every good lawyer stands an excellent administrative staff. Because so much of the work connected with an injury claim is detail oriented, it is important that your lawyer is able to rely upon his or her staff to make sure the case preparation is flawless.

Attorney Doug Horn Taking On More Distracted Driving Cases

BuildingAs a Kansas City crash lawyer, Attorney Doug Horn has seen a sizeable change in his law practice over the last several years. “Since 2009 our law firm is handling a lot more crash cases involving texting while driving. There is no doubt that drivers are facing new dangers on the road”. Horn said. While texting teen drivers make up a considerable number of distracted drivers, Horn added that adult drivers are becoming the largest segment of distracted drivers as they are using their smart phones to keep up with busy work, personal, and family communications.

Horn has characterized the distracted driving epidemic as a “new universe of roadway risk” and he feels the problem may get worse. “With the proliferation of the cell phone, and the fact that cell phone use behind the wheel is both habit forming and addictive, this has become a public health crisis”.

As it relates to his law practice, Horn says that distracted driving accidents are causing more serious injuries. Because a distracted driver is not paying attention to the road, the collisions are more severe, causing a greater probability of serious injury, especially to the head and neck.

Laurie Del Percio Sharpens Skills at Trial Lawyers Summit

laurieTop personal injury lawyers in the U.S., including Horn Law’s Laurie Del Percio, were in Miami last week attending the Trial Lawyers Summit. The exclusive event gave the lawyers in attendance an opportunity to discuss innovative approaches to maximizing client awards, settlements and verdicts.

For Del Percio, the Summit allowed her to hone skills in selecting a jury. “Jury selection is a very important part of a trial and has been a crucial part of my success. I am excited to put in place several of the ideas discussed during the conference”, said Del Percio.

The 4 day conference near Miami Beach was all business for Del Percio as she spent over 24 hours in trial-related lectures. For lawyers involved in catastrophic personal injury cases, the Summit provided an opportunity for acclaimed lawyers to share ideas that help them obtain better results. “The last several years I have worked extremely hard to help our clients gain fair and full compensation, I want to keep the momentum so we can continue to help people who need it the most”, Del Percio added.

Del Percio, who works out of Horn Law’s Independence headquarters, concentrates in high stakes personal injury claims arising from motor vehicle collisions, work-related accidents, medication error, and other events causing disabling injury and death.

Horn Law Earning High Marks For Maximizing Personal Injury Settlements

With auto insurance companies facing financial pressures from a stagnant economy, Attorney Doug Horn is hard at work in helping injured people in Missouri recover fair and full insurance settlements for medical and rehabilitation treatment, lost income, pain, suffering, discomfort, and a variety of other personal losses.

In talking about his daily work representing personal injury victims Horn commented, “A car accident can be devastating. Not only are you hurt, you’re out of work and facing a difficult insurance company. Now, more than ever, it is important you have the best possible representation”.

Horn, who has handled thousands of car accident cases over a 25 year career, also knows how difficult it can be for a person who has had a claim for personal injury. Although Missouri law permits an injured person recover for a variety of past, present, and future effects from their injuries, insurance company adjusters and their attorney’s battle hard to keep claim settlements low. “While there are cases that can be fairly resolved without legal help, these cases are few and far between, especially if the injured person requires medical treatment”, Horn said

In 2015, over 80% of Horn’s cases involved persons injured in auto, truck, and motorcycle accidents. While many of these cases involve neck, back, and spinal injuries, Horn said a considerable amount of his cases involve head trauma, bone fractures, joint injuries, and serious wounds requiring plastic surgery.

Horn Law Taking New Aim On Distracted Driving

Since 2009, Doug Horn, a lawyer who concentrates in motor vehicle accident law, has seen a dramatic increase in traffic accidents caused by distracted driving, especially cases related to cell phone use. “It seems as if the cell phone has taken over our lives and, as a result, distracted driving has become epidemic” Horn says. “Not only do distracted drivers create a greater number of collisions, but also a greater risk of serious injury and roadway fatalities”, Horn added.

What started out largely as a teen driver issue, distracted driving has now become a much broader problem as adults have adopted the cell phone to manage both busy personal and work schedules. Moreover, because cell phone use is both habit-forming and addictive, drivers are facing what Horn refers to as a “new universe of risk”.

“It’s a serious public safety concern,” Horn reflects. “Unfortunately, the measures we have taken to try and reduce the number of distracted drivers, like anti-texting laws, are proving to be ineffective. If we don’t find a way to attack distracted driving head-on, the problem is going to get much worse before it gets better.”

Horn believes a solution will be to implement traffic safety communication campaigns that villainize distracted driving. In this regard, Horn has recently put up a billboard on I-70 near Kansas City that urges drivers to “protect themselves” against the threat of drivers who use cell phones while driving. The billboard public safety message, which Horn hopes will serve as a model distracted driving prevention campaign, also associates distracted drivers with drunk drivers.

“Based on the cases I handle, I think distracted driving is every bit as dangerous as drunk driving. The idea behind my billboard is to raise the public consciousness that using a cell phone behind the wheel creates a severe risk of harm to yourself, your passengers, and others on the road.”

Horn’s hope is that his legal work protecting distracted driving victims, coupled with his efforts to advance driver safety, will create the foundation for a more respectable driving culture in Kansas City.

 

Reducing Risk of Serious Injury or Death for Teenage Drivers

Reducing Risk of Serious Injury or Death for Teenage Drivers

Teenage driversMotor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of teenage death in the United States. Statistics show that 38 percent of teenagers killed in car accidents were speeding, while 24 percent were intoxicated. Of all drivers, teens wear seat belts the least – about 10 percent of high school students admit to not wearing them at all. Studies also reveal that teenage drivers habitually underestimate dangerous driving situations. All of these facts lead to the undeniable conclusion that reducing the driving risks for American teens is a necessity.

Although crash risks are high for this age group, there are multiple factors that can help lower the risks. The first level of defense is to talk to your teenager. Education and communication are vital to helping a teen understand the reality of certain behaviors.

Practice

During the first 500 miles of their driving experience, your teenage child is 10 times more likely to be involved in an accident than an experienced driver. Inexperience is consistently cited as a main reason for teen accidents. To battle this, young people need to have a safe place in which to practice critical driving skills. Find time to work with your child in various driving environments, including night driving. Approximately 21 percent of teen accidents occurred because the driver did not scan for possible hazards. Reviewing these simple but essential procedures could ultimately save your child’s life.

Distractions

Distractions have become especially hazardous for teen drivers. Studies show that, at 55 miles per hour, in the five seconds it takes to check a text message a driver will have driven the length of a football field. Any sort of distraction from a non-driving task creates three times the crash risk for teen drivers. Be sure your child is aware of these statistics. Peer passengers, eating and/or drinking, and self-grooming are several other forms of distraction they should be aware of.

Speeding

Speeding is responsible for approximately one third of teen crash-related fatalities. Inexperience, immaturity, and thrill-seeking all contribute to this risky behavior. Again, talking to your son or daughter about the consequences will help instill the importance of safe driving. Investigate speeding fines and reckless driving penalties where you reside. Talk to them about the dangers of speeding at night and in hazardous weather conditions.

Drinking and Driving

Of the 12.8 percent of alcohol-related fatal crashes in the U.S, 40 percent involved intoxicated teens. Driving while intoxicated causes a plethora of dangers behind the wheel, including impaired vision, affected judgement, lowered inhibitions, and decreased cognitive functioning. Peer pressure and experimentation are major factors in many teenage lives, and they don’t simply disappear when the teenager gets behind a wheel.

Educating your child on the physical and legal outcomes of driving drunk is the first step in prevention. Investigate laws, as well as the subsequent punishments for breaking those laws, including DUI fines, license revocation, community service requirements, and jail time. Communication is a key element in teaching your child to stay safe.

Horn Law – Serving Missouri and Kentucky

Any kind of automobile accident is likely to cause a family financial, physical, and emotional distress. This is especially true when it involves a child or teenager. It may be difficult to know how to start the process of getting your life back together. At Horn Law, we are always available for consultations at home, in the hospital, or at other convenient locations. Founder Douglas R. Horn has 25 years of personal injury experience. Horn Law focuses primarily on car, truck, and motorcycle accident injuries. If you reside in Independence, Lee’s Summit, or Blue Springs and have legal needs, contact us today for a free consultation.

Fixing Our Driving Culture

Modern day driver’s vehicles are equipped with many features created by technology to better keep us safe on the road. However, driving is more dangerous than ever.  Today our driving culture is full of distracted, speeding, and risky drivers.  The CDC reports that in 2010, 1 in 5 accidents were caused by distracted driving.  So how do we solve this problem and create a better, safer, driving culture?

We need to adopt and implement driver safety programs that are directed towards all drivers regardless of age.  We need to make our distracted, speeding, and risky drivers into drivers that are alert, responsible, and defensive.  Drive by Example is a versatile driver safety program that aims to inform about distracted and dangerous driving and offer solutions to our problematic driving culture. We need schools, cities, and organizations to adopt driver safety programs and foster the growth of a better driving culture.

Drive by Example’s Doug Horn reports on current driving safety issues in a recurring segment on Kansas City Live, and you can view his videos on Youtube.

Aggressive Driving Likely Contributed To Recent Interstate Accidents in Kansas City Area

This past Saturday there was a 7 car chain reaction type accident on westbound I-70 that resulted in life-threatening injuries. Then, 48 hours later, a 2 car collision on westbound I-435, during rush hour, caused a major back up. While the official cause of these two collisions has not been reported, it is likely that aggressive driving was a significant factor in causing the accidents.

As Kansas City crash lawyers, we are seeing a significant increase in the number of collisions caused by aggressive driving. Frequently, people who are in a hurry tend to speed, recklessly change lanes, and attempt to pass slower or stationary traffic without using caution.

While speeding is the most common form of aggressive driving, improper or excessive lane changing, including the failure to signal intent to change lanes, is a major cause of aggressive driving, especially when traffic is congested.

Many driving safety experts feel that aggressive driving is becoming more common given the increase in societal pressures which causes people to be impatient and hurry their driving. Another factor cited is that drivers of private vehicles feel a false sense of security because they are, in most cases, anonymous when behind the wheel. For instance, aggressive driving is much more prevalent among drivers operating private vehicles as opposed to marked commercial vehicles where the driver can easily be identified through minor investigations.

It is important to distinguish aggressive driving from “road rage”. Aggressive driving is considered a traffic offense, whereas “road rage” is a criminal offense. “Road rage” is criminal because it is defined as an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger(s) upon another motor vehicle or an assault precipitated by an incident that occurred on a roadway.

The criminal intent of assault is the key difference between aggressive driving and “road rage”.

Kansas City Lawyer Partners With The Metropolitan Community Colleges To Advance Driver Safety, Reduce Highway Fatalities

Douglas R. Horn, Founder of Horn Law, has taken his “Drive By Example” driver safety program to the Metropolitan Community Colleges in Greater Kansas City, encouraging  students to model the driving habits and behaviors that protect themselves, their passengers, and others on the roadway. Started by Horn in 2011, Drive By Example is a community service initiative dedicated to advancing driver safety, particularly in the area of distracted driving prevention.

Horn, a long-time crash lawyer and driving safety advocate, began Drive By Example in response to the national epidemic of distracted driving caused by cell phone use behind the wheel. His program has gained momentum as he works with a variety of different organizations to help develop and implement effective driver safety programs.

Horn is especially proud of his work with the 5 campuses that make up the Metropolitan Community Colleges. Appearing at the MCC- Maple Woods campus, Horn indicated that community college students are particularly vulnerable for a distracted driving accident due to the fact that they must commute to school every day. This, coupled with the fact that most students highly depend upon cell phones, demonstrates why it is vital to alert these students to the new universe of risk on the roadway.

Yesterday, in addition to providing live reports on Channel 41 Morning News, Horn brought his specially outfitted driving simulator to the Maple Woods Student Center, giving a students a chance to come face to face with the consequences of dangerous driving. Drive By Example, aided by student volunteers, also provided students with information about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Recent statistics show that 80% of college freshman have tried drugs and/or alcohol.

During the Thursday morning newscast on 41 Action News KSHB-TV(NBC), Horn said that although impaired driving often leads to tragedy, distracted driving is actually more dangerous. “The key factor is reaction time, the time it takes for a driver to avoid a collision. While drunk drivers have some reaction time, distracted drivers have no reaction time. As a result, distracted driving collisions usually involve a severe force of impact more likely to cause serious injury and death.”

As a Kansas City car accident lawyer, Horn has seen a dramatic increase in the types of accidents that cause drivers to be killed. He pointed to a tragic accident that happened on July 17, 2013 where a Gardner woman died in a rollover crash on I-35 in southern Johnson County, Kansas. Several days later Horn was on 41 Action News with Cynthia Newsome reminding viewers how important it is to drive, alert, buckled, and cautious.