Kansas City Car Accidents Claims – Do I Really Need A Lawyer?

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Protecting Teen Drivers From Car Accidents in Missouri

Horn Law Teen DrivingThe purpose of this article is to alert parents to the special restrictions under Missouri law that apply to their teen drivers.

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.

Passenger Restrictions

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.

Driving Curfew

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.

Parent Enforcement

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.

Protection for Children At Play

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Tips To Protect Yourself Against Dangerous Drivers

Safe Driving TipsMotorists are facing a new universe on the road due to a glut of distracted, aggressive, and impatient drivers. Below are tips authored by Kansas City Lawyer Doug Horn to help you minimize the chance of a crash.

“As a motor vehicle accident lawyer, my law practice has changed significantly in the last 5 years. Previously safe drivers are becoming dangerous drivers. You can no longer assume you are safe just because you are following the rules of the road”, Horn said.

Horn, who has over 25 years of experience as a crash lawyer, is devoting a significant amount of his work to driver safety advocacy. These tips are part of his on-going effort to keep driving safety high on the public consciousness.

SAFE DRIVING TIPS

  1. Stay Alert. Never assume the other driver is paying attention. While keeping your attention on the road in front, be constantly aware of the other traffic around you. Always anticipate the unexpected.
  2. Keep Your Distance. Keep an ample amount of distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front. Drive at a safe speed that will allow you to brake or otherwise maneuver around an unsafe driver or a wayward pedestrian.
  3. Cautious Through Intersections. Dangerous drivers are always violating stop signs and red lights. As you approach an intersection with the right-of-way, keep a careful lookout for other vehicles and pedestrians.
  4. Glove Box Your Phone. If you cannot resist the opportunity to use a cell phone behind the wheel, your best option is to silence the phone and put it in the glove box. Out of sight – out of mind.
  5. Protect Your Children. Remind your children to get in the habit of keeping a careful lookout as passengers. Not only will you be encouraging them to be safe, but an extra set of eyes on the road is very helpful protection against unsafe drivers.
  6. Remember Your Driving ABCs

All drivers owe a duty to exercise the highest degree of care while driving. To meet that duty, always drive alert, buckled, and cautious. It is as simple as ABC. Add a “D” for Defensive.

QLI Omaha: World Class Brain & Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation

QLINot far from Kansas City, QLI Omaha is one of the nation’s premier post-hospital centers for rehabilitation from catastrophic brain/spinal cord type injuries.

Through his legal work in representing a client who suffered a serious brain injury from an industrial accident, Attorney Doug Horn became acquainted with QLI after his client was recommended to QLI to further his rehabilitation. Opened in 1990, QLI has been delivering life-changing rehabilitation and care to patients throughout the U.S. This week Horn had an opportunity to visit QLI for a first-hand look at the campus that specializes in rebuilding lives of the injured.

“From the first time you enter QLI, you can tell that this is not your typical clinical environment. The QLI staff, including the administrative staff, the therapists, the facilities support people, even the volunteers who bring the therapy dog, everyone is so committed to making every hour count for the residents. It is just a unique culture dedicated to excellence.” Horn said.

The QLI rehabilitative focus is on helping patients regain real-life skills that will allow them to be successful after leaving QLI. Therapy programs are custom designed for each individual. Although QLI makes good use of their well-outfitted campus, including a soon to be opened fishing lake, the professional staff also emphasizes therapeutic activities outside of the campus, including trips to the grocery store, to a ball game, or other community activities.

For more information, including the opportunity to support QLI with your donations, visit www.qliomaha.com.

Helmet Saves Local Motorcyclist From Serious Injury, Worse

HelmetAn Independence woman, traveling with her husband and two others, survived a highway motorcycle accident while returning to Kansas City from a trip to the east coast. To the left is a photo of the helmet that likely saved her from serious injury or death.

The accident occurred on Interstate 64 in southern Illinois when the rear axle of her trike broke in half. Although she was propelled to the pavement from her trike and suffered severe orthopedic injuries, the DOT approved helmet she was wearing saved her from major head trauma. She was life-flighted to St. Louis University Hospital and now is recovering at home.

The Missouri victim, who was aware that Illinois motorcyclists are not required to wear a helmet, states that she “has always worn a helmet” when on her trike. Illinois and Iowa are the only two states that do not have a helmet requirement for motorcyclists.

Although Missouri does have a full mandatory helmet law for all riders, Kansas City Injury Lawyer Doug Horn says that some Missouri lawmakers are trying to change the law that requires all motorcyclists to wear a helmet. “Several months ago I testified in Jefferson City against a bill designed to repeal the helmet law. It is cases like these that have convinced me that Missouri’s mandatory helmet law works just fine and should not be repealed”, Horn said.

Horn, a traffic safety advocate, says that all motorists, especially motorcyclists, are facing a “new universe of roadway risk”. He accounts for this by pointing to an increasing number of drivers who are driving distracted, aggressive, and impatient.   As a result, his safety organization, Drive By Example, is working to reduce the types of collisions that cause serious injury and death by urging all drivers to protect themselves by driving alert, buckled, and cautious.

Horn Law Recommends Being Cautious of Insurance Claim Adjusters

GeicoRecent history confirms that insurance companies are more dedicated than ever to raising profits by minimizing injury claim settlements.

There was a day, 15 or 20 years ago, that injury victims could negotiate a fair settlement of an injury claim. According to Kansas City Injury Lawyer, Doug Horn, those days are long gone. Nowadays, insurance companies are committed to maximizing profits by paying out as little as possible on personal injury claims. Horn, who has been practicing injury law in Missouri for over 25 years, has seen a significant change in the way claim adjusters operate in the last 5 years.

“Insurance companies are no longer accounting for “longer term damages”. If you are not represented, there is very little chance of receiving a fair and full settlement”, Horn said. Horn indicated that an injury claim settlement must include compensation for the longer term consequences of an injury. For instance, most orthopedic injuries lead to the early onset of arthritis and other conditions that diminish range of motion and lead to chronic pain. It is those types of damages that deserve extra compensation.

Horn says that in many cases legal representation is important to fully collect. With very few exceptions, he will not accept injury cases unless he is confident he can be a substantial benefit to his client.

“If it just comes down to being reimbursed for medical bills and lost time from work, attorney representation is probably not necessary. However, cases where my client requires physical therapy, rehabilitation, or is relying upon pain medication to get through the day, these are cases that require detailed legal preparation to avoid a low settlement”.

Head Injury Victims Need Legal Consultation

BrainAs medical advances are being made in the diagnosis and treatment of head trauma, legal consultation is becoming a vital tool in helping people fully recover from their accident or injury.

Doug Horn, Lead Attorney of the The Horn Law Firm, P.C., says that an increasing amount of his work is dedicated to head injury cases, including cases involving car accident concussion. “We now know that even mild head injuries can cause a range of problems that directly impact the quality of life. In the head injury cases I handle, it is important that I account for each and every way the injury has affected my client’s life,” Horn said.

While headache, dizziness, nausea, and loss of concentration are common symptoms associated with head injuries, Horn points out that there are many less prominent symptoms that must be identified so that the injured person can receive proper care. For instance, fatigue, irritability, or sleep disturbance, are symptoms that will detract from a person’s productivity and his or hers ability to function in the workplace or at home.

As part of his head injury law practice, Horn has developed a comprehensive questionnaire for family members. When complete, this questionnaire allows him to identify problem areas, and also gives his clients the ability to better communicate with the doctors and other care givers about specific problem areas. “In addition to my legal responsibilities, I feel I have a duty to make sure my clients are getting the medical care available to them”.

For more information, including Horn’s questionnaire, contact him at dhorn@hornlaw.com.

Horn Offers Plan To Reduce Missouri Traffic Fatalities

Doug HornKansas City Crash Lawyer Doug Horn is proposing a new driving safety program to reduce traffic related deaths on Missouri roads and highways. Horn, who concentrates his law practice in representing persons seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents, says it’s time for Missouri to get serious about driving safety and adopt a workable plan that reduces the types of collisions that cause serious injury and death.

Horn, a long time driving safety advocate, is confident he can help reduce the rising number of traffic fatalities in Missouri with a comprehensive driving safety initiative. His plan, called Drive By Example, addresses 3 driving priorities:

(1) distracted driving prevention, (2) teen driver protection, and (3) driving culture change.

While it is common for driving safety advocates, such as Horn, to issue warnings and call for change, Horn is dedicated to offering solutions that can serve as a blueprint for Missouri traffic safety officials.

In addition to the Drive By Example state program, Horn is sponsoring his own distracted driving prevention effort through a special social media messaging campaign beginning in July 2016. Horn explained, “distracted driving has become epidemic largely because all drivers, including older adults, have adopted the cell phone as a primary means of communication. If we don’t act now, this public health crisis we call distracted driving is going to get worse.”

Eagle Scout Promotes Bicycle Safety

Bicylce SafetyHorn Law is proud to honor local high school student George Horsey who has dedicated his Eagle Scout project to advancing bicycle safety. Horsey, who was an Exhibitor at the Kansas City Royals’ School Day, is offering tips and information designed to reduce serious injuries and fatalities from bicycle accidents.

The Royals’ School Day event was held in the parking lot of the Truman Sports Complex prior to the Royals game on May 4th. Horsey joined others in helping to provide a fun, educational experience for hundreds of school children who enjoyed a full day at the ballpark.

Horsey, whose booth is pictured above, said that his main goal was to encourage both bicyclists and motorists to be safe on the road by staying alert. “The timing of my project worked out perfectly because the month of May has been designated as “Bicycle Safety Month”.

Horsey made sure visitors to his bicycle safety booth came away with important information on how to prevent a bicycle accident, including the need to wear brightly colored clothing and stay alert for distracted motorists. He also was quick to add that motorists can also help reduce the number of bicycle accidents by always keeping a careful lookout and staying alert by keeping their eyes on the road.

Horsey was appreciative of his opportunity to participate in the Royals’ School Day event. “I hope it works out where I can come back next year”.