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.”

Drunk Driving Down, But Proportion of DUI Fatalities Remains the Same

The Insurance Institute for Safety recently undertook a study to find the answers to one of the great mysteries of traffic safety – the high rates of drunk driving fatalities vis-à-vis lower drunk driving rates. The percentage of American motorists driving under the influence of alcohol has dipped significantly over the past few years. However, the proportion of drivers who are involved in alcohol-related accident fatalities remains more or less stable

The researchers compared the results of roadside breath test surveys from across the country conducted on weekends in 48 states in 1986, 1996 and 2007. They also analyzed alcohol-related fatality data taken from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System.

The researchers found that the percentage of alcohol-impaired motorists actually continue to decline in each roadside survey. However, the proportion of drivers who were killed in alcohol-related car accidents has remained the same since 1994.  While the number of people driving under the influence is down, the number of people killed in alcohol-related car accidents remains more or less the same. Why is there no change in the numbers of motorists dying in drunk driving accidents, while the incidence of intoxicated driving is down?

The researchers believe that it could have something to do with a number of factors. For example, they found in their analysis that motorists in fatal accidents who were driving under the influence of alcohol, were much more likely to be driving an older vehicle. They were also much less likely to be wearing a seatbelt at the time, and much more likely to be speeding, have prior traffic violations or license suspensions on their record, or have a history of crashes.

Seatbelt usage rates are high among drunk drivers, and this could be one of the major reasons why fatality rates have remained the same in spite of declines in DUI rates.

Doug Horn is a Missouri accident lawyer  dedicated to the representation of victims of car accidents across Missouri.


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.