Welcome to the Blog of The Glassman Law Firm, P.C., St. Louis Personal Injury Attorneys

We blog about relevant issues in personal injury law, discuss the misconceptions surrounding personal injury law and some of the most popular cases in the news, inform on the legal and political landscape of tort reform and insurance company lobbying, and provide readers with helpful personal injury information and resources. Please visit www.glassmanlegal.com for more information.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Stay Safe While Sharing The Road With Large Trucks

March 20th kicks off the first day of spring this year. With spring comes blooming flowers and sunny days ahead. Spring also comes with unpredictable weather and slippery conditions on the road. Motorists need to be especially careful around big rigs and semi trucks on our nations highways and roads during this time of year due to these conditions.

Large trucks have the capacity to weigh up to 80,000 pounds depending on their cargo; comparatively, a car can weigh around one or two tons. Mix these vehicles together with icy, slippery conditions and a distracted driver and you have a recipe for disaster. In addition to the road conditions you can have violent thunderstorms, high winds, and in some parts of the country, giant dust storms called Haboobs that bring visibility to near zero.

To protect yourself and the occupants in your car, there are several steps you can exercise while sharing the road with a semi truck:

  • Stay out of the truck’s blind spots- Even though every truck is equipped with side mirrors, the driver still has blind spots. If you find yourself driving next to a large truck either pass the truck or fall behind it. While passing, try to stay to the trucks left side where their visibility is greater.
  • Never follow a large truck too closely- Keep roughly 20 car lengths in between the front of your vehicle and the back of the truck. A large truck’s stopping distance varies greatly depending on if their carrying cargo or not so it’s best to steer clear incase the truck driver underestimates their stopping distance.
  • Use extra caution when passing a truck- When you’re passing a truck, do not go back into your lane until you can see the trucks headlights in your rear view mirror. Leaving this distance is important because if you are in a collision with a truck, the smaller vehicle will be the one that takes the brunt of the damages.
  • Never allow a truck to follow your vehicle too closely- Again, the truck driver could underestimate their stopping distance so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Simply move your car into another lane if it’s possible. 

By exercising caution and being diligent of your surroundings, you could avoid a collision with one of these giants and keep enjoying the sight of nature blooming around you.

If you or a family member is unfortunate enough to be involved in a tragic accident with a semi-truck or rig of any kind, our knowledge of the Federal Motor Carrier Regulations enables us to help injured victims and their families obtain substantial settlements from trucking companies each year. Call us for a free case evaluation whenever involved in this type of accident.

Friday, April 13, 2012

How Tort Reform Affects Your Medical Malpractice Case

Finding an attorney to represent you with your medical malpractice case can feel frustrating, and rightfully so. As a result of the recent tort reform, legislation has made it more difficult for an injured person to pursue a lawsuit since jury awards are now "capped" at a maximum of $350,000 for pain and suffering over the course of a lifetime.  This means that unless there are substantial damages for future medical care or lost income resulting from disability, that the damages that a court can award may not justify the tremendous expense of expert witness fees and extensive depositions that are necessary to prove the case.
The reason for the change is that legislators felt that surgeons, pharmacists, and doctors were too often subjected to frivolous lawsuits, and so they set in motion a tort reform that changed the way medical malpractice cases were dealt with. While the tort reform affected frivolous lawsuits, it also made it much more difficult for the victim to receive the compensation that they deserve. 
We cannot recommend that an injured client pursue a case where two-thirds or more of the recoverable damages may be consumed by the need for expensive expert witness fees, lengthy discovery, and attorney fees. This is the primary reason that the Missouri Superintendent of Insurance reported that following the tort reform legislation of 2005, the volume of newly filed medical malpractice cases dropped more than 50%. Many law firms that formerly specialized in defending malpractice cases have reduced their staff or gone out of business. Lest anyone think this was caused by lawyers filing frivolous suits, you should know that insurance companies continue to charge doctors high premiums for their malpractice coverage, despite the dramatic drop in claims. Until this becomes common public knowledge and consumer groups begin lobbying the Missouri Legislature to change the law, many injured patients will not receive any justice.