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.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Hire An Attorney With An Extensive Knowledge Of Trucking Rules And Regulations

The income of commercial truck drivers is often based on making deliveries under incredibly tight deadlines, with risk of losing pay if the deadline is not met. This makes the trucking industry one of the most competitive commercial industries in the United States. Regrettably, this culture leads to deadly driving tactics, such as driving fatigued. It is estimated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that operator fatigue plays a role in more than 40% of all tractor trailer accidents on our roads.

In an effort to eliminate drivers operating 40 ton commercial trucks while fatigued, the FMCSA requires that logbooks be filled out documenting hours of rest and sleep. Yet, drivers still regularly falsify these books with aid of trucking companies in order that shipments reach their destinations as quickly as possible. This puts the lives of everyone on the road at risk in order to maximize their profits.

Trucking companies who pressure their drivers to operate big rigs while sleep deprived (or who condone their drivers’ use of falsified logbooks that misrepresent their hours of rest and sleep) must be held responsible for this reckless disregard of public safety.

In recognition of this major risk to the safety and welfare of the driving public, the FMCSA enacted new Hours of Service Rules on 2/27/12. Compliance with these rules became mandatory on 7/1/13. Several of these rules impose penalties and form the basis of civil liability.

FMCSA's new Hours of Service final rule:
  • Limits the maximum average work week for truck drivers to 70 hours (a decrease from the current maximum of 82 hours);
  • Allows truck drivers who reach the maximum 70 hours of driving within a week to resume if they rest for 34 consecutive hours, including at least two nights when their body clock demands sleep the most (from 1:00 to 5:00 a.m.);
  • Requires truck drivers to take a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of a shift; and
  • Retains the current 11-hour daily driving limit and 14-hour work day.
The ongoing mayhem on our nation's highways will hopefully be reduced if the Department of Transportation can effectively enforce these new regulations that require necessary driver rest. We need to realize, however, that a lack of enforcement will only encourage large trucking companies to continue their reckless practices that favor profits over people.

Due to the catastrophic injuries and fatalities associated with large truck crashes, it is crucial that an attorney with an extensive knowledge of trucking rules and regulations is employed after a collision. Contact the Missouri Truck Accident Attorneys of The Glassman Law Firm at 314-446-6000 or at GlassmanLegal.com to ensure that your rights are protected.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Johnson & Johnson Reaches Settlement For Misleading Schizophrenia Drugs Practices

It was announced on November 4, 2013 that Johnson & Johnson is ordered to pay $2.2 billion a settlement involving the schizophrenia drugs Risperdal and Invega. This penalty is one of the largest health care related settlements in the country, says the Justice Department.

Arkansas was paid $1.2 billion in fines from Johnson & Johnson in 2011 for deceptive marketing and making false claims about the drug Risperdal. The FDA approved Risperdal to treat schizophrenia, however it was marketed to doctors and nursing homes as a treatment for elderly patients with dementia.

In addition to falsely marketing the drug, Johnson & Johnson was aware that patients on Risperdal were at an increased risk for developing diabetes, yet never publicly disclosed that information, according to the settlement. The drug was encouraged in nursing homes by way of paid pharmacists being sent to nursing homes to review patient records.

"Although consultant pharmacists purported to provide 'independent' recommendations based on their clinical judgment, J&J viewed the pharmacists as an 'extension of [J&J's] sales force,'" said the Justice Department. General Eric Holder said kickbacks and other incentives could have put the "health of some patients at risk."

The consequences of pharmaceutical and medical product negligence can result in catastrophic injuries, emotional and financial hardships for the victim and their family, and death. If you have sustained injury, or if a loved one was killed, as the result of negligence by a pharmaceutical or medical product company, you and your family may qualify for compensation. Contact the Defective Product Attorneys of The Glassman Law Firm at 314-446-6000 to discuss your legal rights and options.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

When To Contact An Attorney Following A Traumatic Brain Injury

Approximately 1.4 million people sustain a traumatic brain (TBI) injury each year in the United States. Of that number, three out of four are considered a "mild" traumatic brain injury (mTBI).

According to the Mayo Clinic, mTBI symptoms include:
  • Loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a few minutes
  • No loss of consciousness, but a state of being dazed, confused or disoriented
  • Memory or concentration problems
  • Headache
  • Dizziness or loss of balance
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sensory problems, such as blurred vision, ringing in the ears or a bad taste in the mouth
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Mood changes or mood swings
  • Feeling depressed or anxious
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Sleeping more than usual
The October 2013 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (JAAOS) published an article discussing mild traumatic brain injuries and the accidents most responsible for them. JAAOS found that falls and motor vehicle accidents are to blame for most cases of minor traumatic brain injuries, and a common cause of bone and joint injuries. Lead study author Richard L. Uhl, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon at Albany Medical Center in Albany, N.Y. found that "Musculoskeletal injuries are often seen concurrently with some studies estimating that 50 percent of patients with orthopaedic injuries also sustain a mTBI."

This silent epidemic, as dubbed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is considered a major public health issue. Patients that suffer a mTBI and multisystem trauma are twice as likely to have persistent cognitive impairment, along with reported symptoms of depression, anxiety and PTSD. Patients with mTBI paired with lower extremity injuries are three times as likely to undergo behavioral and cognitive difficulties at a year post injury. Patients whose symptoms last more than three months are said to have post-concussion syndrome. This disorder can be linked with significant financial, social, and emotional challenges.

These symptoms are why it's imperative an attorney is contacted after an accident. If you or a loved one has suffered any type of traumatic brain injury due to the negligence of another party, contact the St. Louis Personal Injury Attorneys of The Glassman Law Firm at 314-446-6000 or find them online at www.glassmanlegal.com. While your life my never be the same, the Glassman Law Firm will fight to get you the damages you are entitled to.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Walking While Intoxicated Is A Major Cause Of Pedestrian Deaths

Walking home after a few drinks may seem like a safer alternative to getting behind the wheel, however a new study released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that walking while intoxicated is a major cause of pedestrian deaths.

In 2011 alone, 35 percent of pedestrians killed had a BAC level above the legal limit for driving, which is .08 or higher. The largest age range of pedestrians killed is the 25-34 year old range, accounting for 50 percent of the alcohol related pedestrian fatalities. Overall, pedestrian deaths are up 3 percent from 2010.

In response to the increase in pedestrian deaths, the NHTSA has created the "Everyone Is A Pedestrian" campaign.

The following are safety tips for pedestrians from the NHTSA:
  • Be predictable. Follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals. 
  • Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available. 
  • If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible. 
  • Keep alert at all times; don't be distracted by electronic devices that take your eyes (and ears) off the road. 
  • Cross streets at crosswalks or intersections whenever possible. This is where drivers expect pedestrians. 
Look for cars in all directions - including those turning left or right. 
  • If a crosswalk or intersection is not available, locate a well-lit area where you have the best view of traffic. Wait for a gap in traffic that allows you enough time to cross safely, and continue to watch for traffic as you cross.
  • Never assume a driver sees you. Make eye contact with drivers as they approach you to make sure you are seen.
  • Be visible at all times. Wear bright clothing during the day, and wear reflective materials or use a flashlight at night.
  • Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways, or backing up in parking lots.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking; they impair your abilities and judgment too.

The following are safety tips for drivers from the NHTSA:
  • Look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times. Safety is a shared responsibility. 
  • Use extra caution when driving in hard- to-see conditions, such as nighttime or in bad weather. 
  • Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or otherwise entering a crosswalk. 
  • Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop well back from the crosswalk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see the crossing pedestrians so they can stop too. 
  • Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing that you can't see.
  • Never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
  • Follow the speed limit, especially around people on the street.
  • Follow slower speed limits in school zones and in neighborhoods where there are children present.
  • Be extra cautious when backing up - pedestrians can move into your path.

Contact the St. Louis Personal Injury Attorneys of The Glassman Law Firm at 314-446-6000 if you or a loved one has been injured or killed as a result of a pedestrian accident.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Missouri Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Safety is a priority for many bikers. Unfortunately, the NHTSA found that "per mile traveled, motorcyclists are about 37 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a traffic crash." According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's latest data involving motorcycle accidents, 5,290 motorcyclists were killed and 96,000 were injured in 2008. This is a 2% increase in fatalities from the previous year.

While you can't control other people's actions, there are steps you can take to begin your ride more safely. Maintaining your bike is extremely important. Be sure to check tire pressure, inspect the wheels, inspect the cables and hoses, test lights and turn signals (if any), check oil and fluid levels, and review the overall condition of the bike. If you don't feel safe riding it, leave it in the garage.

Personal safety is tremendously important as well. Always wear a helmet. The NHTSA found that helmets are 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries to bikers. Be sure to wear clothing that offers some level of protection. Wearing bright colors or reflective materials can only add to your level of safety. Wearing full fingered gloves with a non-slip surface can help maintain grip and prevent abrasions to the hands in an accident. Wearing leather boots to protect your feet will give you an added level of protection.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, contact the Missouri Motorcycle Accident Attorneys of The Glassman Law Firm at 314-446-6000 or find them online at www.motorcycleaccidentattorneys.net.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Safe and Efficient Transportation Act of 2013

Introduced in the house on February 12, 2013, the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act of 2013 (H.R. 612) would allow each state to permit vehicles exceeding certain federal weight limits to operate on Interstate Highway System routes within that state.

H.R. 612 states that vehicles can exceed federal standards if: the vehicle is equipped with at least six axles, the weight of any single axle does not exceed 20,000 pounds, the weight of any tandem axle does not exceed 34,000 pounds, the weight of any group of 3 or more axles does not exceed 51,000 pounds, and the gross weight of the vehicle does not exceed 97,000 pounds.

Maine and Vermont participated in a pilot program which allowed tractors with semitrailers up to 100,000 pounds gross vehicle weight and tandem axle weights up to a maximum of 46,000 pounds. Vermont allows trucks that weigh up to a maximum gross vehicle weight of 99,000 pounds, and trucks with tandem axles that weigh up to a maximum of 36,000 pounds plus a 10 percent additional weight allowance, which allows a total of 39,600 pounds.

This bill only supports one group: the shipper. Those in favor of the bill site efficiency in their reasoning. They believe packing more goods into an already dangerously large trailer will result in less trucks on the road and a reduction in fuel consumption. There is little regard for safety in this belief. Larger trucks means increased stopping distance, resulting in additional accidents on the roads. Groups like Parents Against Tired Truckers (PATT) advocate that truck crash deaths are increasing, thus truck size and weight limits should not.

Contrary to the claim that the bill would result in fewer trucks on the road, during the pilot period in both states combined, official reports from U.S. Dept. of Transportation Federal Highway Administration found the percentage of trucks in that weight category on the road has jumped. Commercial motor vehicle crashes on non-Interstate roads increased 24%, Interstate crashes increased 10%. During the pilot period, trucks were placed out of service (OOS) for brake violations between 54.2% and 66.2% of the time. The amount of roadside inspections alarmingly declined during this time.

This bill is also extremely worrisome to many due to the impact these large trucks have on roads. Opponents of the bill argue that heavier trucks will result in bridge failures across our nation's highway system. It is estimated that 25% of our nations bridges are not equipped to take on the increased load size.

The public strongly opposes having bigger, longer, heavier, deadlier trucks on our nation's roads and groups like PATT are urging Congress to reject this bill. Contact the St. Louis Truck Accident Attorneys of The Glassman Law Firm at 314-446-6000 if you or a loved one has been injured or killed as a result of a collision with a tractor trailer. Visit www.glassmanlegal.com for more information about tractor-trailer accidents.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

What Is The Federal Safety Standard For Consecutive Hours Behind The Wheel For A Truck Driver?

Federal investigators found that a Wisconsin United Van Lines truck driver had been working more than 14 consecutive hours when he fell asleep at the wheel, resulting in the fiery crash that killed an Illinois State Police Trooper.

Though the investigation is ongoing, as of now the semi-truck driver has not been charged criminally in connection to the crash that killed Trooper James Sauter.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's records state that the semi-truck driver as well as United Van Lines have been fined for violating a federal rule barring drivers from operating a semi-truck for more than 14 hours without getting 10 hours of rest.

Twenty-eight year old James Sauter had been a trooper since 2008 and earned a lifesaving medal as a cadet for coming to the aid of a female motorcycle crash victim that year.

Contrary to what most lay people may believe, a trucking case, unlike the routine auto accident case, requires the expertise of an experienced trucking lawyer who is well versed in the complex details of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act which regulate and govern the safe operation of large interstate trucking companies, including the training, examination, and licensing of their drivers.

Contact the St. Louis Truck Accident Attorneys of The Glassman Law Firm at 314-446-6000 if you or a loved one has been injured or killed as a result of a collision with a tractor trailer. Go to www.glassmanlegal.com for more information about tractor-trailer accidents.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Voice-To-Text Methods Are Equally As Dangerous As Manually Texting While Driving

Despite being marketed as a safer alternative, new studies are proving that voice-to-text methods are equally as dangerous as manually texting while driving. It has been maintained that hands-free devices are safer because they allow drivers to keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel. This is untrue.

A distraction is considered anything that takes a driver away from the task of safely operating a vehicle. There are three types of distractions a driver can encounter while on the road: visual, manual, and cognitive; anything that takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, or your mind off the task at hand.

Voice-to-text produces a byproduct referred to as "tunnel vision" or "inattention blindness." It's as if the driver only looks straight ahead, or the driver goes through the motions of scanning the roadway, but does not actually see what they're looking at. "Police accident investigative reports are filled with comments like the driver ‘looked, but did not see.' That's what drivers tell them. We used to think they were lying, but now we know that's actually true," said Peter Kissinger, CEO and president of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

In AAA's study, brain waves and reaction times of drivers on roads and simulators were measured to compare levels of distraction. Listening to the radio registers as a minimal distraction, between 1.3 and 1.7 on a five-point scale. Using a cellphone or talking to a passenger registered as 2.3 to 2.5. Voice-to-text devices, such as a smart phone or GPS system, registered as a high distraction level of 3.1. Delay in reaction time while driving went from 15% while using a cell phone to 25% while using voice-to-text devices. It is estimated that by 2014, all new vehicles will come equipped with voice command capabilities.

Contact the St. Louis Personal Injury Attorneys of The Glassman Law Firm at 314-446-6000 if you or a loved one has been injured or killed as a result of a distracted driver.

Monday, July 1, 2013

What Are The Dangers Of An Overloaded 15-Passenger Van?

On May 20, a 15-passenger van carrying church members veered off of an Illinois freeway and overturned, resulting in five fatalities and six people injured. Of the 11 people in the van, nine were ejected.

15-passenger vans have become a popular mode of transportation for church groups, sports teams, and summer activity organizers, however, the history regarding these vehicles has long been a dangerous one as Federal regulators have previously warned of its rollover danger. In crash data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from 2003 to 2007, a 15-passenger van with 10 or more occupants carries a rollover rate three times higher than a 15-passenger van carrying less than five people. In 2007, 15-passenger vans that rolled over had 73% more fatalities than the previous year, occupant fatalities in all 15-passenger van accidents increased a total of 20% from 2006.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) sites a 2004 study by the NHTSA where the odds of a rollover accident for a 15-passenger van increased more than 400% when the van was fully loaded compared to a driver traveling alone. The IIHS acknowledges other factors that influence the safety of these passenger vehicles such as the vehicle's tire pressure, the vehicle's high center of gravity, the number of passengers, the amount of cargo, the use of seat belts, and the use of alcohol.

According to the NHTSA, if you are planning to take a trip in a 15-passenger van this spring, here is a helpful list of safety tips to ensure the trip is a safe one:
  • Never overload the vehicle. Agency research shows overloading not only increases rollover risk but makes the vehicle more unstable in any handling maneuvers.
  • Make sure the vehicle is regularly maintained, and that drivers are properly licensed and experienced in operating a 15-passenger van.
  • Have suspension and steering components inspected according to the manufacturer's recommended schedule and replace or repair these parts as necessary.
  • Ensure that vehicles are equipped with properly sized and load-rated tires.
  • Check the tires for proper inflation and signs of wear or damage. Correct tire size and inflation pressure information can be found in the owner's manual and on the door pillar.
Contact the St. Louis Personal Injury Attorneys of The Glassman Law Firm at 314-446-6000 if you or a loved one has been injured or killed as a result of an accident in a 15-passenger vehicle.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Underride Guard Safety Standards For Tractor Trailers

Research conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has indicated that many manufacturers are fitting large truck trailers with safer, more efficient underride guards, however many manufacturers are still falling short.

An underride guard is intended to prevent a car from sliding under the rear end of a large truck, such as a tractor-trailer rig. While a large truck that is equipped with a functional underride guard can significantly increase the chances of surviving a rear-end crash with that truck or trailer, most guards have been unsuccessful in preventing deadly and catastrophic outcomes, according to crash tests conducted by The Insurance Institute since 2010.

When most vehicles slide under the rear end of a large truck, the top of the car --- hood, windshield and roof -- typically absorb the brunt of the impact. Adequate underride guards must necessarily prevent the intrusion of automobile bumpers under a large truck, in order for seatbelts and airbags to protect auto occupants from catastrophic injuries or death.

Although in 1998 the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration issued a mandate requiring that all trailers, including those pulled by big rigs and semis, that weigh 10,000 pounds or more, be equipped with an underride guard, the US standards fall short of their intended purpose unless passenger compartment intrusion is prevented. Hopefully further study and consideration of successful Canadian standards will result in an upgraded safety standard that will save lives in tractor trailer and big rig crashes.

Contact the St. Louis large truck attorneys of The Glassman Law Firm at 314-446-6000 if you or a loved one has be injured or killed in a collision with a large truck.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Fatal Truck Accident In Republic, Missouri

A fatal chain reaction has taken place in Republic, Missouri resulting in the deaths of two people. The crash involved two passenger vehicles and two tractor-trailers. This resulted in truck driver, Lei Sun, being charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter. Sun's truck failed to slow down before it collided with the back of a car and a pickup truck, forcing them both under a tractor-trailer that was stopped at the intersection in front of them. Both drivers of the passenger vehicles were killed.

Trooper Price Richardson said in an excerpt from the probable cause statement against Sun, "(Sun's) log book shows that he has driven more than the allotted seventy hours within the past seven day period." It was also noted that the data recorder in Sun's tractor-trailer recorded his speed at 59. 5 at the time of the crash.

Sadly, truck drivers don't always comply with their rules and regulations, which often results in tragic consequences. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that a truck driver behind the wheel for more than eight hours is twice as likely to crash. Sleep deprivation is also a contributing factor in a truck driver's performance. After being awake for 24 hours or longer, the reaction time of a sleepy driver is as impaired as that of an intoxicated driver. A survey conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that one in four truck drivers admitted to falling asleep while driving in the past 30 days.

Due to the catastrophic injuries and fatalities associated with large truck crashes, it is crucial that an attorney with an extensive knowledge of trucking rules and regulations is employed after a collision. Contact the Missouri Truck Accident Attorneys of The Glassman Law Firm to ensure that your rights are protected.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Social Media And Your Personal Injury Claim

Personal injury attorneys often warn their clients not to discuss their case with anyone, this includes broadcasting the status of your suit to all of your friends and family online. Your online community isn't the only one that may be interested in your status updates, so are defense attorneys and insurance companies.

So you've been in an accident. Even though you are injured, you send out a casual status update to tell your friends that you're doing fine and will be back to normal in no time. Even though your comment was only one of reassurance, the defense can use this comment to make it seem like your injuries were only minor.

Videos and photos that you post online, even old, seemingly innocent ones, can be used against you as well. Your friends may even be called as witnesses about the state of your health. Your safest option is to cancel all social media accounts until after the conclusion of your case.

Defense attorneys and insurance companies will attempt to gather information that will benefit their case. If you haven't deactivated your social media accounts, here are a few precautions you should take if you have been involved in an accident:
  • Never grant permission to anyone to look through your social media accounts.
  • Remove all videos, photos, and status updates that could hurt your case.
  • Do not accept any friend requests from people you do not personally know. 
  • Be sure to activate your privacy settings. In spite of this, there are ways to gather information from your social media accounts, but you can make it more difficult for them.
  • Never respond to messages from people you do not know. 
You may be entitled to compensation if you have been injured due to the negligence of another party. Contact the Missouri Personal Injury Attorneys of The Glassman Law Firm at 314.446.6000 to go over your legal rights and options.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

When Companies Put Profits Ahead Of Consumer Safety...

Even though pharmaceutical and medical product manufacturers must follow strict Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations to ensure public health and safety, the well-being of consumers is not always at the forefront of profiting companies. In an attempt to increase profits, these companies conduct only the minimal safety tests, or they rush through production resulting in potentially dangerous side effects never being revealed. When any person or business puts making money before the health and safety of their consumer, they must be held liable for their negligence.

Many well known drugs on the market have been recalled due to dangerous side effects that were unknown to the FDA at the time they were approved. Regrettably, the FDA's post-market trials often come too late. This results in tens of thousands of people suffering life altering injuries, and sometimes death from dangerous or unlabeled side effects, false advertising or misrepresentation, or drug contamination. For that reason, class actions lawsuits against the manufacturers of Avandia, Chantix, Effexor, Paxil, Vioxx, and Yasmin are currently pending.

Each year, millions of people rely on a variety of medical devices to improve the quality of their lives, trusting that these devices are safe and beneficial. Yet many are faced with defective medical devices that often result in debilitating injuries, pain and suffering, and death.

The FDA has recalled over 100,000 Johnson & Johnson, Zimmer, and DePuy artificial hip and knee implants. These implants have been known to loosen, detach, dislocate, and cause infection from metal residue. Additional surgical procedures are required to correct the damage done by defective products. There is a class action lawsuit in place to secure compensation for those who require it.

Other medical devices recalled by the FDA include Medtronic infusion pumps, Boston Scientific coronary stents and catheters, and Synthes USA vertebral body implants.

Educate yourself on medical implants and prescription drugs. Speak to your doctor about the risks and the potential side effects involved. Find out if you risk further health complications by using a certain product. Research the manufacturer's safety record, its success rate, and the amount of time it has been on the market. Also be sure to ask your doctor whether or not they receive compensation from the manufacturer for prescribing the device or drug.

The consequences of pharmaceutical and medical product negligence can result in catastrophic injuries, emotional and financial hardships for the victim and their family, and death. If you have sustained injury, or if a loved one was killed, as the result of negligence by a pharmaceutical or medical product company, you and your family may qualify for compensation. Contact the Defective Product Attorneys of The Glassman Law Firm at 314-446-6000 to discuss your legal rights and options.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Brain And Spinal Cord Injuries In Missouri

Catastrophic injuries to the brain and spinal cord present the most severe challenges that an injury victim and his family will ever face. When these tragedies strike, the most critical need is to immediately secure the best possible medical care. Over the next few weeks, after the injury has been fully evaluated and the patient stabilized, it is vital to seek the legal representation of an experienced trial attorney who can:
  • coordinate all available insurance benefits;
  • investigate all private and governmental disability benefits;
  • assist in the provision of all necessary medical care;
  • commence an early investigation of the incident that caused the injury; and
  • begin the comprehensive process of assessing and proving all of the ways in which the victim’s life has been permanently altered, and the legal damages to be sought.
Traumatic Brain Injury

If a person could choose one organ of his body he would never wish to be injured, it would certainly have to be his brain. His abilities, enjoyment of life, relationships and personality - - - the things that comprise his life - - - are all impacted by a brain injury. Those who are disabled by severe brain injuries suffer shortened life spans and work expectancies, the proof of which generally requires the expert testimony of vocational economists and life care planners.
Aside from severely disabling brain injuries, over one million people suffer mild to moderate brain injuries annually as a result of bicycle and pedestrian accidents, falls, on-the-job injuries, and sporting accidents. A National Institute of Health brain injury working group estimates that the largest group of people suffering mild to moderate brain injuries are in the 15 to 24-year-old age group. Many of these injuries involve subtle damage to the brain which is not necessarily revealed by standard neurodiagnostic imaging such as CT and MRI scanning. To fully demonstrate and prove legal damages in these cases, trial lawyers often retain the expert services of biomechanical engineers, neurophyschologists, and neurologists, as well as vocational economists.
The staff at The Glassman Law Firm is committed to spending time with these injury victims and their families in order to determine the substantial changes in the victim’s “before” and “after” injury condition so that appropriate damages may be recovered.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Every year 8,000-10,000 Americans suffer non-fatal spinal cord injuries that impact their medical, psychological, and economic well-being. As in the case of brain injuries, many spinal cord injuries occur as a result of motor vehicle accidents, recreational, and on-the-job incidents, most commonly striking males below the age of 35.
These injuries require comprehensive medical and therapeutic management of the immediate condition, and often a lifetime of rehabilitation and learning to cope with permanent disabilities. Proof of these losses require a trial attorney to retain the services of expert therapists, physicians, rehabilitation specialists and life care planners.
The professionals at The Glassman Law Firm are committed to guiding these unfortunate victims and their families through the legal process to assure they receive maximum benefits in order to facilitate the most favorable long-term outcomes.

If your loved one has suffered a brain or spinal cord injury contact The Glassman Law Firm to arrange a confidential and comprehensive discussion of the complex issues that need to be addressed.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Car Accident Attorney In St. Louis

The Glassman Law Firm, P.C. of St. Louis has been helping personal injury victims in the State of Missouri win substantial settlements and awards for many years. Our team has 50 years of combined courtroom experience, and we are proud of the fact that most of our clients have been referred to us by other satisfied clients.
In 2005, 78 more people died in traffic accidents on Missouri's roads than in 2004. The 1,208 deaths is a 7% increase from 2004. The number of deaths has not been below 1,000 since 1994. The Glassman Law Firm, P.C. understands that as an accident victim or the family of a victim, you may be overwhelmed and suffering from emotional, physical and financial injuries. Defending your rights is probably secondary in your mind to your personal recovery process. However, the justice system strives to return the victims of personal injury to some semblance of life they led prior to an injury. While monetary compensation cannot change the past, it can help lessen anxiety about medical bills, employment, rehabilitation, and your future.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than 6 million reported motor vehicle crashes in 2004. While the majority of accidents involved only damage to property, 38,000 lives were lost and almost 2 million people were injured. Even minor accidents can produce injuries that are disproportionate to the event, and symptoms may not arise until well after the original accident. People involved in motor vehicle accidents include:
  • Drivers of vehicles involved in accidents where another driver was at fault,
  • Passengers in vehicle accidents whose driver or the driver of another vehicle was at fault,
  • Pedestrians hit by vehicles, and
  • Cyclists and motorcycle riders hit by motorists.
Under Missouri state and federal law, those injured in accidents caused by the negligence or recklessness of others are entitled to file a civil action suit - called a "tort" - against those who caused them harm. The plaintiff (claimant) files a lawsuit against the party that caused the injury (defendant). If negligence is proven, the defendant must pay the plaintiff monetary "damages" that may include consideration for present and future loss of earnings, medical expenses and pain and suffering. In order for the plaintiff to recover damages, a skilled attorney must prove the critical elements of negligence:
  1. The defendant had a duty to the plaintiff.
  2. The defendant failed in that duty.
  3. The plaintiff was injured and damages resulted from the defendant's breach of duty.
Accident-related injuries range from minor to serious and permanent. If you have been injured in an automobile accident, your physical trauma is probably compounded by the uncertainties of your financial future. How will you pay medical bills and make up for lost income?
In Missouri, automobile owners are required to carry proof of insurance coverage. If the other driver has no liability insurance, your own policy does provide benefits to protect you against uninsured drivers. If the responsible driver did not have a sufficient amount of liability insurance to adequately compensate you for all of your damages, we can assist you in presenting an underinsured motorist claim against your insurance company if you purchased this coverage in your automobile policy. These are very important and frequently misunderstood coverages. Although uninsured and underinsured claims are brought against your own company, your company cannot legally cancel your policy or raise your premiums for making these claims because they are not considered "chargeable losses" under your policy (i.e., they are not your fault). It is best to consult The Glassman Law Firm, P.C. so that your rights to seek damages are fully explored and pursued against responsible drivers and insurers. This is especially so when:
  • There was a fatality.
  • Bones were broken or fractured.
  • Surgery has or will be required.
  • There is permanent and serious injury or disfigurement.
  • There is significant rehabilitation time and disability from work.
If you are eligible for damages, your compensation may include medical expenses, lost income, property damage, and pain and suffering damages. If the accident was caused by someone else's negligence (exceedingly reckless or careless behavior), punitive damages may be awarded.
At The Glassman Law Firm, P.C., we relentlessly pursue compensation for our injured clients. Mr. Glassman and his committed staff are personally involved in the unique nature of your injury and how it has affected your life. Our open-ended consultations are free of charge. Let us know if we can be of service to you.

Contact us today at (314) 446-6000, or you may contact us via our online form.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Proposed Distracted Driving Legislation In Missouri

There are many environmental distractions a driver may face on the road, but because text messaging demands the manual, visual, and cognitive attention of a driver, it is probably the most recklessly negligent distraction, next to driving while intoxicated. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. This is the equivalent of driving more than the length of an entire football field at 55 mph, blind. Colorado studies have shown that the reaction time of texting drivers is equivalent to that of drunk drivers!

Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic in our country. In 2011 alone, 3,331 people were killed in distracted driving related incidents and another 387,000 people were injured. That number is up from the 3,267 people that were killed in 2010.

There are two Missouri bills currently in the legislature that seek to expand the state's ban on texting while driving to drivers of all ages, says handsfreeinfo.com. Currently the law only applies to drivers under the age of 21. The 20 and under age group has the greatest number of drivers reported to have been distracted during a fatal accident.

The Columbia Missourian recently reported that on average, fewer than four people per month have received a texting while driving ticket; and out of Missouri's 114 counties, half of them have ticketed no one. Prosecutors believe that the age barrier makes it difficult for police to pull drivers over, since they must make an age determination of the driver while they're in a moving vehicle.

The following distracted driving bills will be taken up by the Missouri House of Representatives in 2013:

House Bill 145: This bill would outlaw the use of any handheld wireless communication device while driving unless the device is equipped with hands free voice recognition technology, and is being used in this manner.

House Bill 394: This bill would apply Missouri's text messaging law to all drivers. Hands free voice recognition technology is exempt from this.

House Bill 524: This bill will prohibit all drivers, regardless of age, from text messaging while operating a moving vehicle unless the device being used is equipped with technology allowing for voice-recognition hands-free texting.

Contact the St. Louis Personal Injury Attorneys of The Glassman Law Firm at 314-446-6000 if you have been injured in an accident involving a distracted driver.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Trucking Accident Attorney In St. Louis

In 1980, before the interstate trucking industry was deregulated, there were approximately 20,000 interstate motor carriers operating in the United States. Following deregulation, the American Trucking Associations undertook a study in 2002 which revealed that there are over 500,000 truckers using our highways. This increased competition for trucking business has motivated the less principled companies to cut corners and "overlook" the hours-of-service regulations that legally limit the number of hours that a trucker can drive per week. As a result, 40 ton commercial tractor-trailer rigs are being operated on our highways by sleep deprived drivers every day. How and why does this happen?

Federal law limits the number of hours a tractor-trailer operator can be "in service" each week. Federal law considers a trucker who is waiting for his cargo to be loaded or unloaded to be "in service." Even though a trucker is legally "in service" when waiting for his cargo, the trucking companies do not pay drivers for this wasted time. They are paid only for miles driven.

How do these big-rig drivers make money with these pay limitations? Many of them break the law by falsifying their driver logbooks, by understating their loading time and claiming they accomplished their 300-500 daily driving miles during normal hours. In truth, because they had to wait several hours for a load, they violate the hours-of-service laws and drive most of the night in order to get paid for mileage.

This cheating could easily be discovered by the trucking companies if they cared about highway safety. Today, many trucks are equipped with global positioning satellite (GPS) technology and computers which enable the trucking companies to know exactly where their trucks are at all times, when a truck is being driven and how long a driver has been parked. Even before GPS, trucking companies had access to security gate logs at all of the docks where their drivers picked up and delivered, showing exactly how long a driver was loading versus driving. In addition, trucking companies have always reimbursed their drivers for fuel, maintenance and personal expenses, and these bills, if reviewed, would reveal when and where drivers stopped to eat, refuel or have repairs performed.

The bottom line is this: Many trucking companies know that their drivers break the law, but "look the other way" because profit is more important to them than the safety and well-being of citizens who have to share the highways with tired tractor-trailer drivers.

Is this a serious enough problem to make these negligent trucking companies take responsibility? In 1995, the U.S. Department of Transportation convened the first National Truck and Bus Safety Summit at which safety experts concluded that driver fatigue was the number one safety issue facing their industry.

In 1999, a Department of Transportation study on driver fatigue and alertness revealed that 28% of these tractor-trailer drivers reported falling asleep at the wheel at least once in the prior month!

The Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 30% of the deaths and 70% of highway injuries are the result of negligently operated trucks by fatigued drivers. In 2005, Annette Sandberg, Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, cited statistics showing that negligent fatigued truck drivers were responsible for 410 deaths and more than 7,500 other non-fatal crash injuries.

Missouri is a prime example of how these trucking companies recklessly disregard the law. In 2005, the Missouri Highway Patrol issued 4,183 tickets to truckers who violated the hours-of-service regulations or driver logbook regulations, and this number does not include the big-rig drivers who were simply let off with warnings instead of citations. Imagine: the Missouri Highway Patrol catches more than 11 semi drivers breaking the law every day!
These startling numbers do not take into account the thousands of semi crashes caused by negligent loading, alcohol and substance abuse, improper braking and merely driving too fast for weather conditions.

Finally, we can look forward to even greater risk of death and serious injury on our highways thanks to a U.S. Department of Transportation pilot program that will permit Mexican trucks to travel directly from Mexico to their destinations in America, beginning in April, 2007. Despite objections by Rep. James Oberstar, Chairman of the House Transportation Committee and Todd Spencer, Executive Vice-President of the Owner-Operator Independent Driver’s Association, with regard to the safety of these Mexican truckers, the profits available to the trucking industry under NAFTA appear to have superseded concern for public safety.

The Glassman Law Firm, P.C. is committed to helping the victims of big-rig trucking accidents and making the trucking industry accept responsibility for violation of federal safety regulations. When we pursue these cases, we hire nationally known experts in safety regulations, accident reconstruction and fleet maintenance to show juries exactly why and how our clients have been killed and disabled by trucking companies who have little regard for public safety. If you or a loved one has been involved in a trucking accident, contact The Glassman Law Firm, P.C. for a prompt free consultation.

For more information on Trucking Accidents click here to view Mr. Glassman's interview on ABC's "Legal Minds."

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Big Rig Safety

Semi-trucks, big rigs, tractor-trailers, and 18-wheelers are large trucks that can be roughly 13.5 feet tall, 8.5 feet wide, up to 70 feet long, and can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Needless to say it takes a great amount of experience and agility to be able to operate a vehicle of this magnitude. However, drivers don't always possess these attributes, this is when trouble arises.

In 2010, which is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's most recent data regarding trucking accidents, 276,000 large trucks were involved in collisions in the United States. Of those accidents, 3,675 people were killed and 80,000 people were injured.
Fatalities have gone up 9 percent from 2009 to 2010. Of the deaths resulting from accidents with large trucks, 76 percent were occupants in passenger cars, 10 percent were pedestrians, motorcyclists, or bicyclists, and 14 percent were occupants in large trucks.

Just this morning a tractor-trailer truck was implicated in a 30-vehicle crash that killed three people on a snowy Iowa highway. We will hear in the days to come, whether the truck driver was in compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations with respect to the speed and weather limitations placed upon drivers of these big rigs.

There is no doubt that if not operated properly a truck can be a deadly weapon. As drivers, we can all be more aware around large trucks. Here are a few tips that will hopefully save your life:
  • Give truck drivers room to turn. They sometimes will need room to swing wide to the left to make a right turn. They won't be able to see you if you squeeze in between them and the curb. If they are properly using their blinkers, you should be able to prepare and move out of the way when they make this type of turn.
  • Large trucks have even larger blind spots. Refrain from riding on either side of a large truck. A good rule of thumb is if you can't see the truck driver's face in the mirror, then they can't see you. 
  • Never jump in front of a large truck too soon after passing. Large trucks need room to stop. In fact, their breaking distance varies greatly depending on the amount of cargo they are carrying. Never leave this distance to chance, give trucks plenty of space. 
Being involved in an accident with a large truck can result in catastrophic injuries that can require months, years, or a lifetime of rehabilitation. This type of accident can leave you in a great deal of pain as well as permanently disabled. You could even lose your life. If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, contact the Missouri Truck Accident Attorneys of The Glassman Law Firm.

Friday, February 1, 2013

GlaxoSmithKline Involved In Largest Health Care Fraud Settlement In US History

In the largest health care fraud settlement in United States history, GlaxoSmithKline is set to plead guilty to promoting drugs for unapproved uses. GSK must pay $3 billion dollars in fines, $1 billion will go towards criminal wrong doing while the remaining $2 billion is set aside for a victims fund.

In an attempt to maximize profits, GSK unlawfully promoted drugs that were not approved by the FDA for alternative uses, hid dangerous results from the government and consumers, and bribed physicians into using these drugs whenever possible even when not medically necessary.

Among some of the drugs that were improperly marketed are the widely used antidepressants Paxil and Wellbutrin. Wellbutrin was marketed by GlaxoSmithKline from 1999- 2003 for alternative uses such as sexual dysfunction, substance addiction, ADHD and weight loss -- treatment for which the FDA had not been approved Wellbutrin. The adult approved antidepressant. Similarly, Paxil, an adult-approved antidepressant, was marketed by GSK from 1998-2003, representing its safe use by children and adolescents, though the FDA never approved it. GlaxoSmithKline also failed to report safety problems with its popular diabetes drug, Avandia, to the government from 2001 to 2007. Avandia has been banned in Europe and restricted in the U.S. after it was found to greatly increase the risk of heart attack and congestive heart failure. Advair was promoted by GSK as therapy for mild asthma with misleading claims. The anti-epileptic medication Lamictal was marketed for off-label psychiatric uses and pain management. Certain forms of Zofran were promoted to treat “morning sickness” in pregnant women even though it was only approved for post operative nausea.

"GSK's sales force bribed physicians to prescribe GSK products using every imaginable form of high priced entertainment, from Hawaiian vacations to paying doctors millions of dollars to go on speaking tours, to a European pheasant hunt, to tickets to Madonna concerts, and this is just to name a few," said Carmin M. Ortiz, U.S. attorney in Massachusetts.

Contact The Glassman Law Firm if you have suffered the effects of any of these drugs. The Glassman Law Firm has experience and success in obtaining substantial settlements when dealing with a large drug company’s settlement fund. As in the instance of the Dalkon Shield. The Dalkon Shield IUD, which was marketed by the A.H. Robins Company, was found to cause severe injury to a large percentage of its users. This subsequently lead to lawsuits in which juries awarded millions of dollars in compensation. Approximately 2.8 million women used this IUD as a result of the aggressive marketing of the Dalkon Shield despite the manufacturer’s awareness of safety issues. Through the representation of The Glassman Law Firm, you will be contributing the safety of your community by not allowing drug companies to misrepresent products that cause injuries to those relying on them to improve heath.

If you or a loved one has suffered loss of employment, serious injury, or death as a result of taking GlaxoSmithKline medications listed below, contact the The Glassman Law Firm.

  • Advair 
  • Avandia 
  • Flovent 
  • Imitrex 
  • Lamictal 
  • Lotronex 
  • Paxil 
  • Valtrex 
  • Wellbutrin 
  • Zofran

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

    Dangerous Premises Attorney In St. Louis

    Owners, managers and occupants of retail stores, parking lots, apartment complexes, construction sites, and even homeowners are all responsible for proper maintenance, inspection and repair of dangerous conditions on their property which may cause foreseeable injuries to visitors. The law imposes a duty of reasonable care upon these people who are responsible for the prevention of accidents, such as slips and falls.

    More and more merchants operate self-service stores where they know that customers are likely to drop or leave merchandise on floors, creating a serious risk of harm to other customers. Owners and operators of these stores are legally required to regularly inspect and maintain their premises in order to minimize the risk of injury to other shoppers. Failure to do so often results in liability for permitting a hazardous condition to exist.
    Inadequate signage or warnings, uneven surfaces, and unguarded holes that result in serious injuries are other examples of dangerous premises for which owners, supervisors and occupants of the property may be liable for injuries which occur.

    Owners and occupants of commercial premises are responsible for compliance with building and safety codes to assure the prevention of hazardous defects which may result in injury. These codes impose minimum safety standards with which building owners and managers must comply. While accidents sometimes just happen, if an accident is due to a code violation, negligent maintenance, inspection, repair or warning, the victim of an injury caused by such a hazard is entitled to compensation for any loss of income and medical bills, as well as any permanent or residual pain, discomfort or disability.

    Most businesses and homeowners today carry premises liability insurance. If you or a loved one has been injured by a hazardous condition on someone's property, contact The Glassman Law Firm, P.C. for a free consultation by an experienced premises liability attorney who will advise you of your rights.

    Wednesday, January 2, 2013

    Look Both Ways Before You Cross

    "Look both ways before you cross."-- Who can forget Mom's advice? And what sound advice it was. But even when one looks both ways, tragedy can still strike. Every year pedestrians are injured or killed in and out of crosswalks all over the world. Sometimes as a result of negligence on the part of the driver and/or the pedestrian. In other cases, it's an unfortunate obstruction such as a tree or a bend in the road that may hinder one's ability to negotiate how quickly a car is traveling; resulting in tragedy.

    In one recent case, a young man at Missouri University of Science and Technology was hit by a car while attempting to cross highway 63 in Rolla. A four lane highway with speeds exceeding 60 mph in city limits. Luckily for the young student, he suffered only minor injuries and left the ER that night. Sadly though, the whole thing could have been prevented if the student were to have utilized the underground crosswalk that had been built in the wake of a tragedy on the same stretch of road 20 years prior.

    Infrastructure evolves around us. It is constantly adapted to suit our safety and function. Many times crosswalks and pedestrian tunnels have sprung up as a result of tragedy. It would be a shame if that tragedy were to occur again when remedies have been put in place to prevent it.

    So, like Mom always said, "Look both ways before you cross."-- with the added amendment: "…and if you see a crosswalk use it."