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St. Louis Legal Blog

Workers' compensation will compensate injured Amazon workers

Accidents in warehouses in Missouri and other states involve a wide variety of mishaps. Whenever a warehouse worker is injured in a workplace accident, the worker is entitled to collect applicable workers' compensation benefits. Such benefits are paid regardless of who was at fault in causing the accident. The main initial concern for workers in such incidents is to make sure that the accident is reported and documented adequately to a supervisor.

The worker should then obtain all necessary medical attention without hesitation. The hazards of warehouse work were highlighted as a result of a bizarre incident at an Amazon establishment in another state recently. Fifty-four employees at a warehouse were injured by dangerous fumes when an automated machine punctured a can. Workers felt burning sensations in their eyes and throats, many had difficulty breathing and at least one was hospitalized in critical condition.

You've decided to divorce. Now what?

If you have already made the decision to end your marriage, you have made one of the toughest decisions. Of course, you may not really know where to go from here. Should you rush out and meet with a divorce attorney the same day? Should you make preparations before you start the paperwork?

Like with many things in life, the answer is: it depends.

Family law firms adjusting to new rules from the new tax act

Due to changes in Missouri and nationwide made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act the deduction for alimony has been eliminated for new divorces finalized after Dec. 31, 2018. For many decades family law has been marked by a federal income tax rule that says that alimony is deductible to the payer and income to the recipient. This gave an incentive for the spouse who was making substantially more than the other spouse to provide alimony to the needier spouse while paying less in taxes in return. 

That incentive will be gone for cases settled after the end of 2018. This may also have the effect of putting some spouses who lose the deduction into a higher tax bracket so that the bite will be even more caustic to tolerate. In families where one of the spouses needs that spousal support to survive on, the wealthier spouse will still have to pay despite having lost the deduction.

Injured passengers have personal injury claims against driver

The law of negligence in Missouri generally protects an injured passenger in an auto accident by providing monetary compensation for the person's losses. The damages can be payable by one or more drivers found liable in causing the accident, including the driver of the car occupied by the injured person. The liability of the drivers for personal injury will be based on whether they drove negligently and whether that negligence was a substantial factor in causing the accident and the injuries.

These principles will come to play in regard to an accident that occurred recently on Perry County Road 842, near the intersection with Burnt Mill Road. A 19-year-old male was operating his vehicle westbound when he lost control, went off the left side of the road and crashed into a tree, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. A 17-year-old female passenger suffered serious injuries and was airlifted to a hospital in St. Louis.

Family law divorce settlement may raise important tax issues

When negotiating a divorce settlement in Missouri, litigants may face tax ramifications from property and support issues that are involved. One tax rule that impacts family law negotiations, for example, is that a sale of real estate by husband and wife that was used as a primary residence for at least two of the past five years allows for a tax exclusion up to $500,000 if filing jointly or up to $250,000 each if filing separately. Each person seeking the exclusion must prove having lived in the property as a primary residence for two out of five of the previous five years.

The residency hurdle may be problematic for some divorcing spouses. If a spouse moves out of the home, the clock will begin ticking on the five-year period that is used to compute the two years of residency. In other words, the longer the spouse is out of the home the shorter becomes the time for qualifying by proving two of the preceding five years were spent there in primary residency. Other complications may have to be considered, including temporary separations and similar deviations in determining one's eligibility.

Workers' compensation claims are reduced by safety measures

Safety is a concern for both employers and workers in Missouri industries and business entities. Deficiencies in safety at the workplace results in more injuries to workers and hence more workers' compensation claims for employers to contend with. There are several common injuries that occur at work. Safety measures to reduce the incidence of such injuries are also generally known but not always implemented.

One area of common injuries at work are slip-and-fall incidents. Some experts assert that about one-third of all workplace injuries are in this category. Serious injuries to the back, head and neck can occur, including brain injury and spinal cord damage. Generally, the number of these events can be reduced by having a system to identify all danger areas and have them repaired or placed with warning signs. Wet and slippery areas should be cleaned quickly and/or marked and roped off.

These co-parenting tips will give you peace of mind

When it comes to co-parenting, no one really knows what they're doing. Even if you attempt to do your best, it's possible you could make mistakes every now and again. Unfortunately, this is all part of a very difficult process.

With the right co-parenting tips guiding you, it's easier to put your mind at ease as you navigate the often murky waters of parenting after divorce. Here are six things to keep in mind:

  • Your ex-spouse has feelings, too: It's hard to remember, but your ex is going through the same rough time as you. This doesn't mean you should give in to all their requests, but you should keep an open mind. It's your hope that they will do the same.
  • Remain flexible at all times: For example, if the other parent requires a change to a visitation schedule one weekend, do your best to comply.
  • Pick your battles carefully: There will be times when you have no choice but to speak up, which will likely result in an argument. There will also be times when you're better off staying quiet and doing your best to avoid a battle.
  • Find a way to communicate efficiently: This is often a trial and error process. Maybe you find that talking on the phone and face to face is a bad idea, but that using text messages or email allows you to get your point across without arguing. Stick with whatever works best for the both of you.
  • Don't get in the way: When your children are spending time with their other parent, don't get in the way by showing up unexpectedly or constantly calling or texting. Respect their time together.
  • Follow the parenting agreement: Your parenting agreement is your guide to all things co-parenting. If you keep this in mind at all times, you're more likely to stay the course and avoid unnecessary disagreements.

Criminal defense follows certain patterns in drug arrests

Missouri police agencies made two different types of drug arrests recently, which allows for an explanation of some of the differences between the two. In the first matter, Callaway County deputies along with the city of Fulton Police authorities reportedly executed a drug search warrant to search the residence of a 32-year-old man. Police allege that during the search they found a felony amount of marijuana. They arrested the man for felony possession of a controlled substance; criminal defense attorneys usually follow a pattern of investigation in such arrests.

Generally, counsel will start by examining the search warrant and the circumstances under which was issued. Various critical questions must be answered to established the validity of a search warrant and whether it was properly based upon probable cause. Counsel will also examine how the police executed the warrant and whether they exceeded any constitutional boundaries in that respect.

Family law: hopelessness about the marriage may signal change

Experienced divorce attorneys in Missouri and elsewhere acquire a lot of knowledge about the dynamics of marital relationships. The conscientious family law attorney will tell certain clients to first seek marital counseling or other options prior to deciding on a divorce. There are certain telltale signs, verified by studies over the years, that indicate whether the relationship has any real hope for reconciliation.

Surprisingly, when a couple is angry or in a period of verbal arguments, there may still be hope through hard work of reviving long-term good feelings between a couple. That may require counseling or a myriad of other options that the couple can try. For example, they may benefit from a real vacation together without distractions, or the relationship may benefit by one of the spouses changing jobs where too much stress is coming from the workplace.

Personal injury damages apply to serving visibly drunk customer

A claim for damages for negligently causing personal injury may be brought by an injured victim in the Missouri courts. In the case of a deceased victim, the estate of the decedent may bring the personal injury in court. For example, an estate recently filed a claim on behalf of a father whose son was killed in an auto accident. The claim was filed against two bars, Spectators and The Mission, for knowingly serving alcohol to a male customer who later drove and caused an accident that killed the claimant's son. This is generally referred to as dram shop liability.

The complaint alleges that both establishments knowingly served the male customer while he was visibly intoxicated on the evening of Aug. 12, 2016. The owners of the bars answered reporters' questions by saying that the customer was the person at fault and he should take responsibility for his own actions. The dram shop laws are statutes in every state that define the parameters of liability of bar owners for the torts committed by drunk customers.

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Affordable Legal Services of Thomas Sandifer
225 S. Meramec Ave. Suite 925
Clayton, MO 63105

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