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St. Louis Legal Blog

Woman pronounced dead after industrial accident

While all jobs in Missouri and across the country have risks, anytime a person works at a job involving heavy equipment or product, the risk of injury may be even higher. Unfortunately, victims of an accident -- including surviving family members in the event of a fatality -- are often left wondering how they will cope with the fallout of an industrial accident. In fact, a family in another state may be experiencing this after a woman was reportedly killed while at work.

The incident happened during the early morning hours of a day in late January. According to reports, the 31-year-old woman was an employee of Republic Services. There were reportedly three one-ton bales of recycled material stacked on top of one another. Unfortunately, the stack is said to have destabilized, causing two to fall.

Distraction: a common reason for personal injury incidents

Distracted driving is a serious safety concern for those in Missouri and across the country. Many people choose to engage in distracting behaviors while driving, consequently putting everyone else on the road at risk for a personal injury incident. Whether it is talking on the phone, texting, eating or doing anything other than driving, all types of distracted driving are dangerous and preventable.

Despite the fact that the number of distraction-related accidents in Missouri has been on the rise, there have been few attempts to pass measures and laws to curtail the dangerous behavior. In fact, since 2014, the number of these types of accidents has risen 35 percent. However, there are a few proposed measures lawmakers are considering in this current session that could increase penalties for distracted driving.

Bias in court: Fighting biases against fathers

In today's world, there should be no bias against fathers in court. Remember, men often do just as much parenting as women. In some cases, fathers are staying at home with their children while their wives work. Often, both men and women work to support their children, alternating who provides care.

In the past, courts have looked at cases of divorce and decided that the best interests of the child would be to remain with the mother. That's not always fair or right. Beyond serious circumstances involving abuse or manipulation, there are times when a father is a more suitable parent to have primary custody.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos working toward family law solutions

While not every Missouri couple who files for divorce have assets worth $137 billion, each couple's circumstances are unique, and every spouse is entitled to negotiate a settlement that protects his or her financial interests. Some say the higher the net worth, the easier the negotiation, simply because there is more money to go around. Others say that fact can complicate family law matters, especially if financial issues get dragged into highly charged emotional fights. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, Inc., has reportedly been able to devise an amicable settlement in parting from his wife, MacKenzie, which will apparently make her one of the world's wealthiest women.

The Bezos say they want to end their marriage as friends. Perhaps this type of goal is key toward non-contentious negotiations. If both spouses agree to peacefully resolve property division, child custody and other divorce-related issues, they may be able to settle their cases without ever stepping foot inside a courtroom.

Workers' compensation covers musculoskeletal injuries

Workers in Missouri who earn their incomes in administrative positions are at risk of suffering musculoskeletal disorders. Although these injuries can cause long-term health problems, office workers might find comfort in knowing that the state-regulated workers' compensation system has their backs. The disorders that frequently form part of benefits claims include lower back injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, muscle strains and tendinitis. Muscles, blood vessels, nerves, tendons and ligaments are affected by these conditions.

Some workers are fortunate to be in ergonomically friendly environments in which the jobs fit the workers. Others are likely exposed to common risk factors that include repetition that has them performing the same motions for hours on end. These involve clicking a mouse, typing, using calculators and more. Keeping the body in a static position for long periods, such as holding the head in one position while looking at a computer screen, can lead to muscle tension and circulation problems.

Former Chipotle manager might need workers' compensation

Suffering an injury on the job is not always the result of a major accident or repeated movements, although this is likely what most people in Missouri think of in terms of work-related suffering. Many people are also at risk for instances of workplace violence. Although this is perhaps an overlooked on-the-job danger, victims may still qualify for workers' compensation.

A former Chipotle manager claims that she suffered a serious injury during a physical altercation that took place at work. On Dec. 4, 2018, one of her employees quit. However, the next day, that same employee returned to work anyway. Instead of clocking in and getting to work, the former employee confronted and then attacked the manager. The disgruntled employee was ultimately arrested for third-degree assault.

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.

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

Phone: 314-492-6955
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