Archive for the ‘Car Accidents’ Category

Poor Road Conditions Cause Serious Accidents in Kansas City

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

There are a number of reasons why auto accidents occur.  However, many people don’t realize that poorly designed and improperly maintained roads lead to thousands of serious car, truck and motorcycle accidents throughout theUnited States.  With respect to poorly designed roads, have you ever avoided a specific intersection with a reputation in town for being an accident hazard?  Or, have you ever read the editorial section of your local newspaper where people are screaming for something to be done about the poorly designed merger lanes on your local highway?  For several reasons, poor roadway design can lead to an increased incidence of auto accidents, such as by (i) making it difficult to see other drivers or pedestrians, (ii) having inadequate or confusing signs and signals, (iii) not being properly lit at night, (iv) having uneven or inadequate surface material, or (v) containing roadway material that creates hazardous driving conditions during inclement weather.

Not only can poor roadway design be hazardous, the failure to properly maintain a road can also be a major factor in causing an accident.  Have you ever driven on a road that has more holes on it than a piece of Swiss cheese wondering for years why it has never been repaired?  Or, have you ever been involved in an accident because the state transportation department failed to properly clear ice and snow on the roadways in your town?  Whether it be the existence of potholes, poorly maintained trees and bushes that obstruct driver visibility, or areas – due to disrepair – that are susceptible to flooding, these conditions can lead to serious, and fatal, car accidents.

It may be difficult to pursue a claim for poorly designed and/or inadequately maintained roads, given that most roads are public.  As such, a defense of “governmental immunity”, defined as an exemption to liability when a suit is brought against a government without their consent, may be available when claims arise due to the government’s failure to take action to either prevent or address the alleged hazardous condition. Issues of improper notice may also be raised, given that the governmental entity may claim that they are either unaware of the dangerous condition, or have not had adequate time to respond to address the safety concerns.

In dealing with car accident claims against local and/or state governments, it is crucial to speak with aKansas City personal injury attorney who is familiar with the defense of sovereign immunity and how to properly challenge it.  At the Law Offices of Roger W. Mclean, our skilled auto accident lawyers have the knowledge and experience necessary to handle any case, no matter how challenging or complex.  When facing personal injuries, don’t take chances with attorneys who promise results yet lack the skills necessary to deliver them. Call our office now at (913) 281-3221 to schedule your free confidential case evaluation.

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The Rise of Prescription/Over-the-Counter Drug Use & Impaired Driving

Monday, June 18th, 2012

While alcohol related car accidents still remain the most prosecuted impaired driving cases in the United States, prescription/over-the-counter drug use and related crashes are reportedly on the rise, and in some states, far surpassing cocaine and marijuana related cases.  Across the country, police officers, prosecutors and families of victims killed by drivers under the influence of drugs are seeing the results of easy access to prescription medications.  Anti-anxiety drugs such as Xanax are most the commonly found prescription drugs involved in deadly crashes, followed by oxycodone, a powerful pain reliever.  These prescription drugs and even some over-the-counter drugs, such as Benadryl, have similarly dangerous effects, as does alcohol, on the brain and/or central nervous system and may significantly impair your judgment and driving ability.  People, especially those who obtain prescription drugs illegally, are not always familiar with the whole host of side effects associated with them, which can have deadly consequences. Moreover, many recreational prescription drug users, a growing number of whom are teenagers, often combine them with alcohol, which can magnify their effects and leave them seriously impaired, especially when behind the wheel.

Although most people equate driving while impaired as resulting from alcohol consumption, drivers who are under the influence of drugs, including prescription medications, can nonetheless face severe penalties if they cause a car accident.  For example, in Missouri, intoxicated driving includes driving while under the influence of drugs, or “DUID”, which carries with it no legal limit.  Meaning, any amount of drugs that impair your ability to drive is sufficient for a DUID conviction.  Drivers under the influence of drugs who cause an accident, especially an accident involving injury or death, could face stiff penalties, including felony manslaughter charges. Otherwise stated, drug impaired driving in Kansas is an offense as serious as a DWI charge and brings with it the same criminal and administrative penalties, which may include jail time and having your license revoked.  In light of Kansas’s “Implied Consent” law, police officers do not need your permission to test your breath, blood, urine or, saliva for traces of drugs and/or alcohol.  Just as with a DWI offense, if you refuse to be tested, your driver’s license will be revoked for 1 year.  Moreover, these charges, depending upon several factors, may even permanently stay on your driving record, which can have serious consequences for those that are seeking to go to college or even to pursue a professional career.

  If you have been involved in a car accident involving a DUID charge in Kansas, it is essential to speak with an attorney who can advise you further as to what your rights and responsibilities are and also, what the next steps are in either bringing forth or defending against a DUID charge. 

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