Articles Posted in Personal Injury

4787077008_b3ae94a463_s.jpgMissourians are approaching the Fourth of July Holiday weekend, and everyone at Ponder Zimmermann hopes that everyone enjoys an accident-free weekend. Higher levels of traffic can lead to auto accidents, and boating safety is extremely important as thousands of Missourians head to this state’s rivers and lakes. The Missouri Highway Patrol issued this statement concerning boating safety. St. Louis and the surrounding areas have experienced a lot of high water and flooding this spring and summer, so it is especially important to be cautious this summer while having fun on the water.

Another safety concern over the holiday weekend is firework safety. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued these warnings concerning firework safety.

Everyone has heard the criticism and attacks on trial lawyers and victims of personal injuries who sue when they are injured. People often cite trial lawyers and victims who bring a lawsuit as a drain on business and call such lawsuits “frivolous.” However, if you’ve ever been injured because of the fault of another, you know your lawsuit is not “frivolous.” And unfortunately, the victim’s side of the story is often not told. However, a new film is about to premier on HBO that tells a victim’s side of the story.

HBO will show a documentary entitled “Hot Coffee” on June 27, 2011. This movie tells the tale of the most famous personal injury lawsuit of all time–the lady who spilled her McDonald’s hot coffee on her lap. This movie will be eye-opening for many who have been taught to believe that all personal injury lawsuits are frivolous and are just brought by people who are greedy and seeking a jack-pot win.

surgeon 2.jpgI was recently contacted by an individual who had endured significant complications following a surgical procedure. It turns out this individual’s doctor allowed another doctor to perform the surgery without obtaining consent from the patient. In fact, the patient had not met or even heard the doctor’s name until several weeks after the surgery, when complications began to arise. Moreover, the doctor who actually performed the surgery was much less experienced than the original doctor.

Believe it or not, this happens often. It is referred to as ghost surgery. There are obvious concerns with this practice, one of which is the lack of informed consent. In Missouri, physicians are required to obtain a patient’s informed consent prior to performing a surgical procedure, with the exception of emergencies. The identity of the surgeon is crucial to informed consent. Failing to obtain proper informed consent may open the surgeon up to liability for medical malpractice.

If you have been the victim of a ghost surgery, contact the lawyers at Ponder Zimmermann LLC.

Ford.jpgThe Missouri Supreme Court issued an opinion on January 25, 2011 in Moore v. Ford Motor Company, regarding whether Ford failed to properly warn consumers about the possibility of seat collapse when its Ford Explorer vehicles are involved in an accident, especially for people who are larger.

Ms. Moore was six feet tall and 300 pounds, and was involved in an accident where her seat collapsed. She was injured, and left a paraplegic. The Missouri Supreme Court found that the trial court erred in awarding a directed verdict in this case and found Plaintiff made a submissible case that the Explorer had potential dangers, and that Ford failed to warn of those dangers.

grocery store.jpgA Missouri jury recently entered a verdict in favor of Debra Belliveau in her personal injury lawsuit failed against HAC, Inc. The verdict was for $600,000, and the jury assessed 70% fault to the defendant and 30% fault to the plaintiff. Hence, the award was reduced to $420,000. Belliveau fell while entering a Price Chopper grocery store in St. Joseph, Missouri, causing a burst fracture in her back requiring fusion surgery. She claimed the store created a dangerous condition because it was a rainy day and store employees aligned the floor mats at the store entrance in such a way as to leave a slippery tile area exposed.

car in water.jpgTwo Missouri men started the new year off with a bang when they were involved in a car accident whereby the car they were driving slipped off the Earth City Expressway and landed in a pond on Monday morning. Neither of the men were hurt, and both made it to shore. The police say the driver may have been going too fast.

green light.jpgLast week a St. Louis County jury returned a $75,000 verdict for the plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit arising out an auto accident. The car accident occurred in April, 2007. The plaintiff, Valjean Lewis, was traveling in a taxi when the driver turned left at an intersection and was struck by an oncoming vehicle. The plaintiff’s attorney, Amanda Murphy, argued the driver did not have the right of way to turn left, as there was not a green arrow, which was required at that intersection. The taxi driver was not present at the trial.

county courthouse.jpgA Sunset Hills, Missouri woman, police officer Christine Miller, was involved in a deadly car accident in March 2009 that left 4 people dead. She faces criminal charges based on the accident. Miller had been drinking when she drove in the opposite direction of traffic, hitting another car head-on. She faces 4 counts of involuntary manslaughter and one count of 2nd degree assault, and she is expected to plead guilty today in St. Louis County Circuit Court.

Miller had previously been involved in a wrongful death case stemming from the accident, which settled earlier this year. For more on this story, click here.

Car Accident.jpgA St. Louis jury recently returned a verdict for $3,000,000 in favor of the plaintiff in a car accident case. The case was brought by Alnita Smiley against the City of St. Louis. Smiley alleged that a city truck turned in front of her causing her to swerve her vehicle and strike several parked cars. She further alleged that she suffered severe and permanent injuries in the accident, including a head injury, broken ribs, and several broken vertebrae. The City’s attorney has filed a motion seeking a reduction of the verdict.

Thumbnail image for st. charles courthouse.jpgA St. Charles, Missouri driver who suffered from severe pelvis and knee fractures as a result of an auto accident has settled with the other driver for $1.15 million. Marilyn Leach was driving along the road in St. Charles when she was hit head-on by 17-year old Cody Bernat, who was driving 50 mph in a 25 mph zone. Bernat and his friends were not seriously injured, but Leach was seriously injured, as her lower body was flattened beneath the dashboard and her upper body hit her steering wheel so hard the steering wheel broke it in two. Bernat had crossed the center line, and received a ticket for the accident.

After multiple surgeries, Leach’s injuries require that she now walk with a cane. She was an assistant manager in a fast food restaurant, but can no longer work. Bernat was covered under his father’s $1 million umbrella policy. Leach did not have health insurance at the time of the accident.
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