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Columbia, MO Truck Accident Lawyer

Published on Dec 21, 2017 at 7:08 pm in .

Columbia, MO Truck Accident Lawyer

Vehicle accidents can cause major physical and emotional trauma. A collision with a large commercial semi-truck, big rig, 18-wheeler, or tractor trailer can be even more devastating. OSHA reported that about every year, 450,000 trucks weighing above 10,000 lbs. are in crashes that cause about 5,360 fatalities and 142,000 injuries. 74 percent of the fatalities were passengers in other vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that 86 percent of fatal large truck crashes involved heavy, large trucks in 2015.

Other 2015 truck crash statistics include the following facts:

  • 116,000 people were injured.
  • 433,000 large trucks were in traffic crashes reported on by the police.
  • 4 percent increase in large truck crash fatalities from 2014, which had 3,908 deaths, and 2015 had 4,067.

If you or a loved one has been in a truck accident, you’re going to want a reliable Columbia, MO truck accident lawyer by your side. You’re trying to handle hospital bills, recovery, and getting back to work. Insurance companies might try to make you settle early and for less than what you should receive. But you don’t have to agree with this. An experienced injury attorney can help you get compensation for the damages this accident caused.

Mike Campbell, an experienced personal injury lawyer, has the skill and dedication to fight for the compensation you deserve. He’s represented people all over Missouri. In a truck accident case, you may get compensation for lost wages, your past medical expenses and in the future, pain and suffering, and emotional trauma. Your focus can return to recovering from your injuries and moving forward when you have a dependable lawyer fighting for your rights.

Demanding accountability for a tractor trailer accident will give you a voice that might have been overlooked had you not sought out your legal options. A guilty trucker or trucking agency could learn from this moment and promote safer practices. After being sued, an agency may adopt better safety protocols that put less pressure on truck drivers to drive when they’re exhausted, or they might enforce stricter hiring policies so they reduce the number of reckless truckers on the road.

What Causes Truck Accidents in Missouri?

Negligent truck drivers who make poor driving decisions can endanger everyone’s lives on the road. Reckless drivers don’t keep all their attention on the road, and don’t follow driving rules meant to keep everyone safe.

The Federal Highway Administration looked at unsafe driving acts that lead to truck-car collisions, and found some of the most common causes for accidents.

  • Distracted Driving. Using a cell phone for texting, checking social media, and even calling will steal your attention from driving. Eating, drinking, and changing the radio station also distracts you.
  • Improper Merging. Trucks need time to merge, and if the driver isn’t paying attention, they might have to slam on the brakes or make a quick decision but not have enough time for it.
  • Not Stopping at a Light or Stop Sign. Ignoring stop lights and stop signs will interfere with oncoming traffic.
  • Not Slowing Down for Construction. Road construction often creates traffic, and drivers should proceed with caution through the site. Refusing to slow down could easily cause a collision.
  • Speeding. Going too fast for the speed limit reduces the driver’s control of the vehicle and will increase the chances of an accident happening.

When you’re in a semi-truck accident and you’re not at fault, your first reaction might be to blame the truck driver. While that’s a possibility, it isn’t necessarily true in every case. The manufacturer or distributor could have made a mistake that caused the truck’s system to fail, like the brakes or the steering wheel, which caused the crash.

Avoiding Truck Accidents: 4 Crucial Blind Spots

Many people might not be aware of how many major blind spots truckers have. Knowing the blind spots on a truck could help reduce the number of truck accidents.

Trucks have four “no zones” where you shouldn’t drive. While it’s okay to be in these spots momentarily, you shouldn’t stay in a no zone for a prolonged period.

  • Front. Drivers have difficulty seeing up to 20 feet in front of their truck. If you’re driving ahead of a truck, try to put more distance between you and the truck.
  • Left Side. The driver won’t be able to see a car in the lane directly to its left. Don’t linger in this spot on the road.
  • Right Side. A truck driver’s blind spot extends to two lanes on the right side. It’s best to stay ahead of or behind the truck.
  • Back. Avoid driving within 30 feet of the back of the truck. The driver can’t see you and it takes longer for large trucks to slow down.

Because trailer tractor drivers have these blind spots, it’s best to drive with caution when you’re passing a truck on the highway.

Recovering with a Columbia Truck Accident Lawyer

After a truck accident, there will be a police report to file. The police will help determine the cause of the accident. When speaking to police, only report the facts. Guessing or trying to fill in details could affect you later. It’s also important to not apologize for the crash. Even if you weren’t at fault, you might tell someone you’re sorry, meaning that you’re sorry this happened in the first place. But, others could see this as admitting fault.

A Columbia, MO truck accident lawyer can help you and tell you what information you can provide and what you can keep to yourself. At the Law Office of Mike Campbell, we’ll look out for your best interests and answer your questions or concerns with the case. Contact our Columbia office to learn more.

Columbia, MO Negligent Security Lawyer

Published on Dec 21, 2017 at 6:33 pm in .

Columbia, MO Negligent Security Lawyer

Every day we hear about violent crimes that occur somewhere in America. In recent years, we’ve witnessed some of the worst massive violent crimes ever to happen—crimes as horrific as bombings and mass shootings that happen at public venues that are supposed to be safe. 2017’s terrible Las Vegas shooting is one such example. When tragic, violent crimes like shootings happen, many victims and family members are left with one question: “How could this tragedy have been prevented?”

There are many complicated answers to that question, but one of the most obvious has to do with the fact that public areas including businesses, corporations, schools, and entertainment venues all have a legal responsibility to keep guests safe. When businesses fail to live up to this responsibility and a violent crime occurs, it may be possible for victims and their families to file a lawsuit against the establishment. To do so, you’ll need the help of an experienced Columbia, MO negligent security lawyer.

How Negligent Security Measures Encourage Violent Crime

When we examine how and why violent crimes like shootings, bombings, or assault crimes happen, we all know, of course, that the person who caused the crime—the criminal—is 100% at fault for the incident. Shootings are caused by shooters and any type of violent crime is caused by an individual or group of attackers/perpetrators. When violent crimes occur, our laws come down hard on the criminal—and rightly so.

There’s another angle to examine after crimes of this type, however. Could actions have been taken to prevent the crime or lessen the amount of injuries and/or fatalities that resulted from it? Victims of violent crimes often find themselves asking questions like these:

  • Why wasn’t there a security guard present?
  • Why did the security team take so long to react to the incident?
  • Why weren’t there security cameras in place?
  • Why was the venue too dark to view the perpetrator?
  • Why was the perpetrator allowed to bring a weapon inside?
  • Why didn’t the venue have more than one emergency exit?

Questions like these belong to an area of law we call negligent or inadequate security law, which is one aspect of premises liability law. Premises liability laws govern business and property owners and state that they have a legal duty to make their properties and venues safe for visitors at all times. This includes keeping the area well-maintained, hiring security personnel if necessary, and taking adequate measures to ensure injuries do not happen unnecessarily.

By these laws, all businesses and entertainment venues must have adequate security measures in place including but not limited to the following:

  • Security cameras that are in working order, in the correct locations, and properly monitored.
  • Proper lighting in areas where security risks may be an issue such as entrance/exit areas, ticketing areas, hallways, stairways, lobbies, and restrooms.
  • Parking lot surveillance.
  • Item, bag, or body checks where appropriate to ensure weapons are not brought on the premises.
  • Enough properly trained security personnel to protect visitors.
  • Systems and checks in place to ensure security personnel receive background checks.
  • Multiple exit routes that can be used in an emergency.
  • Multiple emergency exit doors that can be easily accessed during an emergency.
  • Systems in place that properly inform visitors about current security measures as well as any previous criminal activity and/or history.

If a business or venue is missing any of the above security measures, they may help place guests at risk. When an entertainment venue lacks proper security personnel, for example, the venue may be unable to stop a perturbator before an attack occurs. If it lacks proper lighting, a criminal might be encouraged to lurk in a dark hallway and try and harm others or perform a robbery. If a business doesn’t disclose prior criminal activity, guests may not be prepared to deal with emergencies that arise.

These security measures are also in place to minimize the damage/injuries should an attack or violent crime occur. If a large venue such as a concert hall lacks multiple emergency exits, for example, people may panic during an emergency, run to the one exit, and be unable to exit the venue quickly. This may cause additional guests to become injured.

When a business lacks proper security measures, the owners are not only endangering guests, but they’re giving criminals the “go-ahead” to commit a crime. It’s no secret that most criminals who perform violent crimes/mass shootings do thorough research regarding an ideal location. They purposely choose venues that will have a difficult time stopping them.

Businesses and entertainment venues need to be designed, maintained, and operated with emergencies and safety as a priority. To do otherwise is simply negligent—and may be grounds for a negligent security lawsuit.

How Can a Negligent Security Lawsuit Deliver Peace of Mind?

If you or a loved one has been injured or suffered from a wrongful death in the family due to a violent crime that could have been prevented or made less severe if a business or venue had proper security measures in place, you may be able to seek financial compensation by filing a lawsuit against the venue. This compensation can be used for recovery costs, loss of wage costs, pain and suffering costs, and more.

Filing an inadequate security lawsuit will not erase a tragedy that occurred, but it may allow you and your family to receive peace of mind as well as some sort of closure. It may also encourage businesses to place a higher priority on visitor safety, potentially preventing future criminal incidents. To learn more, get in touch with Mike Campbell, Columbia, MO negligent security lawyer today.

Nursing Home Abuse

Published on Mar 15, 2017 at 6:16 pm in .

Columbia, MO Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

When we have an elderly family member who is unable to live by themselves and we cannot give them the care they need, placing them in a nursing home is sometimes the only viable option. Choosing to place a loved one in a Missouri nursing home or long term care facility isn’t a simple decision. One thing that can make that decision easier is the reassurance that they will be properly taken care of and remain safe.

Unfortunately, that reassurance isn’t guaranteed. Long term care facility nurses and employees have a legal responsibility to keep residents healthy and safe from harm, but this duty is sometimes pushed aside due to facility understaffing or budgetary concerns. Both factors can lead to negligence or elder abuse when staff members are not properly trained, supervised, or given the time to properly care for every resident.

When a nursing home fails their duty to keep our loved one safe or evidence points in the direction of abuse or neglect, we have a right to relocate our loved one to a safer environment as well as file a personal injury lawsuit against the guilty individual or facility. A successful nursing home abuse or neglect lawsuit can help a family recover—both financially and emotionally—from a tragedy that shouldn’t have occurred as well as help keep other residents safe.

To learn more about filing a lawsuit in the state of Missouri, you’ll need to contact a Columbia, MO nursing home abuse lawyer if you’re in the Columbia area. Nursing home claims are incredibly complex, but with the right type of legal aid, you and your family can gain peace of mind. First, let’s go over some facts about nursing home abuse and neglect and how it commonly occurs.

Defining Nursing Home Abuse and its Various Forms

Elder abuse and elder neglect are two different acts which both place a nursing home resident at the peril of its staff members. Both are often intertwined and exhibit many of the same symptoms.

There are also multiple types of abuse. Here’s a broad overview of the most common types of nursing home abuse and some of the symptoms which are often exhibited:

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is the most common type of abuse seen in nursing homes across the U.S. and in Missouri. It occurs when employees mistreat or mishandle residents by hitting/kicking them, bodily forcing them to do things, or improperly restraining them. Most symptoms tend to take the form of bruises, broken limbs, lacerations, or restraint marks.

Emotional and/or Mental Abuse

Not every type of abuse is physical. Emotional or mental abuse generally takes the form of verbal or non-verbal actions that cause a resident to feel afraid, anxious, or uncharacteristically depressed or withdrawn. Staff members may insult residents, humiliate them, berate them, or excessively ignore them. Common symptoms include a withdrawn nature or visible signs of fear or anxiety—especially around particular staff members.

Neglect

Nursing home neglect occurs when a resident does not receive the care they require. This may take the form of a staff member who fails to provide medical/hygiene care or when a facility doesn’t offer the correct nutritional requirements to keep a resident healthy. Failing to properly supervise a resident and protect them from wandering and harming themselves (often referred to as elopement) also counts.

Symptoms of neglect may include anything from poor hygiene to bed sores, infections, restraint marks, malnutrition, dehydration, weight loss, bruising or other evidence from falls, or over-sedation/medication. Unclean, unsanitary, or otherwise poor conditions in a nursing home may also point to neglect.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse occurs when a resident is forced to take part in unconsented sexual acts or forced photography. Symptoms may take the form of physical bruises or other signs of sexual assault.

Financial Abuse

In a situation where a nursing home resident still has control over his or her finances, financial abuse may occur if a staff member steals money from the resident or attempts to perform bank/credit card fraud.

There’s a very fine line between elder neglect and abuse. Many acts may result in criminal charges. When a nursing home abuse or neglect claim is filed against an individual or institution, that claim is separate from any criminal charges that may already be in place. Lawsuits are civil claims that give citizens and their families a way to recover compensation for their suffering.

The Basics of Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Law

According to statistics, there are over 40 million people in the United States above the age of 65. Many will need some form of assisted living whether it comes in the form of a nursing home, assisted living facility, or other type of long term care institution.

Under U.S. law, all nursing home residents have legal rights. These rights are part of a new resident’s contract and are offered upon admittance. In the state of Missouri, long term care facility residents have the following rights:

  • To be free from mental and physical abuse;
  • To be informed of their medical condition;
  • To select their own physician;
  • To participate in planning their care;
  • To refuse treatment;
  • To voice grievances;
  • To be treated with respect and dignity; and
  • To have treatments provided in privacy.

If these rights are ever violated, this is also grounds for a lawsuit.

Get Help from a Missouri Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

If at any time you feel your elderly loved one’s rights have been violated in a nursing home or witness any of the above symptoms, you should immediately call Missouri’s elder abuse hotline. You will receive assistance with relocating your loved one to a safe environment.

After that, it’s in your best interest to consider contacting a Columbia, MO nursing home abuse lawyer. Hiring a lawyer ensures that no one else is harmed or suffers at the hands of the same staff member(s) who abused or neglected your loved one. Lawsuits are powerful, impactful messages that even the wealthiest of corporations can’t ignore.

At the Law Office of Mike Campbell, we will do whatever we can to help your family through a difficult time. Working together, we can obtain justice on behalf of your loved one and keep future generations safe. Give our Columbia law office a call to learn more.

DWI Expungement

Published on May 21, 2015 at 7:52 am in .

Columbia, MO DWI Expungement Lawyer

In the state of Missouri, there are a variety of criminal offenses that can be expunged or permanently removed from your criminal record, giving you the freedom to potentially have an easier time finding employment, going back to school, or receiving other necessary privileges. One category of offenses that you may have expunged from your record involves convictions and/or guilty pleas for alcohol-related driving offenses.

In order to get an alcohol-related offense expunged from your record, you are typically required to petition or apply to the court in the county where your conviction or guilty plea occurred, requesting the court to issue an order asking the Department of Revenue to expunge all records related to your conviction. An order requesting that all of the court’s own records be expunged will additionally be filed at the same time, effectively making your conviction disappear.

If you’ve been charged with a DWI (driving while intoxicated), DUI (driving under the influence), or MIP (minor in possession or under the influence of alcohol) conviction, taking the necessary steps to file an order to have the conviction removed from your records is highly recommended and can benefit your life in a tremendous way. With the help of a skilled and knowledgeable Columbia, MO DWI expungement lawyer, you can get the freedom you need and deserve.

Facts About DWI Expungement

  • If it has been ten years since you had an alcohol-related driving offense such as a DWI or DUI on your record, you may be entitled to expunge the first and only the first DWI conviction from the court’s records and from the Department of Revenue’s records if certain conditions are met.
  • After the expungement order is issued, the effect of the order serves to restore you to the status you had before your arrest, plea, or conviction, as if they never happened.
  • You are only entitled to one expungement for an alcohol-related driving offense.

Understanding Missouri DWI Expungement Laws

For alcohol-related driving offenses such as DWI and DUI convictions, Missouri law states the following:

“After a period of not less than ten years, an individual who has pleaded guilty or has been convicted for a first alcohol-related driving offense which is a misdemeanor or a county or city ordinance violation and which is not a conviction for driving a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and who since such date has not been convicted of any other alcohol-related driving offense may apply to the court in which he or she pled guilty or was sentenced for an order to expunge from all official records all recordations of his or her arrest, plea, trial or conviction.

If the court determines, after hearing, that such person has not been convicted of any subsequent alcohol-related driving offense, has no other subsequent alcohol-related enforcement contacts as defined in section 302.525, and has no other alcohol-related driving charges or alcohol-related enforcement actions pending at the time of the hearing on the application, the court shall enter an order of expungement…” (577.054.1 R.S.Mo.)”

What does this mean for you? The law requires that you petition or “apply” to the court in the county in which you were convicted and request the court to issue an order of expungement. You are able to request the order only if the following conditions are met:

  • It has been ten (10) years since you were convicted of or pled guilty to an alcohol-related driving offense
  • The conviction or guilty plea was related to your first alcohol-related driving offense and was a misdemeanor
  • You were not convicted of or pled guilty to driving a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence
  • Since the conviction, you have not been convicted of any other alcohol-related driving offenses
  • Since the conviction or guilty plea, you have had no subsequent alcohol-related enforcement contacts and/or alcohol-related driving charges on your record or that are pending at the time of the application/petition to the court

If any of the above requirements are not met, you will not likely be able to succeed in getting your conviction expunged.

For an updated list of 2017’s DWI law changes and how the new misdemeanor offenses work in the state of Missouri, please see our recent blog.

Contacting the right Columbia, MO DWI Expungement Lawyer

As you can imagine, requesting an expungement can involve complicated work. A Columbia, MO DWI expungement lawyer will be able to argue on your behalf if a hearing is requested as well as help you file a petition that will give you the highest chance of success possible. Remember, even if you do meet all the above requirements, the final decision is always up to the court. Hiring a lawyer who is willing to speak on your behalf and talk highly of your personal conduct, etc., can make a world of difference.

If you need an alcohol-related driving conviction expunged from your record, it’s important to contact an attorney who has experience obtaining expungements. At the Law Office of Mike Campbell, Mike Campbell has had experiencing obtaining expungements and can answer any questions you may have about the process. Call our office today to learn more.

Construction And Workplace Accidents

Published on Apr 21, 2015 at 6:53 pm in .

Columbia, MO Construction and Workplace Accident Lawyer

Working construction is inherently risky. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other U.S. safety regulation groups do everything in their power to keep construction workers from getting injured on the job, but construction and workplace accidents still unfortunately happen from time to time.

Sometimes, these accidents are purely accidental and caused by user error or a simple misjudgment. Other times, construction accidents occur due to workplace or company negligence or carelessness. These accidents are 100% preventable and can and should be prevented as often as possible. These types of accidents are also often the most dangerous, potentially causing lifelong, debilitating injuries and prolonged suffering.

If you’ve been seriously injured while working at a construction site in the state of Missouri, you’ll most likely be awarded with some type of worker’s compensation benefits—regardless of who was at fault for the accident. If you’re lucky, that coverage will be enough to provide for your medical treatment and recovery costs, etc., as well as help your family recover from any lost wages. Most of the time, however, worker’s compensation benefits are not enough. If the accident wasn’t your fault, this is when you’ll want to consider speaking with a Columbia, MO construction and workplace accident lawyer.

Even if you do receive full worker’s compensation benefits, you may still be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the construction site company and/or the construction company if they were at fault for the accident. Taking this step depends upon the specific facts of your case. It is important to have an attorney review the facts and the applicable law to determine whether or not you can pursue a separate lawsuit against these third parties. Filing a lawsuit potentially increases the compensation you would receive while additionally delivering peace of mind to you and your loved ones.

Facts About Work Accident Injuries

  • If you are injured while working at a construction site, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. More information on workers’ compensation benefits can be found here.
  • Even though you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, it is important to know your rights. You may additionally be able to file a personal injury claim against the parties responsible for your injury. This means that you will not just be limited to workers’ compensation limits and benefits.
  • By filing a personal injury claim, you may be able to help change policies and procedures which can save others from a costly injury. Civil litigation across the county has affected safety regulations and procedures, making construction sites safer throughout the county.

Holding Construction Companies and Site Owners Liable

Aside from the financial implications of being involved in a serious construction workplace accident, there are also the issues of liability and accountability to consider. If, for example, the construction site was poorly maintained, had equipment that wasn’t properly taken care of, or didn’t have the correct safety measures in place, the company you work for or the owners of the construction site could legally be held accountable in court.

The above examples are instances of negligence. When construction companies and construction site owners are negligent or careless, they can and should be held accountable for accidents that occur as a result of that carelessness. If the company you work for or the construction site owners are attempting to claim they were not responsible for the accident and you know this to be untrue, you have a legal right in the United States to hire a personal injury lawyer to argue on your behalf in court.

Contacting a Columbia, MO Construction and Workplace Accident Lawyer

Taking legal action helps ensure the negligent party (the construction site owners or company owners in this case) take responsibility for their careless, wrongful actions and properly prevent future workplace accidents. By filing a personal injury claim, you may also be able to help change policies and procedures which can help save others from costly injuries. Civil litigation affects safety regulations and procedures, making construction sites safer throughout the state of Missouri.

Mike Campbell, Columbia, MO construction and workplace accident lawyer is experienced in civil litigation cases of all types that involve benefits like worker’s compensation claims which can complicate lawsuits of this nature. Mike will pursue every avenue of recovery you have available to you and will fight on your behalf tirelessly. Contact The Law Offices of Mike Campbell to learn more or receive a free case consultation.

DWI

Published on Apr 16, 2015 at 10:44 am in .

Columbia, MO DWI/DUI lawyer

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI) charges can be extremely serious. These charges can follow you for the rest of your life if they’re not handled properly, impairing your ability to have a license, become employed, or gain other vital government privileges. You can also face significant jail time and heavy fines, further limiting your ability to live a normal, productive life. If you’ve been convicted of a DUI or DWI, you need to contact a Columbia, MO DWI lawyer right away.

The sooner you contact a lawyer, the better. If you plan on contacting one, make sure to not admit to any guilt during your conviction. Remember, you have a legal right to speak to an attorney and not anyone else at this point, so take advantage of that fact and say as little as possible. Don’t agree to any tests you’re not comfortable with, and try and find a witness who can speak on your behalf if at all possible.

What You Need to Know About DWI Convictions:

  • Field sobriety tests: A police officer may ask for you to submit to multiple “field sobriety tests”, which include standing on one leg, the horizontal gaze nystagmus, reciting the alphabet, walk and turn, etc. Please know that you do not have to perform these tests. In fact, these tests are oftentimes used by police officers to prove that you are intoxicated instead of proving that you are not intoxicated. If you are asked by an officer to perform any field sobriety test, you have the right to say “no” to these tests.
  • Administrative hearings involve an initial hearing before an administrative judge, usually in the county of your arrest.
  • Your first DWI conviction might only be a misdemeanor, but it can involve lengthy license suspensions, jail time, and fines. Multiple DWI convictions can lead to a felony conviction on your record.

Understanding Missouri DWI Laws

If you are facing DWI charges in the state of Missouri, you should know there are two factors to every case:

  • The first factor involves an administrative review regarding your license suspension. In Missouri, you must request an administrative review of your DWI arrest within 15 days of your arrest. If you do not request this review, then you will receive an automatic suspension of your license. A lawyer will be able to help you complete this step in time—even if you end up getting served with jail time.
  • The other factor involves the criminal case which results from your arrest. This involves defending your case in court to fight against a conviction on your record. In addition to investigating the facts of your arrest for your administrative hearing, your criminal case may involve extensive discovery, hearings, motions, and a trial.

It’s important to remember that your rights should absolutely be defended, no matter the charges. After a DWI conviction, it can be easy to feel angry or guilty and just accept your charges at face value, but every American citizen—guilty or not—deserves a fair defense trial.

It may be possible that you were convicted unfairly, deserve a shorter sentence or less fines due to your intoxication level at the time and/or the lack of any previous convictions, or the breathalyzer tests you took part in were mishandled. DWI expungement is also a possibility depending on the specifics of your case. There are many legal opportunities available depending on the severity of your conviction.

The only way to know if any of these opportunities or conditions will apply to your case is to speak to a criminal defense lawyer and see what type of evidence is in your favor. An experienced attorney will be able to look at the evidence and argue fairly on your behalf. A successful trial can give you back your freedom and return you to your loved ones.

For an updated list of 2017’s DWI law changes and how the new misdemeanor offenses work in the state of Missouri, please see our recent blog.

Take Appropriate Action with a Columbia, MO DWI/DUI Lawyer

It’s no secret that the U.S. police system unfairly convicts innocent citizens of crimes every day. The police tend to come down extremely hard on intoxicated drivers—harder than they need to in many cases, especially those who have been convicted of their first DWI charge. If you feel you were wrongly convicted of a DWI or DUI or that your charges are too severe given your situation, you deserve a second opinion.

Don’t hesitate to speak to a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney like Mike Campbell, Columbia, MO DWI lawyer, to find out your legal options. Remember, time is of the essence regarding your license suspension. Call our offices today to learn more. If you need a license re-instatement, we can help you in that regard as well.

License Reinstatement

Published on Apr 15, 2015 at 10:44 am in .

Columbia, MO License Reinstatement Lawyer

The Missouri court of law comes down incredibly hard on drivers that have been convicted of a DWI, DUI, or any other type of alcohol or substance-related misdemeanor such as a minor in possession (MIP) conviction. Depending on how many prior offenses you’ve had and the nature of your conviction, you may have had your driver’s license suspended for a year or more. License suspensions are frustrating and can have a serious impact on your ability to provide for yourself and your family.

If you’ve had your license suspended in the state of Missouri, you should know that you do have legal options. If the suspension was issued due to having more than one driving while intoxicated (DWI) or other type of alcohol-related conviction, you may be able to petition to have your license reinstated after a certain period of time. This length of time will depend on many factors including your total suspension time as well as any prior convictions, etc.

After you file a petition in the county where you received the conviction, the court will have to review your case and current conduct and behavior to come to the conclusion that you have a high need to have your license reinstated and are working hard to prove yourself. With the help of an experienced Columbia, MO license reinstatement lawyer, you have a greater chance of successfully showcasing these facts and proving both your need for reinstatement as well as your improved conduct.

Facts You Should Know if You Need Your License Reinstated

  • Your hearing will include the court’s review of whether your “habits and conduct” show that you no longer pose a threat to the public safety of the state. This may involve questioning from the judge.
  • The court will also examine your criminal record to see if you have been found guilty of or have pending charges for any “offense related to alcohol, controlled substances, or drugs during the time of your license suspension.”
  • You should be properly prepared in advance of this hearing and it is important for you to work with an attorney who has experience in these proceedings. Hearings can be very fact intensive and involve questioning from the judge. The Law Office of Mike Campbell has handled a variety of license reinstatements and can help you fully prepare for your hearing.

Additional Requirements for License Reinstatement

If you are facing either a five or ten-year license suspension as a result of multiple DWI convictions and have completed the time necessary to seek reinstatement, then you may have to fulfill additional requirements. Your reinstatement petition should request that the court issue an order to the Missouri Department of Revenue to issue you your driver’s license. After filing the petition, the court will typically hold a hearing to determine whether the issue will be ordered.

Other requirements such as additional fines, community service, or special classes may also be issued as part of your prerequisites for having your license reinstated. These requirements tend to vary from case to case depending on the nature of your conviction, the presence of any prior convictions, and how well the hearing proceeds.

Get Help from a Proven Columbia, MO License Reinstatement Lawyer

The Law Office of Mike Campbell has a proven record of success throughout the state of Missouri in convincing the court to issue driver’s license reinstatement orders. We know what evidence to showcase and how to make your case appear more convincing during any hearings or proceedings.

It’s important to note that our office’s past history of success does not guarantee success for your specific case, but it does mean that Mike Campbell will work very hard in ensuring you are fully prepared to make your case the best it can be in order to get your driver’s license reinstated. We’ll do everything we can to help you get your life back in order. Contact our Columbia, MO office to learn more.

Dog Bites

Published on Apr 14, 2015 at 3:02 pm in .

Columbia, MO Dog Bite Lawyer

Dogs can be faithful companions and wonderful, protective pets, but depending on the breed of a dog and how it was raised, an unwatched dog can prove dangerous to humans and other animals. A dog that escapes from its owner’s yard or unexpectedly leaps over a fence when you walk by the owner’s house can attack without necessarily being provoked, causing severe injuries that can easily become infected if not promptly treated.

When a property owner has a dog they know is capable of attacking and injuring strangers, they need to do everything in their power to keep that dog under control. Their yard needs to properly contain the animal or the animal needs to be chained up and kept far away from sidewalks, etc. If the owner is present during an attack, they need to hold the dog back or command it to back off.

Animal owners are legally and financially responsible and liable for their pets. When a dog owner fails to properly contain their pet or stop it from attacking, a victim of a serious, unprovoked dog bite has a legal right to file a lawsuit against the owner. A Columbia, MO dog bite lawyer can help the victim receive the financial compensation they need to cover any medical expenses or prolonged care and make up for lost wages, emotional side effects, etc.

What to Do if You’re Bit by a Dog

Being unexpectedly attacked by a dog can be a traumatic experience. The attack may cause you to become angry and lash out against the owner, but it’s best to remain calm, get away from the dog/get to safety immediately, and proceed to do the following:

  • Identify the dog and breed, if possible. If the dog is still nearby, taking a quick photograph with your cell phone is recommended.
  • Seek immediate medical attention.
  • Contact your local health department, animal control agency, and the police station regarding the attack. These agencies will get in contact with the dog’s owner and make sure the dog can’t harm anyone else.
  • Photograph your injury and prepare a brief written documentation of the events involving the attack.
  • Contact a Columbia, MO dog bite lawyer like Mike Campbell. Contacting a lawyer as soon as possible allows them to get started on preparing evidence such as medical records, photographs, and witness statements.

Considering the Facts

It’s important to note that dog bite lawsuits can be complicated to fight in civil court. An experienced and resourceful attorney will do everything they can to fight on your behalf, but there are still some facts you’ll need to consider before you decide to open a claim. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Legally, a dog bite is considered any dog-inflicted injury to a person deliberately or otherwise.
  • Around 5 million people are bitten by dogs each year with around 800,000 of those resulting in personal injury.
  • Missouri is a statutory strict liability state which means the dog’s owner can be held liable for any injury their dog inflicts, regardless of fault or prior incident.
  • If the dog owner’s property had warning signs posted about their pet being dangerous (“Beware of Dog”, etc.), the court may argue that you were given “reasonable” warning about the attack and should have walked on the other side of the street, etc. If there were no signs posted, you don’t have to worry about this.
  • If you were trespassing on the dog owner’s property, the court may argue that the dog owner shouldn’t be held 100% liable. In this case, the judge may decide to lower your compensation award amount.
  • If the owner argues they had no idea that the dog was potentially dangerous, this may further complicate your dog bite claim. The court will proceed by further investigating the evidence at hand by examining how the dog was secured, its breed, etc.

Given the possible complications of dog bite lawsuits, having an attorney on your side who’s familiar with complicated personal injury cases can make all the difference.

Common Dog Bite Injuries

  • Puncture Wounds and Lacerations
  • Contusion and Abrasion
  • Infection
  • Amputation
  • Fractures and Dislocations
  • Mental Disturbances/PTSD

Common Dangerous Dog Breeds:

  • Pitbull
  • Rottweiler
  • German Shepherd
  • Husky
  • Malamute
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Chow-Chow

A Columbia, MO Dog Bite Lawyer Can Help

Filing a lawsuit after a serious dog bite attack can aid the recovery process as well as help you and your loved ones gain peace of mind knowing that the dog’s owner won’t let their pet harm anyone else again. Sometimes, unfortunately, it can take a traumatic event for an animal owner to realize just how dangerous their beloved pet can be.

By filing a lawsuit, you may be entitled to the following forms of compensation:

  • Medical and Mental Health Expenses
  • Loss of Work Reimbursement
  • Emotional and Physical Suffering Expenses
  • Other Expenses

Contact Mike Campbell, Columbia, MO dog bite lawyer for a risk-free consultation that’s 100% free. Our office will be glad to tell you if you have a possible case on your hands or answer any questions you may have.

 

Premises Liability

Published on Apr 14, 2015 at 2:24 pm in .

Columbia, MO Premises Liability Lawyer

In the state of Missouri, property owners can be held legally responsible for serious injuries resulting from negligent maintenance as well as a failure to warn visitors about hazardous conditions on their property. Property owners are required to keep their property up to certain safety standards which are dictated by building and property codes. When these codes aren’t met and an injury occurs, the victim can file a lawsuit against the owner with help from a Columbia, MO premises liability lawyer.

The term “premises liability” essentially refers to the fact that any property owner is held fully liable for properly maintaining their property and keeping it safe. Failure to keep the property or premises safe means they might be held financially responsible for any injuries or accidents that occur—including the costs of medical treatment, recovery treatment, and any lost wages/emotional suffering, etc.

Types of Hazardous Conditions

There’s a wide range of possible hazards and dangerous conditions that could cause a premises owner to be held liable for an accident on their property. Some of the most common unsafe conditions and hazards include the following:

  • Lighting Issues
  • Broken/Uneven Steps and Pavement
  • Poor Landscaping/Overgrown Tree Branches
  • Loose Rugs & Flooring
  • Elevator Malfunctions
  • Criminal Activity/Inadequate Security Measures
  • Cluttered Walkways
  • Unfinished Construction Sites
  • Dangerous Substances/Spills and No Warning
  • Existence of Dangerous Chemicals

Some of the places where premises liability accidents often occur including the following locations:

  • Apartment Buildings
  • Office Buildings
  • Parking Structures
  • Shopping Malls
  • Schools/Colleges
  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Nursing Homes

When a property owner notices any of the above conditions, they have a legal obligation to fix or clean up the hazard before allowing anyone to enter the area. If a fix cannot be made within a reasonable amount of time, adequate signs or a way to block off the dangerous area must be in place. Adequate lighting must also be in place to ensure the hazard is visible even in poor lighting conditions.

Many of these hazards can result in what’s commonly referred to as a “slip and fall” accident. A slip and fall accident is what happens when someone trips, stumbles, or slips on uneven ground or a hazard and seriously injures themselves on someone else’s property. Slip and fall lawsuits are one of the most common types of premises liability cases.

Negligent Security

Premises liability also covers security measures that businesses and public venues all must ensure are in place to protect visitors. When a business or entertainment venue, for example, fails to hire enough security personnel or does not have security cameras or proper lighting in place to deter criminals, that venue may be able to be held liable for injuries that occur due to a violent crime. Learn more about negligent security claims.

Thinking in Reasonable Terms

It’s important to note that both slip and fall accident and premises liability lawsuits can be incredibly complex. The term “reasonable” will come up quite often when a case is taken to litigation due to the fact that property owners can’t be expected to fix every property hazard immediately. Property owners are given a “reasonable” amount of time to apply fixes, place warning signs or blockades, or apply other preventive measures such as installing a drainage grate instead of repairing an entire roof right away.

The judge or jury will also look at other aspects of the accident scene. Was the victim given a reasonable amount of time to notice the posted signs before approaching the hazardous area? Is the lighting in the area adequate? Did the victim have a legitimate reason for being there? Is it possible that the victim was distracted while walking? In the end, it will be up to the court to decide what’s reasonable to expect of that specific property owner and that specific victim. Every case will vary for this reason, and every decision will be made using every available piece of evidence and witness testimony.

A Columbia, MO Premises Liability Lawyer You Can Trust

Due to the complicated nature of premises liability and slip and fall accident lawsuits, if you feel you have a possible case on your hands, it’s in your best interest to speak to a personal injury lawyer you can trust as soon as possible after the accident occurs. The sooner evidence can be properly gathered, the better your case’s chance of success will be.

Mike Campbell, Columbia, MO premises liability lawyer, has years of experience winning complicated legal cases and will do everything he can to help you and your loved ones receive the financial compensation you need and deserve to get back on your feet again. Contact our offices to learn more or receive a 100% free consultation.

Wrongful Death

Published on Apr 14, 2015 at 2:21 pm in .

Columbia, MO Wrongful Death Lawyer

The death of a loved one is an emotional and heart-wrenching experience that can only become more complicated when it results from the negligence or recklessness actions of another person, company, or organization. If such a tragedy occurs, you should know that you have legal options. In a situation like this, a surviving spouse or close family member is legally entitled to file a lawsuit on behalf of their loved one, potentially giving them a voice to speak against injustices that were committed.

We call this a ‘wrongful death’ lawsuit due to one simple fact: If that negligence hadn’t occurred, your loved one would still be alive. Wrongful death lawsuits can be filed for a large array of reasons and can essentially be filed when any other type of personal injury lawsuit could be filed. These claims are civil cases and entirely separate from criminal matters. To file a lawsuit, you will need the assistance of an experienced Columbia, MO wrongful death lawyer.

The Requirements of Filing a Missouri Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Wrongful death lawsuits can be quite complicated in the state of Missouri. First of all, there are very specific rules regarding who may file a wrongful death lawsuit in a Missouri courtroom. First in line are the surviving spouse, parents, or any children or grandchildren. If the deceased individual is a child, the parents will usually have to file the claim.

If the deceased loved one has no surviving spouse, parents, children, or grandchildren, a surviving sibling is then able to file a lawsuit on their behalf. If there are no siblings, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate may file the claim. Finally, if there is no personal representative, the court will appoint a “plaintiff ad litem” who can file. This individual must share in the proceeds of the claim if it’s successful.

Survivors can collect damages for their loved one’s funeral and burial expenses, any medical bills related to the deceased person’s final injuries or illness, the costs of any necessary child or elder care provided by the deceased, the value of the deceased’s wages and benefits if she/he had lived, any costs related to pain and suffering, and any costs associated with the “reasonable value of the services, consortium, companionship, comfort, instruction, guidance, training, and support” provided by the deceased individual.

Wrongful death lawsuits, like all personal injury lawsuits in the state of Missouri, must be filed within a certain date, or statute of limitations, in order to be accepted by the court. For wrongful death cases, the statute of limitations is three years from the deceased loved one’s death.

Facts About Wrongful Death Claims

  • In Missouri, a wrongful death lawsuit is usually filed by a family member of the victim. Typically these include the surviving spouse, children, parents, or grandparents.
  • If your loved one was killed by someone’s negligence, then you can seek compensation for (but not limited to): medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of companionship, pain and suffering, loss of household services, and mental anguish.
  • In a wrongful death lawsuit, the family can also seek compensation for the victim’s pain and suffering before death.

Finding Closure with the Help of a Columbia, MO Wrongful Death Lawyer

Whether your loved one died as a result of a car collision, a defective product, medical malpractice, or nursing home negligence, if you think—even for a second—that someone else was at fault for your loved one’s death, you owe it to yourself and your family to speak to an attorney experienced in handling wrongful death claims. Making that phone call may be one of the most difficult things you’ll ever do, but if your case succeeds, you could potentially help save the lives of other victims.

When individuals, institutions, and corporations such as those who run our state’s hospitals and nursing homes receive a wrongful death lawsuit, they get the message that things must change. Conditions must be made safe. Products placed on the market cannot be harmful. The health and safety of our loved ones must be made a priority. Lawsuits can also force government agencies like the FDA to step in and force regulation changes, protecting innocent citizens from harm.

A wrongful death lawsuit, unfortunately, will never bring you loved one back, but it may bring hope to future generations, enabling them to know that their loved ones are safer because people like yourself took action. If you’re interested in hearing more, don’t hesitate to call Mike Campbell, Columbia, MO wrongful death lawyer today. Our caring, compassionate staff members will be able to assist you and tell you if you have a possible case on your hands.

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