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Sponsorship of Columbia Youth Basketball

Posted by: cjlaw

We are proud to announce that James Law Group, LLC has become a sponsor for the Columbia Youth Basketball Association. The Columbia Youth Basketball Association is celebrating its 22nd season in recreational youth basketball. CYBA strives to provide a resource for Columbia and Boone County children to play basketball regardless of financial means in an environment focused on the development of fundamental skills and sportsmanship. James Law Group, LLC will be sponsoring both a boys’ team and a girls’ team. We wish both teams much success in the upcoming basketball season.

Columbia Office

Posted by: cjlaw

James Law Group is proud to announce the opening of our second location in Columbia, Missouri. With offices in St. Peters and Columbia, we look forward to being able to better serve our clients’ legal needs throughout eastern and central Missouri. Columbia Office has a location that is easy to find. We are on Stadium just south of its intersection with Highway 70. Give us a call.

Case before Supreme Court

Posted by: cjlaw

Firm partner, John James, to argue a case before the Missouri Supreme Court in April, 2015 regarding a police officer’s immunity from a law suit under State and Federal law. Plaintiff has alleged that the police officer provided false and misleading information to the prosecutor and the court, which resulted in her arrest and prosecution.

Missouri bans deadly highway guardrail

Posted by: Tyler Rhodes

The Missouri Department of Transportation has banned a type of highway guardrail implicated in the deaths of at least 14 motorists, including one Missouri man.

Missouri resident Brad Abeln was killed in January after another driver swerved and pushed him into the guardrail.

According to whistleblowers, the faulty guardrail contains a steel bar that should function as a shock absorber but instead acts as a sort of bayonet, piercing through the automobile body and injuring or killing those inside. A whistleblower trial against the manufacturer, Trinity Industries, is underway in a federal court in Texas.

The New York Times has found emails showing that official concerns about the fatal consequences of the guardrail design date back to 2012. Those concerns were not made public, and states did not begin banning the guardrail until this year.

In the wake of Abeln’s death, the state of Missouri and a non-profit advocacy group commissioned a study of the guardrail. The results showed that the guardrail had a fatality rate three times higher than that of a previous design. Missouri banned future purchases of the guardrail in late September.

The federal lawsuit against Trinity Industries alleges that the company secretly changed the guardrail design to save money, and then mislead state transportation departments to hasten purchases.

Several wrongful death lawsuits have been filed in relation to the guardrail, according to Bloomberg News.

The federal case is Harman v.Trinity Industries Inc. It was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The case number is 2:12-cv-00089.

This Thanksgiving, stay safe on Black Wednesday

Posted by: Tyler Rhodes

Most Americans know about Black Friday — the day after Thanksgiving, when shoppers hit the malls and online stores to pick up huge savings on their Christmas shopping.

Fewer Americans are aware of Black Wednesday — the day before Thanksgiving. The term originated in the hospitality industry in reference to the packed bars that characterize Thanksgiving Eve. But for law enforcement, “Black Wednesday” has taken on a more sobering meaning. A spike in car crashes is fast making Thanksgiving Eve one of the year’s most deadly holidays, according to numerous advocates including Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

With folks hitting the bars after a long day of travel home, it is no wonder that Thanksgiving Eve is a dangerous day to drive.

Choose a designated driver. Remember that the designated driver does not have to be someone out with the group. Perhaps Dad, a cousin or an aunt would be willing to play taxi for the evening, helping avoid bad decisions.

Wear seat belts. Other drivers are more likely to be impaired or tired over the holidays. You can reduce your chance of catastrophic injury by wearing a seat belt. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reminds us that males are more likely than females to not wear a seat belt. Tell the men in your life to buckle up!

Make it an early night. According to MADD, many crashes happen in the early hours of Thanksgiving morning, when the last of the bar crowd is heading home. Skip the added risk and head home early.

We wish you and your family a safe and happy start to the holiday season.

More deaths and injuries linked to GM ignition switch defect

Posted by: jamadm

The independent administrator of the General Motors (GM) compensation fund has found more deaths and injuries caused by the faulty ignition switches than GM originally found on its own.

The new count includes at least six more deaths and four more injuries that GM has not acknowledged. And the independent administrator, Kenneth Feinberg, says that the number is likely to rise.

As Feinberg told the PBS NewsHour, the main reason is that the independent compensation program uses a less strict standard to evaluate claims. For example, the program includes the claims of injured or killed parties other than the driver, such as passengers or pedestrians. Also, the program does not deny claims if a secondary factor, such as speeding, contributed to the death or injury.

According to CBS News, these findings have raised major criticism aimed at GM. Some claim that this shows that GM has sought to avoid taking total responsibility for the damage caused by the faulty ignition switch. Other critics assert that the independent compensation program itself will not be able to uncover the true extent of the damage because key makes and models were excluded from consideration by the fund.

The compensation program began accepting applications this summer, and it will continue to accept applications until December 31 of this year.

Contact a personal injury lawyer the James Law Group at 636.397.2411.

Three essential steps for claiming workers’ compensation benefits

Posted by: jamadm

Obtaining workers’ compensation benefits can seem like an intimidating process, especially if your employer shows no interest in helping you with it.

The Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation recommends that you consult a lawyer if you feel confused or unsure about the process. While following a successful claim to completion can take some work, here is an overview of the the basics.

1) Report the injury or illness to your employer.
You must report your injury or illness to your employer in writing. Your employer may provide a form to you; if not, you can find one on the Missouri Department of Labor website. You must report your injury or illness within 30 days of noticing it.

The facts that you provide on this form will be crucial to the success or denial of your workers’ compensation claim. Discrepancies or omissions that are found among medical reports, accident reports, and witness statements are a major cause of claim denial.

The form that your employer provides to you may or may not have enough space for you to include all of the relevant facts. You should not hesitate to attach additional sheets if necessary.

If you are concerned about filling out your report fully and correctly — especially right after an accident — wait. You may want to have a workers compensation attorney help you. You can fill out the report a few days later if necessary and after ensuring that your pressing medical concerns are receiving the care they need.

2) Seek medical attention.
If you have a significant illness or injury that developed or occurred while you were working, seek medical help as soon as you notice the illness or injury. Be sure to explain to the doctor that your illness or injury arose at work so that he or she can gather the facts necessary to write a complete report.

You will not have to pay for medical care that you need as a result of a work-related injury. However, your employer has the right to select the doctor who treats you. Alternatively, you may see whatever doctor you wish to see if you are willing to pay out of pocket.

At this point, your employer and your doctor should both submit reports to the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation and to the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Once these reports have been processed, you may begin receiving payments.

If not, or if you feel that you are not receiving the full benefits you deserve, you will need to proceed to the next step.

3. File a workers’ compensation claim.
You will file your formal claim with the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation. The Department of Labor website provides a form, but you may need more space than the form provides. If you are unsure what information you need to include in order to succeed in obtaining different types of benefits, you should contact a workers’ compensation attorney who can provide advice based on the facts of your case.

In most cases, Missouri law provides a two-year statute of limitations for filing a workers’ compensation claim. It is usually advisable to file your claim much sooner.

Despite new bill, Missouri marijuana laws still strict

Posted by: jamadm

This summer, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed a bill that legalized some medical uses of cannabidiol (CBD) and some growing of marijuana in order to produce that oil.  

However, the new law still leaves most medical marijuana use and all recreational use prohibited in the state.

CBD is an oil that can be extracted from the leaves of marijuana plants. Medical researchers say that CBD is not psychoactive. While formal evidence of the medical efficacy of CBD is still scant, families across the United States and in Missouri insist that CBD has been effective in reducing seizure activity in severe epileptics.

The new law in Missouri will restrict usage of CBD to chronic epilepsy patients for whom three or more traditional treatments have failed. This means that in Missouri, patients with other serious illnesses, including cancer and HIV/AIDS, will still not be allowed to use cannabis.

Facilities created to grow the plants will be licensed and regulated by the state.

Earlier this year, the passage of Missouri Senate Bill 491 revised criminal penalties for illegal possession of marijuana, removing the possibility of jail time for first-time offenders possessing a small amount of the drug. However, most of Missouri’s harsh penalties for marijuana possession remain in effect, especially for major possession and repeat offenses. Moreover, the revised law does not go into effect until January 2017.

New report calls on employers to help prevent MSDs

Posted by: jamadm

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has released a new report designed to help employers prevent the development of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in their employees.

The report focuses on the ways employers can assess and correct the injury risks posed by work postures and repetitive motions.

Some of the most common and the most debilitating work injuries happen when employers fail to consider ergonomic risks as they create and review employee tasks. Among the injuries caused, MSDs stand out as a significant subgroup.

In 2013, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released a report stating that in 2012, MSDs accounted for more than one third of all workplace injuries. Of all work-related MSDs, the most common are back problems, and the report noted that shoulder-related MSDs can be the most severe.

According to BLS data, some of the workers most at risk for these injuries are nurses, nursing assistants, janitors and maintenance workers, in addition to general laborers and materials movers.

The authors of the NIOSH report note that they hope employers will use the information in the report to enhance the motion design process and to improve the review of current physical job requirements.

But legal experts agree that employees should not wait for employers to implement the safety recommendations, especially if a risky or injurious situation is already at hand. Employees who feel unsafe or physically stressed while at work can inform their employer in writing, or they may contact the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to report unsafe or unhealthful conditions anonymously.

Identifying signs of unintentional nursing home neglect

Posted by: jamadm

Nursing home neglect is not always intentional. It is easy to imagine those who would mistreat elders as malicious or unbalanced. But kind, considerate caregivers who lack training can endanger patients through inadvertent neglect.

A cheerful and pleasant caregiver does not always guarantee the safety of a long-term care resident in his or her charge. Most seniors will not report neglect or abuse, so family members should look for:

  • Poor hygiene: odors, dirty nails or skin, soiled clothing
  • Physical indicators: unusual weight loss, rashes, bedsores or other untreated medical conditions
  • Psychological indicators: strained relationship with a caregiver, emotional distress, unusual withdrawal

Anyone who suspects that a long-term care resident is being neglected should call Missouri’s Adult Abuse and Neglect Hotline at (800) 392-0210. Callers need not have proof of neglect; finding proof is the investigators’ job.

Unchecked neglect of seniors can lead to:

  • Worsening dementia
  • Learned helplessness and increased frailty
  • Sleep disturbances and depression
  • Illnesses and infections
  • Chronic conditions such as heart disease or diabetes
  • Premature death

Nursing homes are contractually obligated to provide a basic level of care. This obligation includes supplying fully trained staff and adequate resources for each patient. If staff neglects a patient, even unintentionally, the nursing home may be responsible for the damage caused.

If you know of ongoing elder neglect, report it to state authorities immediately. Other patients may be suffering in the hands of a neglectful caregiver. If you believe that nursing home neglect has harmed you or a loved one, you may be able to file a legal claim and recover compensation for the damage done.

James Law Group, LLC
14 Richmond Center Court
St. Peters, MO 63376
Boone County Office
303 N. Stadium, Suite 200
Columbia, MO 65203
Phone: 636.397.2411
Boone County Phone: 573.818.2083
Toll Free: 800.229.7112
Fax: 636.397.2799
Representing clients throughout Missouri and the greater midwest. We
have experience handling personal injury, criminal defense and worker’s
compensation cases.

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