Jackson County General Law Blog

The evolution of autonomous vehicles and consumer trust

People who live in Missouri and who are concerned about safety on the roads have good reason to be so concerned. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 37,400 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents across the United States in 2016 alone. That is a staggering number and one that should be taken seriously.

People who are pushing for the introduction of automated vehicles assert that these deaths can be reduced or even eliminated with this new technology. However, many consumers in America are not yet sure about this or ready to trust these vehicles, especially after two fatal accidents involving them took place just last year.

What are issues unmarried same sex couples face with custody?

As the state of Missouri moves to comply with the law about same-sex marriages, there are still challenges for same-sex couples in areas of family law. One such issue involves child custody. When a same-sex couple gets divorced or splits up, it can create problems when it comes to the legal side of the custody of the children involved in the relationship.

According to the American Bar Association, this is not a challenge for same-sex couples because biology comes into play as far as parental rights. A paternity test is taken to determine who the legal father is and the mother is whoever gave birth to the child. It is also not an issue for any couple who adopted a child together because the adoption sets the legal status of parenthood.

How dangerous is it to work in road construction?

As the weather begins to take a turn towards warmer temperatures in Missouri, you are sure to see road crews starting to get hard at work to fix road problems that developed over the winter. These workers do a tough job. They are out in the elements every day working to make roads safer for you. In addition, they are also in danger every day they go to work because they work alongside traffic that is flowing along at high speeds. This sets the stage for accidents, which can seriously injure or kill a road construction worker.

Safety and Health Magazine reports that from 2001 to 2016 there were 532 road construction workers killed on the job. Half of these were due to accidents with vehicles or equipment. This means that drivers were not paying attention or were careless and took the lives of about 266 people.

Which type of collision is the most dangerous?

As you probably know, motor vehicle accidents cause serious injuries every day. You would be more likely to get injured on the Missouri roadways than almost anywhere else in the state. Every problem requiring medical attention is serious, but the extent and type of your injury would usually depend on the nature of the collision involved.

The three major types of collisions are rear end, T-bone and head on. Your likelihood for sustaining certain injuries goes up or down depending on the kind of event. Of course, other factors could also contribute to your risks, such as safety precautions in your vehicle, your personal characteristics and the speed of both cars.

Alternative to a prenuptial agreement

As an engaged couple in Missouri, you may not think that you need a prenuptial agreement, whether it is because you cannot imagine getting divorced or neither of you have significant assets. However, after saying 'I do,' you may realize you made a mistake by not protecting yourself. If this is the case, do not fret because you can do a postnuptial agreement, which includes similar information as a prenup.

According to Forbes, couples may enter into a postnuptial agreement shortly after the marriage or years after tying the knot. One of the benefits of doing it a little later is you both have a better idea of what your financial issues may be, so the agreement can be more specific. Even if you never get a divorce, a postnup can help you have difficult discussions around money and assets and put you both on a similar path.

Should you adopt independently?

If you are thinking about adopting a baby in Missouri, you have a number of options. You can go through an adoption agency, but there is often a long waiting list for infants. Another option is independent adoption, in which you work directly with the birth mom. While this can be a good way to go, it is important to know the benefits and risks before deciding to go that route.

BabyCenter reports that while an independent adoption can go faster than going through an agency, an average one still takes up to 18 months, and some can take years. One of the big benefits of this type of adoption is that the adoptive parents get to know the birth mother and can develop a close relationship. However, independent adoption does come with risks. One of the major ones is there is always the chance the birth mom changes her mind before the adoption is complete. In fact, around 50% of moms back out somewhere along the pregnancy and another 20% back out after the baby is born. Keep in mind that some states allow the mother to change her mind for a certain number of days even after everyone signs the final paperwork.

How much alimony am I on the hook for?

While marriage is generally about new beginnings, divorce is more closely associated with endings. While a divorce certainly ends a marriage, some couples might still associate with one another for several reasons. Things like child custody and support keep some Missouri ex-spouses tied together for several years after, but what about alimony?

Alimony is an important part of family law with which not everyone is pleased. You might even be considering delaying your divorce because you are worried about paying spousal support. Whether you are worried about the costs or the idea of making monthly payments to an ex-spouse, try to keep some of the following in mind.

Injuries that may result from plastic surgery

What sets plastic surgery apart from other forms of surgery done in Missouri is that plastic surgery is often viewed as an elective and unnecessary procedure. However, the fact remains that plastic surgery, no matter the motivation behind it, should be conducted with the appropriate care or serious personal injury may result. According to Heathline, there are a number of health problems that can result from plastic surgery, and it is important to be aware of them.

It is not uncommon for surgeries to result in a level of scarring, a fact many people accept when they go into surgery. However, plastic surgery is intended to improve one’s appearance, so the presence of scars can be distressing if the patient is not informed beforehand of the risks. For instance, a small number of breast augmentation surgeries leave an unusually thick, red scar known as a hypertrophic scar.

Per se laws complicate your DUI arrest

Having a couple of drinks with friends may be something you look forward to every Friday or Saturday night. In fact, if you are a social drinker, you may have a pretty good idea of your limits for alcohol consumption, when to cut yourself off and when you have had too much to drive home safely. If you base these things on how you feel, you may not have an accurate idea of your risks.

In Missouri and most other states, police can arrest you for driving under the influence of alcohol solely based on your blood alcohol concentration. In other words, you may feel fine and demonstrate no impairment to your driving, but you BAC may say otherwise.

Field sobriety test inaccuracy rates

Like most people in Missouri, you have probably heard people talk about the field sobriety tests that may be used when a driver is suspected of being impaired. However, you may not fully understand what these tests are or how inaccurate they may really be. This can be important to anyone who has been charged with driving while intoxicated as they need to learn their defense options.

As explained by FieldSobrietyTests.org, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has standardized and authorized three different tests for use by law enforcement officers. Each of these tests has a known inaccuracy rate. The least accurate of all three tests requires a person to balance on one leg while counting aloud at an officer's direction. The mere use of the arms to assist with balance may contribute to a failure of this test. The accuracy rate of this test is 65 percent.

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