Jackson County General Law Blog

Construction workers at high risk for back injuries

We represent many injured construction workers here at Kelly, Symonds & Reed, LLC, in Missouri. Consequently, we know as well as you do that when you work construction, you put your back at risk for injury each and every day. The nature of your job requires you to constantly lift, carry, move and otherwise deal with heavy equipment and materials, many of which are also bulky and unwieldy.

It likely will not surprise you to learn that construction workers face the highest risk of back injuries of any other worker group. Your risk is especially high if you work as one of the following:

  • Stonemason or bricklayer
  • Jackhammer operator
  • Roofer
  • Floor or wall tile installer
  • Drywall installer

How seriously can a car crash burn you?

Now that Old Man Winter has hit Missouri with a vengeance, car accidents are up and power lines are down. This makes for a deadly combination that can result in your suffering catastrophic burns should you become involved in a fiery crash.

Unfortunately, the relatively small interior of your vehicle, whether you drive a compact or an SUV, added to the many surfaces and fluids in and around it that can become hot enough to severely burn you, provide a perfect storm for your receiving severe burns in a winter car crash.

Have millennial drivers earned their bad reputation?

Millennials nowadays have a reputation for being lazy, entitled and unreliable, and while some of these claims are likely without much merit, there is one area in which it seems they have earned their bad reputation: on the road. Millennial drivers across Missouri and the rest of the country are so bad, in fact, that the vast majority of them admit to taking unnecessary risks behind the wheel. When they do so, however, they endanger themselves and everyone else who crosses their path.

According to USA Today, an alarming 88 percent of American motorists between the ages of 19 and 24 admit to engaging in risky behaviors while driving. Many of them are also frequent offenders, with some admitting to performing certain dangerous driving actions within the past 30 days. Just what types of risky driving behaviors are today’s millennial motorists adopting?

What to expect at a Missouri child support modification hearing

When you have a child support arrangement in place in Missouri, a time may come when the party either paying or receiving support has reason to request a child support modification to change the amount paid or received. If the party paying the support objects to the requested change, the next step may involve having both of you attend a child support modification hearing. At Kelly, Symonds & Reed, LLC, we have helped many clients both requesting and contesting child support modifications, and our broad knowledge of the system and process have helped many people facing similar circumstances pursue solutions that fit their needs.

Per the Missouri Courts, you will need to provide certain documentation when your child support modification hearing takes place, furnishing items that include a Parenting Plan, Form 14, and the proposed Judgment of Modification of Child Custody and/or Support. You will also need to contact the clerk’s office directly to make sure the court has everything it needs from you in advance of the event.

How points for traffic tickets can affect your driving privileges

Most drivers find themselves in situations where officers have issued traffic tickets to them for various reasons. Officers may have accused a driver of driving over the speed limit, failing to stop at a stop sign, running a red light, failing to yield or several other possible traffic violations. While many people do not consider traffic tickets serious, they can have a significant impact on your driving record.

In Missouri, tickets can lead to points on your driving record. When accumulated to certain numbers and within certain periods of time, these points could have serious repercussions. Having information on the point system may have you taking traffic tickets more seriously.

If you have to get out, prepare for driving on winter roads

Though the holiday season is winding down, the winter weather is here to stay in Missouri for some time. You may not mind the cold and enjoy the occasional snowfall, but you undoubtedly know that winter weather is not always the stark beauty that it can be. In fact, having to drive in winter weather can present plenty of hazards.

Though the best way to avoid a car accident due to inclement weather is to stay off the road, that option is not always feasible due to certain obligations. As a result, you need to get behind the wheel and travel the roads, which may understandably make you a bit nervous. Fortunately, you can help yourself increase your safety when having to get out.

How children can benefit from joint-custody arrangements

For many divorced Missouri parents, hearing the term “joint-custody arrangement” can conjure up feelings of sadness, loneliness and depression. When you are in the habit of having your children sleep in the same home as you every night and this suddenly changes, it can prove to be quite an adjustment. At Kelly, Symonds & Reed, LLC, we recognize that it may help you to know that joint-custody arrangements can actually prove highly advantageous for children of divorce, and we have helped many divorcing Missourians navigate custody and related issues.

According to Time, children of divorce who live in both parents’ homes tend to fare better in numerous areas than their peers who are also children of divorce, but who live only with one parent or the other. For starters, children whose parents have joint-custody arrangements tend to fare better physically, with kids in this group proving less likely to report suffering from stomachaches, headaches or sleeping issues.

How much does a Missouri DUI affect auto insurance rates?

When a judge or jury convicts you of drinking and driving in Missouri, you can expect that your life will become exponentially more difficult in numerous ways. While a DUI can make it hard to find a job, hold down a job and otherwise keep up with your responsibilities, it can also prove tremendously expensive once you factor in fines, possible ignition interlock requirements and insurance rate hikes, among related expenses.

According to Insure.com, you can anticipate that your auto insurance rates will rise sharply if you have a conviction for a DUI on your record. Why? Automotive insurance companies will see you as more of a “gamble” after a DUI, meaning they view you as a potential liability and will expect you to pay accordingly. So, how much of an insurance hike might you expect after a DUI?

Study: Joint-parenting may be best for kids

Going through a divorce can be an emotional process, especially when there are kids involved. Children may go from living with the emotional and financial support of both parents, to residing in a single-parent household. Furthermore, they may get limited to no time with their other parent. A study published in the Journal of Family Psychology found that children who are raised in joint-custody situations may experience benefits when compared to children who reside in sole-custody arrangements.

During the study, researchers looked at children in sole-custody, joint-custody and in-tact family arrangements. They found that kids who were raised in joint-custody had a higher self-esteem, exhibited fewer behavioral problems and had stronger family relationships than those who were brought up in sole-custody households. In addition, kids who are able to spend a significant amount of time with both parents did better in school and had better careers. It may be because parents in joint-custody situations generally have a better parenting relationship, which causes less stress for the children.

How manslaughter is defined in Missouri

When one person is accused of killing another, law enforcement usually attempts to determine whether the killing was intentional or an act of negligence or recklessness. An intentional act of murder comes with higher penalties than those for an accidental killing. However, any criminal charge resulting from a fatality is serious in Missouri, regardless of the circumstances.

According to FindLaw, an unintentional but criminally reckless or negligent death can be classified as manslaughter in Missouri. Manslaughter degrees can vary. For example, the charges for a fatality that occurred after a bar fight, in which one person meant to harm the other but not to kill him, would be more serious than manslaughter charges against a person for running a red light and causing a fatal car accident.

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