Jackson County General Law Blog

The high cost of a drunk driving conviction

While it is no secret that a Missouri drunk driving conviction is a serious offense, many state residents do not fully understand the true, comprehensive costs associated with this type of crime. At Kelly, Symonds & Reed, LLC, we have a firm understanding of just how much a driving under the influence conviction can cost you in the long run, and we have helped many clients facing similar circumstances defend themselves against such charges.

According to BACTrack, a DUI conviction can wind up costing you considerably more than you might think. In addition to taking an emotional toll on you, a DUI conviction comes with a tremendously high price tag, and fines directly linked with your conviction, though considerable, are not the only expenses you may have to worry about.

Recognizing signs of nursing home abuse

As someone who has a parent or other elder loved one living in a Missouri nursing home or similar type of continuing care facility, you probably want to believe that your family member is receiving the highest quality of care and attention while there. Unfortunately, however, this is not the case at many American nursing homes, with many facility residents nationwide experiencing emotional, physical or financial abuse at the hands of those entrusted to care for them. At Kelly, Symonds & Reed, LLC, we know all too well just how common abuse and neglect are at today’s nursing homes, and we have helped many people who feared their loved ones were suffering seek answers.

According to the National Council on Aging, hundreds of thousands of Americans over the age of 60 suffer abuse every year, much of which occurs in nursing home environments. While you cannot watch your loved one all day, every day, there are certain red flags you can look for during your visits that may indicate a serious problem at a facility.

Is your spouse keeping financial secrets?

If you say that, on occasion, you haven't been completely honest with your spouse about money, you likely wouldn't be the only person in Missouri to admit such indiscretion. Perhaps you spent a bit more than you and your spouse had agreed upon and you were worried that he or she would be angry with you if you told the truth. While dishonesty is never advisable in a marriage, it is not uncommon for spouses to tell each other half-truths or small fabrications when they are trying to avoid an argument.  

That's quite different, however, from situations where a spouse is being completely financially dishonest on a regular basis. In fact, there are several types of financial secrets that often cause serious enough marital problems that one of the spouses involved files for divorce. If you are currently considering such action, you may want to start formulating a plan for your future. You might also want to research what type of support resources are available in your area.  

Nationally, 2 percent of road deaths occur in construction zones

Missouri’s roadways are constantly undergoing maintenance and expansion, and while, in time, these efforts may improve conditions for state residents, they can also pose a serious threat for the motoring public. At Kelly, Symonds & Reed, LLC, we recognize just how frequently road construction is a factor in auto accidents and associated injuries and fatalities, and we have helped many clients injured in construction-related auto accidents pursue solutions that fit their needs.

Per the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, construction zone crashes are a very real problem in America nowadays, with 70 work zone crashes resulting in injury taking place across the nation every day. In fact, a construction zone crash happens every 5.4 minutes in this country, with more than a quarter of all work zone crashes in 2015 resulting in at least one injury.

Can a cheating spouse affect your divorce case?

No one wants to learn that the person considered the love of his or her life has committed adultery. Unfortunately, you found yourself in this situation. Now, you face a great deal of confusion and emotional turmoil, and you will likely need to decide how you want to approach your future, especially if you are considering divorce.

While some people have the ability to face marital issues -- like an affair -- head-on and come out on the other side as a stronger couple, you may not feel that your situation will work that way. In fact, your spouse may even want to end the marriage in order to start a new relationship with someone else. This information may seem hurtful, but you may wonder whether it could work to your advantage in divorce proceedings.

What types of matters can you address in a parenting plan?

Navigating your way through a Missouri divorce takes strength and patience, and rarely does the process prove easy. While learning to live without someone who used to sleep by your side involves some readjusting of your life and priorities, so, too, does learning to live with your children in your own home only part of the time. It is virtually inevitable that you and your former spouse will butt heads from time to time when it comes to co-parenting your shared children. However, you may be able to set guidelines that help you both adjust to your new living arrangements by creating what is known as a parenting plan.

Per Psychology Today, a parenting plan is, at its core, a mutual agreement between you and your child’s other parent that dictates how the two of you plan to handle any number of different scenarios. For example, many separated or divorced parents rely on parenting plans to stipulate when they have their children and how they plan to handle pick-ups and drop-offs. Additionally, many parenting plans also set guidelines as to who gets the children on holidays, birthdays and so on.

How understaffed nursing homes endanger residents

Entrusting someone else with providing care for an elder loved one is always difficult, but it can prove far easier if you have confidence in the quality of care your loved one is receiving at his or her new Missouri residence. Unfortunately, however, understaffing issues plague many American nursing homes and continuing care facilities, and when such residences have inadequate staff, facility residents typically suffer the consequences. At Kelly, Symonds & Reed, LLC, we have seen firsthand the link between nursing home understaffing and insufficient care, and we have helped many residents and family members of residents who suffered injury at nursing homes pursue appropriate recourse.

According to AARP, a review of records from about 14,000 American nursing homes revealed that understaffing issues are chronic at many such facilities, and that the problem tends to worsen considerably on weekends. As you can imagine, most nursing home and continuing care facility residents live in such places because they can no longer appropriately provide care for themselves, but when there are not enough staff members to do so, either, numerous problems can result.

What to know about filing taxes after divorce

If you are a recently divorced Missouri resident, your life may be undergoing considerable change. You may, for example, be adjusting to living in a new place, or you may find yourself grappling with having your children in your home only part of the time, as opposed to all the time. Divorce brings with it inevitable change, and while this holds true with regard to family relationships, it also holds true when it comes time to file your taxes.

Per H&R Block, a major life event such as divorce is going to have a significant impact on how you file your taxes. There are, however, certain steps you can take to reduce the chance of making tax errors on your annual return, which can lead to fines as well as unwanted attention from the Internal Revenue Service.

Bicycle accidents and brain injury: by the numbers

If you, like so many others across Missouri, rely on your bicycle as a form of transportation or recreation, you may exercise care every time you ride, making sure to obey traffic laws and wear a helmet on every trip. Motorists who share the roadway with you may not always be so careful, however, and when bikes and cars collide, bicyclists frequently find themselves on the losing end. At Kelly, Symonds & Reed, LLC, we understand that bike accidents often lead to brain injury, and we have helped many people who either suffered injury, or had a loved one suffer injury, due to someone else’s negligence.

Per Reuters, a survey of recent data involving bike accidents and brain injury revealed that, of 6,267 people who sought treatment for a bike-related injury that caused bleeding in the skull, more than 3,130 suffered severe traumatic brain injuries, and another 3 percent lost their lives. Additionally, only about a quarter of those referenced in the survey had bike helmets on at the time of their crashes.

How can you reinstate driving privileges in Missouri?

If you are a Missouri resident who has lost his or her license because of driving under the influence conviction or another reason, you must take certain steps in order to get your driving privileges back and resume life as you know it. Not having a license can present clear obstacles with regard to finding and maintaining employment, so many offenders who lose their licenses wish to get them back as soon as possible.

According to the Missouri Department of Revenue, there are certain actions you must take if you wish to get your driver’s license back following a suspension, revocation or denial. The first step you should take involves determining exactly why you lost your license in the first place. You can do so either by reviewing the contents of your driving record, or checking the letter you received when you lost your license.

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Lee's Summit, MO 64063

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