State Laws and Divorce

Recently the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that state laws were not followed when the parental and child custody rights of a Guatemalan mother were terminated by a lower court. The Guatemalan mother was arrested during an immigration raid and her young son was adopted by an American couple. The decision of the state Supreme Court did not automatically return the boy back to the mother. Instead the court ruled that a new trial should be heard regarding the mother’s parental rights.

The facts of the case began when the Guatemalan mother was obtained during an immigration raid at a poultry plant in Missouri. The mother was arrested for aggravated identity theft and served two years in prison for the charge. Before the arrest a local couple had helped the mother and her family care for the mother’s 1 year old child. After the mother was arrested the local couple contacted another couple about adopting the mother’s son. A lower court awarded custody of the child to the couple.

After the mother was released she began her fight to regain her custody and parental rights. The mother was not deported after serving her sentence so that she could challenge the adoption.

In court, the attorney representing the couple argued that the mother’s parental rights were properly terminated because she stopped providing for her son and did not try to maintain contact with him. The mother’s attorney argued that the mother did not have proper legal representation and that the mother did not abandon her child. A criminal defense attorney in Louisiana knows the ins and outs of these laws.

Fatal Crashed and Weather

A blast of winter weather crippled parts of Louisiana this past weekend, leaving roads coated with sleet and freezing rain. These wintry conditions are making travel difficult, causing a number of car accidents, including some fender-benders, as well as serious collisions.

Just north of Shreveport, a pedestrian was injured in a three-vehicle accident caused by the icy roads. In a separate incident, a 30-year-old woman was traveling westbound on I-20 in Webster Parish when she lost control of her vehicle and slid down an embankment, ultimately colliding with a tree. While the injured pedestrian is expected to recover, the 30-year-old woman suffered fatal injuries in her crash.

The problem that arises with driving on roads covered with sleet and freezing rain is that the friction between the road surface and a vehicle’s tires is significantly reduced. Typically, a more experienced motorist will immediately feel the difference and make some necessary adjustments.

However, many drivers underestimate the dangers of driving on icy roads. From inexperience, habit or over-confidence, they may fail to adjust to the road conditions and continue to drive as they normally do. Further, distractions such as texting or talking on a cell phone increase the dangers. Together, these factors can lead to longer braking response time, skidding and an increased chance of being involved in an accident.

Sometimes even the most cautious drivers lose control of their vehicles on icy roads and cause accidents. However, many of these types of collisions are caused by drivers who failed to adjust for dangerous road conditions. Drivers who are traveling too fast for weather conditions or are not paying proper attention to the roadways should be held accountable for any serious or fatal car accidents they cause. Yuma auto accident attorneys are ready and willing to handle these cases.



Hit-and-run causes chaos on I-4

Two lives were lost and even more were forever changed early this past Sunday morning in a hit-and-run. The incident started as a motorcycle accident which occurred at approximately 4:30 in the morning on Oct. 16, 2011.

A 2007 Ford Explorer was traveling on Interstate 4 between Interstate 95 and State Road 44. It came up behind the motorcycle and stuck it in the back end. The motorcycle rider and 32-year-old female passenger were ejected from the vehicle. After the case was looked at by a Boca Raton DUI attorney, more news surfaced.

The motorcycle and the passenger skidded across the highway and came to a rest on the shoulder. The motorcycle rider landed in the middle of the highway and was run over by two oncoming vehicles whose drivers were unable to stop in time to avoid the accident victim.

A fifth vehicle was able to take evasive measures, but the speed at which they were taken caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle. It struck a tree along the roadside and burst into flames. All passengers in the car were able to get out on time. The motorcycle rider died at the scene. The passenger later died as a result of the injuries sustained in the accident.

Highway Patrol reported that the two vehicles who ran over the victim stopped and remained on the scene to assist with the investigation. The driver of the Ford Explorer fled the scene. A woman was found with the Explorer approximately 5 miles away. Investigators have not confirmed whether she was the driver but reported that she remains a “person of interest.”

If you need an accident lawyer in Ohio, don’t hesitate to contact one.

Railroad Crossings can be Dangerous

Summer is a busy time. It’s the time of year when many bicyclists, as well as pedestrians and others, are active on the roads. There are also many families traveling for their summer vacation. Many times these individuals will have to deal with a railroad crossing. Too often individuals believe a train accident can’t happen if there are no flashing lights. The reality is many railroad crossings are unguarded. It is possible for a railroad crossing to have lights or gates that are no working properly and more.

Catastrophic Injuries 
Accidents involving trains at railroad crossings result in people experiencing catastrophic injuries. This is the case if an individual is injured while crossing in a car or as a pedestrian. When a train runs into a vehicle like a truck, car or SUV, the accident is loud and severe. In most cases, the deaths resulting from these accidents are able to be prevented. In the past decade, there have been over 29,000 collisions that have occurred at railroad crossings. These collisions have resulted in more than 3,590 deaths.

National Statistics 
Operation Lifesaver is a national, non-profit organization. They provide an education and awareness program designed to end the horrible collisions that cause injuries and fatalities at railroad rights of way and highway-rail grade crossings. According to Operation Lifesaver, over 2,100 vehicle collisions occurred between trains and vehicles in 2017. Over 74 percent of these accidents happened at railroad crossings less than 25 miles away from a victim’s home. Approximately 50 percent of the collisions between vehicles and trains happen at crossings with active warning devices in place. This includes bells, lights, and gates.

There are many different causes for the collisions that occur at railroad crossings. Some are the result of defective warnings devices like lights, gates or bells. It’s also possible for a train to not use its’ whistle when approaching a crossing. Accidents have occurred because crossings have not been properly maintained. Foliage, overgrown trees, and other vegetation have obstructed the views of oncoming trains. It’s also possible for trains to be improperly parked at a crossing and prevent those in a crossing from seeing them. Accidents have also occurred from improper sight lines that make it impossible for a driver to see a moving train until it’s too late.

Most Dangerous States 
These are the states that experience the most fatalities at railroad crossings.

* Missouri
* Illinois
* Alabama
* Florida
* Ohio
* California
* Mississippi
* Indiana
* Louisiana
* Texas

It is the responsibility of a railroad company to make certain the warning systems at a train crossing are active and working properly. There are many times when the negligence of a rail company has resulted in a serious accident. Railroad companies have permitted grass, weeds and other vegetation to become overgrown near railroad crossings. This combined with lights that do not activate properly have produced tragic results.

Driving in the summer can be done safely when a railroad crossing is approached with caution. Drivers need to always be cautious and behave as if the safety equipment at the rail crossing is not operating properly or else they’ll end up needing personal injury lawyers like Baker and Zimmerman. Extra caution needs to be taken when there is significant vegetation or any type of distraction at a railroad crossing. A driver needs to check each direction several times before going across a rail crossing.