TOP 50: 2016 KANSAS CITY SUPER LAWYERS
– Missouri Lawyer’s Weekly
Award Winning Service
Recognized as Kansas City’s best lawyers.
Boutique law firm with national practice.
Restricted caseload & select clients.
Managed by attorneys, not assistants.
If no recovery, you pay no fee.
We advance all litigation expenses.
Ours is a boutique Kansas City law firm with a national practice founded on the principle that the best legal representation comes from lawyers who specialize in injury cases – from truck, motorcycle and car accidents, to train accidents, employment discrimination, civil rights and excessive force cases. The approach has allowed us to become knowledgeable and reputable in the field.
Our attorneys are consistently recognized by their peers and industry publications as the Kansas City Business Journal and Lawyer’s Weekly as some of Kansas City’s best lawyers.
Most of the railroad grade crossings in the United States are “unprotected,” which means the crossing lacks flashing lights or automatic gates and the only warning may be a crossbuck sign. Many of these crossings, however, need active devices to alert the motorist that a train is actually approaching. Conditions such as limited sight distances, increased train and vehicular traffic volumes, high speed limits for trains or cars, use of the crossing by school buses or Haz-Mat trucks, and multiple mainline tracks make the crossings dangerous and the passive warnings inadequate.
Contrary to popular belief, the private railroads owning the crossings can make them safer by installing functioning flashing lights and/or gates and are held legally responsible for deaths and serious injuries resulting from train collisions with the motoring public at crossings lacking the appropriate warning devices.
The railroads may also be accountable for allowing any one of the described conditions to exist, if the particular condition makes the crossing dangerous and contributes to cause a collision. Almost every state, for example, requires that a railroad remove sight-obstructive vegetation from its right-of-ways at a crossing, and a railroad may be liable should such vegetation prevent a motorist from seeing a train in time to avoid a collision. This does not account for a railroad’s failure to sound its train horn and apply the emergency brakes, which involve its duties to operate trains in a safe manner and could also lead to collisions and injury.
Semi-trucks, buses, limousines, passenger vans and other large vehicles in the trucking industry present a special danger on our roads if improperly handled. Given their mass, these commercial motor vehicles can easily overtake and damage cars, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) make it clear that trucking companies have an extraordinary duty to control the conduct of their drivers.
Making sure the drivers act in a safe and lawful way involves employees as dispatchers, and load planners, but ultimately rests on company management. The trucking companies’ responsibilities over the drivers are often discussed in the areas of driver qualification, driver training, and driver disqualification. The reason may be that trucking industry has experienced tremendous growth. According to the American Trucking Association, over 80,000 entry-level drivers join the field every year.
The less obvious, but no less important motor carrier duties involve record retention, monitoring and supervision, and maintaining the commercial motor or CMV. The FMCSR, state trucking laws, and industry standards as the Professional Truck Driving Institute’s Driver Finishing Standards make up a comprehensive regulatory scheme that motor carriers must follow.
Motor vehicle accidents are frequent and they can cause serious personal injury and death. In 2012, there were 33,561 people killed and 2,362,000 people injured in car accidents nation-wide, a 6.5% increase from the previous year. Fatalities among pedestrians and motorcyclists have been increasing year after year. In Missouri, 826 people were killed in car accidents in 2012, an increase by more than 5% over 2011. In Kansas, 405 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2012, also an increase of nearly 5% over the previous year.
Car accidents can have long-lasting physical and financial consequences for individuals and their families. On top of the physical injuries, victims of car accidents frequently incur large medicals bills and miss work, making matters stressful. Making matters even worse, the insurance company for the person at-fault rarely has any incentive to cover your medical bills or adequately compensate you for your injuries. After a car accident, it is important that you retain an experienced car accident personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
A bicycle accident with a motor vehicle can result in serious personal injuries and even death to a cyclist. Cycling is on the rise in metropolitan areas, including Kansas City. More and more frequently, people are riding their bikes to work, school, and just for pleasure. Unfortunately, many motorists think they rule the road, and they often fail to keep a careful lookout for cyclists, and that results in accidents.
As a cyclist, you have a right to ride in safety, and you have the same rights and responsibilities as any other motorist. Bautista LeRoy’s personal injuries attorneys are highly accomplished and award-winning trial lawyers that represent individuals that have been physically injured or killed in bicycling accidents.
The Kansas City bicycle accident lawyers of Bautista LeRoy have recovered millions of dollars for victims of cycling accidents, including $5,000,000.00 for a girl that was hit by a truck.
Whether it deals with defects in table saws, motor vehicles, 15-passenger vans, semi-trucks, cranes, aerial lifts, motor homes, ATVs, helmets, car seats for children, or child toys, the personal injury lawyers of Bautista LeRoy represent people that have been personally injured or killed due to defective products. Product liability cases are normally handled as negligence or strict liability actions.
Products can be dangerous and defective because of the way they are designed and manufactured, and they can be defective because the manufacturer has failed to warn consumers of particular hazards and dangers associated with the product. The product liability trial lawyers of Bautista LeRoy have successfully handled defective product cases against many Fortune 500 companies, including General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Chrysler, Honda, Graco, Terex, Genie, Trailmobile, and R-Vision.
In representing our clients, Bautista LeRoy employs the most advanced engineers, accident reconstruction experts, and experts in the field of product safety. In the extremely complex litigation field of defective products and products liability, you need a law firm that has a history of results.
More than 36,000 people every year are treated in emergency rooms nation-wide for table saw injuries. Frequently, the injuries are severed fingers and sometimes worse. Since the 1990s, flesh-detection technology (“SawStop”) has existed to prevent amputations and other table saw injuries, but most manufacturers in the industry refuse to implement this wonderful technology.
Table saw manufacturers are refusing to install this safety technology because their greatest concern is the bottom-line profit of their companies. In fact, most of the manufacturers do not even offer this safety technology as an option, and they do not want you to know that it even exists. Some states have begun considering legal requirements that table saws be equipped with flesh-detection technology, but the table saw industry is fighting hard to block this safety.
The Kansas City personal injury and product liability lawyers of Bautista LeRoy represents people that have been personally injured from table saw accidents.
In general, “at-will” employees may be terminated for any reason. But there are exceptions and an employer may take action against employees that is both unfair and illegal. If an employer has made employment decision based on age, gender (including sex based attributes or stereotypes), religion, race or ethnic background, a disability, a workers’ compensation claim or injury, pregnancy or childbirth, a request for, or taking of, FLMA leave, or a complaint made concerning conduct believed to be wrong, or has harassed or retaliated against employees based on any of these criteria, even at-will employees may have an actionable claim against the employer.
The same goes in a situation where the employer fails to pay proper wages or overtime compensation its employees.
It is unlawful to discriminate against a person in the workplace based, among other things, on their gender. One form of this misconduct is sexual harassment. The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, a co-worker, or even a client or customer, and the offending behavior can be unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual acts, comments of a sexual nature, or inappropriate touching.
It is hard to imagine that in this day and age such inappropriate behavior would take place, much less be condoned in the workplace. Unfortunately, it still happens to workers. And it continues to bring a special kind of attack that has physical, emotional and financial damage. The toll rises when the victim is reluctant to complain for fear of misunderstanding by his or her family.
When the harassment results in adverse employment decisions such as the victim being fired or demoted or is so frequent that it creates a hostile environment, the victim may be entitled to civil damages under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the respective state’s anti-discrimation or human rights laws.
Drunk driving is a dangerous crime, but also it can have horrible human consequences. In 2012, in Missouri alone, there were 5,256 car crashes and 280 people killed alcohol-related crashes. Alcohol-related car accidents account for 34% of all traffic-related deaths in Missouri. In Kansas, 24% of traffic deaths stem from drinking and driving.
Almost 30 people die everyday in the United States in motor vehicle accidents that involve and alcohol-impaired drivers.
Perhaps the most startling figure is that nearly 1 out of 3 car crash deaths involves an impaired driver. At Blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) as low as .02%, there is a decline in visual functions (i.e. rapid tracking) and a decline in the ability to perform two tasks at the same time (i.e. divided attention). As concentration levels move from 0.5 to 0.8, there are significant reductions in coordination, visual tracking, concentration, estimating speeds, and impaired perception.
The Kansas City personal injury lawyers of Bautista LeRoy represent victims that have been injured or killed due to impaired drivers.
Excessive force by the police or other law enforcement personnel is illegal. What constitutes “excessive?” The answer depends on the circumstances, the method and the jurisdiction. Generally, police may not use more force than the suspect is using or threatening to use against them or bystanders. They are guided by a “continuum of force” standard that rises and falls with the perceived threat.
Applying more force than the situation warrants may amount to violations of the suspect’s rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments and entitle him or her and family members to monetary compensation through 23 U.S.C. 1983. It also may entitle them to compensation through the laws of the state where the violence occurred. For instance, a suspect who dies from being beaten by police in Missouri may have claims under both Section 1983 and Missouri’s Wrongful Death Act.
While the federal claims and state claims have some similarities, they are distinguishable particularly with respect to damages. A Section 1983 claim has no damage limitations, but some state claims will have caps on compensatory and punitive damages. Also, Section 1983 claims allow for an award of attorney’s fees, and most states follow the “American Rule” that requires each party to a lawsuit to pay its respective attorney’s fees. The significance of the latter characteristic should not be overlooked, as the fees in complicated, time-consuming and difficult civil rights cases can be sizable.
Avoiding Nursing Home neglect is one of the top priorities for families with elder parents, siblings or loved ones. Finding a Nursing home or skilled care facility in Kansas City is one of the most difficult tasks a family can undertake. Families want their loved ones to get the best care possible and enjoy living in these facilities. However, as our population becomes older, nursing homes become more crowded and unstaffed. This lack of staffing or training can lead to Nursing Home neglect and abuse of residents.
Nursing Home neglect and elder abuse is when a facility is understaffed or not properly trained and as result, forgets about its residents. This neglect causes the residents to suffer falls, develop a pressure sores or become injured. Unfortunately, these injuries could be prevented if the nursing home or skilled care facility follows the Missouri and federal regulations. At Bautista LeRoy, LLC we have been fighting for the elderly and their loved ones for over 16 years. We do this by helping the abused residents or their family member sue the nursing home, staff and supervising doctors directly to enforce the regulations that are there to protect all of us.
Understanding these regulations and how to hold the nursing homes accountable is key to preventing future nursing home abuse. Residents and their families, need experienced lawyers with the knowledge of these regulations and where to find information about state inspections and violations. Without this experience, a case can languish in the court system or result in a very unfair result for the family. At Bautista LeRoy, LLC, we have the knowledge of the nursing home regulations and drive to hold the nursing home accountable.
When a person dies as a result of the negligence or recklessness of another person or company, the surviving family members may have claim for “wrongful death.”
Each state has its own wrongful death and survival statutes, and they are complex. In Missouri, for instance, there are classes of beneficiaries that can bring wrongful death actions and share in the proceeds. The first class of wrongful death claimants includes spouses, children and parents. If there is no person within the first class, brothers and sisters can bring an action for wrongful death. Also, wrongful death damages in Missouri include pecuniary losses, funeral expenses, and the loss of services, consortium, companionship, comfort, instruction, guidance, counsel, training and support. Grief and bereavement are specifically omitted. The wrongful death law of bordering Kansas is different and requires additional procedures such as the establishment of an estate and the appointment of a personal representative for a wrongful death lawsuit.
Wrongful death claims even have their own set of statutes of limitations, which prescribe the permissible period of time when the claim may be filed. Referring back to our previous example, Missouri law allows personal injury suits to be brought within five years, but requires suits for wrongful death to be filed within three years. Kansas allows only two years for the filing of personal injury or wrongful death cases. It is important to consult with an attorney, if only to figure out the appropriate statute of limitations. Even residents of Kansas City, part of which lies in Missouri and part in Kansas, are often uncertain which state’s wrongful death laws apply to their case.
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