Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Springfield Missouri Rental Car Accident Attorney

Springfield Missouri Rental Car Accident Attorney

Accident in a rental car, am I covered?
Whether your car is broken down or you are on vacation, the chances are at some point in your life you will be driving a rental car. Unfortunately your likelihood to be involved in an accident also increases during this time. This is mostly due to the unfamiliar environment you suddenly find yourself in. Similarly, you may be involved in an accident where the other driver was driving a rental car owned by companies like: Budget, Alamo, Enterprise, National, Hertz, Avis, and Thrifty.
Self-insured Rental Car Companies Obligations
All of these rental car companies operate within the State of Missouri and as a result are obligated to comply with minimum financial responsibility laws. However, many of these companies are self-insured, meaning they have agreed to provide coverage and pay Judgments under the law. The requirements for companies to qualify to be self-insured is codified in Section 303.220 RSMo.
Coverage Limits of Self-Insured Companies
The coverage amounts required under Missouri Law are set forth in Section 303.160 RSMo. This section allows self-insured companies, like rental car companies, to only provide the minimum financial responsibility limits required in the State of Missouri. These limits are $25,000.00 for one person and $50,000.00 per accident. These minimal limits cause huge problems for drivers injured by drivers of rental cars. The truth is that medical bills for even a minor accident can be well in excess of $10,000.00, leaving little to no room for ongoing treatment or pain and suffering.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage
As a result of these minimal coverage limits, it is important that you have under insured motorist coverage. This is insurance you purchase that covers excess damage in the event that the other driver’s coverage is not enough. For example, you get hit by a driver of a rental car and are injured. Your medical bills are $30,000.00 and your recovery was three (3) months. All the rental car company will pay to you is $25,000.00, leaving you owing medical bills and possibly being out lost wages and pain & suffering. However, if you have $50,000.00 in underinsured motorist coverage, you may be able to recover an additional $25,000.00 from your insurance company to help alleviate your losses.
Springfield Missouri Car Accident Attorney
Of course, the best bet is to not be involved in an accident while in a rental car. Springfield Missouri car accident attorney Joel Harris offers the following tips that may help a driver increase his or her confidence while driving a rental vehicle on unfamiliar roadways.
Reduce Accidents in unfamiliar situations
1. Be Aware of Traffic Laws in the Area
This is an essential tip particularly for people traveling outside the country. Aside from avoiding traffic violations, becoming aware of traffic laws allows drivers to know the traffic situation in a particular area. Roundabouts, strange traffic signs, or weird intersections may be present in some towns, and it will be easier for drivers to navigate these unfamiliar areas if they are knowledgeable about these features.
2. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
A herd of cows in the middle of the road may be a familiar sight for local residents, but it may be something new or surprising for visitors. Drivers from the south may find icy roads difficult to manage while city dwellers may not know how to handle traffic caused by farm vehicles. Drivers can prepare for any traffic condition if they are aware of the situation in a particular area. It is also advisable to know the weather conditions of a particular area before visiting it.
3. Be Aware of Landmarks
Drivers should be familiar with the map of an area they visit for the first time. While traveling, drivers should take into account the connection between notable landmarks and the map. Drivers can easily identify their location and reach their destination if they are familiar with notable structures.
4. Use a GPS
Many rental vehicles feature a GPS system as add-ons. Using a GPS add-on is a cost-effective method of avoiding getting lost.
Common Road Rules
1. Avoid Unexpected Direction Changes
Drivers should wait and find the next available exit if they miss an exit or turn. Unexpected changes in direction using a rental vehicle may result in illegal or unsafe maneuvers, which can endanger the passengers and other vehicles on the road.
2. Use Turn Signals Properly
When making a turn, it is essential for drivers to use the turn signal in advance to warn other drivers
Injuries can affect your daily life. Don't trust your future to
an insurance company designed to make money.
of an upcoming turn.
3. Slow Down
Being patient is necessary while driving on unfamiliar roads. Driving at a lower speed allows a driver to react appropriately to unforeseen obstructions on the road, such as curves, animals, potholes, and debris.

Check out Nixa Missouri Auto Accident Attorney’s web page for more information on what to do in an accident. Also look at Ozark Missouri Auto Accident Attorney’s law firm profile to learn more about the aggressive and powerful litigation techniques used by Harris Law. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Rear-ended at an intersection?

Springfield, Ozark, and Nixa Auto Accident Attorney

Does this sound like you?

Rear-end Collision

You are on your way to (or from) work (school, store, etc...) and traffic is backed up. While stopped at a stop light you hear an unexpected crash from behind you. You immediately feel the force of a collision thrusting your car forward into the vehicle in front of you. During the impact your head is jerked back and then forward quickly. Your head barely misses the steering wheel as your seat belt (or airbag) catches you. Your entire head is numb, your arms are tingling, and your ears are ringing. Although you were stopped by your seat belt (or airbag), the impact of the collision was severe and took a tremendous toll on your body. You have just been involved in a rear-end collision, and according to the police officer who investigated the wreck, the at fault driver was inattentive. You may have suffered injuries to your neck, arms, shoulders, hands, and back.
Maybe you were the first hit. Maybe you were the last in a line of colliding vehicles. No matter your placement in the collision, your injuries are real, and you may be entitled to compensation.
Springfield, Missouri Auto Accident Attorney Joel Harris
Don't let this happen to you. If you were injured in an auto accident call Springfield, Missouri Auto Accident Attorney Joel Harris to learn your rights.
You decide to have a friend drive you to the hospital. It has been an hour since the collision and the pain is really beginning to take effect. 


Your doctors run a series of test and have diagnosed you with a Myofascial Lumbar Strain and Myofascial Cervical Strain which causes limited movement, throbbing pain and slow recovery. These are of course fancy terms for what is commonly know as whiplash. Even with limited treatment your medical bills will likely be thousands of dollars. Injuries such as these must be monitored as some never fully resolve, so be sure to follow your doctors orders on treatment.

Free Consultations

You will likely receive a call from the insurance company. In that call they may want to take your statement, have you sign a release, or even offer you money to settle. No matter the situation, your best bet is to speak with an auto accident attorney. Springfield Auto Accident Attorney Joel Harris offer's FREE consultations, and he doesn't get paid unless you win. Additionally, attorney fees are paid out of the recovery so there are no upfront costs or monies paid by you. Call 417-724-8003 or e-mail Harris Law (by clicking link) to schedule an appointment today. Harris Law will let you know up front whether you need an attorney and if they can help. Do not let the insurance company take advantage of you and your family.

No attorney fees unless we win

Friday, October 24, 2014

Springfield Auto Accident Attorney

Top Springfield Missouri Auto Accident Attorney Recognized

Springfield Missouri -

Local Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorney, Joel Harris, of Harris Law, has been recognized as one of the top 40 Under 40 Criminal Defense Attorneys in the State of Missouri by the American Society of Legal Advocates.

Joel Harris began his practice in 2009 and since then has expanded from criminal defense into other areas such as family law and Auto Accident Litigation. Springfield Auto Accident Attorney Joel Harris uses his cross discipline knowledge and experience to help persons injured in an auto accident to receive the recovery they deserve.

There is no doubt that it is difficult to evaluate a lawyer’s performance in a multidisciplinary platform. So when you ask friends or family how they go about selecting the right attorney for a specific matter, you’ll probably hear terms such as “specialist,” “experienced” and “niche.” These are perfectly acceptable answers. Deep experience with specific industries, products and even courtrooms, “knowing the ropes,” has always been considered the litigation gold standard.

But if you ask the same clients, immediately after the case, what made their attorney effective and successful, you’ll hear a different story. They’ll likely tell you that it had less to do about “niche” and more to do about an expansive knowledge and preparedness. Springfield Auto Accident Attorney Joel Harris attributes his success in auto litigation to five key traits that he believes is paramount is a successful attorney.

1. Credibility. The first is credibility, the foundation of trust. Building a high level of trust with clients, judges, jurors and even opposing counsel is the cornerstone of effective representation. But it is a trait that is earned, not just learned. When a credible attorney tells a client he must be available on a certain day for a deposition with no exceptions, that client will listen. It’s simple: When you make a promise, you keep a promise. No exceptions. When that same attorney makes a promise to a judge or to opposing counsel, the promise is believed and kept. The time and cost of undoing agreements with any party is not only a time-consuming distraction, but it also diminishes the chances that anyone will believe the trial lawyer, no matter how experienced he is.

2. Civility. Litigation at its core is an argument. But it doesn’t have to be confrontational. Effective litigators understand that in the art of persuasion, civility is not only the high road, but can also be a powerful tool. Using hostile tactics of volume, anger and intimidation may result in a short-term gain, but tends to undermine an attorney’s long-term ability to persuade.  It can pull attention away from key witnesses and facts in favor of emotional reactions that are more difficult to control. And in the case of settlements, uncivil behavior tends to harm an attorney’s ability to negotiate in a reasonable time and manner with the opposition. There will always be a role for celebrity pit bulls, but the most effective trial lawyers fight relentlessly for their clients with respect, intelligence and grace.

3. Confidence. During the course of a trial, a lawyer makes literally thousands of decisions and assessments about risk, timing, pace, advantage, leverage and value. The Attorney makes most of these without the benefit of absolute certainty, knowledge or a complete assessment of the facts. To be effective in the midst of such a large gray area requires enormous levels of personal and professional confidence.  And don’t confuse confidence with false certainty or hubris. No decision can be certain and no lawyer is always right. But the most effective litigators learn by instinct to translate mountains of structured and unstructured information into clear and decisive action, often in the heat of a trial. This is a trait that is well developed in general practitioners. Understanding how key aspects of multiple areas of law intertwine helps make those spur of the moment decisions more accurate across the board.

4. Curiosity. The benefit of deep specialization in a narrow field of law or business often comes at the expense of broader perspective. Psychologists call it the curse of knowledge.  A general practice attorney will, “resist the narrow confines of deep specialties and maintain a relentless curiosity about the world they live in.” They possess an insatiable curiosity beyond law for a variety of topics and life experiences in science, art, psychology, physics and even pop culture. They have obscure hobbies and eclectic tastes. They know that solutions to courtroom challenges often come from the most unlikely places.  Juries and judges are rarely expert specialists. They are, by design, non-expert representatives of society at large. In general, courtroom communications are most effective if they’re on a fifth-grade level.  This can often frustrate specialists who struggle to relate their language and thinking to lay audiences. Relentless curiosity not only leads to innovative approaches and solutions, but also keeps the job of litigation continually fresh and exciting.

5. Competitive Spirit. What drives an effective trial lawyer? An innate competitive spirit. Effective litigators tend to take on every matter, large or small, as their must-win Super Bowl moment. To this trial lawyer type, there are no routine trials, meetings or even moments.  They thrive on the thrill of the challenge, not just the legal outcome. Competitive spirit comes in many flavors. But effective trial lawyers consider beating their opponents as secondary to the relentless pursuit of finding the simple, elegant trial solution. One trial lawyer calls it his “obvious surprise,” an insight that is immediately understood and familiar. Another calls it the “one simple thing” that can sway a jury, change the conversation and produce the right outcome. This type of fire in the belly never goes out. It helps trial lawyers take on the difficult cases with fearlessness, focus and seemingly boundless energy. These types are at their best when a case seems unwinnable. Just try and tell them that something is impossible. They can’t help simmering on your matter 24/7, on the soccer field, driving in traffic or at 4:00 in the morning.  For clients, it’s added value. For opponents, it’s an unfair advantage.

Many factors go into choosing the right trial lawyer, and conflicts and costs can limit your options. Of course experience matters, but it is far from the only measure. The most effective lawyers don’t just lean on their experience. They use it to enhance their five key traits and continually improve their craft. Learn more about Springfield Auto Accident Attorney Joel Harris at www.SpringfieldAutoAccidentAttorney.com.

Monday, February 24, 2014


How do I enforce the Court Order?

I often get the question, "What do I do when my ex-spouse doesn't follow the parenting plan?" It is a great question, but the answer isn't always what you want to hear. The short and simple answer is, "hire an attorney." I know it sounds awful. You went through all of this trouble to hire an attorney to get a divorce and parenting plan in place, and now you have to go back to Court just to make your ex follow it? I get it, I really do! However, there is a bright side. If your ex-spouse is found in contempt of court for failing to follow the court order, then you may be entitled to get your attorney fees paid. 


“(1) there is an actual violation of the court's order and either, (2) the alleged contemnor was able to comply with the court order, or (3) the alleged contemnor intentionally and contumaciously placed himself in a position so that he could not comply with the court's orders.”  

In applying this standard, the movant (the person filing the contempt action) bears the burden of demonstrating a violation of the court's order. It is then up to the alleged contemnor to prove the inability defense by establishing that he or she did not intentionally bring about the inability.


The Penalties for being found in contempt of Court are fairly steep and include compensatory time, posting of a bond to ensure compliance, payment of damages, payment of attorney fees, and even jail time. The person being held in contempt is said to “hold the keys to the jail” as their release may be conditioned upon payment or compliance of the Court Order. 

Learn more by going to Harris Law Online!

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