5 personal injury crash statistics YOU need to know before Memorial Day

               Avoid a personal injury crash!

Do you have travel plans for Memorial Day weekend? Let’s also plan to avoid a personal injury crash!

According to AAA news, Memorial Day weekend kicks off the “100 Deadliest Days” for newbie teen drivers — with a 15% increase in deadly car crashes in this age group between this holiday and Labor Day weekend.

In fact, the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Statistical Analysis Center tracks the 6 leading major car crash circumstances in Missouri.  Out of these 6 circumstances, 5 will most certainly be a large risk factor for all ages with the coming holiday weekend.  Knowledge is power, right? So let’s start with the aforementioned new teen drivers.

Yes! Inexperienced teen or young drivers rank in the top 6 circumstances for deadly car crashes.

Memorial Day weekend also coincides with high school graduation celebrations and end of school parties. Pools open. Summer fun begins for the young and the restless!

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol statistics, drivers under 21 caused 8,647 personal injury crashes in 2014. So, actually, driver inexperience ranked 2nd in the top 3 causes for personal injury crashes in Missouri for 2014. (Wait until the end of this article to find out number 1 — what a surprise to this researcher!)

While we’ve certainly addressed this topic on the blog before, the “100 Deadliest Days” epidemic helps nudge us to review driving safety tips with our teens. In fact, the AAA suggests that you talk to your teen frequently about safe driving and have them sign this agreement.  Talk specifically about the three major personal injury crash factors that most affect them:

  • Distracted driving. Driving with young, carefree friends in the car, singing, chatting, and having a great time don’t mix with safe and alert driving. When you’ve lived long enough, you understand the deadliness of a distracted moment on the road. Then add the temptation of a smart phone to this mix.  What’s a parent to do?  Try parental control apps on their cell phones, for starters. You will have to carefully discuss and decide for whom your teen may drive — when, and where.
  • Failure to buckle up. This one’s squarely in your laps, parents and guardians. If you don’t enforce this early and often and set the example — don’t be surprised if your teen won’t buckle up. Sadly, the AAA reports that a whopping 60% of teens killed in a car accident were not wearing their seat belt!
  • The Invincible Inner Speed demon.  Some people are just born with this gene, it seems! Combined with teen hormones and incomplete brain development, speeding is a significant risk factor for teen car crashes. It’s a gender-neutral gene, too. However, young males are still considered a higher risk factor for car insurance companies then females. Unfortunately, many adults fail to tame their Inner Speed Demon in their youth. Again, your example as a parent or relative of a teen matters more than you may realize.

Speed is a very significant contributing risk factor in personal injury crash accidents — across all age groups. Those who speed don’t “drive to survive”.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that speeding killed 10,111 people in 2016 nationwide. Missouri statistics for 2014 show that speed is the 3rd major circumstance, causing 6,911 personal injury car crashes in our state.

A holiday weekend means places to go and people to see. You may either have a long list of errands to run. Or you and your fellow drivers are just in a hurry to get to where you are going.

The “hurry up and get there” factor is a major reason most folks are tempted to speed. 

Many drivers don’t slow down and consider that speeding is considered a form of aggressive driving. NHTSA defines aggressive driving as, “The operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property.”  Even though Missouri — unlike many states — doesn’t have aggressive driving laws on the books, you can still be charged with “careless and imprudent” driving.

Depending on the circumstances, “careless and imprudent driving” may land you in jail for 6 months. If you cause a car accident due to these charges, the jail time potential escalates to a year. You won’t be going anywhere in a hurry for a good while.  Once again, you also face the potential of a Class A or Class B misdemeanor on your record.

Motorcycle-related personal injury crashes weighed in at 1,734 in Missouri in 2014.

According to a researched article on our blog, these statistics have risen slightly in recent years. For the summer season,  expect more bikers out enjoying the roads!  Motorcyclists caused only 1,734 personal injury crashes in 2014 in Missouri as compared to speeding or inexperienced drivers.

Why do motorcycle accidents still rank in the top 6 category? Probably because alcohol causes more than 50% of motorcycle-related accidents. Those are undeniably preventable motorcycle crashes!

Most surprisingly, only 2,424 personal injury crashes in Missouri during 2014 were alcohol related — significantly less than the top three crash circumstances.

Still, don’t let this statistic make you less proactive in warning your young drivers. Memorial Day weekend is party time! Temptation for young drivers to drink and drive multiply.

Even more significant, other drivers on the road will be driving under the influence. Count on it. Be alert for signs of a drunk driver and pull over to call the police if you spot an impaired driver. What to look for? Here are a few possible signs.

  • Weaving quickly or dangerously in and out of traffic.
  • Driving left of the center line
  • Erratic speed and steering
  • Braking often for no apparent reason

Quite surprisingly, according to the statistics for 2014 collected by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, drivers aged 55 and older caused 10,903 personal injury car crashes.

This age group leads the pack by over 2,000 personal injury crashes — shocking!  It’s hard to imagine why the most experienced group of drivers on the road is also the most dangerous, at least in Missouri.

Logically, this could mean an abundance of older senior drivers per capita in Missouri. Or it could infer a large portion of folks over 55 are driving while taking their needed medications — driving impaired by pain medications!

Whatever the case, this statistic is cause for an entirely different article and some serious research.  Meanwhile, maybe you should volunteer to drive your elderly relative to the family gathering this Memorial Day weekend.

If you or a loved one have been injured in car accident, you need an experienced, aggressive personal injury crash attorney. You also need someone with a thorough knowledge of state and local laws. For prompt, personal attention, call Nathan A. Steimel at 636-244-3737!

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.


Class A misdemeanors that could change your life (and your teen’s life)

Which Class A Misdemeanor Might Your Teen {accidentally} Commit?

Are we ready for summer vacation yet? The last thing a parent wants to worry about over the break from school is having their teen face Class A misdemeanor charges.

After all, the list of these potentially life-changing crimes is literally longer than your arm (even written with normal-sized font.)

Potential outdoor crimes lurk behind every train track and tree.

If your teen loves the outdoors and will have extra time on their hands this summer, committing a misdemeanor is actually shockingly easy. Did you know that in Missouri, defacing a cave wall is a Class A misdemeanor?

While this might seem like a far-fetched crime, how many teens wouldn’t think twice about carving their name and “leave their mark” on the world? Think back a few years – did you ever carve your initials in a tree? It’s the same idea.

If your teen is already out exploring said cave, just suppose they decide to pollute the cave waters. That, too, is a Class A misdemeanor.

Then there’s the railroad tracks. How many of us have trespassed on railroad property (also a Class A misdemeanor), albeit very carefully? Placing those pennies on the railroad tracks? Highly illegal!

Who hasn’t seen a movie where a young person explores an abandoned building? Trespassing of the first degree is normally a Class B misdemeanor in Missouri (only six lonely potential months in jail, folks). Trespassing in school buses are the exception, meriting a Class A category instead. Just warn your teens, okay?

What if they’re out looking for that special gemstone or rock? Warning! Don’t surface mine if you don’t want a possible misdemeanor threat on your head.

Summer fireworks – a true Class A Misdemeanor

What about fireworks? A teen entrepreneur should just stay away from the fireworks business. Selling fireworks without adult supervision under the age of 16 is illegal. Never sell fireworks to child under age 14. As you can see, fireworks are a risky business altogether.

Discharging fireworks around the wrong building is also a Class A misdemeanor. Boating and fireworks don’t mix, either. In a spirit of summer fun, can you imagine your teen throwing a firework off of a boat? That’s illegal — bad news if the Natural Resource Police are nearby!

Let’s travel down memory lane for a moment. What crazy stunts did you pull as a teen? Surely we can all pull something out of our memory bank.

Summer parties and driving – a strict NO alcohol rule

The temptation is so real! Teen drinking and driving scares the pants off of parents. You simply must have this conversation with your child, even if drinking is not their thing. Riding in a vehicle with an intoxicated friend driving – well, that’s a recipe for disaster!

Remind your child that even one drink before driving is TOO much.

Teach your teen that all it takes is a BAC of .020 under the age of 21 in Missouri to land a DWI charge. You definitely will need a good criminal defense lawyer to keep your child out of jail with such a charge.

Your teen’s Class A misdemeanor risk will escalate dramatically if they are stopped by an officer as a prior DWI offender. Besides potential jail time and fines, and license suspension, certain rehab programs will be required, such as the Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program (SATOP). Check out this website for the latest on DWI charges.

Drugs – be aware and beware

This past winter, police spotted a Marshal Missouri teen sitting out in the freezing January weather. Sadly, he was in possession of more than 10g of marijuana. He was charged not only with possession but with alleged intent to sell – a Class E felony.

According to NOLO, first-time possession of less than 35g of marijuana but more than 10g is normally a Class A misdemeanor! (Unless you are inside a school zone – drug charges ramp way up there.)

Although not a Class A misdemeanor, getting caught driving with any trace of drugs in your system in Missouri for first-time offender is an automatic 30-day license suspension. Since teens may undergo surgeries (say a sports injury) and receive pain-killers, it pays to be aware of the risks of driving even after it seems the pain-killers have worn off.

Technology and teens – multiple risk factors

Distracted driving is a huge risk factor for bodily harm and death. No one under 21 is allowed to text and drive in the state of Missouri. While not a Class A misdemeanor, if a teen is caught texting and driving, he or she faces a fine of up to $200, 2 points on their license, and a loss of a Good Driver discount on car insurance. Consequences get much, much worse if one causes a distracted driving accident due to texting.

On the other hand, sexting is a serious crime involving potential child pornography charges. Because those laws are so complex, it’s hard to say what charges your teen would end up with – quite possibly a felony charge that would follow them for ages. Tell your teen sexting is not a joke unless they think a jumpsuit, prison food, and prison walls shared with the toughest of bullies is fun!

First, you and your teen should know that even a Class A misdemeanor has serious consequences. Possible fines and potential jail time of up to a year are no summer fun adventure!

If convicted of a Class A misdemeanor, your child will carry a criminal record that could literally haunt them for years. Certain Class A misdemeanors cannot be expunged. For example, renting an apartment in the future could be very difficult, depending on the criminal record.

Even more damaging, your teen is required to tell his employer if he has a Class A misdemeanor on his record. Since employers already struggle to find good, reliable help, a teen with a record is going to be on the bottom of their “hire list”.

Charged with a misdemeanor? Here are some ways an experienced, aggressive criminal defense lawyer will work to help you:

  • Know Missouri laws and legal procedures to fight for your best outcome.
  • Ensure your teen’s fair and respectful treatment.
  • Reduce or even eliminate fines.
  • Reduce jail time.
  • Work to get a criminal record expunged.

Tips to avoid gun-related criminal charges

Guns, kids, and gun-related criminal charges due to an accident — it’s a touchy topic.  Let’s talk {gently}.

Since Missouri is a state of open and concealed carry freedoms, gun-related accidents and the possibility of gun-related criminal charges need to be discussed.  According to FindLaw.com, about 2,000 accidental shootings occur in the U.S. each year.

USA Today states that deaths of children under the age of 12 due gun accidents occur about once a week — approximately 52 deaths a year in this category.  Considering that about a third of U.S. households with children own guns, this figure is pretty small.

However, a gun-related accident involving a child is no small matter ever, especially if you know and love that child.

Losing a child is heart-rending under any circumstance. What’s worse — a load of guilt due to a gun-related accident!

Truth. We cannot possibly prevent every accident. Where our kids are involved, though, it’s up to us to do our very best.  Which is why parents or a child’s caretaker will sometimes face gun-related criminal charges after an unfortunate gun accident.

Imagine losing your child to a gun-related accident and then facing criminal charges!

Sometimes you just can’t make this stuff up! What a terrible circumstance — accidentally leaving a loaded gun (unlocked) where a young child can get a hold of it. One news story from NC told of a mother in jail because her 12 year old accidentally shot his 9 year old brother with a loaded shotgun in the back while goofing off.  The remaining child has now lost both his brother and his parent to one terrible accident.

Another similar incident happened right here in St. Louis last year. Two young brothers aged 12 and under were left home alone while both parents worked. The tragic mistake, again, was that a loaded gun was left where the boys could access it. Both parents were faced with criminal charges per this St. Louis news source.

Families who hunt are often well-educated about gun safety due to hunter safety courses. They “own” their gun ownership.

The rest of us?  Here are a few gun safety reminders for those of us who love children and want to keep them safe.

For really young children, the NRA offers a few engaging videos that teach children how they should react if they come across a gun.

  • First and foremost, talk to your children about gun safety even if you don’t own a gun. Why? Your friends or family might be gun owners. All it takes for an accident to occur is one forgetful moment.
  • Next, always have the safety set to “ON” with a loaded gun.
  • Always keep the gun out of the reach of children. 
  • Lock up the gun, especially if it’s loaded.
  • Best safety practice — store the gun unloaded and locked with the ammo in a separate, safe location.

Will a parent be charged with a felony if their child accidentally shoots someone with their gun?

That’s a “loaded” question, but the answer will depend on a number of circumstances.  Sometimes yes — sometimes no. If you find yourself in this terrible situation, you definitely need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney familiar with Missouri laws.  Call Attorney Nathan A. Steimel today for a free initial evaluation of your case. 636-244-3737.

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.



Pricey potholes — how to fight back (in case of auto accident or car repairs, too)

(Hint: Offroading doesn’t count)

Warmer days, cooler nights — it’s “pothole growing season” in Missouri!

As the road surfaces freeze and thaw due to moisture, cracks in the road start growing into potholes.  Those pesky potholes cause more trouble than you might think!  The AAA auto club estimates a mind-blowing 3 billion dollars yearly is spent in the U.S. on car repairs due to potholes.

When you think of auto repairs due to potholes,  your first thought might be tire damage. True enough! In fact, reputable tire and auto centers offer “road hazard warranties” with purchase of their tires. Considering the price of tires, this may be a worthwhile investment. Most of these warranties only cover you for one year. Like me, you probably hope to get more than a year out of your tires!

However, your car repairs could escalate into even more expensive damage. Consider that the 2016 AAA survey found more than 30 million Americans forked out between $250 to $1,000 dollars for pothole damage to their vehicles.

Why? That jarring drive over potholes easily messes up your car’s suspension system: shocks, struts, and even ball joints.  And what about the front-end alignment you paid for with your new tires?

Even more costly than an expensive auto repair is an expensive a pothole-induced auto accident.

Say you swerve suddenly to miss a pothole, and you hit a car in your blind spot! Or perhaps you brake quickly to avoid tearing up your catalytic convertor in your car’s undercarriage.  Suddenly you risk becoming the victim of a rear-end auto accident!  Both drivers lose time and money to the lowly pothole yet again.

Even worse, that hidden tire damage due to an unexpected pothole could also cause an accident further down the road.  Weakened tires blow out when you least expect it!

An interesting side note — self-driving car engineers are still trying to figure out how to safely maneuver the pothole! It’s an engineering nightmare, apparently.  Pothole.info tells the story on its site, dedicated to pothole information and safety issues.

Here’s how to fight potholes in your area …

The AAA considers pothole prevention and repair to be a vital part of road safety for their club members. The state of Missouri agrees. Every spring they encourage Missouri citizens to report those pesky potholes! Keeping up with more than 34,000 miles of road maintenance is the job of the  Missouri Department of Transportation. (MoDOT)

The Pothole Patrol  is a division of Missouri DOT dedicated to making it easy for YOU to report pothole locations. You can reach them by email or mobile device.  Be sure to bookmark the link provided.

Many Americans end up paying out of pocket for their estimated $300- $1,000 a year due to car repairs caused by potholes.

Will your auto insurance cover these claims? What about your local municipality? The local Fox2Now news reports that you may file a claim with MoDOT, but there is no guarantee that you will get a payment.

This is where things get really dicey! If you’re not armed with the proper knowledge, you may end up paying more than you should for a car accident caused by a pothole. You need the experienced advice of an expert personal injury and traffic accident lawyer today!

Attorney Nathan A. Steimel is a long-time resident of the St. Louis area.  Local traffic law is one of his specialties. Especially if you’ve been injured in a car accident due to poor road maintenance — call 636-244-3737 for a free initial consultation. 

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.




Animal attack statistics that SHOULD concern you

Know your breed

Planning your summer vacation yet? School will soon be out and the kids will be home.  What you don’t plan on could come back to bite you — an animal attack!

Whether you’re a “helicopter parent”, a “free-range parent” or somewhere in the middle of that spectrum,  a normal parent tries to protect their children from harm.

Naturally, our parental warning radar pops into high alert when the Center for Disease Control warns us that there are 4.5 million dog bites a year.  According to DogsBite.org , there were only 39  dog bite fatalities in the U.S. during 2017.  Of these fatalities, 15 were children under the age of 9.

One of the most chilling factors in the 2017 statistics is that NINE of these fatalities were infants killed by a family dog!  Even scarier, most of these dogs had no history of aggression. You can read the stories with citations at DogsBite.org.

While you are at least 30,000 times more likely to die in an auto accident than an animal attack, a serious dog bite leaves both emotional and physical scars.

Just reading the horrific true stories of the men, women, and children who died from a dog attack gave me the chills. It’s a bloody, brutal death, made even worse if a trusted family pet turns on you.

Imagine being one of more than 28,000 people in need of reconstructive surgery due to dog bites!  (2012 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 2015)

As a safety precaution, teach your children some basic common sense tips!  Help prevent dog bite or other animal attacks.

( This  Washington Post article states that you’re almost as likely to be killed by a cow as a dog. Not surprisingly, farm workers are at the greatest risk for this category of fatalities.)



  • Basic rule of thumb: Never leave a baby unattended with a family dog. If your child is going to babysit, this is also the safest practice for sitters.READ up on your breed before you adopt. Not to start a “breed war”, but a dog breed with any history of aggression does not belong with small children!

  • Don’t get your family dog riled up around small children. In fact, aggressive play with your dog is never a good idea.

  • Ask your in-laws, friends, or relatives to also never leave your infant or small child alone with their dog.  One dog bite can change family relationships forever!

  • Teach your child to never approach a strange dog. This is a rule I broke when my daughter was young! Gulp!  I did always warned her to ask the dog owner first. Dogs are often kid-magnets, depending on the kid! Mine is a dog-lover.

  • Teach RESPECT for other people’s property.  If your teens are caught trespassing, that dog bite might serve them right.

  • If greeting a friend or family member’s dog with permission, approach gently and allow the dog to sniff you first. Don’t stare into the dog’s eyes!

  • Call Animal Control if a strange dog is running loose. Many towns have ordinances about loose dogs (for good reason). In our town, the police arrived when Animal Control was delayed. Why? Our neighbor’s pit bull attempted to escape her fenced yard and was hanging from her chain over the fence. We could NOT approach safely to help her. The police were able to quickly and safely help the dog.

  • Do stay calm, don’t run, and don’t make panicky moves or noises if a strange dog approaches.

  • Have YOU been injured in a dog-bite attack? You need the help of an experienced animal attack attorney with extensive knowledge of your local laws in Missouri. You can reach Attorney Nathan A. Steimel at 636-244-3737. You will not be charged any lawyer fees unless your case settles favorably!

  • For more information on your likelihood of animal attacks (Good news, mainly, but watch out for … BEES!) check out the article and info-graphic below.



Dog Bite Statistic Infographic
Source: CanineJournal.com

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.




Rising motorcycle accident stats and your motorcycle safety

Getting ready to rev up your engine and head out for a drive along the scenic Missouri bluffs or the Great River Road? Motorcycle safety should be first on your list!

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports an increase in motorcycle fatalities since 2014. (report updated in 2017 from 2015 data)

Missouri only saw a 3% increase unlike her neighbors in Illinois and Arkansas.

What is most alarming is the number of fatalities reported due to lack of a proper motorcycle helmet.

Another whopping 27% of 2015 motorcycle fatalities were those who had not been properly licensed!  The failure to be licensed properly could be chalked up to a number of reasons.

Around the small, rural town where I live, older folk on a fixed income use scooters or mini-bikes to run their errands around town. They’re supposed to have a license for their scooters — maybe even get insurance on the vehicle. Do they all comply? I doubt it.  A few even ride their electric wheelchairs to the grocery store (though this type of “vehicle” would not be listed in the NHTSA data).

Once upon a time (true story) a teen relative of mine saved up for his very first motorcycle. Since he lived on a farm, he could easily ride through the back fields without getting his license. However, on the ONE day he decided to do a u-turn on the paved road in front of his house, a lurking officer pulled him over and ticketed him.  His neighbors were probably the guilty “snitches”,  but this ticket possibly saved him from a foolish, fatal accident.

If you’re a seasoned biker or the proud new owner of a motorcycle, here are a few motorcycle safety statistics and tips to help as you plan your next trip.

  •  Choose the right helmet to protect from serious brain injury.
    According to the NHTSA,  you need to wear a DOT-compliant Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218 helmet. It will be clearly marked as such on the outside back of the helmet.  This short video is very helpful.
  • Another feature that is vital to motorcycle safety is a face shield to protect from wind and flying debris. You could be blinded or suffer a serious eye injury without a shield on your helmet.
  • Do a routine motorcycle safety check on your bike before you ride. 

    • Tire pressure (adjust for extra weight, such as a passenger or luggage)
    • Hand and foot brakes working properly
    • Headlights, tail-lights, and signals in good working order
    • No leaking fluids such as oil or gas
    • Proper fluid levels
  • Wear protective clothing.  Heavy denim or leather, gloves, long pants, sturdy foot wear that covers the ankles are all good motorcycle safety protocol. HOWEVER, make sure you wear bright or reflective jackets. It’s safer to cover that cool leather or denim jacket with a bright safety vest.
  • AVOID alcohol or drug usage while driving. Even though this seems like a
    “no-brainer”, the staggering statistics don’t lie. Almost half of motorcycle fatalities in 2015 were due to an alcohol-impaired motorcycle driver.

Finally, enjoy this fantastic guide to the best Missouri motorcycle rides.

Motorcycle accidents also happen due to negligent drivers. If you or a loved one is suffering injuries (often severe) resulting from a negligent driver, you need expert and aggressive legal help.

Call Missouri motorcycle accident attorney Nathan A. Steimel today for a free initial consultation. 636-244-3737

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.




Safety tips for a spring trip into St. Louis (OR some ways to avoid becoming a victim of violent crime)


Violent crime rates in St. Louis are a matter of hot debate.

While the St. Louis area has been in the “hot seat” on the news in the past few years,  there’s some evidence that the crime statistics are skewed. You can read the article links included. You decide for yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions about Safety in St. Louis


What’s not up for debate — most major cities worldwide have certain areas prone to violent crime.

Crowded conditions, poverty levels, and cultural differences all contribute. Interesting to note, when calculating crime rates in St. Louis, the suburbs were not included unlike calculations for some other major cities. Therefore, Politifact.com gives a “mostly true” rating to St. Louis crime statistics.  Does that mean you need to avoid the city of St. Louis? Certainly not.

St. Louis has such a wealth of things to see and do! If you’re getting “spring fever”,  you just need a little safety guidance to enjoy the area.

According to Trip Advisor and Smarter Travel’s websites, exercise greater caution in the north and east parts of St. Louis. Violent crime is higher in these areas.

Many of the city’s tourist attractions are NOT located in these areas. If you’re heading out to enjoy a major sporting event, you’ll find the 3 major stadiums in the safe Central Business District.

Looking for a great music or performing arts event?  Grand Center is the hub for the performing arts, also known to be a safe district.

Use common sense. Make a safety check list for your young people venturing out on their own.

  • Lock your valuables out of sight inside your car.
  • Don’t carry large amounts of cash.
  • Don’t walk alone at night.
  • Park in a well-lit, Preferred Downtown Parking Facility
  • Always be alert and aware of your surroundings.

Limit cell phone distraction while you are on foot in the city.

According to  30 year law enforcement veteran Steve Kardian, it only takes seven seconds for a criminal to choose you as a target.  How long does it take for you to glance down at your cell phone?

In his 2017 book The New Superpower for Women, Kardian outlines concrete ways or tips to avoid becoming a target of violent crime.  Surprisingly, a confident walk and stride helps to deter a would-be assailant. If you shuffle down the street while hunched over your phone, you become a prime target.

Kardian also suggests the “casual glance” or a split-second glance as you’re out and about.

The casual glance around helps you to stay aware of your changing surroundings. A split-second glance also lets a troublemaker know that you are aware of him. What criminal wants to get caught?  As a result, a victim of choice is at least temporarily distracted or unaware of their surroundings. Busy mom alert!

Stay cool in crowded conditions and keep your eyes open for your exit route. ( Don’t want to be accused of violent crime? Keep your own cool at your child’s sporting events.)

Pop concert? Large outdoor event? Check out your potential exit routes.

If you’re the aggressive, elbow-shoving  type, take a chill-pill before entering the crowds. Take note of the Anheuser-Busch heir Billy Busch.  He was recently in the news unfortunately being charged with fourth degree assault due to losing his cool at his son’s basketball practice!

Protect yourself and those you love. If you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer who knows the law and  will defend your rights, call attorney Nathan A. Steimel – (636)244-3737 for free initial consultation today.

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.




3 (more) tips to avoid a backyard premises liability case

Kids, dogs, pools — what are your backyard hazards?

Hey, homeowner! Is your yard or property a breeding ground for a premises liability case or a personal injury case? Good question, right?! With spring just around the corner,  it’s time to make a to-do list.

Those that you invite on your property are your responsibility in a sense. You are responsible to protect them from known dangers and dangers that an ordinary inspection would reveal. Even uninvited guests, like child trespassers, pose a worrisome legal liability.

Most of the time we think of slip-and-fall accidents when we worry about getting sued in a premises liability case or a personal injury case. Living on a corner lot in town, we get a lot of foot traffic.  The sidewalks around my house are our responsibility.

Our town grants us 48 hours to get our sidewalks cleared. However, our sidewalks get cleared of snow and ice quickly! Then they get treated with ice-melt. The sidewalks are a long, narrow skating rink otherwise.

However, a few years back, the town decided to come in and redo the sidewalks. They also installed a handicapped accessible crosswalk on our corner.

Unfortunately the design engineers did not correctly account for the drainage on our street. Since then, the handicapped crosswalk section always floods in wet weather. In freezing temperatures the small pond turns into a sheet of ice. The “pond” is almost impossible to keep clear under those conditions.

Who would be responsible for a slip-and-fall on the section of sidewalk turned nightmare? It’s a question that bothers me every winter. What are your yard hazards?

1.) Sidewalk maintenance helps prevent slip-and-fall accidents.

Town rules differ. You’ll need to check with your town office or your neighborhood homeowner’s association as to your responsibilities.  Waiting until an accident occurs is not good game plan.  Clearly, cracked, uneven, or broken sidewalks are a slip-and-fall hazard.  The same goes for driveways.

2.) Remove tree and yard debris.

Interestingly factoid —  New York City is a prime place to get injured by a falling tree.  More than 2.5 million trees line New York’s parks and city streets!

What about your home and yard? Missouri weather is not a friend to trees!  Between the high winds, snow, ice, and maybe even a tornado, your trees get battered.

The Missouri Department of Conservation publishes a helpful guide to cleaning up damaged trees after storms. The MDC recommends hiring an arborist if you have trees you are unsure about saving.

If you have kids, especially, those downed tree limbs are a kid-magnet. War, fort building, limb-launching — you name it, they’ll do it. So if the neighbor’s kids gravitate toward your yard,  ward off a premises liability claim by removing temptation!

3.) Use a fence and “no trespassing” signs if your yard contains a pool or a dog.

Fido may be all bark and no bite, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. “Beware of the guard dog.” and “no trespassing” signs are preventative measures.

Since pools are “attractive nuisances” for child trespassers, secure fencing and a sign are a must. Although neither of these can totally prevent an accidental drowning,  good fences make good neighbors. Our youngest neighbors deserve our best protection.

If you’re getting your yard ready for spring and summer fun, here’s another article on backyard safety for you from your friends at The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC

BONUS TIP: Hide your grill behind that secure fencing, too. You never know when a child chef wanna-be might try out your grill.

If you or a loved one have suffered serious injuries due to someone else’s unsafe property conditions, you need professional legal help.  Call 636-244-3737 for free initial consultation with Nathan A. Steimel, an experienced personal injury lawyer serving the greater St. Louis area.

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.


Semi-truck accident victim? Find help here!

Cleaning up after a semi-truck accident is not fun. Big rig — big destruction!

Big gratitude, also,  goes to the first responders who see the mangled messes and provide life-saving care. Firefighters, EMS crews,  police officers, and ER medical staff, our hats are off to you. Not all of us can stomach this line of work.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (www.iihs.org) regularly analyzes large truck accident data from the US Department of Transportation.  Here’s what’s surprising! Although our technology has improved, the death rates from semi-truck accidents do not show a huge improvement over the past 40 years!

The past ten years are slightly better than 1975’s data. (Though anything’s better than the statistics for 1979.)

The IIHS states that “about 1 in 10 highway deaths occur in a crash involving a large truck.”

Unfortunately, the fatalities are usually the occupants of the passenger vehicle. Weight is a major reason. Semi-trucks typically carry loads up to 80,000 pounds.

The sheer size and weight of a loaded tractor-trailer means braking takes 20 to 30% longer than a passenger vehicle.  Bad weather? Slippery pavement? Busy highways?  All of these factors drive those semi-truck accident rates higher.

Does anyone here feel that it is safe to drive 11 hours at one stretch? Did you know the federal hours-of service regulations allow drivers of large trucks to do this? Maybe it is time for a change!

Sadly, sleep-deprived driving is not uncommon. Just like folks push the speed limit, tractor-trailer drivers push  and stretch the limits of their driving hours.

As a result, fatality rates soar. Fatalities are not the only damage from a tractor-trailer crash. Multiple injuries, many of  them serious, are also common with semi-truck accidents.

Also, the devastation continues long after a semi-truck accident occurs. A December 2017 article in the St. Louis news reports a terrible recent accident. The semi-truck driver was momentarily distracted by reaching for a cup of tea and plowed into a car. This crash caused a chain reaction injuring ten people. Three of these injuries were serious!

Think of the ripple effect of even one tractor trailer crash. Families, friends, and employers/employees scramble to help the injured. As a result, plans are put on hold.

Everything starts revolving around doctor’s visits, therapy, and rehab. Recovery is often long, slow, and discouraging.

Because of this, financial stress piles up. Money worries and pain are a toxic combination. Since an accident victim may be unable to work, finding a way to pay those bills is an overwhelming challenge.

Survivors of semi-truck accident may never have a normal life again. Severe neck and spine injuries often result from these accidents. Can you imagine the life-long impact?

To be fair, not every semi-truck accident is the truck driver’s fault. It’s just that often multiple cars are involved.

In January 2018, FOX2 Now reports that a car cut off a semi-truck during the busy morning commute on I-64 east near St. Louis. The truck driver simply couldn’t stop in time. Multiple cars, a fatality, and multiple injuries — it’s a story no one ever wants to face personally.

If you are a St. Louis area resident and a victim of a semi-truck accident, you need expert, aggressive legal help. You need  an experienced semi-truck accident attorney!

The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC will evaluate your case at no charge.  Even better news — most semi-truck accident victims will pay no legal expenses out of pocket. Your lawyer will be compensated only if the case settles in your favor.  CALL 636-244-3736 for help today!


This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.


What you need to know about a deer-related car accident (with a few tips to help avoid deer)

Courtesy of State Farm

Did you know Missouri drivers are considered at high risk for a deer-related car accident?  Car accidents are a major stress point. So watch out for those pesky deer! According to insurance data and claims forms analyzed by State Farm auto insurance, 1 in 117 Missouri drivers in 2016 were involved in a deer-related car accident.

Fox2 Now also reported in December of 2017 that Missouri is in the “high-risk” category for deer-related car accidents.

Fall and winter are the worst seasons for this type of auto accident. It pays to be alert.  Deer just can’t read those “deer crossing” signs!  They don’t warn you of their presence, either. They are silent and swift but none too smart, apparently.

Unfortunately, the size of the beast causes a lot of body damage to a vehicle.  According to one auto insurance site, the average cost of deer-related car accident damage is about $4,000. Thankfully, these accidents cause very few deaths. Just stress, stress, and more stress!

When you’re tired and on your way home from work, put yourself on high alert. Dusk is just the time when the deer love to come out to feed. If your drive takes you past woods, farms, and fields, chances are even greater of a deer encounter!

Deer are social beings. Expect that when one deer appears, their family and friends are not far behind. I’ve counted at least eight deer leaping across the road in front of me in one incident. Fortunately, I’d been warned to expect a crowd! Even better, I’d seen the leader of the pack  in time to actually safely brake.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) says you should not swerve to avoid hitting a deer.  That’s the natural reaction for most folks. Instead, use your brakes!  Swerving creates huge problems, especially if there is oncoming traffic. A deer-related car accident that involves a second vehicle becomes much more complicated.

What happens if you don’t see a deer in time?

courtesy of the American Automobile Association (AAA)
  • Document your accident. If you think you have any insurance coverage, make sure you call the police. Take photos. Note the time, date, and place of the accident.
  • Don’t approach an injured deer. You could put yourself in harm’s way. Again, this is the time for a phone call. Police will dispatch someone to put the creature out of its misery.
  • If another vehicle was harmed due to your deer-related car accident, you absolutely must call the police. Again, document everything you can. Take plenty of pictures.
  • Take a deep breath and do a self-check. Any potential injuries? Did you hit your head? You may discover that you have whiplash symptoms hours later.  This is another reason to document your accident for insurance purposes.
  • Don’t drive your vehicle unless you are totally certain that it is safe to drive.
  • Call your car insurance company if you plan to make a claim.
  • IF you need to call your car insurance company, you may also need the services of a car accident attorney.

Why should you even consider calling a car accident lawyer?

Your car insurance company will seek to settle for the lowest acceptable pay-out.

You may discover you have long-term chronic pain in your neck or back as a result of your car accident. Sadly, chronic pain makes working a challenge and may even lead to job loss.

Attorney Nathan A. Steimel expertly handles car crash settlement cases in the greater St. Louis area. Book a free initial consultation today at 636-244-3737

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.