Automobile Accidents

Automobile Accidents

Automobile accidents are used as a buzz word by Insurance companies. This name of choice exists because it by definition the conduct leading to these injuries is unintentional and inadvertent. Car wrecks are one of the top causes of injury in the United States. The word accident also makes it difficult to think about deaths and lifetime injuries caused by an automobile accident. While it is true that negligent conduct causes many of wrecks that occur in the United States, careless decisions are often the root cause of automobile accidents. Distracted driving is on the rise, and the choice to pay attention to something other than the road is a decision that often leads to injury.  Another cause of automobile accidents is defective parts in cars.

Most states have laws requiring drivers to carry insurance coverage, but juries will never be told about any coverage.

Negligence is the legal term for whenever someone acts in a way that a reasonable person wouldn’t act. Staring at your cell phone while traveling at highway speeds should automatically fall into that category. The law calls us all to act reasonably, and to use consideration for our fellow men. When an individual’s negligence causes injuries, medical bills, lost work and future medicals the law requires repayment of these amounts as much as possible.

Damaged Vehicle

Totaled Car 

The amount of damages owed in any injury case is dollar for dollar the amount it would take to fully put an injured person or their family back to the way they were prior to the wreck. There are injuries and changes to a life that money cannot repair, but the job of the jury is to make this determination at trial. What is the cost to a person to live day to day with pain for the rest of your life, or to lose the ability to pick up your children?

In a lawsuit there are times when negligence as a matter of law can be established. This sort of negligence is also called negligence per se, but can be shown where a defendant breaks traffic laws or statutes in causing the wreck. If a wreck is caused as a vehicle drives the wrong way on the road or while the driver is intoxicated.

Passenger Injured in a Wreck Mississippi

In car wrecks passengers are in a unique position. A passenger injured in a Wreck in Mississippi  is most often not responsible for a wreck occurring. This doesn’t mean that passengers are less likely to be injured in a wreck.

Passengers face the same sorts of injuries as drivers, broken bones, and neurological damages. Whatever the cause of the wreck, there is someone other than the passenger that will potentially be responsible for paying for the injuries.

In Mississippi Insurance coverage is required for any driver on the road, but juries will never be told in a trial that insurance coverage will pay for the damages they find to be caused by a defendant. Insurance coverage will be necessary to pay for any damage sustained by a passenger and begin the process of putting the passenger’s life back together.

Passenger Injuries

Injured as a passenger. No fault, same injuries.

Often time making a claim against an insurance company will result in low-ball offers which may not even pay all of your medical bills. Whenever an insurance company makes an initial offer it is always a good idea to talk to a personal injury attorney about this offer prior to accepting it. At the very least your free consultation with one of our Mississippi Personal Injury Attorneys can give you peace of mind about your claim, your injuries, lost work, ongoing disability, medical damages and any future medical bills you may have to pay before accepting a settlement.

Contact us today if you would like to speak to an attorney about your claim.

 

Death in a Car Wreck

Life is fragile and can be over in an instant. When a family is rocked due to a death in a car wreck of a loved one all sorts of unexpected questions suddenly become important. Questions like is there available insurance coverage, how do we make ends meet with mounting bills and one less working family members.

Our Mississippi Personal injury attorneys are available 24 hours a day to discuss options for those families that have been shaken up by a death in a car wreck, and can walk you through sources of potential recovery, immediate relief that may be available for you and your family, and help you begin the process of moving forward whole remembering the loss of a loved one.

Among the many questions will inevitably be what insurance is available to my family? Two types of insurance are most likely to be triggered in a death in a car wreck situation: Auto Insurance and Life insurance.

In Mississippi, state statute (63-15-4) requires that each motorist on the roadways carry a minimum of $25,000.00 per person / $50,000.00 per incident in automobile coverage. Many policies offer $100,000.00 or $200,000.00 per injured person in the wreck. More often than not it will require the help of an attorney build a case and prove that the entirety of the insurance policy will be required to compensate the injuries. The reason it often requires an attorney is that insurance companies want to keep as much money as possible, even when the case clearly  has merit and should be paid.

 

Failure to Diagnose – Cancer

Failure to Diagnose Cancer

Cancer is a scary word to hear when it refers to you or a family member. More and more, different types of cancer can be treated if caught early enough. Any delay in diagnosis of cancer can decrease the patient’s chance of survival and leave the patient with very few treatment options rather than having the full compliment of treatments available. Sometimes mistakes in diagnosis lead to death when the cancer was completely treatable. Individuals whose loved ones have died, or patients who have had bad outcomes as a result of a delayed or missed diagnosis may have a claim.

Mistakes in the Diagnosis

The reason mistakes happen in Cancer diagnosis are many but include:

  • Failing to see early warning signs
  • Failing to listen to symptoms reported by patient
  • Failing to recognize documented risk factors
  • Faliling to document in medical records
  • Failing to order necessary tests due to concerns about the patient’s ability to pay
  • Improper blood and tissue sampling
  • Negligent reading of tests
  • Failure to follow up with patient

Consequences of Failure to Diagnose Cancer

The longer cancer goes  undiagnosed or misdiagnosed cancer will continue to spread, grow, and become more serious making the difficulty in treatment greater. These negative issues can include:

  • requiring more invasive treatment or surgery
  • requiring more extensive chemotherapy
  • requiring more expensive treatment
  • causing more nausea and pain
  • Long-term disability
  • Loss of income
  • Death

Failure to Diagnose Cancer and Delayed Diagnosis Can Be Fatal

Cancer by its very nature replicates and spreads as fast as possible. Cancer treatment is all about effective early diagnosis and treatment. Paying attention to warning signs and providing treatment early gives the patient the highest likelihood of success. The more time passes the more serious and dangerous the treatment to fight off the cancer. After a certain point of progression there is nothing more that can be done for a patient. This is why missing a diagnosis or not seeing the symptoms of cancer can be so devastating:

  • High risk surgery becomes the only option left
  • Only part of a malignant tumor can be surgically excised
  • Treatment may only slow down the progression of terminal cancer
  • Chemo has to be very aggressive, long in duration and high in intensity

Mississippi Failure to Diagnose

Failure to Diagnose Heart Attack

When an individual has a heart episode seconds can be the difference between terrible consequences and a normal / full life. Failure to diagnose heart attacks can lead to serious after effects for the patient. The reason this delay in diagnosis is important is because the tissue of the heart needs a constant blood supply and a heart episode often cuts this blood supply due to a blockage in an artery which provides the supply. When the muscle fibers of the heart go without blood flow (oxygen) the tissue can be permanently damaged.

Symptoms of heart attack

Chest pain is a common symptom. (not necessary)
Can’t catch breath
Weakness
Lightheaded
Cold Sweats
Fatigue
Stomach issues or pain
Radiating pain
Tightness in chest

Heart Attack Diagnosis

When a heart attack is suspected there are often diagnostic tests that are run to determine if a heart event has occurred. Not running these tests when symptoms are present may be a sign if a failure to diagnose a heart attack. These tests include:

  • looking for any risk factors
  • checking medication history
  • physically examining the patient
  • Electrokardiogram testing to watch the electrical impulses of the heart;
  • Blood tests to look for chemicals that are created when an event has occurred.

Why Doctors Fail to Diagnose Heart Attack

Any doctor is capable of missing the signs and symptoms of a heart attack. It takes the diligence we require of our medical professionals to insure that this happens as little as possible in our society.

Mississippi Free Consultation Attorney

If you have a legal issue anywhere in Mississippi a free consultation with an attorney can help you to learn your rights and see what can be done to protect them. Our offices offer free consultations with a Mississippi Attorney.

Here are the top three reasons you should contact an attorney today.

1. Insurance Claims

Claims on an insurance policy often take a long time. When a person is injured or has their life negatively effected by loss of or damage to property this delay would benefit an insurance company. (Whether it is intentional or not). This is because often injured people find themselves not being able to pay medical bills or car repair bills and are forced to settle their claim for pennies on the dollar of what their claim is worth, and this without speaking to a free consultation attorney.

2. The Value of Your Claim Through the Eyes of an Attorney Who Offers a Free Consultation

When you or a loved one are injured it is vitally important to learn as much as you can about your injuries, about how insurance adjusters value claims, what offers from these insurance companies often look like and what you are entitled to in an insurance claim.

Our experienced attorneys can help you sort through the types of ways an injury may effect your life ongoing, and help you to see why addressing your concerns about your injuries early by having a free consultation is an absolute must.

 

3. Statute of Limitations

The law requires that claims or lawsuits be filed or defenses be made within a certain short time frames. The laws that control these time limits are called the statute of limitations. In Mississippi these time limits can be as short as a year. There is nothing more disheartening than seeing an individual who is truly hurt that has no claim as a result of this time limit passing. That is why talking to an attorney as quickly as possible is important, there are sometimes rare exceptions to the statute of limitations that a free consultation attorney can help talk you through.

Comparative Negligence or Comparative Fault

Comparative Negligence or Comparative Fault

Comparative negligence or comparative fault are defenses provided to defendants to lessen what a particular defendant will be required to pay in a claim. Each defense has to do with some amount of blame being assigned to the plaintiff or some other party. In Mississippi relies on the Jury assigning a percentage of fault to each defendant. The jury will first determine the amount of damages caused by the injury and then assign the percentage of those damages that each defendant should pay.

So any judgment of damages will be reduced by the amount that the Plaintiff is found to be at fault. Often juries confuse what is awarded by awarding the amount they think is fair and not realizing that this amount will be further reduced based on the comparative fault guidelines.

For example if a plaintiff is injured and the jury would like the plaintiff to actually receive 100,000.00 for their injuries the following comparative fault situations will get the plaintiff to that number:

100,000.00 in damages with 0% fault assigned to the plaintiff 100% to the named defendant.

200,000.00 in damages with 50% fault assigned to the plaintiff and 50% to the named defendant.

1,000,000.00 in damages with 90% fault assigned to the plaintiff 10% to the named defendant.

Questions for a Concussion, Stroke and Brain Injury Attorney (Part 2)

Stroke

What is a stroke?

A stroke can occur when any area of the brain is deprived of oxygen.

What physically occurs during a stroke?

A bleed or blockage in the blood vessels leading to the brain can cause this lack of oxygen. Strokes can also be caused by hemorrhages in the brain.

What are the symptoms of a stroke?

  • weakness or numbness in the arm, the face, or the leg on one side of the body;
  • Loss or dimming of vision in one or both eyes;
  • Loss of the ability to speak, difficulty understanding what others are attempting to communicate;
  • Sudden throbbing headache;
  • instability while walking with some other symptom.

Are there effective early treatments for stroke?

Early stroke treatment is imperative to increase the chances for a good outcome. Minutes matter when it comes to a stroke and it is very important to get medical treatment as quickly as possible.

tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) is a clot-busting stroke drug that when administered quickly after the onset of stroke symptoms will sometimes allow blood flow to return to the stroke effected areas, minimizing the tissue damage.

What are some of the legal issues involving strokes?

When an individual receives damage of any sort to brain tissue, there is a chance that there will be diminished capacity and a need for the individual to have additional services or help in order to lead a normal life.

Mississippi Law of Conservatorships

What is a conservatorship?

In Mississippi, an individual can be appointed by the court to oversee the affairs of daily life for an individual. This individual is called a conservator and is similar to a  guardian or power of attorney.

When may it be needed?

A conservatorship can be initiated when two doctors agree that an individual is incapable of attending to the affairs of their day to day life.

How is a conservatorship different from a power of attorney?

A conservatorship overrides a power of attorney and the court appointed conservator will be placed over all the affairs of the individual.

What about wills, living wills and power of attorneys, when would each of these documents be the most useful.

Wills and living wills help express the wishes of an individual when the individual is no longer able to make these decisions. A will would express those wishes after life ends, and a living will expresses end of life decisions concerning topics such as life support, comfort and resuscitation.

Useful Information About 18-wheeler Wrecks

After practicing law in 18-wheeler injury litigation, I have come across several useful tidbits about these wrecks that I am not sure the general public is aware of. Our firm makes sure to secure this information as quickly as possible after any 18-wheeler wreck, and as a result we often have very good information about what caused the wreck.

Each of the following are areas of evidence that would not be available to the average individual who has been injured by an 18-wheeler, but that can be obtained by a knowledgeable 18-wheeler attorney.

Many 18-wheelers are videoing your driving.

18-wheeler drivers and 18-wheeler companies have spent money to install video cameras in different orientations on their trucks. When these cameras capture anything useful to the trucking company the videos are shown as many different places as possible and on the news. When these videos capture the 18-wheeler driver being negligent or causing a wreck there videos are much more difficult to come by.

Many 18-wheelers have GPS on board.

Trucking companies keep a close eye on their drivers and how close the load they are hauling is to the destination. The trucking company will know when a driver started his trip, the speed the driver was travelling. This information can establish fatigued driving, reckless driving and if the 18-wheeler driver was breaking the speed limit. There may be liability on the part of the trucking company for allowing a driver to break the speed limit, or rest schedule requirements.

Many 18-wheelers record the exact speed and g-forces at the time of a wreck.

Modern vehicles contain a device called the ECM or electronic control module which keel a record of the speed the 18-wheeler was traveling immediately prior to the wreck and will likely provide access to the g-forces that were involved in the wreck. Our experts have successfully downloaded this information and helped us put together a vivid picture of how the wreck occurred.

After a wreck 18-wheeler drivers may be required to submit to a drug and alcohol test.

In serious wrecks, 18-wheeler drivers are often immediately escorted by police or highway patrol to give a drug and alcohol test. Proving whether a 18-wheeler driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol is very important in proving liability on the truck driver or trucking company.

18-wheeler drivers are required to use hands free devices.

In many states the law requires that 18-wheeler drivers not use a cellular device to text or talk while driving. This would require that any communication be conducted over a headset or bluetooth connection to the audio. The impetus will be on the trucking company to show that this was in place.

Many 18-wheeler carriers have policies and training for drivers telling them to never admit fault in a wreck.

Some 18-wheeler drivers are trained to not provide any information as to how the wreck occurred and are trained to not admit fault in a wreck.

Dangerous Distracted Driving: Cell Phones and Wrecks

Distracted Driving Background

In 2009 a teen was killed by a distracted driver while lawfully crossing the street in a designated crosswalk. Following the incident family and friends created “EndDD.org” a resource to spread awareness of how widespread the issue of driving while distracted really is.

The causes of distracted driving and those that participate in distracted driving are legion. Conscientious citizens, grandparents, criminals, politicians, ministers and everyone in between are all in some degree guilty of being distracted by others in the car, a cell phone, or the affairs of daily life. These distractions can have dangerous or deadly consequences for others who are sharing the road with these individuals.

Do you feel comfortable sharing the road with this driver? It doesn’t appear in the video that he is paying nearly enough attention to the road and the driver is being selfish. While operating a vehicle it is the driver’s responsibility as far as it depends on him to keep his passengers and the other vehicles on the road safe.

State laws are changing on cell phone use while driving and distracted driving.

Many states are beginning to see the deep danger of allowingdrivers to utilize cell phones, text, email or watch video while driving and are beginning to legislate against these activities. EndDD.org has a pledge that I would encourage you and your family to discuss and implement prior to family members getting behind the wheel. That text message will never again be as important as you decided it was when you took your eyes off the road and injured someone else or worse.

EndDD.org

The program asks its students to speak up when they are a passenger in a vehicle when another individual is driving distracted. By speaking up this passenger can let the driver know that their behavior is not ok and could hurt someone else. One solution that is popular is to offer to share the responsibility of whatever is distracting the driver, or directly speaking to the driver about your misgivings.

Often we rationalize and give ourselves excuses such as: I can multi-task, or I am so busy right now that I have to pay attention to this. These are not valid reasons. EndDD.org asks individuals to commit to driving without sending text messages or reading text messages on their phone, calling prior to driving rather than during driving or pulling over to a safe location to use a phone. Our thinking about distracted driving should be even more broad and include choosing not to text those whom we know to be driving.

A simple form version of the Family Safe Driving Agreement can be found here. We encourage you if you are reading this post to print the form or come by our offices and we will print it for you, it is that important to us.

The Distracted Driving agreement asks that those who sign it commit to the following:

  1. Drive without text messages.
  2. Call ahead to let parents or friends know you are driving if they are expecting you.
  3. Pull over to a safe place to use your cell phone.
  4. Ask your passenger to keep you distraction free.
  5. Turn cell phone to vibrate before starting to drive.
  6. Commit to not calling or texting others that you know to be driving.
  7. When you see a distracted driver talking to them about it.
  8. Offer to help the driver with any distracting activities that may come up.

To summarize it may be easier than you think to become an advocate for not driving while distracted. Your advocacy may save your own life or the life of someone you care about.