Hazardous Products / Product Liability

Often in our world there are situations where products and medications reach the market without an appropriate amount of testing. When these products injure those who use them or take the medication there may be a claim against the manufacturer, source or retailer of a product for any damages caused by the defective product. These products range widely between food, medications, real estate and any other consumer product. The person who sues can be any user of the product, not just the original purchaser.

Sometimes, after an injury it becomes clear that the injured person used the product in a way that was not intended,, that was warned against or was caused by alterations made to the original product. If this is the case, and this is the reason for the issues with the product, it may weaken a products case.

If the producer of the product had been negligent in their production of the product there may be a claim for damages. Negligent testing in the production or development of a product or in warning about the dangers of the product can be claims that are worthy of filing. Each product sold has a implied warranty that it is fit for the use that it was created for, if there is a failure, it may very well be a claim. The responsible parties may be any entity that is in control of the product prior to the failure.

Many products have warnings attached to them to make the dangers of using that product clear. If these warnings are insufficient or nonexistent then there may be a claim for damages. Failing to provide these warnings can cause even a normal product to become deadly.

If a product has a design defect then the product’s defect will be present in each product because the product is created with the defect in place. The flip side of this is when the product is assembled improperly making it dangerous. If it is proved that the defect was present at manufacture there may be a claim.

 If you have a potential claim for product liability, contact our firm for a free consultation. We may need to see the entirety of the warning documentation, proof of purchase and medical records.

Tips When You Have Been Injured in a Car Wreck

Tips When You have Been Injured

Things Which You Should NOT DO:

  • Give statements. Just as in criminal matters when you give a statement it may be used against you later, but your statement will likely NOT be of any use in the matter.
  • Do not make definitive statements about your medical history unless you are certain of your answer. If you are hazy or don’t remember completely, explain that rather than making a blanket statement.
  • Do not move or quit your job without providing this information to your attorney.

Tips When You Have Been Injured:

  • Be sure to always provide an updated set of contact information to your attorney.
  • Take pictures: of your injuries, of the scene of the wreck, of the vehicle.
  • Records: if you receive bills or records from your physician provide us with this information for our file.
  • Inform us of any changes at work, any change in your restrictions, salary etc.
  • Send us paperwork you receive from any source.
  • Be sure to provide your physician detailed information concerning your injuries, when they started and the type of pain you are experiencing.

Five BIG MISTAKES injured people make:

  • Saying they are “OK” when they are in pain.
  • Not seeing the doctor when in pain.
  • Skipping scheduled doctor’s appointments.
  • Talking about your injuries or your wreck to anyone who is not your attorney or doctor.
  • Failing to fully describe your injuries, type of pain or accident to the Physician who is treating you.

Changed Medical Records in Mississippi

We hear complaints from potential clients in Medical Malpractice lawsuits that they believe that their healthcare provider has Changed Medical Records in Mississippi. This is a serious allegation but there are certain safeguards in place in Mississippi to ensure that medical records are not altered in the hospital setting.

Under new federal regulations, hospitals have started upgrading their record keeping systems to digital medical records. A part of any digital medical record is called an audit trail. A digital audit trail can ensure that medical records are not changed by providing a record of when a medical record was viewed, edited and how it was edited. This information is available in certain instances, but will require an attorney to make a specific request for this information.

In the law it is often the case that in order to use evidence that a showing that the evidence has been preserved, and not been changed is required. This should be the case with medical records to ensure that changed medical records are not introduced into evidence and relied upon as  a true accounting of what was recorded at the time. These assurances are important when there is an allegation that a mistake was made by a doctor or nurse in the hospital. Any change in the audit trail of medical records should be considered suspect and individuals with a technical background can request this type of record and interpret those documents that are produced.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured as a result of a mistake by a doctor or nurse, our attorneys are ready to discuss your case and what options you may have.

 

Bad Faith in Mississippi, When Insurance Companies Lie or Cheat

In Mississippi when a person buys an insurance policy both parties agree to abide by rules. The insurance company agrees that it will investigate and pay valid claims and not delay or deny valid claims. When an insurance company breaks the rules and does not pay real and legitimate claims then there may be a claim for Bad Faith in Mississippi.When Insurance companies lie or cheat they may also be found to be guilty of bad faith when they lie about the existence of an insurance policy (life insurance, auto insurance), cheat the policyholder about the amount of the policy or offer a number that is far below the amount of the medical bills or damages of the claim.

fingers crossed lying company

No Takebacks: Honesty really is the best policy.

The terms of the insurance policy and the law of Mississippi will outline other things that an insurance company agrees to do. Most insurance policies include providing an attorney when a policyholder is sued by another party, or pay a valid claim made by another party against the insured. Being fair in assessing damages, and putting the interests of the policyholder before the interests of the insurance company are other important parts of the agreement between an Insurance company and policyholder. Insurance companies agree to investigate and pay claims against its insureds. If any of the above duties has been broken by your insurance company you may benefit from a one on one consultation with a Mississippi Insurance Attorney. Our attorneys are available digitally 24 hours a day to chat and our initial consultations and case evaluations are always free.

The actual insurance policy in effect at the time of the incident will be what is used in court. Often these policies change year to year and include new language to clarify the insurance company’s ability to deny certain claims. Whatever the language of the policy, Mississippi law provides that insurance policies will follow what an insured party reasonably expects the insurance policy to cover. The language of the policy will ultimately be considered but if the policy language is not clear, or could be read several different ways the interpretation favoring the policyholder (insured) will prevail.

Mississippi DUI Expungement

Expungements are available in limited situations in Mississippi. An expungement is a process by which the Court is allowed to clear an individual’s record of a conviction which would otherwise be on their permanent record. After an expungement the record of this conviction is only kept to check if an offense is a first-time offense. Much attention has been paid recently to the Expungement of first-time driving under the influence charges (DUI) in Mississippi.

Mississippi Legislature House Bill 412 was signed into law in 2014 and allows for the expungement of first time DUI’s when certain conditions are met.

Starting October 1, 2014, Mississippi DUI Expungement is possible when:

– The individual was convicted under Miss. Code §63-11-30(2) or (3)
– At least 5 years after the successful completion of the terms and conditions placed on the sentence
– the person does not hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL),
– the person did not refuse to submit to a blood or breathalyzer test,
– the person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) tested below .16% if test results are available, and w
– there is some reason the person can provide the Court of why the conviction should be expunged.

If you would like to talk to an attorney concerning if you may be eligable for Mississippi DUI Expungement, call our Attorneys at 601-272-2406 or Click here.

Additionally in Mississippi the following can be expunged:
– First Offense Misdemeanors (no traffic violations) Miss. Code § 99-19-71
– Further Misdemeanors in municipal court (if the person is shown to have learned their lesson, has good conduct for two years since last conviction, good for society).
– After nonadjudication, dismissal, or retirement of case to file. (charge can be expunged after case dismissed)
– Expungement of Minor in Possession conviction (1 year after dismissal or completion of sentence or payment of fine) Miss. Code § 67-3-70.
– Felony Expungement for bad checks, possession of a controlled substance, false pretense, larceny, malicious mischief, felonies committed under the age of 18.

Brain Damaging Injuries in Mississippi

Traumatic brain injury, is typically caused when the head receives a blow or the skull hits a solid object. These injuries are often abbreviated TBI and the forces involved involve forward and back strain as well as twisting type strain due to the combination of solid and soft tissues in the cranium. When the brain and body are moving in a certain direction at speed and then stop quickly the brain tends to keep moving and pushes against the side of the skull. The effects of Brain Damaging Injuries in Mississippi can include unconsciousness, concussive type symptoms but do not always manifest themselves in this way. Often individuals get up and walk away from the initial blow but continue on with worsening symptoms that if untreated may only worsen. Even small impacts can cause bruising or swelling in the brain and if any of the blood supply in the brain begins to bleed an individual may be in serious danger.

A blow to the head that cracks or fractures the skull can come with its own set of dangers, but typically the level of pain in these injuries sees the injured parties getting more immediate attention. It is non-treatment of head injuries that leads into more serious danger as swelling, strokes and additional injury can occur because of the lack of attention paid to them. Keeping a close watch on an individual after any head injury is a good idea, and could even save their life. Early treatment is the name of the game and is always preferred to “wait and see.” Treatment is always recommended if there is any question whether a TBI has occurred.

Brain Injuries are serious and sometimes critical injuries involving tissue that can be easily, permanently damaged. After effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury include nerve damage, seizure disorders, memory loss, loss of muscle control, and most other disabilities. Sometimes the symptoms of a brain injury are difficult to spot and can be as simple as the subject getting angry more frequently. These types of brain injuries change individuals lives and inhibit victims in ways they never thought possible.

In Mississippi wonderful resources exist, including the Brain Injury Association of Mississippi which can be found at: http://www.msbia.org/ This organization is a wonderful resource for families of people with brain damaging injuries in Mississippi.

Car Wrecks: Hit While Riding a Horse

Mississippi still has places where horses and vehicles (cars and trucks) are sharing the road. The number of horses being ridden in Mississippi means that if roadways or trails are shared by cars and horses that cars and trucks could be involved in wrecks with people riding a horse if those driving automobiles are not keeping a proper lookout. A horse with rider is around 3 feet wide and at least 8 feet tall. It is easy to see someone riding a horse coming, and avoiding an animal that is usually at a walk or trot should be easy if the vehicle is under proper control and keeping a proper looking.

Mississippi law provides that any person riding a horse or driving has the same rights and duties applicable to a driver of an automobile.

Miss. Code Ann. Section 63-3-207

Every person riding a bicycle or an animal or driving any animal drawing a vehicle upon a highway shall have all of the rights and all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle under this chapter, except those provisions of this chapter which by their nature can have no application.

 

Unfortunately, distracted driving, texting and browsing the internet on a cell phone while driving all happen far too frequently in Mississippi and when a driver is distracted they can either fail to see the obstacle in front of them or react more slowly because their attention is not where it should have been. When a wreck does happen between a car or truck and a horse the damage to the person riding a horse is often serious and often require major medical treatment. Individuals involved in this type of wreck may fall from the horse, may experience the force from a large vehicle throwing them and causing broken bones or head injury. After the wreck it may be in the best interest of all involved to consult a doctor and see if the injuries from the wreck are serious enough to require additional attention.

horse wreck crossing

Sign: Horse Crossing

Types of Damages Available at Trial in an Injury Case

Types Of Damages Available in a Personal Injury Action

Damages in a personal injury case are called compensatory damages and are meant to put put a monetary value on any and every part of an injury given to an individual. It is widely acknowledged that no amount of money can ever truly “make things right” but a jury is instructed to consider every type of damage claimed and make a finding about the loss sustained in as a result of those damages.

Actual damages, are damages to reimburse for money out of pocket for expenses like medical bills, damage to property and any income lost as a result of the injury.

General damages are another category of damages that would be awarded for the suffering or pain of the individual, the amount of stress, fear and hurt experienced, the loss of society or companionship (consortium) and the loss of that future enjoyment an individual would have in their life.

Property Damage

An injured person can also be awarded damages for any property that has been damaged or destroyed as well. In a collision or wreck damage to the car or truck is common. The bill for the repair and diminished value of the car are both recoverable and should be considered as well as any other items damaged in an injury or any reimbursement for any rental car or other vehicle expense as the car or truck is being repaired.

Loss of Income

If an injury causes the plaintiff to not be able to work, a plaintiff should recover whatever would have been earned during that time. In this lost time at work time should be included for any lost work due to traveling to or from a doctor’s office or any time spent in the doctor’s office. It could also be the case that in injury slows a worker down and does not allow them to make as much as they would if they did not have the injury. An injury that slows a worker down, or has effects over the rest of the worker’s life should be considered as part of any recoverable damages.

Pain and Suffering

Accompanied with injuries and often the most difficult to relate to are the amount of pain the individual has endured or the amount of suffering that this individual has faced. It is easy to see pain on some individual’s faces, on others not so much but what the individual reports and the type of treatment they have revived will make this picture clearer. How much pain medicine has this person needed? what kind of treatment did they receive? How long was the recovery period.

Also, hearing from friends and family as to the amount of pain the person has been in or their inability to do the things they have normally been able to do will show the change in how well the person is living and how much pain they may be in day to day. For those who are in constant pain, it is difficult to put a number on what the value of pain over the rest of your life, taking away some of those special moments will be.

Mental Anguish and Emotional Distress

Mental anguish and emotional distress may seem similar to pain and suffering, but are different because they are the internal mind’s response to the actual event. Fear, uncertainty, stress, embarrassment, and grief all fall in this category. Again, this category is not visual but has to do with the experience of the individual and can be seen by the testimony of the individual as well as by family members and Doctors reports.

Loss of Consortium

Loss of Consortium has to do with an injured or deceased person’s inability to be involved as readily in relationship with family members or friends in the same way as before. Often injuries causing depression or brain injuries can have this effect and the effect of this loss in the case of death is easy to see.

Lost Opportunity

When someone is injured and loses a business opportunity that would have been available to the otherwise, this category of damages is available. Even when lost wages are accounted for, if an individual is unable to compete in the same way anymore.

Medical Expenses

Any injury involving medical bills has the capability of accessing this category to attempt to help the plaintiff pay those bills which have been incurred. The amount of these damages should be the full amount of the medical bill absent any consideration of where other payment may come from given that there is often a subtraction that takes place of any amounts from the total damages that has been paid for by some other source.

Future medical expenses that an individual may need as a result of the injuries involved in the case will also be made a part of this category of damages. A plaintiff is entitled to any future damage that based on the evidence is more likely than not will occur.