Archive for April, 2011

Mississippi Pedestrian Accidents Pose Serious Danger for Children and Elderly

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Almost nine people per day lose their lives in auto accidents while walking, jogging or running which amounts to over four thousand people per year according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  Data from the NHTSA also reveals that almost sixty thousand additional pedestrians suffer injuries when they are struck by motor vehicles.  The majority of these accidents resulting in serious injury and death take place in urban areas.  Young children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to serious injury or fatal pedestrian accidents.  With an increasing number of distracted and speeding drivers trying to get to work and trying to pick up kids from school, pedestrian accidents needlessly occur on an ongoing basis.

The elderly actually are not as likely to be hit by cars as young people but are more likely to die from their injuries if involved in an accident.  The diminished capacities of some elderly persons create a higher chance that they can be involved in a pedestrian fatality.  As people age, they experience reduced use of their eyesight, hearing and bodily reflexes.  A person of more advanced age may also move at a slower pace making it more difficult for them to identify potential dangers and to react after recognizing the danger.

Children sometimes play in the streets in certain areas and may lack the maturity and experience to recognize the serious risk of being involved in a pedestrian accident.  Many drivers exceed the speed limit or drive while engaged in distracted driving practices.  The fact that children are smaller and harder to see also makes it easier for a car to hit them when backing up or when turning corners. When a child is hit by the front of the car, he or she will normally be hit by the bumper in the thigh and the hood will strike the child’s torso.  If it is a large vehicle, the child can be hit even higher like in the head and neck area.

Impatient and inattentive drivers on the road present a huge hazard to someone crossing the street especially a child or elderly person.  Drivers who refuse to slow down in areas where children are present or try to simply slow down and accelerate around people in crosswalks often cause serious pedestrian accidents.  It is not uncommon for drivers looking down at their cell phone to fail to yield at intersections, which can be extremely dangerous.  Pedestrian accidents involving children and elderly are often caused by a variety of negligence driving practices by drivers including:

  • Fatigued or drowsy drivers
  • Drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Speeding drivers
  • Drivers distracted (i.e. using cell phones and other mobile electronic devices)
  • Aggressive drivers
  • Violations of traffic safety laws (i.e. failing to obey stop signs)

When a car, truck or SUV strikes a child or elderly pedestrian, they can sustain serious injuries including:

  • Spinal cord injury
  • Broken and Fractured bones
  • Head and brain injuries
  • Paralysis

Government entities, such as municipalities may also be responsible for pedestrian accidents where intersections are not properly controlled, streets are poorly lit or other roadway design defect exists.  A municipality that has knowledge of a pattern of collisions including pedestrian accidents may have a responsibility to take reasonable measures to make a road or intersection safe, which may include reducing speed limits, installing proper traffic controls or utilizing speed bumps.  The more crowded our towns and cities get the more vigilant drivers and pedestrians must be to avoid serious pedestrian accidents.

If you or someone you love has suffered serious injury or wrongful death in a pedestrian accident, our Mississippi pedestrian accident attorneys diligently represent those injured in pedestrian accidents throughout the state.  Our experienced Mississippi pedestrian injury lawyers zealously pursue the best possible outcome for our clients.

Memorial Day Means Fun on Mississippi Waterways and Boating Accidents

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Most of us have begun preparing our boats and digging the fishing poles along with the camping gear out of the storage room.  Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner so it is time to take the boats out of storage and get ready to go swimming, fishing and pleasure cruising on Mississippi waterways. There are so many beautiful bayous, rivers, and lakes in Mississippi that it is a perfect place to spend Memorial Day weekend.  If those out on the water become careless or mix alcohol and boating, it can mean serious boating accidents.

Most boating accidents that result in fatalities occur during daylight hours.  The  majority of fatal boating accidents also occur on warm, sunny days before 5 PM when the winds are light, and the water is calm.  Boating accidents frequently are caused by capsizing or falling out of the boat, which is how most people are killed on the water in boating accidents.

What is Capsizing?

Capsizing is when the boat flips over on its side or turns all the way over.  Many serious boating accidents also occur when someone stands up in a boat and loses their balance.  This can result in a person falling in the water and drowning sometimes when hitting one’s head on the side or bottom of the boat, or the person may get seriously injured when entangled in the boat propellor.  Capsize accidents or accidents where boaters are injured when slipping and falling into the water usually occurs on small watercrafts.

On March 21, 2011, a man died when he and his fishing buddy stood up at the same time in their 14 foot boat while fishing on the Mississippi River. The boat suddenly flipped throwing both men overboard, and only one of the men survived.  Because this type of accident frequently occurs with fatal results, it is important to know what precautions to take to prevent tipping or falling out of a small boat.  Sometime boats, especially small fishing or pleasure boats, will capsize so it is important that you and everyone on the boat know what to do if the boat does tip over, or someone does fall out of the boat into the water.

Here are some guidelines that can help you safely enjoy Mississippi waterways:

  • Boat owners should not allow anyone to sit where there is no seat.  It is important to ensure every passenger is sitting in a place on board that is a designed for occupants to sit.  No one should sit on the front of the boat where no seats are placed or sit on top of the backs of the seats or motor cover. This disrupts the boat’s balance and center of gravity.
  • Boats should not be overloaded with too much cargo or be loaded with more passengers than seats.
  • All boat occupants should be sitting when the boat is moving.  It is important to keep your center of gravity low and close to the water.
  • It is always a bad idea to lean on the sides of a small boat. This will disrupt the boat’s balance.
  • When moving across the water and turning a boat, the driver should make the turn wide and slow.
  • Boat owners should never go out on rough water or just prior to a storm.
  • When anchoring your boat, you should always anchor from the bow ( front of boat).  You should never throw an anchor from the rear of the boat.

What If Your Boat Capsizes or You Fall Overboard

If you fall out of the boat and cannot get back in, you should stay with the boat if at all possible. A boat is easier to spot than someone floating in the water.  You can signal for help using devices on the boat such as mirrors, distress signals and whistles.

If you did not have a life jacket on when you fell out of the boat, you should find one and put it on or at least hold onto it.  You should also look around you and make sure everyone can be accounted for and that each person is wearing a life jacket.

If you fall into the water, you should try to get back onto the boat.  If you are unable to do so, it is best to pull as much of your body out of the water as possible.  A person who falls overboard and cannot get back into the boat should not tread water because it will result in you losing your body heat faster.  It is advisable to simply hold onto the boat until help arrives.

What If the Boat Sinks?

If your boat sinks or gets away from you, the most important thing is not to panic.  You should tighten your life vest securely and wait for help. If you don’t have a life vest, it is important to look around and see what is floating on the water, such as oars, coolers, and boat seats. You and your passengers should hold onto whatever is floating on the water and stay together in a group.  If there is nothing at all to hold onto, you will have to tread water or float.  If the water is very cold, try floating instead of treading to prevent hypothermia.  All waterways are routinely patrolled so help should arrive soon.

The most important item for everyone to have on before entering the boat is a life jacket because getting back into a boat once it has flipped over is extremely difficult to do.  This is why there are so many people killed this way each year.  No one wants to be a tragic Memorial Day boating accident statistic.  If you or someone you love is injured in a serious boating accident because of the negligence of a boat owner, boat operator or defective boat part, you may be entitled to damages for your injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one.

At Barrett Law, PLLC our law firm’s roots representing those who suffer injury or wrongful death at the hands of others throughout Mississippi extend back 75 years.  We are committed to helping those who suffer personal injury in Lexington and throughout Mississippi obtain compensation for their injuries or loss of a loved one.

If you or a family member is injured in a boating accident, our experienced Mississippi personal injury lawyers can help so call us today at (662) 834-2376.

Tire Blowouts: A Serious Auto Accident Risk for Mississippi Drivers

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Tire blowouts are extremely common and extremely dangerous.  They cause over 23,000 motor vehicle accidents a year in the U.S. resulting in 500 fatalities. That is more than one fatality a day and more than 60 auto accidents a day.

What Causes Tire Blowouts?

  • Low tire pressure
  • Worn out tires
  • Defective tires
  • Puncture in the tire
  • Overloaded vehicle

By inspecting your tires on a regular basis, you may be able to prevent or at least reduce the likelihood of experiencing a tire blowout.  It is important to always take your car into a reputable tire dealer to have balancing and rotating done.  Mississippi drivers should be wary of bargain tire shops that do not have a solid reputation because they may use defective tires to save money.

Motorists in Mississippi should keep track of mileage since their tires were replaced and be mindful of when the tires need to be changed out. The appropriate time to replace your tires will depend on what type and how much driving you do. Your tire dealer will let you know too.  It is also very important to check your tire pressure frequently either just by looking at them or better yet take a hand-held pressure gauge and check them. If you need air go down to the local gas station and pump them up.  Under-inflated tires frequently results in serious blowout related Mississippi auto accidents.

Blowouts and Accidents

Tire blowouts are never expected and impossible to prepare for so that driver’s are usually caught off guard and panic when they occur. This is why preventing tire blowouts when navigating the highways and streets of Mississippi is the best line of defense.  Even if you take careful precautions, tire blowouts on Mississippi roadways may still occur, especially if you have defective tires on your vehicle so you should know how to handle the situation when it occurs.

The noise of a tire blowing out is going to sound like a big boom, which often startles drivers.  You should regain your composure and make sure that you have both hands on the wheel.

1. Try not to slam on your brakes or jerk the steering wheel one way or another.

2. Maintain your speed as best you can in a straightforward direction.

3. You will need to counter-steer a bit because whatever side the blown out tire is on, that car is going to being pulling in that direction.

4. Stabilize the car, begin to slow down and carefully pull over to the side of the road.

5. Once you get over to the side of the road, be careful that you pull as far off the road as possible and be careful of oncoming traffic if you get out of the car.

If your blowout occurs on new tires then it may be a manufacturing issue with the tires. Most tires have a warranty so if you bring them back to your tire dealer, they should be able to help you. If you or anyone was injured or even killed due to the blowout then the manufacturer could be liable.

If your tire blowout turns into a car accident causing you or your loved one to be injured, you should call our experienced Mississippi defective tire attorneys right away.

At Barrett Law, PLLC, our Mississippi accident lawyers have been representing residents in Lexington and throughout Mississippi in serious motor vehicle accidents for over 75 years.  We offer a free initial case evaluation so that we can assess your case and advise you of your rights so contact us today at (662) 834-2376.

Motorcycle Accidents: The Outdated Notion of the Outlaw Rider

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

Despite the recent rise in the popularity of motorcycles, especially amongst professionals and celebrities, the renegade image of bikers is rapidly changing.  There are still many who believe that those who ride motorcycles are mostly hoodlums and outlaws.  This outlaw image is simply no longer accurate as most bikers are in their mid-40’s with jobs and families. They’re not rebels, outlaws or inconsiderate to others on the road. They often participate in or organize riding events to support charity.  Motorcyclists are also increasingly professionals including doctors, lawyers, dentists, other business leaders and highly educated individuals.

Because perceptions have not changed as fast as the actual shifts in the demographics of riders, many motorists still do not show the proper courtesy and caution to protect motorcyclists.  A study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals the extent of the problem.  The study found that in multiple vehicle accidents, the other motorist violating the rider’s right of way causes two-thirds of all motorcycle accidents.  The failure of drivers to detect and identify motorcycles in traffic is the leading cause of motorcycle accidents.  The driver of the other vehicle frequently does not see a rider soon enough to avoid a motorcycle collision.

If you suffer serious injury or have lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident caused by inattentive or negligent drivers with whom you share the road, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.  Our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys will carefully investigate your accident and examine the contributing causes and potential liable parties.  We understand that the inherent bias still felt by many makes the roadways of Mississippi a dangerous place for riders.  The failure of other drivers to see motorcyclists is only one common cause of fatal motorcycle accidents.  Other common contributing factors to Mississippi motorcycle accidents include:

  • Product defects with your motorcycle
  • Drivers who do not follow right of way or other traffic safety laws
  • Dangerous roadways that are not safely designed or maintained
  • Drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Motorists who are speeding or driving too fast for traffic or weather conditions
  • Fatigued, drowsy or distracted driving
  • Failure of drivers to obey traffic signals or signs

Motorcyclists are at a much greater risk than most other vehicle occupants in an accident.  Motorcycles offer absolutely no protection to a rider who is involved in an accident.  Over 96 percent of motorcycle riders are injured if they are involved in an accident and almost half suffer serious injury.  The most deadly injuries are injuries to the chest and head. This makes wearing a helmet essential because it can prevent traumatic brain injuries and fatal head injuries. The NHTSA has indicated that a helmet reduces the risk of fatal injury by 40 percent and non-fatal injury by 15 percent.

Our Mississippi motorcycle accident attorneys represents those who are injured by the negligence of others throughout the state.  If you have been involved in a serious motorcycle accident, our experienced Mississippi motorcycle accident attorneys offer a free consultation.  We can assess your situation and advise you regarding your rights and options.

Teen Texting While Driving: Parents Are Last Line of Defense

Monday, April 25th, 2011

If you are a parent of a child old enough to own a cell phone or iPod, you probably have experienced the frustration of trying to get your child’s attention as they stare at their electronic device and type frantically with their thumbs.  You repeat yourself several times and finally give up knowing your child has disappeared into the teen world of texting.  Unfortunately, the teen obsession with texting goes from being frustrating to extremely dangerous when a teen driver continues this practice behind the wheel of the family car.  Car accidents remain the leading cause of fatalities for teenage drivers.

The problem is increasing with the growing danger of teen texting while driving.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that of teenagers who text as many as one in three indicates they have done so while driving.  If you have been seriously injured or have lost a loved one in a car accident in a Mississippi teen texting accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your loss.  Our experienced Mississippi auto accident law firm can provide an initial evaluation of your case.

Teen drivers who are involved in texting while driving are distracted mentally, physically and visually.  According to the NHTSA, distracted driving accounts for 16 percent of all car accident fatalities and 20 percent of all auto accident related injuries.  A serious motor vehicle accident is often the result of being only slightly delayed in responding to a road hazard that requires one to brake or swerve.  Texting while driving may distract a driver’s attention from the road for as long as five seconds at a time.  A study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study found texting while driving increases the risk of being involved in a car crash as much as 23 times.

Texting and driving is rapidly becoming one of the most dangerous distracted driving practices.  Teenagers who text and drive increase the risk inherent in texting while driving because of their inexperience.  Mississippi legislators recognize this increased risk and have passed legislation prohibiting texting while driving by inexperienced teen drivers.  A recent survey of teenagers revealed that even legislation and education aimed at helping teenagers understand the risk associated with texting while driving does not seem to be making significant progress.  The survey revealed that while 84 percent of teens were aware of the danger posed by distracted driving 86 percent of teens admit to engaging in such behavior.

Some parents are taking proactive measures to protect their children from being involved in a serious texting while driving accident.  Some parents monitor their children’s phone use and compare records of cell phone use with times a teenager is driving.  A number of parents are even having technology installed in their vehicle that will disable a cell phone when the car is moving.  We can only hope that as parents become more proactive, these steps will succeed where Mississippi’s anti-texting law and public service campaigns have been less than an enthusiastic success.  Distracted driving accidents related to texting while driving will continue to cause catastrophic injuries and fatalities.  Our experienced Mississippi distracted driving attorneys represent clients throughout the state who are involved in serious motor vehicle accidents.  If you have been injured or loved one has been killed, our experienced Mississippi car accident attorneys will advise you of your rights and provide an initial case evaluation.

Brake Failure a Leading Cause of Mississippi Tractor-Trailer Crashes

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

The deadly impact of a tractor-trailer collision with a passenger vehicle is a product of a combination of factors including the immense size of the truck, the weight of the truck, the speed of the truck, as well as the overall weight and weight distribution when considering the tractor-trailer cargo.  These factors often form a “perfect storm” and result in a devastating impact that can completely destroy a passenger vehicle and cause permanent catastrophic injury to the occupants or all to often wrongful death.  Brake failure is one of the leading causes of Mississippi tractor-trailer crashes. Brake failures or other problems associated with brakes cause about 30 percent of truck accidents according to the National Highway Safety administration.

Other causes often contribute to brake failure accidents involving commercial vehicles, such as truck driver negligence including fatigue or driver error, as well as defects from other truck components such as tire failure. When commercial truck brakes fail, however, the massive force generated by 80,000 moving at 55 miles per hour will can wreak havoc when it is unable to stop even when the truck driver does everything right.

Collisions involving a tractor-trailer which experiences brake failure may take many forms, such as jackknife accident, rear-end collisions, intersection collision, truck under-ride crash, and fatal collisions involving pedestrians and bicyclists.  The issue of improperly maintained or defective brakes on tractor-trailer may be amplified by the fact that these vehicles are difficult to stop and this difficulty is compounded when conditions are less than ideal.  Recently, a tractor-trailer accident in Mississippi claimed the life of a 10-year-old girl and left 10 others injured. The cause of the accident combined the variable of adverse weather with the driver’s inability to stop in time in order to avoid the accident.

A particular dangerous type of tractor-trailer accident that may be caused not be defective brakes as much as improper application or sudden emergency use of the brakes.  A jackknife commercial trucking accident involves the folding of a tractor-trailer in such a way to resemble a pocketknife folding in an acute angle, which causes the trailer to swing out in front and face backwards, posing an extreme risk of harm to surrounding drivers.  If the truck driver applies the brakes suddenly while the vehicle is still going at a fast rate of speed, the trailer is still in motion during the sudden braking, and physics will cause this catastrophic jackknife scenario.

Companies are required to regularly inspect trucks in order to detect mechanical problems or defects and repair these problems to avoid fatal trucking accidents.  A trucking company has a obligation to keep the brakes in working condition which involves adjusting the brakes when necessary, checking the valves, air hoses and the air pressure, and other inspections in order to avoid issues involving wear and tear on brakes.  A faulty brake design may also cause a brake related commercial truck accident.  If you have been injured in an accident involving a commercial truck, you may be entitled to compensation for you injuries.

The attorneys of Barrett Law, PLLC have been representing those who suffer serious injury in motor vehicle accidents for over 75 years.  Our experienced Mississippi trucking accident lawyers are available to assess your case.  We represent truck accident clients with compassion and zeal so contact us today at (662) 834-2376.

Fatal Bus Accidents Prompt Review of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Audit Practices

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is facing hard questions regarding its safety audit practices following two recent fatal bus accidents including a crash involving a tour bus in New York resulting in the death of 15 passengers.  There are approximately 3,100 motor carriers in the U.S. and 433 currently are on “alert” status with the FMCSA that supervises truck and bus carriers.  An alert means that a spot inspection during the prior two year period revealed serious or repeated violations.  Despite the predominance of serious questions regarding almost 14% of motor carriers, over half of those who have an alert have not had a full safety audit during the last nine months.

The lax enforcement of safety standards both with regard to bus maintenance and driver safety practices means that more serious bus accidents are almost inevitable.  If you have been seriously injured in a serious Mississippi bus accident, our experienced motor vehicle accident lawyers may be able to file a lawsuit to obtain compensation for your injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one.  Whether you are injured in a bus accident, taxi crash or on any other public transit accident, we will carefully investigate the cause of the accident and review past safety violations and/or accident reports.  We understand the importance of identifying all potential responsible parties so that we can obtain the best possible result in your Mississippi vehicle accident case.

The companies that own the tour buses involved in the two recent fatal bus crashes reveal the crux of the problem.  The company that owned the tour bus in the New York crash was World Wide Travel, which had an alert stemming from five separate violations of fatigued driver rules since May 2009.  Super Luxury Tours, which owned the bus involved in a recent Pennsylvania crash was cited for 33 violations since its last safety audits.  The majority of these violations were for violation of driver fatigue rules and speeding.

Buses are classified as “common carriers” under Mississippi law, which means that they have a heightened duty of care to protect their patrons.  These widespread safety violations suggest that many tour buses and other private charter bus companies may not be complying with the obligation to take extra care to protect those who ride buses.  This failure to comply with proper safety practices is particularly concerning because buses lack many of the safety measures that reduce the seriousness of injuries in other motor vehicle accidents including seat belts and air bags.

In the wake of the recent tragic accidents, the FMCSA is reviewing their safety enforcement practices to determine how to better enforce full audits when alerts are issued against a busing carrier.  Unfortunately, almost 25 percent of all motor carriers have not had a full safety audit during the last three years.  We can only hope that the recent fatal bus accidents may promote changes that make all of us who ride buses in Mississippi safer.  If you are seriously injured in a Mississippi bus accident, our experienced Mississippi bus accident lawyers are prepared to fight for you.

Excuses, Excuses Shifting the Blame in a Serious Semi-Truck Accident

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Mississippi semi-truck collision cases can be complex and difficult because trucking companies have an enormous amount of resources and are frequently involved in trucking accident lawsuits related to injuries caused by their drivers and vehicles.  The case of Canton Broiler Farms, Inc v N. Warren (Supreme Court of Mississippi 1968) 14 So. 2d 671 offers interesting insight into the complex factual patterns and convoluted theories often offered by trucking company lawyers designed to assist their clients in avoiding responsibility for serious trucking accidents in Mississippi.

In the Canton case, a tractor-trailer truck owned by the defendant overturned and part of the Semi was on the highway. There also were crates of chickens all over the road that fell from the wrecked tractor-trailer.  The truck driver failed to place flares around the semi-truck, remove the chicken crates from the roadway or provide any warn to oncoming traffic of the big-rig accident.  Another driver then assisted the trucker but parked his pick-up truck so that its headlights shined in the eyes of approaching traffic.

The semi-truck accident victim was a passenger in his brother’s car and suffered permanent injuries when the driver was blinded by the headlights and crashed into the crates of chickens. The driver took evasive maneuvers to avoid the resulting motor vehicle collision but did not see the road obstruction soon enough because of the blinding headlights.

The trucking company tried to point the finger at everyone but its own driver.  For example, the trucking company lawyers claimed that the victim’s brother was responsible because he did not stop when he saw the headlights.  The trucking lawyers even had the gall to argue that the injury victim “assumed the risk” of injury in the serious Mississippi trucking accident because he did not make his brother (the driver) stop.

In Mississippi, for there to be an assumption of the risk, there must be a knowing appreciation and deliberate exposure to danger so this argument was rejected.  The court refused to allow the trucking company to shift the blame for its own truck driver’s negligence.  In other words, a passenger need not act as a “back-seat driver,” or assume the risk of injury.

Another interesting aspect of this Mississippi trucking accident case is that negligence by a truck driver is not excused by the subsequent foreseeable conduct of a third party that contributes to the semi-truck accident.  It was foreseeable that the truck driver’s actions in leaving debris in the roadway and failing to provide warnings to approaching traffic could result in an serious motor vehicle accident if an approaching vehicle were blinded by headlights.  Thus, the good samaritan’s negligence did not excuse the negligence of the truck driver.

These types of insensitive and offensive tactics are common in Mississippi trucking accident lawsuits.  Trucking company insurance lawyers are in court all the time defending their clients in serious Mississippi trucking accident cases.  If you or a loved one is seriously injured in a Mississippi trucking accident case, it is important that you seek legal assistance from a law firm that focuses a substantial portion of its practice on Mississippi trucking accident cases.

At Barrett Law PLLC, our firm’s roots date back 75 years so we have handled many trucking accident lawsuits in Mississippi.  If you or your loved one has suffered serious injury in a Mississippi semi-truck accident, you need the experience and commitment of Barrett Law, PLLC in your corner.  We handle semi-truck accidents in Mississippi and throughout the U.S. so call us today so that we can evaluate your case at (662) 834-2376. No Recovery No Fee!

SUV Rollover Accidents Pose Serious Risk to Mississippi Drivers

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Despite rising gas prices and the grow popularity of fuel-efficient vehicles, SUVs remain the family car of choice for many Mississippi families.  They provide a convenient way to transport the entire family, your daughter’s Girl Scout troop or your son’s high school basketball team along with all their gear.  Unfortunately, this convenience comes at an extremely high cost.  SUV rollover accidents are amongst the most deadly of all motor vehicle accidents.  Their top-heavy design and relatively narrow wheelbase make SUVs particularly susceptible to being involved in a rollover accident.

What makes matters worse is that a “minor rollover” accident does not exist.  Almost invariably SUV rollover accidents result in catastrophic injuries including spinal cords injuries, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones or fractures and even death.  If you have been seriously injured or a loved one has suffered a wrongful death in an SUV rollover accident, you may have a right to financial compensation for your loss.

Our experienced Mississippi SUV rollover accident lawyers have many years of experienced handling these potentially fatal motor vehicle crashes.  We carefully investigate SUV rollover accidents and work with leading SUV rollover accident reconstruction experts to identify all potential defendants and contributing causes to your SUV rollover collision.  Our knowledgeable SUV accident lawyers investigate a number of contributing causes and factors including:

  • Defective vehicle design or components
  • Violations of vehicle safety laws by other drivers (i.e. speeding or running red lights)
  • Poorly designed, constructed or maintained roadways
  • Other unsafe driving practices (i.e. fatigued, distracted or drowsy driving)

SUV manufacturers were aware for years that their design meant a higher risk of rollover accidents but continued to manufacture them with little regard for this serious accident risk.  With a high center of gravity and a comparatively narrow track SUVs are unavoidably unstable.  They frequently are involved in rollover accidents where a tire hits the curb or soft dirt off the edge of the roadway.  SUVs also are prone to rollover when a tire blows out, or a driver must steer hard in one direction to avoid an obstacle then oversteers in the opposite direction to maintain control of the SUV.  This is a basic evasive maneuver in other vehicles but can be fatal in an SUV.

Rollover accidents typically result in catastrophic injuries or wrongful death.  The reason that SUV rollovers often result in such serious injuries is related to design defects in SUVs.  Many SUVs lack sufficient roof reinforcement, which results in roof crush injuries in a rollover accident.  The other common cause of serious injuries in SUV rollover accidents is vehicle ejections.  Ejections account for 63 percent of all fatalities in rollover crashes and often result in costly and debilitating head injuries according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

If you have been seriously injured or have lost a loved one in a Mississippi SUV rollover accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.  Our experienced SUV rollover accident lawyers in Mississippi diligently pursue the best interest of our clients.  We zealously fight for those who suffer injury or wrongful death caused by the negligence of others.

Avoiding Mississippi Auto Accidents during Summer Travels

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Summer is rapidly approaching which means more vehicles on Mississippi roadways traveling more total miles.  We will probably see an increase in the number of auto accidents on our roadways because of the increase in drivers on vacation excursions.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data reveals that there is an average of 41,000 deaths on the nation’s highways due to auto accidents.  A lot of these accidents can take place in the summer around the holidays like Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day.  Most of these accidents are totally avoidable.

There are some things that you can do to be pro-active about avoiding auto accidents in Lexington, Jackson, Memphis or elsewhere throughout Mississippi:

  • You should get regular maintenance checks done on your car.  Parts including brake pads wear out.
  • Drivers should always pay attention to the whole roadway and other vehicles rather than simply looking at the car immediately in front of the driver.
  • Safe driving requires making adjustments for changing weather conditions.  If it starts raining, you should slow down. Oil that has accumulated on the road can make the road extremely slippery in wet conditions.
  • Travelers should plan their trip so that they know where you are going and are not trying to study a map or directions.
  • A driver should use his or her flashers and slow down if the driver gets in trouble.
  • Drivers should always remain positive and focused on their driving.  It is never a good idea to become embroiled in a conflict with someone that is expressing road rage because it is both dangerous and unproductive.

Here are some don’ts when it comes to driving safely so that you avoid serious auto accidents on Mississippi roadways:

  • You should NEVER drink and drive.
  • A driver should never speed even though other drivers are exceeding the speed limit. You should simply let other drivers go around you.
  • Many serious auto accidents in Mississippi are caused by not permitting enough following distance.  Tailgating is never a safe practice.  Drivers should always try to maintain at least one car length of distance between themselves and others on the road.
  • You should turn you cell phone off.  Distracted driving is very dangerous so wait until you stop or pull over to the side of the road to talk or text.
  • Safe driving means avoiding erratic driving.  When making maneuvers like changing lanes take your time and look carefully so that you do not cut off other drivers.
  • All drivers should abstain from driving if they are tired or have been taking medications.  Drivers who fall asleep behind the wheel are one of the major causes of auto accidents in Lexington, Jackson, Memphis and throughout Mississippi.
  • You should slow down and pay especially careful attention near intersections.  It is a safe driving practice to look both ways even if you have a green traffic light because you cannot assume that other drivers will avoid negligence and stop.

Any driver even one who exercises extreme vigilance and caution can still be involved in a serious Mississippi auto accident.  An auto accident is a stressful and dangerous incident even in the best situation and can frequently result in catastrophic injuries and permanent disability.  An accident as minor as a fender-bender can land you in the emergency room with serious injuries.

It is important that if you are involved in a auto accident on Mississippi roadways that you know your rights.  Auto insurance companies often deny valid auto accident injury claims or offer ludicrously inadequate auto accident injury settlements.  These grossly inadequate settlements may not be sufficient to even cover your medical bills let alone the total value of your damages.  Our Mississippi auto accident attorneys help clients just like you obtain the settlement or judgment that they deserve. We provide relief from the headaches of dealing with insurance companies so that our clients can focus on their recovery and their family.  The Mississippi personal injury attorneys here at the Barrett Law Office in Mississippi can help. Please contact us today for your free no obligation consultation. We will answer your questions and help you during this stressful time.