Archive for May, 2014

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome & Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Claims

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Workers’ compensation laws in the state of Mississippi cover a wide range of job-related injuries. However, they are not all injuries that can be identified with the naked eye. Workers with injuries a lot less discernible can still warrant their share of compensation benefits.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is an injury that afflicts high number of workers, particularly those who are relegated to a desk job. All-day typing may not seem like a dangerous job, but it could bring about a painful and long-term injury.

Mississippi state laws require an employee to file for workers’ compensation within a specific period of time after suffering the injury. Nevertheless, identifying the point in time when a carpal tunnel injury was suffered remains rather difficult. That does not mean a claim cannot be field.

There is a lengthy period of time in which employees can file a workers’ compensation claim in Mississippi. Employees have two years from the time the injury was sustained. After that, the claim would be considered null and void.

Since the initiation of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is so difficult to identify, workers can file a claim with an even longer statute of limitations. A claim should be filed during a time when the injury became ‘reasonably apparent.’ That term enables workers to have a lot of leeway as the system seems to favor employees in this instance.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is considered to be a cumulative trauma injury, which is defined as a work-related injury generally limited to the upper extremities and head. Cumulative trauma injuries affect tendons, ligaments and muscles. Some examples are neck strains, back strains and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be rather painful and its symptoms include the following:

  • Tingling of hands
  • Numbness in forearm, hands or wrists
  • Ache in forearm between wrist and elbow
  • Stiffness in fingers
  • Pins and needles sensation in hands

Surgery may be required to permanently correct Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Severe symptoms can also prohibit normal everyday activities. Surgery is an intricate process in which doctors go in and reduce pressure on the median nerve in the wrist. This is done by actually cutting the transverse carpal ligament. Recovery time can take up to as much as three months.

To test for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, doctors examine fingers, wrists and forearms in addition to testing the median nerve. Doing the same repetitive action with one’s hands is considered to be the main contributor to the onset of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The evolution of the computer age saw a dramatic increase in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome with so many computer programmers and operators becoming a steady part of the American workforce.

Diagnosing the beginning of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is key to any workers’ compensation case in the state of Mississippi. It is also considered to be an occupational illness. In the state of Mississippi, there are for four kinds of workers’ compensation, of which a person with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be eligible to receive:

  • Temporary Total Disability Benefits: This covers an employee who is unable to work and provides 2/3 of the average weekly wage.
  • Temporary Partial Disability Benefits: This covers employees who are capable of doing some work at a reduced wage. They are paid the difference between their present wage and 2/3 of their average weekly wage prior to the injury.
  • Permanent Partial Disability Benefits: This covers employees who have been injured but their condition has improved while still being impaired. If the employee is still injured after 450 weeks, he/she will received 2/3 of the average weekly salary that was being paid prior to the injury.
  • Permanent Total Disability Benefits: This covers an employee who is unable to recover from the injury. payment of their full weekly salary will last up to 450 weeks.

If you have been injured on the job, the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC can come to your aid. You do not have to suffer needlessly as there are laws that protect the rights of employees in every field. Our attorneys can help build your workers’ compensation case and ease your suffering. Call us today for a free confidential consultation at (800) 707-9577.

Mississippi Whistleblower Attorney Explains How Whistleblowers Are Subject To Discrimination

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Many whistleblowers face retaliatory actions once their complaint is filed and their identity discovered. With the potential of having a monumental effect on a company, employees generally fall out of favor with their superiors. That often translates into a termination of their employment.  However, a company cannot simply fire an employee for exposing some kind of truth. When there is inadequate reason for dismissal, discrimination becomes a major part of the whistleblower’s case.

Such discrimination is evident when there is an insufficient investigation into charges filed against an employee. A company will often charge an employee with some sort of infraction and then terminate their employment without coming up with adequate proof. The timing of the termination is also very telling. If an employee is discharged shortly after blowing the whistle, there is plenty of evidence to prove that discharge was discriminatory.

Employees are all rated on their performance. Discrimination is easy to pinpoint when ratings suddenly drop. It is uncharacteristic for an otherwise productive employee to suddenly experience a significant dip in performance rating. Nonetheless, companies often attempt to blame dismissals on poor work performance. Instances such as those are also made to serve as an example to other employees.  Specifically, it sends the message that if they attempt to become a whistleblower, they too will lose their job.

Differential treatment often becomes quite apparent after an employee blows the whistle on a company. It is one of the oldest and most blatant forms of discrimination. Suddenly hostile attitudes are directed to the employee, making for a very uncomfortable work environment.

Unfortunately, laws only offer so much protection to whistleblowers. In some cases, there are slim statutes of limitations. Tragically, many companies get away with unfair treatment and whistleblowers are often left without employment.

Many whistleblowers face retaliatory actions once their complaint is filed and their identity is discovered. With the potential of having a monumental effect on a company, employees generally fall out of favor with their superiors. That often translates into a termination of their employment.  However, a company cannot simply fire an employee for exposing some kind of truth. When there is inadequate reason for dismissal, discrimination becomes a major part of the whistleblower’s case.

Such discrimination is evident when there is an insufficient investigation into charges filed against an employee. A company will often charge an employee with some sort of infraction and then terminate their employment without coming up with adequate proof.

The timing of the termination is also very telling. If an employee is discharged shortly after blowing the whistle, there is plenty of evidence to prove that the discharge was discriminatory.

Employees are all rated on their performance. Discrimination is easy to pinpoint when ratings suddenly drop. It is uncharacteristic for an otherwise productive employee to suddenly experience a significant dip in performance rating. Nonetheless, companies often attempt to blame dismissals on poor work performance.

Instances such as those are also made to serve as an example to other employees. It sends the message that if they attempt to become a whistleblower, they too will lose their job.

Differential treatment often becomes quite apparent after an employee blows the whistle on a company. It is one of the oldest and most blatant forms of discrimination. Suddenly hostile attitudes are directed to the employee, making for a very uncomfortable work environment.

Unfortunately, laws only offer so much protection to whistleblowers. Tragically, many companies get away with unfair treatment and whistleblowers are often left without employment.

An important step towards preventing that from happening is to document every single act of discrimination. If there is an act that seems even the least bit discriminatory, write it down and then present it to the Human Resources department. Human Resources is obligated to investigate your complaint. Also be ready for any retaliation that may follow as a result of your complaint. Chances are that will indeed happen.

Discrimination even extends to social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. A company can be penalized for the simple task of slandering an employee on a social media network. Coincidentally, employees are permitted to say whatever they want via social media without repercussions from their employer. The National Labor Relations Board has come out publicly stating that employees have the right to talk about work conditions on social media networks without fear of retaliation from their employer.

It is common knowledge that whistleblowers are generally in for a tough time at work once they blow the whistle. While that remains a reality, it is a gross injustice and also highly illegal. That is why it is important to document every part of the process and file the appropriate complaints when necessary.

If you are involved in a whistleblowing case, contact the seasoned Mississippi Whistleblower Attorney at Barrett Law PLLC. We can help you from beginning to end with a team of attorneys who will fight for every one of your rights. Experienced legal counsel in Mississippi is just a phone call away. Contact us today for a free confidential consultation at (800) 707-9577.

 

Negligence Another Hazard For Motorcycle Operators In Mississippi

Monday, May 19th, 2014

It is no secret that riding a motorcycle presents its share of hazards. Motorcycle operators need to be just as conscious of other drivers as they are of the road ahead. However, just because a motorcycle accident occurs does not mean the motorcycle operator is at fault. Quite often, it is automobile drivers who are responsible for accidents involving motorcycles.

It is an unfortunate reality that motorcycle accidents continue to take place every year.  According to the National Department of Transportation, motorcycle fatalities saw a 7 percent increase in 2012. During that same year, a total of 4,956 people were killed in motorcycle crashes, while 93,000 people were injured.

One of the reasons for that increase is due to the recent rash of warmer temperatures. High temperatures invite more motorcycle enthusiasts out on the open road. Helmet laws also contribute to the growing number of motorcycle-related injuries. Nevertheless, in the state of Mississippi, helmets are required when riding a motorcycle. There are other statewide restrictions that are not as strict. Those lack of restrictions often contribute to the high number of crashes every year. Some of those looser restrictions are as follows:

  • No restrictions on handlebar height
  • No restrictions on helmet speakers
  • No required mirrors on right or left side
  • No required turn signals
  • No required eye protection

While those lack of restrictions pose potential harm to a motorcycle operator, they also provide them with leverage in a pending case. Motorists are responsible for a significant number of motorcycle accidents every year. Injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents range from minor to catastrophic. Some of the most common motorcycle injuries are as follows:

  • Broken bones
  • Neck injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Road burns

Helmets aim to reduce injuries as do other other riding accessories such as a riding jacket, gloves and other safety gear. Yet, there are still many hazards on every road that keep motorcycle riders vulnerable. Even in light traffic, the following hazards can pose a threat to motorcycle operators:

  • Decreased visibility – Cars can be seen much more clearly than motorcycles. Intersections, traffic and other cars can often hide motorcycles from other vehicles.
  • Hazards on the road – Debris and other objects in the road may be a mere speed bump for cars, but pose a more serious threat to motorcycles.
  • Lack of protective barrier – Drivers of cars are protected by the metal of a door, whereas motorcycle operators have nothing but the wind at their side.
  • Reduced stability – It is fact of science that four wheels are more stable than two. Motorcycles have only two wheels and their stability dims in comparison to that of cars.

These hazards make it easier for car operators to neglect motorcycles on the road. While many hazards could contribute to a crash, the primary reason car operators are responsible for motorcycle accidents is because of negligence. Mississippi law requires vehicle operators drive in a reasonably careful manner. If a person’s driving conduct is believed to have caused injuries, there is sufficient evidence to file a negligence claim.

Motorcycles have to be mindful of all the hazards that can cause them harm. They also need to be on the lookout for negligent drivers. That kind of negligence can bring victims financial compensation, but it can also make for a painful experience and grueling recovery.

If someone else’s negligence has caused you some kind of injury, the seasoned Mississippi Motorcycle Accident Attorney at Barrett Law PLLC can help you build a case. We can also seek out the financial compensation you deserve. Our experienced legal team will help you through the entire legal process and find  the best strategy to bring you justice. For a free and confidential consultation, contact one of our knowledgeable associates at (800) 707-9577.

Mississippi Qui Tam/Whistleblower Lawyer Discusses How Whistleblower Protection Is Your Right

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

Blowing the whistle on a company you work for could put you in a delicate situation. You could be the subject of threats, mistreatment and all types of retaliation. There have been extensive measures taken with the purpose of protecting whistleblowers. Simply because you blow the whistle on a company does not leave you at their mercy.

Once you blow the whistle on a company or person for their misconduct, you can usually expect some kind of retaliatory treatment. The following list includes different ways in which whistleblowers have been mistreated:

  • Termination of employment
  • Layoff from their current job
  • Being blacklisted
  • Demotion to a lower level position
  • Victimization by threats and intimidation
  • Loss of benefits
  • Reassignment of current position
  • Denial of overtime hours
  • Reduction in pay or hours

A whistleblower protection program has long since been established by The United States Department of Labor. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration Act of 1970  continues to protect whistleblowers to this very day. Workers are also protected under 21 forms of federal law. More recently, The Whistleblower Act of 1989 was instituted to protect government workers who turn in whistleblowers. Overall, most whistleblowers in the present day find protection under the False Claims Act.

Protection can come on a variety of fronts through many of the laws that have been put in place over the years. However, that doesn’t mean companies will not try to retaliate. Now that you know the possible course of action a company may take against a whistleblower, here are some other important tidbits to know:

  • Get ready for your world to be turned upside down. Blowing the whistle could impact your job, your family and your future. Once you make the decision to blow the whistle, do not delay. In most instances, time is money. Furthermore, you do not want the statute of limitations to run out on your claim. You also do not want someone else to file a complaint before you do.
  • Beware of corporate confidentiality. It sounds like a fancy word, but it is often just a way for corporations to get an upper hand. In that same breath, be on the lookout for other employees looking to silence you with “hush” money. Stay on the right side of the law and make sure not to damage your case with immoral acts of your own.

There are laws in place to protect whistleblowers, but those laws can only do so much. You also have to be able to protect yourself from all the pangs and drama that come with these kinds of cases. Here are some protective hints to remember when blowing the whistle:

  • Communicate carefully – Be wary of making phone calls at your place of business and even on your cell phone. Trust talking to your lawyer face to face or invest in a prepaid calling card. You can never be too careful.
  • Keep it confidential – There is no reason to tell anybody what is going on in your case. Keep that kind of talk relegated to you and your lawyer.  The more you reveal to others, the more it can come back to haunt you.
  • Don’t leave a trail – Use public computers or public fax machines whenever you are sending any kind of information. It is best if there is no tangible trail left in anything you do.

If you are thinking about blowing the whistle, contact the Mississippi Qui Tam/Whistleblower Attorney at Barrett Law PLLC. We can steer you through this intricate process with the guidance of a complete team of qualified attorneys. You will need experienced legal counsel on your side during what can be a very tough time. Call us today for a free confidential consultation at (800) 707-9577.

Mississippi Qui Tam/Whistleblower Attorney Explains Being Paid as a Whistleblower

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

The term “whistleblower” represents a person who finally brings justice to a situation where injustice has prevailed. Exposing companies for wrongdoings can even make a whistleblower a hero in some situations. However, whistleblowers can usually expect a legal fight as companies are not in the business of admitting guilt.

Rewards come in the form of justice finally being served, but the rewards do not stop there. Rewards can also come in the form of financial compensation. In some cases, whistleblowers have been awarded millions of dollars. That financial figure is usually contingent upon the amount of work carried out by the whistleblower to aid in the recovery of funds. The kind of fraud reported also lends a hand in how much compensation is awarded to the actual whistleblower.

So how does a whistleblower get paid? A gracious percentage of the funds recovered are distributed to the whistleblower. Therein lies is the motive of financial rewards along with a search for justice.

Many whistleblower cases occur in the medical field as health care organizations and pharmaceutical companies are no strangers to cutting corners for profits. A 2012 case in Mississippi involving a medical equipment company led to a $1.8 million payout. That figure was not the actual amount given to the whistleblower, which in this case was Wendy Horne. For her part in the case, Horne’s payout stood between 15 and 25% of the funds recovered by the guilty company.

The 15 to 25% range is typical for a successful whistleblower and that generally comes with government involvement. However, if the government does not get involved, a whistleblower can receive as much as 30% of the settlement amount.

Whistleblowers can remain anonymous if they choose to do so. Whistleblowers often become fearful of repercussions that might come from the accused party, expecially ones with a great deal of power and influence. Anonymity can also be attributed to a simple request for privacy.

Companies continue to retaliate against whistleblowers, a trend that is starting to reach an all-time high. A lack of ethics contributes to this ongoing trend. However, those who are unafraid to take on companies or corporations should refer to a whistleblower’s checklist before they step into such a volatile situation. Before you blow the whistle and take your first step towards a big payday, make sure the following areas are covered:

You Present Ample evidence of Fraud

  • The overbilling for a certain product or service
  • Obtaining of funds through falsification of documents
  • Violation of laws in order to obtain funding
  • Misconduct when it comes to sales, bribery or market manipulation
  • Failing to report an overpayment

You File First

  • If someone else has already filed a claim for the same reasons, you will be unable to do so. Check and make sure no one else has already filed your exact claim.

 You Provide Original Evidence

  • You will have to come up with evidence that has not or could not otherwise be obtained. Evidence gathered from public sources is not deemed original. There needs to be an intimate and inside knowledge or gathering of previously unreported information.

Your Case is Not Barred By the Statute of Limitations

  • Certain claims can only be filed within a certain amount of time of a violation.  Speak with a qualified Mississippi Qui Tam/Whistleblower Attorney to make sure that your claim is still valid before blowing the whistle.

If you have inside information on some kind of company misconduct, contact the seasoned Mississippi Qui Tam/Whistleblower Attorney at Barrett Law PLLC. You will need plenty of legal assistance and advice in going through this process. Our team of qualified lawyers can walk you through every step and make sure all your rights are protected. Call us today for a free confidential consultation at (800) 707-9577.

Victims Of BP Oil Spill Come From All Walks Of Life

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

The 2010 BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico has affected millions of people. From employment to environmental issues, the problems reach far and wide. That has led to legal issues which continue to turn into courtroom battles. Fighting those battles consumes an abundance of time and also calls for professional assistance when going down certain legal avenues.

The grand scale of this oil spill was massive. BP was responsible for dumping over 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. That is over 200 million gallons of oil. It left the Gulf region with a disaster that will have staggering effects for years to come.

The Mississippi coast was also devastated by this disaster. In the midst of recovery, many people and businesses sought out legal action as there were plenty of reasons that prompted such an option. At the top of the list of legal issues has been a loss of business and profits. There have been countless lawsuits filed by businesses and individual workers because of lost wages. This group of plaintiffs includes owners and employees in areas of commercial fishing, hotels, resort communities and more. Shore towns have been negatively impacted to the point where a number of people’s livelihood were practically snatched away.

Health issues have also prompted many lawsuits. There are significant health risks as a result of the chemical and oil dispersants in the Gulf region. Potentially toxic chemicals were utilized in an attempt to disperse the oil spill and they too have caused adverse health effects.

It goes without saying that the environmental damage caused by the BP oil spill has been catastrophic. Damages to wildlife, wetlands and the entire ecosystem have been vast and widespread. This has led to the emergence of criminal and civil lawsuits filed against BP.

Damage due to the massive oil spill has effected residential, commercial and even undeveloped properties. Damage to property has even resulted from the dispersants used to clean up the spilled oil. Billions of dollars in property claims have already been filed.

Cleanup efforts have also brought about a new wave of injuries. Health problems have effected a high number of people who have been working to clean up the oil spill. The burning of the spilled oil has been responsible for a number of health issues in workers. Wrongful death lawsuits have been filed due to the negligence that caused the Deepwater Horizon explosion. Survivors of that explosion have also filed lawsuits due to the various injuries they sustained.

The lawsuits really know no bounds as BP shareholders have also gotten into the act. The company has been accused of misleading investors and shareholders which has caused BP’s value to take a significant dip. Additionally, BP is being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission in an attempt to discover whether or not insider trading infractions were committed in the days and weeks following the oil spill.

One extreme mishap four years ago is still affecting an entire region today. Efforts have been made by BP in an attempt to clean up this colossal mess, but it does not seem as though the company is even close to finished when it comes to doling out compensation.

If you have been affected by the 2010 BP oil spill, contact the dedicated Mississippi BP Oil Spill Claim Attorney at Barrett Law PLLC. No matter how you were effected, our legal team can help bring justice to you. Our team has the extensive experience and expertise you can count on in your fight against the BP oil spill.  Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation at (800) 707-9577.

Holidays Can Be Hazardous to Your Health When on Mississippi Roadways

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Holidays are often a time for family gatherings and good times to be had by all. Yet, there remains the issue of getting to a family gathering or celebration. Many other people have the same thought in mind which leads to a build up of traffic during the holidays. More cars mean a higher a chance for automobile accidents.

This recent Memorial Day weekend saw six deaths by way of automobile accidents on Mississippi roadways. The ages of those who died ranged from 22 to 93. It is further proof that everyone is susceptible to tragedy, regardless of age, gender or race.

Many other injuries were also a result of holiday travels as the Mississippi Highway Patrol reported 54 people injured in automobile accidents over the holiday weekend. There were 112 auto accidents investigated, although only one proved to be alcohol related.

Other citations will also mean days in court for quite a few people as 132 DUI citations were issued in Mississippi from Friday to Monday of the 2014 Memorial Day weekend. Seat belt violations were also issued in abundance with 603 going out to violators.

Now, as new holiday weekends approach, travelers are encouraged to not only abide by the rules of the road, but also remember to practice safe driving. Consider the following list of reasons why accidents frequently occur (especially during holidays) in Mississippi:

Distracted Driving

There are a number of reasons a driver’s attention strays from the road. Some of the more popular distractions are as follows:

  • Texting while driving
  • Paying attention to GPS device
  • Talking on phone
  • Eating while driving
  • Putting on makeup
  • Changing radio stations
  • Lack of adequate sleep

Driving Unter the Influence

In the state of Mississippi, penalties for DUI convictions are very severe. The following BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) levels are considered to be over the legal limit and warrant a DUI arrest in the state of Mississippi:

  • Driver under the age of 21 – .02%
  • Driver 21 years of age or older – .08%
  • Commercial Drivers – .04%

Aggressive Driving

The maximum speed limit on highways in the state of Mississippi is 75 mph. That high number can often lead drivers to travel at speeds beyond that limit, making for very dangerous situations. However, speeding is only one form of aggressive driving in which motorists can initiate auto accidents.

According to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration, aggressive driving occurs when “an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.” Some forms of aggressive driving are as follows:

  • Tailgaiting
  • Frequent changing of lanes
  • Failing to use turn signal
  • Speeding
  • Running red lights or stop signs
  • Exhibiting road rage
  • Failure to yield

Every year, particularly around the holidays, automobile accidents result in painful and sometimes tragic times for families. There are ways to maintain optimum safety when driving, but drivers cannot control how other people operate behind the wheel. When accidents occur, there are usually common reasons for a crash. That means there is always someone responsible, even for a minor fender bender.

If you or someone you know has been involved in auto accident, the seasoned Mississippi Auto Accident Attorney at Barrett Law PLLC can help. When someone else is at fault in an auto accident, you are the victim. That means you have the right to be compensated. Our reputable and experienced legal team of attorneys can help you build a strategy that can lead to a favorable outcome in your auto accident case. Call us today for a free confidential consultation at (800) 707-9577.

Mississippi Personal Injury Attorney Explains Accounting For Your Auto Accident

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

When vehicles collide, there is often an immediate bout of pandemonium. The first thought is generally to make sure everyone involved in the accident is safe. Modern protocol then tells us to immediately inform the authorities and allow them to sort out the details. After the accident, vehicles are towed and people either go home or to the hospital. What comes next is usually a lot of waiting.

Waiting is not your only option if you are the victim in an auto accident. There is no getting around the fact that you will have to wait for the legal process to run its course. In the meantime, you can do something that can prove to be extremely valuable: keep a journal.

Your journal should begin right after the accident. Start by writing down everything you remember about the accident. Think about what you saw, what went through your mind and what happened during the actual accident. Try to focus on as many details as possible, even when it comes to the colliding vehicle and its driver.

This is important because the passing of time may cause you to forget some things about the accident. It may just be a minor detail or two that you forget, but that minor detail could eventually play a major role in your case. This kind of written memory will allow you to accurately recreate the accident scene if you are ever asked to do so, particularly in a courtroom.

Continue on with the journal by recording everything that happens in the days after the accident. Make sure to record any time off work, any calls to a lawyer, or any bills you may have received as a result of the accident. Anything that might be remotely connected to the accident should be written in your journal.

Overall, keeping a journal will thoroughly prepare you if your case does go to court. It will also provide leverage if your case goes to mediation. Settlements could turn out to be much larger when the victim has detailed documentation of injuries, pain, suffering and bills that are noted down to the exact penny.

Your healing process should be a major part of your journal. If you wake up with a slight pain in the middle of the night, reach for your journal before you reach for an aspirin. Injuries are important in every auto accident case. They could make a big difference in the final payout. So document every little pain you feel. Those pains may not initially seem to be a direct result of the crash, but there are lingering effects you may not be privy to.

All of this will not only help with the legal process, but it will also help you with the healing process. Car accidents are a traumatic event that can affect people emotionally as well as physically. It is important to be sure you have a record of every bit of your suffering.

You do not need to be a professional writer to put together a quality journal. Just be precise and consistent. A judge is not going to be awarding a Pulitzer Prize, but a judge could award you a sizeable payout. Honest facts about everything that could be related to your auto accident can only strengthen your case.

Victims of car accidents can turn to the Mississippi Auto Accident Attorney at Barrett Law PLLC. Your suffering deserves compensation and our legal team can show you the best ways to get what you deserve. Our attorneys can help you build your case into a winner. Call us today for a free confidential consultation at (800) 707-9577.

Mississippi Personal Injury Attorney Explains How There is No Such Thing as a Minor Rear End Collision

Monday, May 5th, 2014

The initial image most people conjure up when talking about auto accidents is a mangled wreck of a vehicle. Metal is smashed, windows are shattered and all that’s left is a tow truck taking the car to its final resting place. The truth is that many auto accidents look far different from that image.  If fact, even minor auto accidents without much damage can inflict a great deal of pain.

Rear-end collisions are the most common kind of auto accident in the United States. A crumbled bumper and a sudden jolt may seem like the only effects. But some symptoms take a little more time to show themselves. Whiplash is one of the most common injuries in rear end collisions.  Specifically, whiplash does not always show immediate signs of injury. It is also referred to neck strain. Whiplash is the actual tearing of tendons in your neck. Sometimes, it takes several hours for the pain to set in. The effects of whiplash can be ongoing and its symptoms can include the following:

  • Numbness in neck area
  • Constant headaches
  • Dizziness and back pain
  • Lack of neck mobility

Other injuries that are the result of  a rear end collision could be more severe. That severity usually depends upon the speed of the driver at fault. More severe injuries are head injuries, nerve damage to the bag of legs, back sprains, and blunt trauma that comes from hitting the steering wheel or windshield. However minor they may seem at the time, injuries resulting from a rear end collision could turn out to be major issues.

The thing about rear end collisions is that they are preventable. And since they are preventable, someone is always at fault. More than half the time, it is usually a male’s fault. In a study conducted by the National Traffics Highway Safety Administration, the likelihood of involvement of young male drivers in rear-end striking crashes was 1.5 times greater than that of young female drivers. The reason for that is aggressive driving is more prevalent among male drivers.

However, the main cause of rear end collisions is not aggressive driving, but distracted driving. Talking on the phone and texting while driving are two forms of distracted driving. There are other forms as well. When you are hit in a rear end collision, it is pretty much a guarantee that the other driver is at fault. There are exceptions, such a person jamming on their brakes for no apparent reason. But that is often a failed defense.

Looking for a settlement in a rear- end collision comes with a bit of calculation. The first part of the settlement comes from the actual dollar amount of damage caused to the vehicle. The second part comes in the form of lost income. Time off work is factored in and your lost wages expand the settlement figure.  These are considered general damages, which consists mainly of pain and suffering. Add up all those figures and therein lies the amount of your rear end collision settlement.

If you are the victim of a rear end collision, you can look to the seasoned Mississippi Car Accident Attorney at Barrett Law PLLC for assistance. You might be deserving of more compensation than you realize. The help of one of our specialists can go a long way in getting you compensation for your pain and suffering. Experience will be on your side with a team of qualified attorneys that can lead you to legal success. Call us today for a free and confidential consultation at (800) 707-9577.

Mississippi Car Accident Attorney Explains How Mississippi Is One of the Most Dangerous Places To Drive

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Roadways all over the country can be dangerous. Negligent, distracted and aggressive drivers can present challenges to other drivers steering down any street or highway. Those challenges exist in every state, although the state of Mississippi presents more danger than any other place in the United States.  In fact, t has been a place where auto accident deaths have always ranked very high.

The state of Mississippi has historically received the unwanted distinction of being one of the most dangerous places to drive in all of America. In a 2012 study conducted by The Trust for America’s Health, Mississippi ranked as the No.1 most dangerous place to drive in all of the United States.  Specifically, Mississippi routinely leads the country in auto accident fatalities every year. Recent numbers have shown that there are an average of 26.7 auto accident deaths per 100,000 in Mississippi per year.  The lifetime medical costs that result from auto accident injuries have been reported at $7.15 million.

Part of the reason for such a high number of accidents has to do with the struggling economy in Mississippi. Not all cars on the road in Mississippi are equipped with the most optimum safety features necessary to protect drivers. However, there has been a reduction in auto accident fatalities since a mandatory seat belt law was introduced in 2006.

There are also plenty of hazards on the road such as high speed limits which reach as much as 75 mph. There are also a number of unlit and poorly-lit roads in Mississippi which makes driving at night rather difficult. Perhaps the most startling reason for the high number of auto accidents is that text messaging is still not illegal while driving in the state of Mississippi. Efforts have been made to attempt to rectify this problem, but to no avail.

Currently, 43 states have bans on texting and driving, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Mississippi is not among those 43 states. Mississippi does, however, prohibit texting and driving to those with learner’s permits or intermediate license holders.

The state of Mississippi also ranked very low in having established seat belt laws for all passengers in a vehicle. In a 2014 report released by the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Mississippi was severely lacking in laws regarding the primary enforcement of front and rear seat belts. The state of Mississippi has been without laws in the following areas:

  • Rear primary enforcement seat belt law
  • Booster seat law
  • Six of the seven teen driving provisions
  • All-driver text messaging restrictions

 With some of the laws and driving conditions being so antiquated, there is the need for drivers to be more alert in the state of Mississippi. Passenger deaths are also unusually high in comparison to the rest of the country.

While not all auto accidents end in death, many cause injuries which can make for time out of work, extensive rehabilitation, and a great deal of pain and suffering. Those could all lead to a problematic future and are a direct result of having to combat such dangerous driving conditions in the state of Mississippi. Until the state steps into the 21st century and readjusts some of its laws, there is the grim reality that auto accidents will be a part of everyday life.

If you have been involved in any kind of auto accident, look to the Mississippi Car Accident Attorney at Barrett Law PLLC. Your wellbeing and future is too important to trust to just anyone. Our experienced legal team will provide you with top-notch representation so that you may receive the compensation you rightfully deserve. Call us today for a free and confidential consultation at (800) 707-9577.