Archive for December, 2014

Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys Discuss Ways to Save on Your Car Insurance

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

As the New Year approaches, many families begin to search for ways to cut back on spending in the coming year.  Reviewing your automobile insurance policy with the goal of increasing savings, while ensuring adequate coverage in the event of an accident, is an excellent place to start.  While it is never wise to decrease your coverage, as this can cost you greatly in the event of an accident, you may be eligible for discounts that you never knew existed.  Discounts are available through most insurance carriers, including those with strong academic records or positive driving records.  Certain vehicles may also be eligible for discounts.

The following is a list of possible discounts that could help you save money on car insurance next year.  Review this list to determine if any apply to you, then call your car insurance company to start saving.  You could save money on your car insurance in Mississippi if:

  • You have an excellent credit score
  • You have a clean driving record
  • Your vehicle has passive seat belts
  • Your vehicle has an airbags
  • You own expensive vehicles
  • Your vehicle has an anti-lock braking system
  • You are over the age of 55 and have completed a driver improvement course
  • You hold multiple policies with the same company, such as homeowners’ insurance and car insurance
  • You are a student and make good grades
  • You graduated from a certain college or university
  • Your vehicle is a standard model and not a performance or sports vehicle
  • You driver your vehicle infrequently
  • You are a safe driver
  • You are a teenager who completed a driver’s education class
  • You put minimal miles on your vehicle each year
  • You are a homeowner
  • You are a student and only drive your vehicle when you go home

To start your New Year off with savings, call your insurance company today to see if you are eligible for these or other discounts.  You may also wish to obtain quotes from other car insurance companies to ensure you are receiving the lowest possible rates for the coverage level you desire.  Insurance premiums can vary widely by company, so it does pay to shop around.

Another way to save on your car insurance is by raising your deductible on your collision and comprehensive coverage.  It is often easy to meet even a higher deductible because damages run up quickly after a crash, but consider this option carefully to make sure the increased deductible does not cost you more than the savings in the long run.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys Helping You Save Money This Coming New Year

For many couples, saving money is a worthy New Year’s goal.  Car insurance may be one area in which you can cut back on costs while still maintaining the same quality coverage.  You should call your car insurance company and see if you are eligible for certain discounts.  Do not, however, decrease your coverage as this could leave you out far more in the event of a serious accident.  The Mississippi Car Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC hope that this list of cost saving tips helps to decrease your car insurance bill.  In the event you are injured in a car crash, we are here to help.  We fight for your full recovery, which may include medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, and non-economic damages.  Call Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced car accident attorneys.

 

 

Mississippi Whistleblower Attorneys Report: Katrina Whistleblower Case Set for Arguments

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

In 2013, two whistleblowers won in a trial against State Farm Insurance for activities dating back to Hurricane Katrina.  A jury sitting in the Federal Court in Gulfport ruled that State Farm defrauded the federal flood program by paying flood policy limits on a claim in which wind was responsible for the loss.  According to the plaintiff’s theory, by charging the National Flood Insurance Program for the loss stemming from Hurricane Katrina, State Farm was able to minimize what it owed for wind damage.

The whistleblower suit began in 2006 when sisters Cori and Karri Rigsby of Ocean Springs, Mississippi filed a qui tam suit against State Farm.  The sisters worked for an Alabama contractor that was hired by State Farm to provide damage assessments after Hurricane Katrina.  The sisters claimed in the suit that State Farm ignored or minimized wind damages to avoid payments.  The sisters presented thousands of documents related to State Farm’s alleged fraudulent activities, including evidence that the insurance company manipulated engineer’s reports to minimize damage.  They claim the fraud was widespread across the Mississippi coast after the 2005 hurricane.

The initial qui tam action included a number of policyholders, but a federal judge allowed just one State Farm claim to be heard.  The claim involves a family who lost their home in the hurricane.  The whistleblowing sisters have firsthand knowledge of how this claim was handled.

State Farm has consistently claimed it did nothing wrong and adjusted the claims correctly.  The family in question was paid $250,000 in flood damages from the national fund, but just $36,000 in wind damages on a policy that included damages up to $500,000.

The federal jury accepted the whistleblower’s allegations of wrongdoing and the judge ordered State Farm pay $750,000 in damages to the U.S. government.  The Rigsby sisters will each receive 15 percent of this award.  The judge also awarded $2.6 million to the Rigsby’s attorneys plus expenses exceeding 300,000.

State Farm appealed this order that it pay over $3 million in legal fees and damages related to the whistleblower lawsuit.  Now, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear oral arguments on the appeal on February 5 in New Orleans.  State Farm is seeking a reversal of the verdict and dismissal of the Rigsby sister’s claims.

This important whistleblower case has captured much media attention as it involves a major corporation and serious allegations of wrongdoing.    The sisters involved in the claim have no doubt experienced much hardship bringing the action to completion, but will be awarded financially and, beyond that, morally for their willingness to shed light on the wrongful actions of a major corporation.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Mississippi Whistleblower Attorneys Bringing Qui Tam Suits   

            Qui tam lawsuits serve a vital function in our society, exposing fraud and protecting not just the government but American taxpayers as well.  Becoming a whistleblower can be a frightening experience, but with the assistance of an experienced qui tam attorney you can ensure your rights are protected and your action is prosecuted to the fullest.  The Mississippi Whistleblower Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC have assisted countless brave whistleblowers across the state.  We will help you every step of the way in bringing your action, from the initial filing to that final day in court.  We will also ensure you do not become the subject of retaliation for your whistleblowing actions.  With our assistance, you can expose fraud and obtain a financial award for doing so.  Call Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free consultation with one of our exemplary whistleblower attorneys today.

Mississippi Car Accident Attorneys Report: Two Killed in Accident Involving Child Driver

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

A tragic accident involving children occurred on Friday, December 12, 2014.  Two child passengers perished in a car accident while being driven by a nine year old boy.  The incident occurred about 45 miles east of Jackson in a rural area north of the town of Forest.  The car turned to avoid a mandatory checkpoint set upon on Highway 35.  A Mississippi Highway Patrol officer noticed the 2003 Mercury Sable attempting to avoid the checkpoint and set off after the vehicle.

The runaway car veered off the road while attempting to avoid the police officer.  The car overturned and collided with a utility police.  The nine year old driver and one of the passengers, a boy of only three, were ejected from the vehicle.  The ejected toddler and another passenger, a 13 year old boy, died from their injuries.  The nine year old driver and the remaining passenger, a 13 year old girl, were rushed to the hospital for treatment.  The driver remained in critical condition and the young girl’s condition has not been released.  The names of the survivors have also not yet been released.

All four of the children in the vehicle that day lived in the same household, though their relationship to one another is not clear.  Police have not released the name of the owner of the vehicle.  None of the children occupants were wearing seatbelts.

Any car accident is a tragic occurrence, but when young children are involved accidents become all the more troubling.  More than 9,000 children under the age of 12 will die in car crashes each year.  This number is down tremendously since 2002, but many safety advocates feel the figure is still too high.  Researchers report that one out of every three children killed in automobile accidents was not wearing a seat belt.

Study after study has demonstrated that seat belts and age appropriate child restraints are the best way to protect children in the event of a crash.  Yet many states, including Mississippi, have not yet passed laws requiring the use of car seats and booster seats for all children under the age of eight.  Even more states have not adapted car seat laws to meet with current safety recommendations, which include keeping all children under the age of two years old in a rear facing car seat.  According to many child safety advocates, passage of mandatory booster seat laws up until the age of eight would save many elementary school aged children who are simply too small to be safely riding in a seat with just a seat belt.

If your child is injured in a car accident, consult with a licensed car accident attorney as soon as possible.  It is imperative your child’s rights be protected fully from the start.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys Fighting for Your Full Recovery

All car accidents are tragic and unfortunate.  Those involving young children, however, are particularly heinous.  This accident highlights the importance of child supervision and of teaching even young children never to get in the car with anyone other than a trusted adult.  The importance of wearing a seat belt also cannot be overemphasized to children.  If you or a loved one is involved in a car accident, the Mississippi Car Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC are here to help.  Our dedicated car accident attorneys will fight for your full recovery, which may include medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, and non-economic damages.  Call Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced car accident attorneys.

 

Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Answer FAQS

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Mississippi’s workers’ compensation system is complex and difficult for most employees to navigate.  If you are preparing to file or have recently filed a claim, you will likely have questions about the process.  Here is a look at some of the most frequently asked questions by injured Mississippi employees:

What injuries and illnesses are covered under workers’ compensation?

Most injuries and illnesses that are caused by a work related accident or a work related condition will be covered under Mississippi’s workers’ compensation.  You should qualify for workers’ compensation even if the accident was your fault.  Repetitive motion injuries should also be covered.

There are a few injuries and illnesses that may be excluded, including those that are intentionally self-inflicted, injuries caused by your intoxication, injuries that result when a co-worker attacks you for personal reasons, and more.  Your attorney can review your injuries to assess whether they will fall under workers’ compensation.

Are all workers covered under Mississippi’s workers’ compensation?

Most full time or part time employees will be covered by Mississippi’s workers’ compensation program.  Almost all employers are required to provide this covered and there exist few exceptions.  Those that are self-employed will generally not be covered.

Can I sue my employer or a co-worker for causing injuries or illness?

Not usually.  Workers’ compensation is the sole remedy available to most employees injured on the jobsite.  You can seek coverage for medical expenses and lost wages under the workers’ compensation system.  You will not be paid for pain and suffering stemming from the injury.  There are two main exceptions.  If your injury is caused by a defective product, you may be able to pursue a case against the manufacturer.  Further, if your injury was caused by an assault by a co-worker for personal reasons, you may be able to seek a civil or criminal suit.

I was injured in a car accident while traveling for my job that requires travel, will workers’ compensation cover my injury?

If you are required to travel for work, you will generally be covered in the event of an accident so long as you were on the road for a work purpose and considered to be on the clock.  If you have no fixed place of work and were traveling for the job, you should also be covered.

I was injured while on a break, will my injury be covered?

You may not be covered.  Generally, personal time taken during the work day will not be covered under Mississippi’s workers’ compensation.

Can my employer fire me for filing a workers’ compensation claim?

No.  Your employer cannot legally fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim and doing would be against the law.  Your employer can, however, fire you for a variety of other reasons, such as extended absence from work.  If you have been terminated and believe your workers’ compensation claim played a role, consult with a qualified Mississippi workers’ compensation attorney immediately.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Assisting Injured Workers Across the State in Obtaining the Compensation They Deserve

If you have been injured on the job, it is imperative you receive the full workers’ compensation benefits for which you are eligible.  Unfortunately, the complex workers’ compensation system makes it difficult to do so.  For those confused by the process or whose claims have been denied or minimized, the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC are here to help.  We are a team of skilled and dedicated workers’ compensation.  Call Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free consultation with one of our exemplary workers’ compensation attorneys.

Mississippi Car Accident Attorneys Name the Most Dangerous Drivers

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Car accidents occur by the millions each year, and even the most cautious drivers can become the victims of serious crashes.  You have likely heard arguments as to the safety of some drivers, and risky driving engaged in by other driver groups.  Some people claim that older drivers should not be allowed to drive because they are slow to react and create a hazard.  Others assert that young drivers are the most dangerous and the driving age should be increased because youths do not take the risk of car accidents seriously enough.  The following is a look at the safety of two driving groups: teen drivers and older drivers.  This analysis offers some answers as to which group is the most dangerous drivers.

Statistics Point to Teens as Most Dangerous

Statistics concerning car accidents provide perhaps the most vital look into the safety of particular driving groups.  According to statistics, teen drivers, especially male teenagers, are the most dangerous users of the road.  While older drivers are involved in large numbers of accidents, teen drivers far exceed their accident rates.  The evidence is below:

  • Teen drivers between the ages of 16 and 17 are involved in nine times as many crashes per mile driven than middle aged drivers.
  • Those over 80 years old are involved in five and a half times more accidents than middle aged drivers.
  • Teenage drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are the most likely age group to be involved in any sort of car accident.
  • Drivers in their 60s are not any more likely than drivers in their 30s to be in an accident.
  • Boys between the ages of 16 and 19 are twice as likely to be in a fatal accident than girls of the same age.
  • While those over the age of 75 do have an increased fatality rate, studies show that this can be attributed to medical complications involved with the injuries and is not related to the group’s overall accident incidence.

Assessing the Risk to Teen Drivers

These frightening statistics involving teen drivers have lead many safety experts to examine why the teen accident rate is so high.  Studies have concluded that part of the reason for so many teen accidents actually involves the brain of the teenagers themselves.  Teen brains are still developing and these immature brains lead teens to impulsive decision making.  When you combine a lack of driving experience with impulsive tendencies, you create a recipe for disaster.  So far, studies show that:

  • Teens are more likely to speed.
  • Teens are more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as tailgating and passing.
  • Teens have the lowest rate of seatbelt usage.
  • Teens are likely underestimate danger on the roadways or not recognize it whatsoever.
  • Teens drive distracted more often than any other age group.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys Fighting For Your Recovery

Thousands of car accidents will be caused by teen drivers each year, and many careful drivers will become the victims.  If you are injured in a car accident anywhere in Mississippi, the Mississippi Car Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC are here to help.  Our team of skilled and dedicated automobile accident attorneys will carefully investigate the cause of your accident, gathering evidence of negligence on the part of the at fault driver.  We will then fight for your full recovery, which may include medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, and non-economic damages.  Call Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced car accident attorneys.

Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys Explore Rear End Collisions

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

Each year, more rear end collisions will occur than any other type of automobile accident.  Roughly two and a half million rear end accidents occur each year, resulting in serious injuries and even death.  In fact, six deaths out of every one million cars registered are the result of rear end accidents.  The vast majority of rear end collisions happen due to inattentiveness on the part of the individual driving behind the vehicle that is rear-ended.

The Causes of Rear End Accidents

There are many causes of rear end accidents, but some common causes seem to occur with regularity.  These include:

  • Following too closely
  • Poor road conditions, such as ice, rain, or snow
  • Inattentiveness on the part of the following driver
  • Driver distraction, including texting and using a cell phone
  • Failure to see the car in front stop or slow
  • Poor visibility, due to fog or other weather conditions
  • Accelerating from a stop too quickly
  • Foot slipping off the brake while stopped
  • Sudden stopping that does not allow the following car time to stop

Rear end accidents can be extremely serious.  These accidents often result in so-called “soft tissue” injuries.  Whiplash is among the most common soft tissue injuries.  Whiplash is caused by the jerking motion of the head and neck that generally occurs during a rear end crash.  The result is severe neck pain and limited range of motion.  Rear end crashes can also result in head injuries, which can be lead to permanent or long term disability.  Head injuries are not always apparent immediately following a crash.  Any rear end crash victim who is experiencing headaches and blurred vision should be evaluated for potentially serious head trauma.

When trucks are involved in a rear end accident, the results can be even more devastating.  Trucks weigh several times that of passenger motor vehicles, and when they pummel into the back of a car, the accident often becomes catastrophic.  Any victim of a truck rear end accident should seek medical attention immediately following the crash.

Fault in Rear End Collisions

In the vast majority of rear end accidents, the driver of the second vehicle, the vehicle that does the rear-ending, will be considered at least partially at fault.  This is because all drivers have a duty to follow other vehicles at a safe distance so as to allow for necessary sudden stops or slow downs.  It is imperative that enough traveling distance be provided between vehicles to prevent am accident when an unexpected stop occurs.  Accordingly, when a rear end accident happens it is presumed the second car did not provide enough following room and is at least partially at fault for the accident.

This is not to say that the front car always escapes liability.  If the lead car acted negligently, such as by not having working brake lights or reversing suddenly, this car will hold a considerable percentage of the fault as well.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys Assisting the Victims of Rear End Collisions  

Rear end accidents can result in damage to your vehicle and serious injuries, including spinal cord damage, whiplash, head injuries, brain injuries, broken bones, and internal organ damage.  If you have been injured in a rear end collision, the Mississippi Car Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC can help.  Our skilled car accident attorneys will investigate your accident to uncover all evidence of negligence.  We will then fight for your full recovery, which may include medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, and non-economic damages.  Call Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced car accident attorneys.

Mississippi BP Oil Spill Attorneys Report: U.S. Seeks Up to $18 Billion in Fines From BP

Friday, December 5th, 2014

The U.S. government is seeking between $16 and$18 billion in water pollution fines from BP Plc for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, which was the worst oil spill in U.S. history.  The federal government has stated that BP deserves the maximum fine allowed under federal law.  The fine would be the largest ever imposed under the Clean Water Act and BP claims it would be a gross outlier compared to fines imposed in other cases.

In September, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier ruled that BP was grossly negligent in drilling the well that led to the 2010 oil explosion.  The company has thus far set aside $3.51 billion in anticipation of penalties, which BP feels is an accurate estimated of its liability if it wins an appeal from the judge’s ruling.

Judge Barbier intends to conduct a non-jury trial in the coming month to set the exact pollution fines for BP, as well as its partner, Anadarko Petroleum Corp.  The fine will take into account a number of factors, including the size of the spill and the level of responsibility that both BP and Anadarko bear for the spill.  The government has already stated that Anadarko’s responsibility is minimal compared to that of BP.

The government, in its filing, has requested that a substantial penalty be imposed upon BP because the company provided little to no assistance after the spill.  Further, a smaller fine would not be sufficient punishment for a company worth billions of dollars.

BP countered back that it deserves a fine of far less than the government’s request because it is already incurred over $42 billion in liabilities from the spill, including several billon put towards stopping the oil spill and cleaning up the damage.  BP also claimed its fine should be low because the spill has had less environmental impact than initially anticipated.

For its part, BP has already stated that while the fine will be painful for the company, it will not cripple it.  The company brought in $23.5 billion in net income last year, making even the largest of fines seem bearable.

In other BP oil spill news, the deadline is approaching for people and businesses to file claims as a result of their losses due to the 2010 oil spill.  The deadline for most people and businesses is June 8, 2014.  This deadline does not apply to any seafood related businesses.  BP has made separate settlements for these business as well as medical claims.  As such, any individual or business who has yet to file a claim for economic losses must act fast.  Consult with an attorney now so that your claim can be timely prepared and filed.  Missing this deadline could result in foreclosure of your ability to ever receive compensation for your losses stemming from the spill.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Mississippi BP Oil Spill Attorneys Seeking Recovery for All Victims of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico Disaster

The final deadline to file your claim related to the 2010 BP oil spill is fast approaching.  If you or your business suffered losses from the oil spill and have not yet received compensation,   the Mississippi BP Oil Spill Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC can help.  We continue to assist victims of the BP oil spill in obtaining full compensation for their losses associated with this manmade disaster.  At Barrett Law PLLC, our attorneys possess unmatched skill and dedication.  For more information on your potential claim, call Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free consultation.

 

Mississippi Whistleblower Attorneys Discuss Retaliation

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Many violations of the law go unreported by employees with knowledge of them because they fear retaliation.  Our livelihoods, health insurance, and much more are often dependent upon our jobs and the fear of losing a job is consuming.  Whistleblower laws generally provide a remedy for the victims of retaliation in order to encourage employees to come forward with evidence that will uncover wrongdoing.

Most laws designed to protect workers, such as anti-discrimination laws, health and safety laws, and wage and hour protections also make it illegal for employers to retaliate against employees who engage in conduct that the law protects.

Despite these clear protections, researchers have found that whistleblower retaliation is actually on the rise.  According to the Ethics Resource Center (ERC), about 45 percent of all employees observe misconduct or fraud each year.  The majority of these employees, some 65 percent, report this misconduct.  One in five of those reporting employees, or 22 percent, are retaliated against for doing so.  This figure is up from 12 percent in 2009.  Equally troubling, the types of retaliation exerted have become more direct.  Rather than giving employees a cold shoulder, those employers who do retaliate are doing so with demotions, firings, pay cuts, and even outright harassment or violence.

These findings are troubling because, even with the many incentives and protections afforded to whistleblowers on the legal front, potential whistleblowers are unlikely to step forward when they face such imminent and serious retaliation.

Employers should take note of the ERC’s findings because they also highlight potential troubles for those employers who allow retaliation.  The study found that most employees have no desire to get the government involved in the matter.  Rather, they prefer to work within the company to address the wrongdoing they see occurring.  It is only when their efforts are frustrated by inaction or retaliation that they reach out to the government as a method of last resort.  Employers should be wary of this fact, as once the government is involved serious sanctions may be imposed and bad press will arise.

Employers should do all they can to promote internal reporting and protect whistleblowers.  This means creating an atmosphere of honesty within the company so that employees will feel comfortable coming forward.  It also means developing an easy and systematic way internally report concerns.  Employees must be educated on how to report their concerns.  Employers should create a zero tolerance policy for retaliation and address all complaints in a swift manner.

If you are an employee who has made a complaint concerning wrongdoing and feel you have been retaliated against, contact a whistleblower attorney in your area as soon as possible.  Retaliation is against the law and your attorney will ensure the unlawful treatment you have received will be corrected and punished.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Mississippi Whistleblower Attorneys Assisting Those Who Have Experienced Retaliation

Whistleblowers play an important role in our society, bringing to light fraud and wrongdoing occurring in workplaces across the U.S.  While these whistleblowers should be rewarded for their actions, far too many find themselves instead the victims of retaliation.  If you believe you have been retaliated against for your lawful whistleblowing conduct, the Mississippi Whistleblower Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC can help.  We will assist you in the filing of a qui tam action and correct any mistreatment you have experienced due to your whistleblowing activities.  Our experienced whistleblower attorneys understand the complexities involved in this field of law and will navigate you towards the best possible outcome.  For exceptional representation with your whistleblower case, call Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free consultation.

Mississippi Truck Accident Attorneys Report: Four Killed in Accident on Interstate 10

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Recently, a truck pulling a flatbed trailer caused a massive, multi-vehicle accident on Interstate 10 in Mississippi.  The accident occurred around midnight on Friday, December 12, 2014.  A 2011 Toyota Tundra pickup truck was driving eastbound in Hancock County, which is west of Biloxi and about 12 miles from the Louisiana state line.  This vehicle started the accident that came to involve eleven vehicles.

The pickup truck and trailer it was hauling overturned on the highway, spilling tons of used computer equipment across eastbound Interstate 10.  Many vehicles saw the spill and stopped, but an 18 wheeler continued eastbound through the stopped vehicles and collided with several cars and trucks.  Four tractor trailers and six passenger vehicles were involved in the accident.  Some of the vehicles were so badly damaged it was impossible to determine their make and model.

Four individuals perished in the catastrophic accident and several others were injured.  A father and daughter were among the victims, as were two young men.  Two of the victims were from Louisiana.  Eastbound Interstate 10 was closed for some time as emergency crew officials attempted to aid the injured, identify the deceased, and clean the crash scene.

Investigations are ongoing and thus far police have revealed that weather was not a factor.  It is unclear what caused the initial truck and trailer to overturn, as well as why the 18 wheeler failed to stop to avoid the vehicles that had stopped due to the spilled computer equipment.

This recent crash is an example of a multi-vehicle accident, one involving commercial trucks along with passenger motor vehicles.  Roughly half of all accidents will involve more than one vehicle.  Pile ups, such as this accident, occur when cars are stopped on the highway due to some hazard and a vehicle or vehicles behind to do stop in time to prevent a collision.  This is a common form of accident and one that can inflict many injuries, as well as present unique liability issues.

Determining fault in a multi-vehicle accident such as this can be a difficult task.  Often, more than one party will be considered partially at fault for the accident.  Your car or truck accident attorney will examine all the facts of the crash and likely employ an expert to reconstruct the accident.  The negligence of each driver and their role in causing your injuries will be assessed.  From there, your attorney will have a full understanding as to which parties should be held responsible for your damages stemming from the accident.  Your own liability, if any, will also be considered but should not bar your recovery.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Proudly Representing the Victims of Mississippi Truck Accidents  

Truck accidents such as this recent Interstate 10 accident can devastate those involved and their loved ones.  Our hearts go out to all those involved in this tragic multi-vehicle accident.  If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a truck accident, the Mississippi Truck Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC are here to help.  Our team of dedicated truck accident attorneys understands what it takes to bring a successful personal injury or wrongful death claim following an accident.  We will thoroughly investigate your truck accident to uncover all avenues of recovery and evidence of negligence.  Armed with this knowledge, we will fight for your full recovery, which may include medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, and non-economic damages.  Call Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced truck accident attorneys.

Mississippi Qui Tam Attorneys Report: VA Whistleblowers Named Public Servants of the Year by Special Counsel

Monday, December 1st, 2014

Recently, the Office of Special Counsel honored three physicians for coming forward to reveal gross wrongdoing occurring at the Veterans Affairs Department.  The Office of Special Counsel recognizes that the revelations of these three physicians brought the nation’s attention to the problems currently surrounding the Veterans Affairs Department and pushed the agency towards reform.

            The three whistleblowers named by the Office of Special Counsel as Public Servants of the Year include:

  1. Dr. Katherine Mitchell:  Dr. Mitchell tried for years to alert VA officials to the mistreatment of patients occurring at the Phoenix VA Medical Center.
  2. Dr. Phyllis Hollenbeck:  Dr. Hollenbeck, along with her colleague Dr. Sherwood, reported major wrongdoing occurring in the Jackson, Mississippi VA, which included corruption, fraud, and chronic understaffing.
  3. Dr. Charles Sherwood:  Dr. Sherwood, along with Dr. Hollenbeck, was instrumental in revealing the fraud and patient mistreatment occurring in the Jackson, Mississippi VA Hospital.

The ceremony honoring these three Public Servant of the Year recipients took place in Washington, D.C.  Before receiving their awards, the three recipients shared their stories of frustration, mounted after years of attempting to alert officials to the wrongdoing they saw occurring within the VA system.

Dr. Sherwood credited the Office of Special Counsel with receiving and responding to his reports, after the VA willfully ignored such concerns for 15 years prior.  Dr. Hollenbeck, who considers Dr Sherwood a role model, did not want to become a whistleblower, but when she was asked to violate laws, she had to do something.

The VA is now encouraging whistleblowers to come forward.  It has created several new initiatives, including an “idea house,” which is designed as a forum for employees to suggest ways to improve the hospital.  The VA still has a ways to go and what it will look like once the transformation is complete is not clear.

The three whistleblowers have applauded the efforts of the VA thus far and recognize that the organization has done much to fix the wrongdoings these three identified.  Dr. Mitchell cautions that she feels there needs to be more done to protect whistleblowers and to ensure whistleblowers do not become the subject of retaliation.  She states that far too many employees do not come forward because they fear losing their jobs.  The only way to ensure the long term success of the VA and progress moving forward is to address the anti-whistleblowing culture that exists within it.

For now, Dr. Hollenbeck continues to work in her position at the VA, though she is sure some in her department would rather see her go.  The story of these three whistleblowers demonstrates the undeniable importance of whistleblowers everywhere.  Had these brave individuals not stepped forward, the wrongdoing occurring throughout the VA system may have continued on for years to come.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Mississippi Qui Tam Attorneys Assisting Brave Whistleblowers    

Without whistleblowers like the physicians honored by the Office of Special Counsel, serious fraud and wrongdoing would likely continue uninterrupted for years.  The role of the whistleblower is a vital one; protecting the U.S. government and our citizens.  The Mississippi physicians who revealed the VA’s serious wrongdoing stand to be acknowledged for their brave contribution, as the Special Counsel now has.  If you have knowledge of wrongdoing and are considering blowing the whistle, the Mississippi Whistleblower Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC can help.  We understand the complexities involved in qui tam and other whistleblower actions and will guide you each step of the way.  For exceptional representation with your whistleblower case, call Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free consultation.