Archive for May, 2015

Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys Talk About Rental Truck Accidents

Saturday, May 30th, 2015

When people need to move large amounts of stuff from one place to another, they may choose to rent a truck to get the job done. With a truck like those that you can rent from U-Haul, Ryder, and other truck rental businesses, you can do tasks like moving the contents of a home or an apartment to another home or apartment, hauling building materials for a big home improvement project home from the store, and much more, without hiring a moving company or a driver. Rental trucks range in size from fairly small to surprisingly large, considering that non-commercial drivers are allowed to operate them. Unfortunately, some of the people who rent trucks are completely unfamiliar with how to safely drive vehicles that are larger than the car that they drive every day.

As you might imagine, inexperienced, careless, or unskilled drivers in rental trucks can cause some serious accidents. One fatal rental truck accident in Pennsylvania was caused by a driver who was very tired because of a prescription medication that they were taking. The driver of the rental truck rear-ended a vehicle that was stopped at a red light, pushing the car over two hundred and fifty feet and killing the driver of the vehicle.

In addition to the dangers posed by rental trucks, rental companies often rent trailers to people who don’t need a big truck. This may appear to be a safer alternative to renting a box truck to an inexperienced driver, but drivers who are not experienced with towing things behind their vehicles may not be able to do so safely. Rental trailers, like any other trailers, can detach from the towing vehicle if they are not connected correctly. Many people who rent trailers do not have previous experience with towing trailers, and they may not connect them to the towing vehicle properly. Also, vehicles handle differently when there is a trailer behind them, and the trailer itself can cause an accident if it sways back and forth with too much force.

Whether a driver rents a truck or a trailer, it can handle poorly if it is overloaded. Unfortunately, there is often a temptation to overload rental trucks and trailers so as to complete a task during an allotted time or reduce the amount of miles that the vehicle travels so that the cost is kept to a minimum.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Serving Those Who Have Been Injured in Mississippi Rental Truck Accidents

If you have suffered an injury or a loss due to an accident involving a rental truck or a rented trailer, the Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC would like to speak with you. You deserve prompt and adequate compensation for the injuries, damages, and losses that you have experienced. Accident claim involving rental trucks can be complicated, because there are likely to be multiple parties involved. We can cut through the confusion and delay to get the results you need. Please call us today, at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule an initial consultation.

Mississippi Car Accident Attorneys Explain Why You Need an Attorney for Your Car Accident Case

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

When a car crash occurs, the first thing that usually happens is that anyone who was injured is treated for their injuries or examined to ensure that they were not injured. Once injuries have been addressed and those who were hurt are beginning to work towards recovering from their injuries, other questions arise, such as filing a claim for damages so that medical bills can get paid and the vehicle can be repaired or replaced.

If you were involved in an accident and you are planning to pursue a claim for damages, you may wonder whether you can do so on your own, or whether you need an attorney to help you. There are a few reasons why it makes good sense to forego attempting to resolve your claim on your own and proceed directly to finding a Mississippi Car Accident Attorney who will help you.

One reason why it is a good idea to enlist the aid of an attorney in pursuing a claim for damages after an automobile accident is that all insurance claims, including those that appear to be simple and straightforward matters, have the potential to become difficult to resolve. This is, unfortunately, the nature of working with an insurance company, because they want to pay as little money as they can on as few claims as possible. When you work with a Mississippi Car Accident Attorney, your attorney is the one who will take care of all of the phone calls, emails, negotiations, and other tasks that must be done in order to get your claim through the claims process to a resolution that works for you.

If money is tight, hiring an attorney to deal with your automobile accident claim may seem like something that is financially out of reach. It is true that hiring an attorney costs money. Drivers who are represented by attorneys usually obtain much better settlements much faster than drivers who pursue their own claims. Therefore, the money that you spend on an attorney can be thought of as an investment in obtaining a better result in a shorter time than you could on your own, without having to make all of those phone calls, emails, and other communications with the insurance company.

A Mississippi Car Accident Attorney can also help you avoid selling yourself short. They know how to evaluate cases like yours, and they can give you an accurate assessment of the value of your case, so that you do not accept a settlement offer that is inadequate. What’s more, your attorney will work with the insurance company to secure a settlement offer that will compensate you adequately, and they can take that pursuit of a proper settlement into the courtroom, if necessary.

Barrett Law PLLC: Excellent Representation for Those Who Have Been Injured in Mississippi Car Accidents 

Dealing with an accident claim can be tedious, frustrating, and time-consuming. If you were hurt in an accident, you may prefer to focus your time and energy on recovering from your injuries, getting back to work, and getting your life back on track instead of spending hours on the phone arguing with an insurance company. The Mississippi Car Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC can help you obtain the compensation that you deserve. Call our office today, at 1 (800) 707-9577, to schedule a free consultation.

Mississippi Worker’s Compensation Attorneys Discuss Accident Risk in the Health Care Industry

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

When you think of the health care industry, you probably think of people who help those who are hurting. Doctors, nurses, and others who work in health care facilities take care of others every day that they are on the job. Unfortunately, there are some safety risks associated with working in a health care setting that could place health care workers in a position where they are the ones who need care. Workplace injuries and illnesses affect more than six hundred and fifty thousand health care workers each year.

The most common type of injury that health care workers experience on the job is the back injury.  It is not surprising that health care workers hurt their backs fairly often, because their jobs are very physical. Nurses, aides, and others move or reposition patients regularly when they are at work. While it is possible to move and lift patients safely, there are a number of factors that keep the injury rate associated with this activity high. For example, some health care facilities are short-staffed, and there are not always extra staff members or mechanical devices available to assist with lifting patients, so staff members who are responsible for ensuring that the patients get moved do the lifting on their own. Injury is even possible when additional staff provide assistance, due to miscommunication between the lifters or unpredictable movement by the patient.

To complicate matters further, many health care facilities lack clear rules and procedures for lifting and moving patients. There are also not many externally imposed rules or policies from agencies like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Without clear guidance on how to lift safely, health care employees often lift patients in ways that are likely to injure the worker, the patient, or both. Many injuries that are caused by lifting are back injuries, and the injured worker must often leave the workplace for at least a short period of time in order to heal. Workers with severe back injuries take a long time to recover, and they may need to be placed in a different type of position when they are able to return to work, so as to avoid the risk of a second back injury.

Of course, back injuries are not the only kinds of injuries that can occur in health care workplaces. Health care workers are exposed to all kinds of illnesses, including infectious diseases. Slip and fall injuries can occur in health care workplaces, as can injuries caused by patient-inflicted violence. Repetitive motion and chemicals in the work environment can also injure health care workers.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Helping Injured Mississippi Health Care Workers with Workers’ Compensation Claims

The Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC are dedicated to meeting the needs of injured health care workers throughout the state. If you have been injured at work, you deserve the assistance of a knowledgeable guide who can help you through the workers’ compensation claim process, towards a successful resolution of your workers’ compensation claim.  Call the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free, initial consultation.

Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys Share Accident Avoidance Tips

Friday, May 15th, 2015

Approximately sixty five percent of fatal automobile accidents involve just one vehicle. This makes single-vehicle crashes even more deadly than accidents where multiple vehicles are involved. Unfortunately, single-vehicle crashes are also the most difficult accidents for accident investigators to resolve. The reason for this is simple – if the crash was fatal, the driver, who was the person who would have had the most information about what happened before and during the crash, cannot relay that information to anyone after they are deceased.  However, while the cause of any given single-vehicle accident can be very difficult to pinpoint, there is a good amount of knowledge available regarding how drivers can prevent single vehicle crashes.

One major cause of single vehicle accidents is drunk driving. Many single-vehicle accidents happen when a vehicle leaves the roadway and either flips over down an embankment or collides with an object like a tree. When a driver has consumed alcohol, their reaction time is slower and their judgment is poor. Under those circumstances, it is easy to misjudge a curve in the road or fail to make a necessary course correction in time to avoid an accident. Avoiding alcohol use prior to and during driving can reduce your risk of being in a single-vehicle accident.

Since tired drivers respond in much the same way as those who are under the influence of alcohol, it is not surprising that tired drivers are another leading cause of single-vehicle accidents. Getting adequate rest is therefore another way that drivers can decrease the risk that they will be involved in a single vehicle accident. Also, if you are driving and you notice that you are tired, find a place to rest a bit before continuing on your way. Taking a rest break could make the difference between arriving at your destination safely and being injured or killed in a single-vehicle accident.

Speeding and distracted driving are other leading causes of single-vehicle accidents. There is a common characteristic of the top causes of single-vehicle accidents, including driving under the influence of alcohol, driver fatigue, speeding, and distracted driving. That common denominator is driver choice. Each of those things is something that results from a driver’s voluntary choices about what they do both before and during their drive. This is encouraging news for drivers, because it means that they have the power to make choices that will greatly reduce the likelihood that they will be involved in a single-vehicle accident.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Serving Mississippi Car Accident Victims and Their Families  

If you have lost a loved one in a single-vehicle accident, or if you were injured in a one-car crash, you may be able to recover for the loss or damages that you have experienced. The compassionate and experienced Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC help accident victims and their families recover the compensation that they deserve. Please call our office today, at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free, initial consultation.

Mississippi Whistleblower Attorneys Talk about Medicare Overbilling Cases

Monday, May 11th, 2015

A group of settlements that involves eighteen hospitals in seven different states has arisen out of allegations that the hospitals violated federal law by billing Medicare for psychiatric services that were not medically necessary or even medically reasonable for the patients who received them. Interestingly enough, the hospitals do not admit liability as part of these settlements.

One of the people who will benefit from this collection of settlements is a former employee of a Mississippi hospital. The employee, who has been awarded nearly three and a half million dollars, witnessed illegal billing when he worked as a program director in an outpatient psychotherapy service at the hospital that is now Merit Health Wesley in Hattiesburg. The alleged improper billing occurred between 2005 and 2015. The former employee notified the federal government of the fraudulent billing, and he has pursued whistleblower litigation under the False Claims Act since 2010. The case is still sealed, and there has not yet been government intervention on behalf of the former employee.

The reasons that the psychotherapy services should not have been billed to Medicare include lack of treatment plans and progress monitoring, services provided to patients who did not need them, and a lack of therapeutic focus in the so-called therapy, which has been described as more of a diversion or a recreational endeavor.  Patients who are given services under Medicare should only get the services that address their unique medical needs. When hospitals give patients services that are not warranted based upon their unique set of needs and then bill Medicare that is a fraudulent act. The group of cases involving the Mississippi man who is a former hospital employee is just one of a few similar sets of settlements that have occurred across the nation, exposing a widespread problem of Medicare fraud.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Helping Whistleblowers Expose Wrongdoing in the State of Mississippi

When a health care provider is defrauding the government by overbilling Medicaid, they put the needs of the patient, which are supposed to be their primary concern, behind their desire to make a profit. Patients receive care that is inappropriate for their needs, and providing care that is not needed is a waste of federal funds. Whistleblower lawsuits like the one that is being pursued against the hospital in this article take a lot of time and energy. The brave individuals who file whistleblower lawsuits feel that it is important that they expose the wrongdoing that they have witnessed, so that the company can be held responsible for its actions. If you have seen a business entity breaking the law, the Mississippi Whistleblower Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC are here to help you.  Our attorneys understand the complexities of the whistleblower lawsuit process, and we will help you pursue the results that you seek. If you have questions about whistleblower lawsuits, please call the experienced and dedicated Mississippi Whistleblower Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free, initial consultation.

Mississippi BP Oil Spill Attorneys Discuss Change in Appeals Process

Sunday, May 10th, 2015

A recent decision that was issued by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans is of particular importance to businesses that have filed claims for business losses related to the BP Oil Spill. The Appeals Court decision requires a lower court judge to reconsider the rule that currently prevents BP from appealing calculations of business losses. In light of a change in the way that business losses are calculated, a topic that has been hotly contested ever since the BP Oil Spill settlement was issued in 2012, some previously-made determinations of business losses may be appealed by BP so that the numbers can be calculated under the new methodology.

The Appeals Court decision covers three BP Oil Spill issues in total. It upholds the lower court’s ruling that BP may not appeal any payments that are to be made to nonprofit groups, so BP is still barred from appealing those cases. It also upheld the lower court’s ruling with respect to appeals that are based upon BP’s assertion that a loss was caused by something other than the oil spill. Those “alternative causation” appeals are still barred, which is a big win for businesses.  This is because their ability to recover damages from BP could suffer if BP were to be allowed to appeal decisions that have already been made based upon a theory that something other than the oil spill caused the business to suffer its economic loss.

In addition to the Appeals Court decision, there is another issue that those with claims against BP will want to watch closely. A Texas lawyer who represents clients that have claims against BP has asked the court to delay its pending decision regarding BP’s Clean Water Act penalties. The attorney fears that if a decision is made and the penalty is sizeable, (as it is likely to be due to the fact that over three million barrels of oil were spilled), that could negatively affect the resolution of cases that are still pending against BP. Delaying the decision on the Clean Water Act penalty until the individual claims process is complete would prevent the resolution of claims from being affected by that penalty.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Helping Mississippi Businesses Affected by the BP Oil Spill

Many individuals and businesses are still involved in pursuing claims related to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The Mississippi BP Oil Spill Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC are closely following developments related to BP oil spill litigation. Our knowledge of the historical and current state of affairs regarding BP oil spill litigation enables us to help our clients with BP Oil Spill claims to obtain the best possible results in their BP Oil Spill cases. If you were adversely affected by the BP Oil Spill, we are here to help you.  Call the dedicated and experienced oil spill attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free, initial consultation.

Mississippi Whistleblower Attorneys Discuss West Chester University Whistleblower Retaliation Case

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

When an individual does the right thing and shares information about violations of the law with the federal government in an attempt to expose fraud, there is always the risk that the whistleblower will face retaliation as the result of his or her actions. Companies are not supposed to retaliate against whistleblowers, and retaliatory action can get them in even greater trouble than the original allegations of wrongdoing.

Colleen Bradley has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against West Chester University of Pennsylvania, alleging that the university keeps misleading financial records. During the course of her work for the University, Bradley uncovered a scheme that took place over at least three years under which millions of taxpayer dollars were misappropriated. She has alleged that she was expected to present false budgets to the state so that the University would continue to receive a certain level of appropriations.

Shortly after Bradley filed the lawsuit, she was notified that her job will be terminated in a couple of months. Prior to that, she had been intimidated, harassed, and otherwise bullied by individuals within the institution. Ms. Bradley’s whistleblower retaliation suit against the university and a few individuals affiliated with the university alleges free speech violations, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and violations of the state whistleblower law.

Retaliation against a whistleblower can take on many forms, including scenarios like the one described above. When an employee who is also a whistleblower is let go, it is possible that they noticed a big difference between when they were at work prior to the whistleblowing and how they were treated after they alerted the government to the problem. From disparate treatment that is not congruent with earlier evaluations, to “special” conditions of employment, it is possible that an employee experiences both direct and subtle types of retaliation after they blow the whistle.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Standing up for Mississippi Whistleblowers  

If after you exposed the wrongdoing of your employer, you experienced any type of retaliation, the Mississippi Whistleblower Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC are here to help you pursue a whistleblower claim.  Our attorneys know how to guide you through the whistleblower claims process and towards full financial recovery for the various types of losses and damages that you have experienced as a result of your brave actions.  Please call the knowledgeable whistleblower attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free, initial consultation.

Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys Talk about Drunk Driving Accidents

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

It is time for summer fun, and while for many people that includes the occasional night out, barbecue, or party, it unfortunately sometimes includes drinking and driving. Drivers who consume alcohol before or during their drive pose a threat to the safety of themselves, and everyone else that is on the road. When an accident occurs and the driver is found to have been under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash, it is likely that criminal charges will be filed against them. However, criminal charges are just one way in which intoxicated drivers can be held responsible for their actions. As with any automobile accident, the accident victims and/or their families, if there were fatalities, can pursue claims for damages against the driver who caused the accident.

Losing a loved one or being severely injured by a drunk driver can be incredibly painful, and recovering physically and emotionally can take a long time. You are likely to be dealing with the physical pain associated with your injuries, the emotional pain associated with losing someone you love, the stress of paying for medical bills and replacing or fixing damaged vehicles, and more. As you embark on the journey of recovering from your injuries or loss, you may also begin to wonder how you will pay for medical bills and lost wages. You can pursue a claim for damages to recover the costs of your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages, in addition to the pain and suffering that you are experiencing as the result of your injuries or loss.

Each accident that is caused by a drunk driver involves negligence.  A Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorney understands the rules regarding negligence, and the rules regarding evidence. This means that attorneys know exactly which information to gather from police reports, witnesses, experts, and others to present a very convincing case on your behalf. Your attorney can also help you understand the value of your case, so that you do not settle for less than you deserve. If the insurance company refuses to cooperate and acknowledge your loss or damages by proposing an acceptable settlement offer, a Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorney knows how to bring your drunk driving accident case to court and fight for your right to be justly compensated.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Superior Legal Representation for Victims of Mississippi Drunk Driving Accidents

Accidents involving drivers who are intoxicated often result in serious injury or death. If you have been injured, or if you have lost a loved one in a Mississippi automobile accident that was caused by a drunk driver, the Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC want to help you get through this difficult time in your life. You have endured great harm because of another person’s poor choice, and you deserve to have only the best in legal representation. Our team of experienced attorneys is dedicated to tirelessly pursuing the results that our clients deserve. Call Barrett Law PLLC today, at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule a free consultation.

Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys Talk About the Risks of Hazardous Cargo

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Some trucks that are on the road contain cargo that is hazardous. These trucks pose all of the usual dangers of other tractor trailers and trucks on the road, plus the additional danger that would be created if the hazardous cargo were to be ejected or spilled from the truck in an accident. Trucks that haul hazardous materials have a great deal of potential to cause death, injury, and physical and environmental damage than other trucks hauling benign substances.

The accident scenarios that involve hazardous materials are just as varied as reports of accidents involving other types of trucks.  In some accidents involving tractor trailers, the trailer disconnects from the cab. Ordinarily, that could result in the trailer tipping over and spilling its contents on the road or in the surrounding area. The same thing can happen with a truck full of a hazardous substance, and one such accident did occur in Nashville, Tennessee. When the trailer full of sulfuric acid disconnected from the truck, the acid spilled out and hazmat teams had to clean it up quickly in order to reduce the likelihood of harm and to contain the threat to the public. When the driver of a tanker filled with hazardous material fell down an embankment and into a creek, a lengthy cleanup process was required to restore the area where the spill had occurred.

Hazardous materials are substances which can harm people, the environment, and animals, if they are released.  Hazardous materials have properties like toxicity, radioactivity, corrosiveness, explosiveness, and flammability. They are often transported in tanker trucks or tractor trailers which carry colorful placards that describe the hazardous characteristics of their cargo. Various types of materials can cause different types of damage. Poisonous substances can produce fumes which can harm people in the surrounding area. Poisonous substances can hurt people at the accident scene if they come into contact with them, and they can cause long-term environmental damage if they get into the soil and/or water in the area. Explosive materials could cause severe damage to a large area, depending upon the type and amount of explosive substance that is involved in the accident. Radioactive substances can have a far-reaching effect on the health of people, plants and animals if they get into groundwater flammable material create a great danger to everyone who is near the including the emergency personnel who respond to the accident.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Protecting the Rights of Those Who Are Hurt by Hazardous Cargo  

Hazardous cargo from trucks can cause serious injuries and fatalities, in addition to the injuries and deaths that are caused by the accident that causes the cargo to fall or spill out of the truck. If you have experienced an injury or a loss in connection with a Mississippi trucking accident, the experienced and dedicated Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC are here to help you. Please call us today, at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free, initial consultation.

Mississippi Whistleblower Attorney Says SEC Whistleblowers are Not Guaranteed to Collect

Friday, May 1st, 2015

In 2010, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) established a whistleblower program. This program promises substantial bounties to those who expose wrongdoing, but some whistleblowers who have assisted the SEC say that the award money is slow to come, if it ever comes at all. A close look at the structure of the SEC whistleblower program gives some hints as to why this may be the case.

The reason for the delays in payment may be that the awards are only paid out on sanctions that are actually collected by the SEC. This means that the SEC must receive the funds from the parties who were sanctioned before the award is calculated and sent to the whistleblower. In some cases, it is possible that some or all of the sanctions may be unavailable for collection due to perpetrators who escape from the jurisdiction of the United States with their money or situations in which the money vanished during the course of the fraudulent activity. The collection requirement of the whistleblower program could also explain why whistleblowers reporting on some of the most commonly reported sources of fraud, including penny stocks, U.S.–listed Chinese stocks, and pyramid schemes, encounter difficulty in collecting payment. Some of the whistleblowers who are waiting for payment have made numerous claims for awards in various fraud cases. Unfortunately, the SEC does not make information readily available regarding whether specific sanctions have been collected, so whistleblowers have no way of knowing whether they should expect payments to be forthcoming.

According to the SEC, over fifty million dollars in awards have been paid out already, with more payments to come as sanctions are recovered. Since the beginning of the whistleblower program, over ten thousand tips have been submitted, three hundred people have applied for bounties, and seventeen payouts have been made. The agency views the program as a tremendous success, and hopes that whistleblowers will continue to expose the frauds that they have witnessed.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Protecting the Rights of Mississippi Whistleblowers

The bounties that are promised by the SEC whistleblower program have attracted a lot of tips from people who are eager to expose wrongdoing that they have encountered. While the structure of the SEC whistleblower program does create some uncertainty about whether and when individual whistleblowers will be paid for their participation in the program, some of the whistleblowers who have not been paid continue to sniff out and expose fraud. If you have witnessed fraudulent business dealings like the types that the SEC whistleblower program seeks to expose, the Mississippi Whistleblower Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC are here to help you.  Our attorneys are skilled at navigating the complexities of whistleblower lawsuits, including the SEC whistleblower program, and they can help you pursue a successful resolution of your case. Call the knowledgeable and dedicated whistleblower attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free, initial consultation.