Archive for September, 2015

Mississippi Auto Accident Attorneys Discuss Myths About Auto Accidents

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a car accident, you are probably feeling a range of emotions and significant anxiety.  When coping with the pain and suffering associated with your injuries, you might be overwhelmed by the prospect of navigating the claims process, dealing with insurance companies, and managing spiraling expenses associated with your accident. These obstacles can be magnified by a lack of familiarity with the claims process and the challenge of negotiating insurance and legal obstacles.  In this blog post, our experienced Mississippi Auto Accident Injury Lawyers demystify the process by dispelling common myths about car accident claims. Keep reading to learn more!

Myth No. 1: I Don’t Need an Attorney to File a Car Accident Claim

Although you theoretically can handle your own auto accident claim, the fact that you have the right to do so does not make it a good idea.  Insurance companies salivate at the prospect of devouring injury victims that do not have the benefit of an experienced Mississippi Auto Accident Lawyer.  Attorneys who routinely handle auto accident case understand the tactics used by insurance companies to avoid paying claim, as well as the legal, procedure, and evidentiary standards for navigating the litigation process.  Because well-established personal injury law firms will have established relationships with individuals with specialized knowledge, such as accident reconstruction experts and medical experts, they can effectively work with expert witnesses who might be necessary to your case.  Car accident victims almost certainly will recover less compensation without legal representation.

Myth 2: The Insurance Company Will Reach a Fair Settlement

Many people presume that since the at-fault driver paid premiums for coverage, the insurer will pay the reasonable value of a liability claim for personal injuries.  However, insurance carriers maximize their profits by denying as many claims as possible and underpaying claims.  The other driver’s insurance company has a duty to accept reasonable settlements to protect their insured from a judgment that exceeds policy limits, this duty has nothing to do with treating an injury victim fairly.  If the insurance company can find a basis to deny the claim or to mitigate the amount paid to a policyholder in damages, the insurer is strongly motivated to minimize the amount paid.  The insurance company might unjustifiably claim that the injury victim shares a significant amount of the fault for causing the accident.  Alternatively, the insurer might contend any permanent disability is unrelated to the accident.  Law firms that have been representing personal injury victims for decades have the knowledge and experience to anticipate and respond effectively to such strategies.

Myth No. 3: I can wait until I have fully recovered and get back on top of things to pursue a legal claim.

Insurance companies have no reason to pay a claim once critical deadlines have passed.  The statute of limitations is a timing requirement that indicates the period of time that an injury victim has to file a lawsuit.  The statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit for injuries suffered in a car accident generally is three years in Mississippi, but special rules may apply depending on the identity of the victim and the circumstances surrounding the accident.  If a lawsuit is not initiated before the statute of limitations “runs” (or expires), the lawsuit typically will be permanently barred.  If you are suing a government entity because your accident involved a dangerous road, there might be even shorter time limits for providing notice to the public entity.  The entire process of litigation is governed by strict timing requirements, so it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible following an accident.

Call a Mississippi Auto Accident Lawyer You Can Trust to Pursue the Compensation You Deserve

If you have been injured in a car accident and are unsure whether to pursue a claim, the Mississippi Auto Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law, PLLC are here to help.  Our firm has been advocating for personal injury victims for decades. Contact our firm today at 800.707.9577 to schedule your free consultation, so we can answer questions you might have regarding filing your auto accident claim.

Mississippi Whistleblower Attorneys Report: New Evidence Shows VA is Not Listening to or Protecting Whistleblowers

Monday, September 28th, 2015

A letter sent by the United States Office of Special Counsel to the White House and Congress (the “OSC”) details some alarming findings concerning the Department of Veterans Affairs (the “VA”).  The letter states that the VA is not listening to whistleblowers nor is it protecting them, and it has also failed to punish employees who tried to stop whistleblowers.  These new findings substantiate allegations made by several whistleblowers in 2014 and numerous stories that have emerged concerning delays in the care of veterans that led to preventable deaths.  They further support the claims of several whistleblowers who experienced retaliation, or whose concerns were completely ignored.

Dr. Katherine Mitchell Raised Alarms, but the VA Failed to Act

One of the most prominent whistleblowers who attempted to raise concerns about the VA system was Dr. Katherine Mitchell.  Dr Mitchell spoke out about dangerous delays in veteran’s care and a lack of training among triage nurses.  VA officials failed to act for over five years and nothing was done to punish the misconduct Mitchell witnessed.  The OSC that this failure to act undermines progress and discourages whistleblowers from coming forward.  Dr. Mitchell has settled her whistleblower claim against the VA, but continues to speak out about alarming situations that she feels still exist in the VA system.

VA Whistleblowers Experience Retaliation

Federal law prohibits employers from retaliating against whistleblowers for raising their valid concerns; however, this does not always stop employers from taking negative action against whistleblower employees.  The OSC uncovered several instances in which the VA attempted to fire or suspend whistleblowers for minor indiscretions or even for activities directly related to their whistleblowing.  The OSC is working with the VA to rescind this disciplinary action.

Whistleblower Litigation and Retaliation

If you witness illegal or fraudulent activity occurring within your workplace, you should take action.  Reporting your concerns carries with it the danger of facing retaliatory action.  However, state and federal laws exist to protect you from illegal retaliation.  Employers are prohibited from threatening, discharging, discriminating, or otherwise retaliating against employees who report instances of wrongdoing by state agencies or contractors.

Employees who experience retaliation can initiate a hearing by filing a claim.  If successful, the retaliatory action will be reversed and you may be eligible for damages.  Further, employees may also file a claim for a reward.  These actions will allow the whistleblower to receive potentially substantial compensation, including a percentage of all monies recovered.

A Qui Tam lawsuit is a type of civil lawsuit brought under the False Claims Act.  This law rewards whistleblowers if their suit recovers funds for the government.  The act additionally provides job protection.  If you are an employee who believes you have experienced retaliation due to your whistleblower activities or if you need assistance bringing a whistleblower claim, contact an attorney as soon as possible.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Assisting Brave Whistleblowers Across Mississippi

Whistleblowers serve an important function in society, but are not always treated with the respect that their brave actions deserve.  If you have experienced retaliatory actions as a result of your whistleblowing activity or need assistance with a qui tam action, contact the Mississippi Whistleblower Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC.  Our prominent Mississippi law firm has assisted brave whistleblowers for over 75 years.  Whistleblower cases are complex and will require the help of experienced counsel in order to successfully bring your action.  At Barrett Law PLLC, we will provide you with the information you need to walk through the whistleblower claim process and the legal assistance you will need as the case moves forward.  Call us today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free initial consultation.

Mississippi Whistleblower Attorneys Offer Advice for Potential Whistleblowers

Saturday, September 26th, 2015

Whistleblowers today benefit from increased federal and state protections as well as an overall improved mindset concerning whistleblowing.  While some uninformed individuals still see whistleblowers as opportunistic, more often society recognizes the importance of whistleblowers and encourages them to come forward.  As whistleblowing has become more revered, the reward offered to whistleblowers has increased.  The False Claims Act awards whistleblowers with up to 30 percent of all proceeds recovered for the government, which can equate to tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even multiple millions for the whistleblower. Despite these strong legal incentives and protections, it is important that whistleblowers have a realistic understanding of the path their case may take.  The following is a list of some advice for would be whistleblowers:

  1. You are not guaranteed a large payday: While some whistleblower cases have resulted in seven or even eight figure recoveries, these cases are the exception and not the rule.  The federal government does not intervene in every whistleblower case and there is no guarantee that you will receive a large recovery.  Your whistleblower attorney can assess the strength of your potential action to provide you with a better prediction as to your odds of success.
  2. Your career could be affected:  Being a whistleblower is not easy.  While whistleblower laws have come a long way and offer extensive protection against retaliation, employees who blow the whistle still often experience retaliatory action in the form of estrangement or even blacklisting. Ask yourself whether you have the strength to put your career on the line to bring to light information you feel is important.
  3. Be in it for the long haul:  The whistleblower process can take a long time, in many cases, several years or longer.  Throughout this ordeal, the government may leave you in the dark as to where it is in investigations and acceptance of the matter.  If your case makes it to court, the process will continue to move slowly given the procedural requirements of any complex litigation.  Be prepared for your whistleblower case to go on for quite some time and occupy a major part of your life.
  4. You will need a lawyer:  You will without a doubt need a lawyer.  Whistleblower laws are complex and wrought with confusing requirements and restrictions.  If you do not submit all of the required information or submit it incorrectly, you could be disqualified from acting as a whistleblower entirely.  Consult with a whistleblower attorney early on to start the process off the right way.  Your attorney will represent your interests throughout the entire process

None of these points are intended to discourage a would-be whistleblower.  Rather, you should enter the whistleblower process with a realistic idea in mind of what will occur and how you can best protect yourself and your interests.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Experienced Mississippi Whistleblower Attorneys

We need brave individuals to step forward as whistleblowers and report misconduct or fraud on the part of employers. If you have experienced retaliatory actions as a result of your whistleblowing activity or need assistance with a qui tam action, contact the Mississippi Whistleblower Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC.  Our prominent Mississippi law firm has assisted brave whistleblowers for over 75 years.  Whistleblower cases are complex and will require the help of experienced counsel in order to successfully bring your action.  At Barrett Law PLLC, we will provide you with the information you need to walk through the whistleblower claim process and the legal assistance you will need as the case moves forward.  Call us today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free initial consultation.

Mississippi Whistleblower Attorneys Discuss Whistleblower Protections

Monday, September 21st, 2015

Whistleblowers put their careers and at times, even lives on the line to disclose illegal activities they witness in the workplace.  In order to protect whistleblowers for their brave actions, numerous federal and state statutes exist, along with strong case law.  These laws aim to ensure whistleblowers will not be punished for their actions and will be rewarded.  Some important protections include:

Whistleblower Retaliation Protection

Numerous federal and state whistleblower laws include whistleblower retaliation provisions.  These provisions offer broad relief to employees who are harassed, suspended, terminated, or otherwise discriminated against by their employer for engaging in protecting whistleblowing activity.

Whistleblowers who believe they have experienced retaliation can bring a retaliation claim against the employer.  To have a valid claim, the employer must have taken some negative action against the employee in response to their whistleblowing.

Good Faith Exceptions

If you report conduct that you believe to be illegal, but it turns out to be lawful, you will generally still be protected from retaliation.  Case law has developed a good faith exception that extends protection to whistleblowers so long as they made the complaint in good faith.

Ongoing Protection Against Retaliation

Your protection against retaliation extends beyond the length of your employment.  If you file a whistleblower complaint then later resign from your job, only to be given a negative reference later on due to your whistleblowing activity, your employer could still be in violation of the law.  This can form the basis for a retaliation claim.

Courts will look to the time between the whistleblowing activity and the alleged retaliatory action as one part of its assessment of a retaliation claim.  While timing can be of the essence, with much retaliatory action occurring soon after the whistleblowing, some employers will bide their time before acting.  This does not mean your retaliation claim will fail.  You will need to present sufficient evidence to point to the relatedness of the two events.

Anonymity

Some whistleblower programs, like the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, allow you to remain anonymous, even to the government.  Your identity will only be disclosed once you have qualified for a reward.  For some whistleblowers, this provides the security they need that their careers and lives will not be negatively affected by acting.  Other whistleblower programs will need your identity from the start to investigate the claim fully.

Whistleblower Rewards

Several state and federal laws exist to award whistleblowers for their claims.  Whistleblowers will often receive a percentage of the funds recovered due to the whistleblower’s assistance.  This can amount to large sums of money.  However, not every whistleblower will get a huge reward.  The monetary success of your whistleblower claim will depend largely on the type of fraud uncovered and the financial implications of such fraud, as well as the strength of your claim.  If you are considering filing a whistleblower action, consult with an experienced attorney who will analyze your claim and assist you in obtaining the best possible outcome.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Zealous Representation for Mississippi Whistleblowers  

If you are considering bringing a whistleblower claim or have experienced retaliation due to revealing fraud within your workplace, contact the Mississippi Whistleblower Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC.  Our prominent Mississippi law firm has assisted brave whistleblowers for over 75 years.  Whistleblower cases are complex and will require the help of experienced counsel in order to successfully bring your action.  At Barrett Law PLLC, we will provide you with the information you need to walk through the whistleblower claim process and the legal assistance you will need as the case moves forward.  Call us today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free initial consultation.

Our Mississippi Truck Accident Attorneys Discuss the Complex Matrix of Trucking Regulations

Sunday, September 20th, 2015

The trucking industry is subject to an extensive regulatory framework due to the inherent dangers posed by sharing Mississippi roadways with massive 18-wheelers that dwarf sedans and other passenger cars.  Many of the detailed regulations that govern the trucking industry are designed to implement safety standards that make our roadways safer.  When tractor-trailer drivers and the commercial carriers for whom they work disregard these standards, deadly trucking accidents are the all too common consequence.  Our Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys carefully analyze potential cases to identify violations of trucking regulations or other laws that often serve as a basis for holding trucking companies accountable for unsafe practices.

In the broadest sense, there are two major types of trucking schemes that regulate a commercial carrier and their drivers.  Trucks that operate exclusively within the boundaries of Mississippi are governed by “intrastate trucking” regulations, whereas carriers that operate across state lines are subject to “interstate trucking” rules.

Because violations of important trucking safety regulations often constitute the basis for imposing liability on commercial drivers and trucking companies, effective litigation of semi-truck accident cases requires thorough knowledge of trucking regulations.  Examples of issues addressed by these safety standards include:

  • Vehicle inspections and maintenance;
  • Maximum weight and length;
  • Medical fitness of drivers;
  • Proper loading which includes the amount and securing of loads;
  • Testing for impairing substances like alcohol, prescription drugs, and narcotics;
  • Anti-Fatigue regulations;
  • Recordkeeping regarding maintenance, hiring practices, and HOS; and
  • Pre-employment screening and monitoring of drivers.

Although trucking companies and commercial drivers are subject to regulations that require keeping track of certain safety practices, the process of proving negligence is often compounded by failure to abide by these rules.  Truck drivers keep personal logbooks that are supposed to document hours of service.  These logs are so routinely falsified that those in the trucking industry often joke about the widespread practice of maintaining two sets of books.  Our Mississippi trucking lawyers often combat such tactics in some or all of some of these ways:

  • Sending a “Spoliation” Letter:  This notice will advise the trucking company  that the truck and the vehicle’s data recorder (similar to a commercial airplane’s black box) are the subject of litigation.  This correspondence will also warn of the consequences associated with repairing the big-rig, or failing to preserve the black box data.  We can seek financial sanctions or ask the judge to unfavorably rule on certain issues if the trucking company disregards our warning.
  • Filing for an Injunction: Situations might arise where we suspect that the carrier is prepared to destroy evidence and disregard our admonishment regarding spoliation of evidence.  Our law firm might file for an injunction in such cases, so altering or destroying such evidence will constitute a violation of the judge’s order.
  • Using Discovery Aggressively: Because we know that alterations or omission of important records can be a standard practice of certain commercial carriers.  Our Mississippi semi-truck lawyers engage in aggressive discovery to obtain documents and records that can used to expose inconsistencies.

Contact an Experienced Mississippi Truck Accident Attorney Today to Schedule a Free Consultation 

At Barrett Law, PLLC, our compassionate Mississippi Truck Accident Attorneys understand tractor-trailer accident victims often feel overwhelmed, and we are here to help.  Contact our firm today at (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free consultation, so we can answer any questions you may have regarding filing your truck accident case.

 

Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Discuss Repetitive Stress Injuries

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

A repetitive stress injury (RSI) is defined as damage to body tissues, including the tendons, blood vessels, spinal discs, and nerves, inflicted after continuous physical stresses.  RSIs are caused by the buildup of many small amounts of damage due to repetitive motions.  Remaining in the same position for long periods of time, as required by many jobs, and engaging in the same motion day in and day out, all place employees at risk of RSI.

Symptoms of a RSI will range from a mild but persistent ache to crippling, sharp pain.  Symptoms will often arise at work then disappear during periods of rest.  As they intensify, they can interfere with work activities, sleep, and daily living tasks.  Eventually, a RSI can result in severe pain, limited mobility, muscle weakness, and loss of sensation.  This can permanently impact your ability to work.

Risk Factors for RSIs

Some factors that will increase your risk of a work related RSI include:

  • Repetition:  Performing the same motion multiple times a day and not allowing your body to have sufficient time to rest and recover from the strain will put you at risk of RSI.
  • Poor or stressful posture:  Engaging in work tasks that place your body in a stressful posture can cause RSI.  This includes repeated overhead motions, extreme bending of the elbow, lifting and twisting, holding objects in a fixed position for a long time.
  • Frequent heavy lifting:  Lifting objects that weigh 25 pounds or more can result in injury if the employer does not teach proper lifting or offer safety devices to prevent injuries.  Jobs that require lifting 70 or more pounds are almost always dangerous.

While nearly any job can result in a RSI, there are certain positions that make workers more prone to these injuries.  Employees in manual labor fields, clerical workers, technical service workers, bus and truck drivers, food service workers, skilled trade workers, and health services workers are all prone to these injuries due to the repetitive motions performed by employees.

Types of Repetitive Stress Injuries

  • Hand and arm injuries:  Common hand and arm injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, and neurovascular disorders.  These disorders can be quite painful and result in the inability to perform typing and other hand related motions.
  • Back injuries:  The back is particularly susceptible to repetitive stress injuries and back injuries caused by these motions include back strains, back sprains, herniated discs, and ruptured discs.

Employers Should Protect Employees Against RSIs

Employers should design the workplace and work tasks so as to place employees at minimal risk of developing RSIs.  These injuries can greatly hinder an employee’s ability to perform and could result in lifelong disability.  Employers can minimize RSIs by analyzing the way employees perform tasks and the position they sit or stand in much of the day.  If you believe you have sustained a work related RSI, consult with a workers’ compensation attorney as you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and more.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Assisting Injured Workers Across Mississippi  

If you have sustained a repetitive stress injury at work or any other type of workplace related injury, contact the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC.  Our prominent Mississippi law firm has assisted injured workers for over 75 years.  If your workers’ compensation claim has been denied or minimized, we can offer the exceptional representation you need to obtain the recovery you deserve.  Do not delay, as you have a limited time within which to bring your workers’ compensation claim or appeal from your denial.  Call us today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free initial consultation.

New Uses of Cell Phones by Drivers Might Justify a Universal Cell Phone Ban

Friday, September 11th, 2015

Although traffic safety experts and lawmakers have long recognized the danger posed by drivers using cell phones and portable electronic devices, legislative responses to this public safety threat have been uneven.  While some states bar use of a cell phone for calling or texting while driving, other states place no restrictions on receiving or placing cell phone calls.  Specifically, these other states take the approach of allowing cell phone calls but only with a Bluetooth hands-free device.  Said approaches taken by states in imposing cell phone driving restrictions have ranged widely, even as the debate was limited to texting and calling.  However, the massive growth of mobile phone “apps” now makes a ban of all electronic devices behind the wheel worth considering.

Cell Phone Distractions: Beyond Texting and Talking

Most states now have laws that address talking and/or text messaging activity while driving.  For example, Mississippi became the 45th state to ban texting and driving earlier this year.  However, our state has not prohibited making or receiving phone calls on cell phones or limited such use to hands-free calling.  As if the issue of protecting public safety from multi-tasking drivers was not complicated enough, an array of new distracted driving practices are now gaining popularity, such as:

  • Posting status updates on social media sites
  • Taking “selfies”
  • Playing games
  • Reviewing Facebook pages
  • Using GPS apps
  • Surfing the Internet

The expanding array of ways that motorists are distracted by cell phones makes it worth considering the merits of a complete ban on portable phones and other electronic devices while driving.  The practice of permitting certain uses complicates enforcement of banned activities because law enforcement officers often find it challenging to determine how a cell phone is being used.  Further, the use of a mobile phone to take a “selfie” or post a status update on Facebook would not seem to be any safer than text messaging behind the wheel.

Limitations on cell phone use by drivers makes Mississippi roads less dangerous.  The Mississippi Center for Health Policy has estimated that the ban on texting and driving that was recently enacted would have saved almost a hundred lives between 2008-2112 if the law had been in effect.  A global ban on all portable electronic devices while driving might save many more lives.  The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has recommended that states take this aggressive approach, but none have gone this far as of the writing of this blog post.

While it is unclear whether such a universal ban will become law, our Mississippi Auto Accident Lawyers see the devastating impact of distracted driving far too often.  We encourage all drivers to abstain from using their cell phone, tablet, iPad, or similar devices behind the wheel.  Barrett Law PLLC represents victims of distracted drivers.  Contact our firm today at (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free consultation, so we can answer questions you might have regarding filing your personal injury claim.

Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys Report: Mother and Child Killed in Wrong Way Accident

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

A mother and child were tragically killed after a wrong way accident closed a portion of I-55 in North Mississippi.  The Desoto County Sheriff’s Department reports that a SUV carrying a mother and child from Arkansas suddenly headed the wrong way near Coldwater Bridge.  It collided with a UPS truck head on.  Both vehicles quickly caught fire.  The mother and child perished in the accident and the UPS driver sustained minor injuries.  The interstate was closed for three hours as traffic was diverted around the flaming vehicles.  Police are still investigating the crash.

Wrong Way Accidents are Rare, But Often Deadly

According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), wrong way accidents are less common than many other types of accidents, but when they do occur, fatal or serious injuries are highly likely.  The vast majority of wrong way accidents result in head on collisions, which have the highest percentage of fatalities.

One of the most common causes of wrong way accidents is alcohol or drug impairment.  Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can cause drivers to become confused and disoriented, which can result in crossing over the center line or entering the roadway going in the wrong direction.  Police and automobile accident attorneys will generally investigate the potential for drug or alcohol use in any wrong way accident.

Another growing cause of wrong way accidents is distraction.  Distracted drivers may cross into the other roadway when they are looking down at their phone or engaging in another distracting behavior.  Researchers currently believe the incidence of wrong way crashes is on the rise and the increase in driver distraction is likely part of this unfortunate trend.

Other negligent factors leading to wrong way accidents include poor lighting or highway entrance ramps that are not well marked, allowing drivers to enter the road traveling in the wrong direction.  Road construction has been known to cause wrong way accidents when it interferes with the flow of traffic and unsuspecting drivers inadvertently enter the wrong lane.  At times, drivers visiting from out of state may become disoriented or focus on their GPS to the point of not noticing they have entered a roadway the wrong way.

Wrong Way Accident Victims Will Require Considerable Compensation

Most wrong way crashes will cause serious and considerable injuries due to their head on nature.  When two vehicles collided head on, it is the force equivalent of crashing into a brick wall.  This intense and sudden stopping of motion can result in serious head injuries, neck injuries, broken limbs, spinal cord damage, internal organ damage, and more.

If you have been injured in a wrong way accident, consult with an experienced automobile accident attorney as soon as possible.  Your attorney will assist you in obtaining compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more stemming from the accident.

Barrett Law PLLC:  A Mississippi Automobile Accident Law Firm of Distinction

Wrong way accidents often result in death and serious injuries.  If you have been injured in an automobile accident due to a wrong way driver or a driver behaving in any other negligent manner, contact the Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC.  Our prominent Mississippi law firm has assisted injured vehicle accident victims for over 75 years.  Allow our zealous attorney team to fight for your full recovery following any traffic accident.  Do not delay in seeking legal assistance as you have a limited time within which to file a claim after your injury.  Call us today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free initial consultation.

Mississippi Truck Accident Attorneys Discuss Jackknife and Rollover Crashes

Saturday, September 5th, 2015

Tractor trailer drivers work hard every day to transport essential goods across the country.  Though truck drivers serve an important role in society, whenever a large truck enters the roadway, there is a risk of serious accidents.  Tractor trailers are massive vehicles, often weighing 80,000 pounds when fully loaded.  Huge tractor trailers can inflict devastating damage and injuries to the occupants of passenger motor vehicles in the event of an accident.  There are several common types of truck accidents, two of which include jackknifing and rollover accidents.  These crashes are discussed below, as follows:

Large Trucks are Prone to Rollover

Tractor trailers stretch some 13 to 14 feet into the air.  These tall vehicles are extremely prone to rollovers.  Rollover accidents can occur from a variety of circumstances, including being hit from the side or running off the road.  Rollover accidents can also occur due to a variety of truck driver behaviors, such as driving fatigue, speeding, driving while impaired by alcohol abd/or drugs, and more.  These negligent behaviors can lead to loss of control, side collisions, and running off the road, which can all cause the truck to flip.  A rollover truck accident will send a massive vehicle spiraling to the ground, holding the potential to injure not just the truck driver, but drivers and passengers travelling in surrounding vehicles.

Braking Issues Can Cause Trucks to Jackknife

Tractor trailers are generally equipped with three different braking mechanisms, required to control a vehicle so large.  If one of these brakes locks up, the truck could jackknife.  Jackknifing occurs when the trailer swings out from the truck at an angle.  A jackknifing truck can create a major road hazard as it travels across the roadway, often leaving other drivers without sufficient time to stop to avoid a collision.  Inexperienced or poorly trained truck drivers can make a jackknife situation worse by failing to promptly regain control of the truck when it begins to jackknife.

Fighting for the Compensation You Deserve Following a Truck Accident

Jackknife and rollover accidents most frequently result from negligence on the part of the truck driver, trucking company, or manufacturer of a component within the truck.  If you have been injured in a jackknife or rollover truck accident or involved in a chain reaction crash that included a tractor trailer, you may be entitled to compensation.  Truck accident lawsuits will often involve multiple defendants and can become quite complex.  Your experienced truck accident attorney will investigate the crash to uncover the parties responsible and gather evidence in support of your claim.

Injured truck accident victims may be entitled to receive compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.  Truck accidents often result in serious injuries that could have long term implications on your life and career.  Retain the assistance of an attorney as soon as possible after your crash to protect your legal rights.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Mississippi Truck Accident Attorneys With Decades of Experience and a Proven Track Record of Success

If you have been injured in a truck accident, contact the Mississippi Truck Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC.  We understand the serious nature of any truck accident and the long term impact an accident can have on your life and livelihood.  Our prominent Mississippi law firm has assisted injured truck accident victims for over 75 years.  Allow our zealous attorney team to fight for your full recovery following any truck accident.  Do not delay in seeking legal assistance as you have a limited time within which to file a claim after your injury.  Call us today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free initial consultation.

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Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys Report: Driver Fell Asleep in Fatal Crystal Springs Accident

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Recently, two adults and two children from New Orleans perished in a car accident in Crystal Springs, Mississippi.  The Mississippi Highway Patrol reports that the driver fell asleep behind the wheel just before the accident, which occurred at about 3:15 a.m. on Interstate 55 in Copiah County.  Authorities believe the 2014 Hyundai vehicle left the interstate as the driver fell asleep, hit a tree, and then caught on fire.  The driver was a 22 year old woman traveling with a 19 year old front seat passenger and two young children, ages 18 months and 4 months.  All were visiting the state from New Orleans.

The Dangers of Tired Driving

According to Drowsydriving.org, an initiative of the National Sleep Foundation, 60 percent of all adult drivers polled, or at least 158 million people, report feeling drowsy while driving in the past year.  A third of these drivers, or 103 million people, actually fell asleep behind the wheel.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that drowsy driving in 2013 caused at least 72,000 crashes, 800 fatalities, and 44,000 injuries.  Researchers believe that the true number of drowsy driving deaths could be far higher, as this is an underreported cause of accidents.  Unlike driving while intoxicated, there is no sure test to determine whether a driver is extremely tired.  As such, many accidents that were likely due to tired driving are classified as having a different cause.

Who is at Risk for Driving Tired?

Drowsy driving accidents occur most commonly among younger drivers, particularly men, young adults with children, and shift workers.  Here is an in-depth look at who is at risk of a tired driving crash:

  • Adults between the ages of 18 and 29 are most likely to be involved in a tired driving accident.
  • Men are more likely to drive while tired and also to fall asleep behind the wheel while driving.
  • Adults with children are about 10 percent more likely to drive drowsy than childless adults.
  • Sleep deprivation greatly increases your risk of being involved in an accident, and the less sleep you get, the more likely you are to be in an accident.
  • Shift workers are at risk of tired driving accidents because they are likely to drive tired more than once a month.
  • People who sleep six or seven hours or less are twice as likely to be injured in a car accident as those who obtain eight or more hours of sleep.
  • Being awake for 18 hours actually produces characteristics similar to driving while intoxicated, causing drivers to lack reaction time, awareness, perception, and much more.

If you have been injured in an accident and believe the other driver may have been driving drowsy, consult with an automobile accident attorney as soon as possible.  Your attorney can assist in investigating the accident and uncovering evidence of the other driver’s negligent behavior.

Barrett Law PLLC: Dedicated Representation for Car Accident Victims Across Mississippi

Driver fatigue can result in catastrophic accidents.  If you have been injured in an automobile accident due to driver fatigue or other driver negligence, contact the Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC.  Our prominent Mississippi law firm has assisted injured vehicle accident victims for over 75 years.  Allow our zealous attorney team to fight for your full recovery following any traffic accident.  Do not delay in seeking legal assistance as you have a limited time within which to file a claim after your injury.  Call us today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free initial consultation.