Archive for July, 2016

Mississippi Auto Collision Injury Attorneys Highlight More Forms of Negligence Leading to Traffic-Related Injuries and Fatalities

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

This blog is the second installment in our two-part blog post reviewing common types of negligence and risk factors that contribute to injury accidents involving motor vehicles.  Although the list of factors that might contribute to a severe crash is virtually endless, this article guides injury victims regarding the most common types of negligent conduct alleged in personal injury claims involving motor vehicle crashes.

Multi-Tasking behind the Wheel: Use of a cell phone when operating a motor vehicle has been referred to by federal traffic safety experts as the “new drunk driving.”  While states vary in the degree to which cell phone use behind the wheel is limited, the decision to use a cell phone while driving is dangerous regardless of the activity.  Although text messaging behind the wheel receives the majority of attention, drivers talking on the phone, surfing the web, engaging in social media activity, reading news, and other tasks also pose a significant safety threat to others on Mississippi roadways.  Because of the focus on portable communication devices like cell phones, some motorists fail to consider the risk posed by inattention related to other forms of multi-tasking.  Many accidents also are caused by dealing with children, eating and drinking, adjusting the vehicle stereo, reaching for an object, grooming or applying makeup, and other tasks that divert a driver’s eyes, attention, or hands from an exclusive commitment to driving.

Unscreened Elderly Drivers: While senior citizens constitute the most experienced group of motorists, some physical and mental abilities relevant to safe driving decline with advanced age.  Generally, state licensing authorities do not employ screening practices to identify elderly drivers who can no longer safely operate a motor vehicle.  Per mile traveled, crash fatality rates rise sharply starting at age 70-74 and are at their highest for drivers age 85 and older according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The CDC reports that 5,570 older adults died in auto accidents and another 214,000 older motorists were treated in emergency rooms during a one-year period.

Aggressive Driving Practices: When drivers neglect prudent driving practices and operate their vehicle in an aggressive manner, aggressive driving practices significantly increase the risk of a collision.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted an analysis of the Fatal Accident Report System (FARS) that revealed 56 percent of fatal crashes over a five-year period involved a behavior associated with aggressive driving.  Speeding was the leading form of aggressive driving and played a factor in nearly 19 percent of fatal crashes involving cars or motorcycles.  The NHTSA defines aggressive driving as engaging in multiple traffic violations that indicate a conscious disregard for the safety of others.  An example of aggressive driving might include a motorist that is weaving through lanes while speeding and following at an unsafe distance.

Dangerous Roads: Many auto collision victims never consider that they could be seriously injured in a crash caused by faulty road design, construction, or maintenance.  When you are injured in a crash caused by an unsafe roadway, you will typically seek compensation against a public entity charged with maintaining the public roadway.  Lawsuits brought against government entities require compliance with special procedures and notice requirements subject to shorter deadlines.  Types of roadway hazards that can cause a crash include:

  • Lack of adequate signage
  • Missing or neglected guardrails
  • Poorly marked roadway drop-offs or lack of barriers
  • Improperly functioning or non-existent traffic signals
  • Unrepaired potholes
  • Inadequate skid resistance
  • Negligently designed or marked construction zones
  • Unmarked sharp grades or roadway dips

If you have been injured in an auto accident in Jackson or the surrounding areas, our Mississippi Auto Collision Injury Attorneys have successfully represented many victims of careless and distracted drivers.  At Barrett Law, we are here to help.  Contact our law firm today at 800-707-9577 to schedule your free consultation, so we can answer any questions you may have regarding filing your claim.

 

 

Jackson Workplace Injury Lawyers Provide More Answers about Common Worker’s Compensation Issues

Saturday, July 30th, 2016

This blog is the second installment of our two-part article covering many common legal issues and questions our Jackson workplace injury lawyers receive from injured workers.  While our lawyers have attempted to answer frequent questions, the best way to obtain more specific information about your unique situation is to speak to an experienced worker’s compensation lawyer.  We invite you to call Barret Law to speak to an attorney at 800-707-9577.

Will medical providers under the worker’s compensation system charge deductibles or co-pays?

Injured workers do not have to pay any amount of money to receive medical care under the worker’s compensation system.  While an employer can work out a deductible arrangement with his or her worker’s compensation carrier, benefits are free to employees injured while engaged in work-related functions.

Will an injured worker receive compensation covering all days off work because of a workplace injury?

If an injured worker is only unable to earn a normal wage because of injury for less than fourteen days, compensation for wage loss will not be paid for the initial five days of missed work.  However, workers who are disabled for at least 14 days receive wage loss benefits for the entire period of their disability including the first five days of missed work.

Can an employee be denied worker’s compensation benefits if I am negligent?

Subject to limited exceptions, the fault of an injured worker typically is not relevant to an employee’s right to receive worker’s compensation benefits.  There are a few extreme scenarios where fault can be relevant, such as the following:

  • Engaging in a fight for reasons that are not work-related
  • Drug or alcohol intoxication on-the-job
  • Self-inflicted or intentionally incurred injuries
  • Injury while engaged in horseplay

Does a waiting period apply to the receipt of medical benefits?

An employee does not need to comply with a waiting period to receive medical benefits.  Employees qualify for worker’s compensation benefits from the first day of hiring and can receive medical benefits as soon as an injury occurs.

Can I select my physician or must I see the doctor my employer wants me to see?

Unlike in some other states, Mississippi workers have a right to select their physician or medical provider to treat a workplace injury.  Further, the selected physician may refer the worker to a specialist without obtaining approval or consent from the worker’s compensation carrier or employer.  However, subsequent referrals must be approved in advance.  Workers also have the right to select healthcare professionals other than an M.D.

Are injuries suffered during work-related travel covered by the worker’s compensation system?

If travel constitutes an integral aspect of the employee’s job and entails a risk more serious than a typical commute, injuries while on trips are covered.  For example, an administrative staff person who flies to a company meeting out-of-state should be able to pursue a claim for benefits.  However, injuries in the company parking lot or during breaks or the lunch hour generally will not qualify for coverage.

What is an “occupational illness” in the context of a worker’s compensation claim?

An occupational disease is defined under Mississippi’s worker’s compensation act as a disease contracted during employment where the nature of the job placed the worker at greater risk of contracting the illness than someone in the general population.  A condition that is purely psychological will not be covered unless it specifically arises from a work-related injury.  In other words, mental conditions caused by job stress are not compensable injuries.  When job-related stress causes a physical injury, the claim might be covered if the stress experienced exceeds the amount encountered in most types of jobs.

At Barrett Law, our Jackson Workplace Injury Lawyers are here to help.  Contact our law firm today at 800-707-9577 to schedule your free consultation, so we can answer any questions you may have regarding filing your claim.

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Jackson Mississippi Car Accident Lawyers Analyze Distracted Driving Claim Filed against Snapchat

Friday, July 29th, 2016

The distracted driving crisis has reached epidemic proportions because of the prevalent use of mobile phones by drivers, especially newly licensed motorists.  The focus of law enforcement efforts and legislation aimed at curbing cell phone use by drivers has tended to focus on talking and texting on a mobile phone.  While these might be the most common forms of distractions involving mobile phones, the popularity of social media websites offers a new type of distraction for teen drivers.  A recent lawsuit filed by a person who suffered serious injury when struck by a motorist using Snapchat raises an interesting question about the potential liability of social media website companies for accidents caused by distracted drivers using their “apps.”

A recent example of this issue involves a driver who claims that an 18-year-old teen driver caused the crash because she was using Snapchat at the time of the crash.  The crash victim claims that the other motorist was driving at a reckless speed while using an application called “lens.”  Lens works like a radar gun by ascertaining the speed of a vehicle which is included in the depiction of the driver.  The lawsuit alleges that the Snapchat application encouraged the novice driver to accelerate to approximately 107 miles per hour at the time of the collision based on analysis by an accident reconstruction expert.

As might be expected, the car crash injury lawsuit names the teen driver as a defendant, the lawsuit also targets Snapchat, which is a multibillion-dollar technology company.  According to documents filed in the lawsuit, the plaintiff alleges that the company’s application urged the teen driver to continue accelerating to a dangerous speed.  While motorists ultimately are not compelled to violate the speed limit and drive at a reckless speed, the application provides motivation to engage in this form of unsafe driving by offering awards for drivers who accomplish specific tasks.

In opposing the lawsuit, Snapchat has emphasized that no award has ever been offered for violating the speed limit.  The company also counters that the application specifically warns users about the dangers of distracted driving.  Snapchat contends that the warning screen depicts the following message: “Do NOT Snap and Drive.”

While it is too early to determine the outcome of this lawsuit, evidence revealed during the litigation indicates that the 18-year-old driver posted a Snapchat almost immediately before the accident which left the victim with serious brain damage.  The potential liability of Snapchat is significant given the severity of injuries suffered by the victim, which required a five week period of hospitalization.  Severe brain injuries can result in hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in medical expenses, supportive care, lost earnings, diminished earning capacity, pain and suffering, and other forms of damages.  A company like Snapchat will have the financial resources and insurance coverage to satisfy a judgment or settlement that will far exceed an individual motorist.

Our Jackson Mississippi Car Accident Lawyers recognize the importance of identifying all viable defendants when pursuing an auto accident legal claim.  Even when the liability of the other driver is relatively clear, the other motorist might have insufficient insurance coverage to compensate you fully for your claim.  Our law firm successfully represented many people who have suffered catastrophic injuries in motor vehicle collisions.  At Barrett Law, we are here to help.  Contact our law firm today at 800-707-9577 to schedule your free consultation, so we can answer any questions you may have regarding filing your claim.

 

Mississippi Worker’s Compensation Attorneys Answer Important Questions about On-The-Job Injury Claims

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

If you suffer a significant injury in the workplace, you must overcome a variety of physical, emotional, and financial hardships.  While the Mississippi worker’s compensation system is designed to compensate injured employees facing these hardships, many people injured in the workplace do not understand the system or their legal rights.  Our Mississippi worker’s compensation attorneys receive many questions about on-the-job injuries and worker’s compensation claims, so we have attempted to answer some of those questions in this two-part blog post.

What does an employee need to do in the event of an accident resulting in injury?

If you experience a work-related injury, an important first step is to notify immediately your supervisor or another individual designated by your employer.  While you should try to notify your employer within thirty days of the incident causing injury, the right to benefits will be barred if the claim is not filed with the Workers’ Compensation Commission within two years unless you have received disability benefits during this period.

Injured workers also need to seek prompt medical attention after suffering a workplace injury.  The employee should inform their healthcare professional their injury occurred on-the-job because this information can be used to support your claim if the employer or the insurance carrier contests that the injury occurred on-the-job.  After you inform your employer of your injury, the company must file a report describing the injury with the Mississippi Compensation Commission and notify the company’s worker’s compensation carrier.

What medical benefits are covered by a worker’s compensation claim in Mississippi?

Under Mississippi’s worker’s compensation system, injured employees are entitled to all necessary and reasonable care for maximum recovery from the injury.  The broad scope of medical costs covered by worker’s compensation benefits includes physical therapy, doctors’ appointments and services, hospitalization, nursing services, crutches and other needed medical apparatus, physical rehabilitation, and medications.  Medical benefits also include mileage reimbursement for medical appointments also are covered.  Certain types of rehabilitative services also fall within the covered benefits.

Does the worker’s compensation system provide any benefits if my loved one passes away because of a job-related injury or occupational illness?

If a job-related injury causes death, the worker’s surviving spouse and specific surviving dependents can be entitled to certain death benefits.  These benefits include payments every 14 days which might continue for up to 450 weeks following the worker’s death.  The amount of the payments will be based on a percentage of the deceased employee’s wage subject to weekly maximum amounts.  The insurance company also will provide up to $5,000 for funeral expenses along with a $1,000 immediate lump sum payout to the surviving spouse.

What is the amount and duration of wage loss payments for an on-the-job injury?

If an employee suffers permanent total disability, the duration of payments will be 450 weeks.  For lesser injuries, the period payments are made will be shorter.  Depending on the type of injury and extent of disability, wage replacement payments can be as much as 2/3 of the employee’s weekly wage subject to a maximum weekly amount.

At Barrett Law, our Mississippi Worker’s Compensation Attorneys are here to help.  Contact our law firm today at 800-707-9577 to schedule your free consultation, so we can answer any questions you may have regarding filing your claim.

Mississippi Car Accident Injury Attorneys Discuss Common Causes of Auto Accidents in Mississippi

Saturday, July 23rd, 2016

Although the variety of factors that contribute to serious motor vehicle collisions are almost limitless, a few dangerous driving practices and motor vehicle safety hazards contribute to a disproportionate number of crashes.  Our Jackson car accident lawyers recognize that motorists can reduce their probability of being involved in a serious collision that causes injuries or fatalities with a better awareness of risks and practices to avoid.  A review of the causes below reveals that although millions of people are injured and tens of thousands of people die annually in traffic collision even though most crashes are preventable.

Alcohol (Drug) Impaired Drivers: Motorists with driving abilities impaired by drugs or alcohol cause approximately one in three traffic-related fatalities annually and injury to hundreds of thousands more.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that an alcohol-impaired driver causes an accident approximately every fifty minutes.  While it might be tempting to assume that your risk of being involved in a collision involving an intoxicated driver is relatively low, a third of all motorists will be involved in a collision with an alcohol-impaired driver at some point during their lifetime.  Traffic-related deaths and injuries caused by drunk drivers are especially upsetting because the accidents are so easily prevented.  Nonetheless, statistics provided by MADD indicate that the average driver will operate a motor vehicle eighty times under the influence of alcohol before an initial drunk driving arrest.  The danger posed by drivers impaired by alcohol can hardly be overstated because alcohol and drug intoxication can adversely impact concentration, vision, judgment, reaction time, depth perception, speed estimation, and recognition of spatial relations.

Traveling at an Unsafe Speed: Although many drivers exceed the speed limit on a periodic basis, traveling at an unsafe speed presents a dual threat to roadway safety.  The first safety issue linked to driving too fast is that reaction time for engaging in evasive maneuvers or reducing speed to avoid a collision.  The second safety issue related to speeding is that the force of impact increases with speed.  Whether a driver is traveling at a pace that is unsafe given roadway and traffic conditions or over the posted speed limit, the risk of a crash because of loss of control or inability to react to roadway hazards dramatically increases.  The risk of an injury accident can be even more serious when motorists do not reduce their speed in school zones and the vicinity of construction projects.

Lack of Driving Experience: Teen drivers lack the ability to react instinctively to roadway hazards and other unanticipated situations.  Newly licensed drivers also lack experience dealing with alcohol, driving distractions, and other factors that compromise the driving ability of all motorists.  During a recent one-year period, motor vehicle accidents involving teens claimed the lives of 2,163 teens and resulted in over 243,000 teens being treated in hospital emergency rooms.  In other words, auto accidents claim the lives of six teen drivers per day in the U.S. Certain factors raise the risk of novice drivers being involved in a serious crash including driving after dark and transporting teen passengers.

We invite readers to continue reading Part II of this blog post that provides other examples of the types of conduct that cause many car crashes in Mississippi.  If you have been injured in an auto accident in Jackson or the surrounding areas, our Mississippi Car Accident Injury Attorneys have successfully represented many victims of careless and distracted drivers.  At Barrett Law, we are here to help.  Contact our law firm today at 800-707-9577 to schedule your free consultation, so we can answer any questions you may have regarding filing your claim.

 

 

Mississippi Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawyers Suggest Some Important Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Trucking Accident Attorney

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

Many people who experience catastrophic injuries or lose a family member in a tractor-trailer accident have never had to retain an attorney.  The chances are that you will not have had reason to retain let alone speak to a trucking accident lawyer until you or a loved one suffers an injury in a trucking collision.  We represent many clients that have never dealt with an attorney in any context before retaining our law firm.  This lack of familiarity makes it difficult to determine what questions to ask when interviewing attorneys to handle your trucking accident claim.  In this blog post, our Mississippi trucking accident lawyers highlight key areas of inquiry when evaluating a personal injury lawyer to represent you in trucking litigation.

What types of trucking litigation cases have you handled in the past?

Tractor-trailer accident lawsuits are not simply motor vehicle collision cases that involve a large vehicle.  Trucking litigation involves special issues and challenges that are not present in a typical car accident case.  For example, the trucking industry is subject to extensive regulation both at the federal and state level, so effective representation in a trucking case requires extensive knowledge of trucking laws, regulations, and industry practices.  If a potential lawyer does not have specific experience in successfully handling trucking litigation, you might want to keep looking because trucking accident litigation does not provide a good venue for on-the-job training.

How does your law firm intervene to preempt trucking companies from manipulating or destroying evidence?

The trucking industry has developed a reputation for the alteration or destruction of evidence in tractor-trailer litigation.  The practice of falsifying driver logbooks or keeping two sets of books is so common that these records are derisively referred to as “lie books” by a fair number of commercial drivers and trucking companies.  Many trucking companies have investigators that can be dispatched to a crash scene within minutes, so they can quickly gather evidence.  A commercial carrier might repair damage to a cab or trailer which prevents an accident reconstruction expert from analyzing the damage patterns to the vehicle.  The big-rig also might be placed back in service causing data on the event data recorder to erase vital information about the vehicle and driving of the trucker immediately before the crash.

Our experienced Mississippi tractor-trailer accident lawyers at Barrett Law take affirmative steps to preserve evidence in trucking accident lawsuits.  Our trucking accident law firm frequently sends a notice to the trucking company advising that the semi-truck that was in an accident is the subject of litigation and must not be changed or altered from its current condition.  This notice includes the data maintained on the electronic recorder for the large truck.  If the commercial carrier does not comply with the notice, we can seek sanctions.  These sanctions can impair the position of the trucking company in litigation or result in an attorney fee award.

While the threat of sanctions often will be sufficient to discourage attempts to modify or destroy evidence, we also might seek a restraining order prohibiting such action if the commercial carrier ignores our notice.  Our Mississippi trucking accident lawyers recognize the importance of acting promptly to prevent evidence from disappearing, which might prove critical issues, such as driver fatigue, speeding, inadequate vehicle maintenance, sudden braking, GPS location, and other information that might be relevant to liability, causation, or damages.

If you have been injured in a trucking accident in Jackson or the surrounding areas, our Mississippi Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawyers have successfully represented many victims of negligent commercial carriers and their drivers.  At Barrett Law, we are here to help.  Contact our law firm today at 800-707-9577 to schedule your free consultation, so we can answer any questions you may have regarding filing your claim.

 

 

Jackson Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys Offer More Advice on Screening a Potential Semi-Truck Crash Injury Law Firm

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

Because of the complexity and sophistication involved in trucking litigation, the experience, skill, and legal acumen of the Jackson trucking accident attorneys you handle can have a profound impact on your recovery.  This blog post is the second installment providing recommended issues to consider when hiring a semi-truck accident lawyer.

What other evidence will the law firm use to prove the liability of the commercial driver and trucking company?

Our law firm will use all appropriate evidence and tools to establish the negligence of the trucking company and driver.  Our Mississippi tractor-trailer accident attorneys aggressively use discovery to obtain documents and information that include but are not limited to the following:

  • Electronic data recorder information
  • Fuel and tire receipts
  • Lodging receipts
  • Emails between driver and trucking company
  • Employee personnel file
  • Drug testing records
  • Driver logbooks
  • Maintenance records
  • Documents related to safety inspections and violations

We also work closely with industry experts regarding engineering and handling issues, accident reconstruction, and industry practices.  Our lawyers also use documents obtained in discovery, as well as the testimony of company officials and the driver to uncover manipulated records like false logbook entries.

 Has your law firm had success in prior tractor-trailer accident lawsuits?

Law firms that have successfully handled prior trucking accident cases should be able to reference prior significant settlements and judgments.  While no two cases are identical and past results cannot guarantee any specific result in your lawsuit, a firm that has expertise handling trucking cases will be able to talk to you about prior results in prior tractor-trailer accident cases.

How do your trucking accident attorneys handle client customer service?

If you were hiring a contractor to renovate your home, you would not select someone who puts your project on the backburner and neglects to communicate with you about the progress of your home.  Clients should expect no less when hiring a lawyer for your trucking case.  We place a high value on client satisfaction which is why we have a policy of responding to phone calls or emails the same day or the next business day.  Our lawyers also provide updates regarding significant developments in your case, so you are not left in limbo regarding the status of your legal claim.

How will your law firm prove damages suffered in my trucking accident claim?

If a passenger vehicle occupant is injured in a collision involving an 18-wheeler, there is a high probability that occupants of the passenger vehicle will suffer severe injury.  We will use your medical records and billings, payroll records, vehicle repair/replacement estimates, and similar documents to establish your economic losses.  Our attorneys also use testimony from trucking victims and family members to help a judge and jury understand the impact of your injury or disability on your daily life experience.  We also might use medical experts and vocational therapists to help prove the limitations and obstacles you face in working or engaging in activities before your injuries.  Since the types of severe injuries experienced in a tractor-trailer crash can adversely impact many aspects of your life, we rely on these types of evidence, videos, and other evidence to facilitate a verdict or settlement that fully addresses your losses.

Does your law firm have the financial resources necessary to successfully pursue my personal injury claim?

When litigation involves complex issues like those in trucking accident litigation, as well as catastrophic injury or wrongful death, the cost of litigating the case typically will be significant.  The litigation could be a lengthy process even without a trial.  Further, experts might need to be paid for their time testifying in depositions and at trial.  Effective use of specialized testimony from expert witnesses, persuasive professional visual exhibits/videos, and other successful litigation tools can mean the difference between a successful and a sub-par outcome.  Reputable trucking accident law firms will advance the costs of your litigation, so you need to know that the firm you retain has the litigation resources to maximize your chances at a full recovery.

If you have been injured in a semi-truck accident in Mississippi or the surrounding areas, our Jackson trucking accident lawyers have successfully represented many victims of negligent commercial carriers and their drivers.  At Barrett Law, our Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys are here to help.  Contact our law firm today at 800-707-9577 to schedule your free consultation, so we can answer any questions you may have regarding filing your claim.

 

 

 

Mississippi Personal Injury Lawyers Answer Common Questions about Traumatic Brain Injuries

Sunday, July 10th, 2016

While people experience many types of serious injuries in motor vehicle collisions, falls, and other accidents, the brain is one of the most vulnerable of vital organs in the human body.  A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have debilitating consequences that last a lifetime, including diminished cognitive functioning, impaired mobility, and inability to communicate, just to name a few examples.  Traumatic brain injuries often have a profound effect on both a victim and his or her family.  Our experienced Mississippi brain injury lawyers have answered common questions asked by people who suffer head injuries because of the misconduct of an individual, business, or public entity.

What should I do if I suffer a traumatic brain injury in an accident caused by another party?

The most important step to take in the wake of a serious accident during which you incur a brain injury is to seek immediate medical care.  Some head injuries do not exhibit significant symptoms until a period has elapsed after the injury is incurred.  This delay in symptoms frequently is related to bleeding and swelling inside the skull which imposes increased pressure on the brain.  When injury victims take a “wait and see” attitude after experiencing an injury in an accident, they risk a less favorable prognosis because unrelieved pressure on the brain might cause severe brain damage and even death.  Prompt treatment also enables medical providers to conduct a thorough diagnostic examination.  A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized tomography (CT), or electroencephalography (EEG) scan often provides vital evidence regarding the nature and severity of an accident victim’s injuries.

Brain injury victims also should seek prompt legal advice if they are injured in an accident caused by the conduct of another.  The potential magnitude of damages in a lawsuit involving a serious TBI means that insurance companies will devote extensive resources to shift blame to the injury victim or to otherwise avoid liability.  Medical evidence regarding the nature of the brain injury and the way the crash caused the injury also will involve complex medical information that must be explained to a jury with experts.  Our Mississippi personal injury lawyers work with well-regarded experts to build a compelling case for our clients.

How much is a traumatic brain injury claim worth?

While the precise value of a brain injury will depend on a range of factors, the damages in a case involving a traumatic brain injury typically exceeds $100,000 and awards in the millions are fairly common.  The amount recovered in a judgment or settlement does not equal the actual compensation an injury victim receives.  Most Mississippi personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means that their fees are a percentage of your recovery.  The litigation costs associated with pursuing your brain injury case also will be deducted for expenses that include expert fees, trial exhibits, day-in-the-life videos, deposition costs (e.g. court reporter fees), and other costs associated with pursuing your lawsuit.  The expenses associated with litigating a traumatic brain injury case can easily amount to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, but law firms have the financial resources to advance these costs of litigation.  Our law firm executes a written fee agreement with every client, so our clients know what to expect regarding their net recovery after paying attorney fees and litigation expenses.

Can I pursue a personal injury lawsuit if I suffered a brain injury several years ago?

While the best practice is to seek legal advice as soon as practical after suffering a brain injury, the statute of limitations might not have expired.  Although the statute of limitations may have run, you might benefit from the discovery rule.  If the injured party is the victim of medical malpractice or a child age 6 or younger, this exception to the statute of limitation might “toll” (delay) expiration of the period to bring a lawsuit.  The bottom line is that important notices might need to be filed, and actions commenced within a designated time.  Injury victims should seek prompt legal advice to assess their rights and to avoid running afoul of the statute of limitations.

If you have been injured in a car accident in Jackson or the surrounding areas, our Mississippi Personal Injury Lawyers have successfully represented many victims of negligent drivers.  At Barrett Law, we are here to help.  Contact our law firm today at 800-707-9577 to schedule your free consultation, so we can answer any questions you may have regarding filing your claim.

 

 

Mississippi Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Highlight Key Facts Riders Should Know before Cruising on Their Bike

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

Although riding a motorcycle can be exciting, fun, and economical, the inherent safety risks associated with riding necessitates caution and prudence.  Because the roads are filled with distracted, intoxicated, and otherwise careless motorists, the most careful motorcyclists can be involved in a crash.  Given the vulnerability of riders, all motorcycle crashes tend to be fairly dangerous.  Motorcycle accident litigation requires special expertise and knowledge regarding the handling dynamics of a bike, common prejudices harbored against riders, and legal standards that apply specifically to motorcyclists.

Decades of experience has provided the skill and specialized knowledge our Mississippi motorcycle injury lawyers need to succeed in motorcycle crash injury litigation.  We utilize accident reconstruction experts, medical experts, private investigators, and our extensive litigation resources to build a compelling legal claim for our clients.

Proper Safety Gear Should Be Worn: Vehicle occupants in cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs have an array of safety features at their disposal including seat belts, lap belts, airbags, and a reinforced passenger compartment.  Since even a minor motorcycle accident can cause severe injury, proper protective gear is essential.  A helmet can significantly reduce the risk of experiencing traumatic brain injuries which constitute the leading cause of motorcycle fatalities.

Motorcycle Riders Need a Longer Stopping Distance: Because of the lack of stability associated with a two-wheeled vehicle, motorcyclists cannot engage the brakes of their vehicle as aggressively as drivers of passenger cars.  The need to reduce speed while operating a motorcycle less aggressively means that riders must allow for increased braking distance to avoid laying a bike down.

Downshifting Will Result in Reduced Speed: Many people who ride motorcycles suffer serious injury when they are rear-ended by a motorist.  A fair number of motorcycles do not have brake lights that are activated when a rider downshifts.  Riding enthusiasts must be especially aware of motorists who are tailgating because the drivers might not be able to tell the bike’s speed is slowing if the brake lights do not light up.

Minor Road Hazards Can Constitute a Major Problem: Government officials and the media often lament our deteriorating roadways, few travelers face greater danger from our failing infrastructure than motorcyclists.  A minor pothole, cracked or uneven pavement, or another minor road defect that might not even be noticeable to someone in a passenger car can be extremely dangerous to the rider of a two-wheeled vehicle.

Police Accident Reports Often Reflect Bias Against Motorcyclists: While the “outlaw biker” stereotype has become out-of-date, many riders still suffer from lingering negative generalizations about riders being reckless and prone to unsafe practices like speeding.  A potentially bigger issue involves the fact that motorcyclists often suffer injuries that require they be immediately transported to a hospital.  If a motorcyclist is in the emergency room when the officer is investigating the accident and interviewing witnesses, the report often will favor the driver of the passenger car who was available to explain his or her side of the story at the crash scene.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, our Mississippi Motorcycle Accident Lawyers have successfully represented many crash victims in obtaining compensation for their injuries.  At Barrett Law, 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 claim.

Mississippi Personal Injury Attorneys Answer More TBI FAQs

Saturday, July 2nd, 2016

This blog is the second installment in our two-part blog posts that answers some frequently asked questions about brain injury lawsuits.  If you or a loved one is injured in a motor vehicle collision or another type of accident, the medical costs and permanent physical and mental effects can be devastating.  While a Mississippi personal injury lawsuit might provide an avenue to obtain necessary monetary recovery, this blog discusses some key issues unique to legal claims involving traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).

What types of legal claims can I bring if I experience a brain injury?

The precise legal theories available in a traumatic brain injury case will depend on the specific facts and circumstances that led to the injury.  If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, potential claims also will depend on the responsible party.  While the other driver might be liable for negligent operation of a motor vehicle, the vehicle manufacturer might be liable under a product liability theory if defective airbags fail to deploy or deploy too aggressively.  Further, a public entity might even be liable for negligence in the design, construction, or maintenance of the roadway.

When you are injured on the property of another during a dog attack or a fall on a broken step, you might pursue a premises liability claim against the property owner or party in possession of the premises.  As with a motor vehicle accident claim, multiple parties can be responsible for injuries caused by negligent, security, a slip and fall, or dog attack.

Some brain injuries occur because of sub-standard medical care like a birth injury, undiagnosed brain tumor, or anesthesia error during a surgical procedure.  When a physician, nurse, technician, or hospital fails to provide medical care that complies with the requisite standard of care, health care professionals and facilities can be liable for committing medical malpractice.

Finally, some brain injuries occur because of intentional physical acts of violence.  The perpetrator of acts of violence can be liable for a TBI resulting from a criminal act of violence.  Further, property owners who fail to implement proper security measures also might be liable for this type of injury depending on the specific circumstances.

Why do I need an experienced Mississippi brain injury lawyer to handle my accident claim?

Whether you were injured in a rear-ender, motorcycle crash, or fall on a wet grocery store floor, the expense and intricacy involved in pursuing a traumatic brain injury claim make it important you work with an attorney experienced in handling this type of injury claim.  Many brain injuries are not obvious, so they are overlooked even by medical professionals.  If your Mississippi personal injury lawyer does not have experience handling brain injury lawsuits, the case might be settled for an amount that is inadequate for your long-term needs.

For example, a motorist might be involved in a collision that does not involve significant vehicle damage.  The injury victim also might not experience a loss of consciousness.  While you might be suffering from erratic swings in your emotions, your physician might not be able to diagnose anything conclusive and release you from treatment.  If the case is settled based on your medical bills and lost earnings before the appearance of more severe symptoms, you might suffer financial hardships if you are later forced to cut back your workload or stop working entirely.  Our lawyers interview injury victims and their families, so we can identify problems that are not being addressed adequately by doctors.  TBIs often cause less obvious signs of injury like mood swings, depression, anxiety, PTSD, impaired concentration, and a multitude of other issues.  Consultation with a neuropsychiatrist or neuropsychologist can provide a way to diagnose these issues and ensure that all of the forms of mental injury you suffer are addressed by your monetary recovery.

When seeking to maximize compensation for brain injuries, your attorney must effectively communicate the impact of your injury on your daily life.  Serious cognitive deficits might interfere with your ability to maintain your employment or necessitate supportive care.  Further, brain injuries that impact emotional responses can cause an accident victim to be subject to emotional outbursts.  These types of negative psychological effects can take an adverse toll on a victim’s relationship with his spouse and children.  When brain injuries result in limits on movement or strength, an injury victim might need supportive devices like walkers, wheelchairs, canes, or other physical aids that impact brain injury victim’s quality of life.

If you have suffered a TBI in Jackson or the surrounding areas, our Mississippi Personal Injury Attorneys have successfully represented many victims of negligent or intentional misconduct.  At Barrett Law, we are here to help.  Contact our law firm today at 800-707-9577 to schedule your free consultation, so we can answer any questions you may have regarding filing your claim.