Archive for October, 2016

Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys Talk about Weather-Related Accidents

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Two recent accidents in Jones County are thought to have been caused by rainy weather. The first wreck involved two vehicles and injured two women. The second accident occurred when an SUV hit a tree, injuring the two people who were inside of the vehicle. People who were near the scene of the second accident heard it when it occurred and rushed to the scene in a golf cart to try and help. Unfortunately, the golf cart ended up going off of the road near the accident scene, but the passengers were not hurt.

Rain increases the risk of car accidents in two ways. When it is raining, visibility is reduced, and drivers cannot see well enough to drive safely. Also, road surfaces can become slippery when they are wet, which increases the risk that a driver will lose control of their vehicle. Some road surfaces even accumulate water on the surface, creating the risk of hydroplaning.

When it is raining, or the road is wet, drivers can do a few things to decrease their accident risk. Driving slower than you would drive on dry roads gives you more time to see vehicles, signs, and other things, thereby increasing visibility a little during a time when the weather is working against your ability to see things. Driving slower can also reduce the risk of hydroplaning. Remember that stopping a car on a wet surface requires more distance, so leave yourself plenty of space when you need to stop. Also, leave lots of room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you so that you have more time to react to that vehicle’s movements.

As the weather gets colder, rainy weather can give way to sleet, snow, and ice that can make the roads even more slippery than rain can. Accidents caused by winter weather can be disastrous, whether it is a single car sliding off of the roadway or multiple vehicles piling on to each other when they cannot stop due to ice on the road. Use similar safe driving techniques in the winter as you would for driving in the rain. Also, when the weather is particularly severe, be sure to evaluate whether you need to make that trip. Sometimes, staying at home in a winter storm is the best way to stay safe.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Serving Accident Victims Across Mississippi  

Sometimes, a driver cannot avoid a weather-related automobile wreck no matter how careful they are. If you got hurt in a car crash, contact a knowledgeable Mississippi Automobile Accident attorney right away. Your attorney can help you to pursue a claim for financial compensation for your injuries while you focus on healing. The Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC are here to help you. Please call us at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule a free, initial consultation.

Mississippi Worker’s Compensation Attorney Talks about Workplace Injuries for Older Employees

Sunday, October 30th, 2016

More and more adults are working past the traditional retirement age of sixty-five. Some of these older workers simply enjoy their jobs and don’t see any reason to stop doing what they love. Others may want to retire, but they feel locked into the work force because they need the income and benefits that come from their work to survive. Workers over the age of sixty-five make up one-fifth of the American work force. The number of employees in this age group is expected to increase even more, due to rising costs of living and increasing concerns over the future of social security.

As people age, they face increased risks of illness and injury whether they are at work or not. Consequently, older workers experience a greater risk of workplace injury than younger workers do. Workplace injuries among older workers are the topic of continuous research because employers and regulators want to learn how to make it safe for workers to be employed for as long as they would like to work. Older workers contribute a lot of knowledge and experience to any workplace; they often have a very strong work ethic, and they often inspire positive feelings in the workplace environments in which they are employed.

Research has revealed that the most common health concerns for older workers are arthritis and hypertension, neither of which may be explicitly caused by their work. Each of those conditions can occur in individuals whether they work or not. Over three-quarters of workers who are age sixty-five and over have at least one chronic health condition that must be managed. While these numbers are not tied to work-related health conditions, they do have the potential to affect worker performance and safety in the workplace.

The level of skill and experience that older workers tend to have, as well as their long-term familiarity with safety rules and their tendency to be cautious workers all result in a lower injury rate for older workers than for younger workers. When these older workers do get hurt, though, they tend to suffer greater harm than their younger counterparts. Their injuries often take longer to heal, and they are more likely to die as the result of their injuries. This means that employers need to think proactively to keep older workers safe on the job. Work environment design and flexible scheduling are just a couple of the ways that employers adapt the work and the workplace to fit older workers’ needs. Some older workers may also be able to work from home, depending on what they do for work.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Helping Injured Mississippi Workers

The knowledgeable Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC take pride in meeting the needs of injured workers and their families. If you have questions about Mississippi worker’s compensation claims, please call the experienced Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC right away, at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule a free initial consultation.

Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys Talk About Accidents Caused by Defective Parts

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

A recently filed wrongful death lawsuit claims that a component of the braking system of a tractor-trailer caused a deadly crash when it failed. The accident, which occurred in 2015, killed a woman and injured her infant son. The wrongful death lawsuit was brought against the manufacturer of the brake part, Meritor WABCO Vehicle Control Systems, and other parties.

The lawsuit claims that the brake part has undergone forensic testing and that test results show that the Meritor modulator valve was defective, as defined by Alabama law, at the time of the accident. The plaintiff in the lawsuit, the husband of the deceased and the father of the injured child, seeks compensatory and punitive damages for her wrongful death, product liability, negligent and wanton maintenance of the tractor trailer, and failure to warn of defects.

Tractor trailers are designed to be driven long distances on a regular basis. Because of this, the safe operation of any tractor trailer involves regular checks of all of the parts of both the tractor and the trailer. Many components of a truck wear out fairly quickly, and must get replaced on a regular basis, so regular checks ensure that worn out parts get replaced before they fail on the road. If a part fails while the driver is on the road, an accident could occur.

Sometimes safety checks are not performed regularly, or repairs are not made as soon as they are needed and accidents occur. Sometimes these checks are done by the driver of the truck and at other times, mechanics inspect the trucks. At other times, accidents happen when parts fail without any warning or in spite of vehicle checks that could not reveal the defect that caused the crash. When a tractor-trailer is involved in an accident which may have been caused by a mechanical defect, multiple parties could each be partially or fully responsible for the injuries and the damages that were caused by the crash. When there are multiple defendants, the lawsuit can become rather complicated as the parties try to blame each other for the accident and absolve themselves of responsibility for as much of the damages as they possibly can.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Helping Mississippi Trucking Accident Plaintiffs and Their Families

Trucking accident cases involving mechanical defects can be lengthy and complicated. Accident victims and their families may be kept waiting for much-needed compensation while the potentially responsible parties point fingers at each other and argue over who is responsible for how much of the damage that was caused by the crash. This can be frustrating for accident victims and their families, but they do not have to go through it alone. If you were injured or someone that you love was killed in a trucking accident where there may have been a mechanical defect, Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys could help you navigate the complicated trucking accident claims process so that you can devote your time and energy to healing your injuries or recovering from your loss. If you have questions about Mississippi trucking accidents, please call the dedicated Mississippi Personal Injury Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC at 1 (800) 707-9577 to set up an initial consultation.

Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys Talk About School Bus Accidents

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

A recent crash involving a school bus and one other vehicle recently blocked both lanes of traffic on Highway 57 in Jackson County for a few hours. The Mississippi Highway Patrol reported that there were students on the bus when the accident occurred. Fortunately, there did not appear to be anyone injured.

School bus accidents do not always end as safely as this one did. Last year, there was a school bus rollover accident where students were injured, and some school bus accidents do result in serious injuries and even death. Whenever there is a school bus accident, it is not surprising that parents think about whether they are doing the right thing when they send their kids out to catch the bus to school every weekday morning. Fortunately, school bus accidents are not all that common, and research indicates that they are in fact the safest way for kids to get to and from school. Riding to school in a private vehicle is actually seven times more dangerous than riding to school in a school bus.

If you can think back a few years to when you were in school, and you rode the school bus, you might remember that there were not any seat belts on the buses. You might think that certainly, school buses would have seat belts now, especially with all of the focus on car seats for children up to ages that are well beyond the ages that children were required to use them when you were younger. It might surprise you, then, to learn that in most places, there are still not any seat belts on school buses. This is not an oversight; it is actually a deliberate choice by school bus manufacturers who have studied many different types of school bus design and have decided that the no-seatbelt design is the safest for a few reasons.

School buses are designed to keep passengers safe in a much different way than other types of passenger vehicles like cars and SUVs are. School buses are made with padded, high-backed seats. These seats serve a purpose – they divide the interior of the bus into compartments, which reduces the amount of passenger movement during collisions. The large size of a school bus distributes any impact from a collision across a wide area. These and other design features help to keep kids safe on school buses, and parents can feel good about that.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Assistance for Accident Victims and Their Families

If you were involved in any type of motor vehicle accident, contact Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys right away. An attorney can help you using their knowledge about the automobile accident claims process to help you pursue a claim for recovery from the party or parties who are responsible for your injuries or your loss. Call the compassionate and experienced Mississippi Automobile Accident attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577, to schedule a free consultation.

Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys Talk about Kids and Seat Belts

Monday, October 24th, 2016

A six-year-old girl is recovering from several surgeries following a horrific accident that nearly claimed her life. The girl was riding in a vehicle driven by her father when the vehicle struck a tree. The girl underwent hours of surgery to repair her abdomen, which had been sliced open by the seat belt that she had been wearing at the time of the crash.

The girl’s mother would like other parents to be aware of what happened to her daughter because she does not want anyone to make the same mistake that they did. They thought that the girl had outgrown her booster seat, so she was wearing a seat belt. Not only that, but the girl put the shoulder portion of the lap and shoulder belt behind her. The position of the shoulder strap increased the force of the lap belt against the girl’s body during the accident, and she was nearly cut in two.

Unfortunately, many parents do make the same mistake and move their child out of a booster seat before their body is truly large enough to be safely restrained by a properly used adult seat belt. Mississippi law requires that all children under age seven be restrained in a properly fitting child safety seat. Child safety seats come with instruction manuals to help parents use them correctly. Infant car seats should be kept facing the rear of the vehicle for as long as possible, in fact, many pediatricians recommend keeping kids rear-facing until they are two years old. After that, it is best to keep a child in a forward-facing seat with a five-point harness until they reach the upper limit for safe use of the seat. One important thing to do at this stage is to make sure that the center clip of the harness remains at armpit height because otherwise, the child could slip out the top in the event of a crash. When your child outgrows their harness car seat, they can use a booster seat while following the instructions for belt position based on the child’s weight, height, and age. The booster seat positions the seat belt in a way that restrains the child safely and transfers tension from the belt to the seat, not the child’s body when there is an accident.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Serving Mississippi Motor Vehicle Accident Victims  

Accidents involving seat belt injuries to children are often tragic. Children who are injured by a seat belt during a motor vehicle wreck often sustain life-threatening injuries and face a long recovery time if they do survive. If you or your child were hurt or someone that you love was killed in a motor vehicle or accident, you might be able to recover for your injuries or your loss. The experienced Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC help accident victims and their families recover physically and financially after automobile accidents. Please call our office today, at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free, initial consultation.

Mississippi Whistleblower Attorney Discusses an Interesting Police Whistleblower Case

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

Sometimes, whistleblower cases provide an interesting peek inside of the goings on inside of a company or an organization. In the case of a Virginia police detective who reported to his superiors that he was concerned that a fellow detective had stolen money from a drug bust, the department’s response to his report makes for an interesting whistleblower case. The detective who voiced his concern about the handling of the money got fired for eating candy off of the floor of a crime scene.

The detective documented evidence while he was at the crime scene by taking pictures of the residence and placing several thousand dollars that were inside the home into an evidence bag. As he went about his work, he noticed that there were a few pieces of candy on the floor. He asked another detective who was working with him whether the other detective thought that he would get into trouble if he ate the candy, and the other detective replied that he did not believe so. The hungry detective ate the candy and went along his way, thinking that nothing more would come of it.

Unfortunately, the money that the detective had collected at the crime scene went missing. The detective who had collected the money expressed concern that his supervisor might have taken the money. What happened next was not the appropriate departmental response that the detective was hoping for. The police department claimed that an internal audit had revealed the “missing money” to be nothing more than a clerical error. The department later blamed the theft on the detective who had expressed concern about the missing money, citing the detective’s confession that he had eaten a piece of candy from off of the floor of the crime scene as evidence of theft on the part of the detective, and they fired him. The detective believes that the “theft” charge is not only outrageous but is retaliatory in nature. In his whistleblower lawsuit, he seeks lost wages as well as compensation for damage to his reputation, embarrassment, humiliation, and general emotional distress.

Barrett Law PLLC:  A Trusted Ally of Whistleblowers in Mississippi

If you have discussed concerns about potential violations of the law with senior management in your company and you were met with no response or an inadequate response, you may have escalated those concerns to the authorities in the interest of exposing your employer’s wrongdoing. If your employer then retaliated against you in any way after you did that, you could qualify for protection as a whistleblower. Retaliation can take many forms, from termination from your position to being stripped of many of your duties, to harassment, threats, defamation, and other types of economic and emotional harm. The Mississippi Whistleblower Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC are here to help you.  To learn more, please call the seasoned Mississippi Whistleblower Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule an initial consultation with us.

Mississippi BP Oil Spill Attorneys Talk About Oil Spill Money Spending Concerns in Louisiana

Sunday, October 9th, 2016

A former Louisiana Cabinet official is being criticized for the way that he managed a program that was supposed to ensure that seafood from the Gulf of Mexico was safe to eat again. The program was intended to restore consumer confidence in Gulf seafood following the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill by showing that the seafood coming out of Gulf waters now is safe to eat. The program was supposed to involve testing of fish in Gulf waters to such a degree that it could conclusively be established whether the fish were safe to eat.

The former Louisiana Cabinet Official who is under scrutiny is Robert Barham. He does not agree with the auditors’ suggestions that the work that his office did on the fish testing project was shoddy. Barham says that the testing was conducted thoroughly and that his office did everything that they needed to do to examine whether the fish was safe to eat before the office declared that it is. The Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office is conducting an investigation into the matter. The Auditor’s Office claims that there was an insufficient sampling of fish to determine whether it is safe to eat. The Auditor’s office also asserts that Barham’s office engaged in excessive spending, and the acquisition of property that was purchased during the project but has since gone missing. The auditors claim that the fish testing program, which had been given ten and a half million dollars, had been so mismanaged that it is not even possible to determine with any degree of certainty whether the seafood in the Gulf is, in fact, safe to eat right now. The auditors also claim that Barham’s office spent money freely and with little oversight, and made questionable purchases.

BP had also questioned how the money was spent as well as the level of testing that was done. The company thought that more testing would be done, based on information that Barham’s office had provided in support of the purchase of a boat. Barham denied that the energy company had objected to the equipment that his office purchased. He also emphasizes that the money came from BP, and not from taxpayers.

Barrett Law PLLC:  BP Oil Spill Attorneys Representing Oil Spill Victims Across Mississippi

The BP oil spill caused a lot of economic damage to the Gulf Coast and throughout the state. Although the economic activities associated with the Coast are beginning to return, the damage was so great that the effects of it are still being felt today. If you suffered economic damage as the result of the oil spill, the Mississippi BP Oil Spill Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC might be able to help you.  Our experienced and dedicated BP Oil Spill attorneys have assisted many oil spill victims, and we are here to help you.  Call Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577, to schedule an initial consultation at no cost to you.

Mississippi Whistleblower Attorney Talks about an International Whistleblower Case

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

While there are many interesting and important whistleblower cases taking place in America right now, it is essential that we also take the time to look at the things that whistleblower around the world have been able to accomplish in the name of exposing corruption and pursuing justice.

A husband and wife team from Russia felt that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) betrayed them after they exposed state-sponsored doping in their home country.  Yulia Stepanova is a runner who competes in the 800-meter event, and her husband Vitaly is a former anti-doping official. The couple had to flee Russia after they released information to international news outlets that helped to expose the systematic cheating that has been going on in Russia. Yulia has lots of experience with the Russian doping system because she took part in it for years before being banned from competition for two years. After she had served her ban, she and her husband decided to speak out about what was going on; they became whistleblowers. After the issue of Russian doping was exposed, Russia got suspended from participating in global track and field competition, and all but one of Russia’s Olympic track and field team members were excluded from competing in the Rio Olympics.

Yulia had applied to the IOC to compete at the Olympics as an independent athlete, but the Committee denied her application despite the recommendation of the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) that she be allowed to compete as a neutral athlete. The IOC claims that her past doping case and other concerns supported their rejection of her application because she did not meet the ethical requirements that athletes must meet to be allowed to compete in the Olympics. The IOC did offer to bring the Stemanovas to the games to watch the competition as VIP guests, but the couple felt as though that was a bribe. The Stepanovas also felt that the IOC’s denial of Yulia’s application to compete in the Olympics was unfair, and they pursued the matter. Now, the IOC has agreed to give Yulia financial support so that she can continue her career as a runner. They have also decided to employ Vitaly as a consultant on the issue of doping control.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Helping Mississippi Whistleblowers Fight the Good Fight

If you witnessed violations of federal law in your workplace and you exposed them, you did the right thing. Whistleblowers are sometimes the only way that corporate and institutional wrongdoing could be exposed because organizations have such tightly coordinated methods of hiding their wrongdoing from the public and from regulatory agencies and other organizations that uphold the laws. If you have suffered retaliation or harm after taking action as a whistleblower, the Mississippi Whistleblower Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC could help you.  Our attorneys understand the complexities of whistleblower law, and they can help you understand the whistleblower case process as they help you through it.  Call the whistleblower protection attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to set up a free, initial consultation.

Mississippi Personal Injury Attorney Talks about Night Time Motorcycle Safety

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

A man who was critically injured in a nighttime motorcycle accident in Pass Christian later died in the hospital from the injuries that he sustained in the wreck. The crash happened when the motorcycle struck the curb and left the roadway, where it flipped over and ejected the rider.

Riding a motorcycle always requires a lot of skill and concentration, and riding at night presents greater challenges and requires an even higher level of skill. One challenge of nighttime riding is that it is more difficult for other vehicles to see you. Also, at night, your ability to see important things like curbs, signs and pavement markings is reduced, as is your ability to see pedestrians and wildlife. Riding a motorcycle at night is certainly more challenging than it is during the day, and it is more dangerous, too. Sixty percent of all fatal motorcycle accidents happen during the night.

Nighttime riding can be a little safer if you ride more slowly than you would during the day. Riding slower gives you more time to react to anything that you might see on the road, such as other vehicles, pedestrians, or wildlife. Riding at night is harder on your eyes than riding during the day is. Did you know that your eyes can get tired, even when the rest of your body is well rested? If your eyes start to feel tired, find a safe location to take a rest break.

You can also keep yourself safe at night by making it easier for other drivers to see you. Other motorists should be looking out for motorcycles as they drive along, but all too often, they do not see motorcycles that are nearby and they collide with them.  Increase the chance that you will be seen by placing reflective or fluorescent accents on your clothing, your helmet, and even on your bike. Good lighting on your bike also increases your visibility. If your motorcycle has a small rear brake light, consider replacing it with a bigger, brighter one. Running lights can add both style and visibility to the front of your bike You can also maximize the brightness of your headlight, Use a DOT-approved super bright headlight bulb and check the angle of your headlight. Check the state motorcycle laws, and then raise your headlight to the maximum angle that the law allows, increasing your ability to see and be seen.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Support for Mississippi Motorcycle Accident Victims

Motorcycle accidents can cause severe injuries, and, all too often, they result in death. If you were hurt or someone that you love died in a motorcycle accident, you might be able to file an insurance claim to recover the damages associated with your injury or loss. To learn more about how we might be able to help you to pursue a claim for damages, please call the compassionate and knowledgeable Mississippi Personal Injury Attorney at Barrett Law PLLC today, at 1 (800) 707-9577 to arrange your free, initial consultation.

Mississippi Whistleblower Attorneys Discuss Penn State Whistleblower Defamation Case

Saturday, October 1st, 2016

Defamation is one way that companies and institutions retaliate against whistleblowers. When a corporation or an organization issues statements that could damage a person’s good reputation, that is defamation. The harm that can befall someone who has been defamed can range from moderate to severe and debilitating embarrassment and anxiety to economic damage, such as being unable to find work because their character has been so hurt that employers fail to see the truth of who they are and accurately assess their fitness for a particular position. Recently, a jury awarded over seven million dollars to a former Penn State assistant football coach after they found that the university had defamed him. The man had given testimony which helped prosecutors charge Jerry Sandusky with child molestation.

The former assistant coach claimed that the president of the university released a defamatory statement against him on the day that Sandusky was charged with child molestation. The harm continued as he incurred economic damages in connection with being removed from his job and other damages as the retaliation continued and as school administrators misled him by promising him that they would take appropriate action against Sandusky after he voiced his concerns to them.

In response to the allegations of harm, counsel for the university claimed that it was public opinion and national media coverage that damaged the former assistant coach’s reputation and not any action by the university. Counsel for the university also claimed that it was the former assistant coach’s lack of contacts within the coaching profession and lack of a national reputation that stood in the way of him finding alternate employment. It is not difficult to see that regardless of whether the former assistant coach had contacts within the profession and a national reputation that those resources might not have helped him much in finding a new job after the defamatory statement against him by the university was published all over the place by the national news media.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Protecting the Rights of Mississippi Whistleblowers 

Whistleblowers are essential to keeping companies and institutions honest. If people do not take the risk and come forward when their employer is doing something wrong, the wrong will likely continue, undiscovered, and people could be harmed. If you feel as though you experienced unfair treatment at the hands of your employer or former employer after you exposed violations of the law, you might be able to recover damages through the whistleblower claims process. If defamation of your character was a part of the retaliatory actions that your employer took against you, it is possible that you could recover for that harm, too. The Mississippi Whistleblower Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC can help you navigate the whistleblower claims process with the aim of obtaining financial recovery for any losses and damages that you may have experienced as a result of your actions.  If you have questions about a whistleblower case, please call the Mississippi Whistleblower attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to arrange a free, initial consultation.