Archive for December, 2016

Mississippi BP Oil Spill Attorneys Discusses Health Effects of the BP Oil Spill

Monday, December 26th, 2016

The environment and the economy of the Gulf Coast suffered greatly after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. The health of Gulf Coast residents suffered greatly as well. The economic and environmental recovery of the Gulf Coast gets discussed much more frequently than the health of area residents. Fortunately, funds were made available to some of the people whose health had suffered as the result of the oil spill.

Since the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill was the result of gross negligence and deliberate misconduct on the part of oil giant BP, billions of dollars in fines and penalties were levied against the company. Some of the settlement money that was collected from BP was designated for the payment of medical benefits to people who lived for sixty or more days near oil-impacted shore areas and who were able to provide proof that they suffered from one or more medical conditions that were caused by the spilled oil or the dispersants that were used to clean it up. It is estimated that at least two hundred thousand people have filed claims for medical benefits, which means that the actual number of people whose health has been affected by the oil spill is greater than that.

The health effects of the oil spill are widespread and varied. Some area residents who wanted to help clean up after the disaster used their boats to participate in the cleanup efforts. Unfortunately, many of them have developed respiratory problems as the result of spending so much time in proximity to the spilled oil. Some people who were involved in cleanup efforts, as well as some who walked the beaches in the days and weeks after the oil spill, have developed skin conditions from coming into contact with the spilled oil. Many cleanup workers were given protective clothing and gear and were instructed on how to clean up the oil in a way that would minimize their exposure to it. Some of them used the equipment and some did not, which means that some people were exposed to enough oil and dispersant to negatively affect their health. Even individuals who used the gear and implemented the training that they received were exposed to some oil and dispersant, and for certain people that was enough to cause problems.

Barrett Law PLLC:  BP Oil Spill Attorneys in Mississippi

The BP oil spill caused many health issues for residents of Mississippi’s Gulf Coast. Although the environment is beginning to be restored and economic activities in the area are starting to recover, many people are still suffering from the health effects that they have experienced as the result of the spill. If you experienced health problems as the result of the BP oil spill, the Mississippi BP Oil Spill Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC could assist you.  Our experienced Mississippi BP Oil Spill Attorneys have helped many oil spill victims, and we might be able to help you.  Call us today at 1 (800) 707-9577, to set up a free, initial consultation.

Mississippi Personal Injury Attorney Talks About the Risks Associated With Drowsy Driving

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

The holiday season is a busy season on Mississippi roads and elsewhere. While winter weather is certainly one thing that drivers must watch out for, there is something else that we all need to be aware of both during holiday travel season and all year long – the dangers of drowsy driving. A recent drowsy driving accident happened in Mississippi when the driver of a tractor trailer fell asleep and drifted onto the shoulder, where it struck an abandoned vehicle. The truck flipped over, and luckily the driver was not hurt.

It’s no secret that Americans are tired, and many of us try to squeeze so many things into each day that we end up sleeping a lot less than we need to. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much of a sleep deficit to dramatically increase your accident risk. Drowsy driving is so dangerous that it has been the focus of a lot of research. Approximately forty thousand people get hurt in drowsy driving accidents each year, and fifteen thousand people die. Some of that research has shown that getting fewer than seven hours of sleep before driving increases crash risk significantly. Drivers who sleep only five or six hours before driving have twice the risk of drivers who get seven hours of sleep of more. Drivers who sleep fewer than five hours have the same accident risk as drivers who drink alcohol before driving. These are frightening statistics, given that if we are honest with ourselves, we can admit that many of us get far less sleep than that on far more nights than we would like to admit.

The reason that lack of sleep increases accident risk is that it affects the body in many of the same ways that drinking alcohol does. It decreases a driver’s overall awareness of their surroundings and their behavior; it impairs judgment, and it slows down reaction time.

Approximately one out of every five deadly crashes involves a drowsy driver. Half of the tired drivers who were involved in accidents just blacked out – they did not exhibit any signs of tiredness before falling asleep. Drivers can decrease the risk that they will be involved in a drowsy driving accident by getting adequate rest, traveling at times when you would normally be awake, and taking plenty of breaks to move around and give your eyes a break from focusing on the road. Choosing light meals and snacks instead of heavy, fatty foods while you are on the road can also help you stay awake. Some people think that coffee and energy drinks can help you stay awake during a drive, but those quick fix strategies don’t work for long and can trick them into thinking that they are more alert than they are, increasing accident risk even more.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Compassionate Counsel for Mississippi Automobile Accident Victims

Automobile accidents caused by drowsy drivers can cause severe injuries, death, and a large amount of property damage. If you got hurt in a drowsy driving wreck or someone that you love died in a drowsy driving accident, you might be able to recover financially for your injury or your loss. To learn more about how to pursue a claim for damages, please call the knowledgeable Mississippi Personal Injury Attorney at Barrett Law PLLC today, at 1 (800) 707-9577 to arrange your free, initial consultation.

Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys Discuss Distracted Driving

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

Criminal charges are now pending after an accident that killed two women was determined to have been caused by distracted driving. A third woman, who was a passenger in the car with the two women who died, was critically injured. A truck driven by a young man who was distracted by a conversation with his passenger drifted into oncoming traffic and struck the car. The truck flipped over, injuring the driver and his passenger.

Distracted driving is a frequent cause of motor vehicle wrecks. Approximately eighty percent of accidents and sixty-five percent near-miss situations involved some distraction. The most talked about distractions are cell phone use and texting, which are illegal in many places, but the aforementioned accident involved something that many of us engage in every day – person to person conversation within the vehicle. Other common distractions are drowsiness, eating and drinking, applying makeup, and using a radio or other entertainment. The most unfortunate part of distracted driving accidents is that they take so little time to occur – there is an average of three seconds between the distraction and the accident.

Knowing the risk posed by various activities can help drivers make better choices regarding distractions and driving. Driver behavior is by far the biggest influence that can be used to reduce distracted driving accidents, but there is also some technological help that has been developed in the hope of further reducing the incidence of distracted driving accidents. An aftermarket product was developed which can prevent distracted driving accidents. Interestingly enough, this “new” technology uses radar, which is a technology that has been around for quite some time, to alert drivers when they are in danger of a collision. The radar envelops the vehicle with a sort of “shield” and makes a sound to notify the driver that they are getting too close to another vehicle or an object, or if they are drifting out of their lane.

The “radar shield” isn’t the only technology that has been developed to address the problem of distracted driving. There are a few different types of phone suppression devices on the market. These devices help drivers to keep their eyes off of their phones and on the road. They do this by blocking incoming text messages and sending out automated replies that you are driving. The phone suppression devices can also be set to direct all incoming calls to your voicemail.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Support for Mississippi Automobile Accident Victims and Their Families

Accidents involving distracted driving are tragic because many distractions are preventable. When a person gets in a car accident, they may face a lengthy recovery and have to miss work as medical bills and household bills pile up. If you have lost a loved one, the grief can be hard to bear, and your family needs time to heal. Pursuing a claim for damages under either of those circumstances can seem like a daunting prospect. The Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC help accident victims and their families recover physically and financially after automobile wrecks. Please call our office at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free, initial consultation.

Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorneys Discuss Plastics Manufacturing Accidents

Sunday, December 18th, 2016

A recent workplace accident at a plastics manufacturing facility claimed the life of one man and injured two others with chemical burns. The accident occurred on a production line that produces a polymer, and the polymer spilled onto three workers who were performing maintenance on a pump. The accident is described by the facility owners as a rare tragedy, but it does serve as a reminder that plastics manufacturing workplaces, as is the case with all manufacturing workplaces, do contain dangers that can hurt or kill employees.

Plastics manufacturing workers encounter a higher than average level of danger in their work environments as compared to other manufacturing employees who work in facilities that produce things other than plastics. The work in a plastics manufacturing plant involves heavy lifting, heavy machinery, sharp tools, and hazardous chemicals. Workers can get caught in machinery and partially or wholly crushed; they can suffer amputated digits or limbs. Repetitive motions in the manufacturing process can cause employees to develop repetitive motion injuries like strains and carpal tunnel syndrome. Chemical burns and lacerations are also relatively common injuries in plastics manufacturing environments. Plastics molds are heavy, and moving them about the plant takes lots of effort and equipment. Accidents sometimes occur when molds and machinery are being moved, or when machines and molds are old or poorly maintained.

Plastics manufacturing facilities contain plenty of dangers that are common in other workplaces as well. Equipment, cords, and other items on the manufacturing floor can create tripping hazards, and oil, grease, and plastic pellets can make floors slick or treacherous and create slip hazards. The chemicals that are used to make plastics and the chemicals that are used to clean and maintain the equipment are hazardous, and can burn employees, cause respiratory injuries, and even kill employees if they are close enough to them or come into contact with them in large enough quantities.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Helping Manufacturing Accident Victims Across Mississippi  

Sometimes, workers in manufacturing facilities get hurt at work. A workplace injury or fatality at a plastics manufacturing plant can drastically alter the course of the life of a worker or their family. As you work to recover from your injury so that you can return to your job or a family mourns the loss of a loved one, life does not stand still. There are household bills and medical bills to pay, and the worker’s compensation claims process can seem daunting and complicated. Fortunately, workplace accident attorneys are skilled at guiding injured workers or families who have lost a loved one in a workplace accident through the worker’s compensation claims process. You do not need to try to pursue a worker’s compensation claim on your own. The Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC are here to help you navigate the worker’s compensation claims process while you concentrate on recovering from your injury or your loss. Please call us today, at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule a consultation.

Mississippi Personal Injury Attorneys Talk about Winter Weather-Related Accidents

Friday, December 16th, 2016

A recent accident serves as a reminder to drivers to watch out for winter weather while they are out on the road. A car went down a steep, two hundred yard embankment towards the Mississippi River. The accident went unnoticed for a few hours until someone spotted the wreck from the opposite side of the river. A dramatic rescue involving an airboat brought the injured driver, who was trying to crawl up the embankment, to safety.

While it is unclear whether the weather was a factor in this particular accident, drivers need to know that cold weather increases the risk of wintry road conditions, and it also increases the risk of additional injuries to accident victims from exposure to the cold after an accident occurs. Cold weather is enough to cause injuries like frostbite, but winter storms can cause even more damage as snow and ice make roads slippery and difficult to navigate.

Most drivers in Mississippi and elsewhere know how to drive safely when winter weather hits. However, research has shown that knowing better does not always translate into doing better. This means that other drivers, in addition to ice and snow, are something to watch out for when you drive in the winter. Of course, it is not possible to control the weather, nor is it possible to control what other drivers do. It is possible to decrease your accident risk, though, by implementing safe driving strategies.

Winter driving can be made safer in many ways. In fact, safety can begin before you even get in the car. If it is snowing or icy outside, consider carefully where you are going and whether it is an essential trip or not. Sometimes, choosing not to drive when you have that option available is the safest thing that you can do, especially in severe storms. If you need to travel, checking a weather forecast or traffic website at home before you head out can help you know what kinds of road conditions you might expect and when, and this type of mental preparedness can lead to improved decision-making at the moment if you know what to expect. If you must drive during wintry weather, you can still decrease your accident risk by keeping your speed down, avoiding sudden braking, not using cruise control, and avoiding rapid acceleration. Be sure to clean your car off completely before you head out, and do not forget to wear your seatbelt. Also, be sure to insist that everyone else in your vehicle wear their seatbelt, too. With some preparedness ahead of time and a safety-conscious attitude during your drive, you can increase the chance that you will arrive at your destination safely.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Helping Mississippi Accident Victims and Their Families

If you got hurt or someone that you love lost their life in a Mississippi car accident, a seasoned Mississippi Personal Injury Attorney could help you pursue a claim for the injuries, damages, or loss that you have experienced as a result of the crash. To find out more about how we could help you with your automobile accident case, please call the Mississippi Personal Injury Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC at 1 (800) 707-9577 to set up an initial consultation.

Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys Discuss Accidents Involving Multiple Tractor Trailers

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

A recent series of accidents involving multiple tractor trailers is illustrative of the amount of devastation that can occur when more than one of these massive vehicles is involved in a wreck. This particular accident sent three truck drivers to the hospital with minor injuries after a series of events resulted in a total of three tractor trailers becoming involved in the mess.

Accidents like this one, which involve multiple collisions, are often referred to as chain reaction accidents. This particular accident started when an eighteen-wheeler loaded with bricks crossed the median on I-22. As it crossed the median, the truck broke through the cable style guardrail and crossed the other side of the highway, dragging the guardrail cables with it, until it finally came to rest in the woods. This event left the guardrail cables on the road, where another tractor trailer became entangled in them and subsequently veered into the median.

The second truck did not go completely into the median, and its trailer was partially in the roadway. A third eighteen-wheeler collided with the second, causing the driver of the second truck, who had been attempting to untangle his vehicle from the metal cables, to get hit by his truck. It took the Mississippi Department of Transportation hours to remove the wreckage from the roadway, especially the truck that had gone into the woods. Several trees had to be cut down for that vehicle to be removed from the accident scene.

Accidents involving tractor trailers often cause more property damage and more severe injuries than accidents where only passenger vehicles are involved. When two or more tractor trailers are involved in an accident, the stakes are even higher. The risk for accidents involving multiple tractor trailers is highest during morning and evening commute times when roads are most crowded. There are many ways in which other tractor trailers can pile onto a wrecked tractor trailer. For example, a tractor trailer can rear-end a wrecked eighteen-wheeler, or it can collide with another vehicle as the driver tries to navigate around a wreck.

The aforementioned accident resulted in minor injuries, but many other crashes that involve more than one eighteen-wheeler lead to severe injuries and sometimes even one or more fatalities. Since any accident involving a tractor trailer also involves the trucking company that owns the truck, accidents involving multiple tractor trailers can quickly become complicated and difficult to resolve because of the number of parties – drivers, passengers in trucks and other vehicles, trucking companies and insurers involved. Anyone who was involved in an accident involving multiple tractor trailers will benefit from seeking assistance from a Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorney who can help them navigate the complexities of a multi-party claims process.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Supporting Trucking Accident Victims and Their Families

If you or someone that you love got hurt or killed in a crash involving multiple tractor-trailers, it is important to select an attorney who is skilled in handling trucking accident cases. The dedicated Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC might be able to help you with your trucking accident case. To find out more about what we could do to help you, please call our office today, at 1 (800) 707-9577, to schedule a free consultation.

Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorneys Discuss Rail Yard Accidents

Sunday, December 11th, 2016

A man died in a rail yard at the Nucor-Yamato Steel plant. The worker was fatally injured when he got caught between two rail cars. It is unclear exactly how the accident happened. This accident is a devastating reminder of the dangers that are present in rail yards of any type, whether they are stand-alone rail yards or rail yards that are part of a steel plant, feed mill, or some other manufacturing facility where materials and goods move in and out of the facility by train.

As is the case with any workplace fatality, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate the incident and try to determine how it happened. Rail yards are dangerous places, with trains and heavy loads moving about all day long. In rail yards, there is always the danger of an accident, for both novice and experienced employees alike. The worker who died at the Nucor-Yamato Steel plant was an experienced locomotive operator who had been working at the facility for almost thirty years. Fatal rail yard accidents are tragic for both the deceased employee’s family and their co-workers as well. A deceased worker’s family faces not only the loss of their loved one but the loss of their support as a family member and their income. As co-workers grieve the loss of a teammate, they often wonder whether the accident was preventable and whether any of them are at risk for a similar fate. A showing of support from the facility for both the worker’s family and their co-workers can help to heal the hurt that follows a workplace fatality.

While the recent rail yard accident at Nucor-Yamato resulted in death, other rail yard accidents cause serious injuries. While these injuries are not fatal, injured workers sometimes face lengthy recovery times and must miss work while they recover. Unfortunately, some employees are disabled in rail yard accidents and are unable to return to rail yard work. Depending on the injury or disability that a worker has, they may not be able to go back to employment in any position at their previous workplace and may either require training to do other work elsewhere or are unable to work in any capacity. For example, one young man severely injured both legs in a rail yard accident at a steel mill. Depending upon the nature of his injuries, he may be temporarily or permanently disabled, or he may be able to recover and resume work, either in his previous position or a different position. Prompt treatment and diagnosis of workplace injuries is the best way for an injured employee to ensure their best chance at physical and financial recovery.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Supporting Families Affected by Mississippi Workplace Fatalities

If you got hurt in a rail yard accident at work or if you lost a family member in a workplace rail yard accident, a Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorney could help you pursue a claim for damages so that you can focus on healing from your injury or our family’s loss. To learn more, call the Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule an initial consultation.

Mississippi Whistleblower Attorney Discusses National Security Agency Whistleblower Case

Saturday, December 10th, 2016

Whistleblower cases happen in all kinds of workplaces, from large multinational corporations to smaller businesses and everything in between, including government agencies. A top official within the National Security Agency is currently involved in a whistleblower retaliation case against the Agency.

This high-level case affects the whistleblower and the Inspector General of the National Security Agency, who has been placed on administrative leave after he denied a particular job assignment to the whistleblower. The case could also provide support for Edward Snowden’s assertion that he would have been retaliated against if he had reported the government’s domestic surveillance program.

Some whistleblower cases involve specific laws or procedures, depending upon the type of information that the whistleblower wants to disclose or the type of company or agency where the whistleblower is or was employed. For example, this whistleblower case is the first case to go through a process that President Barack Obama created in 2012 to give intelligence employees a means by which they can report suspected wrongdoing without experiencing retaliation in the form of restricted access to classified information, losing their security clearances or other negative consequences. It is unclear whether the Trump administration will choose to continue the program.

In this case, the whistleblower alleged that there was financial misconduct by the National Security Agency in connection with a conference that took place in Nashville, Tennessee. After he had done this, his name was made known to the Inspector General, even though the aforementioned process should have prevented that from happening. After that, the whistleblower got passed over for an assignment within the Inspector General’s office of investigation.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Strong Support for Mississippi Whistleblowers

Whistleblower cases are a varied lot. Whether you work for a government agency on a local or national basis or a large or small company, it is possible that you could witness wrongdoing within your workplace. If that happened, you would hope that your concerns would not only be heard and addressed by those in charge in your workplace, you would hope that no harm would come to you for helping your organization identify and correct misconduct that violates the law. Unfortunately, this is all too often not the case. Individuals seeking to do the right thing are often met with harsh consequences. If you have attempted to address a concern about misconduct in your workplace with workplace leaders and your efforts were met with retaliation, you might be able to file a whistleblower retaliation claim. Retaliation can harm an individual in many ways, from economic damage associated with losing a job or experiencing a change in job duties to emotional damage from bullying and humiliation. If you are a whistleblower who has experienced any type of retaliation, the Mississippi Whistleblower Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC might be able to help you.  To learn more, call the Mississippi Whistleblower Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule an initial consultation.

issippi Whistleblower Attorney Talks about Severance Agreements and Whistleblower Protection

Monday, December 5th, 2016

Despite the existence of laws that protect whistleblowers, some violations of securities law and other regulations continue to go unreported because would-be whistleblowers are intimidated into remaining silent. There are various tactics that companies use to silence would-be whistleblowers, and a recent case against a Virginia-based company illustrates one of those strategies – the severance agreement that forbids whistleblowing through the use of intimidating language.

A company called Neu-Star recently agreed to pay a hundred and eighty thousand dollars to settle a lawsuit that alleged that the corporation used severance agreements that essentially forbade whistleblowing. The contracts are alleged to have contained a broadly constructed “non-disparagement” clause that prohibited former employees from making any communication to the United States Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) that speaks negatively about the company. The severance agreement that Neu-Star was using is alleged to have stated that any former employee who violated the non-disparagement clause of their severance agreement could lose their severance pay. It is easy to see how such language could cause a former employee to fear that anything that they would say to the SEC about a possible violation of securities law could be construed by their former employer as a disparaging remark, which would put their severance pay at risk.

Whistleblower protection laws prohibit public companies from using non-disparagement clauses and other intimidating language in severance agreements. The laws are designed to ensure the freedom of former employees to discuss possible violations of securities law with the SEC. When companies use severance agreements that contain non-disparagement clauses or other language that could cause a former employee to forego reporting a possible violation of securities law, that agreement is said to have had a chilling effect on the former employee. In the Neu-Star case, at least one former employee was so intimidated by the non-disparagement clause contained in their severance agreement that they did not report a possible violation of securities law to the SEC.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Uncompromising Support for Mississippi Whistleblowers

Severance agreements are intended to set out the terms upon which former employees can obtain pay for a specified period following their departure from a company. While it is legal for severance agreements to make demands of former employees for them to be able to collect severance pay, it is not legal for companies to demand that former employees refrain from reporting possible violations of the law. Things like agreements not to work for competing firms are fair and legal, but if your severance agreement has language in it that could cause you to think twice before reporting a violation of securities law or any other laws to the agency charged with investigating such allegations, the agreement may violate whistleblower protection laws. If you know that your company uses such a severance agreement or if you have signed a severance agreement that you feel would prevent you to from reporting possible violations of securities law or other laws in order to ensure that you would receive severance pay, call the Mississippi Whistleblower Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC. Call our office today, at 1 (800) 707-9577 to set up a free, initial consultation.

Mississippi Whistleblower Attorneys Discuss The Continuing State Farm Saga

Friday, December 2nd, 2016

The whistleblower case that sisters Kerri and Cori Rigsby brought against State Farm in 2006 continues to make waves, and this time it’s the United States Supreme Court that is weighing in on the matter. The Court chose to uphold the jury verdict in favor of the Rigsbys after State Farm challenged the award on the grounds that their attorney had disclosed information about the case to the media in violation of a court order which required that the case be kept under seal.

The Rigsby’s whistleblower case has its roots in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The Rigsbys were working as claims adjusters for State Farm, assessing properties that had been damaged by the storm. The sisters examined one home in Biloxi, Mississippi and determined that it had been damaged by the wind. The insurance policy that State Farm has issued for that property included coverage for wind damage, but not for flood damage. State Farm claimed that the property had been damaged by flood and not by the wind, and asserted that the government should pay for the damage. When they discovered that their employer was trying to shift the burden of paying for the damage to the property in Biloxi to the government instead of paying the claim itself, the sisters filed a lawsuit on behalf of the government under the False Claims Act. The False Claims Act exists for situations like the one that the Rigsby’s encountered, situations where individuals believe that the government was defrauded.

The Rigsbys prevailed in their case against State Farm, and in 2013, a jury awarded them over two hundred thousand dollars plus attorneys’ fees in addition to ordering State Farm to pay nearly seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars in total damages. State Farm appealed the verdict to the 5th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, which upheld the jury’s verdict. In its appeal to the Supreme Court, State Farm sought to have the jury verdict overturned because the Rigsby’s former lawyer had given information about the case, which was under court order to be sealed, to the media. The media organizations to which the information was disclosed did not reveal the existence of the Rigsby’s lawsuit to the public. The Supreme Court, in its decision, concluded that the disclosures that the Rigsby’s former lawyer had made to the media did not justify overturning the verdict.

The Mississippi Whistleblower Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC encourage individuals who witness corporate wrongdoing to stand up and take action. Corporations know that there are not enough eyes on them from the outside to catch every violation of the law, and they do not fear that individuals from within their ranks will take action to expose wrongdoing because they have developed effective strategies for intimidating those who would date to do so into remaining silent. Whistleblowers are often the only hope for exposing egregious misconduct on the part of corporations and other organizations, and they need to know that if they choose to step forward and reveal a wrong that they will have support in doing so. That’s why we are here. To learn more, call the Mississippi Whistleblower attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC at 1 (800) 707-9577 to arrange a free, initial consultation.