Archive for the ‘Auto Accident News’ Category

Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys Discuss Accidents Involving Diabetic Emergencies

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

A Florida man blacked out while he was driving and he crashed his car into the side of a weigh station near the Mississippi-Louisiana state line. The man has diabetes, and, at the time of the accident, he had not eaten anything yet that day. When a person has diabetes, there’s a risk that they could lose consciousness if their blood sugar drops too low. When an individual who has diabetes blacks out because their blood sugar has gotten too low, it is called a diabetic emergency. When a diabetic emergency happens to someone who is driving a car, the resulting accident can cause serious injuries or death. Fortunately, the man who was involved in the aforementioned accident survived the crash.

Diabetes is a serious medical condition that affects nearly thirty million Americans. People who have diabetes are susceptible to hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, which can cause them to sweat excessively, tremble, or experience impaired vision, confusion, seizures, unconsciousness, coma, and even death. When a person has diabetes, their health care providers teach them how to manage their blood sugar through a combination of methods that may include blood testing, medication, insulin injection, diet, and exercise. Health care providers also teach people with diabetes how to recognize the signs of hypoglycemia and how to treat it with a fast-acting source of glucose. Each diabetic’s body responds to treatments differently, so the ways in which doctors help people to manage their diabetes vary.

Many people with diabetes can drive safely, with the support and advice of their health care providers. Some states require drivers who have diabetes to report their condition to the DMV, and some states even require health care providers to provide an honest assessment of whether a diabetic patient is capable of driving safely. These assessments are to be made on an individual basis, from information that the health care provider has obtained during the history of their treatment of the patient that they are evaluating. For example, hypoglycemia presents clear signs in some people and provides them with opportunities to address it before they experience impairment or loss of consciousness, but in other individuals, no clear signs appear before hypoglycemia renders them impaired. There are also very strict requirements for people with diabetes who wish to obtain commercial (CDL) drivers’ licenses.

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

Diabetes can increase your accident risk, but it does not always prevent you from being able to drive safely. If you have diabetes, ask your doctor about how to reduce the risk that you will be involved in a diabetic emergency crash. If you do get into an accident, contact a Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorney immediately. The Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC have helped many Mississippi accident victims and their families recover physically and financially after a car crash, and they may be able to help you, too. Please call our office today, at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule a free, initial consultation.

NHTSA Launches Campaign that Encourages Parents to Talk to Their Teens About the Rules of the Road

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

As part of National Teen Driver Safety Week, celebrated annually October 18 through the 24, the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration urged parents of teen drivers to talk to them about safety. The NHTSA recommended that parents sit teens down to discuss some of the most risky behaviors among teen drivers, including failure to wear seat belts, texting, alcohol use, speeding, and riding with extra teen passengers.

The NHTSA reports that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among 15 and 20 year olds across the country. In 2013, more than 2,600 teen drivers and passengers were killed in car accidents while another 13,000 were injured.  Despite these alarming statistics, few parents talk to their kids about risky behaviors that lead to accidents.

The experienced Mississippi car accident attorneys at Barrett Law, PLLC want to see all our local teens stay safe while driving around the state. We believe that with parents modeling positive driving behaviors and discussing safety tips with their teens, the rate of teen accidents can decline.

The following is a look at the five most dangerous behaviors for teen drivers, as identified by the NHTSA in its “5 to Drive” campaign:

5 to Drive

  • Do not use alcohol: About a third of all teen accidents involve the use of alcohol. Drinking and driving is illegal and deadly. Advise your teens as to the dangers of drinking and driving and enforce your rules concerning this risky behavior.
  • Put away the cell phone: Texting and driving is one of the leading causes of fatal car accidents. Young drivers are the most likely to be distracted by cell phones and other electronic devices.
  • Always wear a seat belt: More than half of all teens killed in car accidents were not wearing their seat belt at the time of the accident. Make sure your teen knows the importance of wearing a seat belt and does so each and every time he or she gets in the car.
  • Stay within the speed limit: Speed is a factor in nearly half of all teen accidents. Instruct your teen as to the risks of speeding as well as the penalties they may face if caught speeding. Ride with your teen whenever possible so that you can ensure they are following the speed limit.
  • Restrict passengers: Studies show that driving with teen passengers greatly increases the risk of accidents. Teen drivers are more likely to speed, not wear their seat belts, and engage in other risky behaviors if they are driving fellow teens. Do not allow your teen to drive with young passengers until they are older and more established as safe drivers.

 

The most important thing you can do as the parent of a teen is talk to your teen about safe driving. Do not delay; sit down and display statistics, videos, experiences, and the like so that your teen understands the risks of engaging in dangerous driving behaviors.

Barrett Law, PLLC: Put Our Decades of Experience to Work on Your Car Accident Case!

If you have been injured in a car accident, contact the Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law, PLLC. Our preeminent Mississippi law firm has assisted injured car accident victims and their families for over 75 years.  We fight for our injured clients to receive the coverage they deserve for their medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and much more.  Do not delay in seeking legal assistance as you have a limited time within which to file a claim after your injury.  Call Barrett Law, PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free initial consultation.

Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys Report: Four Teens Die in Fatal Jones County Accident

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

A tragic accident occurred recently in Jones County, Mississippi, claiming the lives of four teenagers.  The single vehicle accident happened on Friday, February 6.  The Jones County Sheriff reported that three teens, ages 13, 14 and 16 were killed when the Nissan Altima they were riding in struck a tree.  The car was traveling at a high rate of speed and the driver lost control of the vehicle, sending it careening into a tree.  All four of the occupants were ejected from the vehicle.  None of them were wearing safety belts.  Three of the teens, including two sisters, were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, while the fourth fought for her life for some time at a local hospital before eventually succumbing to her injuries.  An accident reconstructionist is working to reconstruct the accident, but has reported that speed was certainly a factor in the crash.

Sadly, the death of these four young people was likely preventable.  Had the teens been wearing their seatbelts, as required under Mississippi law, they may have survived the accident.  In the state of Mississippi, all drivers and front seat passengers must wear a seatbelt.  Exceptions include those drivers or passengers with disabilities or medical conditions that make seatbelt use impossible, on duty U.S. Postal Service vehicles, and vehicles intended for farm use.

It is an undeniable fact that seatbelts save lives.  Approximately 64 percent of drivers between the ages of 13 and 15 and 21 to 34 were not wearing seatbelts in 2008.  These age groups have the highest percentage out of all age groups.  Research shows that safety belts reduce the risk of fatal injury to front seat car occupants by 45 percent and the risk of severe injury by 50 percent.

Ejection from the vehicles, as occurred in this Jones County crash, is the most common event that can happen to a person not wearing a seatbelt in the event of an accident.  Over 77 percent of all vehicle occupants who are ejected from the vehicle die as a result.  It is estimated that seatbelts save the lives of over 13,000 automobile drivers and passengers each year.

Of all the teens that die in automobile crashes, about 55 percent were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.  Teens are most likely to not wear a seatbelt, and men are 10 percent less likely than women to wear their safety belt.  Those that live in rural areas have lower rates of seatbelt use, and seatbelt use is lower in states with no seatbelt laws or secondary enforcement laws.

The message to be gleaned from these statistics and this fatal crash is simple:  wear your seatbelt each and every time you get into a motor vehicle, whether you are a driver or a passenger, as this simple act can save your life.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Aggressive Representation for Automobile Accident Victims Across the State

This recent tragic accident illustrates the importance of wearing seatbelts and controlling your speed while driving.  Sadly, these four teens are just a few of thousands who will be killed in automobile accidents this year alone.  If you or a loved one is involved in an automobile accident in the state of Mississippi, the Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC can help.  We assist accident victims in obtaining full compensation for their injuries associated with the crash, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and much more.  Call the skilled, experienced, and dedicated automobile accident attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free consultation.

Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys Report: Rollover Accident Kills One, Injures Three Others

Saturday, November 29th, 2014

On Sunday, November 23, in the early morning hours, a rollover van accident occurred in Greene County that involved a 2001 Chevrolet van.  Present in the vehicle were two adults and two young children: a toddler and kindergartner.  The van was driving westbound on Hwy 98 near Jim Powell Road when it rolled over.  Investigations continue into what caused the van to rollover.

The 57 year old mother of the driver was killed in the accident.  The driver of the vehicle and her two young children were injured.  One child was considered in serious condition and airlifted to Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg.  The other child and the driver were driven by ambulance to the same hospital.  The family’s current condition is unknown.

Rollovers are extremely dangerous accidents that have the highest fatality rate, exceeding all other types of car crashes.  Rollover accidents account for 33 percent of all passenger fatalities.  Over 10,000 people each year are killed in rollover crashes.  Even when these accidents do not result in death, they usually lead to serious injuries that could potentially create lifelong disabilities.

Causes of Rollover Accidents

Certain vehicles are far more at risk of rollovers.  SUVs, minivans, and trucks are the primary vehicles that become involved in rollover accidents.  Nearly 40 percent of all fatal SUV crashes are due to rollover, while just 15 percent of all fatal passenger car accidents are caused by this type of crash.

Rollover accidents are related heavily to a vehicle’s stability in turns.  Stability of a car is influenced by the relationship between the truck width (the distance between the wheels on each side) and the center of gravity.  If a truck has a high center of gravity and narrow build, that vehicle will become unstable in the event of a fast turn or sharp directional change.  This increases the odds the vehicle will tip over once it begins to skid to the side.

Studies show that most fatal rollovers involving four wheel drive vehicles are single vehicle accidents.  These accidents occur most often on weekend nights and male drivers under the age of 25 are frequently involved.  Sadly, alcohol is found to be a contributing factor in many rollover crashes.

In 75 percent of all fatal rollover accidents, the victims were ejected from the vehicles, indicating that they were not wearing their seatbelts.  Seatbelt use significantly reduces the risk of death in rollover accidents as it holds the driver and passenger in the vehicle even has I flips over.

Despite pressure to create a federal rollover standard, it does not yet exist.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, introduced a rollover rating system back in 2001, ranking vehicles with stars according to their engineering and likelihood of a rollover crash.

Barrett Law PLLC: Aggressive and Experienced Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys    

Rollover and other automobile accidents can have devastating consequences, leading to considerable medical bills, time off work, and possibly even long term disabilities.  For those who lose a loved one in any sort of automobile accident, the financial impact can be tremendous.  The Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC have represented clients in Mississippi and the southeast since 1936.  Our law firm, which traces its roots back more than 75 years, has provided clients throughout the decades with the high quality representation necessary to obtain the best possible outcome.  Our focus on our clients, experience level, and exceptional talent has earned us a reputation across the community for outstanding legal services.  Allow us to provide you with this same excellence of legal services.  Call Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free consultation.

Mississippi Bus and Large Vehicle Accident Attorneys Report: School Bus Accident Sends 21 Mississippi Students to the Hospital

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

Recently, in Lucedale, Mississippi, two George County school buses were involved in a serious crash.  Officials report that one school bus was stopped, having just let out a group of students, when a second school bus crashed into the back of it.  The buses were traveling along Mississippi Highway 26, close to Highway 63.  The children aboard the George County school buses ranged from first graders to seniors.

 Twenty students were transported to George Regional Hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries.  The injuries mostly consisted of cuts, bruises, and sprains.  One child sustained a broken leg.  The most seriously injured student had to be flow by LifeFlight to USA Medical Center in Mobile, AL.  She was since released and is expected to make a full recovery.

Witnesses report that the accident was a terrifying sight.  Children were screaming and running from the bus, and glass was flying within it.  Local law enforcement officers are investigating the accident to determine whether negligence occurred.  It is not clear at this time why the second bus failed to stop to avoid the braked first bus.

Across the country, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration estimates that about 19 children are killed in school bus accidents each year.  A study conducted by the State Department of Education revealed that in Mississippi, school bus accidents occur at an alarming rate, with over 184 school bus accidents occurring last year.  While no fatalities were recorded as stemming from these accidents, numerous injuries, some severe, did result.

In an accident reminiscent of this recent school bus crash, a vehicle rear ended a school bus in Clinton County.  Three students were transported to the hospital for treatment of injuries and all reported being frightened from the ordeal.  In Brandon, Mississippi, nine school children were injured when their bus was involved in a multi-vehicle accident stemming from a Tahoe running a red light.  In this accident, seven students required hospital treatment for injuries sustained.

There have been several recent pushes to require the installation of seat belts on all school buses.  While the measures have not yet found success in both the House and Senate, given the number of recent school bus accidents and the public focus on the issue, seat belts may soon become standard issue on school buses across the state.  Proponents of safety belts urge that they would keep children safely secured in the seat in the event of an accident, and keep children sitting while the bus is moving, decreasing driver distraction along with the chance for injuries.

Barrett Law PLLC: Seeking Justice for All Victims of Bus or Other Large Vehicle Accidents

The safety of our children is paramount, and this recent bus accident should call the attention of the state to the serious issue of school bus safety.  If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus accident, whether it be a school bus, public transportation, or charter bus, or any other sort of large vehicle accident, the Mississippi Bus and Large Vehicle Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC can help.  Our talented attorney team has assisted the victims of all manner of accidents since 1936.  Our attorneys will assist you in obtaining a full compensation for your injuries stemming from the bus or large vehicle accident, including compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.  Call Barrett Law PLLC today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to arrange for a free consultation with one of our exceptional accident attorneys.

High Profile Tracy Morgan 18 Wheeler Accident Results in Lawsuit

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

Comedian and actor Tracy Morgan has filed a lawsuit against mega-store Wal-Mart over the fatal 18 wheeler accident that left him seriously injured and killed a close comedian friend.  Tracy Morgan was traveling in a limousine on I-95 following a comedy gig when a Wal-Mart operated tractor trailer, traveling well over the speed limit, pummeled into the vehicle.  Morgan sustained multiple fractures that left him needing several surgeries and facing an extended, difficult recovery.  Morgan’s close friend and fellow comedian James McNair tragically perished in the accident.

On July 10, 2014, Tracy Morgan filed suit against Wal-Mart in a U.S. District Court in New Jersey.  He claims in the lawsuit that Wal-Mart acted carelessly and negligently in allowing truck driver Kevin Roper to operate a truck after not sleeping in over 24 hours.  This suit comes less than one month after the accident and days after Morgan’s much anticipated release from the rehabilitation center at which he had been living since leaving the hospital.  Morgan will now continue his intensive recovery at home.

In the lawsuit, which is sure to become high profile and well watched, Morgan claims Wal-Mart knew or should have known that Roper was not fit to drive after not having slept in over 24 hours.  Roper had driven more than 11 hours to a Wal-Mart distribution center in Smyrna, Delaware from his Georgia home.  He was then allowed to continue on his truck route, which resulted in the deadly crash.  Prosecutors claim Roper fell asleep behind the wheel and he faces charges of vehicular homicide.

Wal-Mart has publically stated that Roper was within the Federal guidelines for maximum hours worked.  Current guidelines require truckers work for up to 14 hours with a maximum of 11 hours behind the wheel.  They must then be provided with 10 hours off to allow for adequate sleep before they continue driving.  Though possibly within the federal limit, Roper was certainly near exceeding it.

Tracy Morgan is joined in his lawsuit by several other passengers of the ill fated limousine who also sustained injuries.  Morgan’s assistant, Jeffrey Millea, and his eight months pregnant wife are included in the suit, as is comedian Ardie Funqua.  James McNair’s family has not yet filed a wrongful death suit but will likely do so in the near future.

Morgan and the other plaintiffs in the suit Morgan v. Wal-Mart are seeking both actual and punitive damages for Wal-Mart’s gross negligence, along with attorney’s fees.  Although punitive damages are rarely awarded, if the court were to find Wal-Mart acted with recklessness or gross negligence, a punitive damages award in this case could be substantial.

Morgan’s case has already brought much public attention to a matter that should concern us all—overtired truckers.  With the number of truckers on the roadways continuing to increase, it is imperative federal guidelines and individual companies work to ensure all truckers are acting safely while on the road.

Barrett Law PLLC: Mississippi Truck Accident Attorneys Taking On the Trucking Industry for Our Injured Clients

The  catastrophic Tracy Morgan accident has called the public’s attention to the national problem of overtired and overworked truckers.  This crash has spurred safety advocacy groups to continue to push for increased regulation over the trucking industry, but much work must still be done to protect the lives of all drivers.  The experienced Mississippi Truck Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC have fought for over 75 years to see that our clients who are injured in trucking accidents obtain the justice they deserve.  If you or a loved one has been involved in a trucking accident, call Barrett Law PLLC today to start us working for you! We can be reached at 1 (800) 707-9577 and offer a free case analysis to all new clients.

Head-On Crash Claims Life of Liberty, Mississippi Man

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

On Monday, July 21, 2014, a head-on accident occurred in Amite County, claiming the life of one person and injuring another.  The Mississippi Highway Patrol reports that the accident happened shortly before 6 p.m. on Mississippi 24.  Henry Spoler, a 68 year old man from McComb, was driving eastbound in his car when a car traveling westbound crossed into his lane.  Russell Lovett, of Liberty, was the 48 year old westbound driver.  He collided head-on with Spoler’s vehicle.

Authorities are still trying to determine why Lovett’s vehicle jumped out of the lane and in front of Spoler’s car.  Lovett was transported to Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center in McComb where he sadly succumbed to his injuries.  Spoler was taken by helicopter to the Baton Rouge, Louisiana hospital of Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center.  His injuries have been described as moderate.

Days later, in another part of the state, a head-on accident between a pickup truck and an 18 wheeler sent both drivers to the hospital.  This head-on collision occurred in Jones County.  On July 25, 2014 at about 8:30 p.m., emergency medical responders were dispatched to an accident on Mississippi 29.  First arrivers found a GMC Sierra facing nose down into a ditch.  An 18 wheeler hauling chicken fertilizer was in a ditch on the other side of the highway.  Both drivers were injured, with the driver of the pickup truck slipping in and out of consciousness.  According to officials, the 18 wheeler had been traveling south and the GMC headed north.  The GMC apparently crossed over the center line after rounding a curve and went into the path of the 18 wheeler.  The accident remains under investigation.

These serious and, in the first crash’s case, fatal accidents highlight the devastating nature of head-on collisions.  Head-on collisions, while not common, account for nearly 20 percent of all fatal accidents.  When these accidents unfortunately occur, severe injuries and death often follow.  Negligence is the primary cause of head-on accidents.  Some of the most common causes of head-on accidents include: distracted driving, driving while impaired, passing when it is not safe to do so, failure to observe road signs, taking a corner at excessive speeds, obstacles in the roadway, and falling asleep behind the wheel.  Road rage and reckless driving can also frequently lead to head-on accidents, as these factors spur drivers to behave erratically and aggressively.

Those involved in a head-on accident will require the assistance of a seasoned automobile accident attorney.  These sorts of accidents often involve serious injuries, including broken bones, internal organ damage, brain injury, neck or back injuries, burns, and permanent disfigurement.  A skilled personal injury attorney can thoroughly assess your injuries and medical records to determine the potential long term consequences of your injuries.  Your attorney can then fight to receive compensation not just for your current medical bills, but for all future medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

Barrett Law PLLC: Proudly Representing Injured Mississippi Drivers Across the State  

The Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC have zealously represented the victims of car accidents occurring across the state for over 75 years.  Our unwavering dedication to seeing our clients obtain a full recovery has earned us a reputation for excellence and skill.  We operate on a contingency fee basis and can meet injured clients in their home or hospital.  The experienced car accident attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC will provide you with the dedicated assistance you need to obtain the results you desire.  Call today at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free consultation.

Mississippi Wrong-way Collision Devastates Many Lives

Saturday, February 1st, 2014

          On Saturday, February 8, 2014, a 23-year-old woman was driving the wrong-way, traveling south in the northbound lane of Highway 49, when she collided with two young friends who were returning to the Perkinston campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.  The accident happened around 1:30 AM  and the cause of the accident was still under investigation a couple of weeks after it occurred.  The collision resulted in the death of the woman who was driving the wrong-way in traffic and caused the two young college students to be hospitalized.  One young woman suffered serious injuries, including a broken spine, severe injuries to the appendix and spleen requiring their removal, broken bones, and damage to the diaphragm.  The spinal cord damage resulted in a loss of feeling in her legs, according to a news report.

            This accident is a tragic reminder of the devastating outcome of a wrong-way collision.  Many times, these collisions happen at night, where a number of factors could lead to a terrible crash.  Wrong-way accidents may be the result of driver confusion or fatigue, driving under the influence, unsafe passing, or distracted driving.  Regardless of the cause of the accident, the outcome often is severe injuries or death for the involved parties.  The impact forces of two vehicles traveling towards each other at a high rate of speed means that the damage to the vehicles will be severe.  In turn, this results in catastrophic harm to the driver and passengers.

            In the collision in Saucier, Mississippi, the victims suffered terrible injuries, including a spinal injury that could alter the victim’s life forever.  Wrong-way collisions often lead to serious injuries, including:

  • Crush injuries leading to organ failure;
  • Traumatic brain injuries;
  • Spinal cord damage, resulting in paralysis;
  • Broken and fractured bones;
  • Severe abrasions and lacerations, causing permanent disfigurement;
  • Nerve damage;
  • Serious burns from fires cause by the crash;
  • Whiplash and whiplash associated disorders; and
  • Death.

            One of the reasons that wrong-way collisions are so serious for the victims involved in the accidents is that the front-end impact causes the hood of the car to crumple and leads to the destruction of the structural integrity of the vehicle.  In many accidents like this, the engine compartment travels forcibly into the front area of the interior compartment.  Although only two percent (2%) of traffic accidents involve front-end impacts, accidents like this lead to approximately ten percent (10%) of fatalities relating to traffic crashes due to the severity of the impact.

            Victims of wrong-way collisions may face long hospital stays, intensive rehabilitation, an inability to pursue the career that they intended prior to the accident, and a need for assistance with even the most basic of tasks. Frequently, a victim may need to rely on family members to get them from one place to another, including transporting them to the many medical appointments that are necessary as part of the recovery process.  If these victims are able to return to their homes, they may need modifications to the structure of the residence, including the widening of doorways to accommodate wheelchairs, the lowering of counter heights, the installation of ramps, and the relocation of bedrooms.  Specialized vehicles might have to be purchased.

            When you or a loved one is seriously injured as the result of a wrong-way crash, it might be difficult to focus on everything that needs to be done merely to get through the day, but it is important to get the right team working on your behalf to protect you or your family member’s legal rights.  The physical, emotional, and financial impacts of a serious accident are profound and the experienced Mississippi Personal Injury Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC have the skill and dedication to get you the justice that you deserve.  We are ready to sit down and discuss what happened to you and determine your legal options during a free initial consultation.  Call us at (800) 707-9577 in order to schedule an appointment.  You do not pay any legal fees unless we recover money for you.

Outrage Erupts Over Lack of Jail Time for Teen Driver Who Killed Four

Friday, December 20th, 2013

On June 15, 2013, the lives of several individuals in a town near Forth Worth, Texas, would be ripped apart forever.  On that night, sixteen year-old Ethan Couch and several of his friends had been drinking—heavily.  They had already stolen some beer from a local Wal-Mart.  After consuming the beer, the decided they needed even more.  So they decided to go for a drive in Couch’s pickup to get yet more alcohol.  At the time, Couch had already consumed a significant amount of alcohol—vodka and Everclear—and also had Valium in his system.  There were seven other teenagers in Couch’s pick-up truck.

Distracted and drunk, Couch turned onto Burleson-Retta Road, just outside Burleson, which is south of Fort Worth, Texas.  Couch, who was driving at approximately seventy miles per hour in a forty mile per hour zone, plowed into a group of people who were attending to a stranded motorist.  Couch’s pick-up struck another parked car, belonging to Brian Jennings and which also had two boys inside, which was then pushed into oncoming traffic.  Breanna Mitchell, 24, was killed instantly.  Mitchell was the driver of the stranded car.  Three other people were also killed.  Hollie Boyles, 52, and her daughter, Shelby Boyles, 21, were helping Mitchell with her stranded car, as was youth pastor Brian Jennings, 41.  The impact was so severe that the four were flung fifty to sixty yards away from the scene.

Two of the passengers in Couch’s truck, those that were riding in the flatbed portion of the pick-up, were critically injured.  One of the boys, Sergio Molina, spent several months in a coma.  He remains paralyzed and brain damaged, and he can communicate only by blinking his eyes.  A total of 11 people were injured.  Soliman Mohmand was seriously injured, suffering from broken bones and internal injuries.  Local authorities stated that it was the most horrific crash they had ever seen.

Three hours after the accident, Couch’s blood-alcohol content was a staggering 0.24, which is three times the legal limit in Texas.

Couch was charged with four counts of intoxication manslaughter and two counts of intoxication assault.  His defense was that he was suffering from “affluenza”—he was the product of a wealthy family with parents who never set appropriate boundaries for him.  He even had an expert in his corner—Dr. G. Dick Miller, a psychologist who blamed the accident on Couch’s parents.  Indeed, this was not the first time Couch had been cited for alcohol violations.  He had two prior possession of alcohol charges.

On December 11, 2013, Judge Jean Boyd sentenced Couch to ten years probation.  He was facing up to twenty years in prison for the accident.  Couch will not be released to his parents, but will be sent to a long-term treatment facility in California with a hefty price tag (borne by Couch’s parents) of reportedly $450,000 to $500,000 per year.  Couch’s defense attorney, Scott Brown, stated that nothing that Judge Boyd would have done could have lessened the suffering of the victims’ families.

But that is not what those victims’ families said.  Eric Boyles, who lost his wife and daughter in the accident, was outraged and stated that Couch has never had to face consequences for his actions. Marla Mitchell, Breanna Mitchell’s mother, said that Couch would face judgment from a “higher power.”

If you have been injured in a car accident as a result of someone else’s carelessness, or worse, the days, weeks, and months ahead will be an extremely trying time.  Dealing with recovering damages for injuries you have sustained is not something you should have to do alone.  Barrett Law PLLC, is here to help you. Let us put our experience to work for you.  Please contact us today at (800) 707-9577 to schedule an appointment.

Celebrity’s Tragic Death Serves as Reminder of the Dangers of “Fast and Furious” Driving

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Many of us have seen one or more of the “Fast and Furious” franchise of movies.  These movies depict, and largely glorify, the lifestyle of illegal street racing, involving beautiful cars, beautiful people, and fun.  In the movies, 100-mile-per-hour-plus races down city streets, back alleys, and highways are common.  In a grotesquely tragic twist of irony, one of the movie franchise’s main stars – Paul Walker – lost his life on November 30, 2013, while speeding down a street in a Porsche Carrera GT.  The car in which Walker was riding slammed into a tree and then literally ripped apart and burst into flames.  Photographs of the car depicted a mangled and twisted pile of charred metal that resembled a heap of scrap metal more than a car worth in excess of $400,000.

The car was capable of reaching speeds of 205 miles per hour.  The prior owner of the car, who himself is a professional Porsche racing driver, indicated that the car could be tricky to handle.  Authorities have indicated that speed was likely a factor in the accident but official results of the cause of the accident will not be released for approximately three months.  However, it has also been stressed that the driver of the car, Roger Rodas, had plenty of experience with fast cars—he was a former professional race-car driver.  Autopsies of the two men were delayed in order to allow obtaining dental records, as their bodies were so badly burned as to be indistinguishable from one another.

The accident is a grim reminder of a reality—speed kills.  Speeding in and of itself is a cause of approximately 5% of automobile accidents, but driving too fast for conditions and driving too fast for curves are the number one and number two decisional errors leading to accidents.  Moreover, speed is a factor in nearly one-third of fatal accidents across the United States.  Said another way, while speed is not the biggest cause of accidents, it is a significant cause of deadly ones in the United States.

Results released from the New York City Department of Transportation indicated that, in 2012, speeding was the top cause of fatal motor vehicle accidents.  A recently-released study by the Governor’s Highway Safety Administration also found that speeding was the cause of approximately one-third of all fatal automobile accidents involving teenaged males, compared with rates between fifteen and twenty percent involving males between the ages of 35 to 45.

If you or someone you love has been injured in an automobile accident, the consequences can be devastating.  This is true regardless of the cause.  However, if excessive speed was the cause, you may be feeling as if you have been victimized twice—once by the accident and once by the extreme disregard for the safety of others by the driver of the other vehicle involved in the collision.  The professionals at Barrett Law PLLC understand the emotional turmoil that individuals experience after a serious automobile accident.  We can stand by you during this difficult time, helping you through the maze of issues that you are now facing.  You should not have to face them alone.

Barrett Law PLLC has been representing the rights of individuals injured in motor vehicle accidents in Mississippi for more than seven decades.  If you or someone you love has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, please contact us today to discuss your rights.  We can be reached at (800) 707-9577.