Archive for the ‘Personal Injury Cases’ Category

Mississippi Personal Injury Lawyer Discusses How to Estimate the Value of your Car Accident Claim

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Most car accidents are the result of someone driving negligently. If you suffer an injury in a car accident that was the result of someone else’s negligent driving, then the other driver is liable to you for damages. It is fairly common for insurance companies to offer settlements to injured people, but the offers are often calculated to be less than a person might recover in a lawsuit.

If you were harmed in a car accident, you may wonder what your claim is worth. Of course, every claim is different, so your best bet is to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney in order to have your claim assessed, but understanding the factors that impact the amount of damages available to you can help you work through the process with some sense of what to expect.

Medical costs related to any injuries

One of the more obvious expenses resulting from a car accident is the cost of medical care. There could be bills from a visit to the emergency room, but there could also be surgeries and rehabilitation costs. In addition to costs for medical care already provided, you might also need to estimate the future medical costs that will likely arise as a result of any injuries. Some types of injuries can require physical therapy and other treatments for months or even years, and in the case of severe accidents, injuries might lead to the need for medical care, equipment or even caregivers for the rest of the injured person’s life. The damages from medical bills can, therefore, be extremely high.

Missed wages

If your injury caused you to miss work, and therefore prevented you from earning money that you otherwise would have earned, you should be compensated for those lost wages. If you will continue to miss work in the future as a result of the injury, you should estimate the impact on your future earnings and include this as well.

Pain and suffering

Non-economic costs of the accident, such as your pain and suffering and emotional distress are compensated as well. These damages are often tricky to determine. Additionally, it is important to remember that Mississippi currently has a cap on non-economic damages of one million dollars.

Punitive Damages

In some cases, when the defendant acted in an extremely wrongful way, the court will award punitive damages. These are meant to punish the defendant, and not to compensate the plaintiff.

Property damage

In addition to your bodily injuries, damage to your vehicle should be considered in your estimate of damages.

Reductions for your own negligence

In Mississippi, if your own negligence was partially to blame for the accident that you were injured in, you can still collect damages from the other driver who was also negligent. However, your damages will be reduced based on your percentage of the blame. For instance, if you were found to be 20% responsible for the accident, and the other driver was 80% responsible, you will only be able to collect 80% of the damages. This means that if you suffered $100,000 in damages, you could collect $80,000 from the other driver.

Every accident is unique, so it is important to consult with an experienced attorney in order to get the best advice on how to proceed with your claim, and what you can expect to recover as a result of the harm that you suffered as a result of the accident.  Contact the seasoned Mississippi Personal Injury Lawyer at Barrett Law PLLC today at (800) 707-9577 to learn more about how he can make a difference for you.

Car Accidents and Damages in Mississippi

Monday, September 4th, 2017

Car accidents impact thousands of people in the United States every day. If you were in a car accident and suffered an injury, you might be able to collect compensation. If the accident was caused by another person’s negligence, or another person’s negligence contributed to the cause of the accident, then that other person could be liable to you for your injuries.

What are damages?

In a lawsuit, the person who is suing someone is called the “plaintiff,” and the person being sued is the “defendant.” When the case is a personal injury claim the plaintiff is typically seeking monetary compensation because the defendant caused the plaintiff to suffer injuries. The compensation paid to a successful plaintiff in a lawsuit is referred to as “damages.”

Economic damages

Damages come in several different types. First, there are economic damages. Economic damages compensate a plaintiff for an actual financial harm that resulted as a result of the injuries incurred. This means things like medical bills, lost wages and the cost of rehabilitation are all economic damages. While some of these things can be proven with great accuracy through medical records and bills or other forms of proof, some level of estimation often comes into play with economic damages as well. For instance, you might have missed several weeks of work and accrued medical bills at the time of the lawsuit, but you might also be facing future surgeries as a result of your injury, or you may not be able to return to the same type of work as you did prior to the accident. In these cases, an estimate of what you lost will be made in order to come to a number of damages.

Non-economic damages

Of course, just paying you for the time that the plaintiff missed from work, and the medical bills he or she accrued will not fully compensate that person for things like the pain and discomfort that he or she suffered, or the emotional distress that was caused by the accident. This is why courts often award non-economic damages for things like pain and suffering and emotional distress. Coming to a number for this type of compensation is a bit more difficult than it is in determining economic damages where there is a way to derive a reasonable estimate of what the plaintiff actually lost.

Punitive damages

Punitive damages are unlike the other two forms of damages in that they are not used as a way to compensate the plaintiff, but are instead meant to punish the defendant. Whether or not punitive damages are awarded does not depend therefore on the severity of the injuries suffered by the plaintiff, but rather on how egregiously the defendant acted. In Mississippi, a plaintiff must show “clear and convincing” evidence of the defendant’s “actual malice, gross negligence which evidences a willful, wanton or reckless disregard to the safety of others,” or that the defendant “committed actual fraud” if he or she is to recover punitive damages.

If you were injured in a car accident, you should contact an experienced Mississippi Personal Injury Lawyer to discuss your claim. Contact Barrett Law PLLC at (800) 707-9577 today to learn more about how the firm can make a difference for you.

 

Risky Behavior Behind the Wheel: Common Causes of Car Accidents

Sunday, August 27th, 2017

Most people believe that they are good drivers, and yet, statistically, many of us engage in behaviors that put ourselves and others on the road at risk. With the average American driving around 13,436 miles a year, it is not that surprising that even people who might be cautious most of the time might have an occasional slip-up.

When accidents do occur, it is often the result of a few different behaviors, some of which are extremely common, and even some that the majority of people on the road likely do on occasion.

Driving Drunk

The good news is, the practice of drunk driving is decreasing. The bad news is that even though the numbers are in decline, a staggering number of adults still engage in this obviously risky behavior. Injuries resulting from drunk drivers are common, and actually occur at a rate of one every two minutes. In some cases, a person who is involved in an accident while driving drunk can be found at fault through the doctrine of “negligence per se.” This is because drunk driving is illegal, and the violation of the drunk driving statute can be used to show negligence even in the absence of some other evidence of actual negligent driving.

Texting while driving

While drunk driving might be decreasing, texting, and other cellphone use while driving is increasing. Our smartphones have become something like an appendage for many of us, and we might not even realize how much we look at the screen. While glancing at a text might seem fairly harmless, and like the type of thing that everyone does, texting and driving can be just as dangerous as driving drunk.

Driving above the speed limit

This is another driving transgression that most drivers have been guilty of at least a few times. Sometimes we might drive too fast because we are rushing to make it somewhere, and other times we might just not be paying attention to the speedometer. In nearly one-third of fatal car accidents, speeding played a role. It is also important to remember that weather should be taken into account when driving. Sometimes a person might not be driving above the speed limit but could be driving at a speed that is unsafe for the weather conditions, such as heavy rain or icy roads.

Being tired

Sometimes car accidents occur from something as simple as tiredness. Driving drowsy can be dangerous, and it occurs all the time. Who hasn’t had to wake up early and drive before their coffee kicked in, or driven home late from an airport or family gathering? Some tens of thousands of car accidents annually are considered to have been caused by people driving while tired. Of course, tiredness likely plays a part in many more accidents, and it is difficult to accurately measure the statistics for driving tired.

When we get behind the wheel, we owe a duty to everyone else on the road. We cannot control everything we might come across when driving, but we should strive to be as cautious, alert and responsible as possible.

If you were involved in a car accident, contact the experienced Mississippi Personal Injury Attorney at Barrett Law, PLLC now to discuss your claim.

 

Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorney Says Some States More Dangers for Workers Than Others

Monday, July 31st, 2017

An experienced carpenter with a stellar safety record died on the job at a North Dakota remodeling project. The man’s untimely death doesn’t make sense when you look at his day to day practice of producing high quality work safely. Something must have gone wrong somewhere along the way. The investigation into the accident revealed that the man felt pressure to produce and to perform, and that may be why he kept working on the job site even though it had not yet been checked out by an electrician. The man had asked his supervisors repeatedly to get the site assessed by an electrician, but no one came, so he kept working. He died from accidental electrocution, and members of his family say that this tragedy would not have happened if he had been working somewhere other than North Dakota.

North Dakota has the worst worker safety record in the nation, with the highest worker fatality rate per capita. The state has held that title for four out of the past five years, which is even more concerning. Forty-seven people died on the job in North Dakota in 2015, which works out to 12.5 deaths per hundred thousand workers. Other states also have high worker fatality rates. For example, in 2015 Wyoming had 12 deaths per hundred thousand workers, Montana has 7.5, and Mississippi had 6.8. Across the nation, a total of approximately five thousand workers got killed on the job.

Further exploration of the worker safety landscape in North Dakota reveals that injured workers do not get much attention, they have to actively pursue compensation and care at every step of the way. When workers die, the state’s worker’s compensation pays out, on average, less than four thousand dollars per death. In other states, the payout is closer to fifteen thousand dollars. Also, safety inspections are few and far between. With seven health and safety inspectors assigned to the entire state, it is estimated that it would take those inspectors over a century to inspect every workplace in North Dakota.

Workers do not always know the safety records of the companies that they work for, nor do they feel as though they can ask their employers questions if they have a concern about workplace safety. In an economic climate where those Americans who are employed are grateful just to have a job, people tend not to ask a lot of questions about safety which is why state and federal oversight of workplace safety is so critical for keeping workers safe.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Help and Hope for Mississippi Workplace Accident Victims

If you feel pressure at work to produce, you are not alone. Unfortunately, the pressure to produce often pushes aside safe work practices, and sometimes the results are tragic. People get hurt and killed when safe work practices get set aside in the name of profit and production, and injured workers and their families are left to pick up the pieces. To learn more about how to pursue a workplace accident claim, call the Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorney at Barrett Law PLLC today, at 1 (800) 707-9577.

 

Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorneys Discuss Accidents Involving Military Contractors

Sunday, July 9th, 2017

The shoddy safety record of one Mississippi shipbuilder is getting a lot of attention lately, as the company continues to get awarded federal contracts over the objections of officials who have asked United States Navy to stop awarding contracts to companies with concerning job safety records. The company, VT Halter Marine Inc. recently got awarded millions of dollars in contracts by the NASA, the Coast Guard, the Navy, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, even though the company got featured on PBS News Hour in February for being the subject of a Reveal investigation. The news story mentioned that the seven private shipbuilders that get contracts from the United States Coast Guard and the United States Navy get billions of dollars in contract work despite safety records that contain serious violations. The violations are so serious that the companies have gotten fined after employees have gotten hurt and, in some cases, killed.

Shipbuilding is dangerous work on its own, but proper work practices and a focus on safety can help companies that build ships do so safely and on a reasonable schedule. The shipbuilding industry just got a boost in the form of a mandate by President Trump to build more ships. Unfortunately, this increase in shipbuilding raises the question of how those ships will get built and how much attention will get given to worker safety in an industry that is already struggling to keep its workers from getting hurt on the job.There is certainly much cause for concern. Navy officials say enforcing workplace safety laws in private shipyards is not their job. Also, in March, Trump signed a resolution into law a resolution that overturned a rule that required companies bidding on large federal contracts to disclose their past safety violations as part of the process.

Unless the Navy actively chooses to stop contracting with businesses that have poor safety records and starts requiring firms to implement better worker safety practices, workers in the American shipbuilding industry could be at even greater risk. It is possible that the increased workloads that follow an award of a contract might cause management to be even more likely to place production as a priority over safety and to push their workers to produce more in less time. That pressure is something which in any work environment creates a safety risk because when employees are under pressure to produce, that’s when they cut corners with following safe work practices and try to work more quickly, increasing the risk of injury or death.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Help for Injured Mississippi Workers and Their Families

Building ships is dangerous work. The injuries and deaths that occur in shipbuilding facilities change the lives of the families and individuals who are affected by them. The workplace injury claims process can be tough to understand, and claims take time and effort to pursue.  A workplace injury attorney can help you with the work of pursuing a claim for damages after a workplace accident so that you can focus on healing from your injuries or your family can focus on recovering from their loss. If you got hurt in a shipbuilding accident or you lost a loved one in a shipbuilding accident, get help from a Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorney. Call the Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC at 1 (800) 707-9577 to learn more.

 

Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorney Talks About Falls

Sunday, June 11th, 2017

A recent workplace accident involving a fatal fall is a tragic reminder that falls are a leading cause of workplace injuries and deaths. The man who died in the accident was working on a cell phone tower when he fell. Authorities say that the man was between thirty and forty years old and that he was wearing his safety harness and fall protection equipment when he fell to his death. A co-worker who was working with the man said that he turned away from the man to work on something and when he turned back in his direction, he saw him falling. The accident is now under investigation.

Fall accidents are the second most common cause of workplace deaths, preceded only by transportation-related fatalities. Fall protection is, not coincidentally, the standard for which OSHA issues the most citations. When workplace falls do not result in death, they often cause permanent disabilities. Disabilities caused by workplace falls often require intensive medical treatment and ongoing care, which translates into large insurance expenditures for medical bills. As an interesting aside, falls at home are the third leading cause of death from unintentional injury in that setting.

The efforts of OSHA and other safety professionals to educate workers and people who do things at home that could cause them to fall about how to prevent falls are relatively effective. This is important, and continued efforts are needed because an aging work force means that the number of people who are the most vulnerable to suffering death or disability as the result of a fall is on the rise.

Fall protection in the workplace centers around identifying tripping hazards and eliminating those hazards whenever possible. In situations where the risk cannot get removed, making it conspicuous (think wet floor signs) are at least somewhat effective in preventing falls. When you are assessing an area of your work environment for fall risk, pay attention to whether changes in the surface are visible, whether transition areas are visible, whether the lighting in an area helps people navigate it safely or obscures a fall hazard, and whether anything can be done to make an area safer. If harnesses or other fall protection equipment are needed for the work that employees do, it is important that the workers learn how to check their equipment for safe operation and that they notify someone right away if they notice damaged or broken equipment.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Helping the Victims of Mississippi Workplace Falls

If you lost a family member in a workplace fall death or if you got hurt in a fall at work, you may wonder what to do. Your fall might have injured you badly, and you may need surgery and time to recover. If you lost someone you love in a workplace fall you are probably wondering how you can best help your family through this devastating loss. If you have questions about how we could assist you with a workplace accident claim, please call the Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorney at Barrett Law PLLC at 1 (800) 707-9577.

Mississippi Personal Injury Attorneys Discuss Tragic Yachting Accident

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

The family of a young man wants to hold Mississippi Power and the Gulfport Yacht Club responsible for the devastating injuries that the man sustained in a horrific yachting accident that occurred when his sailboat came into contact with live power lines.  The young man is lucky to be alive after the accident, and he is still working on recovering from his injuries. Doctors have had to amputate both of his legs as well as one of his arms, and his entire body got severely burned. He is currently recovering from his burns and injuries, and the recovery process is expected to be slow, as is customary for burn victims.

The complaint that has been filed by the man’s family against Mississippi Power accuses the company of failing to maintain the power lines properly. In the aftermath of an accident that nearly cost them the young man that they love, his family and friends are wondering why the company allowed power lines to be present in an area where sailboats with tall masts go frequently. The power lines that the boat struck reach across the southwestern corner of the yacht club parking lot in an area where boats, including boats with tall masts like the one involved in the accident, are often present.

This terrible accident has got a lot of people in the yachting community on the Gulf Coast and elsewhere thinking about what they can do to prevent similar accidents from happening. For example, in the nearby community of Pass Christian, officials at the Pass Christian Yacht Club are asking the city and the harbor master to install barricades in the one location in its harbor where they believe that a similar accident could occur. All of the other electrical wirings in the harbor is underground, but there is one place where four power poles are located in proximity to a boat parking area. Yacht club officials feel the location of those power poles poses a danger to people who are on boats with tall masts, like the one that was involved in the aforementioned accident. Hopefully, the barricades will get put in soon, and other yacht clubs in other communities on the Gulf Coast and elsewhere will examine their harbors to see whether they are as safe as they can be.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Knowledgeable and Experienced Help for Mississippi Boating Accident Victims

If you got hurt in a boating accident or someone you love got hurt or killed while boating in Mississippi, a Mississippi personal injury attorney could help you and your family pursue claims for damages or losses related to a boating accident. The circumstances of each boating accident are unique, but it is possible that you could file a boating accident claim based on some or all of the following: medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The Mississippi Personal Injury Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC represent plaintiffs and their families in various types of personal injury cases. To learn more about how our attorneys might be able to help you, call our office today, at 1 (800) 707-9577 to arrange a free, initial consultation.

Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorneys Discuss Injury Rates at U.S. Auto Factories

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

There is a variety of automobile manufacturing facilities across the United States. Some are older factories run by well-established automakers; others are newer plants built and run by those same brands. There are also automobile manufacturing plants that are not only new, but that are owned by relative newcomers to the automotive manufacturing industry.

Workers at all automobile manufacturing facilities face certain risks in their workplaces. However, auto industry data reveals that some manufacturing facilities have higher rates of worker injury than others do. One automobile manufacturing plant that is suspected of having a higher than average worker injury rate is the Tesla factory in Fremont, California. Efforts are underway by the United Autoworkers’ Union to unionize the facility, but their progress has been slow. Industry data supports a conclusion that union factories have lower injury and accident rates than non-union plants do.

Tesla asserts that its safety record is better than the industry average. When the nonprofit organization Worksafe looked into the matter, they found that while Tesla’s Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) for the first quarter of this year is currently lower than the national average.  Moreover, data from previous years indicates that during other years, the TRIR at the Fremont facility was substantially higher than the national average.

The possibility of a change in direction for Tesla’s TRIR rate at their Fremont facility is encouraging, even though it must be taken with a grain of salt because it is still too early in the year to determine whether the decrease in injuries is a trend or a reprieve from higher injury rates. While we are unable to know whether the higher TRIRs for the company’s earlier years were the result of it being a new company, it is possible that they were and that as Tesla becomes more established, the Fremont manufacturing facility becoming a safer place to work. In fact, the car company has declared one of its manufacturing goals as having a very low rate of worker injuries as compared to other automakers.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Representing Injured Mississippi Workers and Their Families

Automobile manufacturing injury and fatality cases can get complicated. The machinery and work processes involved in modern auto manufacturing processes are technologically advanced, but they still create substantial risks to the workers who operate the machines every day. It can be difficult to understand the workplace injury claims process, and if you are missing time from work because you are hurt, you are likely to want to pursue a claim for damages related to your workplace accident as soon as possible to minimize the financial impact of your injury on your life.

A workplace injury attorney can help you pursue a claim for damages after a workplace accident, and they can offer valuable support and guidance at each stage of the claims process. If you got hurt in an automobile manufacturing accident or you lost a loved one in an automobile manufacturing plant accident, get help from a Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorney. Call the Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC at 1 (800) 707-9577 to learn more.

 

 

Mississippi Personal Injury Attorneys Discuss Tubing Accidents

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Recently, an Indiana man was injured in a tubing accident after he collided with a dock. As such, he was airlifted to the hospital from the accident scene and underwent emergency surgery to amputate his lower leg.

Tubing can be a lot of fun, and it is an activity that the whole family can enjoy if you do it safely. Keep yourself, your friends, and your family as safe as possible during your tubing outings by following these safety tips:

  • Everyone must wear a life jacket while they are tubing. Children should wear them at all times both on the tube and on the boat, and while it is ideal that adults wear them all of the time, wearing the life jacket on the tube and keeping the life jacket within easy reach while on the boat is safer than not having or wearing one at all.
  • Know how to use your tubing equipment before you take it out. Explain safe tubing to all users, and follow all of the manufacturer’s specifications for height, weight, age limits, speed, and the number of riders that can use each tube. Inspect your equipment regularly for signs of wear and replace as needed.
  • Know the capabilities of your riders and tow them in a manner consistent with their abilities. Use spotters for everyone’s safety. Someone besides the driver should always be watching the tube, leaving the driver free to concentrate on watching where they are going.
  • Know the rules for the body of water that you are using, especially towing speeds. Never mix alcohol with tubing, and respect all applicable regulations. A citation for violating the rules can ruin even the most fun tubing excursion.
  • Check your tow line before you take off to ensure that it is securely fastened. Use a rope designed for towing tubes, and check it regularly to ensure that it is in proper working condition and that it is not damaged.
  • Wait for your rider to be ready before you start the boat. Check to see that they are properly positioned on the tube and that they have a firm grip on the line.
  • Use caution and go slow when you cross a wake.
  • Use extreme care when towing multiple tubes or, even better, avoid towing more than one tube at once. Many boaters are not aware that a lot of tubing accidents occur when multiple tubes are being towed.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Help for Mississippi Boating Accident Victims

A personal injury attorney can help boating accident victims and their families pursue claims for damages or losses in connection with a boating accident. You might be able to file a claim based on property damage, medical bills and lost wages, pain, and suffering, and more. The Mississippi Personal Injury Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC have represented many plaintiffs and their families. To learn more, please call our office today, at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule a free, initial consultation.

Mississippi Personal Injury Attorneys Discuss ATV Accidents

Monday, April 24th, 2017

A Mississippi man died in a recent ATV wreck. The single-vehicle crash happened near Bruton Branch when an ATV went off the side of the road as the driver attempted to navigate a curve, and hit a tree. The front seat passenger in the side-by-side style ATV sustained fatal injuries. The driver and another passenger got minor injuries. The driver faces criminal charges in connection with the wreck. He got charged with vehicular assault and DUI, and it is possible that other charges will be filed later as more information about the accident comes to light through the investigation.

Victims of ATV accidents can get injured in many ways. Some newer models of ATVs have seatbelts, but many of the ATVs that are currently in use do not. Ejection from the ATV often happens in ATV accidents. Ejection often causes head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, especially when riders were not wearing helmets when the crash happened. ATV accident victims can also suffer neck injuries, facial injuries, spinal cord injuries, and paralysis, as well as other less common injuries. Because ATV accidents often result in such serious injuries, ATV accident fatalities happen often.

Young or inexperienced riders cause some ATV accidents. Other accidents get caused by people who may be older, more experienced riders who are operating their ATVs in an unsafe manner, such as people who ride too fast. Other accidents happen when ATV operators drink alcohol. Alcohol impairs a rider’s ability to ride safely. It slows riders’ reaction times, and it impairs their judgment. Other potential causes of ATV accidents include malfunction of the ATV or of parts that are used to repair or maintain it and obstacles on the trail or road.

When there is an ATV accident, multiple parties may be responsible for the injuries or death caused by the wreck. The ATV owner might be able to be held liable for some or all of the damages caused by the crash if they acted negligently by doing something like letting an inexperienced rider use the ATV or failing to maintain it in a safe condition and letting people ride it. The person who was driving the ATV at the time of the crash may also be wholly or partially responsible for any injuries and damages caused by the accident. Other parties who might be responsible in some way include the owner of the property where the wreck happened, the ATV manufacturer, and any companies who made parts that were used to repair and maintain the ATV.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Help for Mississippi ATV Crash Victims

A personal injury attorney can help ATV accident victims, and their families pursue claims for damages or losses in connection with an ATV accident. You might be able to file a claim based on property damage, medical bills and lost wages, pain, and suffering, and more. The Mississippi Personal Injury Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC have represented many plaintiffs and their families. To learn more, please call our office today, at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule a free, initial consultation.