Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Experienced Mississippi Personal Injury Attorney Provides Do’s and Don’ts if a Loved One Is Injured or Killed Due to Medical Malpractice

Friday, October 27th, 2017

Having a loved one injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice is one of the most traumatic events you can experience. If that unfortunately occurs, you need immediate, expert legal advice to negotiate the complex decisions that lay before you. There are several things that you can do to help or hurt your situation at that moment, and being aware of them now can mean the difference between caring for your family and assets and financial ruin.

Do:

Do Shut Down Social Media Accounts

While this is not a criminal situation, the old saying “anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law” still holds true.  Your statements on your Facebook page can come back to haunt you, as opposing counsel may use them to show that your story has changed or that you are lying. Old photos of your loved one may be used to demonstrate that their injuries or death were caused by their own conduct. While it is an inconvenience, shutting down your social media accounts and those of your loved ones is a necessity to protect your interests until your case is concluded.

Do Tell the Truth

There is a misconception that people can get away with lying and manipulating the truth in court. In fact, that rarely works. Lying about any aspect of your case can ruin any chance you have to attain any financial recovery, and even deception about an unrelated issue can be used to discredit you in the eyes of the court or jury.  You will likely have to tell your story many times, to your attorney, in depositions, and in court. Lawyers are trained to hone in on inconsistencies and exploit them to show that a person’s story has changed.  They then argue that those changes suggest that the person is being deceptive. The easiest way to “keep your story straight” is to tell the truth and stick to it.

Do Hire An Experienced Attorney

If a loved one is seriously injured or killed due to medical malpractice, you can be sure that the doctor or hospital will have the best legal representation money can buy. Proving medical malpractice is difficult, and you cannot just hire anyone to represent your interests. You should only consider hiring an attorney with an extensive background in medical malpractice representation. Hiring an attorney without that track record sends a message to the insurance companies and opposing counsel that you will likely settle the matter for less than the case is worth. The opposite is true when you hire a veteran medical malpractice attorney; that sends a message to the other side that they should pay you what the case is worth to avoid a protracted battle against a skilled adversary.

Don’t:

Don’t Assume That a Quick Settlement is In Your Best Interest

A quick settlement usually benefits the insurance company representing the doctor that injured or killed your loved one.  A quick settlement may be convenient, but it’s worth a fraction of what you may attain after a competent attorney retains experts to review the evidence in your case. Medical malpractice cases are usually measured in years because of the complexities involved. Assuming it will resolve quickly will usually result in you getting less than you deserve.

Don’t Assume That All Bad Medical Outcomes are Negligence

A patient’s failure to respond to medical care is not necessarily negligence or malpractice. When someone is injured or killed, there is often strong impulse to assign blame. But not every injury or death results in a successful personal injury case, as sometimes there are bad outcomes even when medical professionals meet their professional obligations. Speaking to an attorney about the facts of your case is vital to attaining an understanding of whether the tragic event a loved one suffered is provable malpractice or simply an unfortunate result of legitimate medical care.

Don’t Play Detective 

Let your attorney do the intense work of researching your case and asking tough questions. Taking any role in the investigation of your case, such as asking hospital or medical personnel questions, can ruin it. While you may be reaching out to them out of grief, curiosity, or a desire to help your case, your questions may bias them against you or tip off insurance companies about your attorney’s case strategy.

A medical malpractice claim calls for an experienced personal injury attorney.

Call Barrett Law now, an experienced Mississippi personal injury law firm, to represent you if a loved one has been injured or killed as a result of a medical procedure.

When a loved one has been injured or killed is a very serious legal situation, and entrusting representation to anyone less than a highly experienced personal injury attorney is a mistake. Barrett Law has the experience to take on insurance companies and defense counsel that are focused on denying your compensation for the harm your loved one experienced.  Contact us now at (800) 707-9577.

Mississippi Whistleblower Attorney Discusses Key Decision by U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently issued a decision that highlights an area where the circuit courts are divided on how to handle an issue. The decision involves the treatment of internal whistleblowers, and the court ruled that employees who report suspected violations of federal securities laws to others within their workplace and not to the SEC fall within the whistleblower protection provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. The decision is intended to compel those people within a place of work to whom potential violations are reported to handle the reporting parties with care and respect because any retaliation could trigger a whistleblower protection claim.

Section 21F of the Dodd-Frank Act states that employers may not harass, threaten, intimidate, or take any other type of adverse action against an employee who reports a suspected violation of securities law or other statutes. The Act provides a remedy for any employee who does experience harassment, threats, intimidation, or adversity in the form of a federal whistleblower protection claim. Damages that an employee may pursue through a whistleblower protection claim include reimbursement for legal fees and costs, reinstatement to their former position, and an amount of compensation equal to twice the amount of their back pay, plus interest.

This particular decision turned on the definition of the term “whistleblower,” as defined by the Dodd-Frank Act. Attorneys for the whistleblower’s employer argued that since the term “whistleblower” is defined in Section 21F of the Dodd-Frank Act as a person who reports suspected violations of the federal securities laws to the SEC, the plaintiff should not be allowed to bring a whistleblower protection claim under the Dodd-Frank Act because he had not brought his concerns to the SEC before he got fired. The court disagreed with that argument and ruled that distinguishing between internal whistleblowers and those who have gotten as far as reporting the suspected violations to the SEC would unnecessarily narrow the applicability of the Dodd-Frank Act. Whistleblowers usually report suspected violations to the SEC after attempts to have their concerns addressed by the company go unheeded. Not all whistleblowers can get to that point before they get terminated from their position. It doesn’t make sense to protect only whistleblowers who get past a particular stage in the process of reporting a suspected violation and attempting to get it addressed because the vulnerability that the Dodd-Frank Act was designed to protect begins as soon as an employee reports an alleged violation, whether that statement gets made internally or externally.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Protecting Mississippi Whistleblowers

Whistleblowers become vulnerable at the moment that they report a possible breach of the law to anyone, whether within their company or outside of it. They become open to the threat of all kinds of mistreatment, and they risk losing the income that they use to support themselves and the career that they worked so hard to build. If you got harmed after becoming a whistleblower, the Mississippi Whistleblower Attorney at Barrett Law PLLC might be able to help. Call us today, at 1 (800) 707-9577 to arrange an initial consultation.

Mississippi BP Oil Spill Attorneys Say Lawmakers Are Having Trouble Deciding How to Spend Oil Spill Funds

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

A decision about how to spend seven hundred and fifty million dollars in BP oil spill damage payments may not be reached this year. Mississippi lawmakers let Senate Bill 2634, a proposed plan for spending the oil spill settlement money, die at a recent deadline for action after the House Appropriations Committee did not bring it up.

Some House members from the Gulf Coast region said that the proposed bill was not specific enough about how the money would get distributed, so they did not feel comfortable endorsing it. A group of sixteen representatives from the Gulf Coast declared that it was better not to take any action than to pass a bill that would not amount to any real action being taken. Some lawmakers fear that the lack of a decision could lead to a decrease in the amount of money that will be spent on the Gulf Coast, as opposed to elsewhere in the state, but there has been no movement in that direction. Opponents of the now dead bill say that there was not enough protection in the bill to prevent money from being diverted to other parts of the state besides the Gulf Coast. Without a plan for spending, though, the money remains exposed to potential spending outside of the Gulf Coast area.

The BP oil spill settlement money that the state of Mississippi has received to date is currently sitting in a general budget account. Payments from BP into the account will continue for seventeen years into the future until the full amount is paid. Last year, lawmakers made plans for how to spend approximately forty million dollars of the settlement money. House members want to be sure that spending is more focused on projects that will create tax revenue and less focused on infrastructure projects.

It is possible that no additional action will be taken this year as far as additional decisions about the settlement money are concerned, but it is also possible that a special session could be called to address the issue. It is also possible that agreement could be reached regarding how to spend a portion of the funds, just like they did last year.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Helping Mississippi Residents Recover from the BP Oil Spill

The BP oil spill caused massive amounts of damage and destruction to Mississippi’s Gulf Coast and throughout the entire state. Fortunately, the Gulf Coast region is beginning to recover its health and well-being, but the road to recovery for businesses and individuals who were affected by the spill is not easy. The health and economic impacts of the oil spill are enormous, and bringing the Gulf Coast back to life will take time and effort. If you have questions about the BP oil spill, the Mississippi BP Oil Spill Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC 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 Winter Weather on the Roads

Saturday, January 21st, 2017

Sometimes, the effects of winter weather can be as difficult to predict as the weather itself. For example, as they planned and prepared for one recent winter storm, officials from the Mississippi Department of Transportation said that they did not expect to see much of an impact from the storm in northern Mississippi. The storm had other plans, though. The snow was heavy, and many roads became icy.

Some drivers heeded the advice that the Department of Transportation issued once they realized what effects the storm was having and decided to stay off the roads. Other drivers wanted or needed to travel during the storm, and while most of them reached their destinations safely, there were approximately fifteen incidents in the northern part of the state, as well as many others in other areas. Most of those incidents involved single vehicles that slid off of the road. There were a few severe accidents, including a roll-over. Fortunately, most of the incidents did not cause injury.

Just as the people who work for the Department of Transportation work to keep the roads safe, drivers can do their part to drive as safely as possible when winter weather hits. One way that you can stay safe this winter is to check road conditions before you go out and making a wise choice about whether to make the trip. Also, if your vehicle has snow or ice on it, be sure to remove all of it before you get on the road. Snow from the roof of a car can slide down onto the windshield, blocking visibility completely. Chunks of ice can fly off of the roof, startling other drivers and possibly even crack a windshield. Other safe driving practices that you can use to avoid accidents this winter include slowing down when there is any amount of rain, snow, or sleet, not using cruise control, and avoiding sudden turns, acceleration, and braking.

If you do get in a wreck, seek medical attention immediately, even if you do not seem to be hurt. Some car accident injuries, including some serious and potentially life-threatening injuries, are not always immediately apparent. Also, while it is important to cooperate with police and other authorities in connection with your accident, remember that you may consult with an attorney before discussing details with them and that you do not have to talk to anyone from an insurance company. Insurance companies do not have your best interest in mind, and it is helpful to have an attorney deal with them so that your interests are protected.

Barrett Law PLLC:   Helping Mississippi Car Crash Victims Recover

Winter weather on the roadways can lead to dangerous driving conditions. If you got hurt in a winter weather-related wreck, you might be able to recover financially for your injuries and damages. To learn more about pursuing a claim for damages caused by a winter weather-related accident or any other type of wreck, please call the knowledgeable Mississippi Personal Injury Attorney 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 Automobile Accident Attorneys Talk about Pedestrian Accidents Involving Children

Friday, September 23rd, 2016

A pedestrian accident in Colorado serves as a reminder that children who walk to school risk of being involved in pedestrian accidents. A boy who was crossing the street in a crosswalk was hit by a car near the Aurora Hills Middle School. The accident occurred when two eleven-year-old boys were crossing a street. When the boys were halfway across the street, the signal changed. The boys started to run to get across the street quickly. Cars in two lanes stopped to let the kids finish crossing the street, but a driver in a third lane did not see the boys, did not stop, and hit one of the boys. The boy who was hit by the car was rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

If you have children who walk or ride their bicycles to school, every newspaper story mentioning a bike or pedestrian accident can leave you wondering whether it is safe for your child to be walking or riding their bicycle to school. The good news is that, for the most part, walking and riding bicycles are still safe ways to get to and from school. Walking and biking are excellent ways for children to incorporate exercise and time outdoors into their day. Walking and biking are fun, too, so children are often eager to take advantage of these transportation options if they live close enough to their schools to do so. Since walking and biking to school are things that should be encouraged as long as they are safe, here are a few ways that you can prepare you children for a safe walk or ride to school every day.

One way to keep your kids safe as they ride their bicycles to school is to regularly inspect their bikes and bike helmets to make sure that they are in good condition and that they are the correct size. Whether your children plan to walk to school or ride their bicycles, it is essential that you help them map out a safe route to school. Travel the route with them a few times, making sure to point out important things along the way like crosswalks, stop signs, and other places where they will need to pay attention and stay safe.

Other bicycle and pedestrian safety tips that can help to ensure that your child gets to school safely on foot or a bicycle include helping your child find other kids in the neighborhood to walk or ride with. Walking or biking to school in a group increases visibility and safety, and adds to the fun factor. As the seasons change, make sure that there is adequate daylight for safe foot or bicycle travel at the time that your children will be going to and from school. Also, make sure that your children have back – up transportation for those days when it is unsafe to walk or bike to school because of cold, wet or wintry weather. Encourage your children to wear brightly colored clothing when they walk or bike to school, for added visibility.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Serving Mississippi Accident Victims and Their Families  

If someone that you love was hurt in a motor vehicle or pedestrian accident, you might be able to recover for the damages that you have experienced. The compassionate and experienced Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC help accident victims and their families recover financially after automobile accidents. Please call our office today, at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free, initial consultation.

The Myth of Extensive Worker’s Compensation Fraud by Claimants – Taking a Closer Look at Employer Fraud

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

The insurance industry, employers, and others with a vested interest in discouraging worker’s compensation claims and reducing the amount of payouts have perpetrated the widespread myth that the system is inundated with fraudulent claims.  This myth is based on isolated anecdotal incidents with little effort to identify the actual scope of the issue.  Admittedly, there are isolated cases of employees faking or exaggerating injuries, as well as other examples of illegitimate claims.  However, experts generally recognize that amount of fraud by claimants is infinitesimal.  Generally, the rate of worker’s compensation fraud involving employees is considered to be about one percent or less.  Ironically, worker’s compensation fraud committed by employers is far more extensive but almost never discussed in the media.  This blog post is intended to advise employees about the real existence of employer fraud and to provide common examples.

Many people are unaware of the existence of employer fraud because it is so rarely discussed in the media or promoted as a problem.  However, there are a number of reasons that it is far more prevalent than employee fraud.  The first factor is the difference in incentives for employers and employees to cheat the system.  The motivation to engage in fraud to receive $540 per week in benefit payments is almost non-existent compared to the millions of dollars that employers save by excluding entire classes of employees from obtaining worker’s compensation benefits.  This disparity in the gains to be obtained by cheating also affects the risk-reward analysis for the parties on both sides of the employment relationship.  When considering cheating, either party must consider the risk of detection and potential penalties compared to the reward associated with success in pursuit of the fraudulent scheme.  The massive returns that employers can obtain from screening out hundreds of thousands of employees from worker’s compensation benefits dwarf the rewards of an individual employee successfully obtaining benefits.

Some of the most common examples of employer/insurance carrier fraud include the following:

  • Misclassification of Employees: Employers frequently classify employees as 1099 independent contractors to avoid liability for worker’s compensation benefits.  Since workers classified as independent contractors do not qualify for benefits, companies frequently engage in the practices of misclassifying workers to avoid the cost of worker’s compensation insurance and liability for claims.  When companies with hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of employees engage in this type of practice, the financial gains are staggering.
  • Refusing Medical Care: Worker’s compensation claimants are entitled to free health coverage for virtually all expenses, including diagnostic testing, doctor’s appointments, specialists, medications, and other costs.  However, carriers often routinely refuse to pay for necessary drugs and medical attention.
  • Referring Employees to Biased Physicians: Employers often steer injured workers to unscrupulous doctors or industrial medical clinics where the physician denies care, prematurely returns the employee to the job, or issues unjustified low permanent impairment ratings.
  • Retaliation: Some companies terminate an employee who files a worker’s compensation claim to discourage other workers injured on the job from filing valid claims.
  • Improper Use of Health Insurance: Employees might be directed to use their own health insurance for expenses that should be covered by the worker’s compensation system.
  • Failure to Secure Coverage: Certain companies intentionally avoid purchasing worker’s compensation coverage for their workers.  This strategy shifts a significant portion of the cost of medical expenses from the employer’s worker’s compensation carrier to Medicare.

These are just a handful of the ways employers can engage in fraud schemes that result in a large number of employees receiving less in worker’s compensation benefits or none at all.  Our Mississippi Worker’s Compensation Lawyers have successfully represented many injured employees during our decades of representing clients.  At Barrett Law, we are here to help.  Contact our firm today at 800-707-9577 to schedule your free consultation, so we can answer any questions you may have regarding filing your claim.

 

 

 

 

Complex Issue of When an Employee Is Engaged in a Task within the Course and Scope of Employment

Monday, February 1st, 2016

When you are pursuing a vicarious liability claim against an employer based on the negligence of an employee, the applicability of this form of liability often turns on whether the task was within the “course and scope of employment.”  (This issue is also important in determining whether a workplace injury to an employee will be covered by the worker’s compensation system).  In some cases, this issue is straightforward, such as when an employee of a pizza parlor causes an accident while making a delivery.  However, this issue can become extremely complicated as a recent decision by the United States District Court, S.D., Northern District in Godwin v. United States illustrates.

In Godwin, a motorist was struck by a mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service.  The carrier, who was based out of Stonewall Mississippi, was technically designated as a Rural Carrier Associate of the United States Postal Service.  The carrier returned to the postal annex at 2:35 p.m. after completing her route on the day of the accident.  She realized she had forgot to deliver a piece of mail, so she clocked out and headed in the opposite direction from home to drop off the undelivered mail item.  The collision occurred on her way to make the delivery at 2:55 p.m.  There was conflicting evidence introduced regarding whether her after hours delivery was authorized by her supervisor.  While she contended she had been granted permission, another employee indicated after hours deliveries were not typically authorized.  Further, the other employee testified that the type of parcel would not have justified delivery outside a carrier’s work hours.  The U.S. Postal Service moved for summary judgment indicating there was no genuine issue of material fact to justify the case moving forward.  The trial judge denied the motion, and the postal service appealed.

The appellate court considered whether the postal carrier was “on duty” when the collision occurred.  The court noted that this issue arose in the context of disputed federal jurisdiction under the Federal Tort Claims Act, which waives the sovereign immunity of the federal government as follows:

“For injury or loss of property or personal injury or death caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of an employee of the Government while acting within the scope of his office or employment, under circumstances where the United States, if a private person, would be liable to the claimant in accordance with the law of the place where the act or omission occurred.” (Emphasis added).  Because the accident occurred in Mississippi, the appellate court acknowledged that the issue of whether the accident occurred within the “course and scope of employment” must be interpreted under Mississippi state law.

The court clarified that the act must occur in the course of employment and to achieve the purposes of the employer or objectives incidental to the authorized conduct.  The court also noted that the mere fact the conduct of an employee has not been authorized is not dispositive of the issue of whether the act was within the course and scope or employment.  The court noted that Mississippi Supreme Court has favorably cited the Restatement (Second) of Agency in this context as setting for the following test:

“(1) Conduct of a servant is within the scope of employment if, but only if:

(a)    it is the kind he is employed to perform;

(b)   it occurs substantially within the authorized time and space limits; and

(c)    it is actuated, at least in part by a purpose to serve the master ….”

In applying this test to the relevant facts, the court indicated that all three prongs of the test were satisfied.  First, the mail carrier was delivering an item of mail which constitutes actions in furtherance of the employer’s (U.S. Postal Service’s) purpose.  Second, she was traveling to a residence on her assigned delivery route which falls within the required space restriction.  The U.S. Postal Service argued that the time element was not satisfied because the carrier had clocked out. The government further contended that the “going and coming rule” applied, which states that acts of any employee traveling to and from work are not incident to employment.  However, the carrier was headed in the opposite direction from home to make a mail delivery.  The court concluded this course of action fell within the well-established exception to the “going and coming” rule relating to employees engaged in a special task or mission for an employer.  As to the third prong of the test, the delivery of mail clearly benefited the employer.  While there was conflicting evidence on whether the delivery was authorized by a supervisor of the postal service, the court found this was a legitimate issue for the jury to consider.

The issue of determining whether the “course and scope of employment” requirement for vicarious liability or worker’s compensation benefits has been satisfied is just one complex issue that makes litigating a personal injury lawsuit or worker’s compensation claim complicated.  An experienced Mississippi Worker’s Compensation Attorney or personal injury attorney at Barrett law can help you navigate these difficult issues.  Our Mississippi worker’s compensation lawyers have successfully represented many injured employees and victims of careless employees during our decades of representing clients.  At Barrett Law, we are here to help.  Contact our firm today at (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free consultation, so we can answer any questions you may have regarding filing your claim.

 

 

 

Mississippi Auto Accident Attorneys Discuss Myths About Auto Accidents

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a car accident, you are probably feeling a range of emotions and significant anxiety.  When coping with the pain and suffering associated with your injuries, you might be overwhelmed by the prospect of navigating the claims process, dealing with insurance companies, and managing spiraling expenses associated with your accident. These obstacles can be magnified by a lack of familiarity with the claims process and the challenge of negotiating insurance and legal obstacles.  In this blog post, our experienced Mississippi Auto Accident Injury Lawyers demystify the process by dispelling common myths about car accident claims. Keep reading to learn more!

Myth No. 1: I Don’t Need an Attorney to File a Car Accident Claim

Although you theoretically can handle your own auto accident claim, the fact that you have the right to do so does not make it a good idea.  Insurance companies salivate at the prospect of devouring injury victims that do not have the benefit of an experienced Mississippi Auto Accident Lawyer.  Attorneys who routinely handle auto accident case understand the tactics used by insurance companies to avoid paying claim, as well as the legal, procedure, and evidentiary standards for navigating the litigation process.  Because well-established personal injury law firms will have established relationships with individuals with specialized knowledge, such as accident reconstruction experts and medical experts, they can effectively work with expert witnesses who might be necessary to your case.  Car accident victims almost certainly will recover less compensation without legal representation.

Myth 2: The Insurance Company Will Reach a Fair Settlement

Many people presume that since the at-fault driver paid premiums for coverage, the insurer will pay the reasonable value of a liability claim for personal injuries.  However, insurance carriers maximize their profits by denying as many claims as possible and underpaying claims.  The other driver’s insurance company has a duty to accept reasonable settlements to protect their insured from a judgment that exceeds policy limits, this duty has nothing to do with treating an injury victim fairly.  If the insurance company can find a basis to deny the claim or to mitigate the amount paid to a policyholder in damages, the insurer is strongly motivated to minimize the amount paid.  The insurance company might unjustifiably claim that the injury victim shares a significant amount of the fault for causing the accident.  Alternatively, the insurer might contend any permanent disability is unrelated to the accident.  Law firms that have been representing personal injury victims for decades have the knowledge and experience to anticipate and respond effectively to such strategies.

Myth No. 3: I can wait until I have fully recovered and get back on top of things to pursue a legal claim.

Insurance companies have no reason to pay a claim once critical deadlines have passed.  The statute of limitations is a timing requirement that indicates the period of time that an injury victim has to file a lawsuit.  The statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit for injuries suffered in a car accident generally is three years in Mississippi, but special rules may apply depending on the identity of the victim and the circumstances surrounding the accident.  If a lawsuit is not initiated before the statute of limitations “runs” (or expires), the lawsuit typically will be permanently barred.  If you are suing a government entity because your accident involved a dangerous road, there might be even shorter time limits for providing notice to the public entity.  The entire process of litigation is governed by strict timing requirements, so it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible following an accident.

Call a Mississippi Auto Accident Lawyer You Can Trust to Pursue the Compensation You Deserve

If you have been injured in a car accident and are unsure whether to pursue a claim, the Mississippi Auto Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law, PLLC are here to help.  Our firm has been advocating for personal injury victims for decades. Contact our firm today at 800.707.9577 to schedule your free consultation, so we can answer questions you might have regarding filing your auto accident claim.

Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys Discuss Causes of Rollovers and How to Avoid Them

Friday, July 31st, 2015

Rollover crashes are dangerous, and sometimes, even deadly. Because rollovers involve a mixture of factors such as weather, a driver’s reaction, vehicle type, and road conditions, there are a variety of things that can cause rollover wrecks. Fortunately, there are also a number of ways in which to address rollover causes through improvements in driving skills and technology.

Some physical features of vehicles can make them more or less likely to roll over. While any vehicle can roll over, the vehicles that have the highest rollover risk tend to be tall and narrow. These vehicles, which include many SUVs, vans, and pickup trucks, have a high center of gravity and can be rolled over with less force than it takes to roll over vehicles with a lower center of gravity, such as cars that have been designed with a low, wide stance.

Other factors that play a role in rollover crashes include speed, alcohol, and the driving environment. Fatal rollovers in particular often involve excessive speed. Alcohol consumption greatly increases the risk that you will make poor choices while driving, which includes the risk of losing control of your vehicle and rolling over. Approximately half of all fatal rollovers involve alcohol. Rollovers also occur more frequently on rural roads, where dividing lines are not as clearly marked and speed limits may be high despite the presence of curves.

As you can see, some of the causes of rollover crashes are directly tied to drivers’ behavior. This means that drivers can greatly reduce the risk of rollover accidents by making better choices regarding how they drive. Some examples of things that you can do to avoid rollover accidents include following posted speed limits, choosing not to drink and drive, choosing not to drive if you are fatigued, and avoiding distractions while driving. It is also important to remember not to make sudden, panicked movements with your steering wheel because those movements often lead to overcorrections and rollovers. Wearing a seat belt is always important, and it can save your life if your car rolls over. Close to seventy percent of rollover fatalities involve victims who were not wearing seat belts. Other things that you can do to decrease rollover risk include properly inflating and maintaining your tires and loading vehicles properly.

Vehicle design can also play a role in helping reduce the number of rollover accidents that occur. While it is essential that drivers learn how to reduce their rollover risk through making good choices, it is helpful when vehicles have additional features that reduce rollover risk even further. Stability control features have many different names, but they work in similar ways, detecting overcorrections and compensating for them by braking automatically. Side-impact or curtain-style airbags are another helpful technology that can reduce ejection risk and can reduce the amount of fatalities and the severity of injuries that occur during rollovers. It is important to note that side airbags that deploy during a rollover only work to reduce ejection risk if vehicle occupants are also wearing seatbelts. Variable ride height suspensions are another feature that can help vehicles adapt to changing driving conditions and make automatic adjustments to reduce the likelihood of a rollover.

Barrett Law PLLC:  Representing Mississippi Automobile Accident Victims

If you were injured in a rollover, the experienced and dedicated Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys at Barrett Law PLLC would like to help you. Please call us today, at 1 (800) 707-9577 to schedule your free, initial consultation.