April 12th, 2017
Sublingual fentanyl sprays which are marketed and sold by Insys Therapeutics, Inc. have come under investigation recently. The pain medication is used in cancer patients and listed as a Schedule II controlled substance. Insys Therapeutics is under investigation for paying and providing improper benefits to doctors who were prescribing the drug.
Insys has in the last 18 months assured the Attorney General of New Hampshire that it will not make written or oral promotions which are misleading or deceptive, Insys will not make any written or oral promotional claim that violates FDA regulations, and Insys will ensure their speaker program conforms to standards including a maximum number of events at which a physician can speak.
Additional investigation into the marketing of addictive opioids is ongoing. Additional warnings should be given to individual who are put on opioids, to limit the likelihood of misuse, addiction, and death from the use of opioids.
Fentanyl spray is significantly more potent than other pain medications, this drug has been approved for the management of breakthrough cancer pain in those who are resistant or tolerant to other medications. If you have been prescribed Fentanyl in a way that does not meet the approved prescription basis, feel free to call our firm to discuss.
If you have had a medical issue as a result of the use of an opioid based product sold by Insys Therapeutics, Inc, we would be happy to speak with you about your potential claims and discuss potentially representing you in that matter.
August 29th, 2016
Obstetric violence is something that you would like to think would never, ever happen. Unfortunately, violent acts are sometimes committed against pregnant women in their most vulnerable hour – during labor and delivery – by the people that they have trusted to care for them during the birth of their child. An Alabama mother recently won a lawsuit against a birthing center after she had an extremely disturbing birth experience there that has left her with permanent physical and emotional injuries.
The woman claimed that as she was laboring on her hands and knees and her baby’s head was emerging when a nurse grabbed her wrists and flipped her onto her back. Then, as the woman struggled to get off of her back, a nurse pushed the baby’s head back into her body for six minutes, supposedly because the doctor was in the room yet.
The horrifying birth experience described above happened over four years ago, and the mother has suffered much since that time. She has a permanent nerve injury called Pudendal Neuralgia. Her body is so badly damaged that she cannot have intercourse, nor can she have future children. Her physical injuries cause her chronic pain and the emotional trauma that she experienced during the birth of her son causes her to suffer panic attacks.
After a two-week trial, the jury found that the birthing center had violated the standard of maternity care. They also found that the birthing center had participated in “reckless misinterpretation of fact” by advertising their facility as a place where women had many choices available to them throughout the birthing process, options that were not available to them once they were at the birthing center. Not only were options like birthing tubs not available, but the treatment that the mother received was harsh, dangerous, and violent.
This case is important because it exposes an issue that many women who may have received questionable treatment during their birthing experiences are reluctant to talk about. The growing awareness of obstetric violence enables those who have already experienced it to step forward and get the care that they need and seek damages in situations where it is appropriate to do so. It also makes women aware that they should ask questions and speak up if they find themselves receiving questionable care throughout pregnancy, labor, and delivery.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Representing Mississippi Birth Injury Victims and Their Families
If you or your child were hurt in any way during childbirth, you might have many questions and concerns on your mind. Birth injuries can take a long time to heal, and they can even cause permanent physical and emotional damage that may require a lifetime of treatment or accommodation. Let us help you pursue a claim for damages while you focus on healing your body and mind, your child’s body and mind, and your family. If you have questions about birth injuries, the Mississippi Birth Injury Attorneys of the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. are here to help you. Please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022, to learn more.
August 13th, 2016
Did you know that the leading cause of death among towing industry workers is falling off of vessels? Last year, six towing industry workers fell to their deaths. Fortunately, crew fatalities have been declining steadily overall within the industry. In 2015, there were seven deaths per hundred thousand employees in the towing industry, which is lower than the fifteen or so deaths per hundred thousand in the overall transportation sector that includes air, rail, trucking, and every other type of transportation. Within the towing industry, one hundred and nine injuries were reported in 2015, and only two of them were classified as severe. During that same year, most of the accidents involving towing vessels were not very serious and resulted in only minor injuries and damages.
Statistics like those mentioned above provide only a glimpse into the dangers of working in the towing industry. Tugboats have enormous amounts of horsepower, and they have many moving parts that can pose a risk to their crews, like giant winches, large steel tow lines, and rotating drums. Tugboats work in all kinds of weather, so decks can be slippery when wet or icy, or if oil spills onto them. Slips and falls are relatively common, and as mentioned above, falling overboard poses a great risk to life.
As is the case with any other industry, the owners of towing vessels have a duty to keep the work environment on their vessels reasonably safe. Workplace injuries on towing vessels are governed by the Jones Act, which enables injured workers to file causes of action for lost wages, pain, suffering, and other types of damages against their employers for damages in situations where either the employer or an agent of the employer was negligent. The Jones Act also provides a wrongful death cause of action for the survivors of seamen killed in workplace accidents.
The Jones Act mainly applies then the vessel is on the water, but much of the work of towing industry workers takes place at docks and terminals. Fortunately, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations apply to those locations, so the safety of towing industry workers is protected whether they are on land or the water.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Support for Workplace Accident Victims and Families
If you or someone that you love was injured or killed while working in the towing industry, it is essential to get legal help right away. A Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorney can help you make sense of the process of filing a claim for damages, and they can support you at each step of the process as they work to resolve your claim. What’s more, they can formulate a strategy for presenting your case in court, if it has to go to trial. If you have questions related to Mississippi workplace accident law, the Workplace Accident Attorneys of the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. could help you. Please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022, to learn more.
August 7th, 2016
A cyclist has made a remarkable recovery from a serious crash that resulted in a serious brain injury, among other injuries. The accident put him into a medically induced coma for a time, and he has titanium implants throughout his face, but he has now reached a point where he can compete again. The connection between his brain and the right side of his body had been severed, but he did not accept being halfway paralyzed as his fate. Instead, he chose to work hard each and every day to heal and rebuild his body’s functioning. Eventually, he was able to ride a bike again and continued to gain strength and mobility until he reached the point where he is now, able to compete competitively.
This amazing story of recovery after a serious brain injury is a great example of the potential to heal that some brain injury victims have when they are given access to physical therapy and other types of life changing treatment. It is important to note that the cyclist may not have recovered as well as he has if the doctors who had been treating him had not fully assessed his injuries right after the accident as well as identifying and evaluating possible treatments and courses of action as he recovered. Thorough assessment of brain injuries is important to a successful physical recovery, and it is also important for the recovery of monetary damages.
Mississippi Brain Injury Lawyers know a lot about brain injuries and the ways in which they affect accident victims, their friends and their families. At their worst, a traumatic brain injury can cause death. When a brain injury victim survives, the range of disabilities and impairments that they have suffered may not be apparent until well after the injury occurred. Brain injury victims and their families often find it hard to wait for a long-term assessment of what must happen for the brain injury to heal because the medical bills pile up, and insurers may pressure them to settle the claim quickly, perhaps before they know the full extent of the damages.
A Mississippi Brain Injury Lawyer can help you to find the middle ground between obtaining the financial recovery that you need right now and making sure that you get compensated for the full extent of your brain injury. If you were injured in an accident and you have a head injury, it is important that you get evaluated immediately. Prompt medical evaluation can lead to the detection of brain injuries that could otherwise remain unseen until serious symptoms appear, and it ensures that the victim can start treatment right away. Even if no symptoms are detected right after the accident, seeking prompt medical attention creates a medical record that can later prove useful if brain injury symptoms do develop.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Representing Mississippi Brain Injury Victims and Their Families
Brain injuries have profound impacts on the lives of the injured parties as well as the lives of their family members. Fortunately, when brain injuries are evaluated carefully, healing can begin right away and can continue in many cases to full or almost full recovery. If you have a brain injury, or a loved one has suffered a brain injury, the Mississippi Personal Injury Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. may be able to help you. Please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022, to learn more.
August 1st, 2016
Kids bump their heads in all kinds of ways, and parents do the best they can to supervise them and then hope for the best each time that they do fall and bump their heads. Unfortunately, some of those seemingly harmless head knocks may have long-lasting negative medical and social effects. Difficulties with learning and with interacting with others are some of the problems that can follow a head injury, and those challenges can last a lifetime. Research has indicated that the more severe the brain injury, the worse the outcomes are in adulthood.
Many people think that if a person does not have a concussion, they will not suffer long term damage. This is simply not true. Unfortunately, research has shown that even a seemingly harmless bump on the head that does not qualify as a concussion can change the brain’s physiology and affect the person’s neural functioning. When a person has experienced multiple concussions during their lifetime, they may develop a serious and often tragic neurodegenerative disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy later on in life.
One important factor in head injury outcomes is the age at first head injury. Children who were older than fifteen years of age when they had their first head injury have been found to be more likely to have difficulties as adults. The reason that younger children may recover more fully from head injuries might have something to do with neuroplasticity, which is the ability of the brain to adapt and change its networks and behavior. Neuroplasticity is higher in younger people and lower in order people.
There are still more questions than answers on the topic of head injuries and short and long term outcomes. However, there is agreement that minimizing head trauma, especially in children, is important. Children get head injuries much more easily than adults because their bodies are much smaller and weaker. Parents can supervise toddlers as they learn to walk and make sure kids wear helmets while riding bikes, scooters, skateboards, skis, and snowboards. Some parents may even choose to encourage their kids to avoid sports like hockey and football where head injuries are most prevalent.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Representing Mississippi Brain Injury Victims and Their Families
Head injuries can have serious short and long-term implications. If you or someone that you love has suffered a head injury, it is important to get it evaluated right away so that treatment and recovery can begin. Recovering from a brain injury is no small feat, and it is important that you have the time and energy to focus on becoming well again. The Mississippi Brain Injury Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. can help you file a claim for damages and work towards obtaining the compensation that will allow you to make as much of a recovery as you possibly can. If you have questions about brain injuries, please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022, to learn more.
June 28th, 2016
Police called to the scene of a car crash are immediately swamped with numerous decisions to make. Accident scenes are emotionally charged and can be chaotic. Police must deal with people at their most vulnerable. Minutes pass like hours in the immediate aftermath of a crash, especially a violent crash in which people are severely and perhaps critically injured. Police must quickly assess and triage the injured, perform life-saving measures, and provide first aid to those not critically injured. The officer must decide whether the ambulance must respond.
Once the dust settles, the officer will begin an investigation as to how the accident occurred. The officer will interview the drivers if they are able, and any witnesses to the accident. Witnesses may include passengers riding in the cars involved in the crash, pedestrians, and other motorists. Frequently, the officer’s investigation will be complete after reviewing the crash scene and interviewing witnesses. The officer will then write a police report detailing the crash and listing any criminal or civil charges against a driver. If police suspect one of the drivers committed a serious crime causing the crash, then officers might call in a special unit, sometimes called an accident reconstruction unit, to determine how the crash occurred. An accident reconstructionist will respond if the crash results in a fatality and will also respond in other circumstances. An accident reconstructionist is a highly trained law enforcement officer who can use the physical evidence from the crash and make several determinations about what happened. The crash reconstructionist can determine the speed of the vehicles, the length of time the car was braking before the crash, and use the physical characteristics of the crash to determine what was going on inside the car seconds before the crash.
Technological advancements in motor vehicles also assist investigators. A vehicle’s data recorder aids an accident reconstructionist by storing pre and post-crash data. The data recorder is known as the “black box.” A car’s black box works like an airliner’s black box. A vehicle’s black box records pre and post-crash speed, the amount of braking, the amount of steering, and as well as other factors. Police must get a search warrant authorizing them to take the data recorder if the driver refuses to consent to police examining the item.
One thing police will want to know whether the driver or drivers were distracted at the time of the crash. The most obvious distraction is a cell phone. Most states have launched law enforcement campaigns to combat distracted driving. Many states now have “hands-free” laws, including Mississippi. Crash investigators will determine whether a driver was texting or using their cell phone immediately before the crash.
Where does the investigation lead? The police may charge a driver with a crime or a motor vehicle infraction if the investigation determines that a driver committed such an act. A person injured in the crash has a vested interest in seeing the police investigation through to the end. Under Mississippi law, if a person injures another while breaking the law, the person who broke the law is “per se negligent.” The injured party might recover money damages if they were supposed to be protected by the law the other person broke that caused the crash. For instance, if a person driving under the influence of drugs or liquor crashes into another after swerving into the opposite lane and injures a person, the injured party does not have to prove the other was at fault. The injured party is certainly one whom the law was supposed to protect from harm.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Protecting The Rights Of The Injured
The Mississippi car accident attorneys at Giddens Law Firm, P.A. devote their practice to fighting for victims injured by another. Their experience and success are second to none. Call Giddens Law Firm, P.A. today at 601-355-2022 to schedule an appointment to learn the difference experience can make for you.
June 14th, 2016
Healthcare professionals have a duty to treat their patients with reasonable care. What happens if the doctor prescribes painkilling medication that leads to an opiate addiction? Is the doctor responsible? With the opiate crisis in the United States reaching pandemic proportion as a result of over-prescribing prescription drugs, medical malpractice lawsuits present an alternative for a grieving family to redress their loss. The opiate crisis serves to put healthcare professionals on notice that over-prescribing painkillers can lead to addiction and death from overdose. On the other hand, possession of narcotics such and heroin and fentanyl without a prescription is a crime. Does the healthcare industry have a viable defense based on the wrongful conduct of the addict against malpractice claims?
A recent Mississippi court ruling illustrates the complexity of the question. The healthcare professionals in the case were a physician and an inpatient drug rehabilitation facility. The young man stole Suboxone from the physician’s unlocked office. The young man died from an overdose of Suboxone. The young man’s parents sued the physician and the facility for medical malpractice. The healthcare professionals defended the malpractice suit by arguing that the young man’s illegal conduct prevents his family from claiming the physician and his staff committed malpractice. But, the Suboxone to which the young man gained access was unlawfully stored in the physician’s office.
Mississippi has a long-standing rule of the law that has its origins in England that prevents a person from suing for injuries caused by their illegal conduct. The rule is called the “wrongful conduct rule.” The wrongful conduct rule states that courts will not allow a person to sue for injuries occurring while the injured person engaged in unlawful or immoral acts. The wrongful conduct rule prevented a plaintiff from successfully claiming that his Oxycontin addiction was the fault of healthcare professionals. The plaintiff sued several doctors and pharmacies saying it was their fault he was addicted to the drug because of they should have known he was an addict. The plaintiff lost because he committed fraud by obtaining Oxycontin prescriptions from several doctors and filled them at multiple pharmacies in three different cities.
The rule is limited. The defense will not work simply because the defendant says the plaintiff was doing something illegal when the plaintiff was hurt. The defense is viable only if the injuries are the result of the illegal conduct. If the illegal conduct is not the direct cause of the injuries, then the plaintiff can recover damages. The wrongful conduct rule has another limitation as well. If both parties committed illegal acts, then the plaintiff can recover for injuries if the defendant’s illegal acts were greater than the plaintiff’s.
In the recent ruling, the court looked at the duty a hospital owes to people who are inpatients. The hospital must use reasonable care to protect the patient from a known or foreseeable danger and, if necessary, protect the patient from harming himself. It is foreseeable that a drug addict, seeking medical care for addiction, would try to steal and take drugs found on the premises. It is also foreseeable that an addict may overdose on narcotics as well. The unfortunate young man discussed in the case was struggling mightily in his battle with addiction. He was hospitalized to fight the addiction. It makes sense that the medical facility must take every precaution to make certain narcotics do not fall into the wrong hands.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Mississippi Medical Malpractice Lawyers Ready to Help
If a hospital or other medical treatment center failed to protect you or a loved one, call the experienced Mississippi Medical Malpractice Lawyers from Giddens Law Firm, P.A. at 601-355-2022. The lawyers at Giddens Law Firm, P.A. are passionate about helping victims win the compensation they deserve for their injuries.
June 3rd, 2016
The defense will always try to blame the injured person for causing an accident. In years past, the injured party could not recover any award if they somehow contributed to causing the accident. The jury could return a verdict awarding zero dollars if the injured party, called the plaintiff in court, was merely one percent at fault. Courts observed over the years that this rule was very harsh and unjust. Mississippi was the first state in the U.S. to change that rule. The new rule allows for plaintiffs to receive a jury award even if they did something wrong that contributed to their injuries.
The new rule, called comparative negligence, is found in Mississippi’s statutes. The comparative negligence rule applies in wrongful death cases, personal injury cases such as car accidents, as well as property damage cases. The rule says that if the person injured, or the owner of the property or the person who is in control of the property that is damaged did something wrong, then the injured party does not automatically lose. The percentage of fault for which the plaintiff is responsible reduces the jury award by that amount.
The theory is relatively simple in practice. The jury must find a percentage of fault for both the plaintiff and the defendant. The jury assesses damages at the amount proven by the plaintiff. The plaintiff will win the full amount of the award if they jury found the plaintiff did not contribute to the injuries. The jury must reduce the award if they find the plaintiff contributed to the accident or his injuries. If the jury finds that the plaintiff somehow contributed to the injuries, then the jury must reduce the total award by the percentage of fault the jury assigns to the plaintiff. It is possible, under this theory of law, for the plaintiff to be 99% responsible and the defendant 1% responsible for the accident. In that case, the jury would award the plaintiff 1% of the total award.
The defense in every personal injury, wrongful death, or property damage case will blame the plaintiff for their injuries. The defense will claim that the plaintiff did not use reasonable caution to avoid an accident. The defense, most often a lawyer for an insurance company, will argue if the plaintiff was not careful, then the defendant is not responsible for all of the injuries the plaintiff suffered. The argument is designed to keep the insurance payouts lower.
A person should always be careful but given human nature and the various distractions we face in our modern society we can easily slip up. A person can try to remember a few simple rules to avoid contributing to their injuries if they are indeed unlucky enough to be in an accident. A driver must always remain vigilant and follow the rules of the road. Remember to make full stops at stop signs and red lights and yield when merging. Also, you should always use your directionals when turning. Never, ever, drink and drive. Also, you should never text and drive. Try not to use your mobile device at all while driving. If you must use your device, then switch to hands-free mode. Hands-free will help you keep your eyes on the road and not looking down at your cellphone. Pedestrians should bear the same rules in mind. Pedestrians must exercise caution when walking in the street by crossing on the correct light, crossing at a corner, and paying attention while walking and not being distracted by a cellphone.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Fighting For Personal Injury Victims in Mississippi
Having experienced and seasoned personal injury attorneys on your side gives you the best chance of winning the award you deserve. Call the Mississippi Personal Injury Attorneys at Gidden Law Firm, P.A. at 601-355-2022 today to learn how years of experience will result in justice for you.
June 1st, 2016
Courts permit independent medical examinations of plaintiffs in certain lawsuits. An independent medical examination, or IME, is a tool for the defense to use against a plaintiff to determine if the plaintiff has reached a full recovery or reached a medical result for treatment. Attorneys defending insurance companies commonly use IMEs to show that the plaintiff’s injuries have healed, or the plaintiff is not limited or permanently disabled in any way.
The defense cannot simply order you to go to a doctor you did not choose. The defense must ask the court hearing the case for permission to send a plaintiff to an IME. Generally speaking, however, the defense is entitled to ask the court to allow an IME if the plaintiff claims physical injuries caused by the defendant. The court can order the plaintiff to attend an IME if the defendant shows there is “good cause” to send the plaintiff for the IME. The judge will not allow an IME unless the defendant shows why good cause exists for an IME. The IME can be a physical examination or a mental health examination. The plaintiff’s medical condition must be an issue in the trial before a judge orders an IME. The defense must give the plaintiff notice of when and where to appear. Also, the examination is not without strict boundaries. The IME’s limitations must be specifically spelled out, meaning the doctor cannot examine the plaintiff for anything and everything. The examination must be related to the injuries that are an issue in the case.
The defendant cannot show good cause simply because a plaintiff sues a defendant for damages stemming from injuries caused by the defendant. The defense must prove to the judge that there is no alternative but to have an IME. That means the defense has to look through all of the medical records produced in the case as well as all of the other sources of information at their disposal. Other sources of information include interrogatories or written questions, and depositions, especially depositions of medical experts.
The IME is limited to the order made by the judge. The time, place, identity of the qualified medical professional who will perform the examination as well as the scope of the examination. The defense is not allowed to select any physician it wants to perform the examination. These requirements make certain that the IME is conducted fairly, without stacking the deck for the defense. The plaintiff should object to the doctor nominated by the defense if the doctor is known to be defendant-friendly or otherwise impartial in some respect. The whole idea is to have an “independent” physician examine the plaintiff. It is often best that the parties agree on the doctor performing the exam. That way the plaintiff can feel comfortable knowing that she had a say in the process. The judge will appoint a doctor if neither party can agree on a physician. The plaintiff can feel comfortable in this situation as well because the physician will have no bias toward either side.
An IME can benefit the plaintiff. If the doctor who performed the IME writes a favorable report about the plaintiff’s condition, then the plaintiff can use that report in court to help prove her case. In reality, if the results of the IME favor the plaintiff, the defendant will look to settle the case.
Gidden Law Firm, P.A.: Helping The Injured Through Their Toughest Times
The experienced Mississippi Personal Injury Lawyers at the Gidden Law Firm, P.A. will be by your side every step of the way. Do not trust your future to any other firm. Call Gidden Law Firm, P.A. today at 601-355-2022 to schedule your free consultation.
May 31st, 2016
A recent fatal pedestrian accident occurred in West Orange when a bus hit an eighty-two-year-old woman. The accident happened at an intersection, where the bus was attempting to make a left turn onto the street as the woman was crossing the road. After the collision, the bus driver got out of the bus, called the police, and rendered aid to the woman, who later died as the result of her injuries.
While no charges have been filed against the bus driver in the aforementioned accident yet, and charges may not ever be filed if there is no reason to do so, many fatal pedestrian accidents do lead to wrongful death actions. Some drivers strike pedestrians with their vehicles when they are driving negligently, recklessly, or in violation of the law.
Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents happen more often than many people realize. In America, approximately twelve pedestrians are struck by motor vehicles every day. Some of those pedestrians survive, and many of them suffer permanent or long-lasting damage from their injuries. Many pedestrians do not survive their accidents with motor vehicles. When a pedestrian gets hit by a motor vehicle, the force of the impact can throw the pedestrian into the air or crush them. Some of the pedestrians die instantly while others die within a few minutes or a few hours as the result of their injuries.
After a pedestrian accident, the victim’s family often seeks civil damages in relation to their loss. There are two types of civil actions that family members can bring. Survival actions enable the families of accident victims to recover the damages that the victim could have recovered if they had survived the accident. The other type of civil action is a wrongful death action against the at-fault driver. Wrongful death actions are intended to help families of accident victims recover damages that they have experienced in connection with the losses of their loved ones, such as funeral expenses, loss of companionship, and loss of support.
In addition to the civil actions described above, additional causes of action may exist in a pedestrian accident case. For example, the State may pursue criminal charges in a situation where a pedestrian was struck and killed by a driver who was speeding or who was driving under the influence of alcohol. In a few, extreme cases, the conduct of a driver who hit and killed a pedestrian accident is so outrageous that it receives special treatment under criminal laws, resulting in vehicular manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter charges.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Representing Mississippi Pedestrian Accident Victims
If someone that you love was struck and killed by a vehicle while they were walking, you have a lot to gain from working with a Mississippi Wrongful Death Attorney. Pedestrian accident cases can be complicated, and it is important that you have the experienced legal support that you need right now so that you can focus on grieving and healing as a family. To learn more, call the Mississippi Wrongful Death Attorneys of the Giddens Law Firm, P.A., at (601) 355-2022.