March 30th, 2016
A recent barge accident on the Mississippi River has claimed the life of a worker. The accident occurred near the U.S. 190 bridge. While little information is known about this particular accident because it happened very recently and because it is currently under investigation, this tragedy calls attention to the dangers of working on the river. Many workers work on or near the river every day, and, just as is the case with any other type of workplace, there is the potential that injury or even death may occur at work.
The Mississippi River is a very busy waterway, with barge and towboat traffic that can be rather heavy at times. The towboats and barges that operate on the Mississippi and on other major waterways can be dangerous places to work, especially in crowded areas where there are many vessels in close proximity to each other on the water. Water and weather conditions can change suddenly, which can increase accident risk dramatically. Workplace accidents on barges and towboats can occur when vessels collide, as well as when vessels are moving along the waterway and even when they are docked or at anchor. Slips, falls, and other sudden injuries can occur on barges and towboats, as can injuries associated with lifting heavy things and operating machinery.
Since workers on barges and towboats can be seriously injured or killed, it is important that these workers and their families understand that the worker’s compensation laws which govern most workplace injuries do not apply to individuals who are injured while they are working on navigable waters. When a worker is injured while working on navigable waters, a law called the Jones Act serves as the means by which the injured worker can collect damages.
The Jones Act differs from ordinary workers’ compensation in a couple of ways. One major difference is that a worker must prove negligence on the part of their employer before they can be awarded damages. Another difference is that the Jones Act provides for payment of some categories of damages, such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment, that regular worker’s compensation does not. The Jones Act also provides free medical care and maintenance payments that help injured workers pay for their living expenses as they recover from their injuries.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Support for Mississippi Workplace Accident Victims
Barge and towboat accidents are different than regular worker’s compensation cases, but that does not have to stop you from recovering for your injuries or damages. If you were hurt while you were working on navigable waters, you may be eligible for one or more types of relief under the Jones Act. An experienced Mississippi workplace accident attorney can help you understand the various types of relief that may be available to you, as well as how you can pursue any relief that you may qualify for. The Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorneys of the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. may be able to help you. Please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022, to learn more.
March 28th, 2016
A recent construction accident in Shelby County claimed the life of a construction worker. The worker was working on a bridge project when he became trapped between two pieces of equipment. Despite the efforts of medical personnel to treat the worker’s injuries, he died at the scene of the accident. Unfortunately, fatal construction accidents like this recent tragedy do sometimes occur and numerous nonfatal construction injuries happen on job sites across Mississippi and elsewhere.
If you are a construction worker, you may already know that your job is more dangerous than many other jobs. There are numerous types of hazards that can be found on all types of construction sites, from road and bridge construction to building homes or office buildings. Falls are one of the most common causes of construction site injuries, and falls are also a leading cause of construction-related fatalities. Other common causes of construction site injuries and deaths include being crushed in between heavy objects or machinery, as happened in the recent fatality described above, electrocution, and being struck by moving or falling objects or machinery. Injuries caused by exposure to chemicals or by repetitive motion are also not uncommon among construction workers.
The risks that lead to construction accidents can be reduced by careful attention to safe work practices, but they cannot be eliminated entirely. If you work in construction, it is important that you know what to do after a construction accident in case you get injured on the job. When you get hurt, you will more than likely need to leave the job site to obtain medical care. It is important that you do so right away, so that you injuries can be treated and you can begin to heal. Be sure to fill out an accident report right away, and make sure that your employer gets a copy of it. Keep a copy of it for yourself, in addition to a detailed set of notes about what happened, so that you can remember all of the important details later on. It is also important to speak with a workplace injury attorney so that you can file a claim for damages that can help you recover financially from your accident while you work to recover from it physically.
Depending upon the type and severity of your injury, you may have to take additional time off of work to recover from your injury. Continue to document your experience with notes, pictures, and other information. When your doctor begins to discuss your recovery in the context of going back to work, pay close attention to their recommendations. It can be difficult to learn that you may not be able to return to the job that you had before you were injured. Your doctor may be able to help you learn about what other work options may be suitable for you.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Support for Individuals Affected by Workplace Injuries
If you are a construction worker who has been hurt at work, you may be interested in filing a worker’s compensation claim. Unfortunately, claims that individuals file on their own do not often go through to completion easily, and awards of benefits can be slow to come while your bills continue to pile up. The Mississippi Worker’s Compensation Attorneys of the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. may be able to help you with your claim. To learn more, call us today, at (601) 355-2022.
March 15th, 2016
The term “birth injury” does not, on its own, refer to any one specific type of injury. It refers to an injury that occurred during labor or delivery. There are a variety of types of birth injuries, and they are not all visible immediately after the baby is born. While some birth injuries may be noticeable right away, such as injuries that affect the nerves of the brachial plexus, other birth injuries do not get discovered until parents begin to notice things about their child that indicate that there may be something amiss.
Delays in reaching developmental milestones are one clue that may lead parents to investigate the possibility that their child was injured at birth. Every child develops at his or her own rate, but there are general and widely accepted guidelines that describe ranges of time within which almost all children do certain things like making eye contact or crawling. Pediatricians are often very helpful in working with parents to determine whether a child has a developmental delay or, in the alternative, whether the child is taking his or her time with a particular milestone. If there is a developmental delay, a pediatrician may be able to investigate possible causes of the delay, including the possibility that the delay is caused by a birth injury.
Seizures, tremors, spasms, or other abnormal body movements, are another thing that can alert parents to the possibility that their child was injured at birth. Not every child who has seizures or abnormal movement was injured at birth, but it is important to discuss them with your child’s pediatrician right away, so that the pediatrician can look into the cause of the seizures or abnormal movements and help your child obtain any necessary treatment.
If you are working with your pediatrician to address an issue with your child’s health and development and you suspect that your child may have a birth injury, it is important to think back to your birth experience and remember as much about it as you can. In particular, it is useful to think about whether risk factors for birth injuries were present during your labor and delivery. Some risk factors include the use of forceps or a vacuum extractor or an emergency cesarean birth. If you had an emergency c-section, try to remember as much as you can about how the decision to operate was made by medical staff and how much time passed between the decision to operate and the time that your surgery began. Any and all information that you are able to remember could help doctors determine whether your child was injured at birth.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Mississippi Birth Injury Attorneys
If your child is exhibiting signs of a birth injury, it is only natural to wonder whether their injury was caused by medical negligence. Some birth injuries will eventually heal, while others may require additional care throughout your child’s lifetime. A birth injury lawsuit could help your family provide the support that your child needs. The Mississippi Birth Injury Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. may be able to help you. Please call us today, at (601) 355-2022.
March 11th, 2016
A pedestrian was killed in a tragic accident that occurred on Highway 25 in Starkville. The pedestrian died at the accident scene, and the driver who had struck the pedestrian left the scene of the crash. The driver was then located a short time after the accident. The driver could face criminal charges as the result of their actions. As is the case with many pedestrian accidents, it is possible that the family of the deceased could bring a wrongful death claim against the driver in addition to any criminal charges that may be brought.
Pedestrian accidents like the one that is described above happen more frequently than most people realize. On average, twelve American pedestrian are hit and killed by vehicles every day. The survival rate for pedestrians who are struck by vehicles is low because the force of an impact from a vehicle can throw a pedestrian quite a long distance or crush them between the vehicle and some other vehicle or object. Many times, the pedestrian dies instantly or dies within a short time after the accident at the accident scene as the result of their injuries.
The family of a pedestrian accident victim can bring a wrongful death action against the driver who struck and killed their loved one. A wrongful death action can help the accident victim’s family recover for the losses and damages that they have experienced due to the loss of their loved one. Some of the damages that family members may experience are funeral expenses, loss of support, and loss of companionship.
When a pedestrian is killed as the result of being hit with a vehicle, the driver of the motor vehicle may have been driving negligently or recklessly, possibly in violation of the law. However, fatal pedestrian accidents do sometimes occur without any unlawful behavior on the part of the driver. Fortunately, families of pedestrian accident victims can bring wrongful death actions regardless of whether criminal charges are filed. As far as unlawful behaviors that lead to pedestrian accidents are concerned, driving under the influence of alcohol is one of the most common. Sometimes, the conduct of the at-fault driver even exceeds that which the law considers unlawful behavior. There are various types of criminal charges, such as vehicular manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter, which can be filed in cases involving extreme recklessness.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Supporting Mississippi Wrongful Death Plaintiffs
If someone that you love was killed in a pedestrian accident, you may be feeling many different things all at once. Losing a loved one suddenly in a pedestrian accident is tragic, and your family needs support during this difficult time. The Mississippi Wrongful Death Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. may be able to help you pursue a wrongful death claim against the driver who is responsible for your loss. A wrongful death action can help your family with funeral expenses and provide financial support in acknowledgement of your loss of your love one’s support and companionship. To learn more, please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022.
February 29th, 2016
A recent incident in Mississippi is a tragic reminder of the one thing that no driver should ever do after a car accident. A man was arrested after he left the scene of an accident that killed two people. According to authorities, the accident occurred when the driver rear-ended a vehicle, pushing it into oncoming traffic where it struck a third vehicle, killing a mother and her son. The driver left the scene, and he was taken into custody later on after being located at his residence. He now faces charges as the result of his actions.
Drivers should know that there is never a situation where a driver should leave the scene of a crash. Leaving the scene of an accident is illegal, and you could face fines, jail time, and loss of your driving privileges. If you are involved in an accident that damages a vehicle and you leave the scene, you could face misdemeanor charges. If the accident results in one or more injuries or fatalities, the penalties are even more severe.
In addition to the penalties for leaving the scene of an accident, there may be other implications of a driver’s choice to depart from the location of a wreck. For example, that driver’s account of what happened will not be heard by the police officers who respond to the accident. As authorities attend to injured parties and get wreckage out of the roadway, they also gather information about what happened. Police and accident investigators examine physical evidence, such as the wrecked vehicles and any items that they may have collided with. They also speak with the people who were involved in the accident and anyone who may have seen the accident about what they saw, heard, or otherwise experienced at the time of the accident. The absence of a driver from an accident scene raises questions about that driver in the minds of the law enforcement officers who are investigating the accident. The absent driver may also have information about the accident that no one else has, and unless that information is obtained, many questions about the accident may go unanswered.
In addition to being illegal, it is not safe for a person to leave the scene of an accident. Whether a person has an obvious injury or not, they are probably at the very least shaken and disoriented. They may even have serious injuries that are not yet apparent but which could prove life threatening if they are not identified and treated quickly. If you are hurt, remaining at the accident scene is the best way to ensure that you are treated promptly for your injuries, because you are likely to be transported directly from the accident scene to the hospital. If you do not think that you are hurt, remain on the scene until you are told that you are free to leave, and then go to the hospital or a doctor’s office for a thorough examination, which could detect injuries that emergency personnel at the accident scene may not have been able to detect.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys
If you were injured or someone that you love was killed in a hit and run accident, you may feel as though it will be difficult to recover for the injuries, damages, or losses that you have experienced. The Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. may be able to help you. Please call us today, at (601) 355-2022.
February 11th, 2016
Former Jacksonville basketball legend Rex Morgan recently died of oral cancer. His widow has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against his doctor and against Quest Diagnostics, alleging that they failed to identify the cancer before it was too late for it to be treated. It is her hope that this lawsuit will generate awareness of misdiagnosis in cancer patients, so that other families might be spared the tragic and untimely loss of a loved one from a disease that, if detected and treated early enough and thoroughly enough, could possibly be successfully treated.
Morgan had been diagnosed with tonsil cancer in 2010, and he underwent treatment for it. In 2011, an employee of Quest Diagnostics conducted a biopsy of his tongue and told him that the biopsy showed no signs of cancer. Based upon that information, Morgan believed that his initial treatment had been successful. Two years later, another biopsy showed cancer in Morgan’s tongue. At that time, he asked another doctor to examine the samples that had been taken during the 2011 biopsy. According to that doctor, the samples from the 2011 biopsy had contained cancer.
Unfortunately, Rex Morgan lost valuable time when he stopped cancer treatment after being told in 2011 that he did not have cancer. As soon as he became aware that he still had cancer, he began intensive treatment. By the time Rex Morgan started treatment again, the disease had developed past the point where treatment could have been successful. He died at the age of sixty seven.
When medical professionals misinterpret diagnostic tests like a biopsy and then misinform patients about the status of their health based upon their incorrect analysis, the consequences can be serious and even fatal. Cancer is an aggressive disease, and a patient’s chance of survival depends largely upon early detection and prompt treatment. Whether a misdiagnosis occurs before a patient becomes aware that they have cancer or a misdiagnosis of being cancer -free occurs after undergoing treatment for cancer, the end result is often a delay in treatment or a disruption in treatment that can reduce or eliminate the patient’s chance at successful treatment of the disease. While medical malpractice lawsuits for incorrect diagnoses or missed diagnoses can occur for all kinds of illnesses, those that are associated with cancer often involve patients who ultimately die as the result of the mistakes that were made.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Supporting Mississippi Medical Malpractice Plaintiffs
Missed diagnoses are an all too common cause of medical malpractice lawsuits. If you have been injured or someone that you love has died as the result of a missed diagnosis, you may have a claim for medical malpractice against one or more of the medical professionals who were involved in the missed diagnosis. A successful medical malpractice lawsuit could help you to focus on pursuing what treatment you can for yourself or on healing from the loss of your loved one. If you have questions about medical malpractice, the Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. may be able to help you. Please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022.
February 9th, 2016
Pre-employment screenings and tests can help employers determine which candidates have the knowledge, skills, and physical capabilities that they would need to use to safely perform the duties of the position that they have applied for. Pre-employment testing can also be useful in helping job applicants avoid being hired for and potentially injured while working in positions that they are not physically capable of performing. Of course, that also means that these tests can help employers avoid hiring job applicants who are likely to get hurt trying to do the job and file workers compensation claims.
As with any procedure, pre-employment testing is not foolproof. There is the possibility that a person may perform above their usual capability on the day of the test and then get injured at some point after they are hired due to an inability to sustain safe performance of the job requirements. Also, people who are physically capable of working safely when they are hired may lose strength or mobility as they age or experience years of repetitive motion. There are other things that can happen, too, including the possibility that a person could be injured during the pre-employment test itself.
When a job applicant has been hired and they have started working for the company that hired them, they are due worker’s compensation benefits if they get hurt at work. When a person has not yet started work for a company and they are undergoing pre-employment testing, are they due worker’s compensation benefits if they get hurt during the test? A recent worker’s compensation case in Mississippi addressed this issue, and the answer appears to be yes.
Companies in the trucking industry often use pre-employment testing to screen candidates for driving jobs. When Kevin Collins was offered a position as a driver for Averitt Express contingent upon his passing a road test, he took the test. Mr. Collins did not pass the road test and so the job offer was rescinded. However, Mr. Collins claimed that he had injured his knee as he attempted to enter and exit the trailer of the truck during the road test.
Kevin Collins filed for worker’s compensation based upon his injury, and both an administrative law judge with the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission and the Mississippi Court of Appeals have ruled that he is entitled to worker’s compensation benefits. The reason for their decisions is that Mr. Collins was under an “implied contract of hire” at the time that he took the road test, so he was entitled to benefits as an Averitt employee.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Representing Those Who Have Suffered Workplace Injuries
If you were hurt on the job, or you were injured during pre-employment testing, you may be pursuing a claim for worker’s compensation. Unfortunately, not all injured workers are able to obtain worker’s compensation benefits easily, and medical bills and other expenses can add up quickly. The Mississippi Worker’s Compensation Attorneys of the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. may be able to help you pursue worker’s compensation benefits. Please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022.
February 3rd, 2016
A third person has died from injuries that she sustained in a recent six car pile-up accident that had already claimed the lives of two Gulfport residents. The accident occurred when an SUV rear-ended the vehicle that contained the three people who have now died as the result of the accident at a stop light. Other vehicles collided with the wrecked vehicles in a sort of domino effect, until a total of six vehicles had crashed. In addition to the two people who died at the accident scene and the person who died in the hospital, two other people were injured in the wreck.
Most of the time when a driver goes out on the road, they share the road with other vehicles during their trip. Traffic conditions vary, from situations where there are virtually no other vehicles on the road to heavy traffic that sits at a standstill for minutes at a time as drivers inch towards their destinations. Pile-up accidents, or chain reaction accidents as they are often called, can happen in any kind of traffic situation. However, they are far more likely on busy roads during periods of heavy traffic. When an accident occurs on a busy road, other vehicles that are driving nearby may become involved in the wreck.
Heavy traffic is just one cause of pile-up accidents. When heavy rain, fog, ice, or snow results in low visibility, chain reaction accidents may occur if drivers do not see a collision in the roadway in time to maneuver around it. If the road is slippery, drivers may lose control of their vehicle and slide into an existing collision even if they are attempting to avoid it. Weather-related chain reaction accidents can ensnare many vehicles at once. For example, in Kansas City, a pile-up accident that was caused by snow involved twenty two vehicles.
Chain reaction accidents can be dangerous and deadly. Fortunately, drivers can take some preventative measures that could help them to avoid becoming entangled in them. It may seem obvious, but it is essential that you adjust your driving to weather and road conditions that you encounter as you go along. Surprisingly, some drivers do not make adjustments like slowing down when visibility is low, and this greatly increases the risk that they will have an accident or pile onto an existing wreck. Driving slow on slippery roads enables you to maintain better control over your vehicle, in addition to giving you more time to respond to the movements of the vehicles that are driving near you, changes in road conditions, animals in or near the road, or wrecked vehicles. In addition to adjusting your driving to the road conditions, you can reduce the risk that you will be involved in a chain reaction accident by leaving adequate room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. A good rule of thumb is to give that vehicle a space of one car length for every ten miles per hour of your speed.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Support and Assistance for Mississippi Accident Victims
Pile up accidents can present confusing fact patterns and liability issues due to the number of parties involved. Don’t let your automobile accident claim get lost in the confusion. The Mississippi Automobile Accident 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.
January 30th, 2016
A 2015 survey conducted by Medscape reveals the most common causes of medical malpractice. Nearly four thousand primary care physicians and specialists participated in the survey. Survey participants were fairly evenly distributed among age groups, but there were a much larger number of male participants (70%) than female participants (30%). One of the things that this study revealed is the percentage of doctors who are sued for malpractice, which is just under sixty percent. The study also shows that over half of the time, it is not a single doctor who is named as a party in a medical malpractice suit, but rather a group of doctors and other parties.
The two most common reasons for medical malpractice lawsuits are equally common, with thirty one percent of lawsuits being related to failures to diagnose and thirty one percent of lawsuits being associated with abnormal injuries. Some of the specific types of claims that were made in those categories are failure to diagnose cardiac emergency and late or missed cancer diagnosis. Other common reasons for medical malpractice lawsuits include failure to treat, medication errors, poor documentation, lack of informed consent, and failure to follow safety procedures. Some of the specific types of cases that are included in the aforementioned categories are postoperative infections, birth defects, hospital room falls, and injury or death during surgery.
An interesting outcome of the Medscape study is that it sheds some light on how long medical malpractice cases typically take from start to finish. Just under twenty percent of the doctors involved in the study reported that their medical malpractice cases took less than a year. Over thirty percent of the cases were resolved in between one and two years’ time. Approximately the same amount of cases lasted for three to five years, and a few doctors reported that their medical malpractice cases lasted longer than five years.
One of the things that doctors talked about during their participation in the Medscape study is whether they planned to take any action to change the way that they practiced medicine in order to serve their patients better and avoid future medical malpractice lawsuits. Many of the doctors involved in the survey said that they planned to be more meticulous about documentation. Others plan to improve the ways in which they communicate with patients, including making more time to discuss patients’ questions and concerns.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Helping Mississippi Medical Malpractice Victims
If you were injured or someone that you love was killed as the result of medical malpractice, you are likely to have many questions. Medical malpractice cases can be complicated, but with the right help, you can pursue compensation against the individual or group of individuals who may be responsible for your injury or loss. The Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys of the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. may be able to help you find the answers that you need. Please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022.
January 15th, 2016
A recent Mississippi accident involving a fuel tanker closed roads near the accident scene for hours while emergency personnel cleaned up the debris and the spilled fuel. The accident occurred when the driver lost control of the truck and ran into the median. This accident illustrates the dangers of tanker truck accidents, particularly tanker truck accidents involving tankers that are carrying fuel or other hazardous materials.
Tanker trucks that carry liquid cargo are at risk for being involved in an accident any time they are out on the road, just like any other vehicle. The accident risks that apply to other vehicles, such as driver error, distracted driving, and driver fatigue apply to these trucks, and they also have some unique characteristics that can pose additional accident risks. The driver of any type of tractor trailer can lose control of their vehicle when the load in or on the trailer shifts. In the case of a tanker carrying liquid cargo such as fuel, the liquid can slosh from side to side, increasing the risk of a rollover. This risk can be reduced by driving the truck with a full tank, taking turns slowly, and braking slowly and steadily, but those things are not always possible. For that reason, many tankers are designed with baffle systems inside of the tanks which can reduce the amount of liquid cargo movement and consequently reduce the risk of a rollover accident.
Accidents involving tanker trucks can cause serious injury and death. Sometimes, the only vehicle involved in the accident is the tanker truck. At other times, though, passenger vehicles are involved. Drivers who share the roads with tankers and tractor trailers should be aware that accidents involving tractor trailers and tankers bring more people to the accident scene than police, firefighters, and emergency rescue personnel. When a tanker or a tractor trailer is involved in an accident, the trucking company that owns the truck sends its own accident response team to the accident scene to collect information.
What drivers need to know about people associated with trucking company accident response teams is that their presence at the accident scene is solely for the benefit of the trucking company. Accident response teams often include investigators, attorneys, and other professionals. When they arrive at the accident scene, they begin collecting information that they can use to defend the trucking company against claims for liability, such as the claim that you might file if you were injured in the accident. Since the members of the accident response team work for the trucking company, they do not have your best interest in mind. You are under no obligation to speak with any of them. You may either politely refuse to speak to them altogether or you may ask them to speak with your attorney. If you can, gather information about the accident on your own by taking pictures of the accident scene and making notes as soon after the accident as possible, so that you can remember the details of the accident at a later time.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Trucking Accident Attorneys Serving Clients Throughout Mississippi
The attorneys who represent trucking companies are skilled at defending their clients against the claims of trucking accident victims. Fortunately, the Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. can help you to build a strong case of your own. To learn more about how we can help you, please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022.