Cerebral Palsy Linked to Medical Malpractice

August 31st, 2014

An estimated 764,000 children and adults have some form of the disorder known as Cerebral Palsy.  Each year, approximately 8,000 newborns and infants are diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy.  At least a portion of these cases can be attributed to errors and difficulties that occur during birth.

Spastic Cerebral Palsy is the most common type of palsy and leads to stiff or permanently contracted muscles and reduced motor function.  In addition to the pain caused by this condition, the following harmful side effects are commonly suffered:

  • Speech impediment
  • Vision and hearing problems
  • Learning problems
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Seizure disorders
  • Abnormal sensation and perception
  • Trouble swallowing

Causes of Cerebral Palsy

Researchers have identified a number of known risk factors for Cerebral Palsy.  These include low birth weight, high birth weight, and premature birth.  While risk factors alone do not cause Cerebral Palsy, their presence makes the likelihood of your child contracting the disorder more likely.

There are several known primary causes of the disorder as well.  These include head trauma that occurs during the delivery process and lack of oxygen to the baby.  In an estimated 20 percent of cases, Cerebral Palsy is caused during the delivery and not pre-birth.

Head trauma can occur in a number of ways.  It can happen when the baby is in an improper position or is too large.  It can occur when an obstetrician fails to perform a caesarean section in a timely manner.  Occasionally, the obstetrician uses excessive pressure on the baby’s head or neck during delivery.  Additionally, head trauma can occur through the use of vacuums or mechanical devices during delivery.  When the umbilical cord becomes wrapped around the baby’s neck, or other such incidences that lead to deprivation of oxygen, this can contribute to Cerebral Palsy.

Another form of Cerebral Palsy is Erb’s Palsy.  Erb’s Palsy is often caused when excessive force is used to try and guide the shoulder of the baby out of the birthing canal.  Erb’s Palsy suffers generally experience impaired movement in the arm or shoulder affected during delivery, but usually do not have the brain injury or spasticity associated with Cerebral Palsy.

Early Warning Signs of Cerebral Palsy

Newborns that suffer from Cerebral Palsy may need intensive medical car right from the start.  Many require assistance breathing or feeding due to the brain injury they have suffered.  Sometimes, however, evidence of Cerebral Palsy will not present until later in development.   Minor Cerebral Palsy may merely appear as a delay in development, whereas in the severe form infants will experience difficulty eating, swallowing, and holding their head erect.

To diagnose Cerebral Palsy, a doctor will evaluate the child’s reflexes and motor skills, paying close attention to the child and mother’s medical history.  Birth records will be examined for evidence of deprivation of oxygen.  If Cerebral Palsy is suspected, the doctor can order MRI testing, CT scans, and ultrasonography to create a picture of the brain.

Holding Those Responsible Accountable

While not all cases of Cerebral Palsy stem from medical malpractice or negligence, because physician conduct does account for a significant portion of those affected, any parent of an infant with Cerebral Palsy should consult with an attorney to determine if medical malpractice played a role.  A hospital, treating doctor, obstetrician, or other staff could potentially be found liable if it is found negligence played a role in your child’s diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy.  Cerebral Palsy can be an expensive disorder, leading to massive medical bills, special schooling and personal care assistance, and often a lifetime of care.  Do not shoulder these costs alone—hold those responsible accountable.

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Mississippi Birth Injury Attorneys

If your child has been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, the experienced Mississippi Birth Injury Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. can help. We will evaluate your potential medical malpractice case and seek the recovery your child deserves.  Call the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. today at (601) 355-2022 to schedule your free consultation.

GENERAL MISSISSIPPI LAW DEFINITIONS

August 19th, 2014

CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE: If the Plaintiff helped in any way to cause his own injury or damage, then the amount of money that he might receive will be produced by the percentage that he was also at fault.

PLAINTIFF: The person who starts a lawsuit by filing the right papers in the proper court.

DEFENDANT: The person who against whom the lawsuit is filed.

NEGLIGENCE: Carelessness or the lack of reasonable precaution, care or action.

CONTRIBUTORY: Sharing cause or responsibility for the damages.

DAMAGES: Money ordered to be paid for harm or injury caused to the Plaintiff by the Defendant.

DUTY: An act that is required by law or expected by society.

PUNITIVE: Causing punishment for a wrongful act.

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS: The amount of time a person has to file a lawsuit after the injury or damage occurs.

Source: State Justice Institute

In general, with regard to children, in Mississippi a person’s duty towards children is to expect the unexpected. This is different from the duty which is generally owed to an adult, which is to be reasonable.

In Mississippi, a Plaintiff who brings a lawsuit may not show or say that a Defendant has or had insurance to cover the damages he should pay. There is rarely a case where a Defendant who does not have insurance shows up in Court with a lawyer. If you are on a jury and you see a lawyer appointed to a Defendant, in Mississippi, this means they have automobile insurance. Juries are not told about the existence of this insurance coverage. This differs substantially from Louisiana law where there exists direct action statues and jurors are often time told about the availability and amount of insurance coverage available.

If the Plaintiff wins the case, damages may be given in the form of a judgment. If the Defendant does not pay, this judgment can be filed to become a lien against the Defendant’s property. This is rarely the case in Mississippi because the Defendants in car accident cases always have insurance. Generally, the Defendant’s insurance carrier pays the judgment or appeals.

In general in Mississippi, the Plaintiff may ask for personal injury damages. This includes past, present and future damages. The Plaintiff may also ask for and be awarded punitive damages if the Defendant acted in a willful, wanton, gross or reckless disregard for the Plaintiff and his safety.

August 18th, 2014

John Giddens and Baskin Jones appeared on the radio show In Legal Terms answering questions regarding bicycle accidents. Senior associate dean and associate professor of the school of law, University of Mississippi, Matthew R. Hall, participated in the discussion. The rebroadcast of the radio show can be downloaded here. Some of the topics included answering basic questions about bicycles and the law here in Mississippi. For example, here are the topics discussed:

May bicycles use the roads and streets?

Yes. MS Code § 63-3-207 originally House Bill No. 559 of the Regular Session of the Mississippi Legislature was an act to make bicyclists subject to the provisions of traffic law applicable to the drivers of motor vehicles amended to state that every person riding a bicycle upon a highway shall have all the rights and duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle except those provisions which by their nature have no application.

If there is a bike path adjacent to the roadway, does a cyclist have to use it or can they the roadway?

No, provided the bicyclist adheres to all the rules of the road and bike laws, bikes are entitled to all rights of the road that apply to a motor vehicle, including access.

BICYCLES ARE NOT ALLOWED ON ANY INTERSTATE HIGHWAY OR CONTROLLED ACCESS FACILITY IN THE STATE.

Who has the right of way? Bicycle or car? Do bicycles have to follow the same rules as cars?

According to MS Code § 63-3-207 every person riding a bicycle upon a highway shall have all the rights and duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle except those provisions which by their nature have no application.

Under MS Code § 63-3-1305 (Frerer) a bicyclist must be yielded to in the bicycle lane and motor vehicles may not block the bicycle lane.

Do drivers need to give bicyclists any special treatment when a driver passes a bicyclist?

§ 63-3-1307  (John Paul Frerer Act) enacted in 2010 requires that while passing a bicyclist on a roadway, a motorist shall leave a safe distance of not less than three (3) feet between his vehicle and the bicyclist and shall maintain such clearance until safely past the bicycle.

Do bicyclists need to wear a helmet? What about other safety equipment like lights and reflectors?

Our answer on whether to wear a helmet is always YES but it isn’t the law yet state wide. We think it is important enough to wear helmets that we did a Helmet giveaway – Bicycle riders should check with local authority regarding bicycle helmet laws.

Lights and mirrors- Every bicycle shall be equipped with a lighted white lamp on the front thereof visible under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of at least five hundred feet in front of such bicycle and shall also be equipped with a reflex mirror reflector or lamp on the rear exhibiting a red light visible under like conditions from a distance of at least five hundred feet to the rear of such bicycle.

Mississippi does have a motorcycle helmet law.

Title 63. Motor Vehicles and Traffic Regulations. Chapter 7. Equipment and identification — General Provisions. Section 63-7-64. Motorcycle Crash Helmets. :

“No person shall operate or ride upon any motorcycle or motor scooter upon the public roads or highways of this state unless such person is wearing on his or her head a crash helmet of the type and design inspected and approved by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators. . . .”

May the police ticket bicycles?

Yes, bicyclists are held to: Ride Right (and WITH Traffic)  as close as practical to the right hand curb/edge of roadway except when: Unsafe to do so, When passing another bicycle or vehicle, When preparing for a left turn, When proceeding straight where right turns are permitted and, When necessary to avoid hazardous conditions

No more than 2 abreast: Bicyclists may not ride more than two abreast except when on roads exclusively for bicycles.

Indicate Turns: Bicyclists shall indicate right turns, left turns and stops with hand signals before taking action. Right turn: left arm upward, left arm to square or right arm horizontal to right. Left turn: Left arm extended horizontally Stop: left arm or right arm downward.

Does DUI apply to bicycles?

May differ by municipality but no Statewide law – In Mississippi: Mississippi recognizes all types of motorized vehicles for DUI purposes. Exempted from consideration would be horses, bicycles(not motorized) and other non-motorized vehicles.

Elsewhere:

States and courts are split on the subject of drunk biking. Some people automatically doubt the amount of harm a bicyclist can cause to others, considering the nature of a bicycle. However, some states and their laws acknowledge that, even assuming a bicyclist likely only harms themselves by drunk biking, an injury to a drunken rider can have a profound effect on others, especially their family members.

In general, where a state law on drunk driving specifically prohibits the operation of a “motor vehicle,” the chances are very high that the law will be interpreted by courts as not applying to bicycles or similar man-powered vehicles. On the other hand, where statutes apply more generally to all “vehicles,” courts sometimes find that bicycles fall into this category.

What are the most common kinds of bicycle accidents in which a lawsuit is possible?

Car approaching, passing or attempting a right turn and hitting a bicyclist.

What if the police determine that the driver did not commit a crime?

Is a civil lawsuit still possible?

Yes, it would be a case of general negligence. Reasonable man standard.

What legal problems typically arise in a bicycle accident cases?

He said she said. Contributory claims.

Is there a risk that a dangerous driver will claim that the bicycle swerved into the road or otherwise caused the accident? Is there anything a cyclist or a lawyer can do to combat this kind of deception?

There is a blog post about this on our blog at msverdict.com. In any wreck it is important to get witnesses info, our firm often hires accident reconstructionists who can piece together how the wreck occurred, surveillance video from the area of the wreck.

Even if the driver doesn’t lie, won’t many drivers who cause injuries just say “I didn’t see the cyclist” and claim that the crash was just an “accident” with no fault?

Yes.  This makes clear the need for an attorney.

What should a cyclist do immediately after an accident to help establish the facts for appropriate criminal sanctions or possible civil litigation?

Have someone collect information, do not move vehicle or bike until police arrive, ask witnesses to stay and get contact information, get medical treatment if necessary.
Should accident victims talk with the driver? Should they negotiate responsibility?

It is our experience that you will accomplish very little and that your statements may be used against you in court later. Admission of Party Opponent / Statement against interest.

What information should an accident victim obtain at the scene?

Cards available at our offices which we will send by mail for free to anyone who requests that outline the answers to this question. Witness names, driver information, driver insurance policy number, preliminary report.

What if the accident victim does not need to go to the hospital right after the accident, but begins to experience medical problems later? Is the driver still potentially liable? How long does the victim have to take legal action?

It is a more difficult case, but we see it quite often. With the adrenaline of a wreck often injured individuals do not feel as much pain until the adrenaline wears off. The rule of thumb is if you feel pain, get checked out. Especially so if there was any impact to your head. We work on many cases involving brain injuries and early detection and treatment is crucial.

Are there common problems with police reports that make it harder for cyclists to obtain justice? Can a cyclist do anything to correct or amend a biased or incomplete police report?

Sometimes just one side of the story, lacking in witnesses reports. Until the time the report is complete officers are still gathering information and additional witness statements may be helpful.

Should an accident victim hire a lawyer or represent him/herself?

Often we find the answer to this question is yes. Our offices provide free consultations and we help individuals sort through any number of personal injury or medical malpractice issues every day. These consultations give the individuals we speak with peace of mind.

How do you value an accident claim? What are the components of damages? What documentation does the victim need to establish these damages?

Medical bills and treatment is the largest component, but lost work, pain and suffering, future medicals and future lost work are all a part of each claim.

Will the driver’s insurance company cover all of these damages?

We would be out of a job if insurance companies paid what they should pay in these claims without intervention by an attorney. The first source of any payout will be the driver’s insurance policy. If the damages are greater, there is often a safety net in the injured party’s insurance. Uninsured Motorist coverage. Our office has several active cases involving uninsured motorist coverage which the injured party obtained as a part of their full coverage policy and which is the reason any coverage exists in the claim. UM coverage is the best buy in insurance and we advise carrying as much as possible.

What is an accident reconstructionist and how can such an expert help?

Forensic analysis of the scene of the wreck. We often send these trained individuals to the scene immediately after the wreck to record skid marks, distances and document them  to give an opinion of what happened later.

In the Netherlands, the legal default is that the driver is responsible for any accident with a bicycle unless the driver can prove that the cyclist is at fault. Given the inherent dangerousness of motor vehicles, does this law make sense?

Yes, strict liability between cars / cyclist could be on its way.

Is it possible that driver could be at fault for an accident in which no contact (no collision) occurs?

Could still be negligent per se under the three foot law for entering the three feet of the bicyclist.

Is there any sort of legal liability, civil or criminal, for harassment or road rage in which a driver taunts, “buzzes,” or threatens a cyclist?

Threatening and harassment is prohibited under the John Paul Frerer Law in Mississippi.

What about pedestrian claims against bicyclists? When is a cyclist at fault and liable for injuries?

General negligence or if they run someone over intentional tort.

Breach of Trustee’s Fiduciary Duty in Mississippi

August 17th, 2014

A fiduciary is either a person (such as the executor of an estate) or corporate entity (such as a bank), who has the authority and obligation to act for another through a relationship of trust and confidence. The trustee of a trust is considered a fiduciary due to the trustee’s duties and obligations to act in good faith and trust to the beneficiaries of a trust.  Fiduciary duties involve the obligations of the duty of loyalty and the duty of care, and breach of these duties can result in monetary and other liability.

The Duty of Loyalty

The duty of loyalty is clearly set out in the Mississippi Code under § 91-9-609.  This provision mandates the trustee invest and manage the trust assets solely in the interests of the beneficiaries.  All beneficiaries must be treated with the same loyalty.

The Duty of Care

The duty of care is scattered throughout the Mississippi Code’s Trusts and Trustees section.  In § 91-9-601-03, the Code sets out the prudent investor rule.  This rule requires the trustee invest and manage trust assets as a prudent investor would, by considering the terms, purposes, distribution requirements, and other circumstances of the trust.  The trustee must exercise reasonable care, skill, and caution.  All investment decisions should be analyzed in the context of the portfolio as a whole and the overall investment strategy.  The investor should consider:

  • General economic conditions
  • The possible effect of inflation and deflation
  • Tax consequences
  • The role that each investment plays within the overall trust portfolio
  • The expected total return
  • Other resources of the beneficiaries
  • Need for liquidity or income
  • An asset’s special relationship to the beneficiaries or purposes of the trust

            Generally, assets should be diversified unless the trustee determines the purpose of the trust is best served without diversifying.

Breach of Fiduciary Duty

Trustees control and manage often large portions of an individual’s money and property.  As such, they are in a position of great power.  Despite their well set out and stringent duties, trustees all too often mismanage, steal, or negligently fail to protect beneficiary’s assets.  Trusts aimed to benefit elderly, young, or incompetent family members are especially vulnerable to harmful trustee behavior.

Some possible grounds for breach of fiduciary duty by a trustee include:

  • Misappropriation or theft of trust funds
  • Negligence or incompetence in trust management
  • Fraud
  • Conflicts of interests or self-serving acts
  • Colluding with certain beneficiaries to the determinant of others
  • Allowing a co-trustee to commit a breach
  • Failure to account to beneficiaries or keep them informed
  • Co-mingling outside funds with trust funds

It may not always be evident that your trustee has breached his or her duty, especially when the trustee has failed to keep you up to date with the investment of your funds.  As such, it is important to consult with a trust litigation attorney as soon as you suspect unscrupulous trustee behavior.

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Trust Litigation Attorneys With the Experience to Achieve the Results You Desire

If you are a trust beneficiary and believe your trustee may have breached his or her fiduciary duties, the experienced Mississippi Trust Litigation Attorneys at Giddens Law Firm, P.A. can help. Trust law is complex and trust litigation requires the assistance of an attorney team with years of experience and exemplary trial skills.  At Giddens Law Firm, P.A., we have litigated countless trust cases and will use our knowledge of trust law to obtain the results you desire.  Call Giddens Law Firm, P.A. today at (601) 355-2022 to schedule your free consultation.

Personal Injury Attorney John Giddens Discusses Third Party Claims

August 13th, 2014

Any serious injury or death to a loved one or family member, you should call Giddens law firm. Even if you believe it is a Worker’s Compensation matter, you should call us. We handle matters knows as third party liability cases. These are typically known as those that involve Workmen’s Compensation as a remedy, while allowing a plaintiff to recover against other parties, separate and distinct from their employer.

Cases like this can be a minefield. The Worker’s Compensation carrier is entitled to subrogation, or repayment of the monies recovered later in the third party lawsuit.

Obtaining consensus and/or agreements on the front end is the best way to handle this situation.
The following is an example of a third party case we were involved in a couple of years ago: A forklift was left on a job site and that forklift was rented in an unsafe condition or improperly used. For men used the forklift and while it was fully extended over 35 feet in the air it tipped over and crashed.

Workers Compensation paid for the medical bills and temporary or total disability of the survivors . However, issues against the contractor, subcontractors, heavy equipment rental agencies, or manufacturers had to be immediately investigated.

When four families in Mississippi suffered a terrible tragedy on a construction site at the education building at Ole Miss, The Giddens Firm took on the tough case of suing the manufacturer of the all-terrain forklift and the basket which was improperly attached and the rental agency.

Our firm hired the most reputable and well-respected experts from around the country who were knowledgeable and the area of warnings, human factors, manufacturing design, and implementation.
The case ended in a favorable resolution for their clients and their families.

When you are interviewing a prospective attorney or firm, ask the tough questions about whether this prospective firm has had success in the court room with a product liability case. Get details. Where was the case tried.

What was the verdict?

While every case is factually different, a lawyer with experience in handling the type of case you have is a good place to start. What you have to understand when hiring a lawyer is that it is and can be a 2 to 3 year journey or longer. You have to trust implicitly a lawyer and his/her staff to always put your interests first in the litigation and keep you informed throughout the process.

At the Giddens Firm, personal injury is what we have done for over 22 years and it’s always do. We are not afraid to roll our sleeves up and handle tough cases for clients against big insurance companies with unlimited resources.

If you are loved one has sustained a crippling, serious, or devastating/catastrophic personal-injury or a family member has suffered the death, we will help you. We will mobilize our team to the crash site or construction site or going wherever needed to preserve evidence for your case. Call us 24/7, at (888) 335-2022 for immediate help.

Mississippi Auto Accident Attorney Discusses Parking Lot Car Accidents

August 11th, 2014

Recently, in Corinth, Mississippi, a teenager died from injuries suffered in a tragic car accident in a church parking lot earlier this month.  The teen was a passenger in an SUV that overturned in the parking lot of the Oakland Baptist Church on August 3, 2014, at about 10 p.m.  Police report that the driver of the vehicle was back up and evidently overcorrected.  The vehicle rolled over, pinning the seventeen year old passenger underneath it.  Firefighters were able to pull the teen from under the car and he was transported to a Memphis hospital.  After fighting for weeks to survive, the teen succumbed to his injuries days ago.

While this Corinth parking lot accident is unique in its severity, parking lots are the site of many car accidents each year.  In parking lots, cars are always in motion, heading for or pulling out of parking spaces.  Drivers are generally more focused on getting in or out than paying attention to traffic.  There is the added distraction of people walking through the traffic and across parking spaces to get back to their cars or to their intended destination.

Parking lot accidents are usually low speed collisions, leading to minimal damages and personal injuries.  Nonetheless, these accidents should not be taken lightly as even your seemingly minor injuries could have lasting effects.

The following is a list of steps you should follow if you have been involved in a parking lot accident.  Adherence to these steps can help protect your legal rights and later chance at recovery.

  • Pull your vehicle out of the way of traffic and into a safe location
  • If you cannot move your car, put your emergency flashers on and exit the vehicle
  • Immediately call for medical assistance if you or anyone else involved in the crash is injured
  • Call the police
  • Call your insurance company
  • Exchange names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance information with all involved drivers
  • Obtain the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses along with a statement concerning what they observed
  • Take pictures of the scene of the accident, including any skid marks, damage to your vehicle, injuries on you, and any other relevant information
  • Take notes of the vital facts surrounding the accident, such as the time, date, location, parking lot conditions, weather conditions, and your memories of the crash
  • Call an experienced personal injury attorney if your damages are extensive or you are injured

It is important to call the police after any sort of car accident because they can help to establish the facts of the case and document the accident.  Police officers may also be able to determine if the other driver was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or driving recklessly.  However, the police will not always write a report if the accident occurred on private property, which is the case with many parking lots.  Detailed notes will be crucial in these instances.

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Assisting Parking Lot Accident Victims in Obtaining the Recovery They Deserve

Parking lot accidents occur with alarming regularity, often leaving your vehicle damaged and you in pain.  Those these accidents are not usually serious, you have the right to receive compensation for your damages sustained in a parking lot crash caused by another’s negligence.  The skilled Mississippi Auto Accident Attorneys at Giddens Law Firm, P.A. assist victims in all manner of car accidents, including parking lot accidents.  Our team of veteran auto accident attorneys will examine the facts of the parking lot accident and determine whether negligence played a role.  We offer a free case analysis to all new clients.  Call Giddens Law Firm, P.A. today at (601) 355-2022 to start us fighting for you!

Giddens Law Firm Discusses QTIP Trust Cases in Mississippi

August 11th, 2014

Many lawyers set up trusts, at Giddens Law Firm we litigate trust cases.  If you are a beneficiary of a trust that is being administered by a bank, you should know that the bank has certain fiduciary duties and obligations to you as a beneficiary.  At Giddens Law Firm we have handled complex trust litigation against large corporate banks.  Often times, a beneficiary will place their trust in a trust officer.  It is a trust officer’s duty to be fair to all of the beneficiaries whether they are income beneficiaries or remainder beneficiaries.  Often times trust administration officers fail to adhere to the four corners of the trust document by giving preferential treatment to one beneficiary over the other.

An example of a trust which has multiple beneficiaries is a QTIP trust (Qualified Terminable Interest Property) (a QTIP trust is a type of trust that enables the grantor to provide for a surviving spouse and also to maintain control of how the trust’s assets are distributed once the surviving spouse has also died).

A QTIP trust will normally name a spouse as a beneficiary.  The trustee is required to pay at least annually all of the income derived from the trust.  The trustee should have in place policies and procedures and regular income sweeps ensuring the income beneficiary receives all of the income generated.  Often times a QTIP trust will have a provision such as a maintenance provision or a support provision which will allow the trustee, under certain limited circumstances, to invade the principle of the trust.  This type of activity has to be documented.  This is where many banks, trustees, financial institutions and fiduciaries run in to trouble.  If principle is sold and/or liquidated, it has a negative impact on the remainder beneficiaries.

If you feel you have questions regarding your status as a beneficiary and what your rights are as income or remainder beneficiaries under a QTIP or other trusts, you should contact an attorney.  At Giddens Law Firm, we understand trust law and we have the resources available to hold trustees accountable where they have failed in their duties.  We litigate trust issues.   Call today for a free consultation.

Mississippi “Tort Reform”, Horrible Legislation Endangering Injured Mississippians and Their Families

August 10th, 2014

According to the American Medical Association’s own statistics, the number of physicians in the United States has increased by forty (40%) percent since 1990. In 2004, Mississippi enacted tort reform, enacting a one size fits all approach, hardly fair to injured victims, taking away the jury as a way to decide what a victim’s pain and suffering is worth. It is sad that injured Mississippians now have these civil justice restrictions which limit the ability of individuals and families, injured through no fault of their own, to hold negligent healthcare providers accountable. The Mississippi legislature ten (10) years later, continues to ignore that nearly 100,000 people per year are killed as a result of the high rate of medical negligence. There were intent and has succeeded in limiting victim’s right while padding the profits of the insurance industry.

Consider the former insurance commissioner, Jay Angoff, who found in a 2005 study that insurance companies have been sticking to the doctors, raising their insurance premiums even though the claims/pay-outs have been on the decline. Research shows that a simple look at the annual statements of the largest insurance companies, premiums rose by 120.2% between 2000 and 2004 while their claim pay-outs rose by 5.7 %. American Association for Justice

Many injured victims and their families in Mississippi ask me how could their legislature protect big businesses and insurance companies over the actual people who voted to put them into office. Most of the insurance companies do not even have their principle place of business in Mississippi and are only conducting business here.

The Giddens Law Firm continues to fight for justice making our case to the public and to our clients telling the real story about the civil justice system. It is state and local trial lawyers who have an unwavering commitment to justice that ensures that every individual and family in Mississippi is on a level playing field in the courtroom. Giddens Law Firm holds wrongdoers accountable.

Giddens Law Firm works to make sure any person who is injured by the misconduct and/or negligence of others can get justice in the courtroom even in the face of taking on the most powerful of interests.

The political process in Mississippi has allowed drug and oil industries, big insurance companies and other large corporations to engulf, surpass and overtake the interests of the common, every day, blue-collar, 9-5, hard-working and independent Mississippian and their families.

An Overview of the Most Common Mississippi Birth Injuries

August 4th, 2014

Your child’s birth is one of the most exciting, memorable, and unforgettable moments of your life.  All parents hope for an uncomplicated and smooth delivery, but sadly, for some parents, medical complications occur.  Seven out of every 1,000 babies born in the U.S. will sustain some sort of birth injury.  Nearly 30,000 birth injuries occur each year.  While some birth injuries are linked to biological, environmental, or nutritional factors, many more are the direct result of medical malpractice and negligence.  Doctors in hospitals across the country can act negligently to cause birth injuries that often lead to a lifetime of problems.

What is a Birth Injury?

A birth injury is defined as any sort of injury occurring to a newborn during childbirth.  Birth injuries generally occur due to complications during labor or delivery.  Birth injuries can range in severity from minor bruising to severe brain damage.  Medical malpractice is a main cause of birth injuries, but there are other environmental or natural causes.  A licensed birth injury attorney will examine your child’s injury and medical history to determine if medical malpractice played a role in your child’s birth injury.

What are the Most Common Birth Injuries?

The most common birth injuries are as follows:

  1. Head and brain injuries: These injuries can range from minor bruising of the head due to the use of forceps to bleeding in the brain.  Birth complications often result in deprivation of oxygen to the baby, which can later lead to Cerebral Palsy, mental impairment, and seizure disorders.  Medical malpractice that causes these injuries can include failing to recognize fetal distress and timely performing a c-section.
  2. Fractured bones: Broken collar bones and clavicles most often occur during birth.  Fractured bones happen frequently during difficult or breech births.  Babies usually recover quickly from this injury.
  3. Cerebral Palsy: Approximately three out of every 1,000 children born in the U.S. today is diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy.  This disorder is characterized by lack of motor development, learning problems, muscle spasms, and problems with vision and hearing.  There is not currently a cure for Cerebral Palsy.
  4. Brachial plexus injuries: This birth injury involves damage to the nerves that travel from the upper spine through to the neck, shoulder, arm, and hand.  Damage to these nerves ranges from mild to severe.  Erb’s Palsy can result from this sort of injury.
  5. Caput Succedaneum: Swelling of the scalp characterizes this injury, which can be caused by excessive pressure during birth.
  6. Subarachnoid hemorrhage/Intracranial hemorrhage: This birth injury involves bleeding in the skull under the two innermost layers.  Long term neurological disorders commonly occur.
  7. Perinatal Asphyxia: This injury involves the deprivation of oxygen to the newborn.  Twisted umbilical cords or delayed c-sections commonly result in perinatal asphyxia.  It often has long term consequences on mental development.

The birth injuries set out above, along with many others, are often the result of medical malpractice.  Birth injuries are not always easily recognized immediately following birth.  If your delivery was not handled in a proper manner and you believe your child could have suffered a birth injury, it is best to consult with an attorney early on to ensure your child’s legal rights are protected.

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Fighting for Justice for Your Birth Injured Child

The seasoned Mississippi Birth Injury Attorneys at Giddens Law Firm, P.A. understand how heartbreaking a preventable birth injury can be. Our compassionate team of Mississippi birth injury attorneys will strive to lessen the financial hardship a birth injury can wrought.  Call Giddens Law Firm, P.A. today at (601) 355-2022 to schedule your free consultation.

 

A Look at Hit and Run Accidents in Mississippi

July 30th, 2014

Under Mississippi law, when you have been involved in an accident, you must stop at the scene of the accident and exchange information with the driver of the other vehicle or the owner of the property that was damaged.  It is a criminal offense to flee the scene of an accident.

Despite clear Mississippi laws in place, hit and run accidents can and do occur with alarming regularity.  A hit and run accident happens when the driver flees the scene of the accident.  When the driver takes off, this leaves the victim of the accident often wondering how their medical bills will be paid or their car repaired.  While being involved in a hit and run may make your recovery more complex, it is important that hit and run accident victims understand they do have avenues for recovery and can often experience a complete compensation.

Types of Hit and Run Accidents

Hit and run accidents can occur in a variety of ways.  The most obvious is when a vehicle strikes your vehicle and the driver flees the scene of the accident.  Often, hit and run accidents of this nature involve intoxicated drivers who flee the scene to avoid arrest for driving while under the influence.  Sometimes, drunk drivers can even be so inebriated they fail to realize they have been involved in an accident.  A hit and run accident can also involve a pedestrian or bicycle rider.  When a driver hits either of these categories of victims, then leaves the scene of the accident, it will be considered a hit and run.

Hit and run accidents can additionally occur even no physical conduct has been involved in the accident.  For instances, when one car causes another to crash into another object or a bicyclist to swerve off the road and hit an obstacle, this will be deemed a hit and run even though the fleeing driver’s vehicle never came into contact with anything.

Recovering from a Hit and Run Accident

When a hit and run accident occurs, the police and other law enforcement will attempt to uncover the identity of the fleeing driver.  This can often be accomplished through your testimony, witness testimony, and traffic cameras.  At times, the driver will later turn themselves in, particularly if alcohol was involved in the initial accident but the driver has since sobered.

If the driver is found, he or she will be liable in a personal injury suit for not only all of your compensable damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, but could face punitive damages as well.  Punitive damages are inflicted to prevent the hit and run driver and others like him or her from engaging in such conduct.  Punitive damages can be substantial.

If the driver cannot be located, victims of hit and run accidents can generally recover through their insurance policies.  Drivers in Mississippi can seek compensation under their uninsured/uninsured motorist policy.

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Offering Experienced Representation to Hit and Run Accident Victims

The Mississippi Automobile Accident Lawyers at Giddens Law Firm, P.A. urge anyone who has been injured in hit and run accident or any other sort of vehicle related crash to contact us for assistance.  Our experienced automobile accident attorneys understand the special issues involved in a hit and run crash.  Using our breadth of knowledge, we will guide you through the legal process to a full recovery.  Our case reviews are always free and confidential.  Call us today at (601) 355-2022 to see how one of our skilled auto accident attorneys can help you.