Arbitration Agreements: Just Say No

March 25th, 2015

In the last twenty years arbitration agreements have become increasingly popular in the United States. The agreements are pervasive across any contract between individuals and companies and have been promoted by chambers of commerce and better business bureaus across the country.

The language has become standard boilerplate in contracts even though very few people who sign these contracts know what they are really signing away when they agree to them.

The gist of these agreements is that the signor is agreeing to give up any right he would have to bring a lawsuit in the Courts of the state where he lives, and agrees to binding arbitration with a “neutral” who is often affiliated in some way with the chamber of commerce or better business bureau.

Individuals should have access to the courts of their home state, and arbitration agreements represent an artificial barrier to this access without any good reason. Recently 107 organizations have asked that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau make new rules prohibiting individuals to be forced into arbitration agreements.

In contracts in Mississippi it is possible to make changes on the fly, cross out paragraphs, write in paragraphs and make other changes and then sign your initials next to these changes prior to signing if you are the first to sign. We recommend crossing out the paragraphs pertaining to Arbitration agreements, initialing that cross out, or just refusing to sign a contract that includes an Arbitration agreement.

Zofran Investigated – Possible Link to Cleft Palate, Lip, and Heart Defects

March 20th, 2015

Zofran (ondansetron HCl Dihydrate) is produced by Glaxo Wellcome Pharmaceuticals and is often prescribed to treat nausea during pregnancy. It is not fully known how the drug works but millions in our country have been prescribed this medication in a very free fashion because the potentially dangerous nature of the drug for expectant mothers was never disclosed by the Pharmaceutical company. Zofran was believed to be safe to treat any number of nausea symptoms during pregnancy. There have been new reports that Zofran has been linked to birth defects in babies, including cleft palate, cleft lip and congenital heart defects.

Our firm is investigating these claims and would be happy to speak with any individual who has questions about their child’s cleft palate, cleft lip or heart defect and any possible links to the medications they have been prescribed. If you or a family member has recently had a child with a cleft palate, cleft lip or other heart defect after taking Zofran you may need to act now to preserve your rights. Our attorneys are available 24 hours a day and we have gathered additional information if you or a loved one would like information on this topic.

pills spilled by bottle

Many medications have unforseen side effects.

When you contact our firm, consider the following questions: Why was Zofran prescribed? Do you have any known allergy to Zofran? The dosage amounts of Zofran and directions on use. (the prescription bottle may contain this information).

Mississippi Workplace Injury Attorneys Report: Health Care Workers at High Risk for Workplace Injuries

February 27th, 2015

Nurses, orderlies, and other health care workers spend their working hours helping other people heal from illnesses and injuries. Working in the health care industry can be rewarding, because of the positive feelings that accompany helping others, but it is also stressful work, in addition to being physically demanding, and sometimes even dangerous.

Every year, over six hundred and fifty thousand health care workers experience work-related illnesses or injuries. Many health care workers who are injured must take time off from work to recover. In fact, the number of injury-related absences is approximately four times higher for health care workers than it is for people who are employed in other fields.

Back injuries are a frequent occurrence among nurses and others who work in health care, and they are the leading cause of injuries to health care workers. Back injuries often occur when aides, nurses, and other workers move or reposition patients. Sometimes, workers attempt lifts on their own because not enough staff are available to ensure that lifts are performed by multiple workers or because there are no mechanical devices available that they could use to lift the patients. In situations where multiple workers perform a lift, there is still a high risk for injury due to unpredictable movements by the patient or communication errors among the staff who are performing the lift. Mechanical devices which assist in lifting patients greatly reduce the risk of injury, but, as noted before, they are not always available.

Unfortunately, many health care facilities do not have clear rules and procedures in place for lifting and moving patients, nor are there rules for safe patient handling imposed upon employees and facilities from outside agencies like OSHA. Unfortunately, many health care employees who experience back injuries must often miss work, at least for a short period of time, while they recover. Workers who experience severe back injuries are often unable to return to work in their previous positions.

Other causes of injuries in the health care environment occur when employees slip and fall, or when they contract infectious diseases. Injuries caused by repetitive motion are also fairly common among health care workers. Some health care workers are even injured by chemical exposures, or by acts of violence in the workplace.

One reason why so many workers in health care facilities may be getting hurt at work is that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the government agency which is responsible for ensuring safe work conditions, does not inspect health care facilities as frequently as it inspects other types of workplaces, such as construction sites.

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Workplace Injury Attorneys Serving Clients Throughout Mississippi

Nurses and others who work in the health care industry are at a greater risk of being injured at work than most other workers, including those who do jobs in fields like construction and over the road trucking. If you are a health care worker who has been hurt at work, you can get top-quality legal assistance from qualified Mississippi Workplace Injury Attorneys by calling the Giddens Law Firm, P.A., at (601) 355-2022.

 

Mississippi Products Liability Lawyers Talk about Transvaginal Mesh

February 15th, 2015

Medical products are often at the center of major products liability lawsuits, and for good reason. Many medical products are used in surgeries, and are designed to remain inside of our bodies permanently after they are put into place. When a medical product fails to perform as it is intended to, there can be devastating consequences for the people who have that product inside of their bodies. One medical product which has been the subject of numerous products liability lawsuits is transvaginal mesh.

Transvaginal mesh is surgical mesh which is used in some types of pelvic surgeries, including the repair of stress urinary incontinence and the repair of pelvic organ prolapse. Surgical mesh is a medical product that is designed to support weak or damaged tissue, and it can either be made from animal tissue or synthetic materials. Some types of mesh are designed to be absorbed by the body over time, while other types are designed to be permanent.

Prolapses of pelvic organs are more common than many people may realize. There are multiple organs in the pelvic area, and there are internal structures, muscles, tissues, and the like, which hold all of those organs in place. If those internal structures are injured or if they become weak, one or more of the pelvic organs may descend from its usual position, causing a bulge in the vagina. It is estimated that one in every ten women will undergo surgery to correct some type of pelvic organ prolapse before she reaches eighty years of age. While multiple varieties of transvaginal mesh products are used to correct pelvic organ prolapses, it is also possible to treat pelvic organ prolapses without using mesh.

Some people who have undergone surgeries in which transvaginal mesh was used have experienced serious complications that have caused them a great deal of pain and suffering. From internal bleeding to blood, bladder, and urinary tract infections and the rupture of organs in the pelvic area, the complications which can arise after a transvaginal mesh implant are as concerning as they are painful. Patients who experience complications due to transvaginal mesh implants often need multiple surgeries to remedy the injuries caused by the implants, and many experience severe and chronic pain.

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Mississippi Products Liability Attorneys

If you are experiencing complications related to transvaginal mesh, it is important that you seek medical care right away. In addition to working with your doctor to develop a plan for addressing your injuries, you may be able to file a claim for damages against one or more of the parties responsible for your injuries. The Mississippi Products Liability Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. are dedicated to ensuring that people who have been injured by dangerous products are adequately compensated for their injuries. To learn how the Mississippi Products Liability Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. can help you, please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022, to schedule an initial consultation.

Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys Talk about Chain Reaction Accidents

February 10th, 2015

Last December, a horrific chain-reaction accident occurred near the border of Mississippi and Louisiana. The accident occurred when a tractor trailer collided with traffic that was stopped because there was debris in the road from an earlier accident which had occurred further up the road. Four people died in the wreck, and four others were injured.

This tragic accident, like many other accidents involving a chain reaction or a pile-up, caused a great deal of property damage in addition to multiple injuries and the loss of multiple lives. Chain reaction accidents pose additional risks to accident victims because of the manner in which they occur. For example, any accident can quickly turn into a chain reaction accident if the vehicles from the original accident are in or very close to the roadway and other vehicles cannot avoid them. Likewise, when vehicles are in or near the road, people who were inside of the vehicles are in danger of being hit by passing vehicles when they exit their vehicles to assess the damage. When a chain reaction accident occurs, accident victims are at an even greater risk of harm because they may be difficult to extricate from their vehicles if they are trapped inside of them by other vehicles in the wreckage.

Chain reaction accidents are dangerous, and they are often deadly. Drivers can take precautions which may enable them to avoid becoming entangled in a pile-up. One thing that you can do to greatly reduce the risk of a pile-up is to get your vehicle out of the road if you are involved in an accident and if you can do so safely. If one or more vehicles can’t be removed from the roadway, place flares or cones in the road if they are available. These devices can quickly get the attention of other motorists and help them to avoid a collision.  Once you are out of your vehicle, move to a safe place that isn’t too close to the road.

There is an increased risk of chain reaction accidents at any time when visibility is low due to rain, snow, fog, or other conditions. Slowing down when visibility is poor can give you the time and space that you need to react to other vehicles or objects in the roadway, thus reducing the chance of a collision. In any driving situation, leaving adequate space between your car and the car in front of you is another way that you can avoid accidents, including chain reaction accidents.

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys

Chain reaction or pile-up accidents can create complicated sets of facts. Unfortunately, this can make it difficult for accident victims to be promptly compensated for their injuries and damages.  A Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorney can help you to cut through the confusion to get the results that you need. If you have been injured in an accident, the Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. invite you to call us at (601) 355-2022 to discuss your case.

Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys Discuss Negligence

February 5th, 2015

There are times when a person is injured and amputation of a limb is absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, there are also times when amputation becomes necessary because of negligence in caring for a patient who would not otherwise be in a position to lose a limb. A sixty five year old man was recently awarded a $3.157 million verdict for that very reason.

The man was hospitalized because he felt dizzy and weak, and he suspected that he might have internal bleeding. As part of the care that he received at the hospital, a doctor evaluated his left leg, which was wounded. The doctor put an Unna Boot, a specific type of gauze bandage, on the man’s leg to aid in healing the wounds. After the bandage had been on for five days, it was discovered that some of the tissue on the man’s leg had become necrotic, and amputation was deemed necessary.

Whenever a patient seeks medical care, whether it is at a doctor’s office, a hospital, or in some other health care setting, they bring their past with them. A patient’s medical history is extremely important to the medical professionals who are providing medical care because, among other things, it can help them to identify why a patient may be feeling a particular way or it can help them to know whether specific courses of treatment would be safe and appropriate for that particular patient.

In the case of the man who lost his leg, the Unna Boot bandage was not an appropriate way to treat his wounds because he had an underlying medical condition which reduced blood flow to his legs. The man had a history of peripheral vascular disease in his lower extremities, which means that the arteries in his lower body had narrowed and he had poor circulation in that area. According to the patient’s lawyers, the Unna Boot was not a proper way to treat wounds for a patient who has reduced blood flow. Additionally, no attempt was made to improve blood flow in the man’s leg prior to treating the wounds. The doctor had also failed to seek assistance from a vascular surgeon, which arguably could have helped the doctor find a way to treat the wounds without causing tissue necrosis in the area with reduced blood flow.

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys

Your medical history is tremendously important to doctors and others who provide you with medical care because it helps them to determine how they can best care for you. When doctors fail to provide care in a manner that addresses underlying conditions in a patient’s medical history the results can be tragic. If you have been injured by negligent medical care, protect your rights and get help from Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys as soon as you can. The Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. can help you to pursue the financial recovery that you deserve as you focus on your physical recovery. Please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022.

Mississippi Personal Injury Attorneys Discuss Driverless Cars

January 16th, 2015

In a world where it seems as though anything is possible, there are companies that are developing cars that drive themselves. Google recently announced that it has built a fully functional prototype of a self-driving car, which the company plans to have on the market within five years. As amazing as the concept of a self-driving car is, as personal injury attorneys, we are very much interested in the safety implications of this new technology.

It is possible that self-driving vehicles could end up being as safe as or possibly even safer than cars that are driven by humans. Many car accidents are caused by human error, including accidents involving drunk driving, distracted driving, drowsy driving, failing to adjust driving habits to road conditions, and many others. Self-driving cars are designed to detect the presence of other vehicles and pedestrians nearby and to adjust their course accordingly. However, these cars are designed by humans and programmed by humans, which means that the potential for human error cannot be eliminated. It may be reduced, and the humans who are responsible for the errors may not be the ones that are inside the vehicles if accidents occur, but the possibility of errors will still be there.

Also, while some people are not good drivers, many people are. The act of driving a vehicle safely from one place to another is a complex task that involves focus and the ability to respond to countless things in the surrounding environment, which changes constantly as you move down the road. This is something that most of us don’t think about every time we drive to the store, or to pick up the kids from soccer practice, but each trip is a unique experience. If we think about self-driving cars in this way, entrusting computers with a complex task like driving, which requires the synthesis of multiple types of information in real time, may not seem like a safe way to go.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending upon how you envision a self-driving car to be), the human ability to synthesize and respond to the world around the vehicle in real time is not lost when you ride in a self-driving car. What many likely envision when they hear the term “self-driving car” is not actually what the companies who are now designing such vehicles have in mind. Simply stated, the vehicles are not designed to enable drivers to be completely passive. Drivers of most self-driving cars will still have to sit in the driver’s seat, pay attention to their surroundings, and operate the steering wheel and the brakes from time to time.

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

Whether self-driving cars become commonplace or not, people who travel in passenger vehicles will always be at risk for being involved in an accident. If a motor vehicle accident has taken the life of someone you love, or if you were injured in a crash, it is important that you speak with a Mississippi Personal Injury Attorney right away. To learn more about how the Mississippi Personal Injury Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. can help you, please call (601) 355-2022.

Mississippi Workplace Injury Lawyers Reveal Top Causes of Workplace Injuries

January 13th, 2015

If you have ever been injured on the job, and perhaps even if you haven’t, you may wonder what the leading causes of workplace injuries are. Fortunately, the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety studies the causes of workplace injuries and shares their findings with the public so as to promote awareness of workplace injury risks.

The results of the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety 2014 Workplace Safety Index indicate that the leading causes of workplace injuries in America are overexertion and falls. In fact, of the top ten causes of workplace injuries, four of the top five causes are related to exertion or falls. Injuries that are caused by exertion and falls are responsible for approximately half of the costs that employers paid to employees who were injured in 2012. Since two types of injuries are responsible for such a large portion of the total amount of injuries sustained in workplace accidents, it is important that both employers and employees educate themselves about the risk factors for those types of injuries in their particular work environment.

When employers train their employees to perform the tasks associated with their jobs, they must show them how to perform those tasks safely. For example, employers can lower the risks that are associated with things like lifting, carrying, pushing, and pulling by teaching their employees how to decide whether they can safely move an item by themselves or with a partner and how to perform the task of moving the item safely.

There are many reasons that employees can fall at work, and employers can educate themselves about the particular risks that are present in their workplace environments. When employers understand what the risks are, they can take action to reduce them through actions like replacing floors with materials that are less slippery when a workspace is remodeled or requiring the use of non-slip footwear in areas where it is appropriate to do so. Floor maintenance is also an area where employers can reduce risks by assessing the products and procedures that are used in their facilities to see whether there are any things that can be changed in order to make things safer for employees.

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

If you have experienced an injury at work due to overexertion or a fall, you know that workplace injuries can be painful and costly. Workplace accident victims experience both the short term pain of the injury itself and the long-term pain that is associated with the recovery process. Since many workplace injuries keep accident victims out of work for an extended period of time, financial pressures can cause a great deal of stress for workplace accident victims and their families. The Mississippi Workplace Injury Lawyers at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. have helped many workplace accident victims and their families pursue the financial recovery that they deserve, and they can help you, too. To learn how, please call our office at (601) 355-2022, to schedule an initial consultation.

Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys Discuss Accidents Caused by Overweight Trucks

January 4th, 2015

Some of the things that can cause dangerous trucking accidents are things which are not visible to the other drivers who are sharing the roads with tractor trailers. One such danger is overloaded or overweight trucks. Weight is an important consideration for truck drivers, and it plays a big role in safely transporting cargo from one place to another. There are Federal and state weight limits which apply to the trucks themselves. There are also weight limits which apply to certain roads and bridges, because not all roadways are designed to support heavy loads. When truck drivers load their trucks with too much weight, or when they haul heavy loads over roads and bridges that could be damaged by heavy trucks, there is a risk that an accident could occur.

Unfortunately, overweight trucks can be found on roads all across America. Last October, a West Virginia man drove an overweight truck over a historic bridge in Greene County. The weight of the truck exceeded both the weight limit for the road leading to the bridge and the weight limit for the bridge itself. The weight of the truck damaged the bridge, and it partially collapsed. In Ohio, law enforcement officers report that when they set up safety checkpoints for trucks, they never know what they will find. Trucks with bulging tires often alert officers at the safety checkpoints to the possibility of an excessive load, and scales at the checkpoints enable the officers to know right then and there whether the trucks are in fact overloaded. Some of the overweight trucks that officers discover at safety checkpoints are carrying thousands of pounds more than they should be.

Any load that weighs more than a truck is designed to carry increases accident risk because the excessive weight increases the truck’s stopping distance. Overweight trucks also increase the risk of trucking accidents involving mechanical defects because the excess weight places a great deal of stress on the mechanical components of the truck, including brakes and tires. Trucks are harder to handle when they are overloaded; they are harder to steer and more likely to tip over than trucks which are loaded properly.

Truck drivers are responsible for checking their trucks to ensure that they are loaded properly, and that the load is not too heavy. Unfortunately, not all drivers take the time to do so. In some situations, trailers are loaded before the driver picks them up, and the driver is expected to simply hitch up the trailer and move along. Some drivers may even be under pressure from their employers to pack as much freight onto their trucks as they can, in order to increase the company’s profits.

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys

Overweight trucks are an unseen danger on American highways. Trucks that are carrying loads which are too heavy are at greater risk of being involved in an accident. If you have experienced an injury or loss because of an overloaded tractor trailer or any other type of commercial vehicle, qualified Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys can help you to recover financially from your loss or injury. To learn more about how the Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. can help you, please call (601) 355-2022, to arrange a consultation with us.

 

Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys Discuss Malpractice by Chiropractors

January 3rd, 2015

When you think of medical malpractice, you probably think of doctors who practice in a traditional physician’s office or hospital setting. Many people receive medical care from doctors and health care providers who practice outside of those settings. These medical professionals are also potentially liable to their clients if the care that they provide is not given in accordance with the applicable standard of care.

Chiropractors are one type of medical care provider who can be held liable for medical malpractice. A chiropractor in South Carolina was found to have committed malpractice after a patient ended up in the hospital with a ruptured disk in her back after receiving two chiropractic treatments. The injured woman now experiences chronic pain, and her injury requires ongoing physical therapy and medical attention. In her malpractice lawsuit, the woman alleged that the chiropractor had not conducted a proper physical exam, nor had he fully evaluated her medical history or taken proper x-rays before performing either of the two chiropractic treatments. She also alleged that the chiropractor had falsified her medical records so that they gave an incorrect account of the care that he had provided to her. Plaintiffs in other, similar cases have also brought successful medical malpractice claims against chiropractors who either performed a chiropractic manipulation negligently or failed to diagnose a medical condition which required medical care from another provider, such as a primary care physician or a hospital.

Fewer medical malpractice cases are brought against chiropractors than against other types of doctors. This may be because many of the injuries that are caused by improper chiropractic care do not rise to the level of severity that would indicate medical malpractice. However, there are cases involving severe injuries resulting from improper chiropractic care or a failure to diagnose a medical condition which requires additional medical treatment in which a chiropractor’s actions do constitute malpractice because they do fall outside of the applicable standard of care. The standard of care that applies to chiropractors is that any chiropractor must use the same degree of care and competence as other ordinary, prudent chiropractors.

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys

Chiropractic care can provide relief from many types of pain. The safest way to receive chiropractic care is upon the advice of your primary care physician, who can work with your chiropractor to suggest a course of treatment that is appropriate for your condition. If you have experienced an injury due to an improperly performed chiropractic adjustment, or if you were injured when your chiropractor failed to diagnose a medical condition which required additional care, it is important that you speak to a Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorney right away. A Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorney can help you to pursue the financial recovery that you deserve as you focus on your physical recovery. To learn more about how the attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. can help you, please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022.