Think Trial Lawyers Are Greedy? Think Again!

July 23rd, 2014

A recent article published by Public Justice examines how top companies are willing to sacrifice public safety in order to preserve profits. Trial lawyers protect the public by holding these companies accountable. Trial lawyers that obtain big judgements and verdicts help deter companies from putting profits over people. That is what trial lawyers and litigation does to serve public safety.

Call attorney John D. Giddens for a free consultation if you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of another.

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Flying Bounce Houses and Dangerous Rides: How You Can Protect Your Children

June 20th, 2014

            Recently, several frightening accidents involving inflatable “bounce houses” have called attention to the dangers that lurk in some children’s entertainment equipment.  On May 13, 2014, an inflatable bounce house manufactured by Little Tikes was set up as a backyard activity for kids.  The bounce house was being used by several children when it suddenly blew 100 feet into the air.  Luckily, all three children fell out of the bounce house before it soared that high into the sky.

            Two boys, ages five and six, fell out of the structure as it was taking off, at a height of about 20 feet.  One of the boys landed on a parked car after being tossed by the bounce house and the other landed on asphalt.  Both children suffered serious injuries and were rushed to the Albany Medical Center Hospital.  A girl inside the bounce house also fell and suffered minor scrapes.

            Weeks after this alarming incident, another bounce house accident injured at least two children.  In Jefferson County, Colorado, a bounce house with an inflatable slide was set up as part of the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Jamboree.  The bounce house suddenly came free and began to roll across the field.  Parents and students ran to avoid being struck by the runaway inflatable.  A girl that was going down the slide at the time of its take off flew some eight feet into the air.  A boy was still trapped inside as the slide blew between 200 and 300 feet.  He was injured in the accident but not severely.

            The Colorado inflatable slide was operated by a company called Airbound.  Airbound has stated the slide was staked down and proper precautions taken.  In the case of the first bounce house, manufactured by Little Tikes, it does appear the house was staked down but it is unclear what sort of instructions accompanied the inflatable.

            Parents are cautioned to follow the steps below before allowing their child to use an inflatable either at home or set up by an event company:

  • Check to see that the ride has been securely anchored.  All bounce houses must be well staked into the ground and properly tied.
  • Observe whether the operator is strictly limiting the number of people on the ride at one time.  Each ride has safety limits that must be observed.
  • Look at the inflation of the ride itself.  Does it appear overloaded or unstable?
  • Check the blower inflating the ride.  Is it properly connected? If it becomes unplugged, the ride could collapse and possibly injure riders.

            If your child has been injured in an inflatable bounce house or any other sort of children’s ride, he or she may be able to seek compensation for injuries sustained in a personal injury or defective products suit.  Bounce house accidents are generally caused by one of two scenarios: operator negligence or product malfunction.  In the event of any accident, it is important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can investigate the incident and determine potential avenues for recovery.        

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Protecting Mississippi’s Precious Children

            The Mississippi Personal Injury Attorneys at Giddens Law Firm, P.A. urge anyone whose child has been injured in a bounce house or other piece of child entertainment equipment to contact us for assistance.  Our experienced personal injury attorneys will your child’s accident and determine whether it was caused by the negligence of another.  We will then 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 personal injury attorneys can help you.

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T-Bone Accidents on Mississippi Roadways

June 14th, 2014

Numerous types of accidents occur on Mississippi roadways each day.  One of the most common and dangerous types of accidents are T-bone collisions.  T-bone accidents happen in intersections throughout Mississippi’s many roadways.  These side impact crashes generally occur at intersections where vehicles are changing directions or there are different traffic signals that control the movement of traffic through converging roads.  T-bone accidents occur when two vehicles are traveling perpendicular or at a right angle to one another, or one vehicle is driving through an intersection when another turns into the path of the oncoming vehicle, creating a T-shaped accident.

While all accidents hold the potential to cause serious injuries, T-bone crashes are known to be catastrophic.  A contributing factor to the seriousness of these accidents is the ineffectiveness of side airbags.  Numerous studies have demonstrated that side airbags offer little protection to crash victims.  Door frames alone do not protect innocent passengers and drivers when a fast moving vehicle pummels into them.  Studies have actually shown that when a vehicle intrudes into another vehicle by as little as six inches, the occupants of the vehicle, especially those in the seat on the side impacted, are highly likely to suffer serious injuries.

Some injuries commonly associated with T-bone crashes include:

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Back injuries
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Fractured ribs
  • Broken bones
  • Punctured lungs
  • Neck injuries
  • Damage to the heart
  • Internal organ damage
  • Amputation
  • Lacerations
  • Permanent disfigurement or disability
  • Death

Most T-bone accidents can be attributed to driver negligence, caused when a driver ignores traffic signals or fails to yield at a traffic signal.  Many T-bone accidents occur for the following reasons:

  • A driver fails to yield the right of way when making a turn into an intersection
  • A driver pulls into an intersection without checking for oncoming cars, trucks, or motorcycles
  • A driver does not stop at a traffic light or stop sign
  • A driver fails to yield the right of way when traveling through an intersection
  • A driver anticipates another driver will stop and turns in front of it, only to have the driver not stop
  • A driver behaves in an aggressive manner and attempts to turn quickly in front of an approaching vehicle or drives too fast through an intersection
  • A driver is not paying attention to the road and fails to observe a traffic signal, oncoming vehicle, or stop sign

When a T-bone accident occurs, it will be necessary to analyze fault.  These accidents can be caused by either driver, though often it is the driver that impacted the side of the other vehicle that is responsible for the crash.  Sometimes fault will be assigned to both parties in the side impact crash.  This will not, however, bar recovery in a Mississippi personal injury action.  An experienced car accident attorney will investigate your crash and help you fight for a full recovery.

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Zealous Representation for All Car Accident Victims

The Mississippi Automobile Accident Lawyer at Giddens Law Firm, P.A. urges anyone who has been injured in T-bone or any other sort of car accident to contact us for assistance.  Our experienced automobile accident attorney will examine your crash and determine whether it was caused by the negligence of another.  We will then 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 our skilled auto accident attorney can help you.

 

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Mississippi Car Accident Attorney Discusses the Dangers of Rollover Accidents

June 10th, 2014

Rollover accidents occur when a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), truck, van, pickup truck, or car, flips over on its roof or side.  Rollover accidents are the primary cause of death in SUV crashes and the second cause, after only head-on collisions, of vehicle related accident deaths overall.  Each year, nearly 10,000 vehicles are involved in fatal rollover crashes.  Even when a rollover accident does not result in death, they lead to serious and catastrophic injuries.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rollover accidents are more likely than any other sort of crash to result in fatalities.

Recently, a Brownwood, Mississippi man was killed in a rollover crash.  Howard L. Adams, just 23 years old, was driving his Ford SUV when the vehicle left the road and overturned on Interstate 20 near the Toomsuba exit.  Adams was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the rolled-over vehicle.  He died at the scene of the accident.

Factors Contributing to Rollover Accidents

The following is a list of factors that cause or contribute to rollover accidents:

  • Top heavy or unstable vehicles: Vehicles that are tall and have a high center of gravity, such as SUVs, trucks, minivans, vans, and buses, are more likely to be involved in rollover crashes than smaller passenger vehicles or compact cars.  The increased height of these tall vehicles makes them less stable and more prone to rollover.  Securing objects like luggage, kayaks, or bikes, to the tops of these vehicles will make them even more prone to rollover.  Isuzu Troopers, Ford Broncos, and Mitsubishi Monteros have becomes notorious for being involved in serious rollover accidents.
  • Jerking of the wheel and “trips:” Many rollovers occur when the driver makes a sudden sharp or jerking of the wheel, or hits a “trip” such as a median, curb, or guardrail.  Tripping occurs most often when the vehicle is driving at high speeds and one side of the vehicle hits an object, forcing it to become airborne.  In fact, the U.S. Department of Transportation has found that nearly 95% of all rollovers can be attributed to “tripping.”
  • Multiple vehicle accidents: When vehicles, particularly those already prone to rollover as mentioned above, are struck by another vehicle in the side, rollovers can occur.  These sorts of accidents account for about 20% of all rollover accidents.
  • Speeding and distracted driving: Speeding and driver distraction are common causes of all vehicle related crashes and both contribute to a large number of rollovers.  Distracted drivers that take their eyes off the road or even just their minds off the road for a matter of moments can drift from the road, hitting an object, or strike another vehicle.  Rollovers will commonly occur in this manner.
  • Wet weather: Bad weather conditions create an increased likelihood of car accidents.  When a vehicle already prone to rollover skids on a slippery surface, the driver may be forced to correct the wheel and accidently cause a rollover.

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Zealous Representation for All Car Accident Victims

The Mississippi Car Accident Attorney at Giddens Law Firm, P.A. urges anyone who has been injured in rollover or any other sort of accident to contact us for assistance.  Our experienced automobile accident attorney will examine your crash and determine whether it was caused by the negligence of another.  We will then 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 our skilled auto accident attorney can help you.

 

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Mississippi Automobile Accident Lawyers Examine Hit and Run Accidents in Mississippi

June 5th, 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.

 

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Causes we believe in: Mississippi’s Toughest Kids

June 3rd, 2014

There are many causes that we feel are worthy to be believed in. The cause of Justice, in the court of law, helping individuals put their lives back together after a catastrophic injury. Another cause that we are wholeheartedly behind is Mississippi’s Toughest Kids Foundation.

The sole mission of Mississippi’s Toughest Kids Foundation is to build and maintain a year round, totally accessible camp facility used by children and adults with serious illnesses and/or physical and mental life challenges.

Mississppi's Toughest Kids Foundation Golf Tournament

Mississppi’s Toughest Kids Foundation Golf Tournament

Additional information is available on the attached PDF.

Toughest Kids Pamphlet

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Mississippi Personal Injury Attorney Examines the Dangers of Mississippi ATV Accidents

May 30th, 2014

Each year, over 700 individuals will perish in accidents related to all-terrain vehicles or ATV’s.  Over this past Memorial Day weekend, Mississippi became the site of two such fatal accidents.  In Ripley, a 93 year old former Tippah County constable died in an ATV accident.  Leroy Derrick was driving his Honda Rancher ATV when he attempted to cross Mississippi 4.  He was tragically struck by an oncoming GMC Acadia SUV.  Derrick died at the scene of the accident while the driver of the car remained uninjured.

Meanwhile, in Smithville, a 16 year old ATV operator was killed.  Clay Lee Thompson was driving his four wheeler on Pearce Chapel Road when he lost control of the vehicle and ran into the woods and down a steep embankment.  Another teen on an ATV went for help, but by the time deputies arrived at the wreckage Thompson had died from his injuries.

These accidents came two weeks after a local Jackson attorney, Precious Martin, was killed in a four wheeling accident.  Martin hit a curb while driving the ATV and flipped.  He died from head injuries associated with the accident.

ATV’s, also referred to as four-wheelers or quads, are popular among both teens and adults.  These vehicles are often used for fun and sport, but can also be used for hauling heavy objects.  While riding an ATV can be exciting, they can lead to accidents and serious injuries.  The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that over 100,000 ATV accidents that require emergency room treatment occur each year.  A quarter of such ER trips involve children under the age of 16.

Victims who are thrown from an ATV or involved in crash with another ATV or car can sustain serious injuries.  Some common ATV injuries include:

  • Head injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Facial injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Neck injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Amputation
  • Death

Those injured in an ATV accident may have the right to recover for their losses associated with the accident.  ATV accidents can be complicated, however, and require first figuring out who is responsible for the accident.  For instance, if you were riding on an ATV trail that was damaged in some way, such as having huge holes or a dangerous slant, the person or organization who owns the trail could be held accountable for your injuries.  If, on the other hand, you were hit by a car while driving an ATV, the negligence of the driver of the car would need to be examined.  Additionally, if you were a passenger on an ATV and the driver acted negligently, you may have the right to recover against the at fault driver.  Finally, the maker of the ATV itself could be held responsible if a defective design or component of the ATV lead to your accident.

Each ATV accident is unique and you will require the assistance of an experienced accident attorney who can thoroughly investigate the crash and uncover your potential avenues for recovery.  ATV accidents can cause serious injuries that may require months or even years of medical treatment.  Children and teens are often the victim of such accidents, and are particularly vulnerable to the dangerous effects of traumatic brain injuries.

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Helping Victims of All Manner of Accidents Recover

The Mississippi Personal Injury Attorney at Giddens Law Firm, P.A. urges anyone who has been injured in an ATV or any other sort of accident to contact our firm immediately.  Our experienced accident attorney will examine your accident and determine whether it was caused by a negligent party, product defect, or negligent property owner.  We will then 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 our skilled personal injury attorney can help you.

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The GM Recall Widens As More Troubling Evidence Surfaces

May 23rd, 2014

Recently, car manufacturing giant General Motors issued a recall for over 2.3 million vehicles.  The recall is due to a defective ignition switch that can cause the engines in defective vehicles to shut off.  It can also prevent the airbags from deploying in the event of a crash.  According to consumer reports, simple acts like using too heavy a keychain or driving your vehicle off road can cause this faulty ignition switch to move out of the “on” position.  This causes the engine to cut off along with all electrical systems.

The ignition switch is linked to over 30 accidents and 12 deaths.  Investigators are additionally examining evidence to determine whether the faulty ignition switch is also associated with an additional 300 fatal accidents in which the airbags of recalled automobiles did not deploy.

The following makes and models are currently affected by the recall:

  • Chevrolet Cobalt, 2005-2007
  • Chevrolet HHR, 2006-2007
  • Pontiac G5, 2005-2007
  • Pontiac Solstice, 2006-2007
  • Saturn Ion, 2003-2007
  • Saturn Sky, 2007
  • 2005- 2009 Buick Lacrosse
  • 2000-2014 Chevrolet Impala
  • 2000-2005 Cadillac Deville
  • 2004-2011 Cadillac DTS
  • 2006-2011 Buick Lucerne
  • 2004-2005 Buick Regal LS and GS
  • 2000-2008 Chevy Monte Carlo
  • 1997-2005 Chevy Malibu
  • 1998-2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue sedans
  • 1999-2004 Oldsmobile Aleros
  • 1999-2005 Pontiac Grand Ams
  • 2004-2008 Pontiac Grand Prix

In conjunction with the massive recall, a series of investigations have ensued with the aim of uncovering at what point GM knew of the dangerous problem of the defective ignition switch.  Thus far, evidence has been uncovered that shows GM was aware of the problem as early as 2001 but failed to issue a recall or otherwise alert the recall.  In 2005, GM engineers developed a partial fix to the ignition switch defect that would have cost only $1 per vehicle.  GM, however, made a business decision to decline the repair.

GM’s legal troubles are growing as the Department of Justice has now opened a criminal investigation into why GM waited over 10 years to issue the much needed recall.  The House and Senate are also investigating the issue.

GM’s woes further intensified recently as it was forced to recall an additional 1.6 million vehicles for problems entirely unrelated to the faulty ignition switch.

GM is currently attempting to devise a plan to compensate all automobile accident victims who were injured as a result of the defective ignition switch, regardless of the timing of the accident.  The timing of the accident had become an issue because GM declared bankruptcy in 2009 and could have been absolved of liability for accidents occurring before this time.  However, as of now, it appears GM will honor claims regardless of the year of the accident.  The company’s compensation expert, Kenneth Feinberg, is developing a plan intended to compensate all accident victims.

The company has publicly taken responsibility for its actions and states it intends to take responsibility on both civil and legal fronts.  The recall is expected to continue into the summer, as the company struggles to manufacturer enough replacement ignition switches to keep up with demand for the over 2 million vehicles now recalled.

This year alone, GM has issued recalls for a total of 13.8 million vehicles.  These 29 recalls comprise five times the number of cars and trucks that the company sold in the U.S. last year.

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Assisting All Owners of Vehicles Involved in the GM Recall

The Mississippi Car Accident Lawyer at Giddens Law Firm, P.A. urges anyone who has been injured in a crash involving a faulty ignition system to contact our firm immediately.  Our experienced defective automobile attorney will examine your crash and determine whether it was caused by a defective or recalled auto part.  We will then 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 our skilled auto accident attorney can help you.

 

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Tort Reform in Mississippi – 10 Years Later

May 22nd, 2014

Attorney John Giddens provides comments in The Mississippi Business Journal regarding Tort Reform in Mississippi. Read more here: http://msbusiness.com/blog/2014/05/09/tort-reform-made-significant-impact-mississippi/

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Boating Accident Claims Life of Young Boy in Mississippi

May 10th, 2014

Mississippi is home to numerous waterways, making boating a popular pastime among sport enthusiasts and families alike.  Unfortunately, boating and others water activities are not without risks.  Recently, a nine year old boy from New Orleans died in a boating accident on Mississippi’s Wolf River.  The boy and a sibling were being pulled in a tube by a boat piloted by their father.  The boat went around a bend and the tube containing the two young children hit a tree.  The young boy, who was wearing a life jacket, evidently died as a result of blunt force trauma.  His sibling miraculously was not injured.

This tragic death serves to highlight the need for increased boating safety.  The following is a list of the most common causes of boat accidents, intended to help you stay safe this boating season.

  1. Crowded waterways and inexperienced boaters: Summer is the perfect boating season and during these warm months the number of boats on the water surge tremendously.  Along with an increase in the number of boats on Mississippi’s many rivers and lakes, as well as in the ocean, comes a rise in the number of inexperienced boat operators.  Most summer boaters are only occasional drivers, and may lack the expertise that comes with regular boating.  Often, these boaters are out with friends and family, which can impair their attention.  Combine this with improper look out and collisions occur.
  2. Alcohol: More than half of all boating fatalities are associated with the consumption of alcohol by the operator of the boat.  What many people forget is that the operator of the boat must adhere to the same DUI laws that they would when driving their vehicle.  Drinking while driving a boat is not just a crime; it also endangers the lives of those aboard your ship and those around you.
  3. Speed: Speed boats are often purchased by those desiring to go fast on the waterways.  However, excessive speed diminishes lookout and awareness of the presence of obstacles, such as other boats or sandbars.  Moreover, boats do not have brakes.  Speeding can also be correlated to a failure to yield or give way to other boats, which often leads to collisions.  Speed frequently goes hand in hand with alcohol consumption, creating an even more dangerous situation.
  4. Failure of equipment on the boat: It is important to properly maintain your boat and regularly inspect its engine, navigation lights, rescue capacity, steering system, and communication system, along with other vital parts.  Sometimes, however, even with the best maintenance an equipment failure can occur due to a faulty part or due to improper installation or maintenance on the part of the boat repair technician.

If you are involved in a boating accident that may have been caused by the negligence of another operator, the negligence of the driver of the boat on which you were a passenger, or a faulty piece of equipment, call a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.  Your experienced personal injury lawyer will evaluate the cause of your boating accident and determine the best possible avenue for obtaining full recovery for your losses associated with the accident.

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Helping Mississippi Boat Accident Victims Recover

Giddens Law Firm, P.A. has devoted decades to fighting for the recovery of the victims of all manner of accidents, including boat accidents.  Our Mississippi Boating Accident Attorney will thoroughly investigate the facts of your case and provide you with the excellence of legal services you need to obtain the results you desire. Call us today at (601) 355-2022 to schedule a free consultation.

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