Mississippi Wrongful Death Attorneys Discuss Nursing Home Deaths Caused by Wandering

October 29th, 2014

When families make the difficult decision to place a loved one in a nursing home, they often do so after one or more incidents which made them feel as though it was no longer safe for their elderly relative to live at home on their own. Perhaps she has wandered off on more than one occasion without telling anyone, only to be discovered missing by someone with whom she had planned to visit at her home at a specific time. Maybe he has been forgetting to eat, and has become undernourished. Whatever the situation is, when a family feels that close supervision is the best solution to their elderly relative’s current problems, they are likely to insist that their relative move into a nursing home which they feel will supervise them adequately and keep them safe.

While some nursing homes are very secure environments, others, including some facilities which promote themselves as being specifically designed to address the needs of people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, are not. Residents do sometimes wander away from their nursing homes, undetected by staff, and sometimes with tragic results. While some nursing home residents who wander off are found within hours of their disappearances, others are not found alive. Deaths from wandering have resulted from freezing cold weather, starvation, and drowning, among other things.

Nursing home staff assess new residents in order to determine what types of care they need. Each resident has his or her own unique set of needs. Some residents need a great deal of medical care, while others, such as many residents who are affected by Alzheimer’s or dementia,  may be in good physical health but require close supervision because of their mental health needs. In fact, the residents who require the most supervision are those who are physically capable of moving around easily and have mental health conditions which make them prone to wandering.

It is possible to keep residents who are at a high risk for wandering safely contained within a nursing home facility. When nursing home staff communicate with each other regarding which residents are at a high risk for wandering, they are more likely to keep a closer watch on those who need it. Also, when nursing home management staff their facilities adequately, residents are better supervised. Many of the incidences of nursing home wandering which have occurred have been at facilities that are chronically understaffed. Additionally, some safety features, like locks and alarms on doors and windows can be built right into the facility, or added later on, as needed.

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Mississippi Wrongful Death Attorneys

If you have lost a loved one because they wandered away from the nursing home that was responsible for their safety and well-being, you may be able to recover or your loss. The Mississippi Wrongful Death Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. would like to hear from you. Call our office today, at (601) 355-2022 and arrange a consultation with us.

Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys Discusses How Trucking Accident Cases Differ From Automobile Accident Cases

October 10th, 2014

If you have been injured in an accident involving a tractor trailer, you may be looking for a personal injury attorney to handle your case. While it is a good thing that you are thinking of retaining an attorney, it is important that you understand that your case is different than the automobile accident cases that are a mainstay of many personal injury attorneys’ practices. Fortunately, there are attorneys who specialize in handling cases involving tractor trailers. Here are a few reasons why you should call a Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorney today.

Trucking accident attorneys are accustomed to working with cases that involve serious injuries, fatalities, and massive amounts of property damage because these things are commonly associated with trucking accidents. The ways in which tractor trailers and passenger vehicles collide are also often different than the ways in which passenger vehicles collide with each other. Trucking accident attorneys understand the various types of eighteen-wheeler accident scenarios, such as underride accidents and rollovers, and they use that knowledge to pursue the recoveries that their clients deserve.

A second reason why trucking accident victims need the assistance of a trucking accident attorney is that there are often multiple defendants in trucking accident cases, which makes the claims resolution process more complex. The trucking company is one defendant, the driver is another, and there may even be others, depending upon the facts and circumstances of your case. Trucking accident attorneys have experience navigating the complexities of multi-party accident cases.

Evidence is important at all stages of the resolution of trucking accident cases, not just during litigation. Trucking accident attorneys use their knowledge and understanding of trucking accident evidence throughout the claims process, to pursue settlements that will adequately compensate their clients for their injuries. Your trucking accident attorney knows how to gather and analyze different types of information like physical evidence from the crash, the truck driver’s log book, and trucking company business records. Additionally, trucking accident attorneys are skilled at calculating the value of trucking accident claims. Your attorney will help you to determine what your case is worth, so that you can evaluate settlement offers and confidently decline any settlement offers that will not adequately compensate you for your damages.

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

If you were injured in a Mississippi trucking accident, it is important that you speak with a Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorney right away. A Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorney can help you to navigate the trucking accident claims process. We understand that the injuries and damage that you and your vehicle sustained in your accident have probably impacted every area of your life, and we are here to help you pursue the recovery that you deserve. The knowledgeable Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. invite you to contact us today. Call the Giddens Law Firm, P.A., at (601) 355-2022 to schedule your free initial consultation.

Mississippi Birth Injury Attorneys Talk about How Long Various Birth Injuries Can Last

October 8th, 2014

If your child was born with a birth injury, one of the first things that you may have wanted to know is whether the injury was likely to be permanent, or whether your child would likely recover from it. Some birth injuries do heal, either fully or partially, after proper treatment. Other birth injuries, like cerebral palsy, are permanent and will require different types of care as your child grows and his or her needs change.

One thing that parents of children with birth injuries may not know is that your regular pediatrician may not be an authority on how long your child’s birth injury is likely to last. While they may be able to provide you with some information, it is a good idea to find a doctor who specializes in the care of children who are affected by the same type of birth injury as your child, and get a second opinion. Doctors who care for other children in similar circumstances can help your child develop a plan for treatment of your child’s birth injury. They can also provide you with an approximate timetable for recovery, if your child’s injury is one which they are likely to fully or partially recover from.

The birth injuries which are usually the quickest to heal are things like excessive bruising, broken blood vessels, and fractures. If your baby has Erb’s palsy, the degree of nerve damage will determine their chance of recovery. As swelling, pressure, and bruising recede after your child is born, it is possible that nerve function may be regained quickly, if the damage was mild. Another type of injury where the potential for recovery is directly are brachial plexus injuries. Some severe brachial plexus injures are permanent, but other, less severe cases are not. A doctor who specializes in treating brachial plexus injuries can examine your baby and tell you whether exercises or stretches could help with your child’s recovery, and whether any specific movements should be avoided.

Cerebral palsy is a birth injury which lasts a lifetime. When a baby receives too little oxygen during labor and delivery, their brain may be irreversibly harmed. Children with cerebral palsy require specialized care throughout their lifetimes, and doctors who specialize in treating children with cerebral palsy can help you to make a plan for treatment which will address your child’s needs at every stage of their growth and development, and into adulthood.

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

If your child’s birth injury was caused by medical negligence, you and your child may be entitled to recover damages for the harm that they have suffered and will continue to suffer throughout their lifetime. The Mississippi Birth Injury Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. invite you to contact us, so that you can focus your time and energy on caring for your child while we take care of handling your birth injury case. Call the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. today, at (601) 355-2022 to schedule your free consultation.

 

Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys Share Three Reasons Why You Need an Attorney for Your Automobile Accident Case

October 4th, 2014

If you have been injured in an automobile accident, you may be on the fence as far as whether or not to ask an attorney for help in resolving your claim for damages. It is also possible that you have already started trying to handle your own insurance claim, but it might seem like you are getting nowhere with the insurance company. Whatever your situation is, if you have not yet resolved your claim for damages in your Mississippi automobile accident case, there are a few reasons why you should speak with an attorney right away.

One reason why you should get help from an attorney in resolving your automobile accident case is that people who are represented by automobile accident attorneys in their car crash cases often recover more for their damages than people who go it alone. A Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorney will work tirelessly on your behalf to obtain a settlement that meets your needs.

Another reason why it is a good idea to let an attorney help you with your automobile accident claim is that your time is precious. Your life was busy enough before the accident, and it may have gotten even busier, depending upon the extent of your injuries. You may be back on the job, or you might be navigating a schedule filled with doctors’ visits and physical therapy appointments. It takes time to make phone calls and write emails to the insurance company, and when your calls and emails go unanswered, it can be extremely frustrating. When you turn the task of communicating with the insurance company over to an attorney, they can take the time to place multiple phone calls or write multiple emails, if need be. In many cases, insurance companies are quicker to respond to communications from attorneys than they are to respond to communications from people who are resolving their claims themselves.

A third reason to get help from a Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorney is that they can calculate the true value of your claim for you. If you know what your claim is worth, you won’t sell yourself short by accepting an inadequate settlement offer.  Many accident victims receive settlement offers in the weeks following their accidents, and some of them accept the first offer that they receive because they do not realize that they should be getting more money than that. Unfortunately, people who do this often realize later on that the amount that they thought was a good settlement did not in fact cover all of their medical bills or other damages. Your Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorney knows how to pursue settlement offers that meet their clients’ needs.

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

A Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorney can help you to pursue the settlement that you deserve in your car accident case. The Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. invite you to contact them about your automobile accident case. Call the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. today, at (601) 355-2022 to schedule your free consultation.

Mississippi Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Talk About How to Ride Safely at Night

September 28th, 2014

Riding a motorcycle requires a great deal of skill and concentration at any time. Night riding presents even more challenges and requires an even greater level of skillful focus. One challenge is that it is more difficult for other vehicles to see you. Your ability to see important things like signs and pavement markings is affected too. It is also hard to see pedestrians and wildlife at night, and you may have little time to react to them when you come upon them. Riding at night is not only more challenging than riding during the day, it is also more dangerous. Sixty percent of all fatal motorcycle accidents that occur in America happen after dark.

Nighttime riding becomes a little safer if you keep your speed down. By riding more slowly than you would during the day, you give yourself more time to react to anything that you might see in the road, including other vehicles. Riding at night is more taxing for your eyes than riding during the day, and your eyes can actually get tired, even if the rest of your body is well rested. If your eyes get tired, find a safe location and take a rest break. Wildlife are often present near roadways after dark, so be on the lookout for them, as they often stand on the side of the road and then dart unexpectedly into the roadway.

You can also keep yourself safe at night by increasing your visibility. Other motorists should be paying attention and looking out for motorcycles as they drive along. That said, one of the most common types of motorcycle crashes involves a vehicle turning left and into the path of a motorcycle, causing the rider to collide with the vehicle. These left-turn accidents often result in serious injury or death. In order to prevent left-turn accidents and other types of accidents that could occur if a driver does not see you, do as much as you can to increase your visibility to others on the road.

Reflective or fluorescent accents can increase visibility, so display them on clothing, helmets, and even on your bike. Good lighting also increases your visibility. If your bike has a small rear brake light, consider replacing it with a bigger, brighter one. You can also add running lights to the front of your bike, so that there are three lights instead of just one. You can maximize the brightness of your headlight by using a DOT-approved super bright headlight bulb. The angle at which your headlight is aimed matters, too. Check your state’s motorcycle laws, and then raise your headlight to the maximum angle that the law allows.

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

If you or someone that you love has been injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, it is important that you speak with an attorney right away. A Mississippi Motorcycle Accident Attorney can help you to understand the process of pursuing a motorcycle accident case, and what you might expect to happen as your case progresses from start to finish. The knowledgeable Mississippi Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. invite you to contact us. Call the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. today at (601) 355-2022 to schedule your free consultation.

Mississippi Workplace Injury Attorneys Discuss Workplace Falls

September 17th, 2014

Did you know that over two hundred and sixty thousand Americans will experience some sort of fall while they are on the job and miss one or more days of work?  Almost a thousand American employees die from work – related falls every year.  Some of the most common items that are implicated in workplace falls are ladders, wet floors, and non-moving motor vehicles.  While any worker at any job can fall, workplace falls happen most often for those people whose work involves farming, construction, mining, forestry, and fishing.

The construction industry accounts for nearly half of all of the fall-related deaths and injuries that occur in America.  This makes sense, when you consider that construction involves employees who work in elevated areas, work environments that are fast-paced, large amounts of heavy machinery and power tools at the job sites, and adverse working conditions like rain, wind, and snow.

There are a few types of fall related injuries that tend to occur in work environments. Some common types of workplace falls are falls from ladders, falls down stairs or from one level of a structure to another, slip and fall injuries from wet surfaces, and trip and fall accidents where the accident victim trips over something that has been left on the floor.

The injuries that are caused by work-related falls can vary from minor bruising and lacerations to traumatic brain injury and even death, in some cases.  Factors which influence the severity of a person’s workplace injury include the height from which the worker fell, the force with which they landed, and their body position upon landing, among other things.

Employees who fall on the job are usually eligible for worker’s compensation benefits if their injury happened during the course of their employment.  If you are injured at work, you must tell your supervisor about it within thirty days. Only injuries which require medical attention and/or cause the injured party to miss work are compensable through worker’s compensation. If you are able to pursue a worker’s compensation claim, your benefits could include payment of your medical bills, payment for vocational rehabilitation, and weekly wage replacement. In cases of severe injury or death, even more benefits may be extended to the victim and/or their family.

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

If you were injured at work, it is important that you speak with an attorney right away. A Mississippi Workplace Injury Attorney can help you to navigate the worker’s compensation claims process and understand what kinds of things are likely to happen as your case progresses from start to finish. We understand that your injury has very likely impacted every area of your life, and we are here to help you pursue the recovery that you deserve. The knowledgeable Mississippi Workplace Injury Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. invite you to contact us. Call the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. today at (601) 355-2022 to schedule your free consultation.

Mississippi Wrongful Death Attorneys Talk About Pedestrian Accidents

September 6th, 2014

Did you know that pedestrian accidents often result in wrongful death actions? Many collisions with pedestrians occur when the driver of a motor vehicle is behaving recklessly or negligently. Motorists who strike pedestrians with their vehicles are also often operating their vehicles in violation of the law. Pedestrian accidents are tragic, and they happen more frequently than most people realize. In America, one pedestrian is killed by a motor vehicle every two hours. That amounts to twelve pedestrian deaths every day. While some pedestrians who are involved in motor vehicle accidents survive and suffer from a range of injuries, many pedestrians do not survive accidents with motor vehicles. The force of an impact from a motor vehicle can throw or crush a pedestrian, causing immediate death, or life-threatening injuries which eventually result in death.

Families of the victims of pedestrian accidents often seek two forms of civil damages as the result of their losses. One type of civil action that a family may bring after losing a family member in a pedestrian accident is a survival action against the at-fault driver. A survival action serves the purpose of enabling the victim’s family to recover the damages that the victim suffered as a result of the accident. The second type of civil action that a  pedestrian accident victim’s family is likely to bring against the at-fault driver is a wrongful death action. Wrongful death actions help the victims’ families recover damages that they have experienced due to the losses of their loved ones, including funeral expenses, loss of support, and loss of companionship.

Pedestrian accidents often occur when the at-fault driver is breaking one or more laws. This means that in addition to the survival and wrongful death actions that are pursued by the family of an accident victim against an at-fault driver, the state may also pursue criminal charges. Driving under the influence of alcohol and speeding are two examples of unlawful behavior which often cause pedestrian accident. Sometimes, the conduct of an at-fault driver in a pedestrian accident is so extreme that it requires special treatment under criminal laws. For this reason, vehicular manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter charges may be filed in cases of extreme recklessness.

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Mississippi Wrongful Death Attorneys

A pedestrian accident can rob a family of someone that they love in the blink of an eye. If someone that you love was killed in a pedestrian accident, it is essential that you speak with an attorney as soon as you can in order to protect your rights. A Mississippi Wrongful Death Attorney can help you to understand the process of pursuing a survival action and a wrongful death claim, and what you might expect to happen as your case progresses from start to finish. The knowledgeable Mississippi Wrongful Death Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. invite you to contact us. Call the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. today at (601) 355-2022 to schedule your free consultation.

Mississippi Birth Injury Attorneys Tell Potential Clients How to Prepare for an Initial Consultation

September 2nd, 2014

If your child was hurt or harmed during your labor or delivery, you may wonder whether there is anyone who can be held responsible for the harm that your child and your family have suffered. If the injury to your child was caused by the irresponsible actions of one or more of the medical professionals who cared for you and your child during labor and delivery, you may be able to pursue a birth injury lawsuit against them. The best way to know whether you have a claim for damages related to your child’s birth injury is to consult with a Mississippi Birth Injury Attorney. Birth injury attorneys know, among other things, how to look for specific types of information which could support a claim that that your child’s birth injury was caused by the negligent actions of one or more medical professionals.

When you are looking for an attorney to handle your birth injury case, it is important that you choose someone who you feel comfortable with and who has a good grasp of the laws that apply to your case. Attorneys also like to meet with potential clients before beginning a business relationship with them, so that they can assess what type of birth injury claim, if any, the potential client has. Because it is beneficial for attorneys and clients to get to know each other before formalizing their business relationship, attorneys often offer free initial consultations.

In order for you to get the most out of your initial consultation with your attorneys, it is important that you know what to expect, so that you can bring along any documents or other items that you may need. At an initial consultation for a birth injury lawsuit, the attorneys will talk to you about your pregnancy, as well as what happened during your labor and delivery. The attorneys will also want to know about your life after your child’s birth, including whether they have required any special day to day care or additional medical procedures to correct the birth injury or other injuries or illnesses. It is helpful to your prospective attorneys if you obtain copies of your prenatal care and hospital records in advance of the initial consultation and bring them with you. Also, try to obtain and bring along treatment records from any doctors and hospitals that have provided care to your child after they were born.

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

An initial consultation with Mississippi Birth Injury Attorneys can help you to decide whether to pursue a birth injury case. It also affords you an opportunity to become familiar with the attorneys who will be handling your case. If your child has suffered a birth injury, the knowledgeable Mississippi birth injury attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. invite you to contact us. Call the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. today, at (601) 355-2022 to schedule your free consultation.

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.