Archive for May, 2014

Mississippi Personal Injury Attorney Examines the Dangers of Mississippi ATV Accidents

Friday, 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.

The GM Recall Widens As More Troubling Evidence Surfaces

Friday, 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.

 

Tort Reform in Mississippi – 10 Years Later

Thursday, 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/

Boating Accident Claims Life of Young Boy in Mississippi

Saturday, 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.

The Do’s and Don’ts Following a Mississippi Truck Accident

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

In the aftermath of a truck accident, you will likely be in pain and quite often in shock.  While experiencing the range of emotions and physical pain that surrounds a truck accident, it can be confusing to know what steps to take to protect your legal rights.  The following is a list of do’s and don’ts that every Mississippi truck accident victim should abide by.  Adhering to this list will ensure you comply with the law, receive proper medical care, and maximize your later chance at a full recovery.

Do:

  • Get to the nearest safe location: If you have been involved in a truck accident on a Mississippi roadway, it is imperative you move yourself and your vehicle to the nearest safe location to prevent further injury or accident.  This will generally be to the nearest soft shoulder.  Do not, however, leave the scene of the crash under any circumstances.  Fleeing the scene of an accident is a criminal offense in Mississippi and can result in serious penalties.
  • Call 911: Call 911 or local law enforcement as soon as possible after a truck accident, even if the crash was a fairly minor one.  A police officer will arrive shortly to the scene of the accident and complete a police report.  The report will be based on an examination of the scene and interviews with the drivers and witnesses involved.  This police report can prove crucial to your later recovery for personal injuries or damages, so it is always best to call 911 after an accident.  If for some reason a report is not made at the scene, go to the police station as soon as possible to report the accident.
  • Receive medical treatment: If you have been involved in a truck accident and could have suffered any sort of injury, it is best to seek medical treatment right away.  Some injuries may not be evident for hours or even days after a crash.  The earlier you seek medical treatment, the sooner you can get the medical attention you require and the better your chances of recovery.
  • Retain the assistance of an experienced truck accident attorney: Truck accidents often involve serious injuries and will also involve complex issues of law unique to the realm of commercial vehicle accidents.  An experienced truck accident attorney will initiate a complete investigation into the cause of your accident and fight for your maximum recovery.

Don’t

  • Discuss liability for the accident: You should never engage in discussions of liability, whether it be with other drivers or the police, following a truck accident.  Liability is a legal conclusion which you cannot make and discussions of liability can harm your later recovery.  Speak with your attorney before addressing the complex legal issue of fault.
  • Feel pressured to accept an initial settlement offer: You will likely be approached by an insurance adjuster who will push you to accept a quick settlement.  Never accept such an offer without consulting with a truck accident attorney first, as the initial settlement offer will generally only cover a small portion of your losses stemming from the accident.

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Fighting for the Recovery of Truck Accident Victims Across Mississippi

The Mississippi Truck Accident Attorney at Giddens Law Firm, P.A. urges anyone who has been injured truck accident to contact our firm immediately.  Our experienced truck accident attorney will examine your accident and 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 truck accident attorney can help you.