Archive for January, 2015

Mississippi Personal Injury Attorneys Discuss Driverless Cars

Friday, 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

Tuesday, 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

Sunday, 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

Saturday, 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.