November 11th, 2015
A recent birth injury case in Mississippi is an example of one type of birth injury – brachial plexus injury. The brachial plexus is a group of nerves which extend from the spine through the neck, all the way through the arm and into the hand. Sometimes, if doctors or other professionals pull too hard on the baby’s body while trying to aid in delivery, these nerves can be stretched or damaged, resulting in temporary or permanent injury.
Some brachial plexus injuries heal fully, while others heal partially or not at all. When brachial plexus injuries are severe, they require a great deal of care both immediately after birth, and throughout the life of the injured child. In this particular case, a baby girl has been diagnosed with Erb’s Palsy. Erb’s Palsy is a permanent complete or partial paralysis of the arm. The little girl in this case is permanently disabled as the result of her condition, which developed after a shoulder dystocia occurred during her birth.
When the mother of the little girl was laboring in the hospital, complications began to arise. The mother, who is also the plaintiff in the case, asserts that the defendant physician acted negligently in addressing the complications that she encountered during labor. Negligence during delivery is a common cause of brachial plexus injuries like Erb’s Palsy. Brachial plexus injuries are caused by force which is exerted on an infant during birth by medical professionals. The use of force during delivery is not necessary, as alternative methods of delivering the baby are available, including letting the mother continue to push the further down the birth canal if there is no fetal distress, or by performing a cesarean birth in situations where the baby is in distress or where the baby is lodged firmly in the birth canal as the result of a shoulder dystocia. The plaintiff in the case at hand claims that the medical staff who were attending her delivery did not use any of these alternative birthing methods, choosing instead to apply fundal pressure to her abdomen in an attempt to deliver the baby, and also pulling on the baby’s head.
When the brachial plexus nerves are damaged severely, resulting in Erb’s Palsy, the child experiences weakness and/or an inability to move his or her arm. As you might imagine, this weakness or inability to move one’s arm can cause profound and long-lasting disability as a result. Families with children who have been diagnosed with Erb’s Palsy face years of additional expenses ahead, including increased medical costs, physical therapy expenses and other accommodations. The children who are born with brachial plexus injuries experience physical and emotional pain and suffering. Their parents may experience emotional distress, lost wages, and other types of damages.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Representing Mississippi Birth Injury Victims and Their Families
If your child was born with Erb’s Palsy or another type of brachial plexus injury, you may have many questions on your mind. The Mississippi Birth Injury Attorneys of the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. may be able to to help you. Please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022, to learn more.
November 2nd, 2015
Earlier this year, a Mississippi man miraculously survived a dangerous type of tractor trailer accident that is known as an underride accident. The accident occurred when the man, who was driving an SUV, struck a tractor trailer that was merging onto the highway from a weigh station. As the SUV collided with the tractor trailer from the left, it became stuck underneath it. Emergency response personnel used the Jaws of Life to free the injured man from the wreckage so that he could be transported to a hospital for treatment.
Underride accidents happen when the front of a passenger vehicle goes underneath the trailer of a tractor trailer, either from the side or from the rear. In many underride accidents, the top of the passenger vehicle is sheared off, which increases the risk of severe injury and death for its occupants. Because of the manner in which underride accidents occur, head and neck injuries, as well as upper body injuries are common.
Since the structural design of tractor trailers permits underride accidents to occur, the United States Department of Transportation has issued regulations that are designed to reduce underride risk. Bumpers which meet the current DOT requirements may make some difference in the outcome of an underride crash. However, DOT compliant bumpers are not always effective in preventing underride accidents from happening because the passenger vehicle can push the trailer’s bumper forward with a forceful impact, thus going at least part of the way underneath the trailer. Also, a vehicle which is traveling at a slow to moderate speeds can get stuck underneath the trailer if it collides with the bumper on one side instead of in the center, or if the vehicle collides with the trailer from the side instead of from the rear.
Because the current DOT bumper requirements are not very effective at preventing underride accidents, accident victims, their families, and various other groups have asked the DOT to change its regulations and require larger, stronger bumpers that would be less likely to bend during a crash. Some tractor trailer manufacturers already make their trucks with bumpers which provide greater protection than bumpers that meet the current DOT regulations. Some manufacturers even make trucks with underride guards on the sides of the trailers. Crash test data suggests that these better-then-required bumpers are much more effective at preventing underride accidents. Unfortunately, there are far fewer trucks with improved bumpers on the road than there are trucks with bumpers that just meet the current DOT regulations and trucks with bumpers that do not even meet the DOT requirements.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Representing Mississippi Plaintiffs in Trucking Accident Lawsuits
Underride accidents often result in serious injury or death. If you or someone that you love was hurt or killed in an underride accident, an experienced Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorney can help you pursue recovery for your injury or loss. If you need help with an underride accident case, the Mississippi Personal Injury Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. are here to help you. Please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022, to learn more.
October 30th, 2015
A recent motorcycle accident that claimed the life of an Alcorn State University professor serves as a tragic reminder of just how deadly accidents involving motorcycles and cars can be. This particular accident occurred when a car struck the motorcycle from behind. The impact caused the rider to be ejected from his motorcycle, and he was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.
When a car or other type of vehicle collides with a motorcycle, serious injury and/or death are likely to result. The direction from which the impacting vehicle is moving also affects the likelihood of fatality. For example, rear-end motorcycle accidents frequently result in rider fatality. Motorcycle riders and their passengers do not have the protection that drivers and passengers who are enclosed in vehicles do. Because of this, the impact of a vehicle hitting a motorcycle often crushes the rider and their passenger, if they have one, or sends them airborne.
Because rear-end collisions are so often deadly, both drivers and riders must learn how to share the roads safely. Understanding how rear-end collisions between vehicles and motorcycles occur is an important part of understanding how to prevent or avoid them. There are two ways in which most rear-end motorcycle accidents happen. Either the rider is stopped at a traffic light or for some other reason, and the vehicle strikes them from behind, or the motorcycle collides with the rear end of the vehicle after the vehicle stops suddenly. Both types of collision often result in the rider being ejected from his or her bike. A rider can collide with moving or fixed objects as they fly through the air, and when they hit the ground, they do so with tremendous force. Unfortunately, airborne riders also sometimes land in the path of moving vehicles.
Many motorcycle accidents can be prevented. Drivers can reduce the risk of hitting a motorcycle by looking twice in either direction before entering an intersection, and by checking side and rearview mirrors when changing lanes and navigating on and off ramps. Both riders and drivers can reduce accident risk by using turn signals to enable others on the road to anticipate their movements. Accidents can also be prevented by giving other vehicles, including and especially motorcycles, enough space. When there is adequate space between vehicles of any type, drivers and riders have a chance to respond to the movements of vehicles around them. What many drivers may not realize is that motorcycles need at least twice as much space as other types of vehicles because of the way that they slow down and stop.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Representing Mississippi Motorcycle Accident Victims and Their Families
If you have been injured or someone that you love has been killed in a motorcycle accident, you may have many questions on your mind. The Mississippi Motorcycle Accident Attorneys of the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. may be able to to help you. Please call our office today at (601) 355-2022 to learn more.
October 16th, 2015
Most people are familiar with medical diagnostic tests, such as x-rays. These tests are designed to help medical professionals accurately pinpoint the cause of the patient’s suffering so that an appropriate treatment can be implemented quickly. Unfortunately, what most people do not know is that diagnostic errors happen more frequently than you might imagine.
Most diagnostic errors remain unseen to the public, but for some of the individuals and families who are involved, they can be painful, frightening, and even deadly. When diagnostic errors do make headlines, it is sometimes because the situation involves a serious public health threat. For example, a man with Ebola was initially diagnosed as having sinusitis. When he returned to the hospital, he had gotten even sicker, and e eventually died. It is estimated that one in twenty people who seek outpatient care each year experience a diagnostic error. Diagnostic errors are actually the leading type of paid medical malpractice claims, and they are almost twice as likely as other types of claims to have resulted in a patient’s death.
Some of the most powerful diagnostic tools that medical professionals have available to them, like x-rays, CAT scans, and MRIs, enable those professionals to see the inside of patients’ bodies. However, the ability to look inside of a patient’s body does not automatically lead to an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment. It takes a high level of skill and care to properly interpret the images that the diagnostic tools produce. When these images are not interpreted correctly, inaccurate diagnoses may be made, diagnoses may be missed, or inappropriate treatments may be prescribed. When this happens, patients can become sicker and, in some cases, they can even die.
There are many things that can go wrong while medical professionals are performing or interpreting a diagnostic test. The test could be performed improperly, or it could be done on the wrong part of the body. The test results could be misinterpreted. One example of what can happen when an x-ray is misinterpreted is the case of a woman whose chest x-ray showed a mass on her lung which was not noted in the x-ray interpretation. The woman was a smoker, and she had a family history of lung cancer. Those factors were not taken into account in the x-ray interpretation, and the woman was given a diagnosis of a respiratory infection. She was prescribed antibiotics for treatment. Eighteen months later, she was still experiencing pain and had another chest x-ray done, which revealed advanced lung cancer and a mass that had doubled in size. The woman eventually died of lung cancer. Is it possible that she could have lived longer if she had received lung cancer treatment following the initial chest x-ray?
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Supporting the Victims of Medical Malpractice in Mississippi
Diagnostic errors can cause patients to get even sicker before they receive proper treatment for their illnesses or injuries. Unfortunately, some diagnostic errors are even fatal. If you have been injured or if someone that you love was killed by a medical diagnostic error, the Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. are here to help you. Please call our office today at (601) 355-2022.
October 13th, 2015
Giddens Law Firm participated again this year in the Mississippi’s Toughest Kids golf tournament hosted at Whisper Lake. MTK exists to provide exciting experiences and exploration to children who face serious illnesses, disabilities and special needs.
The Giddens Law firm has sponsored a hole and a team at the tournament for the past two years and is more than happy to participate with this wonderful organization.
Two beneficiaries of MTK.
Other ways to support MTK
October 4th, 2015
A warming blanket manufactured by 3M is at the center of a products liability lawsuit in which the injured party alleges that the warming blanket caused bacteria and contaminants from the floor of the operating room to enter her surgical wound, resulting in a catastrophic post-surgical infection. The blanket, which is called a Bair Hugger, is used to stabilize the body temperature of patients in an operating room setting by using forced hot air.
The injured party in this lawsuit, a woman from Mississippi, was undergoing knee replacement surgery when the Bair Hugger warming blanket was used to keep her body temperature stable. After the surgery was completed, the wound became infected and the knee implant that had been inserted had to be removed. An antibiotic spacer had to be put in place of the knee replacement because the woman’s knee joint was so badly infected. Months later, another knee replacement was put in, and the woman has had multiple surgeries since the placement of the second knee replacement device.
Post-surgical infections are not uncommon, but in some situations they can be linked to a condition which created an increased risk that infection would occur. For example, there are a growing number of cases in which catastrophic infections developed after Bair Hugger warming blankets were used during knee and hip replacement surgeries. Some of the injured parties have even filed lawsuits that are similar to the one that has been filed by the woman from Mississippi.
The Bair Hugger warming blanket was designed to meet a need within the hospital setting, but its use poses a great risk to patients. It is true that the body temperature of a patient who is undergoing a hip or knee replacement surgery will drop during the time that they are in the operating room because they are anesthetized and because they are not moving. It is necessary to stabilize their body temperature, but it is not necessary to create an increased risk of infection by using a product that affects the air flow within the operating room, thereby allowing bacteria from the floor to enter the open surgical wound. The Bair Hugger forced hot air warming blanket is just one type of device that can be used to warm patients as they undergo hip or knee replacements. Other alternatives to the Bair Hugger exist, such as warming blankets that resemble electric blankets and which do not use forced hot air. 3M is aware of the risk that their forced hot air warming blankets create, but the company has not warned hospitals of that risk.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Representing Mississippi Plaintiffs in Products Liability Lawsuits
The Bair Hugger forced hot air warming blanket is just one example of a medical product that can cause harm to the very patients that it is intended to help. If you have been injured or if someone that you love has died as the result of an unreasonably dangerous medical product, the Mississippi Personal Injury Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. are here to help you. Please call our office today at (601) 355-2022 to learn more.
October 3rd, 2015
A recent accident involving a tractor trailer and an SUV illustrates just how serious rollover accidents can be. After the two vehicles, which were traveling in the same direction, collided, the SUV rolled over. The driver of the SUV and the four passengers were all injured, and one of them suffered a head injury so severe that she had to be airlifted to the hospital.
Rollover crashes often cause severe injury and/or death. Rollover accidents can be caused by many things, such as weather, road conditions, vehicle type, and driver skill. Fortunately, this means that there are multiple things that drivers can do to decrease the risk that they will be involved in a rollover accident, including improving their driving skills and choosing not to drink and drive.
In some rollover accidents, the vehicle that rolls over has physical features that actually made it more prone to rolling over than other vehicles on the road. For example, vehicles that are tall and narrow have the greatest rollover risk. The shape of these vehicles, which include many SUVs, vans, and pickup trucks, gives them a high center of gravity. This means that it takes less force to roll them over than it would take for other vehicles with lower, wider stances. Some vehicles have features like stability control, which reduce rollover risk. Stability control features detect overcorrections and compensate for them by braking automatically. Variable ride height suspensions help vehicles adapt to changing driving conditions and make automatic adjustments to reduce the likelihood of a rollover.
Excessive speed can cause rollover accidents, and, unfortunately rollover accidents that are caused by excessive speed are often fatal. Alcohol consumption greatly increases the likelihood that you will make poor choices while you are driving, which may cause you to lose control of your vehicle and roll it over. Approximately half of all fatal rollover accidents involve alcohol. Road conditions can play a role in rollover accidents, too, with rollover crashes happening more frequently on rural roads, where the dividing lines are not as clearly marked and where the speed limits may be high, even though there are curves.
Since many of the causes of rollover crashes are directly related to driver behavior, drivers can greatly reduce the risk that they will have a rollover accident by making better choices while they drive. Some choices that reduce risk include following posted speed limits, choosing not to drink and drive, choosing not to drive while tired, avoiding distractions, properly inflating and maintaining tires and loading vehicles properly.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Helping Automobile Accident Victims throughout Mississippi
If you were injured in a rollover accident or someone that you love was killed, a Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorney may be able to help you pursue a claim for damages. To learn more about how the Mississippi Automobile Accident Attorneys of the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. can help you with your personal injury claim, please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022.
September 29th, 2015
If your automobile accident or personal injury case has arrived at a point at which negotiations have not resulted in an acceptable settlement offer and a lawsuit must be filed, your attorney will begin the lawsuit by filing a complaint against the party or parties whose negligent acts of omissions caused your injuries and damages. Many clients want to know what amount of damages we request in the complaint. At the Giddens Law Firm, we almost never request a specific amount of damages in the initial complaint which commences the filing of the lawsuit. When we file a complaint, we ask the court to award the client the full amount of damages that are allowable under Mississippi Law.
When filing a complaint, asking the court to award the full amount of damages that are allowable under Mississippi law ensures that the client will not miss out on any compensation because the complaint asked for less than they could possibly receive. Similarly, asking the court to award the plaintiff an amount that is in excess of the amount that is allowed under Mississippi law could at the very least cause the court to take the client’s case less seriously, and at the very worst cause the court to be prejudiced against the client.
It is important that clients remember that each automobile accident or personal injury case is unique. The types of damages that you may be able to recover in your particular case will depend upon the circumstances of your accident and the impact that your injuries have had on your life. Medical bills are the type of damages which are most commonly associated with automobile accident cases and personal injury cases, but there are other types of damages, too. Lost wages are another common type of damages, because many accident victims have to miss work because of their injuries. You may also be able to recover damages related to the specific nature of your injuries, or whether your injuries have left you fully or partially disabled either permanently or temporarily. In cases where your injuries affect your ability to return to your job, you may be able to receive damages for any loss in your earning capacity. The physical pain and suffering that you have already endured, that you experience now, and that you are expected to experience into the future may also be compensable. If your accident caused you severe emotional distress or mental anguish, you may be able to recover damages for that. Other past, present and future costs associated with the accident, such as property damage, rental car fees, and other expenses may also be recoverable depending upon the circumstances of your case.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Serving Clients throughout Mississippi
If you would like to learn more about whether the Mississippi Accident Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. are a good fit for you and your current legal matter please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022.
September 28th, 2015
If you have been injured in an automobile accident, you are probably well aware that you may file a claim for the injuries and damages that you sustained as the result of that accident. Unfortunately, you may also be painfully aware of the ways in which your accident has affected the lives of your loved ones. Depending upon your injuries, your relationship with your spouse may have changed, especially in the area of taking care of household responsibilities. In most marriages, responsibilities are divided up early on, and many couples are able to achieve a relatively even balance of supporting their home and family financially as well as physically. An automobile accident can turn all of that upside down, especially if your injuries will require a lengthy recovery time and limit your ability to work, drive, and do some or all of the things that you would normally do.
Fortunately, Mississippi recognizes that the amount of interference that an automobile accident injury can have on a marriage causes the non-injured spouse to suffer. The damage that is caused by this suffering can be addressed by a loss of consortium claim which may be brought by a spouse if they can show that the accident victim’s injuries have interfered with their married and family life. Some of the ways in which spouses report that their lives have been changed by automobile accidents involve child care duties, transportation, meal preparation, earning income, and other practical matters, in addition to emotional factors like the spouse’s pain in seeing the everyday effects of the damage that the accident has done to the person that they love so dearly and the spouse’s inability to communicate or interact with their loved ones, if their injuries have rendered them incapable of doing so.
In the case of fatal accidents that are the result of negligence, the surviving spouse and children of the deceased, or the parents and siblings of the deceased, if the deceased was not married and did not have any children, may be able to bring a claim for wrongful death. There are three parts of a wrongful death claim. The first part of the claim involves proving that the defendant was negligent. To prove negligence, you must prove that the defendant owed some sort of duty to the deceased, the defendant breached the duty, and that the defendant’s breach of their duty to the deceased caused them to be injured or damaged. The second part of a wrongful death claim involve proving that the decedent’s death was caused by the defendant’s negligent action. The third part of a wrongful death claim involves providing evidence of the financial damages that are associated with the loss of the decedent, such as funeral and burial expenses, lost wages, medical bills from care provided after the decedent was injured until the time of their death, the decedent’s pain and suffering, and the pain and suffering of family members in connection with their death.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Serving Clients throughout Mississippi
If you would like to learn more about whether the Mississippi Auto Accident Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. are a good fit for you and your current legal matter please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022.
September 26th, 2015
If you think that you need the services of an attorney, you probably do. There are many situations in life where people need legal counsel. When these situations arise, people often feel confused and concerned about how they will find the lawyer who is right for them. This is a valid concern, as legal matters are serious in nature and the outcome of any type of legal proceeding is likely to have a substantial impact on the life of the parties who are involved in it. The following tips can help you select the attorney who is the best fit for your legal needs.
It is important to do some research before you select an attorney. Not all attorneys are a good match for every client. Attorneys are a diverse group of people with unique personalities and ways of interacting with clients, as well as specialized types of knowledge within the more general category of “legal knowledge”. The ideal attorney for your situation is someone that you feel comfortable working with and who has experience in handling legal matters that are similar to yours. The best way to find out whether a lawyer meets both of those criteria is to select a list of the names of a few attorneys and find time to speak with each of them. You can get ideas for who to contact include references from family and friends, web searches, and lawyer referral services.
Once you have a list of names, contact the attorneys on your list. When you speak with someone at a law firm regarding your case, it is a good idea to have a list of questions handy so that you can explore the possibility of working with them on your legal matter. Have a pen and paper ready so that you can take notes. One of the most important questions to ask is whether they handle legal matters like yours. Just as you would not visit a dentist to seek relief from foot pain, you would not want to have a divorce attorney handle your personal injury matter or estates case.
It is important that you feel as though your attorney has enough time to work on your case, so ask them whether they have time to handle your legal matter. You may also want to ask them whether they have a basic timeline for how cases like yours generally proceed, so that you can know what to expect should you become their client. Asking an attorney about where you can find reviews from past clients can tell you a lot about the attorney, not just because of the content of the reviews but because of the way the lawyer addresses your question.
At the close of your conversation, take time to reflect on your experience and write down some notes about how you felt while you were speaking with the attorney. Your instinct is a powerful guide which can point you towards an attorney who is a great fit for you if the basics of experience with cases like yours, availability to take your case, and favorable reviews from past clients are all present. Pay particular attention to the personal chemistry between you and your lawyer.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Serving Clients Throughout Mississippi
If you would like to learn more about whether the Mississippi Injury Lawyers at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. are a good fit for you and your current legal matter please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022.